All this talk about Valentine’s Day has me thinking of my favorite romances. Sure, I enjoy a good love story with a fairytale ending, but lately, I’ve had more bittersweet novels on my mind.
Basically, I’m a sucker for star crossed lovers who fight incredible odds along a rocky, uncertain road. If an author can spin that kind of story, I’m hooked.
TAKE ME THERE certainly cast its spell on me. In the span of ten pages, Carolee Dean managed to grab me by the throat and fully invest me in her protagonist’s plight. Sweet, slightly damaged Dylan Dawson is on the run–it’s not just the cops on his tail, there are vengeful gang members after him, too. Dylan never asked for trouble, he never wanted to be a juvie misfit. With a heart full of poetry and dreams, he longs for another life. But dyslexia and poverty keep him on the road to nowhere.
And then boy meets girl.
When Dylan encounters an extraordinary girl from the right side of the tracks, he fights to abandon old habits and bad company, but one split second decision threatens to destroy everything. When forced to run, he flees from California to Texas, his absent father’s old stomping grounds. Dylan has to face up to the fact that his dad is a convicted killer, a condemned man on death row. Dylan slowly reconciles what he’s always believed about his dad with the truth buried inside a heartbreaking, complicated knot of secrets. Dylan discovers that love is redemption, and that it’s never too late to choose a different path.
I absolutely loved this book. There are strong elements of romance and mystery layered over the brisk action. Carolee Dean weaves several compelling plot threads together, bringing Dylan’s story to a stunning, yet totally realistic conclusion. The end of the road isn’t a hollywood fade to black, but a truthful, somewhat hopeful conclusion. It just feels…right. I highly recommend TAKE ME THERE.
It’s my kind of love story.
Hungry for more? Try my oh-so-forbidden-they-can’t-be-good-for-me Rocky Road Brownies.
Rocky Road Brownies
2 cups flour
1 and 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa (I prefer Hershey’s Dark Cocoa)
1 tsp. salt
1 cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips (pick your fave, dark or milk)
1/2 bag of marshmallows, more or less (I prefer the jumbo kind as opposed to miniature marshmallows, but either works.)
2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
Combine all ingredients except for the choc. chips, the marshmallows, and the pecans. Stir until mixed well. Add the chips, marshmallows and pecans. Pour into greased 9 by 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for forty minutes. Let cool at least thirty minutes before serving.