Jul 25 2013 1:00pm

First Look: Charlotte Stein’s Run to You (July 25, 2013)

Run to You by Charlotte SteinCharlotte Stein
Run to You
Mischief / July 25, 2013 / $2.99 digital

Alissa Layton leads a dull and ordinary life, safe in routines, with no plans to escape. But when she meets businessman, Janos Kovaks, and is introduced to his kinky lifestyle, Allissa’s entire world changes…

Alissa uncovers a hidden world of secret assignations and kinky meetings between like-minded high fliers at an exclusive hotel. The businessman Alissa spies on seems far too handsome, sexy and worldly for someone like her, and he's into the kind of things she's not sure she can do.

Janos Kovacs has spent so long indulging in emotionless dalliances that he's forgotten what real passion is. But the more time he spends, the less control he has over himself. By the time he's finished teaching how deliciously naughty sex can be, he might be the one learning the lessons …

In Charlotte Stein’s latest erotic romance, Run to You, the very different worlds of Alissa Layton and Janos Kovac collide unexpectedly. When Alissa discovers odd entries that are marked “assignation” and circled three times in her flatmate’s diary, she is more than curious. Tired of her own unexciting life, Alissa pretends to be her flatmate and heads out to make the appointment. There she spies the mysterious and enigmatic Janos, a commanding and wealthy man who has particular desires and uses a sex club to satisfy them. Alissa believes that Janos didn’t notice her hiding in the closet and is surprised when he leaves her a note asking her to call him.

Alissa is a quiet, possibly repressed, woman who is way out of Janos’s league. But something about him appeals to her and makes her body quiver. She calls him, but hangs up before he can answer. He knows that she called, however. She has no idea why Janos returns her interest and spends an inordinate amount of time speculating about his motives. He contacts her by phone, sends her gifts and sets up further assignations, but withholds his affection—making Alissa even more insecure. At one point, she points out that “You know, there are other women like me. You could probably find them by just…you, dating. Instead of being a member of a sex club.” Janos replies that he hasn’t really been much for dating.

Alissa and Janos spend a great deal of time talking on the phone, and it is during these conversations where the two get to know each other. Janos seems to strip Alissa bare when they talk. He reads her so well: “You feel so perfectly invisible, like no one could ever notice a single thing about you. And, in fact, you’ve grown so used to this state of affairs that you’ve started to fall in love with it. You like being in the background, hidden from view …” Janos doesn’t want her to hide. He wants to revel in her just the way she is.

Eventually, Alissa demands more than just furtive meetings in a hotel room. She gets Janos to take her out on a date and even spends the night in his bed. Despite the amount of time that they spend together, Alissa’s insecurities won’t go away. At one point, Alissa asks “But why? …. Why do you find my awkwardness lovely? Why is it my conversation and my way of doing things?”

Of course, this story is not just about Alissa’s angst and Janos’s emotional unavailability. There is also a great deal of sex, steamy, sometimes kinky, but always lewd sex. At the beginning, Janos prefers to watch and to control Alissa’s pleasure. But she pushes Janos until he opens up and lets go, breaking his self-imposed rules. This all leads to a particularly hot encounter in an elevator and a tempestuous one in Janos’s expensive car.

Eventually, Janos and Alissa’s different worlds come together disastrously, highlighting Alissa’s fears and causing her to run.  She has to face her belief that she can’t fit into Janoss’ world and decide what is important to her. Her flatmate intervenes and points out her tendency to expect the worst, saying “Oh sure. You pretend to yourself that you don’t really want something all the time. In fact, I think you once said to me that it’s better not to hope for stuff, because then you can’t be crushingly disappointed when it doesn’t happen.” Alissa has to accept Janos for the man he is, but also has to take a chance.

Charlotte Stein has a knack for creating a heroine who seems like the girl next door. Run to You is a filthy, naughty tale of two people who think they are looking for meaningless sex, but find so much more.

Learn more about or order a copy of Charlotte Stein's Run to You, out today:

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Jennifer Porter, a mild-mannered librarian by day, runs the review site Romance Novel News and is a compulsive romance reader. She has a tendency to live tweet her craziest reads as @JenniferRNN.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I'm a big fan of Stein's writing and look forward to reading this.
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
Heard about this this morning and I immediately wanted to buy it. Unfortunately I'm on a self-imposed buying freeze but will go into my "I will buy this ASAP someday" list. Ugh!
Leanne Segersin
4. LMS430
Charlotte Stein has become an author who I will buy pretty much ANYTHING she writes. There's one book (can't remember what it's called) that has twins, or brothers or something that I refuse to buy, because the whole two brothers sharing a woman thing is just icky to me. So I don't buy any of those. But YAY! A new Stein!
Rakisha Kearns-White
5. BrooklynShoeBabe
I've become a huge fan of Charlotte Stein's books ever since H&H hipped me to Deep Desires. The way she twines kink, sex, angst, lust, need, love together is just amazing. It's not just sex for sex's sake. It reveals something about her character.
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