Carolina Dreaming

Carolina Dreaming

by Virginia Kantra

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When it comes to love, anything can happen on Dare Island—especially in this latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.   

After escaping a disastrous marriage, bakery owner Jane Clark has convinced herself that she has everything she needs—her precious son, a thriving business, and a roof over her head. But the arrival of a handsome stranger on the island shows her exactly what she’s been missing...   

The only home Gabe Murphy ever had was the Marine Corps. He's working hard to rebuild his life. It will take a special place, and a special woman, to make him want to stay.   

Now Gabe is determined to prove that he's worthy of Jane’s trust—and her love. But when her past reappears, that trust will be tested, and Jane and Gabe will have to fight hard to hold onto their love and make their dreams a reality...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425269701
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Series: Dare Island Series , #5
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author of the Dare Island novels, including Carolina Blues, Carolina Home, Carolina Girl, and Carolina Man, and the Children of the Sea series, Virginia Kantra has won numerous industry awards, including Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award and two National Readers’ Choice Awards.

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Carolina Dreaming 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a great series...think JoAnn Ross' also excellent Shelter Bay series. Both feature family, friends, and small towns, and if you haven't read either, you have some good reading ahead of you! Both Gabe and Jane have had some tough times in their pasts so they are due some happiness. There is some gut - wrenching stuff in this one and Gabe and the dog...and the boy just about broke my heart. The only complaint was it seemed to go too fast! Loved it and look forward to the next Carolina book in July 2016.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book! Loved it!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog I always come back to this series because of the sweet small town feel and the family unit that is always present in these books. CAROLINA DREAMING still delivered on that! Gabe is an ex marine. He got into a bit of trouble after his military career and ended up in jail for a while. He also doesn’t have the best opinion of himself and always expects others to think the worst of him. With no money he finds himself in Dare Island in search of his military buddy, Luke. And what he finds there is not only the support of his long time friend and his family, but a sweet woman that needs his help and he can’t stop getting closer to. Wanting to be better for. That right there is my favorite thing about this book. The way that this developing love and relationship was able to heal not only Gabe but Jane as well. Jane is a bakery owner with a son and a troubled past in the way of an abusive ex husband who is currently in jail himself. She’s always been attracted to the bad boys and in the past that wasn’t always the smart choice. So she struggles with this new attraction to Gabe because she shouldn’t want his type anymore. Until she gets to know Gabe and sees there’s a lot more to him than the fact he spent time in jail. He’s not a bad boy at all, if anything he’s an incredibly good boy. I really enjoyed this story, it was sweet which is something I look forward to in this series. But it was also a little slow on the build up. Which worked ok because they were both so tentative but I wish we would’ve had a better progression to that end point instead of jumping right in at the end. I loved how these two were able to slowly heal each other and I think their personalities really complemented well. I hope there’s more to come from this small town because I’ll continue reading them!
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
Carolina Dreaming by Virginia Kantra is the 5th book in her Dare Island series. I did not read the earlier books, but Carolina Dreaming read very well as a standalone, as Kantra does a good job of bringing in the previous characters of Dare Island. I will say that one day I will go back and read the earlier books, as I loved Kantra’s writing style. Gabe Murphy is our hero. He is a former marine, who just got out of prison after serving time for accidently killing a man while he was defending a woman being raped. Gabe comes to Dare Island to see his old marine buddy Luke (previous hero); he hopes to find a job and try to start fresh. This will not be an easy task, as Gabe has had a tough life, and thinks of himself as unworthy. Jane Clark, our heroine, has built a life in Dare Island, running a successful bakery. Jane has many friends in town, who care about her and her young son, Aidan. Jane’s father is also a police deputy, who lives with her. Everyone knows Jane’s story of a bad marriage, with her ex in jail, soon to be released. Jane has no desire to meet another man; all she cares about is her son and hoping to expand her bakery…. Until she meets Gabe. Both Gabe and Jane are immediately attracted to each other, but both will try to avoid each other like the plague. Gabe gets a job working for the local contractor, and ends up working on Jane’s bakery. Being there daily, puts stress on both of them, as their attraction keeps building. I loved everything about Gabe, who despite his rough past, and his feeling of being unworthy, turned out to be such a sweet caring man, who began to fall in love with Jane and Aidan. Jane, despite her misgivings of repeating her past fiasco, couldn’t resist Gabe. Though she knew he was trying to avoid being too close, Jane invited him to stay for dinner one night, as payment for the extra work he was doing on the bakery on his own time. The dessert that Jane served was the temptation that was beyond resisting.:) What follows is a wonderful story about two people who found themselves again, and despite the road blocks, such as Gabe’s worry of not being good enough for Jane; Jane’s fears of getting hurt again; her father’s terrible treatment of Gabe, and how will young Aidan react; a beautiful sweet romance grew. Needless to say, I loved Carolina Dreaming, not to mention the town of Dare Island. Virginia Kantra does a wonderful job of bringing two lost people together, making us care strongly for them, as well as for Aidan. The secondary characters were also great. I suggest if you like a well written sweet romance, in a small town, with wonderful stories and couples, read California Dreaming and the whole Dare Island series.
ehaney578 More than 1 year ago
Can I just say that I absolutely adore Virginia Kantra! Her Dare Island series has quickly become a favorite of mine. My heart is so happy every time there’s a new release from Ms. Kantra! This is the best book in the series to date. I LOVED every word of it! I especially loved the fragility of both characters. Jane has made some mistakes and trying to better her life for herself and her son. She is such a beautiful woman inside and out and is always caretaking. If it’s not her father and son, it’s her customers, the people of Dare Island and a certain drifter that’s caught her eye and captured her heart. Gabe is tough-as-nails and has big problems with authority. He’s had a very bad streak of luck lately and has unfortunately, been labeled “trouble” “criminal” and “no good” by society…and mostly by law enforcement. After a while, a person starts believing it. And Gabe has. His misguided views of himself are quickly doused as the real Gabe starts to shine through. He has a solid core of steel and is 100% genuine in his thoughts, words and actions, which are often misconstrued by his abrasive and crass demeanor. He’s down on his luck, but that’s quickly about to change as he lands on Dare Island to see his old Army buddy Luke Fletcher and looking for a new place to start fresh. Gabe is totally swoon-worthy. It took a bit to get past his rough exterior but once you do, there’s a heart of gold and a silent strength you can count on. And he’s great with kids and dogs! Gabe and Jane are dynamite together and I just loved their heartwarming story. There’s also a second love story brewing between Jane’s dad and a certain police station secretary. It is SO cute! As always, the secondary characters are fabulous and greatly contributed to the storyline. I guarantee you will fall in love with Gabe just as much as Jane (and I) did. CAROLINA DREAMING is simply beautiful. If you love small-town romances with heart, you’ll definitely need this one in your own personal library. I highly recommend this and any books by Virginia Kantra! ***I was gifted an eBook copy from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
Carolina Dreaming is the fifth book in Viginia Kantra’s Dare Island series. It’s an entertaining light read. While some characters carry over from prior books, Carolina Dreaming is easily read as a standalone novel. The main characters are likable and empathetic; nothing is over-dramatized. Jane is a bakery owner and life-long Island resident of Dare Island, and Gabe is a former Marine who has had a major setback after leaving the Corps. Ms. Kantra slowly developed both her main characters and their relationship. I liked seeing their relationship grow from acquaintance to friendship before a romantic relationship began. It’s a much more realistic flow for a lasting relationship. Initially, Jane seems a bit fragile, but she is loved by the community for her kindness and caring. Gabe, who is struggling with issues from his childhood that subsequently lead to trouble after his release from the Marine Corps, rightly assumes that people on the small island will judge him harshly. He has a lot of baggage from his childhood, but he fully owns his errors in judgment. Their individual inner strength and core values eventually become apparent. The book is leisurely paced, not quite like “island time” but close. The story is more about the development of Jane’s and Gabe’s relationship than any event on the island. Being an adult contemporary romance, there are a couple sexy scenes, but they are tastefully written, and there is no teenage angst! The conflicts that Jane and Gabe must surmount are, for the most part, realistic, and somewhat conveniently overcome at the book’s culmination. Their biggest problems—Gabe’s acceptance by Jane’s family and her trust issues—are thoughtfully addressed over time. We all know that building trust and proving yourself do take time and perseverance, and Virginia Kantra has admirably reflected that Carolina Dreaming. Overall, I was delighted to read a realistic romance that did not contain instant love, extreme drama or billionaire bailout solutions. Carolina Dreaming is a nice look into life on a small island where everybody knows your name and rumors about newcomers flow easily. It’s a good vacation book—a light escape from reality, and a 3.5-star read for me.