Sunday, August 16, 2015

Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr

Title:  Wildest Dreams
Series:  Thunder Point # 9
Author:  Robyn Carr
Published:  September 1/15 by MIRA (August 25/15 as ebook)
Length:  384pgs
Genre:  contemporary romance
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

Times may be tough but that’s nothing new for home health care nurse, Lin Su Simmons and her fourteen­year­old son, Charlie. Lin Su’s been making the best of things for as long as she can remember. Separated from her natural Vietnamese family as a child refugee, as a pregnant teenager she was abandoned by Charlie’s father and her adopted American family. Things have improved with her new job in Thunder Point as caretaking nurse for Winnie Banks, an elderly woman suffering from ALS, but Lin Su knows from experience that contentment is temporary and worse times are always looming.

Professional triathlete Blake Smiley knows a thing or two about tough times himself. Before moving to Thunder Point and purchasing the house next door to Winnie Banks, his troubled childhood had manifested itself in a rootless existence. However, learning to develop an ability to set goals and focus not only allowed Blake to survive, it later helped him become a multiple world champion. Now, with his career winding down, he is determined to leave a final major mark before hanging it up for good.

Lin Su understands why it’s so easy for her son to idolize Blake Smiley. A boy with no father figure and few friends due to childhood health issues that curtailed physical play, Charlie yearns to be more active and adventurous. Blake offers to train Charlie to push himself while coping with his limitations, but Lin Su has her reservations—not only for Charlie’s health but also about forging a connection with a man who seems too perfect. Blake is bound to abandon and disappoint Charlie and Lin Su will do whatever it takes prevent her son from experiencing any more disillusionment. 

What’s more, she’s convinced that Blake’s a bad influence on Charlie—pushing him too much, especially away from her. But that’s the last thing Blake wants. He just wants to encourage Charlie to be the best he can be, the way Blake was helped when he was a disadvantaged youth. He understands Lin Su’s overprotective nature but fears it’ll only hinder Charlie in the end. But Blake also knows that by helping Charlie, he might inadvertently be putting a permanent wedge between himself and Lin Su—the most intriguing woman he’s ever met. 

Lin Su can’t help but be attracted to Blake, but she’s been burned too often before to let anyone but Charlie in to her life. But turning her back on love and friendship now might cost Lin Su more than just a better future—it might also close the door on a past with which she’s never been able to reconcile.
About the author:

“I’m frequently asked what it is about my stories that make them so popular. I think it’s the sense of community and that combination of romance and women’s fiction,” says author Robyn Carr. “I’m naturally drawn to strong, capable female characters, and when I begin a story I ask myself, ‘What is she up against?’ It’s very empowering to read about women like ourselves as the characters resolve the issues that threaten their happiness and peace of mind. It’s also empowering to watch smart women choosing and falling in love with men of honor and integrity.”

The author of more than 40 novels, Robyn reaches a wide audience with her writing. In addition to her touching novels, she’s written historical and contemporary romance and a gripping thriller. “This is the best job I’m ever going to get wearing pajamas,” she says of her writing career.

Originally from Minnesota, Robyn and her family have seen much of the country thanks to her husband, Jim, and his career in aviation. After the two high school sweethearts married, Jim joined the air force. They’ve lived in Texas—all four corners—Alabama, Florida, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

The couple moved to Henderson, Nevada, so Jim could explore a new business opportunity. “At first, being a Midwest girl at heart, I said, ‘Oh, no, not another desert!’ It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the beauty of Nevada—and the unrivaled spectacle of Las Vegas!”

Robyn well remembers how she began her career as an author more than 25 years ago. “I was trained as a nurse, but found it impossible to get work because my husband was constantly being transferred. At the time, I was reading a lot of genre fiction for the sheer entertainment value, and I thought to myself, ‘I can write this!’”

And how was her first foray into the world of literature received? “It was universally panned. I thought I had written Gone with the Wind, but in actuality it was complete trash.” In fact, it was on her third try that Robyn finally succeeded in becoming a published author. 

Now that Robyn’s two children are grown—and finally out of the house—she has the luxury of a little free time. “Until my kids grew up, I didn’t realize that a person could have hobbies other than laundry,” she jokes. But it turns out not to be hobbies that keep Robyn busy when she isn’t writing—she has found her niche in community service. 

She has mentored a seniors’ memoir­writing group, attends book­club chats in and out of state whenever possible and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fund­raising and visiting­author events that bring writers, their books and the community together. “It is the people in my life that fill the well,” she says. “Especially the people who share my love for books and writing.”

My Review:

Welcome back to Thunder Point, a small town with a real big kick! Carr brings romance and the trials of living to life in a big way. Her descriptions invite readers to the Oregon coast. The interwoven stories that make up this novel allowed me to get even closer to characters we’ve previously met while falling in love with new ones. I loved the look at an Iron Man from the competitor’s side. Carr makes it approachable while still showing the intensity and stress of it.

I love the way that Carr develops people. Their true selves really shine through. The different yet similarly hopeless pasts of the main characters that they rise above, in epically different manners, added a sense of convergence to the tale. Lin Su’s personality definitely made her stand out even more. Charlie’s increased presence in the tale was also a big hit with me. I loved seeing him come into his own. I found the complexity of Blake’s character so endearing. There was just so much more to him than meets the eye. I loved it.

Carr has definitely created a winner with this one. This novel will definitely become a staple in my library, being read & re-read time and time again. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to all those who enjoy small town romance.

Book Links 

No comments:

Post a Comment