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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring-loss, survival, passion, & the love of a little boy
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. This is her fourth book I have read in the past month and I have given three of those books the highest rating. Her stories are so touching and full of life. In Dream a Little Dream, her leads are very likable with well-rounded and interesting secondary characters. And one of those secondary...
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by V

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A Different Tenor for Susan Elizabeth Phillips
I'd like to take a moment to say: Ms. Phillips THANK YOU for writing romances and stories that do not feature murder to catalyze a plot or to furnish a conflict. I am tired of repetitive romantic suspense. Thanks for not going there.
I wasn't able to get through 'Dream a Little Dream' a few years ago. I thought, "A Drive-In Movie Theater?? What is...
Published on Dec 4 2001 by --corinne--


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirring-loss, survival, passion, & the love of a little boy, Feb. 11 2004
By 
V "readinganddreaming" (Tulsa, Ok, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. This is her fourth book I have read in the past month and I have given three of those books the highest rating. Her stories are so touching and full of life. In Dream a Little Dream, her leads are very likable with well-rounded and interesting secondary characters. And one of those secondary characters is Rachel's five-year-old son, Edward. At times your heart loves him and breaks for him as he attempts to guard his mom, arrange a marriage for her, and put down roots in Salvation. This is not some cutesy kid - this is a heartrending portrayal of the son of a single mom who doesn't expect any one to like him and requires so little in life for happiness. As the son of a crooked, notorious, deceased televangelist, he has experienced a lot of rejection. There is a lot to be worked out in his life and it is a very dear sideline for this story. His relationship with the hero is realistic - filled with problems and those problems propel the turning point of the book.
Rachel has returned to her former home of Salvation, North Carolina - a place where she is despised because she is the widow of the deceased televangelist who put Salvation on the map and then ran away with millions from his ministry. They believe she was involved in the religious scam and spurn her and her son at every turn. Rachel is totally without money, friends, family, or resources. Her car breaks down as she is nearing Salvation at an old drive in movie theatre. There she meets Gabe Bonner who has purchased the old drive in and is restoring it. He has advertised for help and she decides she will fill the job. However, Gabe wants nothing to do with this woman and her young son. He is unkind, insulting, and pushy as he demands that they get off his property.
Gabe is a rugged, good-looking man recovering from a tragic loss. Even with his pushy, rude treatment of Rachel and Edward in the beginning of the book, he still appears as an overall attractive and very desirable man. Gabe is unaware that Rachel's broken down car is their home and calls a tow truck to get it and them off his property. But Rachel won't give up so easily. She is probably the most persistent heroine I have read and Gabe eventually gives in and hires her. Gabe and Rachel find themselves drawn to one another although neither wants a relationship. While Rachel would deny to anyone her poverty status, Gabe begins to recognize the many things Rachel and Edward go without and attempts to help them financially. It was rather refreshing when Rachel accepted his help - that seems to be in the "no-no" book of rules for romance heroines. So often the heroine refuses sensible help because she doesn't want to appear "bought". However, Rachel had no such qualms.
The characters from Nobody's Baby But Mine return in this book. I have not read this prequel to Dream a Little Dream. I think I would have enjoyed this book even more if I had but it also stands fine as a read alone book. One adult secondary character you will really enjoy is Gabe's younger brother - a pastor in Salvation. I have read few - if any - realistic portrayals of a minister in romance. But this one is really well done and adds greatly to the story line. Cal, Gabe's older brother (and the hero from Nobody's Baby But Mine), is quite the antagonist and behaves rather badly towards Rachel. He's a former good guy who becomes one you "love to hate" at one point in Dream a Little Dream. His comeuppance is served so well and with such subtle humor that it is one you will definitely remember.
I highly recommend Dream a Little Dream. It is a moving story in so many aspects. There are no silly misunderstandings between the leads and they both act quite maturely once they become involved. The sensual rating is about a 4.0 out of 5.0 (see More About Me for rating guidelines). Dream a Little Dream is the third of four books in the Chicago Stars series. First in the series is Heaven, Texas followed by Nobody's Baby But Mine, then Dream a Little Dream, with This Heart of Mine as the last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best S.E. Phillips book I've read., Dec 3 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
I actually read "Nobody's Baby but Mine First", liked it, and looked for other of her books. I found out there was a sequel, about the second Bonner brother, Gabe, so I went ahead and bought "Dream a Little Dream", and let me tell you, I haven't laughed and cried so much reading a book before,and all at the same time! I read other reviews and people raved about Heaven, Texas, but this is sooo much better.
Rachel Stone was married to a corrupt televangelist who died in a plane crash. She lost everything and left town with her son, Edward (otherwise known as Chip). Years later she suddenly finds herself stuck in Salvation, a town that hates her,as a last resort because she is determined to find some money she knows her husband left behind, money that will help her feed and keep her son because they have $10 dollars left and are living in their car (which dies a noisy death at the entrance of town, leaving them definitely stranded). Enter Gabe Bonner, a vet whose son and wife had been killed in a car accident and who has lost the will to live. He reluctantly ends up hiring her to help him put up a business and gets much more than he ever bargained for. She constantly challenges him, taunts him,insults him, and even desperately offers her body to him the day they meet, and through it all manages to keep her composure, strength and dignity, her spunk, her sense of humor and her desire to go on despite unimaginable hardship. She makes him feel again, even if it's mostly anger,and slowly brings him back to feeling somewhat human again.Unfortunately there's still another hurdle to overcome: Gabe can't stand her son because he compares him to his dead son and finds him so weak, scared, and lacking, that he can't understand why his son is dead while this scrawny kid is alive, and Chip can't stand his guts either. Then there's the people from town, who aren't happy to have Rachel back and give her a really hard time.With Gabe's help she tries to look for the money and fights against some enemies she unwittingly made along the way. But all's well that ends well, with a few surprises to boot! The eldest Bonner, Cal, and his wife appear too, and as in Nobody's Baby, there is a parallel love story, about the third Bonner brother, Ethan, who's a pastor in the community. I highly recommend this book, I found it was almost impossible to put it down, and was sorry to see it end. The second time I read it, I laughed and cried just as hard, and I'm sure I'll do it again some day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story That Needed To Be Told!!!, May 27 2004
By 
L. Hall "kamheskin" (Cortez, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
This book handled a very rough plot very smoothly. I
admire this author for writing this book. There are so many
situations out there just waiting to have stories written about
them, and I applaud Susan Elizabeth Phillips for having the courage to write this book.
A woman and her son return to Salvation, NC, with not much more than a bad reputation. People try every trick in the book to make her leave.She takes a low paying job and falls
in love. With the few friends she has she manages to prove herself.
I really enjoyed this book, I would recommend it, and this reviewer gives it 5 stars:)
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5.0 out of 5 stars This Dream Was Simply Wonderful, April 21 2004
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
Rachel Stone's bad luck reached its pinnacle the moment her car stalled in front of the Pride of Carolina drive-in. Rachel is the widow of G. Dwayne Snopes, the crooked televangelist who died while fleeing Salvation, North Carolina with millions of dollars donated to his church. With only nine dollars in her pocket, and a few meager possessions, Rachel's old car is now the home for herself and her five-year-old son. She's returning to the town whose inhabitants can't stand the sight of her. But Rachel has a child to care for, and she will survive no matter how insurmountable the obstacle.
The drive-in is now owned and being renovated by Gabe Bonner, a member of the town's most prominent family. Gabe's life is empty and overflowing with the pain of survival, after losing his wife and child in an auto accident two years prior. He doesn't want anything to do with this strong-willed woman, and her son who triggers painful memories, but he finds himself unable to abandon them.
What happens when you combine a determined woman who has lost her faith in God, but will survive at all costs, with a miserable man who has all but given up on life?
This is the fourth installment in the Chicago Stars/Bonner Brothers series, and serves as another sparkling example of this author's immense talent as a master storyteller. I have quickly become a most devoted fan of Ms. Phillips work. This is a beautifully written, inspirational story of love, forgiveness, and redemption. Thank goodness SEP injects a healthy dose of humor throughout, because the story certainly deals with some heavy issues with these two troubled souls. A great deal of the humor came from the secondary love story between Gabe's minister brother, Ethan, and his secretary who has been infatuated with him for years. I found myself frequently laughing out loud at the three voices of God that speak to Ethan. With a compelling story involving well-defined characters, steamy love scenes, and lighthearted moments, this is a must read! In fact, this whole series is a must read!
I wanted to add a footnote to correct an error in a previous review. This series, to my knowledge, consists of five books and their order is: IT HAD TO BE YOU, HEAVEN TEXAS, NOBODY'S BABY BUT MINE, DREAM A LITTLE DREAM, and THIS HEART OF MINE.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Different Tenor for Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Dec 4 2001
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
I'd like to take a moment to say: Ms. Phillips THANK YOU for writing romances and stories that do not feature murder to catalyze a plot or to furnish a conflict. I am tired of repetitive romantic suspense. Thanks for not going there.
I wasn't able to get through 'Dream a Little Dream' a few years ago. I thought, "A Drive-In Movie Theater?? What is this??" But I came back to it, because someone told me that Gabe was Cal's older brother.
This isn't a poorly written story-- it's just different from what she usually writes. It's not as comic and the heroine is in dire, very pitiful circumstances. You do feel the Rachel's and Gabe's pain, especially Rachel, who just couldn't catch a break. I couldn't really warm to Edward, because he was so passive in the first half of the book. And I was sorry to see Phillips resort to cheap devices to manipulate her readers' emotions with the transparent "Are we going to die?" comments, etc. But, all in all, a strong effort with a lot of heart. I became very involved in the story after the first hundred pages or so.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An A for the romance, an A for the humor, Aug. 16 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
How is it that I'd never even heard of SEP before? I have a policy of always trying a new book along with my other buys, this way I occasionally stumble onto someone really refreshing and great. Well, it worked this time.
Since others have written about the story line, I just want to say that she has some of the snappiest funniest dialogue in this genre. I kept laughing and laughing about these feisty characters. Like when she tells him she's surprised he's so prickly in the ams, she thought it was only a nighttime thing. He tells her its a pretty much around the clock affair.
There's one scene where a sleeping naked Gabe throws a night prowler against the wall and then realizes its a dazed Rachel. She's still woozy but can't help but notice his assets. He tries to see how fuzzy she is and asks her how many?? She answers one. Then she realizes he's asking about fingers.... oh, fingers!!
Or how they call each other names the first time *immediately* prior to being together: "Spoilsport". "Hussy". You have to love them.
It was interesting to have a different takes on Rachel's actions, plus all the side stories- her boy, the family, the 'treasure', community acceptance/non-acceptance, Gabe's own major issues . Can't wait to read more of her books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars SEP at her best!, June 24 2001
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of the best writers of contemporary romance as is amply proven by "Dream a Little Dream" . This is the story of Rachel Stone, the widow of a TV evangelist whose greed and hypocrisy continue to haunt their former home, Salvation, North Carolina. Rachel and her son Edward are truly destitute, and she returns to Salvation in search of some of her husband's ill-gotten gains. In order to conduct her search, she must outwit the current occupant of her former home, the widower Gabe Bonner. Gabe is still in such deep mourning for his lost wife and son, that he has completely closed down emotionally. Circumstances bring Rachel and Gabe together, and much to their mutual surprise, their initial antipathy and wariness begins to awaken emotional feelings neither anticipated. Their sparing matches are hysterical and Phillips does a wonderful job building the sexual tension between the two.
This is actually a two-for-one romance. In addition to Rachel and Gabe's story, the book includes the romance of Gabe's brother Ethan and his secretary Kristy. Ethan is a reformed sinner who became a pastor, the kind that sharply contrasts with Rachel's flamboyant dead husband. Kristy has been a part of his life forever and clearly always had a crush on Ethan. When Rachel comes to town, she inspires Kristy to make some changes in her life which completely throw Ethan's world into a tailspin,
This novel has a unique plot, wonderfully developed characters, and extremely amusing dialouge. Even if you aren't a fan of contemporary romance, this is such a sweet and funny novel that you are bound to enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read, May 20 2001
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first book I've read by Ms. Phillips, and I was not disappointed and hope to read many others as good as this one was.
Rachel was married to a television evangelist who turned out to not be so good a person and stole millions of dollars of donations that belonged to others. Before he died, he confessed his sins, all the while making it seem that his wife, Rachel, had led him to do the horrible things he did. After he died, Rachel was trying to support her son and herself when she comes into a town filled with many of her late husband's followers. The only person in town who is remotely nice to her at all is Gabe Bonner. He gives Rachel a job and secures a place for her to live.
Gabe is not exactly super nice, but there is something about Rachel, like the way she looks like she hasn't eaten in a month, how he wants her in spite of that, or the fact that she is a fighter in a town of people who hate her that makes him want to help. Gabe has also suffered in his life, when his wife and son died two years before. Will Rachel and Gabe be able to heal and helpe each other despite the past and the efforts of all the people in the town and their families to keep them apart?
I liked each of the main characters and the secondary characters because they all were intrigueing and wonderful. Rachel was a true fighter who was willing to sacrifice anything for her son and was generous to a fault. Gabe was extremely alpha, one of those brooding men, and it just makes the reader ache to heal him, or at least have Rachel heal him. There is also a secondary romance between Gabe's brother pastor Ethan and his secretary Kristy, who has secretly been in love with him for a long time. Dependable Kristy is about to break out of her shell and really show Ethan just what he's been overlooking all those years. Their story is heartwarming and touching as well.
This story had a nice plot, good characters, and a happy ever after ending for everyone and is just the type of romance I want to curl up with and read in one sitting. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good love story. Happy Reading!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book to Read ~ I'm Not Good WIth Titles, Oct. 16 2000
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
I think this is a wonderful book!. This is almost like the conclusion to "Nobody's Baby But Mine", because "Dream A Little Dream" involves the second Bonner brother, Gabe Bonner.
Rachel Stone was the widower of a very evil and greedy man that made Rachel take the blame of his greediness. After her husband died, everyong hated her because they believed that she was the reason, her husband became so corrupt. But Rachel don't care what the others think because she got a son to take care of, Edward who perfers to be called Chip. (Go Figure)
Rachel was stuck in Salvation, North Carolina because her car broke down, right in front of the property that belongs to Gabe Bonner.
Gabe Bonner was a man who was cold and empty of all emotions because of the devastating loss of his wife and son, due to a car accident. Gabe hired Rachel to help with his drive-in and they work together, side by side. When Gabe starts to living as as an almost human being again, the animosity the town causes a few problems for both of them. The problems might force Rachel out of the town but Gabe isn't going to let Rachel and her son go without a fight. And Rachel is no puhover either.
I love this book! Susan Elizabeth Phillips is a genius with words. I can never think to write such outrageous things, if I was to write a book but Philliips pull it off and with a big sucess. "Dream A Little Dream" is like a must read and whoever doesn't is in a great loss. I'm glad I read this book, but it was kinda hard with all the late nights I spent with this book.
= o )
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Feel Good" book of all time, July 14 2000
This review is from: Dream A Little Dream (Mass Market Paperback)
Open DREAM A LITTLE DREAM and visit Salvation, NC where the famous Bonner family resides. Get in a little deeper and get to know Heartbreak Mountain, which is the heart of the Bonner Family. Read more and get hooked on Dream A Little Dream, the story of Gabe Bonner and Rachel Stone.
The Bonner brothers have always been close, looking out for each other. When Rachel Stone's car breaks down and is stuck in Salvation, they think she's not good news and try to get her to leave. But they're not the only ones who do, the people of Salvation have decided to blame all their problems on her. Because she was married to a televangelist who played them all for fools.
Most importantly, Gabe wants Rachel and her 5 year old son gone too. He's grieving over the death of his wife and son and doesn't want to feel anything again.
However, Rachel is broke and her luck had just run out. And she was not going to give up the only hope she has of securing her son's future. As for the people and the Bonner brothers, she's never given up on a fight before.
Dream A Little Dream is about many things, the love of a mother for her son, the healing of a grieving heart, the struggle of a strong woman to make it, and how they teach each other to love again.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is known for her funny and heartwarming dialogue, and Dream A Little Dream is no exception. However, it also has a deeper sense of feeling. She'll make ya laugh and cry, and at the end, make ya feel good all over!
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Dream A Little Dream
Dream A Little Dream by Susan E Phillips (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 1 1998)
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