Source: e-copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
If a painting in the home of your perfect man reflects your dreams of doom, do you run, or do you dare to embrace love?
While Lizetta lives a life of compassion, childhood bullying over a few extra pounds have caused this sparky woman to lose sight of the beauty of her soul. Jensen’s recent past is filled with substance abuse, shady morals, and loose women. A brutal wake up call forced him to find his way back to the gentle soul he once was; however, there are some whose futures depend on the return of the demon.
Souls can heal, but how long can they fight the forces that seek to destroy them? If one of those forces is the person who shattered your self-image, and she is determined to take down the one you love, could you still believe that everyone deserves a second chance?
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I have been a fan of Diane Rinella since reading her first book, Love's Forbidden Flower. I fell in love with that book, and then kept coming back every time she released a new one. I adored them all. Thank sweet baby goodness, Something to Dream On is another book to add to that list of love.
Again, Diane's writing is beyond fantastic. Beautiful and passionate, getting pulled into the story from the first page to the last was an easy feat. The writing paired with the story, the characters, and the strong underlying theme of this book made the whole thing a huge hit to the heart that I am grateful to have experienced.
First, there is Lizetta. She is quite literally the most selfless person I've ever read about. Not in a way that she's a doormat--she's just a genuinely goodhearted person. Her view of her body are in the slums, but she works through that within the story. I loved seeing such a great character still have a way to grow. She was WONDERFUL--but she still had some flaws that she worked on herself. She aimed to see herself better. And she is so understanding... Lizetta is a great person.
Then there's Jensen, who is also an amazing person. His path is just a lot more beaten. This story portrays him at rock bottom--and then sets forward with redeeming him both quickly and effectively. In the beginning of the book, I questioned how I might end up loving this guy. A couple chapters in, and I was fawning over him like nobody's business. The thing about Jensen is that he IS a great person, and he DOES have a great heart. He just went through so much struggle to get to the point where he could be himself. He made mistakes. Like I said, he hit rock bottom. But then he bettered himself and returned to the amazing guy he truly is. And for that, I not only love him, but I truly respect him.
Okay, so I'm going to take a quick second to talk about Laura. Let's be real here--I am not a fan. Not even a little. In the beginning, when we saw her and got her point of view, and whenever Jensen thought about her? Ugh. HATE. But then as the story went on, I saw what was happening. And...I liked it. I still don't like Laura. I will never like Laura. But I do like how her portion of the story ended up.
For real, though, she needs to stop with Jensen, and Jensen needs to, like, forget about her or something. I don't like them interacting. At all. Ever.
The plot of this story seems like a straight-shoot at first, because things are going in a beautiful, clear path. Then things go BOOM and everything gets crazy, but in the most sensible way once everything falls into place. It was interesting and fun to read, and definitely an experience I enjoyed. Diane's beautiful writing didn't hurt, either.
Oh! And romance. Can't believe I almost forgot to comment on this. The romance made my heart so happy! I loved how it could be so sweet and balance out the more serious aspects of the book, while still being an important aspect. Sometimes the romance FELT like fluff, but it never was. All of the good, tingly feelings, but with meaning buried within. Jensen and Lizetta are a seriously perfect couple. They balance each other out perfectly. (And we can't forget Etta, who is just as sweet and important!)
Overall, Diane Rinella has written yet another beautiful story that stole some sleep, took over some of my life and emotions, and made me not regret a single moment of any of it. Something to Dream on is a gorgeously written story of love, hope, and redemption that I am incredibly grateful to have had the experience of reading. Thank you, Diane.
5 stars - A beautiful story of love, hope, and redemption that hits with all of the feels!
Tingles blanket my skin, bringing about peace to my soul. At last, redemption is upon me. Her words paint my soul with a comfort that no drug could ever match. “I am so grateful for you and Etta. This sounds crazy, but I swear that right after he died, I heard Eddie’s voice saying to let the universe be my guide. I tried to understand, but I couldn’t get it until I saw Etta on the side of the road. I thought I was living my nightmare all over again, but an angel in scrubs appeared and gave me hope.”
“I looked such a mess that day,” she chokes out.
My hands cup her cheeks so I can capture her gaze. New tears form because more than ever I see what a gift she was. “You looked like a savior whose only concern wasn’t her own. You were the beacon of light that showed me I would be okay. I was so afraid that seeing Etta would send me begging for a needle and a spoon, but instead you both brought me deeper into salvation.” I squeeze her hands again to emphasize my plea. “You ground me. For months I have stayed on track because I had this dream that there was something better for me, something that could make me feel rooted. That dream is you.”
Lizetta’s tears mirror my own. Her eyes are so puffy and red that I worry for her all over again. When she grips my hand, both fear and anticipation fill me over her upcoming words. “Time and again, my father hurt me. When you first said that you were fighting an addiction, my mind went to the time he smacked Jimmy across the face so hard that blood sprayed. After that, every time Mom and Dad fought, Jimmy and I cowered together. I’ll also never shake Mom’s expression while trying to hide why the cops had come to the door on the day Dad died.
“My dad was a shameless bastard whose womanizing gave Mom Gonorrhea. Thank God she cut him off for good then and there, because eventually a hooker, a fling, or a needle infected him with HIV. The killing blow to our hearts came when Dad’s last day was spent in a motel room, dying alone with a needle in his arm. For years I have carried those images of my father, a man who couldn’t be bothered to shake a habit—not for his wife and certainly not for his kids. I grew to love Paul because he showed my family that we were worthy of happiness. Now you have basically told me that you got clean for yourself, but are willing to fight even harder for my sake. Do you have any idea how that sounds to a little girl who was hurt by her father, only to go to school each day and be ridiculed about her body? You too, Jensen, are a savior.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.
Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjdT0zUuKYI
Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592108.Diane_Rinella