Garden of Dreams
Somewhere in the middle of Kentucky, there is a garden being built that sounds like it would be a wonderful place to visit. The reason I know so, is because this book was about that garden, and it was about a romance that came about because of that garden. Garden of Dreams is an original, refreshing story offering just enough tantalizing glimpses of a subtle, yet exciting romance to keep you turning the pages.
J.D. Marshall, a wealthy computer geek, and his teenage son are on the run from industrial espionage. J.D. has developed a new computer-banking program and someone is trying to steal it and do him some serious bodily damage in the process. Their cross country flight takes an ugly turn when their stalled vehicle is rammed off the road by someone bent on murder and theft. J.D. is injured, although not seriously and, to their rescue, comes Nina Toon, a most original and refreshing heroine.
J.D. and his son stow away at her home while J.D. recuperates from his injuries. Although she is, theoretically speaking, not at all sure where J.D. is coming from, she’s convinced he’s really a criminal on the run, Nina is trying to build a special garden on the grounds of the house where she lives. She is lured by his offer of $1,000 a month in rent and the other help he offers for her special garden. The garden is to be a tribute to her Aunt Hattie who raised her, but is now elderly and in a nursing home. Her dreams for the garden are a little hard to afford on a school teacher’s salary, so the money is hard to resist. Plus, for the first time in her life, she finds herself genuinely attracted to a man … and with good reason I might add.
J.D. Marshall is my kind of man. Here is a man who is just as comfortable in jeans and black vests as he is wearing denim button downs with ink-stained pockets and horned-rimmed glasses. He is a genius who rides a Harley. He also finds himself perversely attracted to his landlady, who is not at all his type. Their story ends up happily ever, after but not without a few unique twists and turns along the way.
Garden of Dreams is an interesting, entertaining story. It is a well-rounded tale that uses suspense very effectively, makes good use of those all-important secondary characters, and successfully incorporates idiosyncrasies into most, if not all, of the characters. Several of the characters, including the heroine herself, are a little on the oddball side. My particular favorites were the guy with the taped-together glasses, and Nina’s psychic ability to tell when machines were about to break down.
The prose in this story, especially in the beginning, leaned slightly toward the overly dramatic and self-conscious, much like in Blue Clouds. As the story progressed, however, the characters took over where the overwritten language left off, and the rest of the book was a “dream” to read. There also could perhaps have been a few more hot and heavy romantic scenes between Nina and J.D. but overall this book was a class act.
Garden of Dreams is a most original, refreshing and unique story (the guy on the cover isn’t half bad either) and, as I said at the end of my Blue Clouds review, I’d like to hear what others think of these two, in my opinion, vastly different books.