Review: Runaway Groom by Lauren Layne

Received from Publicist

Title: Runaway Groom
Series: I Do, I Don’t #2
Author: Lauren Layne
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date:
Rating: 4/5

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Synopsis from Goodreads

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.

Read an excerpt HERE

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REVIEW 

Runaway Groom was just what the doctor ordered to get through the dark, dismal January days. Light, fun and flirty with a stunning setting guaranteed to whisk you away from real life for a few hours.

Gage is a famous Hollywood actor who hasn’t had much success in relationships and having lost a bet to his best friend finds himself on the set of Jilted. We already know the premise of the reality show Jilted from Ready to Run, although they have upped the ante with a guaranteed wedding/marriage during the last episode!!!! There are hints as to Gage’s emotional barriers scattered through the narrative, although he does pride himself on his integrity which can appear as a contrast to some of his actions.

Ellie has been talked into appearing on the show by her best friend and business partner in order to promote their t-shirt business. However, Ellie feels very uncomfortable in the spotlight with all the fakeness it generates. Therefore, Ellie is determined to be one of the first contestants to leave the island the show is being filmed on. What neither Ellie or Gage expects are the sparks that fly between them from the very beginning.

Circumstances and crazy people and their demented plans bring Ellie and Gage together to aid Gage in the elimination process. The more time they spend together the greater their attraction, although Gage’s acting skills prevent public speculation. Unfortunately, Ellie won’t let herself believe the emotionally intimate moments between herself and Gage are real because of their current circumstances and fear of his glamorous lifestyle.

Lauren portrays the reality TV show in a tongue-in-cheek fashion but it does resonate when you see the desperation and fakeness of some of the contestants.

Although there are barriers in place to Gage and Ellie achieving their HEA they aren’t too traumatic and easily resolved when placed in perspective. I did adore the way in which Gage was determined to prove himself to Ellie as well as Ellie’s emotional growth at the end of Runaway Groom. There is also a very clever twist in place that was delightful in its inclusion and I can honestly say  I did not see coming ♥

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