Title: Vanishing Dreams (Devil’s Bend, #2)
Author: Nicole Edwards
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Dalton Calhoun hadn’t always planned on a life up on the big stage, beneath the bright lights, but that was where he found himself. A second chance of sorts. An opportunity that had come along after his real dreams vanished when he was eighteen years old. Although country music was more than he could’ve expected, he’d never dismissed the notion that there was still something missing.
When Dalton followed his buddy Cooper Krenshaw to Devil’s Bend, Texas, it didn’t take long before Dalton realized just what that was. But just because he has topped the country music charts, and made his fair share of women swoon, doesn’t mean that everything comes easy to him. And when he sets his sights on the black-haired, gray-eyed waitress at The Rusty Nail, Dalton realizes he might just have to work for what he wants.
Katie Clarren’s life has been a series of unfortunate events, starting from the time her mother left on her eighteenth birthday. Not exactly how she had planned to spend one of the major turning points in her young life. Nor had she planned to spend the next five years dealing with the fallout. Somewhere along the way, Katie adapted, doing exactly what she needed to do in order to survive. But Katie has secrets that even her closest friends don’t know. Secrets she has worked hard to protect.
Although she longs for handsome, charming, country music sensation, Dalton Calhoun, she knows that anything that starts between them can’t last. Too bad her heart doesn’t seem to be on the same page. Katie gives in to her love for Dalton, needing that human connection that has been missing for so long. But when it comes time to make the hard decisions, Katie forces herself to walk away from him. To protect her secrets, and him. The last thing she wants to do is hurt Dalton, no matter how much pain she has to endure in the process. She loves him.
Can the two of them overcome the secrets and lies? Can they look to the future and stop living in the past? Or will they keep dwelling on the dreams that vanished, not seeing what is right in front of them? Each other.
I can’t quite believe that it’s been a year since Nicole published Chasing Dreams, the first book in the Devil’s Bend series but it has and yet the characters are still vividly alive in my imagination and I can recall itching to read Katie and Dalton’s story and here they are, at long last. It’s not necessary to have reading Chasing Dreams – it provides some good background but Vanishing Dreams works perfectly well as a standalone.
I think most people think of Nicole Edwards as an erotic romance author but this Devil’s Bend series is far more straight up contemporary – there’s still some juicy bedroom action (and car action and hayloft action) but it’s a lot less heavy on the eroticism than her Club Destiny and Alluring Indulgence series.
I guess, as the title implies, Vanishing Dreams is very much about two people whose lives have taken very different paths then they originally set out to take through no fault of their own. Dalton is a very successful country music singer but that wasn’t his original dream and Katie, well let’s just say that Katie is keeping secrets and those secrets are also definitely not what she set out to do! Dalton falls for Katie and, of course, the skeletons in her closet force her to distance herself from him even though she is falling in love and pretty sure the feeling is reciprocated and I think it’s fair to say that after their first few very happy encounters, they spend most of the novel estranged and deeply unhappy. It’s an angsty little affair and I was desperate for Katie to just open up and talk to Dalton – he would have understood if she’d explained it all. Probably wouldn’t understand if he found out second hand from a paparazzi! Uh Oh!! There may be trouble ahead!
This is a very enjoyable and fascinating love story that shows two people learning to accept each other for who and what they are. It’s definitely a sweet romance with some pretty erotic sex, but what makes it so special is that the sex and everything else is presented within the context of its characters learning to accept the other one with all their baggage, their lost hopes and dreams and their current aspirations. It’s about belief in one another, acceptance and emotional growth. Oh and playing Russian Roulette with contraception!
The whole story is given time to follow the central characters over several months, watching as they change and grow and deal with the hurdles that life throws at them. The gentle pacing does wonders for us as readers as, by the end of the book, we know this couple well enough to care about their decisions and really root for them to find an understanding and an ultimately happy ending. It’s actually very perceptive about human behaviour and emotions.
Thoroughly enjoyable read with a few surprises with the secondary characters that I didn’t expect. Jack is up next, I believe, and I can’t wait.
4 sweet and sexy stars
Series Reading Order
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New York Times bestselling author Nicole Edwards launched her professional writing career in July of 2012. Having been an avid reader all of her life and a huge fan of creative writing, it seemed the likely path for her to take. Since then, she has released fifteen books and has no plans to stop. As her full-time career/hobby, Nicole writes steamy contemporary and erotic romances.
Nicole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who was born and raised in Texas. Married with three kids and four dogs, she has plenty of interaction to keep her imagination brewing. Her books have been featured in USA Today’s Happy Ever After segment as well as Indie Reader’s best seller list. She has forged her way as an independent author.
Although she has a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, she prefers to be hiding out in her writing cave, talking to the fictional characters that have built up in her head over the years.
When she isn’t writing or plotting her next book (sometimes translated to “playing on Facebook”), Nicole loves to read and spend time with her family and her dogs.
Nicole is giving away a Signed Set of Chasing Dreams & Vanishing Dreams, Signed Vanishing Dreams; 5 eCopies of Vanishing Dreams & $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)a Rafflecopter giveaway