Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 1/2
“‘You are not your history any more than I am mine.’ Or anymore [sic} than Jake is, for that matter.”
What do you do when life doesn’t go in the direction you expected? How do you move past your plans and embrace the life that’s fallen into your lap? Even more, what if those earlier plans really didn’t fulfill you or give you the life you never knew you wanted? These questions underlie P. Dangelico’s newest book, Carried Away. Along with these ideas about how we live life, there is also an additional message about letting go of the hurts of our past. These two messages conspire to offer a story that will hold your heart in its pages.
The story follows Carrie Anderson, a recently unemployed reporter. Having to return home after unemployment isn’t something Carrie wants, but it’s necessary. On her way back home, she crashes her car and is saved from freezing to death by a mysterious man. Enter Jake, Dangelico’s hero, a moody, grumpy, handsome man, and the sparks begin to fly. As these two continue to run into each other, their chemistry builds until it can’t be denied. But Carrie intends to return to her former life, and Jake has set himself in exile. Is it possible for these two to find a happy ending?
I picked up my ARC a few days ago to read finally, and I intended to only read a few chapters at a time. P. Danglico’s storytelling is the type of writing that should be savored because it can slip through your fingers quickly, and before you know it, you come to the end of the story. And that is exactly what happened to me. One minute, I was starting Chapter 1, and then the next minute, I had finished the book. I didn’t stop for anything because Carrie and Jake together grab you.
- Jake is my favorite type of romantic hero. On the outside, he looks unfriendly and unapproachable. However, you find out fairly quickly that he is heroic, kind, insightful, and loving. This is a big man with a big heart, hiding behind a mistake from his past. And this is my “catnip” in romance. It’s easy to invest your heart in a hero who is more than we initially perceive.
- Carrie’s particular journey is a difficult one. At first glance, it seems like just a loss of a job. However, Dangelico has crafted a heroine who has deeper wounds, and moving back to the town where those wounds were created and festered creates some of the gravity of this story. We know, as romance readers, that there has to be some soulful reflection and changes in order to move away from past hurts towards the adventures that she pines for.
- The story travels easily across the page. Much of this has to do with Dangelico’s style. She grabs you from the start and keeps you trapped in her pages because you don’t want to be anywhere else. As Jake and Carrie move towards a possible future together, you feel compelled to keep reading to ensure they receive their happy ending. I would say that the pace of the story moves quickly towards the end, and I would have liked for Dangelico to move more slowly, developing some aspects of the latter part of the story. It feels a bit rushed. However, it doesn’t push you out of her story; instead, it makes you yearn for more of it.
P. Dangelico is a favorite author of mine, and I have loved her stories. However, you never know if the next book will be the book you might not enjoy. That is DEFINITELY not the case with Carried Away. As she does every single time, she makes you fall for her hero and heroine’s journey, and this book is a keen reminder to live life in the present, choosing now instead of the past.
In love and romance,