Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book or Movie? "Runaway Romance"

It's been a while, but I'm back with another Book or Movie post ... and, for the first time since I started this project, it doesn't feature a Hallmark Channel Original!

It is still connected to Hallmark, though, if a bit tangentially. The book/movie is Runaway Romance. I reviewed the book last year, and the movie premiered on UP (a Hallmark-esque cable channel) in January ... and now it's available on Hallmark Movies Now, Hallmark's streaming service.

(Side note: I'll do a full review of Hallmark Movies Now one of these days, but the biggest surprise to me when I signed up was just how few Hallmark originals are on the service. The vast majority of films are ones like this that never aired on the Hallmark Channel or Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.)

When a reality TV star meets the reality of life, will it be her downfall or her salvation? 
Ann Stanway had it all—a starring role in a reality show, an adoring boyfriend, and a sparkling future with limitless possibilities. Until the rules changed and the life she’d thought was real no longer existed. Leaving L.A. seems like her only option, and she lands in Kentucky at a quiet Amish inn—as far removed from her past as possible. Now she knows what was missing in her life–peace, true friendship and, dare she hope, a man who accepts her for who she is–or at least who he thinks she is. 
Hunter Lewis is intrigued by the new woman staying at his friend’s Amish inn. Annie appears to be what she claims, but she’s secretive and won’t open up. He’s been burned by a woman before and can’t tolerate deception. But his interest in Annie is growing, and the attraction seems to be mutual—until something happens that makes Hunter question everything he’d thought was real. Dare he risk his heart, when he’s certain Annie is keeping secrets? 
Can their new romance withstand the pressure, or will Ann choose to run again?
Runaway Romance the book was ... fine. I didn't find it to be particularly engaging, but it also wasn't a chore to read. And, I'll be honest, six months after reading the book, I only remembered the absolute basics.

When she’s written out of her show, her relationship and her seemingly perfect life, reality TV star Ann Stanway leaves Hollywood and finds herself marooned in Amish country. But when Ann is taken in by the owner of a nearby Inn, and meets a handsome young architect, she discovers that the reality she left isn’t nearly as perfect as the one she’s found.
First of all, this synopsis is much better than the one I found prior to the movie's release! That synopsis made me think the movie was going to be very different from the book, when in reality, the two are incredibly similar. In fact, this is probably the closest adaptation of any of the book to movies I've reviewed so far. (A Dash of Love is a closer adaptation, but in that case, the movie came first, and the adaptation was the book.)

I could only detect a couple of changes—homeless woman Carla is nowhere to be found in the film (her subplot was my favorite part of the novel), and I felt like Ann's ex Scott and his mother Veronica changed places as to who was more evil. (In the book Veronica was definitely the one pulling the strings and Scott went along with it, but in the movie Scott was just smarmy and icky and gross, and he and Veronica were probably equally bad.) Also, Ann comes across as way less naive in the movie, which I appreciated.

Interestingly enough, Danielle C. Ryan (Ann) and Trevor Donovan (Hunter) were the leads in another UP original movie, as well: Love Finds You in Charm. You can see my thoughts on that film here, but my main complaint was that I didn't buy Donovan as an Amish man at all. So it was nice to see him in another Amish-type film where he wasn't playing Amish ... and he was infinitely more believable here!

This isn't great cinema, but it's enjoyable enough—pretty much on par with Hallmark fare.


Book or Movie?

Definitely the movie. Though it did leave out my favorite plot point from the book, I enjoyed the movie as a whole more than the book. (Book: 3 stars; Movie: 3-1/2 stars.)

Buy the book.
Watch with a Hallmark Movies Now subscription or a Prime add-on subscription to UP Faith & Family or HM Now. (All come with free trials.)

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Someday I'll have to watch this one... though given how far behind I am on the new Hallmark films, who knows when I will. ;)

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Becky - always enjoy this series.

    1. Thanks, Rissi! I always love it when you stop by :-)

  2. I saw this and it's on again today. Pleasant enough film and the "hunk" love interest is a familiar face for those who watch a lot of these movies. I found there are various pretty charming Amish related films on Up Channel.


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