I’m an unabashed Lauren Layne fan, and this book only adds to that love. A hybrid of The Bachelor franchise and the fabulous Julia Roberts movie Runaway BrideReady to Run tells the story of ambitious producer Jordan Carpenter and reluctant contestant Luke Elliot. Jordan Carpenter’s job depends on finding a lead for the new reality show, Jilted, which is going to feature a man who has left someone at the altar (or multiple someones) and help him to find his true love. She’s been scouring the internet and has finally found a perfect candidate in a small Montana town and schleps herself out there after the dude ignores all her phone calls.

Luke Elliot has left ladies at the altar on three occasions, but has less than zero desire to talk about it, much less be on national television. He’s been intentionally ignoring Jordan, so he is less than pleased when she shows up on his doorstep and disrupts his life. Much to his further chagrin, his friends find her fascinating and invite her to stay.

The rhythms of this book are pitch perfect for contemporary romance, but what makes this thing really sing the sense of the town that Ms. Layne creates. These folks were friends before we showed up and they’re building lives for long after we leave. As Jordan gets to know them, we do as well, and I cannot wait to spend more time with them. This is especially true for Luke’s first two brides, who are now dear friends. For folks who are super averse to small towns, I think this one may surprise you. It highlights the inner-connectedness for sure, but also highlights the downsides of everybody all up in your business and the pain that can cause.

Honestly, Ready to Run is the literary equivalent of the perfect after-work cocktail: comforting, a little surprising, and injects the night with joy. For me, that cocktail is a gin and tonic; a delightful drink for a delightful read.

As an ICYMI Review, this originally appeared at All About Romance, where it was given an A rating (the coveted Desert Island Keeper status). To read the full review, please click here