Devyn Winters is living the dream, conquering the Philadelphia real estate world one multimillion-dollar deal at a time. She left her hometown of Dreamer’s Bay after high school and never looked back, only returning for the occasional visit with family. When Devyn gets a call that her sister, Jill, has gone missing, she heads back to Dreamer’s Bay as quickly as she can, relieved when a former classmate corrals townsfolk to find Jill.
Elizabeth Draper is well loved by everyone in Dreamer’s Bay. Not only does she run an odd-jobs business, but she clearly adores everyone in town. So when Jill Winters goes missing, she knows she needs to help. And when Jill’s found and needs to recover, Elizabeth’s ready to help Jill and Devyn with that too.
Devyn stays as focused as she can on her job while taking care of Jill, so she’s glad Elizabeth can take point on helping in the mornings. The more time she spends with the quirky, sweet, and kind Elizabeth, the more Devyn relaxes and is drawn to her. Devyn might only be in town for the short term, but there’s no reason why she can’t have a little fun, right?
Who wants to make a “TEAM ELIZABETH” shirt? Because I would wear it! Elizabeth is such a beautiful, layered person. She’s strong in who she is and I love that when Devyn says she’s a little weird and perky, but a good person, Elizabeth responds with “Weird, perky, and good sounds like a balanced combo I can live with. I like me.” As confident as Elizabeth is, I also love that she has a relatable thread of insecurity going. She is exactly the kind of person I love to be friends with and I’d hang out with her at Amazin’ Glazin’, eating ridiculously good donuts, any day of the week.
Devyn is a little less easy to connect with at first because she’s a workaholic. I wouldn’t call her an ice queen, per se, because she’s more driven than icy/prickly. Even so, it made me all warm and happy to see her relax and enjoy life as she gets to know Elizabeth better, and I’m so happy with who she is by the end of the book.
The side characters in this are also fantastic, especially Jill, and Elizabeth’s best friends, KC and Dexter. They do a nice job of showing that sometimes we have family of blood and sometimes family of choice, and both can be affirming and positive.
The Writing Style
I highlighted so many passages of this damn book because I was so thoroughly charmed by the dialogue. It’s engaging and a total delight to read.
Melissa Sternenberg did a solid job with the narration on this one. I especially liked how she performed the big confrontation at Jill’s house. That was fabulous.
No, seriously. This book has it all. The dialogue is brilliant, the chemistry between Devyn and Elizabeth is off the charts, and that epilogue made me smile so much.
I have no new Melissa Brayden books left to read on my Kindle.
There’s a reason why Melissa Brayden is consistently at the top of the pack for f/f romance, and Beautiful Dreamer is a brilliant reminder why. If you’ve read her before, you will want this book. If you haven’t, you should also read this book, because it’s such a beautiful, immersive experience. Seriously, why are you still reading this review? Go get this book! You’ll thank me later.
Excerpt from Beautiful Dreamer by Melissa Brayden
“Is this a bad time?” a voice asked in a whisper. Devyn turned to see a giant yellow chicken looming in the doorway. That had to be a hallucination, right? She squinted, recognizing the face that peered at her through the open orange beak. Elizabeth Draper. This time dressed as a human-sized barnyard animal.
“What’s going on?” she whispered back. “What’s with the outfit?”
Elizabeth glanced down. “Oh, you mean this? I just came from delivering a singing telegram to Genevieve at the post office. Do you remember her from the field trips we used to take there in elementary school? She always let us mail a postcard?”
Devyn did, and nodded.
“It’s her birthday today, and her coworkers wanted to surprise her.”
“I’m sorry. With a chicken?” Devyn asked, trying to piece it together. She abandoned the whisper altogether. Jill could always sleep through the loudest of thunderstorms, a true gift.
“Yes. Well, it was that or the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, you know, from Ghostbusters? And then I have to figure out his singing voice, which is harder than it sounds.” She ran up the scale in a strange, low voice as a demonstration. “See? Just not quite there. I’m gonna work on it. So, as you can tell, my character options are limited. I could do a clown, but who wants that walking into your job on your special day?”
Elizabeth pointed at her. “Exactly. How’s the patient?”
Devyn opened her mouth to answer but was distracted by the visual of Elizabeth attempting to walk into the room while maneuvering her giant orange feet.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781635553055
- Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
- Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc
- Narrator: Melissa Sternenberg
- Melissa Brayden Online
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