Title: Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr
Thunder Point Series Book Nine
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 361 pages
Book Rating: C
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
With Thunder Point, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a town where hard work and determination are all it takes to make dreams come true
Blake Smiley searched the country for just the right place to call home. The professional triathlete has traveled the world, but Thunder Point has what he needs to put down the roots he’s never had. In the quiet coastal town, he can focus on his training without distractions. Until he meets his new neighbors and everything changes.
Lin Su Simmons and her teenage son, Charlie, are fixtures at Winnie Banks’s house as Lin Su nurses Winnie through the realities of ALS. A single mother, Lin Su is proud of taking charge and never showing weakness. But she has her hands full coping with a job, debt and Charlie’s health issues. And Charlie is asking questions about his family history—questions she doesn’t want to answer.
When Charlie enlists Blake’s help to escape his overprotective mother, Lin Su resents the interference in her life. But Blake is certain he can break through her barriers and be the man she and Charlie need. When faced with a terrible situation, Blake comes to the rescue, and Lin Su realizes he just might be the man of her dreams. Together, they recognize that family is who you choose it to be.
Wildest Dreams, Robyn Carr’s latest stop in Thunder Point, pairs up Blake Smiley and Lin Su Simmons, both of whom were introduced in an earlier book in the series. The languorous romance between the hardworking single mom and the champion triathlete is sweet but it is teenage Charlie who manages to steal readers’ hearts.
Lin Su is working as a home health care nurse and she meets Blake when he moves in next door to her patient Winnie Banks. Lin Su’s fourteen year old son Charlie is immediately enthralled with him but her first few encounters with Blake are adversarial. She is extremely overprotective of Charlie due to his asthma and weakened immune system and although he is doing much better, she refuses to let the poor boy spread his wings. Lin Su is great with Winnie but in her personal life, she is secretive, inflexible and judgmental. She is also extremely proud and getting her to accept help from anyone is next to impossible. Quite frankly, Lin Su is frustrating, stubborn and almost impossible to like for much of the story.
Blake is a dedicated athlete but he knows his career is beginning to wind down and buying a house is just the first step for the next stage in his life. He has come a long way from his very humble childhood and he is committed to helping other underprivileged youths. He is a genuinely caring and compassionate man who might have overstepped with Charlie initially, but to be fair, Charlie was not exactly forthcoming about his health issues. Blake is pretty unflappable and while he understands Lin Su’s concerns, he presents a calm and well thought out rebuttal to her somewhat irrational fears for Charlie’s health.
Charlie is a super smart kid who has a good head on his shoulders. He is aware of his limitations but he is also ready to be an active participant in his life. He is also incredibly curious about his family but Lin Su flat out refuses to discuss her past with him. When his curiosity gets the better of him, Charlie takes matters into his own hands but he is ill prepared for his mother’s response to the information he uncovers.
The storyline of Wildest Dreams is interesting and unique but it is very slow paced. The triathlon aspect is well researched but these details sometimes overwhelm the rest of the story. There are multiple mentions of characters from previous installments of the Thunder Point series and while it is nice to catch up with them, these peeks are a bit of a distraction from the main storyline.
The relationship between Lin Su and Blake builds at a leisurely pace but their romance does not develop until nearly the end of the novel. Once Lin Su begins dating Blake, she begins to soften somewhat but she still remains tightlipped about her past. Things are going smoothly between the couple until Charlie’s revelations and in the aftermath, Lin Su is quick to end things with Blake. The resolution of these issues occurs in an unexpected but realistic fashion and Robyn Carr wraps up Wildest Dreams with a heartwarming epilogue that is sure to delight readers.