Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Review & Giveaway: Talulah's Back in Town by Brenda Novak


Talulah's Back in Town (Coyote Canyon #1) by Brenda Novak
Publication Date: August 22nd 2023 by MIRA
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher 
Rating: ½

My Thoughts:
Talulah’s back in her hometown to sort through her great-aunt’s house, getting it ready for sale after her death. She hadn’t been looking forward to coming back after she left her fiancé at the alter fourteen years ago shattering one of her best friendships and becoming the talk of the town.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a “runaway bride” romance, didn’t really think it would appeal to me. I’ve wondered how someone could let it get to that point, knowing they had cold feet and doubts, but for Talulah it boiled down to trying to please everyone. Hoping her feelings would change or deepen enough before the wedding so she wouldn’t have to disappoint anyone. Unfortunately, by the time she broke it off it caused more damage than if she would’ve done it right when she started having doubts, but she didn’t trust her gut instincts.

Now Talulah makes it clear up front to any potential love interests that she’s commitment phobic. She’d like to be able to fall in love, settle down and have a family, but the thought of commitment gives her hives! That is until she returns home and circumstances lead her to falling in with Brant Elway, the best friend of her ex-fiancé. Yep, it’s messy and normally I’d be running the other way from a story like this, but it was sooo good!  Talulah and Brant had off-the-charts chemistry (this was hot stuff!) and deepening emotional bond. I just loved how naturally they fit as a couple! They just had to figure out the details.

I’m fairly new to Brenda Novak’s writing, having only read two of her stories in the past, both more on the women’s fiction side with a bit of romance and suspense. This is my first full on romance by her and I loved it! I was mesmerized by the story from page one!

4.5 Stars

Book Description:

Sometimes the past we leave behind leads us right where we belong.

Talulah Barclay doesn’t like complications. Unfortunately, they seem to love her. Fourteen years after leaving her fiancé at the altar, Talulah returns to her hometown of Coyote Canyon, Montana, to settle her great-aunt’s estate. As she’d feared, her “runaway bride” reputation is waiting right where she left it, and her ex’s best friend, Brant, isn’t about to let her slip by unnoticed.

Brant has always been a loyal friend, but Talulah’s decision to run isn’t the only thing he hasn’t forgotten. He remembers more about Talulah than he cares to admit. Vividly. And it’s increasingly difficult to ignore her now, especially when they find themselves in close quarters. Talulah has no plans to stay in town after she fixes up her aunt’s Victorian farmhouse, even if the unbridled sparks with Brant give her a good reason to linger. Besides, bailing on relationships is kind of her thing. But a lot has changed since Talulah last turned tail—maybe her heart has changed, too?

I went to the book launch/signing event for Talulah's Back in Town at Ruby's Bookstore in Folsom, California last week and bought an extra signed copy to giveaway to one lucky reader! The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win. Good luck!

The mini-version of the macaron tower from the book cover at the signing.

Photo credit: Rudy Meyers Photography

About the author:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak has written over 60 novels. An eight-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best and other awards. She runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity that has raised more than $2.5 million for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). She considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life. Visit Brenda at

Connect with Brenda Novak:


  1. I've enjoyed lots of Brenda Novak's stories over the years but haven't read her last few books. They are usually very good though.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. I haven't read many of her books either, but I'll be changing that!

  2. Like you, a runaway bride story would not typically entice me, I like the sound of Talulah and her return to her hometown sounds interesting. I also love reading about a couple that has a strong bon, like Talulah and Brant.

  3. I've read a few of her romances and one women's fic. She really does hit one in the emotions.

    Neat that you got to go to the signing and see the delicious tower of macaroons. :)

    1. She's a talented writer and interesting in person, too! I wish I would've stayed there long enough to get one of the macarons, but the hubby wanted to try out a local restaurant. I love macarons! :)

  4. I ADORE runaway brides lol it can be really fun however, it needs to be done well to really have a good time with it. Sounds like this author did this one so well. I haven't read this author either, I have kinda veered away from most contemporary trad authors in recent years, but your review is tempting me to try this author and see if her writing style works for me.

    1. I didn't even realize "runaway bride" was a romance trope, but I loved it! I think you'd really enjoy this one too, Renee!

  5. This sounds lovely. Like you, I have read some of her books from romantic suspense to women's fiction.

  6. I read Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave which was a runaway bride type story, but never a romance. I put this on hold at my library. You convinced me, and we tend to like similar contemporaries.

  7. If you liked this one so much, I know I will, too. I've only read a few of Brenda Novak's suspense novels, but I do like her writing. And Talulah and Brant sound like fun characters. :D