Valerie Dimitri is on the run from her former fiancé who’d only wanted to marry her for her family’s questionable criminal ties. She also has the perfect cover with an assumed name and a thriving call-in advice show, “Sex Talk with Serena”, until one messy call blows up in her face. When she counselled “Anna J” to break up her with her boyfriend, she had no idea that she was telling a local celebrity to dump the hometown hero ballplayer, Boone Sullivan.
Boone has discovered Valerie’s real identity and he’s determined to expose her secrets… and maybe more. What he didn’t expect was to be blindsided by a crazy attraction to the buttoned-up lady with the sultry voice and a hidden past. He had carefully plotted his revenge, but soon all he can think about is how much he’d like to take Valerie as very own his stand-in bride…
Source: ARC from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
This fourth book in the Runaway Brides series neatly brings everything full circle, linking up characters from previous books – but in a way that still leaves it accessible as a standalone. It’s every bit as fun and easy to read as the rest of the series.
Despite Boone’s original – and rather ridiculous – plan to track Valerie down and force her to retract her advice to his former fiancée, this is a cute tale. Boone is sweet, despite his success, and very protective of Valerie. I do feel like their relationship jumped into serious a little quickly, though, and Boone’s expectations of a relationship were pretty poor. On the whole, he’s a nice guy, doing nice things, but there’s not really a lot to him.
Valerie had more substance. Not just because of her upbringing and her worries about being tracked down, there just seemed to be more depth to her. She has worries and hopes and fears and expectations, and I loved her relationship with her dad.
However, while the romance was sweet I do feel like the other side of the plot – Valerie’s crime connections – was pretty weak. The way those issues are resolved made the whole thing into a total non-event. I would also have liked to have known a bit more about what happened to the radio show. I get that once Valerie runs she drops everything to start afresh, but since she didn’t actually cut all ties to her radio friends it might have been nice to have had a little more on that.
Overall this is an enjoyable tale and a good addition to the series. Although, if I’m honest it didn’t grab and hold my attention as well as the others, and my thoughts did drift occasionally – which is pretty rare for me. I also found it less memorable than the others, which surprises me because I was really looking forward to this one. If you want something fun and easy, this will certainly do the trick, especially if you’ve read the rest of the series – on the romance side, anyway. If you’re reading this for the criminal ties and suspense aspect, though, you will be disappointed.