This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Audible Studios
Released on March 9, 2018
This story… this story broke my heart and put it back together again. My first time with the author’s writing so I didn’t know what I was in for- maybe it was the topic, maybe it was out of character for her, but I hope not. Dane’s Storm was an accurate title for this book in more ways than one and the new to me narrators did it justice.
A standalone work, Dane’s Storm is told from Audra and Dane’s point of views in both the past and the present. In the present, they are both limping along in their separate lives trying to get over the loss of their stillborn child, the break up of their marriage, but the end of a love affair.
My feelings were all over the place. I’ve been a caseworker for years so I knew better than to start taking sides when this started out all from Audra’s perspective. The funny part is that it wasn’t Audra I was siding with. No, I wanted to give her a kick in the pants and frog-march her toward the nearest grief counselor. It is obvious she is broken and refusing to cope with her grief and anger and guilt. She blames Dane, his family, but also herself and she does self-flagellation rather well. Of course, I knew there were several factors in the demise of her past love with Dane- and a ton of it can be chalked up to the pair of them being very young and coping alone without the support of older and wiser people for various reasons.
Fortunately, a vicious act of cruelty from Dane’s grandmother is the catalyst to bring Audra and Dane into confrontation after years apart. Dane’s grandmother is laying claim to the ownership of Audra’s building where she houses her floral design business and rents to other wedding/event style businesses all because of a pre-nuptial Audra signed.
At this point, the story goes from typical contemporary romance settings to an amazing life-threatening survival situation and setting in the high mountains. I. Was. Riveted. Here it was. Isolation, danger, and maybe, a chance to do better than come out alive.
Dane’s Storm explores how a marriage can break up because of the loss of a child. I thought the author did a fabulous job of showing how men and women- or just people- can grieve differently and it can be easy to get judgy and resentful when communication is not there. And, because its grief, people pull back and isolate themselves so that- yep, that communication isn’t there. With this story, tack on the fact that the pair of them were young. Audra wasn’t even twenty and Dane wasn’t much older. The reasons, seasons of grief, and the after effect of non-healing and poorly coping was handled respectfully, but honestly. This was a tough one for me, emotionally, though it wasn’t undue.
As to the narrative work, Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon were new voices for me. Oh, update, not brand new. Just realized I loved their work in one other book. I liked what both brought to this story. They both leaned on the emotive side, but it worked with this writing. They had me seeing both Audra and Dane so well in my mind that I easily lost myself in the story. I thought they excelled when things got truly dire in the survival situation.
All in all, this new to me book was an all around win. I will not hesitate to pick up another book by the author or the narrators. I think this is best recommended toward those who want a hard-fought romance, difficult elements for the conflict, and a passionate love.
My thanks to Audible.com for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #106 CR
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