When I first saw Run being advertised a little while ago I knew that I had to read this one and Eve Vaughn delivered even more than I expected. Alasdair (Dare) O'Shauhnessay is an outrageously wealthy Elite who wants nothing less than the total domination of everyone and everything around him. With the amount of money and power he has acquired Dare definitely has the means to achieve almost anything that he wants. In a world where women are commodities and the divide between the wealthy Elite and the poor and struggling Dregs is near impossible to cross Dare and Aya are on very different ends of the socio-economc spectrum. Dare is able to literally dare anything he wants. Dare is able to have anything or anyone he wants and what he wants is Aya; by any means necessary.
Aya is a young woman who helps to run a modest bar with her uncle in the center of her Dreg community. Aya's intelligence, compassion, and passion has made her a proud member of her community, but her quick temper and minimal self control proves to be her downfall. Through a series of unfortunate encounters Aya is now on Dare's radar, A hasty and rash decision made in a moment of anger has now cost her everything that she holds dear. To save her uncle she is now forced to participate in the Run. The Run is the monthly hunt put on by a group of Elites where they are able to "hunt" women who have volunteered to be prey to the Elite who will then hold them as sex slaves for as long as they desire. Being tagged by a hunter means that you no longer have any say in how you are treated for an indefinite period of time. Each woman comes to the Run solely to be able to earn enough credits to take of themselves and their families. In the world created by Vaughn women no longer have a true means of supporting themselves financially and have to depend on men for their safety and well being.
I will admit that I couldn't see how Vaughn was going to bring me around to Dare's side, every move he made was cruel and selfish. I couldn't see any redeeming qualities in him at all. However, Vaughn managed to transform a cruel, arrogant, despicable man into someone that I wanted to get his happily ever after.Vaughn was able to reveal Dare's reasons for being who he is in a way that felt completely plausible. Taking Dare's character right to the edge of being unredeemable and then drawing the reader into his past was engrossing and I loved it! Making Aya strong but also flawed in her own right was another thing that made me enjoy this book so much. Some of Aya's decisions weren't the smartest at times, but she fought to maintain her compassion, dignity and self worth in even the most dire of circumstances.
Run has plenty of very descriptive sex as well. I think it is worth mentioning that there is a sex scene with breath play. Breath play is a bit outside of my comfort zone and I wasn't sure where the story was going from there, but it wasn't necessarily gratuitous and did make sense to the scene that it played out in. However if you are squeamish about that type of sexual encounter at least you have been properly warned. The relationship between Aya and Dare is not a courtship. Their relationship is based on coerced consent so don't expect romance or even seduction between Dare and Aya, In Run Vaughn created an engrossing world populated with interesting and complex characters. There is definitely some social commentary being stated in this one, but since I pretty much agree with what's being pointed out, I was more than okay with that. I won't go into what it is, it's pretty obvious and it can't be missed. I am very much looking forward to reading book 2, The Auction, that will be coming out in 2015.
**I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.**
Dare O’Shaughnessy had the world in the palm of his hand. A man known and feared for his ruthlessness, his word was law. The last word he ever expected to hear was no. Until he met her.
Aya Smith despised the ruling class who looked down on hardworking people like her. Sick of being treated unfairly by laws that protect the wealthy and punish the poor, she takes a stand but soon realizes, she might have crossed the wrong man.
Created as a government program to assist in the repopulation of the country when an untested drug wipes out millions of women, The Run eventually evolves into something much more sinister. Now played for the amusement of the super rich, women down on their luck find themselves the prizes of sadistic masters.
Aya is forced to volunteer for The Run, and Dare, the most sadistic of all, places her in his crosshairs.She will belong to him, body and soul. But when he catches her will she succumb to his mastery, or will he find more trouble than he bargained for?
Aya took a deep breath as she made her way to the bar being careful not to look directly in the direction of the jerk supreme. As she poured his drink, she was tempted to spit in it. With each move she made, Aya could feel his heated gaze on her. She wasn’t naive about men like him. They acted like they owned everything they saw. He was toying with them and threatening their livelihood because he could.
She used as much time as she dared to fix his drink before walking toward him, still refusing to make eye contact. Aya forced herself not to slam the glass down in front of him. “Will that be all, sir?” she asked through gritted teeth while she kept her gaze planted on her feet.
“Look at me.”
Aya didn’t want to stare into eyes so deep a green they were almost hypnotizing. They were her favorite shade and she resented the hell out of him for that. Thoughts of her uncle forced her to comply. Slowly, she raised her head until she met his gaze full on. That cruel smirk curved his lips.
“If there’s nothing else, I need to see to the needs of the other customers.”
“I was under the impression from the proprietor that you don’t deal with customers. Which one of you is lying?”
She bit the inside of her lip to hold back an angry retort.
The bastard had the nerve to chuckle. “No need to answer. I can see he was just protecting what’s his. I can’t say I blame him. What are you to him?”
“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
“Fair enough.” He picked up his drink and took a sip all while his gaze roamed the bar. After placing the glass down, the smirk returned. “How much do you think a place like this would cost if someone wanted to invest for the purposes of tearing it down and rebuilding?”
The blood pounded in her head and she dug her nails into her palms. “He’s my uncle.”
He nodded in seeming approval. “Have a seat, Aya.”
She didn’t like how he used her name as if he had the right but she complied. “Look Mr. O’Shaughnessy, I don’t know what you’re trying to do here, but we don’t want any trouble. We’re sorry if you haven’t found the service to your satisfaction but we just want to be left alone. Please.”
“You seem like an intelligent woman. I would have thought it was fairly obvious what I wanted.”
She folded her hands in her lap and clinched them tightly together to keep herself from trembling. This couldn’t be happening. There had to be a way she could get herself out of this. She opted to play dumb. “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
He narrowed his eyes. “I think you do. In fact, I know you do. So, let’s not play games. You can make this really easy on yourself. You and your uncle will be taken care of for as long as I want you. And when I no longer do, you’ll be well compensated. You’ll be under my protection.”
She fought back the urge to attack him. The arrogant son of a bitch. “And what if I don’t make things easy on myself?”
“I don’t think you want to know. But the end result will be the same. I will have you.”
USA Today Bestselling Author Eve Vaughn has always enjoyed creating characters and stories from an early age. As a child she was always getting into mischief, so when she lost her television privileges (which was often), writing was her outlet. Her stories have gotten quite a bit spicier since then! When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Eve is reading, baking, traveling or kicking butt in 80’s trivia. She loves hearing from her readers. She can be contacted through her