If Only in My Dreams By Carrie Aarons
Book/Novel Author: Carrie Aarons
Book/Novel Title: If Only in My Dreams
‘Tis the season to … be freshly divorced at twenty-six and moving back into your parents’ house?Because that’s my reality this Christmas. As if it isn’t bad enough that my entire hometown is buzzing with the news of my failed marriage, who is the first person I bump into at the grocery store? The guy who treated me like his personal booty call in high school just happens to be looking at spices while I’m trying to pick up cinnamon for my mother.And get this; Porter Kelly, the broody, mysterious recluse who exposed his own secrets to the world by writing a book about his family years ago, is the one who acts like I wronged him. His rude remarks on aisle nine are the final straw as my exhausted unhappiness breaks, and I’m officially calling off the most wonderful time of the year.Too bad it’s literally impossible for the woman whose parents own a railroad that specializes in Christmas train rides to ignore the holiday season. Because I’m back under their roof, it’s mandatory to work in the middle of the red and green merriment, Santa himself, and wait for it …Porter serenading us with the greatest festive hits of all time. That’s right, apparently my teenage heartthrob turned nemesis not only works for my parents, but can strum a guitar like he’s trying to get every soccer mom on board pregnant. As we’re forced to spend more time together than ever, his past baggage and my marital rejection make their way to the surface, bonding us in ways neither of us knew possible.I thought I was heartbroken about my ex-husband wanting to end our marriage, but that pain is nothing compared to what Porter could inflict. He seems like a changed man, one on the precipice of a new chapter, which is exactly where I find myself. Would it be crazy to think we could turn the page together?Returning home was the only option I had. But as I come dangerously close to counting on the first man who broke my heart, I wonder if all of my future dreams are too good to be true.
I picked this nugget up on a whim. I was in the mood for something Holiday and it’s an enemies to lovers, which is my favorite. Love the characters and the heroine, Madisons, story. I thought her and Porter made sense and the way they come back together was really great. I’d say they are a bit of a second chance but it’s more enemies to lovers. This was a fun book, gave me all the holiday feels I was looking for and hit in my enemies to lovers check box too. 4 stars!
Madison Goldwin and Porter Kelly had a secret fling during their last two years of high school, but he broke things off with her two months before graduation. She went on to marry (and quickly divorce) her college sweetheart, while he stayed behind in their upstate New York hometown and wrote a bestselling novel based on his life as the secret love child of a famous rock star. Left reeling after her divorce, Madison has returned to their hometown to get back on her feet and figure out what to do next. She’s not happy to learn that Porter has become close with her parents in her absence, and what’s worse, he acts like she’s the one who wronged him when in fact he broke her heart. She’d like nothing better than to avoid him, but that’s difficult to do when they’re both working for her family’s seasonal railroad, the Polar Express. The character-driven nature of this story sometimes made for a slow pace, which is probably why I had a tough time getting into it. Both protagonists spent a lot of time ruminating on the past and trying to sort through their emotional baggage; Madison, for example, was obsessed with figuring out what it was about her that made her ex-husband stop loving her. After the way her ex treated her, she deserved to find someone who would treat her like a queen, and even now, I’m not entirely convinced that was Porter. He acted like a jerk for most of the first half of the book and never really apologized to her for anything, using his messed-up childhood and jealousy of her “perfect” family as an excuse for his behavior. He did treat her better in the second half, but their relationship development seemed oddly paced to me. It was like they flipped a switch and went from hating each other one minute to being in a relationship the next. I would have liked to see a bit more transition between the two. On the bright side, they had fantastic chemistry, and there was plenty of steam once they were officially together. I went back and forth on my rating for this book, but in the end, I rounded up to 4 stars because I genuinely liked Madison, there were some cute parts, and the secondary characters (particularly Madison’s best friend Gigi and brother Matt) were entertaining. I’d recommend this story for all contemporary romance fans.
Love this story! Love everything by Carrie. Unfortunately this book came misprinted. Chapters 1 and 26 are missing the last few sentences. 🙁
This was the last holiday romance that I knew I needed to find some time for before the end of the year, and I am so glad I did. Porter and Madison gave us a serious second chance, enemies to lovers ride on the Polar Express and I really did enjoy every bit of it. I aches for the broken boy inside of Porter and for the girl trying to find her place in the world. Some Christmas magic, reconciliations abound, and a couple of new career paths. CA does it again!
Love the back and forth point of view. Not too complicated and has a consistent timeline. A cute feel good read