Here’s another cute book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Still following the same formula where a cute redhead meets a grumpy older man and they get together – followed by a side plot where another 30-year old mousy virgin gets it on with the town single hot pastor. I knew what I was going to get and I still read it and found it quite entertaining.

“Ironic, isn’t it, what religion does to people?”
“I guess it’s more ironic what people do to to people.”

The Story

Dream a Little Dream is maybe the most emotional, sad, angsty and touching heart-wrenching of the books in this ‘Chicago Stars’ series. This story was about two people which suffers from a terrible past. They are both alone and both Rachel and Gabe are so filled with anger about the past and nearly desperate in their way to build big strong walls against themselves.

Welcome to Salvation, North Carolina—where a man who’s forgotten what tenderness means meets a woman with nothing to lose. here two endearing lovers will set off on a funny, touching journey of the heart. . .to a place where dreams just might come true.

“Chip, I know you don’t understand this, but I’d take it as a personal favor if you’d stop trying to marry your mother off to my brothers.”

What I liked

15204983._SY540_.jpgRachel and Gabe are a good fit. She’s feisty and knows how to hold her ground. Gabe is grouchy but sexy and both carry around some pretty dark pasts. Rachel had chosen a life that at the time she thought would make her happy, a life that would be fulfilling. But soon she was stripped of everything. Her ex-husband was a crook, hated by all and she was left fighting for her future and that of her little boy.  Gabe Bonner~ had lost all that was precious to him, his highschool sweetheart (later wife) and his son. He had such a sad soul and he was living a life that he truly didn’t care much about. It didn’t matter that he had a caring family. He struggled to get past his heartache.

What stole my heart was the sweetest little 5 year old boy – Edward, Rachel’s son. He was at the heart of this story and the only reason Rachel initially declined Gabe’s marriage proposal.  There was more sadness in this one than in the others. It surrounded Rachel, Gabe and even Edward. But along with the sadness there was hope. There was a bit of humor. And then there was that thread of need and desire.

What I didn’t like

Men seem to notice women when they undergo a massive transformation and they become the object of desire/lust. When she expresses interest in another man, the envy and jealousy surface and the guy totally goes for this woman who he never knew existed before. I can say that all relationships that start off from a purely attraction never last more than a few months and usually end in a fizzle-out. Thankfully Kristy Brown and the reverend had some history together so it worked a bit.

The entire world had gone crazy, he decided. Right before his eyes, Kristy Brown had turned into a babe. As the light washed over her, her dark hair seemed to have fireflies dancing in it. She wasn’t beautiful; her features were too ordinary for that. Although they were pretty, they were hardly exceptional. Instead, she was . . . sexy. It bothered him to think of Kristy as sexy. There was something unnatural about it, like throwing lascivious glances at a sister. But ever since Tuesday morning he’d been thinking about those breasts.

Also, Gabe is very stingy with the money he pays Rachel. He is well aware that if he enables her to save up, she will pack and leave, and he won’t have any means to keep her there. For those of you who don’t know, limiting a woman’s movement and choices by limiting the cash she gets is a form of Domestic Abuse called Financial Abuse.

He did his best not to smile at her look of disappointment. Although it wasn’t easy, he was trying hard to keep her short of ready cash while he also made certain she had everything she really needed. The way she squeezed a dollar, he knew that if he gave her too much money, she’d save it up. And once she had enough, she’d leave town.

All in all, the book was pretty touching, with easy to sympathise characters, well defined baddies and a romance that would melt even the iciest hearts.

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4/5

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