Everything I've Dreamed Of by Norah Bennett

Heat Level 2
SKU 978-1-77339-139-7

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Kate Willowbrook dreamed of a life filled with beauty –– a man who loves her, friends, and a home. At eighteen, Kate's dreams were replaced by nightmares when she witnessed a crime. Kate fled, never settling down and never trusting anyone until at the age of the thirty, she discovers the small town of Lakes Crossing and CEO, Noah Reed.

When Noah’s wife was killed in an accident, his world exploded. Noah settled for an empty, loveless life until the day he met Kate. When he learns about Kate’s past and finds she is still in danger, Noah takes over, becoming over-protective—to the point Kate feels stifled and controlled.

As Noah and Kate struggle to put the past behind them and find a balance that fulfills both their needs, they learn that there are no guarantees in life, but in Lakes Crossing they have been given a second chance at love.



Kate pierced him with her green eyes. “I’m certain there’s no shortage of women who would be happy to go out with you. Why me?”

Noah’s cocky grin faded into a soft smile that stole her breath. His eyes darkened as he focused on her. She could feel the heat creeping up her cheeks again, and she couldn’t believe she’d asked him that question. She didn’t even know why she had, except that she wanted to hear his answer. If she let herself fall for this beautiful man with the killer smile and the softest brown eyes in the world, she’d fall hard and fast. If she were just a toy to him, one that he got bored of and discarded after a while, she’d be devastated. She had lost so much already and survived, but Kate wasn’t sure she could survive his games. If she allowed herself to hope and dream of a life with Noah but then lost it all, she’d crumble, and no amount of superglue would put her back together.

 Kate waited for his answer, her eyes locked with his, and he didn’t let her down.

“Yes, I won’t deny that I’ve dated other women and there are those who wouldn’t turn me down for a date, but they’re not you.”

Noah reached for her hand, and she let him feel the tremble that ran through her as he engulfed her small hand in his. He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers, never taking his gaze off her.

“You say you’re not special to anyone, but that’s not true. I see something special, someone special. I know we don’t know each other very well, but if you give us a chance to change that, together, we may be something special. We won’t know unless we try.”

Kate’s breath hitched, and her heart squeezed. Jesus, the man had a way with words. How did he know what she needed to hear? Now she understood what Roberta Flack meant when she sang “Killing Me Softly.” He was clawing at the door to her heart, and she didn’t think she was strong enough to resist him, even knowing that she may get shredded if she let him in.

Kate dropped her gaze again as her eyes began to fill. Her breathing was ragged, and her heart broke its confines and was on the run. Whether it wanted to be caught by Noah or not, Kate wasn’t certain.


Kate had waited thirty-one years to hear someone call her special. She struggled to rein in her emotions and push back the tears that threatened to roll down her cheeks. She wanted to go out with Noah so badly it hurt. She wanted to get to know him and to be a part of his world, but she was terrified. Good visited her very few times in her life. The instant it arrived, she began preparing for its departure. Good was a temporary visitor, and a fickle one at that.

“Come on, Kate. I can sense you’re afraid. I swear I’m a nice guy. I’ll do my damnedest not to disappoint or hurt you. Take a chance. Take a chance on me.”

 Kate heard the vulnerability in Noah’s voice. She explored his handsome face, a face she was sure she would never tire of admiring. All traces of his earlier cockiness vanished. Instead, it was replaced by a rawness, an earnestness, a tenderness she’d never seen before. That was the look Kate would remember for a lifetime. Years from now, she would say that was the exact moment she knew, if Noah Reed asked her, she would be his for a lifetime.

Kate let out a slow breath and with a soft smile, she whispered, “Okay, Noah Reed. I’ll take a chance…a chance on you. I’ll go out with you.”

Product Reviews

Score: 4 out of 5 (based on 19 ratings)
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I liked it a lot!
Written by Bets on 5th Jan 2018

This book held my attention right from the first pages. Great characters, romance and intrigue.

Pleasantly Surprised
Written by Aliana Milano on 5th Jan 2018

Wow! So first of all, as a reader, I don't read a lot of contemporary romance cause it's not exactly my genre but when I do get the urge too, it has to be GOOD! Everything I've Dreamed Of gave me ALL the feels but had the right amount of chemistry, action and mystery packed into it! I strongly recommend it to contemporary romance fans! I can't wait to read more from this incredible author, hopefully in the very near future!!

For the first time Kate is given love and stability and a real home and also taught ...
Written by Angel Hatfield on 5th Jan 2018

Kate grew up on a life of physical and sexual abuse, hunger and fear. She runs away when she witnesses a rape and murder in her HS as she fears for her very life. Kate ends up on the streets fighting to survive until and elderly vivid lady gets her off the streets. For the first time Kate is given love and stability and a real home and also taught how to take care of herself. Then her elderly substitute mom/ mentor dies. Kate figures it is time for her to find a place and make it her home. Katie finds a book store for sale and goes for her dream. She turns the bookstore into a bookstore exclusively for children.called Dreamscapes.Kate sets up Children’s books morning and other events with a child’s perspective or interest as the themes. Kate has an apartment about the bookstore and has a cockatoo named Shakespeare- what else would the name be of her pet. Noah goes to the bookstore looking for some books for his niece. Noah had grown up in Lake crossing but now lived in NYC as that is where his work is. Noah had been married but while in London his wife got into a car accident and died and he never forgave himself. Noah threw himself into work and wanted nothing to do with relationships although he did occasionally date. But then Noah meets Kate and he starts to rethink things. Kate makes him laugh again which he hadn’t done in a while. But the more Noah wants Kate the more protective especially with Kate is still in danger from her past. he gets and that becomes a problem for Kate because of her past. Noah and Kate have to learn to let go of their fears and share their past. This is really a sweet romance filled with loss and pain from the past which must be overcome. I loved Kate and Noah together they just balanced each other out except with Noah being to overprotective. I also loved that Kate was taken in and given love and stability from a woman who had been a stranger but wanted to help and teach Kate. All and all a good read with a great plot.This romance just seemed realistic to me for the most part and I like that. It wasn’t all easy and had to be worked on and for. The pace was good and the romance sweet so I loved the characters of this story and the ins and outs and I recommend.

Another great book by Norah Bennett!
Written by amazon customer on 5th Jan 2018

Another amazing story by Norah Bennett. Her stories and characters draw you in and make you care for them and root for them in the end. Kate and Noah's story does not disappoint! I look forward to reading more by this author!

A great read from Norah!
Written by Jadcia1 on 5th Jan 2018

I thought that Kate and Noah were such well developed characters and I enjoyed going on the journey with them that Norah created. They both weht on a journey of self-discovery and came out the other side. The book had me turning the pages and I couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the other Love in Lakes books.

Thank You Norah!
Written by Metaphor on 5th Jan 2018

So in my opinion, you don't have to read Book 1 in this series, but you SHOULD! My wife brought Book 1 to my attention but it was me that got us both reading Book 2. This author has basically given my marriage back on it's feet again and all it cost me was two very affordable books. If you have ever been in Love, are in Love or just a fan of Love than you need these books in your life

Wow. Every woman needs a Noah!
Written by debbiew on 5th Jan 2018

Loved this book. You don't have to read R.I.L.Y. as this is a stand alone but it will fill in some of the family dynamics. Kate and Noah show what true love is. The only thing to me that was a distraction was some of the language used when I didn't feel it was needed.

A perfect book to leave you happy.
Written by Anna Edwards on 5th Jan 2018

Everything I've dreamed of is an incredible read. It draws you in and tugs at the heart strings. Both Kate and Noah have had issues in the past (I will not go into details as I do not want to spoil the story) but it defines who they are at the moment. I loved the characters. The books tell of how they overcome these issues and find love. It is well written, a relaxing read; I recommend it. The writer is one I will definitely look out for in the future.

Loved it!
Written by Saffron A Kent on 5th Jan 2018

I loved this book! The writing flowed so very well. I was turning pages. Flawed and broken characters are my very fav. and the MCs in this story had a dark past. Especially the heroine, Kate. She was a broken but a very strong soul. She was trying to make a life of her own, never expecting Noah Reed in her life. When their paths cross, she is skeptical but slowly, she learns to trust and open up. It was a beautiful and emotional journey.

Loved the ups and downs of their journey
Written by Book Dragon Nin on 2nd Jan 2018

Everything I've Dreamed Of, my second Norah Bennett book, has firmly convinced me she is a master wordsmith who captivates her readers from the very first pages. Kate and Noah are so real and their past and present stories flow so seamlessly it is hard to put the book down until you reach the end. Loved the ups and downs of their journey. Am thankful to have had the opportunity to be able to read and review an ARC.

A very sweet read. Two broken individuals get together in this ...
Written by Elen on 2nd Jan 2018

A very sweet read. Two broken individuals get together in this second chance romance. Noah, an overprotective CEO of a big company, found himself falling in love for a cute bookstore owner - Kate. He is eager to start a new relationship, despite his tragic past, but Kate, previously abused, is too afraid. In the end, everything works out and a happy ending can be enjoyed. Got this as an ARC for my honest opinion.

Feels all too real...
Written by NSlone on 2nd Jan 2018

For anyone who has bad stuff in the past, this book may hit home quite a few times. I know it did for me. It's still a beautiful story. I loved the characters, and the ending. I think the bad guys got what was coming to them. I felt that the scenes are all too real with things like this happening all too often. There are people who it seems as of no one cares about. I know that God does, and there are true Christians out there who care as well. Unfortunately they don't always do something about it and sometimes they just don't know what to do, Sorry for the rant. The story is beautiful, thought provoking and it makes you think. Or sometimes remember things.

Sweet contemporary romance
Written by Rhianona on 2nd Jan 2018

The second book in Norah Bennett's Love in Lakes Crossing series introduces Kate, the local bookstore owner, and Noah Reed, a well-to-do businessman, whose family grew up in Lakes Crossing. Kate has had a tough life and struggles to overcome all of the trauma. Her children's bookstore, Dreamscape, is her dream. She meets Noah when he comes to her store to buy a present for his niece. Like Kate, he has had pain in past, most notably his wife, Kristen, who died a few years ago. When he meets Kate, he is attracted to her and fights to prove that he is worth the risk of a relationship. Both Kate and Noah have a past that puts them at odds with one another as they struggle to develop a relationship. Kate likes her independence, while Noah wants to protect what is his. At times, Noah comes across as high-handed and dismissive of Kate's desires. Similarly, given all that Kate has experienced, I found myself perplexed that she didn't seem to care for her safety at times. What was clear, however, is that their past informed their present and they both needed to compromise in order to have a successful relationship. I rather liked seeing how their past affected their relationship and how they had to work to overcome that. Ms. Bennett has gotten better at showing rather than simply telling, and it was delightful to see the previous book's main character, Julie. Additionally, the dialogue was written better and didn't seem as stilted as it was in the previous Love in Lakes Crossing book. I wish we had seen more interaction between Kate and Noah's sister, Dee, because it was difficult to really grasp their relationship. I also thought there was no need for the "B" subplot - it only served to bring conflict between Kate and Noah. I think the purpose is served could have been achieved without bringing it into the story. Overall, this was a sweet contemporary romance, with fun characters and an adorable little girl in Emma, and a funny bird in Shakespeare. I'm looking forward to seeing who gets paired up in the next Lakes Crossing book. NB: I received a copy of the book from the author and have opted to review it.

Fantastic Second-Chance-At-Love Romance
Written by Xkoqueen on 2nd Jan 2018

Everything I’ve Dreamed Of by Norah Bennett is a second-chance-at-love romance. Ms. Bennett’s contemporary romance is filled with empathetic main characters, over-protective siblings, and small-town politics, which makes it a deliciously rich read. Kate Willowbrook grew up surrounded by physical and emotional abuse. Her abusive father, neglectful mother, and the gangs tormenting the school each made her life a living hell. Kate’s only escape is to run away. Her escape leads her on a long and winding path to Lakes Crossing where she finds friendly people and a sense of peace. At least, it is peaceful until Noah Reed happens into her bookstore. Noah Reed runs his family’s business out of Manhattan, and that business can make you too busy to spend time with your family or think about your mistakes if you’re trying to avoid them. Noah is trying to avoid the painful memories of his late-wife and the confused feelings toward his close, protective family. Trying hard to be a womanizer instead of getting involved again, Noah sets his eyes on Kate. The story easily flows through Noah’s increasingly intense pursuit and Kate dispassionately declining each of his attempts. She can’t afford to mess up her simple life in a small town by dating the son of a prominent family. Noah’s booking-loving niece, Emma, becomes their excuse to spend some time together. Both guarded because of their pasts, the two have a definite attraction, but I didn’t feel a strong chemistry. It is a different prominent family’s son who proves to be the most problematic for Kate. That juvenile delinquent provides the exclamation point on the story climax! Everything I’ve Dreamed Of is an emotionally-charged romance between two broken people. Ms. Bennett created realistic characters whose journey to emotional healing grabbed my heart. I loved that the main characters talked to one another about their situation and fears instead of hiding them and fretting silently. There was no angst, just raw emotion from their painful pasts. I rooted for Kate and Noah to overcome their fear and open themselves up to the possibility of love.

The Romance Reviews
Written by Avonna on 30th Jan 2017

I have just finished reading a beautifully written, plotted and emotionally charged contemporary romance that has given me a book hangover that I do not want to end! EVERYTHING I'VE DREAMED OF by Norah Bennet is a romance that introduces two broken individuals that this author brings to life and shares their journey of realistic emotional growth and healing. Kate Willowbrook has grown up experiencing physical and sexual abuse, hunger and fear. She runs away after witnessing a rape and murder in her high school and ends up on the streets. Kate is eventually taken in by an elderly, feisty woman in Texas and given love and stability for the first time and taught how to take care of herself. With the death of her mentor and the end of a bad relationship, it is time to find a place to call home. Kate settles down when she finds her dream of an old bookstore for sale in Lakes Crossing, NJ. She turns it into a bookstore for children called "Dreamscapes" with her apartment above and her cockatoo, Shakespeare. After a year of living here and making only casual acquaintances, Noah Reed walks in to find books for his niece's birthday and Kate can't believe her reaction to him. Noah Bennett grew up in Lakes Crossing, but lives and works in New York City. His wife was killed in a car accident while he was in London on business and he has never forgiven himself. He throws himself into work and occasionally dates, but is not interested in a relationship until he meets Kate. Kate makes him laugh again and every encounter makes him want her more and the more he wants her the more protective he becomes. This causes problems with Kate from her past and somehow they have to learn to balance both of their needs against their fears to have a chance at love. I cannot recommend this book enough. Kate and Noah both have to learn to open up and share their past lives, learn to overcome their fears and learn to balance the needs of each other to make this relationship work. What makes this romance so special is that the H/h actually talk to each other and work through their problems. They do have an instant attraction, but after that the pacing of the romance is realistic. Well written sex scenes and a few external problems make this book a wonderful contemporary romance read. I'll be looking for more from this author - See more at: http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=23922#sthash.N35TLbqv.dpuf

Written by Angela Marie/Fallen for Books on 29th Jan 2017

I fell in love with this book. The characters are incredible. The chemistry jumps off the page. The story line does have its darker moments, but it makes the characters that much deeper. This book reminds me why I love the contemporary genre.

I liked this book was a great read perfect for a ...
Written by Poppy on 25th Jan 2017

I liked this book was a great read perfect for a lazy weekend.I really liked Noah and Kate's stories and loved that they found happiness together.Cant wait to try more from this author would recommend

Happy to have read Everything I've Dreamed Of
Written by Dina S on 12th Jan 2017

Kate and Noah didn't think that they could find someone who could make each other want to feel the way that they wanted too. Norah Bennett made her characters very appealing. I enjoyed her story for them to find happiness. I love stories about having second chances at romance and this is perfect. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

Very good read
Written by Me Likey The Books on 11th Jan 2017

Me Likey the Book!