Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Tropes: spurned MMC; small-town romance; forced proximity; friends to lovers; slow burn; soulmates
I have a cavity. Meghan Quinn’s newest story, Runaway Groomsman, is the sugar that gave it to me. You’ll feel various emotions as you read this book: humor, sadness, joy, and love. The Runaway Groomsman is a textbook in romantic edging; Meghan Quinn keeps you suspended in the friendship and eventual love of Sawyer and Fallon, and you’ll thank her for making you wait.
Why should you read this book?
- There is something meta about Runaway Groomsman. I mean, Sawyer is a screenwriter who needs to write a romance movie under his contract with a movie studio. As he and Fallon’s feelings develop for each other, he’s writing the things that you’re reading about him and Fallon and Sully and Joanne (Fallon’s grandparents). It feels very Inception-esque if that had a place in the world of romance. I love when writers remind us of the perils and twists of writing, and Quinn does this well in this book.
- I love Sawyer’s growth in this book. He moves from being a somewhat shallow spurned man to a man who finds his purpose. He doesn’t just learn this through falling in love with Fallon. His growth comes from living in a small town such as Canoodle and through a bit of mentorship by Sully, Fallon’s grandfather. He learns what matters, and it takes him from the wreckage of his former relationship to a relationship with Fallon that feels abundant and life-giving instead of life-taking. You cannot help but come to adore Sawyer in this story. He grows wise the longer he stays in Canoodle.
- Fallon is an indomitable force in Runaway Groomsman. Her story arc involves her finding someone who accepts her choices and “sees” her. If you’re sensitive to FMCs starting with a boyfriend and then ending with the MMC, then you might have issues with her. However, Sawyer and Fallon maintain boundaries and hide their attraction while she’s with her former boyfriend. Quinn actually crafts these moments in ways that have you pining for them together. It never feels untoward while Peter is in Sawyer’s life. Yet, it acts as a wrecking ball of attraction when Fallon realizes Peter’s ineptitude at accepting her choices. I thought Quinn handled their situation and Sawyer and Fallon’s subsequent fall into feelings well. This is where she “edges” her readers the most. I’m certain several of Quinn’s readers will throw their books or e-readers in anticipation of Fallon and Sawyer’s physical coupling.
- If you’re a fan of small-town romance like me, this will be your favorite part of Runaway Groomsman. Canoodle is quirky and fun and the people of this town are genuine: exactly what Sawyer needs to heal and find himself. You will laugh at the names of businesses, the diner infested by Trolls, the people, and the mayor of this little town. As a California girl, I love that Meghan Quinn has situated this fictional town inspired by Idyllwild in my home state. Everything you adore about small towns is found in Runaway Groomsman.
A warning: if you’re not a fan of sweet, then Meghan Quinn’s newest romance might not be your dessert. Honestly, it isn’t overpoweringly sweet. Instead, it’s really a story about never giving up on love, whether it’s the love of a grandparent, your romantic lead, or a town. The layers of this story will win you over and leave you with the biggest smile on your face. And maybe a cavity or two…
In love and romance,