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3.9 out of 5 stars43
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Connie Gordon is a successful, pretty Hollywood actress who seems to have the world at her feet, but actually is struggling with the pressures put upon her and is desperate for a break. Spontaneously, Connie packs a suitcase and travels to Scotland after receiving an invite from her fan club there. As she arrives and meets all the locals, Connie is quickly thrown into their village life!

Having enjoyed Victoria's previous novels, I was really looking forward to this one, and I must say I absolutely LOVED it! The storyline is absolutely fantastic, and as soon as I read what it was about I could not wait to get started!

If I could describe this book, I'd say it was perfect chick-lit. It's everything you could want in a chick-lit book, it's an easy read, it's funny, it has likeable characters and it is an addictive read. I picked The Runaway Actress up first thing in the morning and finished it in one sitting because I was enjoying it so much!

Victoria Connelly has created a wonderful range of characters in this story. Connie was an instantly likeable character and I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with her. Maggie, Connie's biggest fan, is a fantastic addition to the book also, and although she was a bit too obsessed with Connie sometimes, it made the story much more entertaining. I loved the drama society, especially how the village really supported each other. The setting of Scotland and the descriptions of both the characters and the scenery were so well-written I felt as though I was there watching the story unfold in front of me. After reading this book, I'd love to run away to a lovely little village in Scotland!

The Runaway Actress is a truly delightful book, it's perfect for a holiday read or those rainy days when you want something to lift your spirits a bit. If you love a good storyline and want a fun, light read, then lose yourself in Victoria Connelly's novel!!
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The book is the story of Hollywood actress Connie Gordon, who has decided she has had enough of the high life and desperately needs to escape to somewhere with a bit of normality. She flies across the world to the small town of Lochnabrae in Scotland, the place where her mother was born. However, she doesn't realise that Lochnabrae is the home of her biggest fan club, run by the very keen Maggie. When she arrives in Lochnabrae, Connie finds a warm welcome, and soon settles in to Isla's bed and breakfast. However, she doesn't count on meeting playwright Alistair, who has a few secrets in his own past as well... will Connie be able to find the peace she wants in Lochnabrae, or is there more for her there?

I have to say that straight away, I found this book so easy to get into. I warmed to the character of Connie immediately, despite her lavish lifestyle in Hollywood, she was a very lonely and sad individual and hatt goes to show that money doesn't always equal happiness. Connie's decision to go somewhere new was good, and I was glad she made the move. Throughout the book, Connie comes more into herself as a person, and copes with the awe and love from her fan club members really well, and I really liked her all the way through. The other characters however, I'm not so sure about! Maggie really was embarrassingly obsessed with Connie, and I could honestly feel myself cringing as I read the scenes with the two of them, it was just embarassing. Yes, she's a fan but she didn't even attempt to hide it and I found myself getting a bit annoyed with it by the end!

Alistair on the other hand was a really good character. He has a secret that he is hiding about his past which he doesn't want revelaed to the other residents of Lochnabrae, and as the book goes on, we find out what it is, and why he likes to keep himself to himself. Yes, the book is predictable regarding Alistair and how it all ends up, but I enjoyed the journey it took to get there. Lochnabrae is written as a small community of friendly people, and it was nice that there were no really horrible bits in the book, it was all very pleasant and easy to read. I loved Connelly's descriptions of the small Scottish village, the surrounding nature areas sounded beautiful, and it certainly makes you want to go and see it for yourself!

I really enjoyed this book overall, and found Victoria Connelly to be a really good story-teller and I whizzed through this book in just a couple of evenings as I really wanted to find out if Connie would get her happy-ever-after, whether it be with a man or just within herself. It's a read that had me laughing, smiling and generally in a good mood after reading it, and Connie really was a great character, willing to help out however she could, and be a friend to the people who idolised her. There were a few twists and turns along the way which kept the book fresh, and although I had guessed the ending a way into the book, it didn't spoilt my enjoyment of the read at all, and I was looking forward every night to picking it up and finding out a bit more about Connie and the residents of Lochnabrae. Definitely a book I would recommend!
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on 29 June 2012
Connie Gordon is a beautiful, successful Hollywood actress, who on the outside seems to have it all. But inside Connie is deeply unhappy, she has been in the acting business since she was six years old and she has become tired of the lifestyle that goes with it, the constant diets and the cheating boyfriends. It also feels like she is living out her mother's dream of being an actress.

Connie longs to escape; to a place she can just lose herself, to where she will have some peace and quiet. So when she receives an invite from her fan club in Scotland. She decides to go and visit, to what she thinks is a small sleepy Scottish village called Lochnabrae.

When she arrives in Lochnabrae and meets the locals including her biggest fan Maggie and a reclusive writer called Alistair, Connie finds herself thrown into village life and before she knows it she is involved with the village amateur dramatic society.

Will the sleepy village of Lochnabrae turn out just to be as dramatic and chaotic as the life she has been living in Hollywood?

If you are looking for the perfect book to take to read on your summer holiday then this book is just that. It is a really good fun and entertaining read. This book is just one of those nice care free stories that you can just lose yourself in and is a delight to read. I really enjoyed reading this book.
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VINE VOICEon 14 April 2012
I really enjoyed this book. I have been a fan of Victoria Connelly's since reading her first two published books about Jane Austen addicts. I was also lucky enough to meet her at last years Worcestershire Literary Festival when she gave a fantastic talk about her journey to published books.

This book however, is a completely different theme to her previous books, and is another great read. The main character is Connie Gordon, an actress who, after an unplanned run in with an ex boyfriend, which the press immediately jumped on, at a glamorous and glitzy Hollywood award show decides to pack a suitcase and visit a small Scottish village which has it's own Connie Gordon fan club.

I thought that this was a great idea for a book. There seems to be no lengths that a photographer/reporter won't go to to get a story and I am sure that alot of these people who live their lives in the public spotlight, would love to be able to pack a suitcase and disappear for a month or two. However, I am sure most people would disappear to somewhere hot, secluded and very expensive - not a cold and wet Scottish village - fantastic idea Victoria!

As with Victoria's previous books, this is a fantastic read. I love her writing style and was able to loose myself in the book, while curled up in an evening and finished the book quickly.

I really liked the characters in the book and would love to visit Isla's bed and breakfast and visit the local pub for a drink - it sounds like a great place to meet in an evening for a book club or a quick drink.

There is, of course, a love story in the story and it was one which was very believable. I will not spoil the story here but I was really pleased with the ending to the story.

In summary, it is a great read and I recommend it to all of my blog followers. A great chick lit read which can be added to any holiday suitcase or garden patio table this summer!
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on 24 August 2012
Victoria Connelly has written an engaging and funny Chick-lit just as a chick-lit should be with a heroine trying to escape the bright lights of Hollywood and find some peace, a handsome stranger with his own story to tell, and a cast of eccentric village members to be expected in a small community.

Connie Gordon is a Hollywood actress with links to a small village in deepest Scotland. Not only did her mother originate from the village but her No. 1 fan club is based there.

This in itself brings about questions as to how did Connie get to Hollywood if her mother was from a small Scottish village and why is her fan club based there? All will be revealed as Connie's story unfolds.

Connie is stressed with her fast paced Hollywood lifestyle and never ending glare of the limelight, so when she receives an invite to visit Lochnabrae she books a flight - much to the complete surprise of the locals.
Connie will not get the peace she expects as the locals can be just as full on as the journalists back in Hollywood. Everyone knows everything about everyone else.

Alistair is also escaping to the village but for different reasons. A playwright in London, he is seeking a quieter lifestyle and seeks this in a crofter's cottage.

The locals are friendly to the point of intrusion at times and Maggie, who is Connie's biggest fan did have me worried as she was almost on the verge of obsessive.

This ticks all the chick-lit boxes with a Hollywood style ending. Fabulous!

5 out of 5 for me!

review copy
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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2012
Definitely one of those supermarket reads: it takes you quickly and neatly through the story and you can have a cuppa while you're reading it. Light and fun with not too many complications, but just enough to keep things interesting.
Connie Gordon has to get away from Hollywood. She's a successful actress, but with a string of failed boyfriends and an endless schedule of filming from her agent she seems to have lost just who she is.
By chance she finds a letter from her fan club in Scotland and on a whim she takes herself off there. It isn't long before she's thrown her mobile into the loch and is getting to know the locals.
Maggie runs the shop and the fan club and Isla runs the local B&B. Before long they are Connie's friends and support in her runaway life. The, of course, there's Alastair the writer ensconced in his croft up the mountain. He's been hurt in love and had to get away from his life in London as a playwright and director.
The book is filled with a host of amusing characters to smooth Connie's way into Scottish life, but is she going to stay? Before long her agent is hot on her track and determined to get her back to the high life. The question is whether she will return or carry on with her role in the local amateur dramatics.
Though it is fun to read is it fairly obvious where the plot and relationships are going. It is like a TV movie: pleasing and easy to follow, just not that demanding. If that's what you want, buy this book.
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on 22 October 2013
I had this in my pile of books and decided to pick it up straight after A Weekend with Mr Darcy which was my first Victoria Connelly book. The runaway actress is Connie Gordon, who has links to the village of Lochnabrae in Scotland through her mother who ran away from the village some 30 years ago. Connie is a Hollywood A lister but disenchanted with this sort of life and stressed out to the max. The residents of Lochnabrae see Connie as their own local celebrity, and have made the village the base of Connie's "unofficial" fan club which is run by Maggie. One day when she has totally had enough of Hollywood Connie decides to take Maggie up on her offer to visit and this forms her escape plan. Along the way there are lots of misunderstandings as the residents can't believe it and as Connie tries to keep her identity under wraps. Eventually the truth comes out and leads to plenty of comedy set alongside the predictable romantic plotline. I like Victoria's writing and she keeps the story flowing so you don't lose interest. There is a wide selection of believable characters, many with issues to resolve, but there were parts of the tale I couldn't really believe in. I found Maggie's fawning worship of Connie grating, but enjoyed the relationship between them which developed and grew into a real friendship. A very sweet ending with everything nicely, if predictably, wrapped up. 3.5 out of 5.
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2014
I really enjoyed this chick-lit/romantic comedy novel. I've not read anything by this author before, but I'll definitely look out for her other books, now. It was something a little different, this book. Fun, intriguing, emotional at times, with characters and settings that felt very real. Must confess I guessed one of the major twists, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. This is a book I'd definitely recommend to romance fans.
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on 13 June 2014
Once you have read the blurb on the back of this book you won't find much to surprise you in this story. It ticks along nicely and the descriptions are good, but the storyline feels rather like wish fulfillment and the character of Maggie sometimes comes across as a teenage girl with a crush rather than an adult. At times I wondered if I had mistakenly purchased a YA novel. I wanted Connie to have more depth and a few more flaws, she constantly seems to be just lovely to everyone; I'm sure that no Hollywood Diva with emotional problems could possibly be just so NICE all the time, even when her 'fan club' treat her quite appallingly at times (though apparently because they love her, it's OK to forge her autograph for money and wander into her bedroom to go through her wardrobe). The village of Lochnabrae and its residents reminded me at times of Balamory with its picture postcard wholesomeness. However if you want to put your rose tinted glasses on and escape reality for a while, this could be just the ticket. Well written, just perhaps for a younger reader than me.
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on 8 June 2012
An okay book, which was spoilt by the worship of celebrity that forms its basis. I'll read anything about the highlands of Scotland, and this book created a nice heart-warming version of a highland village that you would be happy to visit.

But the fawning, cringe-making worship of the central character just because she's an actress completely ruined it for me, and made characters who should have been warm and lovely into scary, stalking, creepy freaks. Ironing this out and making her into a normal person would have prevented this - give her a real tantrum, and let her fan-club start interacting with her on a genuine footing, rather than the constant "We love you!".

Worth a read, especially if you worship the cult of celebrity, but not for me I'm afraid.
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