Paige Parker thinks she has everything figured out. Even though her heart is broken, she manages to find love again, and she’s sure this time it’s for keeps.
Between planning her wedding and working on garments for her upcoming debut fashion show, Paige is overwhelmed. When her fiancé, Henry, suggests a couple months away from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple to focus, she is thrilled to use the opportunity to reconnect with her best friend, Emmie.
Paige heads to Texas, ready to spend some quality time with Emmie and her baby girl, Olivia. When she arrives, she is shocked to find herself face-to-face with Christian Bennett, the man who broke her heart.
She finds herself confused. Is she truly over her first love? Is she making a mistake marrying Henry? Paige follows her heart, but this may be the most painful decision she ever makes. It leaves her wondering if true love is possible ONLY IN DREAMS.
ONLY IN DREAMS BY Wendy Owens was a beautiful story of love. Unconditional love, sacrificial love, true love, and enduring love. I thought Stubborn Love, the first book in this series, impacted me emotionally but it was just an appetizer for the banquet that is Only in Dreams.
This is primarily Paige Parker’s story. Emmie’s sassy roommate who has happily been with the love of her life since she was a teenager. Based on Paige’s character in Stubborn Love I was looking forward to a fun lighthearted read of Paige taking over the world. She does take the New York and European fashion world by storm, but not before a major setback in her personal life. Which in a way makes it possible for her to whole-heartedly pursue her career goals and eventually find love again.
Christian Bennett, Paige’s total hottie long-term boyfriend had some personal demons he struggled with after losing both his parents in a car crash when he was ten. He has struggled with alcohol abuse since he was a teenager and although he mostly had it under control in Stubborn Love he has a major setback at the beginning of Only in Dreams. Paige can’t fix him and she can’t watch him destroy himself so she leaves him and heads to Paris. Christian spirals further out of control before finally coming to grips and taking control of his addictions. By then, Paige has moved on.
Paige has moved on to Henry Wallace. Henry is wonderful. Every woman’s dream fiancé. A passionate lover, gorgeous, athletic, kind, considerate, thoughtful and treats Paige like a queen. He makes her happy and fully supports her in her new career as a fashion designer. Completely perfect and swoon-worthy in every way. And when Paige becomes overwhelmed trying to plan their upcoming wedding and her first New York runway show at the same time he suggests she get away to visit Emmie and Colin in Texas where she will not only have help, but fewer distractions.
This is where the angst of the story begins. When Paige arrives in Texas she discovers Christian. A very changed and regretful Christian. A Christian who tries very hard to respect Paige’s feelings and the fact that she is now in love with and engaged to another man despite the fact he is still very much in love with her.
I must say right here, there is no cheating going on behind Henry’s back. If there had been this review would have gone a lot different. But even as they agree to be friends Paige struggles with ignoring the feelings she still has for Christian and wonders if she can marry Henry knowing now she may not be fully over Christian.
And this is the choice to be made. Go back to New York and marry Henry or stay in Texas with a reformed Christian?
Not wanting to give anything else away I will say that of course that sassy personality of Paige’s is still there so there are many fun moments in this story and some very steamy times as well – again no cheating though. But toward the end of this book my heart hurt so bad for these three that tears were rolling down my cheeks as I read and I didn’t even realize it. And then I was sobbing. And then somehow, and with a little time, Ms. Owens works it all out and brings joy back into the lives of her characters. And this reader.
ONLY IN DREAMS is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I urge you to experience it for yourself. I rate this book a fully-deserved five stars.
~I received this eARC free from the author’s publicist in exchange for an honest review.