Review: Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

5 “Faith, Love & 2nd Chances” Stars for the story and narration!

I’ve been meaning to try a book for Debbie Macomber for some time now. The blurb for Any Dream Will Do finally made me to give Ms. Macomber a try, and boy did I pick a great first book to sample Ms. Macomber’s works! I absolutely loved the faith and hope-filled message in this story that provides inspiration that even those who have had the hardest luck and lived in dire straights are worthy of second chances and finding their HEA to boot! Moreover, the splendid narration by narrating duo Mark Deakins and Laurel Rankin make this a great choice for your next audiobook credit!

Shay Benson feels guilty for introducing her younger brother, Caden, to Shooter, her outlaw ex-boyfriend. So when Caden comes to Shay begging for money, claiming that he is dead if he doesn’t produce it, Shay does the unthinkable and agrees to steal from her workplace (a bank) with the understanding that Caden will get her the money back in time to replace it before its noticed. Of course, Shay knew this scheme was a long-shot, but she agrees to help her brother anyway because she feels responsible and loves him. Therefore its no surprise when she’s arrested and convicted of embezzlement and sentenced to a number of years in jail.

Of course Caden promptly disappears and never even contacts Shay during her years in jail. A few years later when she completes her sentence and is released, she’s completely alone and doesn’t have anyone to turn to. Fortunately for Shay, however, she has the good fortune of stumbling into a church and meeting Pastor Drew Douglas.

Pastor Drew Douglas has had his fair share of misfortune, including the death of his wife and the mother of his kids. Its been several years since her death, but he hasn’t been able to recover from the crippling depression. His mental state has even started to affect his congregation which is now in financial trouble.

But that fortuitous day when Shay meets Pastor Drew by chance ushers in a sequence of events, which sets both of their lives on a course of healing and renewal, not to mention an opportunity for experiencing love again. It all commences when Pastor Drew recognizes Shay’s need and offers to take her to a rehabilitation center. Shay’s accepted into the one-year program and Pastor Drew is reunited with an old friend (the man who runs the rehabilitation center) who also recognizes the need in him and who helps him restart his life through friendships and an exercise in a basketball league. As you can imagine, over that year Pastor Drew’s and Shay’s paths continue to cross such that once she finally graduates from the program their friendship has grown to such an extent that Pastor Drew introduces her to his children and tries to get additional help from her from the church.

However, not everyone is as forgiving as Pastor Drew, and soon it becomes clear that following his heart and continuing his friendship with Shay may just cost him his position as the pastor of his congregation. With such devastating potential consequences, will true love reign supreme in the end?

Mark Deakins and Laurel Rankin alternate narrating the chapters in Any Dream Will Do based on the point of view being shared. Mr. Deakins narrates the chapters from Pastor Drew’s perspective and Ms. Rankin the ones from Shay’s perspective. This style works well for this book as it provides a natural division and symmetry between the point of view being shared.

Both Mr. Deakins and Ms. Rankin have natural pleasing voices which made listening to their rendition a pleasure. Additionally, their character differentiation was spot-on, making it easy to know which character was speaking without having to rely on dialogue tags. I also thought that each narrator did a fantastic job with infusing their delivery with the situation specific emotion–a narrator trait that is essential for such an emotional and inspirational story such as this.

If you’re looking for a feel-good love story that inspires you to believe in the power of faith, friendships, and love then look no further. Any Dream Will Do is definitely the book you’ve been looking for. Moreover, for those audiobook lovers like me, the great narration by Mark Deakins and Laurel Rankin make this a title best enjoyed in audio format.

Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

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