on August 8th 2017
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Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, Shay realized she would do anything to help him avoid the men who were threatening him, and she crossed lines she never should have crossed. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold.
Pastor Drew Douglas adored his wife. But when he lost her, it was all he could do to focus on his two beautiful kids, and his flock came in a distant third. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew.
The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose—that, over time, turns into something deeper, something soulful, spiritual, and possibly romantic. Even Drew’s two children are taken with this woman who has brought light back into their lives. Perhaps most important, Shay learns to trust again as she, in turn, proves herself trustworthy to her adopted community.
But Caden’s return to town and a disastrous secret threaten to undo the life Shay has tried so hard to rebuild. It will take the utmost courage and faith if she and Drew hope to find healing and open their hearts to a brighter future.
~~Reviewed by Evelyn~~
ANY DREAM WILL DO, a sweet romance by best-selling author Debbie Macomber, is a beautiful story of faith, love, acceptance, forgiveness and second chances. The two main characters, Shay Benson and Pastor Drew Douglas, take turns telling their story, chapter by chapter.
Despite her rough childhood and many poor choices made as an adult, Shay finds a good job in a bank. She has her own apartment and is getting her life together when her drug addicted brother Caden unexpectedly shows up. He is in trouble and needs money, and he talks Shay into doing something that lands her in prison. After her release, she seeks shelter in a church while she tries to figure out what to do next.
Drew, a widower with two children, finds her there and arranges for her to enter a program to help her put her life back together. As their affection for each other grows and becomes apparent to those around them, questions begin to surface from the church congregation about the appropriateness of a church pastor becoming involved with an ex-con, especially when Shay’s past comes back to haunt her.
There are three main storylines that are all well-written and effortlessly intertwined. There is Drew’s story as he and his family are still trying to recover from the death of his wife. Drew is kind and loving, and he is not sure he’s ready for a new relationship when he meets Shay but he is undeniably drawn to her. There is Shay’s story of redemption as she works to prove, not only to Drew and the world, but most importantly to herself, that she has value. Her love for Drew’s children, her compassion for the homeless people she meets and her growing involvement in Drew’s church are truly heartwarming.
Finally, there is the budding romance between Shay and Drew. It is refreshing to have a couple that is not rushing into a sexual relationship but is instead taking the time to get to know each other before considering where they are going with their new relationship.
ANY DREAM WILL DO is a solid read with complex characters and a believable storyline. While it may be a bit predictable in spots, it is very difficult to find fault with Debbie Macomber’s latest novel. Her fans will be especially pleased, and I also highly recommend it to readers that enjoy a delightful romance that doesn’t depend on explicit sex to tell the story. Those novels are often hard to find!
A future Hallmark movie?
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.