There’s no question that Devney Perry is a queen of small town romances, and the latest in her Runaway series is a tale of new beginnings, second chances, and of a young woman searching for a place to put down roots. Cast against the vibrant backdrop of sweeping Montana ranchlands, and bursting at the seams with characters who work hard and love even harder, this is a story that shows the true power of healthy familial bonds, and that home is not always a place—it is sometimes the people you know you can always come back to. Reading a Devney Perry novel is like a balm to the soul of the finicky reader that I am, and each new book of hers only reaffirms my undying devotion to her work.
I was still just a runaway kid, numb to the world, searching for anything to make her feel.
Once a runaway teen living in a junkyard, Gemma Lane has spent the past decade of her life making sure she’d never be poor or homeless or hungry again. But when a single spontaneous decision uproots her whole life and leads her back to a place filled with some of her fondest memories, as well as some of her biggest regrets, she is forced to revisit a past she’s tried so hard to leave behind. For eleven years, Gemma has worked tirelessly to build a life of her own that would make her feel safe and settled, but memories of a long-ago time spent working at a guest ranch in Montana as an eighteen-year-old girl desperate for adventure and freedom have always stayed with her, eventually guiding her back to where her new life truly began.
I no longer had anything to prove. I’d shown the world I was more than where I’d come from. I’d made my mark, my fortune and fame. And I’d learned the hard way it was just as hollow as the home where I’d been born. This journey was about searching for a real life. The life money couldn’t buy. I wanted the things I’d never had. Family. Love. Peace.
But, for Gemma, Montana has also remained synonymous with a certain surly cowboy with whom she once spent a wild night of passion before disappearing into the sunset without even a goodbye, and it doesn’t take long for her to discover that Easton Greer is still holding a grudge against her for skipping town all those years before.
She’d be gone soon, chasing the next dollar or wild adventure, leaving me behind, wondering what kind of man could compel her to stay.
As Gemma and Easton’s love-hate relationship starts setting off sparks once again, and long-lost friendships begin to heal, Gemma’s short visit to Montana quickly turns into a longer stay than she ever planned. The very place that was once a stepping stone for a brighter future becomes a place of healing for Gemma, slowly stripping her of the emotional armour she spent her whole life erecting, while in Easton’s strong arms, she learns what it means to share oneself fully with another, trusting them with both one’s heart and soul.
“I’m not going to beg you to stay, Gemma.”
“No one ever does.”
But life has taught Gemma from a young age to run away from anything that makes her feel, so even when she finds herself living, breathing, and feeling for the first time in a very long time, she might not see that everything she ever wanted, everything she ever needed is finally within her reach. All she has to do this time is—stay.
Would she ever see what was in front of her? Everything she wanted, everything she needed, was right here. A home. A family. Me.
Perry’s voice is delightful as always, pulling us in with exceptionally written characters and a vibrant sense of setting, and while I’ve never met a tale of second chances I did not like, this book shines brightly as one of my favourite Devney Perry romances to date.
One of these days, maybe I wouldn’t feel so lost. Maybe one day I’d set foot into the place where I was meant to be and know, in my bones, it was mine.