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Runner

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s fo ...more
ebook, 200 pages
Published July 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  350 ratings  ·  115 reviews


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☆ Todd
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it

There were certain aspects of this story that I enjoyed, but as a whole, I found it to be just an okay read.

Initially, I had a problem with a few details of the book.

First, the level of severe PTSD seemed a bit extreme for the attack, as described in the book. This is only *my* opinion and I realize that people would act differently to different types of assaults, so that was only *my* impression given the description of the 16 y.o. in the book before the attack and the events that transpired on
...more
Sara
Jul 23, 2017 added it
Shelves: unicorn-reads
4.5 Hearts

Tag Team Review with Lost in a Book

It’s hard not to review this book and reflect on it personally as so much of it hit me personally.

Let me try though, okay?

Matt Bowers was your average sixteen year old boy in love with his yellow car and crushing on boys when an adult took advantage of him sexually. From there, Matt’s OCD begins to service with cleaning and keeping things he can control in order. Though his mother tried to get him help, it wasn’t enough and Matt wasn’t cooperating
...more
S.J. Himes
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is charming, delightful, and so sincere it left me dazed after I read it.

Matt Bowers encapsulates a set microcosm of emotions: Anxiety, terror, fear and stubborness. OCD and PTSD aren't easy things to live with, and the way Matt evolves and manages his life are unique. I FELT the fear he experienced--I LIVED the resolution to remain alone and safe. And I felt along with him the jarring arrival of the Runner, Charlie. Day by day, moment by moment, Charlie worked his way into Matt's life
...more
CrabbyPatty
After an attack when he was sixteen, Matt suffers from OCD and PTSD and has basically been a recluse ever since, living alone in a house in the remote Maine countryside. Matt has shut himself away from his family:
As much as I loved Mom and Clay, they were no longer part of my world, and having them in my house would require me to put things back to rights after they were gone. In essence, I’d be excising them from my life each time, and I couldn’t handle that. Easier to just not let them visit.
...more
Karen
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this is a bit of a quandary...

I actually finished listening to this one a couple of days ago and I've been pondering it every since...you see while I did really enjoy the story in general there were a couple of things that have niggled at my brain every since so I'm just going to share my niggles and my thoughts on why I really enjoyed this one and leave you to make your own decisions...

First on my 'niggle' list is Matthew's mother. I definitely liked that when Matthew was attacked when h
...more
Ele
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
-2.5-

Parker Williams is a good author. I have enjoyed his work in the past, and I'd definitely try another book written by him in the future. However, Runner was mostly a miss with me. Maybe I expected something else, but while the premise was interesting, the execution didn't quite work.

I did like the writing a lot and I think that the author did a good job describing Matt's struggles, living with anxiety and PTSD. I also appreciated the description of Matt's home. This is important to the stor
...more
Jordan
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alphabookclub
5/5 - Wow, this book was really good. Prior to reading Runner I'd only ever read Parker Williams' collaboration works with K.C. Wells, but I've obviously been missing out. Runner takes hurt/comfort to another level.

Matt had very severe PTSD, to the point that everything in his life was a routine and he didn't want any other people around him because he wasn't able to predict what they were going to do. He let his fears take over his life and control him so much that he was completely miserable,
...more
Lost in a Book
Tag team with Sara

3.5 Stars

I was drawn to this book. Not because I’m a runner (unless I’m being chased). No, it was the angsty premise with the reclusive MC that had me all caveman; MINE!

376 steps was all it took to change his world. Matt is a recluse living out in the middle of nowhere coping day to day in isolation. He has been merely surviving for 13 years since he was assaulted at the age of 16 without friends or family. Matt struggles with PTSD and OCD so each day is scheduled and always pr
...more
Nat ReadingAllNite
Parker Williams has written a very touching story about a young man turned recluse due to a traumatic experience at 16. His age was important in understanding some of his issues, I think. He hadn’t experienced dating or any physical intimacy as a gay man, when his desires were cruelly tainted. To me, it supported his reclusiveness and rejecting continued therapy while still a teen. Much of the slow progress he achieved seemed realistic in that respect.

The story is told entirely from Matt’s first
...more
Jay
4 stars – It doesn’t happen as much as I would like, but every so often, a romance novel will start with a premise that grabs me right away, making me curious about a character or situation so much that I can’t put the book down until my brain reminds me of something like having to work the next day. Runner, by Parker Williams, accomplished this, and though I had some issues with the book, the story’s overall sincerity kept them from becoming problematic to my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

Un
...more
Ulysses Dietz
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Runner
By Parker Williams
Dreamspinner Press, 2017
Four stars

One of the classic tropes of the m/m genre is the Broken Man. I have a soft spot for this motif, since I’ve always felt that we’re all broken in some way, even if it’s not apparent to people around us. Partly this is because I’m a great believer, even in these cynical times, of the healing power of love. From the first gay romance novel I stumbled across on Amazon seven years ago, I’ve been hooked on the romantic notion that love is a mag
...more
Lissa
Matt was traumatized as a sixteen-year-old when his teacher asked him for a ride, only to end up in a field with the man trying to sexually assault him. The teacher ended up in prison for a few years and Matt ended up with a three million dollar settlement from the school district, which he used to buy some land far outside of town, where he doesn't really have to deal with anyone at all. That suits Matt fine, because since the attack, he's been plagued with PTSD and OCD. But then someone starts ...more
Steph ☀️
***3.13 stars***

Warning : Possible triggers include a brief, but graphic sexual assault scene involving a minor.

Okay, so there's this guy named Matt and at the age of sixteen something horrible happened to him. From that day forward darkness slowly started to descend upon his life. When he turned 18, he moved away to his own private 'castle' in the woods. He thought by doing this that he would not only spare himself, but his loved ones as well. Time passed and the darkness stayed; never letting
...more
Lelyana
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked this story. I can see why Matt acted like that, with the PTSD and all. Overreacted?
Yes. But in a mind of 16 years old boy who trusted his teacher and attacked by him? Even there's no rape, just one attempted..still..memories followed.
The problem is, Matt rejected the therapy and getting deeper and deeper into his own lonely world.
Until he found Charlie. Charlie is perfect in every way possible. He's definitely a perfect man for Matt.
But...does he really 'that perfect'?
I liked th
...more
Sandra
I could've sworn I had read this... but I guess not? So maybe there's a similar book out there or I just remembered the blurb. Anyway, I liked this. Matthew was interesting and I thought the author did a good job with his story. His trauma wasn't excessive, it was just real and raw and heart breaking. I will say that the book went on 1-2 chapters too long. I was happy where it was, I didn't need the fairy tale and the pink ribbon (view spoiler) ...more
Deanna
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After suffering an attack at 16, Matt suffers from extreme OCD and PTSD. He has locked himself away from the world in a cabin miles from town. He has turned his land into a self-sustaining oasis. He grows his own food, he fishes and hunts on his last and has almost no contact with the outside world. Then one day his world is turned upside down when someone starts jogging past his house everyday. The first sighting sent Matt into a panic attack to rival all panic attacks. Matt tried calling the s ...more
Jaime
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been a long time since I got so attached to a character as I did to Matt in this book. He was a real, sympathetic character. Even with his issues, he had a strength and willingess to try that edeared him to me almost immediately.

Like so much of the time, I found myself drawn to the secondary character, Clay, Matt's younger/older brother. Some peices of matt's psyche and soul stopped maturing at 16 when his life changed so dramatically, and so even though Clay is younger in years, he has a
...more
Candice
The first chapter gripped me. I loved it. Then, I didn't. I didn't like Matt's brother pressuring Matt. I thought Charlie was too perfect. Was there ANYTHING that could have ruffled his perfect feathers?

(view spoiler)
...more
Happily Ever Chapter
✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FOUR & 1/2 - STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩

> > Judging a Book by it's Cover < <
Handsome young man peers out window, watching another man jog by. Background looks misty or foggy, obscuring any other features of the neighborhood. The left hand on the window does not look like it belongs to the man at the window, strange placement and spatial differences. Strong, bold title and author fonts. Intriguing synopsis.

> > Looking Deeper < <
POV ~> First person, Matt's POV.
...more
Ang -PNR Book Lover Reviews
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Helena Stone
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, m-m, ptsd, abuse
Well WOW. Colour me impressed and a very happy reader.

The lies we tell ourselves are the most damning ones of all, because after a time we start to believe them.

This book intrigued me ever since Parker Williams first mentioned it on Facebook and shared the blurb. To say I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it would be a gross understatement. Of course there are risks involved when a new release is anticipated as much as this one was. I’m delighted and grateful that Runner not only lived up to my
...more
Sarah
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars - I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

I liked this story of a recluse with PTSD and the man who jogs past his house each day. Living an almost self-sufficient life on an isolated property, Matt manages to be a much more interesting character than his mental health problems suggest. Charlie, a successful author, manages to be lonelier and in more need of support than he initially appears. Together, these two make for an odd couple but they fit together q
...more
Donna
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 0-lgbtq-read
This one had me grabbing the tissues a time or three... so that tells me that this author can write emotional scenes that touch my heart and for that reason alone I will be pursuing more books by Parker Williams to read in the future!

I find myself fascinated by the various ways OCD and PTSD are perceived by others. The fact that there are NO rules as to how they manifest themselves outside of the fact that no 2 people will be affected in the same way make these two extremely hard to treat. Char
...more
Ricardo
Nov 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I’d really like to give this book more stars but for some reason it felt extremely uneven to me. Some things were really good and some things were pretty bad. For example, I thought the characters were good and there was enough background for them to explain their actions. However, I didn’t think it was realistic that the main character overcame his limitations so quickly simply by saying “tomorrow I will...” or “I’m fed up with being so limited, I will start to...” That sounded to me like the o ...more
Avid Reader
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Runner by Parker Williams
4 stars
M/M Romance
Triggers: Attempted Rape, Anxiety disorder, OCD, Car Accident
I was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.

Matt has lived a life revolving around order and fear. When he was sixteen, his trust was broken and it was never regained. Despite having a family who was supportive and loving, they just couldn't understand what he had survived - how the trauma dictated everything that Matt thought, did, etc. So he moved out of their way - or so he t
...more
Tristan
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: disability
3.5/5

It was a sweet hurts/comfort read with a nice secondary casts. However, there are parts of the book that didn't work for me. Matt's maturity seemed to have frozen since the incident, but that's just a personal comment. Maybe it have to do with the ptsd representation. :/

I do find the author pushing to hard on the sex tho. I guess she thought it would be sweet/cute or something. But I find it jarring, and disrupt the flow/ mood of the story. I would have prefer had there been no sex at all
...more
Pat
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Williams deftly tells the tale of a traumatized man and his slow ascent in putting his life back together. Those who've lived through traumatic experiences will recognize how strong and self-reliant Matt is even though he lives like a recluse. Author Williams also reassures readers that being given the right nudge at the right time is essential to healing. That Matt is given that nudge and acts positively on it becomes the foundation for a wonderful love story. I highly recommend this book.
Christy
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, on-my-kindle
There's a joy I have found in reading a Parker Williams book. I always know I'm in for excellent storytelling with real life issues and complex, strong, but equally vulnerable characters. The description for ‘Runner’ grabbed me right from the start. Mental illness is a serious issue and it's often relegated to the back burner, regardless of how many times society has paid for its disinterest in the loss of lives. I was prepared to care deeply for Matt and I knew I'd be rooting for him all the wa ...more
Erica Chilson
I received a copy of this title to read & review for Wicked Reads

3.5 Stars

Parker Williams is a new-to-me author. I was thoroughly captivated at the start of The Runner.

Matthew is living in the aftermath of an attack by his school teacher back when he was sixteen. Now, nearly thirty, he's a shut-in living in a rural setting, never leaving to go to town. Never interacting with anyone. Living with both PTSD & OCD, everything must stay the same.

A man running by, day after day, puts Matthew
...more
Achim
Jul 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5
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