The Runaround is the story of Ari and Jax. Ari has a dream of one day running her own website design business. While building up that business, she is also a receptionist and karaoke deejay. She designed the website for Jax’s company about a year ago. During the time she was working with him, they shared some flirty banter that she was hoping could lead to something…until he ghosted her. He shows up months later at the bar where she runs karaoke to ask her for help with singing lessons. However, the lessons are not for him…instead, they are for his teenage daughter that she knew nothing about.
Turns out, Jax just learned about a year ago that he has a teenage daughter. Their relationship is icy (at best). When his daughter’s mom brings up singing lessons, Jax knows just who to ask. Ari has an amazing voice and knows she will be the best person for the job. Quickly their flirtatious banter starts up again. However, Jax realizes that he must keep both his and his daughter’s feelings in mind when it comes to Ari. His daughter has been hurt by his mother’s past relationship and Jax does not want to bring someone else into his life that could lead to more hurt for his daughter.
This story is a back and forth between what the heart wants and what Ari and Jax think is best for protecting their hearts. I found myself wanting to slap the characters when they did something stupid…but wanting to hug them when they got it right. The supporting characters were interesting, and I want to go back and read their stories. It looks like some will be getting their own books in the future, so I will probably check those out as well. This is the first book I have read in the Carolina Connections series…but it will not be the last!