- Daring to Dream
- Holding the Dream
- Finding the Dream
One of the things I love about Nora Roberts is her tendency to write series that focus on a group of friends or siblings. I love watching the relationships grow over time, and seeing the already-happy couples from earlier stories in the background. This mid-90s series was a solid read in that respect, but not my favorite.
The series begins with Daring to Dream, and a prologue sets the stage for the entire series. Like most of Roberts’s stories, at least one character has to be obscenely rich, and Laura Templeton is that character for this series. Her parents own a hotel dynasty. Laura’s cousin, Kate, was orphaned as a child and has lived with the Templetons ever since. The final member of the trio is the heroine of the first book, Margo, whose mother was the housekeeper at Templeton House, where the girls grew up.
The first book is almost as much about Margo growing as a person and developing/healing her relationship with her mother as it is about the romance between her and Laura’s brother, Josh. She runs away as soon as she can and becomes a world-famous model. When the main story starts, though, the man she was dating was embroiled in a huge scandal, which as spilled over into Margo’s career. She returns home, completely broke, and not sure what she wants to do. I honestly loved Margo and Josh together. Josh pushed Margo in just the right ways, and their relationship felt like it was going to be good for the long haul. During the course of the book, Margo ends up opening a store with the help of, of course, Kate and Laura. The rest of the series somewhat centers around this new business that the women have founded together.
In Holding the Dream, Kate is on the fast track to becoming a partner at the prestigious accounting firm where she works. She has always loved numbers and is passionate about accounting (I know, right?), and is devastated when its discovered that someone has been embezzling client money – and the signs point to Kate. Put on a leave of absence, Kate has time to think about her life and where she’s headed, and, of course, find some romance. My main frustration with this one was that it was obvious in pretty much the first chapter who the actual “bad guy” was, to the point that it seemed absurd that Kate didn’t realize it, too. I also didn’t like the love interest as well in this one – he was borderline manipulative with his ways of getting to know Kate and getting her to be interested in a relationship with him. Still, a perfectly decent story, even if it was my least-favorite of the three.
The final book, and my favorite, was about Laura. In the first book, Laura is getting a divorce from her husband. Married just after her 18th birthday, a decade of misery and infidelity on his part has passed. The mother of two daughters, Laura is determined to make it on her own, despite the fact that her ex-husband absconded with all of their joint money. Refusing to touch the family vault, Laura is working at her family’s hotel as well as in the store the women have opened, all while trying to balance being a mother and keeping her household together. Laura was a very likable and relatable character, despite her background of wealth and privilege, and I really liked her. I also loved her love interest – Roberts really writes “rough around the edges but actually really good guys” super well haha My biggest issue with this one was that everyone – literally everyone – acted like it was soooooo ridiculous that Laura had only ever had sex with her husband, like that made her kind of broken and repressed. It got old after a while. Not everyone goes around having sex with all kinds of people, and I’m tired of being told that that means I have a problem.
On the whole though this was a fun and relaxing series. Definitely not my favorite of Roberts writing, but perfectly enjoyable as one-off reads.