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!
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.
She lives in New York City with her husband.
2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s
written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAY, New York
Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
I discovered Lauren Layne last year and it was one of the best reading discoveries of the year. I picked up Walk of Shame on a whim and it ended up being one of my top favorite books of the 2017. So, when I got the opportunity to review Runaway Groom, which takes place on a Bachelor-esque reality dating show, I didn’t hesitate for a second.
Gage Barrett, after losing a bet with his friend, is the next runaway groom to find love on Jilted. Twenty women will be vying for his attention in the hopes that at the end of the show one of them will be able to get him to say “I do” and become his wife. While Gage definitely fits the label of runaway groom, having left two women at the altar already, this is absolutely THE LAST THING that he wants to be doing right now. Except, that starts to change when one of the women doesn’t have hearts in her eyes when she looks at him and it seems like she would rather be anywhere else than stuck on a Hawaiian resort.
“I can’t hide the grin. Ellie really doesn’t like me. Nor does she want to be here. It’s… refreshing.”
I loved that both Gage and Ellie were against being on Jilted. It flipped the script a little and brought some originality to the story which I really appreciated. But it was the banter between Gage and Ellie that stole the show for me. Ellie’s resistance to Gage at the beginning and the flirty jabs they would throw at one another were hilariously entertaining. The sparks were there from the start but it was the friendship that grew between them over the course of the show that elevated their relationship that much more for me.
“Just once, I want someone I care about to look at the crapshoot that is my life, to take in the Jilted contract and the Killboy movie shoots and the never-ending tabloid rumours and say, ‘yeah, that stuff sucks, but Gage is worth it’. I want to be worth it. Just once.”
Gage was such a sweetheart! Yes, he has this reputation as a ladies’ man being this famous actor and all, but Gage as a person is more than just a pretty face. Despite his charms and cocky remarks, a past heartbreak still haunts him. But as his feelings grow for Ellie, Gage hopes that she will be able to look past his Hollywood status and all the glamour that comes with it. I was rooting for him the entire time even when Ellie was being a little reluctant. Ellie’s resistance and wariness was warranted at first but over time it got to be a little old. Ellie is a strong-minded, independent woman who stays true to herself on the show, using any opportunity to get exposure for her business but I think at a certain point it was working against especially once her feelings for Gage became more and more apparent.
“I’m real, Ellie.”
“You’re right. Which equates to no brain, no substance, and I just bleed air, right?”
The direction of how the story unfolds was also something I really enjoyed because it was not what I had anticipated. We got see a good portion of the filming of Jilted and the behind-the-scenes antics with the girls which was so much fun. There was a nice mix of cattiness and craziness from the other contestants in regards to the lengths they would go to get Gage’s attention. But the second half of the book took an interesting turn, breaking up a little of the predictability for me which lead to a wonderful ending.
Overall, Runaway Groom was a ton of fun and everything I was hoping for from a Lauren Layne book. If you like The Bachelor or any shows like that, then you will love this book!