Saturday, May 4, 2019

Book Review: Guarded Dreams

“𝘕𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴.”
Once upon a summer, a boy unexpectedly meets a girl at the beach. Their bodies and souls know what their brains do not. They are meant to be one. But…
𝓔𝐋𝐈 dreams about being a US Coast Guard.
𝓐𝐕𝓐 dreams about being a country music star.
Those dreams send them careening in different directions, and their summer love story is left as a wish that never came true.
Four years later, Eli's Coast Guard career is threatened, and Ava's dreams are shadowed by her past, just as fate brings them together once more in New York City.
As their lives start to crumble, they find the possibility of a second chance in each other. If they’ll only listen to what their souls are whispering and realize that, sometimes, the best dream to come true is simply to have loved.
𝘐𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘓𝘶𝘬𝘦 𝘉𝘳𝘺𝘢𝘯’𝘴 “𝘚𝘶𝘯𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘦, 𝘚𝘶𝘯𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯, 𝘚𝘶𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥-𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘳, 𝘓𝘑 𝘌𝘷𝘢𝘯𝘴, 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘳 remade, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘨𝘶𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩.
♬ "𝒲𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝓂𝓊𝓈𝒾𝒸 & 𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈 𝒸𝑜𝓁𝓁𝒾𝒹𝑒."
Cover Design: Megan, @designedgrace
Photo: © iStock – Travnikov Studio

Review: Guarded Dreams is a book that takes this reader down a path that I don't usually travel, New Adult. At nearly 45, I have a hard time relating to the characters, but this book seemed different so I decided to give it a shot. It was definitely worth it.

I loved all the male characters in this book. Eli was a wonderful "straight man" and by that I mean, the guy that walks the straight and narrow and stays out of trouble Mac Truck were so awesome. Yeah Mac Truck are two guys, fun loving and just great.

Then there was Ava, our heroine. I had mixed feelings about her from the start. She was a trouble maker at the start, then you learn about her past and you feel sorry for her, but then as you get to know her choices you start to wonder about her too.  Yes dreams change, but when you spend so damn much money on a dream, I really wanted her to see it through more than she did. In that respect, I felt like she wimped out, especially when she wasn't sure of what she wanted to do with her life. 

Together the two of them bring out the best in each other. Again...Eli = all my love. He is truly the guy you dream about even when things are going so very wrong for him. Seriously for all the bad stuff that Ava has to deal with in her home life, Eli's life kicks him harder and he pulls himself up from it all.

He's truly perfect and his love for Ava and the slow burn they have just makes me love him more. I loved that the two of them didn't hook up until the book was nearly halfway over.

If you are looking for a new adult novel where the characters actually act like adults, this is definitely the book for you.

Rating: 4 flowers

Enter for a chance to win:
  1. Grand Prize: Signed paperback of Guarded Dreams + a $50 Amazon Gift Card
(3) Runner Up Prizes: eBook of Guarded Dreams + $10 Amazon Gift Card

See giveaway link for all the giveaway rules including Int’l alternative prizes.

#giveaway #guardeddreams #ljevansbooks

We heard the music before we even hit the top of the stairs. Loud. Country music. It was blaring out the open windows, letting the air conditioning cool the humidity instead of the other way around.
The guys and I exchanged a curious look.
I opened the door in time to see a blur of dark hair and tan skin jump off the coffee table, guitar in hand, strumming and screaming along to the lyrics.
Except it wasn’t really screaming. It was the huskiest, sexiest female voice I’d ever heard. Her hair was a tumble of dark curls and waves that flung out about her as she continued to move, swaying with the guitar and the lyrics. Her frame was all lean muscle with small curves in all the right places.
Her shorts barely covered those curves on her rear end, and a striped shirt was tied so that it bared her midriff, showing off more bronzed skin and muscles.
She was dancer and singer and girl all rolled into one. She hit me to my core and wouldn’t let me move. The guys were equally stunned, standing behind me, watching her perform for an audience she hadn’t even registered was there yet.
When she finally turned, mid-strum and mid-word, I was hit once more. This time by the intensity of her eyes that stared at me beneath dark lashes. One eye was as blue-green as a Caribbean island bay, while the other was almost muddy green like a Louisiana swamp. They didn’t match. And yet, they fit her perfectly.
The joy that radiated across her face from her performance slid off, just as her hand slid off her guitar at the sight of us.
“What the hell?” Her husky voice, full of surprise, washed over me in a wave that told of unsteady seas. Of beauty and desire and storms. And I knew I was in trouble.

Award winning author, LJ Evans, lives in the California Central Valley with her husband, daughter, and the three terrors called cats. She's been writing, almost as a compulsion, since she was a little girl and will often pull the car over to write when a song lyric strikes her. While she currently spends her days teaching 1st grade in a local public school, she spends her free time reading and writing, as well as binge watching original shows like The Crown, Victoria, and Stranger Things.
If you ask her the one thing she won’t do, it’s pretty much anything that involves dirt—sports, gardening, or otherwise. But she loves to write about all of those things, and her first published heroine was pretty much involved with dirt on a daily basis. Which is exactly what LJ loves about fiction novels—the characters can be everything you’re not and still make their way into your heart.
Find out more about LJ and her books at

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