What I adored about Standby is that the heroine kept doing *smart things.* I’m so tired of seeing romance heroines who run straight towards danger or who avoid great advice when it’s given to them. Shayla is that rare heroine who actually follows advice when she’s given it, who does the smart thing to protect herself, and who acts intelligently when she’s in a dangerous situation. I can’t overstate what a breath of fresh air that is in a romance novel, and heaven bless Jameson for delivering this!
Shayla’s hero Jake is equally wonderful. He understands the danger Shayla is in when she’s being gaslighted by a former lover, and he goes into alpha-protective mode just when it’s needed. Shayla and Jake do fall in love really quickly, but the intensity of their situation and the clever bet they make not to fall into bed right away makes this setup work.
I really appreciated that the suspense part of this book didn’t drag out. Instead, the focus is on the focused interaction Shayla and Jake are forced into due to the threat against her and what results from that.
There are some minor quibbles with Runway; at the end, I can’t see how Shayla would be comfortable in bed with Jake when her body has endured some damage. But that’s a small price to pay when a book has two really smart people who do mature things that, you know, most of us would do when placed in these situations. To see that in a romance is a rare treat that I wish we’d find more often!