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Review: Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman

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. 

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.

Some would argue that love is for fools, however, when one is in love; one can’t help but act foolishly. Love is an emotion ruled by the heart and not by the mind, thus it is not susceptible to reason and rationale. So in order to succeed at love, one must give up a sound peace of mind; kiss any sense of order goodbye, and breaking all rules in between. In Secrets of A Runaway Bride, we have a love story where decorum and decency stand in the way of true love and happiness. Yet sometimes you must throw caution to the wind and follow your heart. And Secrets of a Runaway Bride is about not caring what others think, ignoring the doubts in your mind and making a fool out of yourself for the one you love. 

Set in 1816, our tale of tomfoolery begins with our leading lady, Miss Annie Andrews, scaling the wall of her one true love’s house, in hopes to get him to return her affections. Yet she is interrupted by her “babysitter,” the Earl of Ashbourne, Jordan Holloway.  And to make matters worse, she is caught in Holloway’s arms by her one true love who dismisses the entire matter. 

Displeased with the response of her soul mate, Arthur Eggleston, Annie seeks to draw his attention by plotting a series of events where they end up alone and finally get Arthur to propose to her before her sister returns from her honeymoon;  only one problem, Lord Ashbourne. Not only has he halted all her plans to be alone with Arthur; showing up at the park on their outing, eavesdropping on their private conversations, and even going so far as dragging her from Arthur’s presence in front of everyone. But Jordan is making her feel things for him that she doesn’t feel for Arthur. 

Tired of waiting for Arthur to offer for her, she convinces Arthur to run away, again so they can elope. But Lord Ashbourne catches up to them and tells Arthur to be on his way and whisks Annie away to his manor in the country. Now away from her one true love, trapped with the bane of her existence that she is slow falling for, how is Annie supposed to cope with it all? Will she still try to find a way to get back to Arthur and continue to make a fool for a man whom has yet to offer for her? Or will she give in to temptation with Jordan and find another man to make a fool of herself over? 

Secrets of A Runaway Bride is truly a beautiful romance with wonderful suspense and definitely lots of fun drama. It also has some juicy love scenes. I could see why women in the 1800s were always fanning themselves. Yet this novel is much more than that. Secrets of A Runaway Bride is about forgetting the rules and order of things and just plan not giving a damn how you look for the one you love. This book is about understanding that you’ll just have to embrace your foolish side when it comes to being in love because you will make a fool out of yourself. Also, I would say Secrets of A Runaway Bride is about knowing when love is the reason for your behavior and maybe insanity is the reason you've lost it. But most importantly, this book about knowing that not only will you make a fool for the one you love, but that that they will make a fool out of themselves for you and you can both be fools in love together.

Reviewed by Camia Rhodes

Book Information
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 3/26/2013
Pages: 375

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