Special thanks to Meghan Quinn and her team for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Publication Date: 11 October 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hollywood screenwriter Sawyer Walsh knows a good love story when he sees it. But when it comes to real life romance, he’s a mess. That’s how he finds himself standing at the altar…as his ex-girlfriend ties the knot with his very famous best friend. The pressure, the resentment, the media coverage—it’s all too much—and before he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s making a run for it, leaving a shocked congregation and flashing cameras in his wake.
Needing to lie low amid the media fallout, Sawyer lands in the charming town of Canoodle, California, where he crosses paths with Fallon Long, who runs the Canoodle Cove Cabins, a family-owned business and Sawyer’s new short-term residence. Overwhelmed with renovations and her long list of responsibilities, Fallon is struggling to make ends meet while attempting to bring the cabins back to their original glory. So when Sawyer arrives, she is grateful for the income, but immediately writes him off as just another vapid Hollywood hack, until he begins to prove her wrong at every turn.
As Fallon comes closer to saving the family business, an undeniable bond forms between her and the handsome screenwriter. But the pressures of her family obligations and Sawyer’s notoriety might prove to be too much for anyone to handle. Could Canoodle be the setting for a new romance—or is true love just a Hollywood cliché?
⚠️ CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNINGS
Grandparent with alzheimers, cheating (historical, off-page)
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TL;DR: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: MQ puts the comedy in rom-coms and never fails to make me laugh, and folks, she did it again with this one! If you’re looking for a romance set in the quirkiest of small towns, a love story that has the sweetest and most swoontastic dynamic, and side characters who will worm their way into your hearts and have you continuously laughing out loud, then I would highly recommend checking this out asap!
It’s always easy to fall in love with the settings and characters in MQ’s stories. Canoodle is a small mountain town that doesn’t have a whole lot going on but it does have the quirkiest of residents that added plenty of comical moments and charm to the story. Seriously, some of the names this town had for its locations had me cracking up, not to mention how random (but awesome) it is that the mayor is a cat and the previous one was a dog. Yes, you read that right and it’s so freaking quirky but I absolutely loved it! I also loved how Canoodle Cove Cabins came to life and it really made me wish that it was a real location so that I could book an extended holiday there one day.
Fallon and Sawyer made such a sweet couple and they were so incredibly loving with each other that it made my heart swoon! Theirs is probably the slowest-burn romance I’ve read from Quinn and it was also the least steamy of her novels (I guess that’s the trad pub thing?) but that really didn’t make me enjoy it any less. There’s a lot that Fallon and Sawyer have to deal with personally for them to reach a good place where they can be together and though it took a while to get there, the journey was worth it. Apart from handling a full-on reno at Canoodle Cove Cabins, Fallon is also busy taking care of her grandpa, Sully, who has Alzheimer’s. This part definitely hit hard on a personal level and it was absolutely heartbreaking to read about but it also made me admire Fallon more because I know how difficult it is. Fallon was incredible—she’s smart, hardworking and has such a big heart, and I loved how much she cared for her family and the history of the cabins. All she needed was someone who could support and care for her and Sawyer was her perfect match. Despite the rocky start to their ‘relationship’, after all, they’d previously gone on a blind date and Sawyer totally forgot about it, they develop a solid friendship built on mutual respect and trust.
Samantha Brentmoor and Alastair Haynesbridge narrate RUNAWAY GROOMSMAN, and their performances are stunning! Don’t miss this audiobook sure to tickle your ears and heat you up today!
From the beginning, my heart went out to Sawyer. I can’t even imagine what it would’ve been like being in his shoes but all I know is I probably would’ve lost it from the start—seriously, the audacity of people to think they can treat someone so badly without repercussion all because they’re “famous”? I’m glad that “villains” in the story get their just desserts! Sawyer was one of the most genuinely sweet MMCs I’ve read in a while. He’s a romance screenwriter who actually believes in what he writes and I loved that he still believed it despite his enormous heartbreak. He was so swoony with his acts of service as his love language and what made me love him more was how he interacted with Sully. He was the full package and ugh, seriously, what a guy! 😍 I have to admit that I was a little worried to find that Fallon already had a boyfriend at the start of this book because I’m not here for love triangle vibes but thankfully, Quinn doesn’t bring it that way. All the characters in this were pretty mature and there was no OTT drama, well, except for Jaz but I absolutely adored her the way she is! The friendship between Fallon and Jaz was too funny, plus the banter-filled interactions between Jaz and “Julia” (😉) were hilarious. Jaz is a little wild but she had me cracking up the most out of all the characters—I honestly would’ve loved for her to get her own romance but I was happy with how her story ended here!
Another thing I really loved was how meta the writing was because of Sawyer’s screenwriter perspective. I loved the way he filtered every interaction into tropes and plotlines cos it made for an even more entertaining read! Also, if you’re a long-time fan of MQ’s books, you’ll notice lots of name-drops for characters and locations from many of her books, but I was particularly delighted by the mentions of Lovemark and Port Snow because that series was my first and still is my favourite Quinn series. Overall, this was such a treat to read and as always, MQ’s romances are always a fantastic time!
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
Have you read Runaway Groomsman or is it on your TBR?