Bad cover art and an unknown publisher made me hesitant to read this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Though it meanders near the end, Laurie Breton has written a story that involves the reader in the story of a woman who faces love and adversity, finding herself in the process.
Songwriter Casey Bradley meets singer Danny Fiore weeks before she is supposed to marry another man. Danny wants her songs and knows that they’ll make him a star, and though she thinks she just wants to write her songs, she recognizes he is going to be so much more to her than just the person who brings her music to life. They marry shortly thereafter, and face the usual highs and lows of a marriage. Tragedy late in the story forces Casey to reevaluate herself and her life.
This book is really more women’s fiction than romance. You’ve got the happy ending, but you’ve also got the tragedy and drama associated with Danielle Steel and Barbara Taylor Bradford (but better written). While it seemed to start off slow, once Casey and Danny got married, the story sucked me right in.
There’s really not much to dislike about Casey at all. While she is nice, she’s nobody’s doormat. She has an easy banter with Danny and the rest of the guys in the band. She loves Danny with all her heart, but has a close relationship with Rob MacKenzie. She can’t ignore the mistakes Danny makes, but something always pulls her back to him.
Danny’s a mercurial character. He has issues from being in the Vietnam War and from being bastard raised by his grandparents. He does, however, manage to fall completely in love with Casey even as he makes several stupid mistakes and hurts her in the process.
Rob is Casey and Danny’s best friend. And though it may seem unusual for one person to be the best friend to a married couple, despite the occasional conflicts, Rob manages. His relationship with Casey is clearly special in a way that becomes obvious and unavoidable. They’re definitely heading somewhere.
The relationships here are complicated, but they work. The aspects to each relationship are obviously different and each is appealing in its own way. I have to say that I liked Danny and Casey as a couple, and a tragedy that occurs 3/4 of the way through the book – while inevitable – was a little disappointing. Casey and Danny had a magnetism and a seemingly deep love that had the potential to be a lasting one. This is one of the things that makes this book seem more like women’s fiction than romance. I got attached to a relationship and a change was difficult.
A story that covers thirteen years of someone’s life in nearly 400 pages – let alone a story that covers thirteen years of three peoples’ lives – is quite ambitious, but Breton manages to do it fairly well. Casey is clearly the focal point, but the reader gets to see things from both Danny and Rob’s point of view. The time transitions were awkward at times, and it finished in the late 1980s, which was a little disconcerting in 2001. I was really ready for Casey to be settled and happy because of all the drama, but I hated to see things end. One of the more interesting things about the story was the glimpse behind the music industry. I have no idea how accurate it was, but it certainly seemed plausible.
Still, I have to recommend a book that kept me reading a couple of hours after I went to bed. I’d definitely read more by this author.