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Monday, June 8, 2009

River of Dreams by Vanessa Harvey

River of Dreams by Vanessa Harvey
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (254 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 3 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Beth Black dreams of escaping an unhappy past and finding success in her new job at a boatyard owned by the wealthy Radcliffe family. But dreams don’t always translate to reality. She encounters:

• The spoiled son David, who wants a summer romance with an older woman,
• The wild child Jill, whose visions of freedom coupled with erratic behavior could prove dangerous, and
• The suave powerboat racer Peter de L’Isle, whose dreams of winning trophies might include Beth herself.

Everyone’s hopes, fears and ambitions collide during high summer in this tender and sweet romance set along England’s idyllic River Thames.
If you uproot a thistle and plant it next to a rose, not everyone would be pleased.

Beth Black turns her back on her Scottish homeland and all the bad memories it contains and sets off for a new job in a family owned boatyard on the Thames. Her first encounter with David Radcliffe, the son and heir to the boat yard, rocks her resolve never to become emotionally involved with a man again. That he is several years younger than her doesn’t seem to bother David. For Beth, closer involvement with David reveals a disquieting side of him that leaves her restless and unsure of her future.

When she meets former racing driver and now power-boat-racer, Peter de L’Isle at her new boss’s party, past memories of her former lover’s obsession with racing cars sours any chances of Beth falling beneath his spell. Her stark rebuffle doesn’t deter Peter however and he soon persuades her to release her old fears and to give him a chance.

Vanessa has an eye for detail and atmosphere that carries the reader easily from scene to scene. For me it occasionally sidetracked slowed the read to a point where the reader is tempted to skip pages. The story is simple and straightforward with the inevitable ‘black moments’. Unfortunately, for me the emotional input lacked depth and authenticity, which reflected on the impact of the story.

This is a delightfully artless story, and definitely an excellent read when you have nothing else to do, or need to find escape from the stresses and strains of reality.