After the discovery that her late husband, a popular televangelist, embezzled five million dollars from his ministry, Rachel Stone is outcast and broke with a five-year-old son to raise, and in need of a job. Then fate and a dead car engine leaves her at a shabby drive-in theater owned by Gabriel Bonner, the hunky, anti-social black sheep of a prominent family, and the only person in Salvation, North Carolina, willing to employ her. The sexual electricity starts crackling the instant they meet--but it will take the shock of both their lives to give these two lonely people a second chance at love.
Rachel and her 5 year old son, Edward, drive into Salvation, North Carolina and her car breaks down. Not what she wanted to happen. She’s stuck right in front of a dilapidated drive-in whose owner seems to be a bear of a man who brings out the worst in Rachel.
She’s desperate though and so she asks the man, Gabriel, for a job. He gives her a flat out NO but she’s stubborn as a mule and won’t give up. After humiliating herself to the nth degree he finally gives her a job. Rachel is determined to do the best she can. She needs money to feed her son – even though she’s not feeding herself.
Gabriel soon discovers that she’s living in her car and calls his brother, a local minister, to come and help. When his brother, Ethan, arrives he’s none to happy to see Rachel. You see Rachel is the widow of a shyster televangelist whose headquarters were right there in Salvation. When G. Dwayne and his Temple were going down in a great ball of flame he blamed his wife, yes, that would be Rachel, for her materialistic desires and that’s why he felt the need to steal everyone’s money. Ethan believed all of what G. Dwayne had said so that even now, three years later, he wants Rachel gone before she can cause more havoc in the town.
Gabriel has Rachel and Edward put up in his grandmothers cottage and Rachel continues to work at the drive-in getting it ready for its grand opening. But life is not great for either Rachel or Gabriel. They each have their reasons for being in Salvation and neither wants to share with the other. But they seem to form a weird bond, besides unwanted lust for one another, that confuses each of them. It’s that strange something that moves them into a sexual relationship. But can you be in a sexual relationship on a regular basis and not form a more emotional bond? In this case, no.
That is such a small, very small, summary of what this book is about. Dream a Little Dream is a heart wrenching story of loss, deprivation, hatred and revenge. But it’s also the story of love, acceptance and understanding. It’s about two people finding each other during a time in their lives when they desperately need someone else – they just hadn’t figured that out yet.
For all of Gabriel’s abruptness the man charmed me from the first moment. It’s like I could see that he was hurting inside and trying to push people away even though nothing had been explained to me yet. His was just a soul that was crying out and Rachel, for all of her sometimes crass speech and sarcasm was just what Gabriel needed. He needed to see that someone had hit rock bottom but was still fighting and not giving up on life – which is exactly what he’d been doing. He was going through the motions of living for the sake of his family but inside he was dead and couldn’t see any bright light coming at him. Whether he wanted it to happen or not, Rachel started bringing some of that light
Rachel for all her toughness was scared out of her mind. Her concern was for her son though and she just wanted to make him a good life. It didn’t have to be one that had them living in splendor, she just wanted enough money to feed and clothe Edward and to keep him safe. At times I just wanted her to come out to the community members who were mean to her (including Gabriel’s brothers) and have her tell them the truth about G. Dwayne and their life but I realized that it wouldn’t have made a difference. The people of Salvation had heard what they wanted to hear and believed it with no question. I felt bad for Rachel but I also think her silence about things helped her in the end.
I don’t want to give anything away – and I think I’ve given you enough tidbits for you to decide whether you want to read the book or not. It’s a great book. Yes, it was the darkest SEP that I’ve read but it was so good I loved reading it. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Dream A Little Dream was a great, if atypical, love story, but it was also a wonderful story about family.
A wonderful way to end the year, and the DIK Challenge as well!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Review: Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr
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