||Jan 3, 2009
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Bride runs away when she discovers her fiancee in the arms of another.
All Savannah Kingsley had ever wanted was marriage, at least until she saw all her hopes and dreams disappear with her faithless fiance. Catching him locked in another's embrace on their wedding day, she was shocked and hurt. Knowing she couldn't go through with the wedding, she ran.
What else could she do? Chad had to tell his parents for both their sakes. But could he? She'd promised to keep his secret, but was that another mistake?
Ben Hogg could spot trouble a mile away, he had to, it was his job, since he was the Sheriff in Junction, Texas. Savannah oozed trouble, yet he still couldn't ignore the Runaway Bride walking down the aisle of the bus, straight toward him; even though he knew he should...
"Dear God," Savannah prayed aloud, glancing toward the sky. "Could you send me a little help, here? I'm not a mechanic, you know."
In one swift movement, Savannah bent through the window of the car and jerked her keys from the ignition, breaking a fingernail in the process. She grimaced. Walking toward the back bumper, she stopped dead in her tracks when she heard a ripping sound.
"Oh, good grief¿" She knew what that sound meant. She'd heard it before. Not too long ago either. Her sleeve had caught on the door, again. She opened the car door, and pulled the sleeve back in place, as though that action would fix it. Pressing her lips together in one fine line, she went to the trunk and unlocked it.
Savanna stared at her camera equipment sprawled all over the trunk. It was one of the few things she cared about at this moment. She gathered it and set it in the backseat so it wouldn't be damaged. She'd never changed a flat tire in her life, but it couldn't be that hard. She'd seen it done in a million movies. It looked simple.
She could do this, she decided as she slammed the door and marched back to the trunk.
The jack rested in the back corner of the trunk, bolted down as though it hadn¿t meant to be used. In fact it had never been used.
AAA, of course. Why hadn't she thought of that?
Finally using her head, she scrambled again to the backseat to find her purse and phone them. Why hadn't she thought of it sooner? Of course her father had never used the jack, he'd called AAA.
This made sense. No one changed their own tires anymore, except maybe her brother.
Savannah dialed the number, but there was no sound. She glanced at the phone and groaned aloud. Her charger was at home in her bedroom, tucked neatly into the side of her suitcase, awaiting her elaborate honeymoon destination. Dear God, can anything go right today?
Again she looked into the sky, but this time she didn't have a smart remark. This time she refused to press her luck.
The jack became her nightmare. She leaned in and tried to twist the nut. It didn't budge, but she could barely reach it. If she could get a better hold on it, she could probably loosen it. Fumbling with the bolt another manicured fingernail broke. She grimaced but kept on working. Her state of dress, and fake fingernails were the least of her worries.
"Good grief, I'll need a crow-bar to pry that thing loose." Her voice trailed off again. Savannah struggled unsuccessfully to loosen the jack. Desperate, she crawled up inside the trunk, careful not to let the door slam on her, then used the hem of her dress to unscrew the nut. It worked, but she grimaced as she looked at her dress again. It doesn't matter because this is a matter of survival.
Elated, she felt like jumping for joy. But her problems weren't over yet, and she knew it.
Determination would not be enough. She needed a quick education in survival. She didn't have a plan. And she was the kind of person that required one. She had left the church unable to decide what to do. Not like me at all! One thing for sure, she couldn't marry Chad under the circumstances. Life as she knew it was over.
At twenty-six, she was starting over! Could anything be more ridiculous?
Stranded in the middle of nowhere, her range of choices grew narrower by the moment.
She could get mad, throw a fit, and cry. Or she could figure out what to do. Those were her choices. She had a level head on her shoulders. Didn¿t she? She had a master's degree in fine arts, she could play the harp like an angel, and she knew how to take pictures. And up until yesterday she had been a very good real estate agent. But for the life of her, she didn't know what she was going to do next with her life, or this car from hell.
Thoughts of Chad briefly interfered. She tried exercising him from her thoughts.
No use going there, that was history!
But thinking of Chad made her think of what she wanted from life. And she knew what she wanted. She wanted to be married. It was something she instinctively knew she'd be good at. Some women had their careers, but all Savannah ever really wanted was to marry Chad. She'd taken odd jobs ever since she finished college to look busy and give Chad the time and opportunity to pop the big question. She hadn't wanted to appear the spoiled little rich girl, waiting on the boy next door to make up his mind.
Talk about bursting bubbles. That's exactly what she had become, the spoiled little rich girl. The dumb little rich girl. The sweet little rich girl.
4 1/2 Hearts from TRS
Rita Hestand has written a great book about two people who had bad romantic backgrounds. However, their outlooks were diabolically opposite. This heartbroken bride-to-be still wanted to spend her life as a wife and mother. The sheriff had absolutely no desire to ever marry again. This author has created her main characters with strong backgrounds and stronger desires. The supporting characters were equally solid, believable and interesting. This plot was compelling and I couldn't quit reading."
"The chemistry was electrifying. However, the sexuality was sweetly written and could also be read by younger readers. I enjoyed the book immensely. I look forward to reading more by this author. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a happily-ever-after with surprising conclusions." - Brenda Talley
A Charming Entertaining Story from LAS Reviewer
Rita Hestand successfully withholds the true reason why her heroine Savannah runs away from her groom on her wedding day. The 'poor little rich girl' finds she has much to learn if she wants to get on in life, and Rita ensures she encounters plenty of learning curves in a very short space of time.
While I couldn't empathise fully with Rita's heroine, I fell hook, line and sinker for her hero, Ben Hogg. The dark silent Sheriff sizes up Savannah's dilemma and takes some extraordinary steps to see that stays out of trouble. Far from neglecting Ben, Ms Hestand presents Ben with his own bundle of problems to deal with. There's no shortage of conflict in this story!
While some of the situations her main characters found themselves in and the solutions to them didn't endear the protagonists to me, they were in character and in keeping with the story.
All-in-all, I found this is a charming, light story with a scorching hot hero that kept me thoroughly entertained.
Review of Runaway Bride by Stephanie of CRR
Hestand's latest release, Runaway Bride, is a sweet, poignant contemporary romance about love and how it touches people. Savannah Kingsley comes from a rich family, but she has a lot to discover about herself before she gets married. The reader meets Savannah right after she runs away from her own wedding. When Savannah's BMW breaks down in the middle of rural Texas, she's forced to get on a bus to the next town. Ben Hogg, the local sheriff, is also on the bus. Ben's a loner, but there's something about the vulnerable Savannah that touches his heart.
Ben allows Savannah to stay with him while she puts her life together. Despite a strong attraction to each other, both Savannah and Ben have deep-seated trust issues. Can Savannah's steadfast belief in love win Ben's heart or will it drive him from her arms?
Hestand's plot moves nicely, slowing down in just the right spots. Savannah is multi-dimensional. Hestand has put a lot of thought into both Ben and Savannah and it shows right down to their names. Kingsley is an appropriate name for Savannah, having been raised by rich parents who saw to it she wanted for nothing. Ben, along with his name, embodies the qualities a reader associates with a southern law man. He's firm, fair, and honest.
Hestand has a writing style that engages the reader. The dialogue is natural and flows well. The novel is "sweet" for CRR with a few sensual kisses and caresses which are tastefully done. Overall, Runaway Bride inspires hope in the power of love.
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