CAROLINA DREAMING by Virgina Kantra: Never Give Up


DCarolina_Dreaming_Coverare Island 5 (Jane and Gabe’s story)
By Virginia Kantra
Mass Market Paperback & E-Book 304 pages
Penguin Random House/Berkley     
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary Romance | Women’s Fiction  

E-Galley provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

After escaping a disastrous marriage, bakery owner Jane Clark has convinced herself that she has everything she needs: her precious son, a thriving business, and a roof over her head. But the arrival of a handsome stranger on the island shows her exactly what she’s been missing…
The only home Gabe Murphy ever had was the Marine Corps. He’s working hard to rebuild his life. It will take a special place, and a special woman, to make him want to stay.
Now Gabe is determined to prove that he’s worthy of Jane’s trust – and her love. But when her past reappears, that trust will be tested, and Jane and Gabe will have to fight hard to hold onto their love and make their dreams a reality…


My Take Oblong

I was hooked by the beginning of this story: A vet with trouble he is trying to overcome looks to the one guy he thinks he can count on. And he’s gone a heck of a long way to get there. There are so many times this guy could screw up and get in trouble again, but he is smart and finds his friend and his friend’s family.  Some people mistake his intentions and his abilities, and others see his potential and know he’s a good man.   

The overcoming of trouble, of his past, is what made this story work for me. Gabe looks like the archetype of  “the bad boy” but, unlike a lot of bad boy characters, Kantra builds this one with hope, and with the idea that even one person can make all the difference in your life.  He must look like trouble; like a dangerous, brooding man because even people who never saw him in his down and out state seem to have reservations about him.

I think the other thing that charmed me about the story was the relationship that develops between Gabe and Jane and how they pull each other up.  And, it’s hot as summer in the south. Jane is particular is so sweet, and so unsure of herself in bed; and it’s great to see how her confidence is strengthened through the relationship. 

I liked the feeling in the story — I guess I like the idea that there’s hope — and even though it may have fluffed over a couple of points it worked for me.


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