Dancing in the Rain
By Kelly Jamieson
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Hockey was Drew Sellers’s life. When a knee injury ended his NHL career and a cheating spouse ended his marriage, Drew, overwhelmed by self-pity, found relief in a bottle. If he couldn’t live the life he wanted, alcohol could serve to numb the pain of what he was missing. It is at this point that Sara Watt shows up to tell Drew that twelve years ago during a one-time hookup, he fathered a daughter, Chloe. Sara is not looking for support, financial or emotional, she simply gives him the information and leaves him to decide if and to what degree he wants to be involved in Chloe’s life.
Peyton Watt leaves her life as a high-powered reputation manager in New York to take care of her sister in Chicago. Peyton and Sara have always been close, and Peyton helped with Chloe while the sisters were in school. But things are different now. Sara has stage four metastatic melanoma and has only a few months to live. For her own sake as well as Sara’s and Chloe’s, Peyton needs this time with her sister. She is not at all certain that Sara made the right choice in bringing Chloe’s father, an unknown quantity, into the picture.
Peyton decides quickly that Drew is more than the arrogant, privileged athlete she expected him to be, but she is aware of his flaws and she does not pull her punches in their dealings. When he admits he is filled with self-pity, Peyton responds, “Yes, I can see you’re riding the pity train. But the train has just arrived at the intersection of We All Have Problems and Suck It Up Buttercup.” As Drew gets to know his daughter, he is drawn into the circle of the sisters as well. He becomes part of the support system for Sara during the last weeks of her life. He and Peyton are both aware that the potential for more than friendship exists between them, but the circumstances are wrong for a romantic relationship. Things become even more complicated after Sara’s death as issues concerning who is going to parent Chloe arise.
I am not a big fan of secret baby books, but this one overcame my biases. Jamieson deals with the issue of how the pregnancy occurred and why Drew doesn’t know he has a child without reducing me to eye-rolling or book-throwing. I am not a fan of stories that feature siblings involved with the same lover either, but Sara and Drew’s one-night stand with no emotional involvement and the gradual development of his and Peyton’s relationship made it easier to accept the sibling angle. I liked all these characters. Drew and Peyton are flawed characters, but they are likable and authentic in part because of those flaws. Sara is strong and courageous and heartbreaking, and sweet Chloe will move most readers to tears.
Dancing in the Rain is heartrending and heartwarming. It is an engaging romance with an HEA, but it is also more than romance. It offers readers a believable world where bad things happen to good people, but where love heals even as grief endures and people learn that it is possible to find happiness despite loss. If you can appreciate a romance that requires a good supply of Kleenex, I highly recommend this one.