Secrets of a Runaway Bride
Author: Valerie Bowman
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publish Date: 26 March 2013
The Thrill Of Escape
Miss Annie Andrews is finally free to marry the man she loves. With her overprotective sister out of the country on her honeymoon, nothing can prevent her flight to Gretna Green—nothing, that is, but an abduction by the wrong gentleman.
The Sweetness Of Surrender
When Jordan Holloway, the Earl of Ashbourne, promised to look after his best friend's sister-in-law, he didn’t realize she would prove so difficult. But when he spirits her away to his country house to prevent her elopement, he discovers that the tempting beauty knows how to put up a fight. To make matters worse, he’s stuck playing the role of honorable protector...when what he really wants is to run away with her himself.
Annie Andrews is in love, the problem is she's not officially engaged to her love. When her sister and new brother-in-law leave for their honeymoon, Annie is free to pursue Arthur Eggleton and run off to Gretna Green (again). Unbeknownst to her, her brother-in-law's best friend, Jordan Holloway, is charged with keeping an eye on her. He has his hands full keeping Annie out of trouble and from causing damage to her reputation.
All the time spent with Annie, keeping an eye on her, starts to change the way Jordan thinks about her. Whilst Annie is sure she's in love with Arthur, she can't quite ignore the feelings Jordan rouses in her...
Annie starts off as being completely in love with Arthur Eggleston, who is frankly a total sop. The explanation as to why she thinks she loves him is reasonable, and understandable though. She makes a bit of a fool of herself by chasing after Arthur, and the ton is talking about her behaviour. I felt bad for Annie, she just wants the man she loves, and who loves her, to be married and happy. She gets herself into some really sticky situations in her attempts to bring Arthur up to scratch, which provides plenty of laughs! She's spirited and impetuous, but she has a good heart and is well-meaning and likable.
Jordan is rather swoon-worthy. He's a bit of a rake, and isn't interested in ever getting married, he's quite happy for a nephew to inherit his earldom. He's definitely not prepared for the trouble Annie finds for herself, or for his new role as protector of the innocent. Annie's innocence and and naivete in her pursuit of Arthur, reminds him of himself, before he grew more cynical of the world around him. So he becomes determined that Annie won't end up married to the wrong man. Jordan is very sweet and protective, underneath his rakish exterior.
I loved watching the friendship between the h and H grow, and turn into something more. I thought they were a great couple, and well matched. Jordan balances out some of Annie's more impetuous traits. I loved the development of the secondary characters as well, and I'm looking forward to reading more of their HEAs!
I'm also looking forward to reading the first book in the series, Secrets of a Wedding Night, as well. although this serves very well as a stand alone book.
I found this book perfectly summed up as a regency romp. It made me laugh on many occasions, and has really made me want a pet fox. It was fun and witty, with plenty of scandalous situations!
*I won this book from Valerie Bowman, in a competition. Thank you!