Mini Review: Runaway Love by Melanie Harlow

Runaway Love (Cherry Tree Harbor #1)
Pub Date: 4 May 2023
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)


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.

TL;DR: This book was the perfect “no think” read that delivered what I wanted when I picked it up. I really enjoy Melanie Harlow’s writing and this was an easy, relaxing and enjoyable read to breeze through. This single dad + nanny romance was admittedly a little too instalove for me and I wanted a bit more relationship development between Veronica and Austin before they jump into bed together but I did like their chemistry! Overall, this wasn’t my favourite but seeing as how I really enjoy Harlow’s writing, I’m definitely eager to pick up more books by her soon.

I really liked Veronica and her positivity through all the bad moments she experienced. She’s such a capable, enthusiastic and happy FMC, which made it quite easy to root for her. Her ex-fiancé was a douche canoe of the highest order and Austin definitely gave him what he deserved! I wanted to see a bit more of her interactions with others because those were fun (like with Austin’s family and the other community members) but I did like what we did get. What I loved the most though were her interactions with Austin’s twins, Adelaide and Owen. She was such a natural with them and they had so much fun together—she definitely made for an awesome nanny. The twins were also super cute/sweet and really highlighted how much of a great dad Austin is with them. Austin was definitely a bit of a stick in the mud but I enjoyed seeing him with his kids the most. I understood where his issues stemmed from but after a certain point, his stubbornness and refusal to even consider anything different became too frustrating! 😬 This wasn’t as much of a slow burn as I thought it’d be but Austin made a good attempt at suppressing his feelings. I have to admit that Austin was (more than) a little idiotic with his feelings and I found the third-act conflict to frankly be a bit too silly with the lack of communication… They could’ve just had a conversation to hash things out but again, Austin was a bit of an idiot when it came to emotions. Their romance happened pretty quickly and I wanted to see them get to know each other more before jumping into bed. That said, I thought the sexual tension was built up really well! I loved the ‘when will they’ moments after a few starts and stops in between, lol.

Have you read Runaway Love or is it on your TBR?

4 thoughts on “Mini Review: Runaway Love by Melanie Harlow

  1. This is the second review for this book that lamented the instalove. I have to guess that that aspect was not handled well because I have read plenty of instalove books I enjoyed. Sorry it wasn’t better for you


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