Lauren Layne returns to the blog today with the second in her I Do, I Don’t series – and this one I read in one sitting – WAY past my bedtime because “just one more chapter” never quite convinced me to put it down. And don’t forget to enter to win one of 3 digital copies of the title! Please read on for my review of
A bet that he won’t ignore because he made it (and a bet is a bet) has Gage ready to star as the ‘prize’ in Jilted: a reality dating show where this runaway groom will narrow the field to two women – one of which he’ll marry. An actor by trade, he’s not looking forward to this fiasco and the intrusion into his actual life: cameras and charm aren’t difficult – he is an actor after all. But it’s those moments – the two failed (day of the wedding) engagements that have branded him as unstable and fickle, the tabloids follow his ‘many’ dates, and he’s never even gotten close to the real thing – not since Her.
Ellie has a t-shirt company that she hopes to promote, an absent father, a best-friend and business partner who wants her to ‘get out there’, and a history with her mother that provided more of a revolving door model of ‘love’, pushing her to want stability and make her own way. She’d interviewed for the show with a push from her bestie, got ON the show and wants nothing more than to leave. Nothing is real here: not the manufactured time with Gage, the two-minute (she stretched hers to two and one half) introductory chat, the 4 to a room (bunkbeds – need I say more?) and the fact that one man is ‘dating’ multiple women. It’s rife for drama and backstabbing (because yes – many of the women are either unstable or decidedly competitive and mean) as they are ‘encouraged to make good television.
SO – I thought I would find this plot trying – seriously – WHO goes on these things? You’ve obviously got a few motives – notoriety being the primary one. But Ellie – so willing to judge Gage and his “intentions” but actually able to notice that some of her comments sting him. Gage’s interest in Ellie – not the curviest, not the one vying for his attention but the one who asks to be the first to leave – but also shares some information about the stability (or lack thereof) of another contestant. Gage and Ellie are wonderful together – the chemistry sends shock waves through her and puts her in the bull’s eye: this is a competition after all. The thing is, Ellie isn’t competing – she’s struggling with her own feelings for Gage, her own fears about relationships and some sparks of jealousy that she didn’t expect at all. And, she likes the Gage she’s met: the off-camera, stolen moments in the cleaner’s closet, riding down the highway in a convertible, floating on surfboards as ‘shark bait” in the ocean. Late night texts, a tricked out closet and the realization that he could break her heart, permanently, push her in so many directions and away from Gage. But, he’s got other ideas – even as he takes her advice and befriends her best-friend in the house- taking her and the only other ‘normal” (read this as not crazy with no ulterior motives) to the end…
Such a fun book with plenty of laughs, twists and plenty of tension at the end as the show airs on television and questions (she won’t ask and he won’t tell) about who he marries go on and on. Grab it – you’ll love it. Just be sure to start reading before ten at night – Or you’ll be sleepless and up too late!
Title: Runaway Groom
Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor elements
Published by: Loveswept
Published on: 30 January, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
For one charming playboy, getting cast on a Bachelor-esque reality TV show is the shock of a lifetime—until he finds love where he least expects it. And now the chase is on!
Gage Barrett’s reputation as a ladies’ man has been greatly exaggerated, but none of that matters after a drunken bet lands him on Jilted, a reality TV show that matches runaway grooms with wannabe brides. Now he’s stuck at a Hawaiian resort with nineteen women competing to drag him back to the altar—and one contestant who’s even more miserable than he is. Gage has no idea how feisty, independent Ellie Wright wound up in the cast, but it’s obvious she hates his guts. And if there’s one thing Gage likes, it’s a challenge. . . .
Ellie can’t believe she let her best friend talk her into exchanging her dignity for a glorified bikini contest. Still, she could use the exposure—her business is struggling—and she’ll probably be one of the first to get eliminated anyway. But Gage isn’t the shallow jerk Ellie anticipated—and he’s in no rush to send her home. As stolen kisses turn into secret trysts, she finds herself losing track of what’s real and what’s for the camera. With the wedding finale looming, this runaway groom is tempting Ellie to start believing in storybook endings.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.