The Dale and the Seldon families are enemies, and no members of either family want anything to do with each other. Miss Daphne Dale, slightly on the shelf, unfortunately is required to attend her friend Tabitha’s wedding to a dread Seldon. Why? Because she’s fallen in love with a pen pal after she answered an ad in the papers, and the wedding is the one place that they can meet. Little does she know that her suitor is Henry Seldon, one of the family’s eligible bachelors, who opened her letter and fell for her entirely by accident, and thus one of her sworn enemies. How long can Daphne and Henry try to avoid facing the reality that they’ve fallen in love with each other despite family differences?
Elizabeth Boyle is another new-to-me romance author, albeit one I’ve heard a bit about in the past. I will be honest and confess that when I chose to read this book, it was mainly because of the really cute cover and the title; lots of romance novels are about misses and rakes but I wanted to find out how this one actively ran away. (You can imagine my disappointment when she didn’t actually run away with him).
I thought huge portions of this book were very cute, and I loved the fact that the author inserted excerpts from the couple’s love letters to each other throughout the narrative. That was an incredibly sweet touch and it gave us some insight into how they’d first fallen in love, before they realized that they were falling for the enemy. I adored their first meeting in particular, before they knew who the other was; they are both absolutely certain that they’re found The One until their family and friends tell them the truth.
The only note that I’d make as a downside was the fact that, even though the reader and both of them actually knew who the other was, it takes these two absolutely ages to actually admit it. They both kind of hope that their mysterious lover is still someone else, which gets frustrating after a while, until it becomes absolutely ridiculously obvious. I would have almost preferred that the author let them reconcile sooner and then throw some other obstacle in the way of their happiness. With a family feud, it certainly would have been possible, and it wouldn’t have been so easy to get frustrated with these characters about denying reality for most of the book.
While I wouldn’t yet put Elizabeth Boyle on my list of immediate romance authors to buy, I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes open for more of her books in the future. And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake is a lovely little romance read, just be aware that it’s not completely flawless.
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