by Nina Croft
In my latest release, HIS FANTASY BRIDE, my heroine, Gabrielle, runs away before her wedding. Gabby had some really good reasons why she thought it was her best—actually, her only— course of action, but then I guess most women who take such a drastic step probably think they have very good reasons at the time.
For Gabby, what was even harder to believe was why she ever said “Yes” in the first place. Temporary insanity? Very likely. I’m sure it affects us all from time to time.
I have to be honest, I think leaving people at the altar is really mean, but other than that, it’s better than going through with it if you’re not sure. Though obviously earlier is better. Gabby left the night before, leaving her fiancé, Vito, a note saying:
“I can’t marry you. You don’t love me.”
When I googled runaway brides, most of what came up was books or movies. But it does happen in real life—one of the most famous cases was Jennifer Wilbanks in 2005. A 32-year-old woman from Georgia who had a lavish wedding planned (600 guests!) but instead decided to run away and fake her own kidnapping. She sparked a nationwide search and intensive media coverage, including some speculation that her fiancé had killed her. Not something you want to be dealing with when you should be on your honeymoon.
Maybe Jennifer’s reaction was a little extreme, but then marriage is a big deal and if you don’t get it right, there are some long term consequences.
I’m sure most people have doubts even after they’ve accepted the proposal and apparently, quite a few women get cold feet on their way to the altar. Explanations include:
- fear of not being able to follow through on any serious undertaking,
- phobias about long-term commitment,
- lack of genuine love for the partner,
- worry that they aren’t good enough.
In many cases, the explanation involves a combination of these reasons. And for a lot of people running away is their coping strategy. When Jennifer Wilbanks was finally asked why, she explained, “I was running away. Because that’s what I’ve always done.”
Other reasons? How about the whole “Is there one right person for everybody” theory?
What if there is and you’ve made the wrong choice? And if you go through with it then you’ll never find them. This ties in with the destined or foretold mate theme popular in paranormal and fantasy books. You could be denying your destiny by saying I do!
Then there are some people who want the wedding more than the marriage and luckily realize before it’s too late (but often not before it’s all been paid for.)
Anyway to finish, here’s a few reasons from real life I came across when I googled why runaway brides…run:
- “Because it was faster than walking.” (My favorite.)
- “I realized I was just doing it to make everyone else happy, but really I wanted to sleep around and party.”
- “Because I didn’t want to get married to my fiancé.”
- “that’s when it hit me: how much he looks like Mr. Potato Head.”
How about you—do you think there are circumstances where running away is the best or only choice?
HIS FANTASY BRIDE
She’s his everything…
I can’t marry you. You don’t love me.
Two sentences, that’s all Gabrielle Harper left Vito D’Ascensio when she vanished the night before their wedding. If he wants his bride back, he’s going to have to hunt her down and prove his love. But when he searches for Gabrielle, he finds Gabby instead; it seems his perfect bride is nothing but a fantasy.
After six months, Gabby presumes it’s over, an episode in her life she’s totally ashamed of. But now Vito is back. He’s the one man she can never have, but as desire explodes between them, she has a tough time remembering why they shouldn’t be together. Oh, right, her family hates him, and he’s done terrible things. Or has he? But it doesn’t matter. When he finds out the truth about who she really is…he’ll never want to see her again.