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.
This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Runaway Groom is a fun and romantic getaway filled with all the drama and craziness you can expect from a reality dating show, characters that will charm your pants off, and a chemistry that starts with a sizzle and ends with a bang.
After losing a bet with his best friend, Hollywood actor Gage Barrett is now the first bachelor in the new reality show Jilted, because apparently having a runaway groom finally get married shoots the ratings sky high. Things become more interesting when he meets Ellie, one of the potential brides, and he finds out she doesn't want to be his groom and wants to get kicked out of the show. He promises to eliminate her first, but then he doesn't.
Entrepreneur Ellie Wright is not in it to win it. In fact, she doesn't want to be in it at all. Her business partner and friend thinks that joining the show could work wonders for their t-shirt line, and since said best friend is happily married, Ellie is left to do the job. Showing off her product is a piece of cake. Leaving the show, however, is a different thing altogether. While Ellie tries to find ways to leave, Gage tries to find ways to make her stay.
I wouldn't call this a slow burn, per se, but Gage and Ellie's relationship has a gradual build up I absolutely adored. Obviously, it wasn't love at first sight, but they're aware of each other. It was inevitable they'd become friends, and as days pass, they become even more. I love the banter between them, all of their interactions, the text messages! You can see where they become more comfortable with each other, and when the feels are finally there.
Ellie and Gage are wonderful characters—both driven, smart, and entertaining—but I'm especially smitten with Gage. As a big-shot Hollywood actor, people tend to forget Gage is a human being with feelings and substance. For them, he's a one-dimensional character—he's the good-looking guy they see on TV and the big screen. Ellie is guilty of treating him like that at the start of the story, and I felt bad for Gage because of it. He proves himself to be something more, opens up and shows Ellie who he really is, and it's to Ellie's credit that he does.
This book is the perfect example of why I'm in love with Lauren Layne's works. There's an effortless execution of banter and humor in her stories, with characters who are smart, entertaining and full of color, and their happily ever afters successful in putting a smile on your face. As much as I love grand gestures, I love it more when the characters show growth and consistency in this feelings, and Runaway Groom has that in spades.
Tropes: Friends to Lovers, Reality Show, Celebrities—Actor
POV: First Person, Dual POV
*Images used in this graphic are not mine. Credits to their rightful owners