Hello! I am running out of time to post these books (because I am so exemplary person and want to show I HAVE read the 100 books I said I would) so this is a series post of the three books that makes up the series Daring to from Nora Roberts. Enjoy!
Book 1: Daring to Dream
Margo Sullivan grew up in the Templeton Manor. She witnessed all its grace and beauty, the love and care of Tom and Susan Templeton, and made best friends with Laura Templeton, their daughter, and Kate Powell, a cousin of the Templeton’s they adopted after her parents died in a car crash. As the housekeeper’s daughter, Margo feels included but still not within reach of the success and wealth she so seriously wants. Blessed with outrageous beauty and charm, she decides to leave right after Laura’s wedding to peter Ridgeway, a man she, Kate and Joshua, Laura’s older brother, detests. Joshua learns that she is planning to leave and is furious, but she still goes.
Ten years later, Margo returns to Templeton mansion, running away from a scandal that saw her agent get arrested for drug dealing. She is broke and ashamed, and her mother doesn’t make things easier for her. Josh returns as well, and he is stunned to realize that he is in love with her after all the years and that she is still as beautiful as always. Kate takes a look at her finances and advises her to sell all her belongings and start over. She heads back to Milan and starts organizing to run a small shop there, but when she hears that Laura is divorcing Peter she heads back to Big Sur and decides to open the shop there. Kate and Laura decide to invest as well, making it essentially a family venture. They call the exclusive boutique Pretenses, a name Margo’s mother picked out, and the relationship between Margo and Anne starts to get better. Margo also starts a relationship with Josh, although she is reluctant to give everything to a man and leave her heart open.
Will Margo’s shop be a success? Will she be able to love Josh the way he deserve? What will Peter Ridgeway do when the family kicks him from his position at Templeton Monterey?
Daring to dream is a very decent romantic book to read. I really enjoyed it. I actually read the series completely wrong. I read Kate’s story first, then Laura’s and only bought the first book of the series a few days ago at my favourite bookshop and started to read it.
Josh was well written. He came across as handsome and successful, a rich kid who wasn’t afraid to work hard for what he wanted (and we all know it is pretty rare to find that). I liked Margo because she always had to try the most impossible things and dreamt the biggest of all her friends. Even though she was insanely beautiful and knew it, she didn’t hesitate to help out a friend whenever they needed it.
Book 2: Holding the dream (Nora Roberts)
Kate Powell, orphaned as a child, grew up with her cousin Laura Templeton and Margo Sullivan, the innkeeper at Templeton manor, as sisters. Although she never really knew her parents, she thought they were amazing. When she stumbles across old articles of a law suit against her father, her fragile illusion on her parents are shattered. She questions everything about herself and the people they thought were above fault.
After getting her accounting degree from Harvard, Kate starts working and Bittle and associates. Through the next couple of years, she works her way up and knows that they will soon offer her a partnership. When the managing partners hold closed meetings, she suspects it is because of her. When she finds out that it is about her, but not because of what she has hoped, her world crashes even further into the ground. Bittle suspends her on fraud charges, and she is outraged that they could think that of her after years of loyal service. She is furious and ashamed; sure that everyone will remember what her father did and think that she is just like him.
Kate meets Byron Dewitt, the man the Templetons hired after they fired Laura’s no good ex-husband at a function hosted by the now married Joshua and Margo. Attractive, dynamic and charming, he irritates Kate because he flusters her. He manages to see her more often by getting her to help him house hunt. She breaks the news that Bittle has dumped her to him first, and his unwavering support makes her strong enough to face her family. They are furious on her behalf, and she has to do everything in her power to stop them from heading to her work place and causing trouble.
“Of course not,” Margo said dryly. “He’s gorgeous, charming, intelligent, world-traveled. Absolutely hateful.”
Kate starts working at Pretenses, the exclusive boutique she opened with Kate and Margo. Byron starts pursuing her in earnest and they start sleeping together. Kate is forced to start living a healthier lifestyle when she faints in Byron’s arms and they discover at hospital that she has stress induced stomach ulcers. Her family and friends band around her, and her adoptive parents are angry when they realize she has been holding back on them because she is ashamed at her father.
Bittle and associates contact Kate and asks for forgiveness after they realize how wrong they were. They ask her back, as a partner, but she isn’t sure that she should accept. Will she take back her job? Will Kate learn to keep stress at bay and live healthily?
Like its predecessor, Daring to Dream, Holding the dream is a decent romantic book to read. It really isn’t soppy stuff, and that made me very happy. I’ve always liked that Nora Roberts writes strong female leads. There is nothing more boring than a stupid girl waiting to be saved by an arrogant man. I’m happy I chose to reread the series as part of the final push to finish my challenge!
Book 3: Finding the Dream (Nora Roberts)
Laura Templeton married Peter Ridgeway against the council of her loved ones when she was just 18 years old. She was deeply in love with him, nearly 10 years her senior, a dashing prince.
Years later, divorced and essentially robbed blind by her ex-husband; Laura is trying to rebuild her life. She has to raise her daughters, Allison and Kayla on her own, because she knows that Peter doesn’t really love them because he wanted sons. Ali, who is ten years old, is taking the divorce hard and although she loves her mother struggles to deal with the fact that her father isn’t in their lives anymore.
When Michael Fury comes back into her life, she is stunned. Joshua tricks her into letting him stay at Templeton manor after a storm destroys his house and stead, and she is very grumpy about it all.
Michael has his own demons. He is able to relate with Laura’s children because he went through the same thing – in his life his mother had remarried many times. A jack of all trades, Michael finally found something he loves doing – taking care of horses, training them and buying and selling. Josh sets him up with the important Monterey clientele on the eve of a Templeton Valentines ball and gets a date for his sister as well. Laura is furious with them both but thankful she has someone by her side when her ex shows up with his new fiancée – Candace Litchfield, the thorn in Laura, Kate and Margo’s side. She is horrified by the thought that her daughters are getting Candace for a stepmom. Michael unexpectedly comforts her and kisses her in front of everyone at the ball, giving them plenty to talk about.
The bad vibes between Ali and her mother gets resolved the day Michael gives the little girl a piece of his mind when she backchats her mother. Embarrassed, she chases after her mom and finds her crying. They make amends and Ali confesses that she thinks it is because of her that her father left. Knowing that, Laura is able to handle her daughter the appropriate way.
Laura and Michael finally start sleeping together, but she is still reserved about her feelings. Will they be able to move past the damage Peter Ridgeway caused? Will the girls be able to work things out with their mother and accept Michael as a possible replacement for their father? Will Michael be able to move past the memories of the life he lived?
I liked this book the most because I had waited for Laura to find love again. Michael was perfect for her – he was pretty much the exact opposite of Peter, and that was just what she needed.
The series is very enjoyable to read, but I would mostly recommend it to Nora Roberts’ enthusiasts.
Have you read the series? What did you think?