RUNAWAY GROOM: The Reluctant Cinderella

Runaway Groom


Book 2 in the I Do, I Don’t series

Author Lauren Layne

Narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley, Rudy Sanda

Published by Tantor Media

Publication date Feb 20, 2018

Running time 7 hrs


I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.


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.


My Take Oblong Shaped

Today is the release day for this book so, yay me! for getting something out in good time!  And this is an enjoyable sexy book, with good narration. Both narrators work their characters well, and no huge problems with bad timing or pronunciation.  

Gage’s past as a “runaway groom” is overplayed in the title and underplayed in the story. He’s interesting in his integrity and his vulnerability. And, of course she thinks of him as impermeable, a shallow actor.  He’s intrigued by her her casualness , her unwillingness to play the game, her smarts, and her sense of humor. And the take on the super-popular reality TV programming is fun.  I like Elly’s T-Shirt business’s classy name: High T.

My only issues were that it’s pretty predictable and it’s in my least favorite POV, immediate, go-cam, first person.  On the other hand, sometimes you want a plot wherein the gorgeous, rich, movie star who wants to give the woman room and help her business.   And, that female character has such high principles and a bad family history and is thus relationship shy.

It’s a plot gauged to be Chicken Soup for the Modern Woman’s Soul in a society wherein men are portrayed as the relationship side of male-female relationships.   It’s a sexy, soothing and hopeful Cinderella story.

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