Review: "Chasing the Runaway Bride" by Susan Meier
Note: This ARC was provided by Entangled Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Chasing the Runaway Bride is the second book in the Donovan Brothers series by author Susan Meier. This installment focuses on the middle brother, Cade Donovan, who piqued my interest with how he left town and moved to Montana, only returning whenever his mother or brothers needed him. When he finds out that his maternal grandfather, Richard Hyatt, left him the grocery store that was supposedly won in a poker game and must now manage it for a year, he's gobsmacked. He's not exactly thrilled at the idea of having to live in the very town that had nothing better to do than gossip about him nor is he looking forward to having to work side-by-side with Piper O'Riley, the daughter of the man his grandfather won the grocery store from.
Piper O'Riley is surprised that the late Richard Hyatt decided half the grocery store would be given to her but she's not one to complain. Getting back half the store is better than nothing and while she's not excited about having to work with Cade, she'll do what she has to. So what if she's attracted to him? She has no intention of being anything more than his co-worker, especially since she still believes he left her pregnant best friend at the altar years ago and has never provided support for the son her best friend claims is his. However, the more time she spends with him, the more she sees that he's not the horrible person the gossip mongers have made him out to be.
Both Cade and Piper have been fodder for the busybodies of their hometown. Their families have their respective supporters and Piper's own mother has gone out of her way to badmouth the Hyatts and the Donovans. There are also two camps when it comes to Cade's departure all those years ago, one believing he's a scumbag for having abandoned his pregnant bride and their unborn child and for not bothering with child support afterwards and the other speculating that he left because he found out the child in his bride's womb was fathered by someone other than him. On the other hand, Piper is tagged as a runaway bride, having already left two grooms at the altar, making people think she's either crazy or plays around.
It took a while for Piper to grow on me and maybe it's because I knew that her opinion of Cade was based on presumptions. So yes, my sympathies were geared more towards Cade because the guy was funny, nice, charming, and he had a brain to go with the good looks and brawn. When the truth about Cade's runaway groom past finally came out, Piper's reaction felt real because she was both confused but remorseful. Their relationship didn't suddenly shift from mere co-managers to something more. It was gradual but sweet and I finally started liking Piper for Cade. ^.^ These two had chemistry and I enjoyed how one of them would back away only to change their mind later on.
The manner in which the story of Cade and Piper is told made me appreciate it even more, especially when you reach the end of the book. This was a couple that had personal hurdles to overcome and there's a part that had my heart breaking while I was reading it. The last few chapters alone make this book worth reading and I did it in one sitting. I'm going to assume that Devon's story will have him paired up with Barbara Beth aka B.B., but I could be wrong. ^.^ For Chasing the Runaway Bride, I'm going to give 4.5 stars and I recommend that you read the predecessor, Her Summer with the Marine, while waiting for the release of this sequel. ♥
Release Date: 17 November 2014
Date read: 14 November 2014
Learn more about author Susan Meier here.