Runaway Girl- Release Day
by Tessa Bailey
It’s Naomi Clemons’s big day. Her dream wedding. And she’s outta here.
One moment. A chance meeting of gazes through the church window pane with someone familiar who radiates intrigue. Independence. It’s the final push Naomi needs to realize…she’s boring. A blonde, cookie cutter, well mannered trophy wife-to-be. How can she expect to lead a fulfilling married life when she’s never lived?
Special Forces diver Jason Bristow needs a beauty pageant coach. Not for himself—although the tattooed bruiser could definitely use some charm. For his little sister who he has returned to St. Augustine, Florida to raise. When a beautiful southern debutante lands on his doorstep, she awakens a hunger that won’t be ignored. If only she wasn’t planning on winning back the ex-fiancé she left at the altar…
Despite the potential for ruin, heat continues to build between Naomi and Jason beneath the sultry Florida sunshine, consuming them both. But they’re on borrowed time…and it’s about to run out.
Getaway Girl was one of my first 5-star reads of the year so, of course, when I got an ARC of Runaway Girl, I immediately devoured it. And then reread Getaway Girl. If I had to chose between the two books, I probably liked Getaway Girl just a little bit more. But that’s actually because I find myself relating to Naomi and her boring, cookie-cutter life while Addison is the give to shits person I secretly want to be.
Runaway Girl follows Naomi as she “runs away” from her wedding to the future mayor of Charleston. Her world just closed in around her and she needs to escape. Usually, this isn’t my favorite type of story-line. I generally like to see characters realize their relationship is a mistake before they get to the alter but I think Tessa does an excellent job of getting into Naomi’s head and her escape is understandable. Naomi just drives until she reaches St. Augustine, Florida and decides to hide out there while she sorts her life.
In Florida, she meets Jason and his sister. Naomi has realized she has very little real life skills but the pageant scene is one she’s familiar with and Jason is looking for a pageant coach for his sister. Like all of Tessa’s books, the chemistry between Jason and Naomi is scorching. I’ve never read an author more consistent with writing and capturing searing passion than Tessa Bailey. While they do fight their attraction, Jason and Naomi quickly heat up the pages. Both characters know their relationship is temporary and both need to determine what to do with their lives and face it but in the mean time, they burn up the sheets! There’s other unique and enjoyable moments in the book, including a freeing nude parade (which I totally googled and then accepted I’m nowhere near brave enough to attend). But my favorite aspect of this book is that Naomi and Jason grow during it. They grow into each other and they grow into who they are meant to be in life. This was an uplifting read and I loved every minute of it.
Received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of ten years and six-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.