Dreamweaver Trail, by Emily March

May 16, 2014 Book Reviews 6 ★★★★

Dreamweaver Trail, by Emily MarchDreamweaver Trail by Emily March
Series: Eternity Springs #8
Published by Ballantine on 5/27/14
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series: Miracle Road, Mistletoe Mine, Teardrop Lane, Heartsong Cottage, Reunion Pass, Christmas in Eternity Springs
Also by this author: Miracle Road, Mistletoe Mine, Teardrop Lane, Heartsong Cottage, Reunion Pass, Christmas in Eternity Springs

After another lonely Valentine’s Day, Gabi Romano trades mountain snowfall for sunshine and sand at a luxurious Caribbean getaway. There she discovers a hidden talent for creating fine art glass. She also meets Flynn Brogan, the sexy caretaker next door who brings her fantasies to life. But when violence interrupts their romantic interlude, she learns that Flynn is living a lie. Heartsick, she decides to concentrate on her craft. Playing with fire is safer than loving a man like Flynn.

Flynn is determined to make things right with Gabi—until his enemies interfere. Now damaged and driven by a need he cannot define, he seeks out Gabi’s Colorado community, hoping for reconciliation and some peace. But he never imagined a place like Eternity Springs, where lives are changed, second chances are given, and the possibility exists for two wounded souls to find their way home . . . to each other.

 Review

Dreamweaver Trail takes this series in a new and different direction. Before this book, the main setting has always been Eternity Springs, a small, picturesque Colorado Mountain town that contributes a great deal to the series’ charm. This book changes that dynamic: about half of Dreamweaver Trail is set on an idyllic island in the Caribbean, where Gabi Romano is house- and puppy-sitting while she tries to find healing and a new direction for her life. She finds both in working with glass, apprenticing herself to a local glass artist to begin learning the craft. She also embarks on a holiday romance with the sexy “pool boy” and caretaker of the neighboring estate, a relationship that goes a long way toward healing the emotional scars left by a cheating fiance.

But Flynn isn’t a pool boy or caretaker. Nor is he who he says he is — or rather, there’s another part of his identity he keeps hidden. Flynn, like Gabi, is trying to heal from a devastating betrayal — and a lot worse. Gabi’s appearance next door is an unexpected gift, bringing happiness into his life after a dark and difficult time.

I expected the truth about Flynn to come out eventually. After all, what’s a romance without a few bumps in the road? But what occurs first is more terrifying and totally unexpected, and divides the book into two halves: the summery Caribbean idyll, and a darker winter in Eternity Springs. Once I got over my shock, however, I realized that Ms. March has actually done a good job of balancing the two halves of the book.

She handles the POV transitions between Gabi and Flynn equally well. Both characters are interesting and well-drawn, and the changes they undergo as a result of their relationship and of what happens to them only serve to make them more human.  Gabi is likable from the start; fans of the series already know her as Mac and Lucca’s sister and Mac’s former deputy. One of the traumas Gabi is still dealing with at the start of the novel is the fact that she killed someone in the line of duty — hence her search for a new career, her desire to find and pursue her passion in life. Gabi is quite taken with Flynn’s movie-star good looks at first, but she’s not a superficial person, and she has plenty of opportunities to show both her grit and her caring heart over the course of the novel.

When we first meet him, Flynn’s emotional scars are probably even worse than Gabi’s, though we don’t learn his entire backstory for quite a while. Those issues aside, though, he’s an attractive and sympathetic character, and not just on the surface. Hang on to that, because something happens to send him into a very dark place, emotionally.  Just trust that Eternity Springs will eventually work its healing magic on both Flynn and Gabi.

I always enjoy the Eternity Springs novels, but I couldn’t put this one down.  Once I hit the middle, I had to know how things would work out. “Page-turner” is not a label I usually apply to a romance (much as I love them), but this one merits it.  Despite (or perhaps because of) its unexpected turn, I found Dreamweaver Trail a compelling read that held my attention from start to finish.

*   *   *

The Eternity Springs series in order:
Angel’s Rest
Hummingbird Lake
Heartache Falls
Mistletoe Mine (novella) (review)
Lover’s Leap
Reflection Point
Nightingale Way
Miracle Road  (review)
Dreamweaver Trail (this review)

 

four-stars

About Emily March

Emily March (aka Geralyn Dawson) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the heartwarming, critically acclaimed Eternity Springs romantic women’s fiction series published by Ballantine Books.

Emily has written over 25 novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of subgenres including historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and women’s fiction. She is a three-time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award and a recipient of Romantic Times magazine’s Career Achievement Award and its Reviewer’s Choice award. In 2009, the American Library Association named her romantic suspense novel, ALWAYS LOOK TWICE, as one of the top ten romances of the year.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

6 Responses to “Dreamweaver Trail, by Emily March”

  1. Bea

    I think I’d like this but I haven’t read any of the other books. Would it work as a stand alone?

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      Yes, I think it would, but possibly not as well as if you have a sense of Eternity Springs and how it affects people. That said, I’ve read the series almost entirely out order because of the order in which they’ve come my way, and I’ve been fine.

  2. Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    This sounds like such a lovely read Lark, just by the summary it reminds me of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series which I adore. Thanks for the heads up about this one. I’m hoping my library has the first one in the series since I’m a stickler for reading a series in order.

    • Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

      I think if you love the Virgin River series, you’ll enjoy the Eternity Springs books, too. I’m a huge Virgin River fan, and I really like these! Emily March is fantastic at creating realistic, believable characters and building strong relationships between them.

  3. Katherine P

    I have this one as an e-ARC but haven’t gotten too it yet. I’m definitely going to have to move this up the list!