The tabloids call her the Hit and Run Bride after reality show star Annamae Jessup walked out on Atlanta’s favorite baseball player on cable television. Eager to escape her notoriety, Annamae takes a road trip to find the grandmother she’s never met and winds up discovering a whole lot more than a band of back woods relatives. There’s no escape from reality TV, even in Beulah, Alabama, population 3000.
The last thing Wynn Rafferty needs in his new life is a spoiled television princess who can’t even know his real name. He’s in temporary witness protection as an apple farmer after his undercover work put his life in danger. He needs to lay low until the heat dies down from his last case— even if he sucks at growing apples as badly as he sucks at relationships. But Annamae turns his new town into a media circus, unwittingly threatening the lives of him, her and most of Beulah. Wynn is an expert at keeping the world at arm’s length, but when it comes to Annamae, the only way he can keep her safe is to keep her very, very close.
After a stellar debut with How to Lose a Groom in 10 Days, Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock return with their second book in the Runaway Brides series, The Wedding Audition. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this book from the publisher to review and in my honest opinion, this is another great read by two great authors.
The story starts right in the center of the action, where Reality TV star Annamae Jessup is struggling with her decision to marry baseball star, Boone Sullivan. In the midst of her increasing panic over perhaps marrying the wrong man, Annamae makes the ill-fated decision to escape to a restroom where she calls into a radio talk show and winds up breaking up with Boone on live TV because she didn’t realize the reality show cameras were recording her. Instead of sticking around to deal with the fallout of her actions, Annamae skips town, intent to hideout while also wanting to find and meet her paternal grandmother. It’s during her trip to Beluah and her search for a safe place to sleep at night that Annamae meets the hero, Wynn Rafferty, an undercover cop doing his best to lay low until the criminals in his last case go to trial.
Not only is this story extremely well-written, with a seamlessness that makes it impossible to tell which author might have written what, the novel itself has a great situational setup. Thanks to the hero and heroine’s troublesome external conflicts and their need to stay under the mass public’s radar, it’s easy to see why they are the worst people in the world for each other, particularly right now. It’s also easy to see how Annamae and Wynn fit together and understand one another. They might be opposites in one way, but they’re also really similar in another, which actually makes them absolutely perfect for each other.
Once Annamae and Wynn get to know each other better, the chemistry between them amps up in a big way, as do the stakes of their being together. This was such a great read, and it had the added benefit of mixing in some more of my favorite things, sexual tension, angst, and suspense.
Over all, this was a great read, and one I highly recommend checking out.
USA Today bestselling and RITA Award winning author Catherine Mann has written over fifty romance novels and her work has been released in more than 20 countries. Catherine has a Master’s Degree in Theater, having written her thesis about powerful Shakespearean women. Born and raised in the South, Catherine and her flyboy husband have four children and reside in Florida where she is the President and a founding member of the Sunshine State Animal Rescue.
Joanne Rock writes romance of all shapes and sizes from sexy contemporary to medieval historical and an occasional Young Adult story. She’s penned over seventy books, appearing most often in the Harlequin Blaze series. Joanne taught English at the college level before becoming a full-time writer, and she returns to the classroom as often as possible to share her love of stories. A quiet and unassuming Virgo, Joanne married a fiery and boisterous Aries man in true opposites-attract fashion.