10 July 2013

Tuesday's Review: The Dream You Make by Christine Nofli

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for my review.  

Publication Date:  June 13, 2013
Publisher:  Christine Nolfi
Price:  $3.99 (available in e-book only)
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.  

Although the Romance genre is not my usual choice, I enjoy breaking from my traditional fare and reading a romance every once in a while.  I  find the usual "happily ever after" endings and lighter bent to this type of book a nice break.  When I decide to read a romance, however, I am always on the lookout for something that is a bit different.  Maybe it has a mystery attached with it, or an unusual plot line, or, as is the case with The Dream You Make by Christine Nolfi , a deeper story behind the romance.   In this case, the main character's life is complicated by a custody battle.  

Annie's life has not always been easy.  Her mother died when she was quite young, and growing up, her father seemed to be more focused on the life and problems of her older sister.   After her father dies and her sister is brutally murdered, she finds herself both trying to keep the greenhouse business that her father built alive and to be a mother to Dillon, the 5-year-old son that her sister left behind.  Needing extra cash and benefits for Dillon's care, Annie takes a job at a local marketing firm.  Into her life waltzes Micheal Rowe, owner and CEO of said firm, and well, you can probably guess where it goes from there. 

As far as the romance side of this story goes, Christine Nolfi is a top notch author.  She has filled this book with just the right amount of chemistry between the main characters.  There is just the right amount of push and pull, attraction and barriers,  to keep even the most ardent romance readers happy.  In addition, there are the requisite secrets that indicate the characters inability to just trust each other and the ultimate chipping away at each others defenses that make the modern romance story what it is.  There are also a host of helpful, and unhelpful, supporting characters that are interesting, not juts because they have an affect on the romance of the main characters, but also in their own right.  There were several of them who were interesting enough that I would have gladly read a whole book about them.  In short, as a romance, this story delivers it all in spades.  

What was equally, or maybe even more, intriguing to me was Annie and Dillon's story.  Dillon's character, and his predicament, really tugged on my heartstrings, as did Annie's quest to provide for him and keep him with her.  Alternately, I also felt sorry for the couple who were trying to adopt Dillon.  Their lives weren't easy either, and I could truly feel their pain and confusion as well as Annie's and Dillon's.  While the romance part of the story made me smile, and eventually feel happy and satisfied, this part of the story made me cry.  It also really brought home to me that there is no "right" answer in custody battles.  I In the end, I was thankful to Christine by giving me a glimpse, even if it was a little one, into the lives of those that are fighting to keep the ones that they love. 

In the end, though, what I felt was that Christine really got it right.  The two parts of the story combined to give it the right amount of good emotions, while still giving me something to think about.  That is not necessarily the case in all romance books, and I really love it when it occurs.  I am looking forward to reading more of Christine's books as I get the chance and would like to thank The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book for introducing me to Christine and her work.  Great job with this one, Christine!