August 11th, 2013

The Dream You Make – Bestseller Book Review

Now one of the real strengths of this story is the realistic feel of the adoption battle. From her bio I know that the author adopted children herself, and so she knows all the ins and outs of the process as well as all the emotional ups and downs that go with it. I loved learning about it.

As I read The Dream You Make, I discovered it’s one of those books where you need to prepare your tissues in advance. Annie McDaniel is struggling to find happiness in a world where she’s lost most of her family — her sister, mother and father. When Annie’s sister is murdered, Annie is given temporary custody of her orphaned son, Dillon. 5-year-old Dillon quickly wins Annie’s heart, and she realizes that her happiness depends on finding a way to keep him.

So many obstacles fall in Annie’s way, sort of like life itself. The Baltimore couple vying for custody of Dillon have a legitimate claim on him and they have money – loads of it. For Annie, money is a big problem. The greenhouse and nursery her father left her when he died barely scrapes through, and she can’t pay her own bills let alone Dillon’s dental work and the child psychologist. Annie’s best friend counsels her to apply for a job as IT specialist at the marketing firm where she works, where she will earn a good salary and get benefits.

Extremely intelligent and heart-stoppingly beautiful, Annie is a self-taught computer expert. Having been dismissed from her interview by the moody, sultry big boss, Michael Rowe, she is accosted on the way out by the desperate computer department intern, who begs her to stay and fix the problems. An hour later, with the computers humming along again, Annie is hired on the spot, and her money problems seem to be on the way to being solved.

Bestseller Author Christine Nolfi

Voila! Flamboyant lead artist Terrance, with rings on every finger and tantrums every time the computer crashes … weak-stomach Bill, the leader copy writer, whose stomach churns at the first sign of confrontation … another great strength of The Dream You Make is the colorful group of people Annie works with in this office. Throw in company owner and CEO Michael Rowe, a tall, dark-haired, sultry 36-year-old who happens to be single AND have a floppy-eared irresistible dog, and you’re beginning to see why this book is a real page turner.

Often there are built-in elements of romance novels, as here, that made certain plot elements predictable – like the budding and then unstoppable fire between Annie and Michael.

Leaving that aside, I absolutely had to know how they would get around the rules. It all makes for a gorgeous interlude in the lives of some unforgettable characters. The shattering ending was a complete surprise.

Let’s just say The Dream You Make is a triumph of hope, love and redemption.


Frederick Lee Brooke launched the Annie Ogden Mystery Series in 2011 with Doing Max Vinyl and followed with Zombie Candy in 2012, a book that is neither about zombies nor sweets. The third mystery in the series, Collateral Damage, appeared in 2013. Saving Raine, the first book in Fred's entirely new series, The Drone Wars, appeared in December 2013, and was followed by its sequel, Inferno, in June 2014.

A resident of Switzerland, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer. He makes frequent trips back to his native Chicago.

When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.

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