Dream a Little Dream
by Melinda Curtis
Sunshine Valley - Book 3
Release Date: February 23, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
Darcy Jones Harper is thrilled to have finally shed her reputation as the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. The people of Sunshine Valley have to respect her now that she’s the new town judge. But when the bad boy who broke her heart back in high school shows up in her courtroom, she realizes maybe things haven’t changed so much after all . . . because her pulse still races at the sight of him.
Jason Petrie wants to make amends for the mistakes of his youth—starting with the woman he never stopped loving. Darcy may not believe that he really intends to quit the bull riding circuit and stick around this time but Jason vows—with the help of the matchmaking Widows Club—to pull out all the stops to convince her that they both deserve a second chance.
Using a perfectly balanced blend of humor and emotion, Melinda Curtis has created another sweet, witty, and heart-tugging journey to love that had me eagerly turning pages from beginning to end. I love this quirky community of characters that Curtis has created with a wacky band of matchmaking widows at its core. You just never know which couple will land in their sights next.
Second-chance romances are one of my favorite tropes and Jason's and Darcy's romance came with some unexpected twists that I did not expect but that gave their story, and their characters, extra depth. I appreciated Darcy's complexity and her struggle with self-acceptance and forgiveness. I enjoyed her relationship with the gassy, digestive-challenged dog she inherited and the role he played in her journey. I flat-out loved that dog. Jason was no less complex as he struggled with his own life decisions while doing his level best to win Darcy back. I loved how supportive he was, how he accepted responsibility for his part in what led to their parting ways, and how determined he was to do right by the woman he loved the second time around.
As is typically the case in Sunshine Valley, the main couple aren't the only characters in the spotlight in this book. There's an unlikely mature couple in the making, peeks into relationships that were center stage in the first two books, dysfunctional family dynamics to sort through, stages of grief to navigate for Darcy's late (much older) husband's girlfriend (trust me, it will all make sense), and (frequently unwanted) advice from Judge George Harper (the late husband) who seems to be living in both Darcy's and Jason's minds. Apparently, the Judge, who guided them both through their teens, doesn't see any need to stop imparting wisdom simply because he's beyond the veil.
Once again, a trip to Sunshine Valley had me laughing out loud, sniffling a bit, smiling a lot, and eager for future visits. There are many more intriguing characters ripe and ready for matchmaking and I am here for them all.
What do you enjoy (or not enjoy) about a series set within a small community?
Have you read any of Melinda Curtis's books?
Are you reading the Sunshine Valley books? Any thoughts on who you'd like to see matched up next?
Forever Romance has graciously offered a terrific giveaway today. Two randomly chosen people who post a comment before 11:00 PM (EST), February 25 will each receive a set of the first three books in the Sunshine Valley series: Can't Hurry Love, A Very Merry Match, and Dream a Little Dream.
*Must be 18
*U.S. and Canada