Review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/04/15/review-running-free-by-jorrie-spencer/
I’m always intrigued by shifters other than the standard wolf and cat, so when I heard that Spencer/Skye was writing about horse shifters, I was excited to read the stories.
Zach went through a traumatic experience as a young man, and ran as his horse for a long time. The only thing that convinced him to shift back to human was finding a young shifter boy lost in the woods. Zach took Storm back to his grandparents, and worked out an agreement to act as his guardian. Zach isn’t excited about letting Storm do a lot of extra curricular activities, but when his grandparents insist on piano lessons, Zach’s whole life flips on its head.
Sally has lived at Wolf Town long enough to get comfortable being around wolves again. When she is asked to go undercover as a piano teacher to ensure that a young wolf is being protected she agrees. Meeting Zach is more than she bargained for, and Sally knows she can’t lie to Zach about her reasons for being there. She just hopes that the fragile bond she has built with both Zach and Storm isn’t broken when Wolf Town gets involved.
I enjoy Spencer’s Wolf Town novellas, and although they are usually very simplistic plot-wise, they are also pretty enjoyable. I love the notion of having other types of shifters, and reading about horse shifters is always fun and different. I like that Zach is so protective of Storm, despite the fact that Storm is a wolf. He is so loving and caring to the little boy, and although he feels damaged for the years he spent as a horse, he also is willing to do just about anything and everything to keep the little boy safe, even if he has to do so from himself.
I liked Sally in this story as well. She was a little broken, just like Zach, but she had taken the time to start the healing process. I was glad to see that she genuinely felt guilty for lying to Zach, especially after they started a more personal relationship, and that she came clean so early on in the story. However, there wasn’t much else that really engaged me about Sally. I didn’t feel like we got a really firm grasp of her backstory, and because of that I felt like there was a little something missing with her character.
I did like the romance between these two. It was a no-fuss kind of relationship, once they got over the small hurdle of Sally’s true reason for being in town. I was glad to see that they were both able to confide in each other, and that Zach was able to come clean about his life as a young boy and what made him run wild for so many years. I would have liked to see a little more development in that trust, but overall their romance was sweet.
All in all I think Spencer has another good novella for the Northern Shifters Series. I like that she brings in different kinds of shifters, and that we got to see and find Zach, as I read some of his story in her previous Skye release. I’m looking forward to reading more.
I give Running Free a C+