Runaway Love (Cherry Tree Harbor #1) Read Online Melanie Harlow

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Forbidden Tags Authors: Series: Cherry Tree Harbor Series by Melanie Harlow

Total pages in book: 95
Estimated words: 92417 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 462(@200wpm)___ 370(@250wpm)___ 308(@300wpm)

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.

*************FULL BOOK START HERE*************



Sometimes, when the universe wants you to change the course of your life, it sends you a sign.

Perhaps a recurring dream. Or you keep seeing the same numbers everywhere. Or hearing the same song over and over again.


I got a sext.

I had very little experience with sexting—none at all, really—but in my opinion, this one wasn’t bad.

It was from my fiancé, Cornelius “Neil” Vanderhoof V.

Hey Valerie. I can’t stop thinking about your naked body in my bed last night. Your sexy mouth. Those hands all over me. The way I licked every inch of your skin.

There were even some emojis. An eggplant. A cat. Some raindrops.

While I was taking it all in, another text arrived.

Suddenly I was subjected to an up-close and personal pic of the Vanderhoof family jewels, making it very clear that Neil was eager to repeat last night’s activities, right now if possible.

Look how bad I want you right now. Think we have time for an afternoon delight?

An afternoon delight?


There were a few obvious problems with this.

First, my name wasn’t Valerie.

Second, I hadn’t been in his bed last night.

Finally, we were going to be busy this afternoon.


In fact, I was already tucked away in the little “bride’s room” off the vestibule of Cherry Tree Harbor’s charming little Chapel by the Sea. I was wearing the big white strapless dress Neil had liked best. My veil was pinned above the elegant chignon he had suggested. My makeup had been professionally done, and it was understated and classic—just like Neil had requested. He’d even sent me a photo from Pinterest so I could get the look just right.

A natural eye. A faint blush on the cheeks. A demure, nude lip.

“But I like a red lip,” I said.

“I know you do, teacup, but that’s more of a showy thing, isn’t it? Like stage makeup?”

My shoulders stiffened. Was that a dig at my past? When Neil and I met, I was a Radio City Rockette. He was in the audience one night, and he said when the curtain went up, he took one look at me and knew in an instant he had to have me. He waited with flowers at the stage door every night for a week before I finally gave in and had dinner with him.

“It’s just that Mother would prefer we keep things toned down,” he went on.

“Things like my personality?”

“Don’t make such a fuss, teacup. It’s just lipstick. And you know how she is.”

Did I ever.

I’d been putting up with Bootsy Vanderhoof’s subtle judgment and criticism for a solid year. She handed out her opinions like they were gold coins, about everything from my wardrobe (too black) to my job (too splashy) to my complexion (too pale) to my laugh (too loud).

“Yes,” I said through my teeth.

“Good.” Neil had given me a patronizing kiss on the cheek—he’d perfected that move—and moved on to how he’d prefer me to wear flats with my wedding dress instead of heels. He wasn’t short, but I was a solid five-foot-ten, and two-inch heels made us about even in stature.

This was not in keeping with the way Neil saw the world.

“But Neil,” I said, “I wore heels when I had my final fitting. If I wear flats with my dress, it will be too long.”

“No need to fuss, the shop will hem it for you,” he said confidently. “We’ve still got two weeks, and we’re certainly good enough customers. All three of my sisters bought their wedding gowns there.” His voice took on the haughty tone of someone who’d done a massive favor for you that you didn’t properly appreciate. “The Vanderhoof family has practically kept that shop in business.”

I pressed my lips together. I knew alllll about his three older sisters’ weddings—where they bought their gowns and what flowers they carried and what foods were served at dinner and what music was played at the yacht club receptions. Every one of them had done practically the same exact thing, as if the same June wedding was on repeat three years in a row—ours would be the fourth. The guests had to feel like they were in the movie Groundhog Day at this point.

But if I’d learned anything in the last year, it was that the Vanderhoofs of Chicago’s Gold Coast believed in tradition. Tradition ruled the day. You did not ignore it, buck it, or break it. You didn’t dare criticize it. You embraced it, reverently, eagerly, yet nonchalantly—no one likes a fuss—and then the Vanderhoofs would approve of you.

And the crazy thing was, I’d wanted that approval. I’d worked so hard to earn it, to be treated like I fit in to their family. Twelve months of allowing myself to be shaped into a different person. Of trying to distract myself from grief. Of doing my best to keep a promise I never should have made in the first place. I’d been so desperate to belong.