Title: The Park of Sunset Dreams, book 6 of The Dare Valley Series
Author: Ava Miles
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Story Setting: A small town named Dare Valley
Pages: 387 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
The Small Town Dare Valley series:
Book 1: NORA ROBERTS LAND (Meredith & Tanner)
Book 2: FRENCH ROAST (Jill & Brian)
Book 3: THE GRAND OPENING (Peggy & Mac)
Book 4: THE HOLIDAY SERENADE (Abbie & Rhett)
Book 5: THE TOWN SQUARE (Arthur & Harriet)
Book 6: THE PARK OF SUNSET DREAMS (Jane & Matt)
Book 7: THE PERFECT INGREDIENT (Elizabeth & Terrance) ~ coming Fall 2014
About the Story: Jane Wilcox comes from a political family, receiving little love as a child, rather she was an instrument in gaining more votes. To save herself, she decides to team up, along with her friend Elizabeth, with Rhett who spotted them while playing poker. When he found out how much they knew about poker and their extremely high IQ’s graduating from Harvard he hired them as his poker babes.
After eight years of friendship with Rhett, his life changes when he falls in love, moving to Dare Valley. He asks his poker babes to join him but in a different capacity. They no longer had to be in disguise at the poker table.
Both Jane and Elizabeth were happy to be in Dare Valley. Jane particularly loved the walks and life she envisioned for herself there. She was out of harm’s way, her family no longer able to hurt her.
Matt Hale, attorney, decided to return to where he was born, join his uncle who had lived in Dare Valley all his life. Matt’s mother and one of his sister’s returned as well. Matt had a desire to help and felt he could do that by running as mayor of the town.
He meets Jane Wilcox in the park where he walked his dog. She walked her dogs there, too, and here the romance begins. Will their newly founded relationship be able to stand against the secrets that Jane carries?
My Thoughts: I always like a love story in a small town setting and when that story unfolds in such an appealing and comfortable way, it makes it even more gratifying. Many of us who live and work in big cities, run ragged with work, dream about a time less complex and an existence simplified as only a small town can give.
Even though I was reading book 6 of The Dare Valley series, I didn’t feel I had missed a necessary part of the back story. This book easily stands alone. However, now that I’ve read this wonderful story of love in a small town, family strength and friendship bonds which hold a person together when all seems desperate, I’d like to continue with the rest of the series.
I enjoyed the interplay between the dogs and the characters. We’ve all come to realize how much animals mean in our lives and how much peace comes with having them around, but only when there is harmony between owner and pet. When Matt has issues with his adopted dog, Henry, it helped move the story along, both in bonding with Jane and with providing a backdrop for why he had returned to Dare Valley. Henry’s problems were actually his problems accepting Henry as his dog. He felt him more an obligation, providing a home for him out of guilt which the dog felt.
Ms. Miles engages the reader by creating a small town, Dare Valley, so realistic, I physically could taste it; the cold, shivering out on a walk with three very adorable dogs; the mountains with fireball sunsets at the park; a glass of wine like no other (in fact, I enjoyed many glasses of wine!); and the romance that grows between Jane and Matt.
But paradise shifts. Problems of Jane’s past could destroy her chances of a simple life in Dare Valley, her past could take down Matt and his dreams, too. The story was well-paced, with a plot that kept you wanting to know how it all gets resolved. We all want happily ever after. It was only possible when family and friends pulled together and Jane’s desire to quit hiding from a past that may have healed her childhood wounds, but now was capable of destroying her future.
I was given this sweet read by the author for an honest review. I whole-heartedly recommend the series if this is an indication of how Ms. Miles weaves her stories.
About the Author: USA Today Bestselling Author Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, the #1 National Bestseller NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off her small town series, Dare Valley, and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Ava has also released a connected series called Dare River, set outside the country music capital of Nashville. She’s fast becoming a favorite author in light contemporary romance (Tome Tender) and is known for funny, emotional stories about family and empowerment.