Runaway Groom


An Amazon Best Romance of the Month

I Do I Don’t, Book Two

Click here for the I Do I Don’t series Reading Order →

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+ book summary

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!

“Romantic comedy at its finest . . . Readers will not want to put it down.”—USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog

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.

+ excerpt

“Two minutes, City Girl.” The silence stretches on, and though it’s not unpleasant, I’m increasingly aware of how much trouble I’ll be in if we’re caught. Our contract says we’re not to try to spend time with Gage when the cameras aren’t around. And though it occurs to me again that violating the terms of the contract might be the fastest way to get a ticket home, I don’t really want to go home because I got kicked out.

“I understand about LeAnn,” I say, standing and tugging at the zipper of my hoodie. “But you’ll send me home next round, right?”

He stands as well, studying me. “That’s what you want?”

I nod. “I’m not cut out for the camera or this fake falling-in-love thing. I want something real, with a real guy.”

He blinks, and I could have sworn I hurt his feelings. “I’m real, Ellie.”

“You’re Hollywood,” I correct.

“You’re right. Which equates to no brain, no substance, and I just bleed air, right?”

I feel a sting of regret. “That’s not—”

“Forget it,” he says, pushing past without looking at me. “I’ll send you home next round. Guaranteed this time.”

“Gage, wait—”

He slips out the door without a backward glance, the sound of his tennis shoes growing fainter and fainter until they disappear altogether.

I take a deep breath and reach up to flick off the light. I wait for the sense of relief. The next invitation ceremony is tomorrow, and I’ll be going home.

I have what I wanted.

But the longer I stand here, the more I have an annoying prickle of a feeling that this isn’t what I want at all.

+ praise

“Romantic comedy at its finest . . . Readers will not want to put it down.”—USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog

“Lauren Layne gets the red rose for this one, and fans of The Bachelor will fall in love with this thoroughly charming story.”—Kate O’Keeffe, bestselling author of One Last First Date

“Runaway Groom was a charmingly fun romance centered around a Bachelor-esque reality show, and underneath the backdrop of this show was a wildly hot and explosive love affair steeped with interesting characters and Layne’s signature wit.”—Book Reader Chronicles (five stars)

“If you’re a fan of Lauren Layne, The Bachelor, or witty contemporary novels, this book is for you. It’s the perfect beach read—or snow day read, if you’re stuck in cold weather like me!”—All About Romance

“I haven’t read anything else by this author yet, but now I just have to. Five suns!”—Up ’Til Dawn Book Blog

“I loved it. You just know it’s going to be good with a happy ending that makes you smile. It did!”—My Reading Journeys

“Runaway Groom was so good.”—Obsessive Book Nerd

“Runaway Groom is such a fun, witty and laugh-out-loud kind of romance. I think readers will enjoy this addition to the series.”—Smitten by Books

“Runaway Groom was just what the doctor ordered. . . . Light, fun and flirty with a stunning setting guaranteed to whisk you away from real life for a few hours.”—Book Angel Booktopia

“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.”—Of Pens and Pages

“Hilarious, sigh-worthy, crazy at times, and so much fun!”—Star-Crossed Book Blog

“I was absolutely obsessed with Runaway Groom, reading it in one sitting. I literally couldn’t put it down because I had to know how it would all shake out.”—Kimberlyfaye Reads

“Holy cow, this book was good. It was the perfect book to read after a really bad book because Gage and Ellie’s antics perked me right up. . . . It was so good that I read the entire thing in one sitting. I can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t like about it.”—Weendizzle

“Lauren Layne does it again! What a fun and charming read!”—Ebs and Her Reads (five stars)

“What fun! Runaway Groom is destined to be a runaway hit. Packed with smart snarky humor, witty banter, poignant insights, and steamy love scenes, this rom-com is one of Layne’s best.”—Books & Bindings (five stars)

I Do I Don'tLauren Layne