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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Review: Where Dreams Are Born (Angelo's Hearth) by M.L. Buchman

If you like a full-bodied story with romance, don't miss this wonderful tale of two strong characters finding their way through life issues to love.
Where Dreams Are Born (Angelo's Hearth)
by M.L. Buchman
  • File Size: 1389 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1469996766
  • Publisher: Buchman Bookworks (November 7, 2013)
  • ASIN: B006AT9W3Q
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: November 7, 2013
One calendar. Twelve lighthouses. Two hearts.
Cassidy Knowles stands on the wind-torn bluff and clutches the calendar of lighthouses. The last gift from her father, with a dozen letters for a final year-long journey “together.” From vineyard roots, Cassidy has climbed up the food-and-wine critic ladder, leaving her rural roots far behind.
Russell Davis, #28 on the latest “most eligible” list, the last guy on the planet Cassidy wants. Fine with him. He has no desire for the driven, urban-fashionista, never-touch-nature Cassidy Knowles. He sets his dream by a calendar of lighthouses. The genesis of a sailing a journey. A journey that keeps leading him to the last woman he’d ever want.
Where can two hearts chart the same course? In the warmth around Angelo’s Hearth.

Cassidy Knowles is a career woman struggling her way up the competitive ranks of New York food and wine editors. She returns home to Seattle to be with her dad as he is dying of cancer. She is thrilled when her food and wine review columns gain strong success and syndication from her position in the Northwest.

Cassidy’s father left her a calendar of lighthouses and twleve letters - one to open at each setting. Cassidy has two vastly different friends from college who have remained ‘besties’ through the years. They all support each other, sharing joys and woes.

Russell Davis is a highly successful bachelor who has become disenchanted with the fast life in New York as a top notch photographer. He moves to Seattle to find himself and to visit his childhood friend, Angelo, a superb cook who owns a small restaurant.

The first time Cassidy and Russell meet she is doing a wine tasting for Angelo and Russell barges into the kitchen dressed in work clothes from restoring his new, antique sail boat. She barely notices him but he decides that she is a high maintenance city girl like the girlfriend he left in New York. The second time they see each other he has his old flame draped on his arm yet he is stunned by the tableau of Cassidy crying on the shoulders of her best friends. The next time they meet on a blind date arranged by Angelo. Russell discovers that Cassidy is smart as well as beautiful but he still thinks she is shallow and rudely insults her. She realizes that, although good looking and smart, he is a big jerk.

Cassidy is surprised to see a sailboat off shore as she visits each lighthouse. Russell is enchanted by the glimpse of a young woman in a red coat at each lighthouse as he sails by. Russell becomes fixated on the ‘lady of the lighthouses’ and is disappointed when he finds Cassidy at one of the sites instead of his mystery ‘lady.’

Can the two overcome their bad first impressions when they realize that they are looking for each other? Beyond that, can they find a place where they can share their dreams instead of being drawn apart by different goals?

Cassidy is a bright, mostly confident career woman and I could relate to her vulnerabilities in seeking to combine career with love. I also liked Russell although he really is a jerk and did act clueless several times. I truly enjoyed the history of each lighthouse and thought that was a fantastic plot theme adding interesting settings. Although the romantic tension begins early, the full romance doesn’t bloom until farther into the book which worked really well.

I loved the friends, the dialogue, the tension...well I loved everything about this book and highly recommend it. I have enjoyed the military romances by ML Buchman as well.  This book makes it clear he is a versatile writer who delivers a strong story with romance. Sometimes contemporary romances are just 'nice' but sort of the 'same old same old' with some authors relying on the romance scenes to make the story. That is not true of Mr. Buchman's works. He adds romance to a strong story that keeps me engaged without need for passionate scenes.

I am so glad I received this for an honest review as part of the Romance books from StoryBundle.

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