In Angel C. Aquino‘s Love at First Run, graphic designer Diana can’t even run a block without breaking a sweat, but when her office crush Paul invites her to join a running club, she figures it’ll be worth the chance to get to know Paul better. To her horror, she learns that members of the running club are expected to participate in a half-marathon only four months away. Fortunately, she realizes she actually enjoys running, and the races they join to train for the half-marathon are a lot of fun. She also meets Josh, a long-time runner who becomes her running buddy and personal cheerleader during training. Her heart races whenever she’s with him, and Diana begins to wonder how much of what she actually feels is just runner’s high.
Will Diana choose Paul, the gorgeous co-worker who inspired her to start running in the first place?
“Hey Diana, you okay? You look so intense.”
My teammate Paul nudged me on the shoulder, distracting me from my breakfast daydreams. Even though we’d both been here since midnight, his smooth, straight hair still fell perfectly over his eyes. The sun hadn’t risen yet but his smile emitted rays of sunlight toward me.
The heat rose from my chest and crept up to my face. If there was one thing that made this thankless job worth it, it was Paul. [p. 5]
Or will Diana fall in love with Josh, the man whose smile radiates such sheer joy that he makes running at dawn seem fun?
Joshua took the umbrella with one hand, put his other arm around my shoulder, and pulled me close so we would both be covered. Thunder rumbled in the distance.
We fell into an easy silence as we walked with no clear destination in mind. I tried not to think about how close he was, how safe and comfortable I felt beside him. I caught a whiff of peppermint and lavender mixed with the smell of ramen on his shirt. He gripped me tightly and I felt the muscles on his chest expand and contract with every breath. [p. 56]
I won’t spoil anything, but here’s a scene that made me super kilig. 😉
“I hope that someday, if I’m ever crazy enough to run a marathon, I’ll have someone like you by my side.”
He moved even closer and turned his face toward me. “Just say when and I’ll be there.”
My face was two inches away from his. It was only now that I noticed how long his eyelashes were, how full his lips. All I had to do was lean forward a little more and they would be mine. [p. 89]
Seriously, I know this is a sweet romance, but Aquino is a master at the slow burn, and I admit I yelled “just kiss already!” at my galley more than once.
To learn more about the author, visit www.angelcaquino.com
Thank you to the author for an electronic advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Full disclosure: The author is a friend, and I’m super proud of her for writing a novel, but all views expressed on this blog are my honest opinions.