Ready to Run

Ready to Run

by Lauren Layne

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Overview

Ready to Run by Lauren Layne

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

“Quintessential Lauren Layne goodness—a sassy, feel-good and entertaining love story infused with laughter, sizzling chemistry and heartfelt romance.”—USA Today

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: firefighter Luke Elliott, a known player who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan, but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.

Praise for Ready to Run

“A luscious LL read wrapped in small-town charm—I can’t wait for the rest of the I Do, I Don’t series!”—Jessica Lemmon, author of the Real Love (Candy) series

Lauren Layne’s New York Times bestselling Oxford Novel series can be read in any order:
IRRESISTIBLY YOURS
I WISH YOU WERE MINE
SOMEONE LIKE YOU
I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE
I THINK I LOVE YOU

Don’t miss any of Lauren Layne’s hot reads:

The Love Unexpectedly series: BLURRED LINES | GOOD GIRL | LOVE STORY | WALK OF SHAME | AN EX FOR CHRISTMAS

The Sex, Love & Stiletto series: AFTER THE KISS | LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH | JUST ONE NIGHT | THE TROUBLE WITH LOVE

The Redemption series: ISN’T SHE LOVELY  | BROKEN | CRUSHED

The I Do, I Don’t series: READY TO RUN | RUNAWAY GROOM

Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101885116
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/22/2017
Series: I Do, I Don't Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 19,112
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen romantic comedy novels. A former e-commerce and Web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated in 2011 to New York City, where she left the corporate world behind to pursue a full-time writing career. Lauren’s hobbies include maintaining a designer purse addiction and observing cocktail hour. She lives with her high school sweetheart in midtown Manhattan, where she writes romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

“Simon, unless you want to die on the side of a Montana highway, I strongly suggest you find another song to sing along with.”

Simon broke off mid-chorus of “Eye of the Tiger” and gave her a disappointed look. “You’re never going to get your guy with that sort of attitude.”

“Oh, I’ll get my guy,” Jordan muttered. “I didn’t cross two time zones to not get him.”

Even as she spoke the confident words, she lifted a hand and rubbed her forehead, which had started aching at 32,000 feet, over one of the Dakotas, and had turned into a throbbing migraine by the time she and her colleague had loaded into their Ford Focus rental car at Missoula International Airport.

That had been nearly an hour ago, and Simon had been singing Survivor’s power anthem for at least half that.

Her friend lifted a water bottle from the middle console, unscrewed the cap, and held it out to her. “Told you you should have let me drive.”

Jordan snatched the water bottle and gave him a wry look before fixing her attention back on the two-lane road. “Do you even have your driver’s license?”

“Are you telling me I look young, baby doll?”

“No, baby doll, I’m telling you that you look like someone who hasn’t left the island of Manhattan in two decades and thus hasn’t been behind a wheel in at least that long.”

“It’s only been one decade,” he corrected.

She choked on her water and looked at him again. “Seriously?”

Simon laughed and grabbed the bottle, took a drink. “Don’t be ridiculous, Carpenter. You know I take a trip to Bali every year.”

“Yeah, well . . . Bali this is not,” she said, glancing out at the wide-open spaces around them.

“No,” he agreed, looking out the passenger window. “Pretty, though.”

“Don’t get attached,” she muttered, picking up her phone and glancing at the in-progress route to see how much farther they had. “I’m not planning to spend more than a night here.”

He lifted his eyebrows, which were better shaped than hers, thanks to his weekly—yes, weekly—grooming sessions. But, then, that was Simon for you. Perfectly coiffed wavy blond hair down to probably pedicured toes.

“You think you’re that good, huh?”

Jordan grabbed the water bottle back. “If I were that good, I’d have been able to wrangle Luke Elliott over the phone rather than having to drive to the literal middle of nowhere to recruit the guy.”

“I still can’t believe he never replied to a single email or voicemail,” Simon mused.

“Believe it. Either he didn’t get the messages or there’s actually a single man on this planet who doesn’t think getting paid to have twenty-something bikini-clad babes draped all over him sounds like a good gig.”

“Maybe he’s gay.”

She gave her colleague a look. “Don’t sound so hopeful. Jilted needs this guy a heck of a lot more than you do.”

Simon lifted a finger in objection. “I resent that. I’ll have you know it’s been two and a half months since I last had relations.”

“Oh gosh, really? Here, hold the wheel while I cry on your behalf.”

Simon reached over and chucked her under the chin. “Poor Jordie. How long has it been for you?”

Eleven months and counting.

She pulled her phone out of the console and tossed it to him. “The GPS doesn’t know where the hell we are. Can you guide us there the old-fashioned way?”

“Oh, sure. Let me just get my compass, lick my finger, and stick it in the air. . . .”

“Hey, you’re the one who insisted on buying cowboy boots for this little adventure. At least try to earn some country cred.”

Simon sighed dramatically, but he took the phone, zooming in and out on the map and cursing until finally declaring, “Straight, for another thirty minutes, give or take a cow or twelve.”

“So, for real, what are the chances that this guy’s gay?” Simon asked, turning down the radio. “It’d make sense, right? I mean, why else would he leave three women at the altar and then refuse to answer any questions about it?”

Jordan pursed her lips and pondered the very dilemma that had Simon and her driving through Nowhere, Montana, in the first place.

Luke Freaking Elliott, runaway groom extraordinaire, and hopefully the savior to Jordan’s career.

If she could get the guy to even talk to her.

As to Simon’s assessment that he was gay . . . maybe?

It was a good explanation for Luke Elliott’s complicated romantic history.

As Simon said, there had to be a reason he’d been the groom in three weddings that hadn’t happened.

But her instincts said that wasn’t the case, not here.

Or maybe that was just wishful thinking. Jordan’s career needed Luke Elliott to be very much into women.

Specifically, she needed him to be into twenty-five women, who would compete on national television to coax him down the aisle in a fairy-tale wedding, also on national television.

Forget The Bachelor.

Jordan’s network had taken the hit reality show and raised it a notch, focusing not just on sexy bachelors but runaway grooms—men who’d gotten darn close to saying vows, only to escape at the last minute.

To Jordan’s bosses’ thinking, a runaway groom represented the ultimate challenge. And, thus, being the one woman who could finally get a ring on his fourth finger represented the ultimate fairy tale.

As associate producer to the woman who’d pitched the TV show, Jordan had been tasked with candidate recruitment.

Trouble was?

While there were plenty of douchebags who ditched women at the altar, not many of them were redeemable.
Or even appealing.

Jordan had spent the past six months looking for a runaway groom who wasn’t a grade-A a-hole, an immature jerk, or suffering from some substance-abuse or mental issues.

Luke Elliott was her best shot.

She’d read about the guy in a tiny local Montana newspaper. He was a thirtysomething firefighter who’d left three women at the altar over the course of the last decade and yet somehow had still managed to maintain his status as his small town’s darling.

The details had been sparse, but she hadn’t needed details. Just the picture.

Granted, the photo had been black-and-white and grainy, but there’d definitely been the promise of attractiveness.

It was all the encouragement needed to stalk the man.

Or at least she’d tried to. He wasn’t on Facebook or any of the usual social media suspects. She’d found what she was pretty sure was his email address but had gotten nowhere with that.

She’d even sweet-talked her way into obtaining his phone number.

Nothing. Not a single response in three weeks.

And so . . . here she was.

Out in the middle of nowhere, hoping that a face-to-face meeting would convince this guy that he’d be the perfect star for the inaugural season of Jilted.

As far as how she felt about that? Somewhere between pissy and freaked out, landing somewhere in the middle zone of irritated.

Thank goodness for Simon’s company. In the four years she’d been working at CBC, he’d become both good friend and valued colleague. Simon was on the network’s legal team, known as their “on the ground” lawyer. He worked mainly with the network’s reality shows and was the guy they sent to answer contract questions from possible candidates, as well as to identify red flags and wild cards to be avoided.

Jordan sighed, and Simon shifted in his seat to study her, his blue eyes assessing. “What’s with you? You’ve been edgy ever since JFK. Is it because Starbucks was out of hazelnut syrup?”

She let out a little laugh. “We’d better hope that’s not the reason. There’s no hazelnut syrup where we’re going.”
“Yeah, no Starbucks in Lucky Hollow. I checked.”

So had Jordan. But it didn’t matter, because she had a plan: She’d get in, get out, and be back to her SoHo apartment by the weekend.

“For real,” Simon said, reaching over and poking her cheek to keep her attention. “What’s up?”

Jordan pursed her lips. “I just hate leaving the city.”

“You leave the city all the time.”

“Yeah, for other cities,” Jordan countered. “Big ones. Los Angeles and Lucky Hollow aren’t exactly the same thing.”

“So?”

She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel. “It’s just, small towns sort of weird me out.”

“Because of the lack of Starbucks?”

She laughed again. “God, no. Okay, sort of. But because . . . it reminds me that I haven’t been home. Not in a long time.”

“Ahhhhhhh,” Simon said, acting as if he’d achieved enlightenment.

“Ahhh, what?”

“The mysterious Jordan Carpenter finally shares a sliver of her past.”

She frowned. “I talk about my past.”

“Um, no. Not in the four years I’ve known you. For all I know, you came into this world as a fully hot twentysomething, delivered to Manhattan by spaceship.”

“Have you been binge-watching Battlestar Galactica again?”

“The guys are hot, but don’t change the subject,” Simon said. “Where’s home?”

She swallowed. “Kansas.”

“More detail, please.”

“You’ve never heard of the town.”

“Try me.”

“Keaton.”

“Never heard of it.”

Jordan rolled her eyes.

“Okay, so, small town?” Simon nudged gently.

The smallest. “The population is less than most New York neighborhoods.”

“And you haven’t been home in . . .”

“A couple years,” she muttered.

Twelve.

He studied her. “Why?”

“Because there’s nothing left for me there.”

“No family?”

Jordan’s stomach lurched. “Okay, new plan,” Jordan said, reaching out and turning on the radio. “We’re not talking about this.”

He shrugged and leaned forward, squinting out the windshield. “Just as well. Looks like our road trip is coming to an end.”

“What? You said thirty minutes.”

“I also told you I couldn’t read maps.” He pointed to the sign.

lucky hollow. population 2,314

For now, Jordan thought. By the time she seduced Luke Elliott with the idea of hot women, household fame, and a fat paycheck, the town would need to update its sign to 2,313.

Customer Reviews

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Ready to Run 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay, I have to say, if you're not reading Lauren Layne, you are missing out!! Very talented author who knows how to warm the heart and soul. Ready To Run is guaranteed to give you all the feels! Simply put, this is just another wonderfully written story in a long line of great books penned by a fantastic author. PERFECT summer read!! You will fall in love with Luke and Jordan's story!!! You will not regret this purchase!! Also, I highly recommend Lauren Layne's Stiletto and Oxford series!
gaele More than 1 year ago
Bringing me the same feelings and laughter that Walk of Shame brought, Lauren Layne again shows her ability to combine sexy, flirty dialogue, real emotions, a touch of pop culture and characters that you want to add to your group of friends. Luke is from a small town in Montana, gaining notoriety because of his running away from not one or two, but three women at the altar. Dubbed the Runaway Groom, he’s just trying to live his life out of the spotlight. But, he’s refusing to answer calls and questions about his last-minute cold feet, and simply wants to be left alone. Jordan works for a studio, one that wants to produce a “bachelor-like” show, using Luke as the prize. Since Luke won’t answer her calls, it is up to her to head to Montana with her friend and co-worker Simon, and get Luke to follow them back to film. Not difficult, but pulling this self-defined city girl out into the wide open spaces is proving to be the key to opening her own personal Pandora’s box, where she’s stuffed her own issues and memories of her small-town upbringing, and moved beyond her roots. Jordan is very bold, brash and determined: like other Layne heroines she uses humor, pointed comments and has a running interior dialogue that never fails to amuse, even as it dances about her own real issues and concerns, showing readers the vulnerabilities. Simon, as a road-trip sidekick is adorable and clever: never missing an opportunity to lighten Jordan’s mood, redirect her focus or even simply be there to listen. And then we have Luke. Silent (like a stone) Luke who won’t be swayed by constant pestering, offers of cash and stardom, or even the repeated appearances of Jordan in his life, his town, HIS places. Sure, she’s cute and clever, and everyone (and he realizes Everyone) in town finds her intriguing, and they even are starting to fall for her attempts to ingratiate herself with the town in an effort to get him to cooperate. But really? He wants to ignore her and her effort, as easily as he ignored the offer but there’s something about Jordan that he can’t ignore. Oh there is drama, and issues that pop up but this is really the tale of Jordan and Luke overcoming their own issues, discovering what is important to each of them, and working together to overcome it all for a future together. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looking forward to the next one!
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
While I would never have the nerve to keep badgering someone like Jordan does to Luke, it was pretty fun to watch their interactions. I loved the bantering. Jordan's best friend, Simon, was a hoot too. I always enjoy Lauren Layne's books. They allow me some much needed escape time where I can just shut my brain off and jump into her stories. The ARC of Ready to Run by Lauren Layne was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.
MariekeB More than 1 year ago
Prejudices and not everything is what it seems to be. Ready to Run by Lauren Layne is about two people from two different worlds, but are they that different? The beginning of the book felt a bit ‘crowded’ to me, but I ended the book with a big smile, I’ve enjoyed it very much. “Hey, Country Boy,” she called after him. He stopped and turned, his large frame illuminated by the twilight. She smiled, then grinned outright when she saw his eyes narrow. “This city girl’s not going anywhere,” she said with a wink.” TV producer Jordan is looking for the perfect candidate for a new TV show, Jilted. The tv show where runaway grooms are introduced to a group of suitable women to find the One. On paper, Luke is perfect for the show with three canceled weddings, but he doesn’t want his story on national tv. In a last attempt to lure him in, Jordan travels to Lucky Hollow to convince the man in person, but she’s in no luck. Although they’re attracted to each other, it takes some time before Jordan and Luke warm up to each other. With the help of some meddling townspeople sparks start to fly, and it’s not surprising they end up together. “He was supposed to be irresponsible and a little reckless—with his life, his choices . . . with other people’s emotions. But based on her first impressions of the man? She’d never been so wrong.” Ready to Run is the first book in the new ‘I Do, I Don’t Series’ and is set in Lucky Hollow, a small town. Like many other small-town books, the story comes with a friendly town full of colorful characters and gatherings who all add to the story. The book is funny, but it also has its serious moments, I really like the mix. To be honest, after the first chapters, I was not sure about this book. Many characters were introduced, making it a bit too busy for me. But as soon as everything collapsed and the storyline was picked up, I began to enjoy the story. Luke and Jordan are both not who they appear to be; a heartbreaker and a city girl. They are realistic people who both have lived lives and know what they want. I love them together, and I love how they work through their issues. “Jordan wiggled closer, the chill from the rain making her shiver. Or maybe that was the anticipation. “What about in the future?” His smile was equal parts tender and mischievous. “Try me.” Ready to Run is my first book by Lauren Layne, but it certainly won’t be my last. I give the story of Jordan and Luke 4 stars.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
Cute, fun and sexy small-town romance, just as I expected! Luke may have left 3 brides at the altar, but you know there are secrets behind each one that he refuses to talk about. His reasons for doing so are slowly revealed and Jordan discovers who the jilted brides are. While they may be on opposites ends when it comes to the show, their undeniable attraction keeps bringing them together. (Or maybe it was his nosy friends?) This had a different feel from her fan favorite Oxford / Stiletto series which take place in a big city, but if you like small town romances, I encourage you to read it. Looking forward to the next groom! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book via NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story is so cute! Loved the main guy and even more so, the small town Lucky Hollow.
MiekeReads More than 1 year ago
Ready to Run is a fun read about finding love in unexpected places. Luke our hero and Jordan our heroine are introduced as adversaries, more or less, but I liked both characters from the start. Their journey from people who didn't get along to romantic partners was a pleasure to read. Also, the town itself is a great place and the townspeople are all really fun and add an extra layer of interest to the book. I am looking forward to more books in this series and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
EileenAW More than 1 year ago
I loved reading Ready to Run by Lauren Layne, book one in her new I Do, I Don’t series. As the sales line says, it is definitely the Bachelorette meets the Runaway Groom. New York City assistant, Jordan Carpenter is trying to secure Luke Elliot, a three-time runaway groom, as the star for an up and coming television show, Jilted. Luke, a firefighter in the small town of Lucky Hollow, Montana, does not want the details of why he was a no-show groom to get out to the public. Coming to Lucky Hollow is like going home for former small town girl, as many of the residents befriend her. The more she gets to know to Luke the more she respects, understands and falls in love with him. I really loved reading this book and had trouble putting this book down. Ms. Layne wove a wonderful story, drawing me in and not letting go until I read the last page. I highly recommend this book to other readers and can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Caroles_Random_Life More than 1 year ago
This romance was just charming! I am not usually too eager to read wedding themed books but I like Lauren Layne's writing enough that I knew I had to read this one. This was a really fun premise with most of the wedding talk being about a groom who had a history of leaving his brides at the alter. Throw in a reality show wanting to capitalize on that and and you have a great set up. This was just a lot of fun to read and I enjoyed every page of it. Jordan comes to Lucky Hollow with one thing on her mind. She is determined to secure Luke Elliott, the hunky local firefighter, for a new TV show. Luke has left 3 brides standing at the alter and seems to be the perfect choice for the new reality TV show. There is only one problem. Luke isn't interested. At all. Jordan refuses to give up too quickly so she settles in for an extended stay in the small town of Lucky Hollow. Luke is an all around good guy. He works for the local fire department and has a great group of friends. He is not at all interested in the attention he is getting in regards to possibly staring in a new reality show. He has had 3 relationships end poorly but he has moved on with his life. The entire town seems to want him to sign on for the show and they have all become friends with Jordan. I really enjoyed Jordan and Luke as a couple. They started out as adversaries because of the TV show before giving into their attraction to each other. Even when they were arguing with each other, they had some great chemistry. They seemed to be really good together anytime they shared a scene. They both had some painful events in their past that were heartbreaking. I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This was a really fun story filled with wonderful characters. It was one of those story that leaves you with a big grin on your face by the time you get to the last page. I can't wait to read more of this new series soon! I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley.
amatate More than 1 year ago
Miss Layne’s books regularly make me smile and Ready to Run is no different. The first book to a promising new series, Ready to Run is a fast-paced, sweet romance sprinkled with humor and heartfelt moments. As I’ve come to expect from this author, the story stars a fantastic set of main and secondary characters who I wouldn’t hesitate to revisit. The premise is fun and flirty, with a New York based television talent executive searching out a star for her network’s new pseudo-Bachelor TV show. Her search takes her to the hero’s small hometown in Montana, where he’s a local firefighter. I liked both Jordan and Luke. They each have good amount of depth which makes them fun and interesting as individuals and as a couple. I especially enjoyed Jordan’s interactions with many of the secondary characters, particularly her best friend and co-worker from New York, Simon. There is a lot of witty banter throughout the Ready to Run and it makes for a quick read while keeping a bright tone. The romance between Luke and Jordan is a bit of a slower burn, with the build-up creating a good amount of sexual tension that magnifies the couple’s chemistry. Though the bulk of the plot seems to follow a fairly predictable pattern, there are some enjoyable surprises regarding the conflicts and resolutions that make the book stand out beyond the standard contemporary romance. I think fans of the author will undoubtedly enjoy this title. I also think readers looking for a quick, upbeat standalone that’s bound to bring a smile to their face should definitely give Ready to Run a try. *Received e-book via Netgalley. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
Jordan is a producer on a TV reality series. She is searching for the perfect man to attract the women. Also, he needs to have left them at the altar. Why would she be attracted to that? Luke is the man in question. Talking to him, and the folks around him, only brings more questions. If he is a runaway groom - why are the ladies loving him? This is a seriously sweet and hot story. I love the characters and cannot wait for more in the I Do, I Don't series. So much fun, and yet plenty of heat to still call it romance. ***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.
Hershey07 More than 1 year ago
Another phenomenal romance from Lauren Layne, and it’s the first book in a brand new series!!!! Jordan has come to a small town in Montana hoping to snag sexy firefighter, Luke, for a new television reality show, Jilted. It’s like The Bachelor, but this show involves a man who has left women at the altar, and Luke is perfect, seeing as he has not left one but three women right before their wedding. Jordan thinks Luke will finally say yes to her when she shows up in his hometown. Ahhhh…she could not be more wrong, and life is about to throw her and Luke a curveball. Jordan is a small-town girl herself but has been living in New York City for years. She thinks coming back to a town that reminds her of her own will be painful, bringing back painful memories. However, she finds herself “more connected with a part she’d kept dormant for a long time.” The townspeople are also very welcoming and sweet and agree that Luke should do the show. When she decides to stay in town longer hoping to wear Luke down, she has no clue that she will make such wonderful friends and find the love of her life. There wasn’t a thing I didn’t like about Jordan even her persistence with Luke. Like Jordan, I thought Luke would be a class A jerk. I mean, who leaves three women at the alar. But, like Jordan, I discovered he wasn’t that man. There are reasons why he hasn’t found his HEA yet, and it didn’t take me long to fall hard for him. One of my favorite things about Lauren Layne’s writing is her characters. She has a way of making her readers become emotionally attached to them. They are always mult-dimensional. I always discover that through the story, and this one was not any different. Luke and Jordan make assumptions about one another that aren’t true, and they appear to be completely different from one another. However, they have more in common than they think. Both of them are running from their pasts, and it’s affecting their ability to trust others. They have to learn to trust each other if they have an even remote chance of finding happiness. In addition to loving the characters, I loved the town. Layne described it so well that I thought I was there with them, and her cast of secondary characters added even more depth, especially Simon, Stacey, Isobel, Hailey, and Tawny! I LOVED them and their friendship. Layne always writes with the perfect combination of sex and romance AND she just writes a DARN GOOD STORY!!!!! As usual, I will be counting down the days until the next one!!!! ***Read and Reviewed for Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews***
Jen-Star-CrossedBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Ready to Run was absolutely adorable and so much fun! It reminded me all over again why I fall so hard for Lauren Layne books. I always want to be bff with the girl, I fall madly in love with the boy, and there's a group of friends that I would love to have in my life. Plus the pages are filled with fabulous banter and a storyline that captures my heart. It always makes for the perfect romance book that I can easily get lost in. So if you adore small town charm, a couple that goes from hate to love, and characters that leap off the pages, then you should definitely give Ready to Run a try! Jordan Carpenter is on her way to hopefully snag the guy that will star in her new reality tv show. It's called Jilted and while it's similar to The Bachelor, the main guy has been a runaway groom. And the guy she's after, Luke Elliott, has left three women at the alter. When I read that I was completely perplexed. Especially when we witness how much the whole town loves him. Plus did I mention that he is a firefighter?! Ugh, so hot! So I was more than intrigued! From the first few pages the storyline felt unique and I already loved all of the characters. I just knew that the rest of this book was going to be a huge hit for me! Jordan and her colleague/friend, Simon, easily made connections to the people that lived in Luke's quaint little town. It was so heartwarming to see how welcoming they were to them. And as Jordan slowly met Luke's friends, I was happy to see that they truly wanted Luke to do the show. Yet there's a huge snag, which of course had me grinning. Luke's dead set on not being a part of the show, and not liking Jordan. Even though he feels an attraction to her. And he's not the only one fighting it, because Jordan feels it towards him too. Thankfully we got to alternate between Luke and Jordan, so I could see all of their thoughts about one another. I'm a huge fan of a dual-narrative! Especially since the sexual tension between Jordan and Luke was mixed with banter, and that made for some explosive scenes. I had to know what they were thinking! The one thing I was a little nervous about was would Jordan be too pushy with Luke? I have no clue why I had that thought in my head. But the answer is definitely no. I mean, yes she moves into his town and infiltrates his life. Yet it doesn't really feel like that since she establishes real friendships with so many of the town's people. And she backs off from Luke too. But looking back, I think it all worked so perfectly because Jordan is this warm, friendly, nice person whereas Luke was at times grumpy, standoffish and a huge jerk (that’s my favorite kinda guy, in case you didn’t know lol). Oh, I couldn't help but love him when he was a jerk.....there's just something so addicting about a relationship that has animosity and dislike. I root that much harder for them! And the way it all ended?! So many happy tears were streaming down my face. This book made me so elated and I wasn't ready to say goodbye to all of the new friends I made. So yes, I definitely recommend Ready to Run! Here's hoping you love it as much as I do! PS I loved, loved, loved Jordan's colleague and friend Simon. The friendship between them had me smiling and laughing and he was such a fabulous person to have in this book! It made me desperately want to have a novella just about him! *ARC kindly provided by Random House Publishing - Loveswept via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
beckyb0416 More than 1 year ago
As with every story Ms Layne writes, Luke and Jordan's story, the first in the new I Do, I Don't series, is touching, romantic, with drama and a touch of intrigue thrown in...a truly winning combination. The couple evokes an emotional connection with readers that is trademark Lauren Layne...sure to create a heartwarming reaction. There is a vulnerability and kindness to Luke that touched me deeply. The Firefighter who has so many layers under the surface, and such goodness overall, that it was difficult to let the emotions not take over, without including Jordan's hidden pain to their story. The two of them created for me such a deep attachment to their story, that it was hard to let go at the end. This story is the gateway to a series that is sure to touch each reader as this author's other series preceding I Do, I Don't have. I look forward to the next book in the series, I'm sure it'll be just as captivating as this first one was. This ARC book was a complimentary copy provided by the Publisher and Netgally, I am voluntarily providing my honest review.
heater_28 More than 1 year ago
**Advanced copy provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review** Ready to Run is a great start to Lauren Layne's new I Do, I Don't series. The book is lighthearted, fun and the writing is great. I was drawn into the story from the very beginning and I'm really glad I took the chance on this one! Television producer Jordan Carpenter and her colleagues feel like they have come up with what will be the next great reality show hit. A cross between The Bachelor and The Runaway Bride, they are ready to move forward with the concept, but first they have to find a lead. After reading an article about a fireman in Montana who has left not one, but three women at the alter, Jordan is certain they have found their guy. After reaching out several times via email and voicemail with no response with her co-worker Simon in tow, Jordan heads West to find the man in person. Luke Elliott has had a rough love life to say the least, but he's trying to put it all behind him and move on with his life. He's concentrating on his work at the firehouse, he's hanging out with is friends and enjoying what has become of his life. When Luke encounters the towns newest visitor, he quickly realizes this is the woman that has been trying to get in touch with him that he has been purposely ignoring. What he can't ignore when he comes face to face with Jordan is how unbelievably beautiful she is and how incredible she looks in those stiletto's she's always wearing. While Luke wants nothing to do with Jordan's offer, which he makes very clear to her, she keeps showing up everywhere he is. While they are in a small town, it seems like she's constantly in his face and he just wants to put everything behind him and move on, not be the subject of a national television show. Will Jordan be able to wear Luke down and get him to do the show or will she realize that there might be more to the story? I really enjoyed this book and as I said before it is a great start to the new series. I am really anxious to read the next book in the series based on the tease we got at the end of this one!
MsChris1161 More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge Lauren Layne fan. Her books are always on my auto-buy list. READY TO RUN, the first book in her I Do, I Don't series did not disappoint me. I love the take-off on the Bachelor and one of my favorite movies, Runaway Bride. Poor Luke Elliott, he didn't know how ready he was for his life to be completely intruded upon and turned upside down. He especially didn't expect all of his friends and family to join in on the plot. But Jordan Carpenter, or "City" as he calls her does a fine job of working her way into his somewhat reclusive world. After three fiancée's he never made it to the altar with, he's been keeping to himself. Publicizing his heartache on national television is the last thing he wants to do. Jordan, however, he'd really like to do her. This book has a great storyline, characters, dialogue, and setting. Ready to Run is an excellent read I highly recommend. 4.5 stars ~Complimentary copy downloaded from NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
LexyH More than 1 year ago
**4.5 Stars** I love everything Lauren Layne writes and gives to us readers. Ready to Run was no different and I might dare say it's my favorite LL book to date! The chemistry between Jordan and Luke is off the charts and watching them fight it until they no longer can was my absolute favorite. Jordan Carpenter is on a mission. Securing her runaway groom for a new TV series leads her to a small town and the runaway groom with attitude. Watching Jordan do everything she can to get Luke to agree to the show is perfect. The tension this causes between these two only adds to the small town gossip that they are perfect for each other, they just don't know it yet. Luke Elliott has been portrayed as a runaway groom leaving three separate brides at the alter. He has kept a low profile and hasn't really dated since bride 3. Enter Jordan and her need to get him on a TV show. Will Luke agree or will he do anything to get Jordan to back off? Watching these two was amazing. I loved everything about them and the chemistry they had together. I can't wait for book 2 in this new series!
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
Small town goodness and reality TV come together in Lauren Layne's latest novel, Ready To Run. This book is about reality TV producer Jordan Carpenter, and Luke Elliott, a hot firefighter. Both characters are well-developed, interesting and fun. Jordan grew up in a small town and loved every minute of her upbringing. When tragedy struck, she hightailed it out of Keaton, Kansas, and took up residence in New York City, where she became involved in TV production. Her new reality series is about a bachelor finding love after being jilted on more than one occasion. Jordan believes that Luke is her star, because he survived three unsuccessful attempts at the altar. Since Luke will not return any of her calls, emails or texts, she has no choice but to go to Lucky Hollow and offer him the job in person. Luke has no desire to be a reality TV star, even though his good-looks, backstory, and heroism would make him an instant hit. Since Luke finds Jordan incredibly annoying, Jordan has her work cut out for her. To her surprise, Luke's friends also believe he would make an awesome celebrity bachelor. As Jordan plants herself in Luke's life, and the lives of the people who know him, she begins to feel at home in Lucky Hollow. Their dealings and conversations lead to a kiss, which evolves into lust and love. Jordan and Luke share a chemistry that Ms. Layne wonderfully develops over the course of the story. Their sexy times are very hot. Simon, Jordan's colleague and best friend, is full of color and fun, which adds some spontaneity to the plot. I especially liked Luke's sister and former fiances, because they added a Sex and the City vibe to the present happenings. This is the first book in Ms. Layne's "I Do, I Don't" series and it can be completely enjoyed as a standalone. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Dalitza More than 1 year ago
A great blend of fun and sexiness to kick off a series you won’t want to miss. Lauren Layne has a wonderful way of writing a story with good balance between delightful fun and hotness that grabs me from start to finish. I haven’t missed a single one of her books and I don’t plan on doing so because I know I’ll be getting an enjoyable escape every single time. With this first book in her I Do, I Don’t series, Ms. Layne sets the stage for an amusing and addictive series about runaway bachelors. In Ready to Run we meet big city, reality TV producer Jordan Carpenter who is trying to recruit the small town, elusive firefighter Luke Elliot who’s left three brides at the altar. After being ignored via emails and phone calls, Jordan decides to head to the small and picturesque town of Lucky Hollow to talk to him personally, but no matter how much she tries to convince him to participate in the show he just won’t budge. Much to Luke’s dismay and Jordan’s surprise, she’s having a good ‘ol time reacquainting herself with the small town life thanks to the warm welcome she’s getting from everyone else, from invitations to participate in the kissing booth at the county fair to his exes including her in their book club. Before long Luke and Jordan are incapable of ignoring their growing attraction, but as candidate he’s off-limits to her and her presence is dredging up old wounds. There’s a lot more to Luke’s runaway groom story than he lets on and Jordan senses this because there’s no way a man who dedicates his life to saving people and even cats and is so liked by everyone would callously leave his brides, or would he? Can he let down his guard long enough to confess the reason behind his shielded heart and admit his growing feelings towards the sexy city slicker before it’s too late? I really enjoyed Luke and Jordan’s story, especially the charming backdrop with all of the town’s endearing characters where everyone knows everyone else, and of course Jordan’s BFF, the colorful Simon. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series! Ready to Run is the kickoff book in the Ready to Run series by Lauren Layne. It is a standalone, contemporary romance. Told from both points of view, with a happy ending.
JenMcKinney04 More than 1 year ago
Lauren Layne is always one of my one click authors. I can count on her for strong witty characters that won't take any crap, both male and female. Runaway Groom, the start to the new I Do, I Don't series is no exception. Runaway Groom is Sweet Home Alabama meets the Bachelor and proves once again you can take the girl out of the town, but you can't take the town out of the girl. The theme throughout the book that things aren't always what the seem. Jordan seems like a city girl, but even her friends in the city see through that and know she is too nice to really be one of them. As for Luke, on paper, he is a classic player with three brides left at the altar, but it is clear early on that the guy in front of us doesn't match the guy on paper. Watching the two of them figure that out for themselves while trying to fight the obvious attraction they have is pure entertainment that I've come to expect from Layne. Anyone who loves a good romantic comedy will love this story and I look forward to the rest of the series.
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
4 - "Even Jimmy Choo can’t disguise your roots." Stars! Lauren Layne begins her new I Do, I Don’t series with an opposites attract romance, when big city girl Jordan travels to the wilds of Montana, to try and lure fire-fighter Luke to sign up to be the lead in a new Bachelor type reality show. I’ll be honest and say me and Ms. Layne have hit the skids in 2017, everything I have read by her so far this year has been underwhelming, underdeveloped and pretty mediocre, something that has come as a bit of a shock after years of being one of my go-to contemporary romance authors. Ready to Run is the first book I have read since the latter stages of 2016 that even remotely resembles the writing quality of the author I have come to expect. "You’re little more than a vulture in heels." The story between Luke and Jordan could have been pretty run-of-the-mill frenemies-to-lovers, but the author keeps you on your toes through its telling by revealing in phases the reasons behind his three failed weddings, each woman that he at first assumptions (particularly by Jordan) left at the altar. A man who’d left three women at the altar wasn’t the hero of the story... The more Jordan and Luke get to know, and start to then fall for each other the more each of them reveals about their pasts, and I liked that. This isn't a book that’s all about the sex, it’s an easy-going story-line that delivers more on story than bedroom antics, I liked that it wasn’t rushed to be honest, bearing in mind they start out disliking each other the gradual move to admitting attraction and then to more kinds of builds as their personal backgrounds develop. There was no future for a TV producer from New York City and a firefighter in Montana. I still think the author is forgoing quality over quantity with the amount of books she’s pumping out at the moment, but Ready to Run did give me hope that this is a series that will give readers more of the engaging story-lines, likeable characters and quality writing that I have come to expect from her.
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
This first book in the I Do, I Don't series was so much fun to read!!! It kept a smile on my face from start to finish. Jordan works for a reality tv show and is looking for her first bachelor. She travels to a small town to convince Luke, who has left three brides at the alter, to sign up. Luke ignored all of Jordan's emails and calls for a reason: he has zero desire to be on her show and there's nothing she can offer or say that will change his mind. The longer Jordan spends in town and the more she gets to know Luke, the more she realizes that there's more to him that meets the eye and maybe the world of reality tv isn't as real as everyone thinks it is. I loved the start of this new series so much!! LL never fails to draw you in to the story and feel connected to every single character. I loved everything about Luke and Jordan. I was biting my nails waiting for their secrets to be revealed and swooning at every interaction between them. I can't wait to see what's next for the Jilted series!! *This is my voluntary review of an advanced reader copy*
NightbirdNovels More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars When Jordan Carpenter arrives in small town Montana to recruit one hard to get ahold of contestant for her upcoming reality show, she isn’t ready for just how right small town living feels. But, with larger things on her plate, namely Luke Elliott and his refusal to work with her, she decides it’s time to dig in her heels and stay for awhile… Luke Elliott may be labeled a runaway groom, but the local firefighter leads a quiet existence and wants nothing to do with a reality show that is guaranteed to dredge up his tangled past. He wants even less to do with the big city woman who is way too comfortable in his hometown and with all of his friends… except for this pesky little attraction he may have for her… This book was a fantastic start to a brand new series! Jordan is doing her job to recruit a star for the new reality show she is involved in… but I love that she isn’t just portrayed as some cutthroat business woman. She really connects to the people of Lucky Hollow, and isn’t about walking all over them for the sake of her career. Luke has definitely left three women at the alter, but there is so much more to him than meets the eye, I just totally fell for him when we finally got more of the depth of his story. I loved the plot, and the amazing cast of supporting characters. This storyline moved quickly, it was fun, different and showed us that Jordan and Luke were so much more than meets the eye. I seriously don’t think this author has EVER disappointed me with one of her books, and Ready To Run is a must read, and I can not wait to see what the rest of the I Do, I Don’t series has in store for us! I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest and unbiased review.
HC_TheHeathersBlog More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad that I was introduced to Lauren Layne by Loveswept! Ready to Run is now the sixth book I've read by her, mostly because I read the Oxford Series and Walk of Shame. I'm learning that Layne is quickly becoming a go to author. She constantly provides sweet, feel good stories that always keeps me intrigued. Ready to Run was really fun because of the way Jordan and Luke start out. He wants absolutely nothing to do with the reality show that she keeps trying to recruit him for. He comes off as a brooding hot fire fighter when in fact he's probably one of the most loyal and lovable men out of them all. The banter between these two had me laughing. Jordan didn't want to give up on recruiting Luke. She's persistent and tenacious but she's just as stubborn as he is. They had this delicious enemies to lovers progression with explosive sexual tension that sucked me in from start to finish. I also really enjoyed the small town feel of Luke's friends and family from where he lives. They are all involved in everyone else's business but they all love and support each other. The way they accepted Jordan into their lives was sweet. I enjoyed the way they latched on to her and kept giving her small intel into Luke. Subtle pushing on their end. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are looking for some good old small town charm with a sexy firefighter, feisty city girl, lots of sexual tension and some fun laughs, then this is the book for you. And if you haven't read Lauren Layne before, you need to. She has become one of my escape artists that I go to when I want to cleanse my palate from my love of dark books and just read a happy and good feeling book.