BOOK REVIEW: Runaway Love (Cherry Tree Harbor #1) by Melanie Harlow

BOOK REVIEW: Runaway Love (Cherry Tree Harbor #1) by Melanie HarlowRunaway Love (Cherry Tree Harbor #1)
by Melanie Harlow
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Yes, I’m a single dad who needs a nanny for the summer.

But hire the stranded runaway bride who shows up on my doorstep in a wedding gown with no references, no skills, and no experience?

No one is that desperate.

Except within twenty-four hours, down-on-her-luck Veronica Sutton manages to charm my kids, my family, and half the population of Cherry Tree Harbor into believing she’s perfect for the job.

And for me.

It’s not that I can’t see the appeal–those baby blue eyes? The endless legs? That mouth made for trouble? But I’ve got enough on my plate, raising two kids on my own and keeping the family business alive. I don’t have the time or the inclination to fall for an outspoken city girl.

So I should have kept my hands to myself.

Holding her in my arms was a big mistake. Even worse? Spending the night together. She ignites a possessive fire in me that I’m finding hard to snuff out.

But the most unforgivable? Growing attached to the sound of her laugh, the scent of her skin, and the way her body wraps around mine in the dark.

At the end of the summer, she’ll be gone.

And if I’m not careful, she might run away with my heart.


Runaway Love was a heartwarming romance that was sexy, sweet and so much fun! If you love adult romance that is steamy, set in an adorable small town, and has the grumpy sunshine trope, then this book is for you! The story was smile inducing and I’m looking forward to reading many more of Melanie Harlow’s books!

We’d never really stood a chance.

Veronica Sutton discovered on her wedding day that her fiancé had cheated on her, so she ended their relationship with a bang! After being lost and unsure of where to go in life, since her fiancé paid for and owned everything she had, she found herself in a diner. It reminded me so much of the very first episode of Friends where Rachel walked into the coffee shop in her wedding dress. In this story, Veronica walked into the diner in her wedding dress and discovered all of the small town charm within those walls. Veronica was so easy to talk to and be friends with, and the towns people helped her find a lead on a job. To be a nanny for Austin, a single dad. And I have to say that the picture those first few chapters created felt like a movie was playing out in my head! I was completely hooked!

“Like this?” The kids imitated her pose, and I felt like a total pervert for fantasizing about having sex with her while she was giving my children a yoga lesson.
“You are a terrible person,” I muttered to myself. But I kept watching.

While Veronica was a ray of sunshine, Austin was the storm clouds. I loved Austin! He was such an amazing dad, had the kindest of souls, and was also so lonely. His kids were his whole world, and he never seemed to do anything for just him. Even his job, which was working for his dad, was because he felt like he owed his dad. For helping him out when he was younger and had two babies to take care of alone. So Austin definitely put his dreams aside, to help those he loved instead. There were other sides to Austin we got to discover, and he cracked me up! I loved all of his dirty thoughts about Veronica. But Austin tried to restrain himself. He wanted to have a strictly platonic working relationship with Veronica. He the boss, her the employee. Except Veronica was way too charismatic for that, and it was impossible for him not to soften to her over time.

I sighed contentedly, my eyes drifting closed, surprised at how comfortable and easy this felt. Wasn’t this kind of intimacy supposed to take more time?

The story alternated between Veronica and Austin, and I loved both of their voices. Veronica was kind, generous and made his kids so happy. Whereas Austin was more serious and always so careful in life. He definitely held himself back and never put his needs first. But Austin was sexy as hell. And when he was forward, oh my heart, I swooned. Just from the first time they kissed, it was hot and intense. And while I knew they wanted to have boundaries, I was cheering for more. They were playing such a dangerous game and I was counting down until that line was crossed! And when it was crossed, their moments together were steamy and so seductive! Even if they were stating it could never happen again, I wanted to whisper to them who are you kidding! Because it felt like they were meant to be together. Yet it is one thing to be physical, and a whole other level for being deeply intimate with someone. And while they seemed to be starting to form a friendship, Austin had such reservations because of his past. So I had tears in my eyes while the fabulous angst between them played out.

I repeated the words I’d said to Morgan.
It’s not like that with us. It’s casual. Temporary. Just for fun. We are not dating, and there are no feelings involved.
And when my heart tried to argue, I repeated them again.
And again.
And again.

Towards the end of this story, I had happy tears while laughing. And then even more happy tears in the epilogue! Runaway Love was heartwarming, emotional, sweet and sexy. And while I’m not usually one for kids in a story, from the moment Adelaide and Owen tried to give Veronica insight into how their dad ticks, they had me in the palm of their hands! Austin’s kids were so open, honest and hilarious without meaning to. And I adored Austin’s family too. Xander his brother, their dad and sister. They loved one another so deeply! And they were so welcoming and kind to Veronica. I fell in love with this story, the small town, Austin’s family, and Austin and Veronica. So I’m definitely counting down until each sibling gets their own story. Up next is Xander and I can’t wait!

PS When she said that they were an Aries and Virgo and would never work, muahahaha that’s what my husband and I are and we’ve been together forever!

PPS This book made me want to try a Pioneer Woman cookbook, and I just borrowed one from my library!

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  1. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    This one sounds right up my alley! Thanks for sharing, I’ll have to add it to my TBR.
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Blog Tour Review: Was It Good For You by Kathryn FreemanMy Profile

    • Jen

      YAY! I enjoyed it so much! It was so much fun and I’m excited to devour the rest of her backlist!

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