Book Review: In the Desert

In the Desert (Finding your Bliss #3) by Deirdre Riordan Hall: Twenty-year-old fiery film student Brighton Holmes knows exactly what she wants: an epic adventure on the open road in her late father’s 1969 Chevelle, alone. Her quest is to visit all fifty states and find a place to call home.

When a family friend asks for a favor, UK rocker in recovery, Alex Stihl, joins her on the road trip, stirring up trouble; the last thing she needs. It doesn’t help that he has a mob of fans and a crazy ex-girlfriend tailing his every move.

Brighton and Alex clash as they cruise out of New York, she grows resigned in the rolling hills of Amish country, and he crashes hard in a hotel on the edge of the Smoky Mountains. While Brighton seeks a place to wash her mind of the past, Alex dodges reminders of heartbreak.

They both try to escape everything they have in common: heartache, loss, and confusion about what’s next. But the magic of New Orleans unites Brighton and Alex as they fight desperately for the other until the desert leads them to discover exactly what they’re resisting and missing.

When they reach the Oregon coast, Brighton uncovers her musical talent, bringing them closer together and helping her reconcile losing her father. But the trip comes to an end when they arrive in Los Angeles. Real life intervenes, splitting them apart; she moves into her new off-campus apartment and he has to return to his band.

After the semester begins, Brighton tries to shake her mind loose from Alex, but the memory of his sexy voice, rainy day eyes, and the miles they shared lingers like a song stuck in her head. Six months later, when his band returns to Los Angeles for a concert, the compass of her heart finally leads her home.

In the Desert, book three in the Follow your Bliss Series, can be read chronologically, or as a stand-alone story filled with adventure, anarchy, music, letting go, and love.

Toni's thoughts: This is a solid 3.5 hearts for me. When I first read the blurb for this book it intrigued me and the book was really good. I enjoyed seeing the growth of the two main characters and dealing with a different kind of loss in each one. I enjoyed getting to experience different cities through their eyes as they took the road trip and the things that went on. One of things that keeps me from giving it 4 or more hearts is at some points your getting a full description of emotions and surroundings and when you start to get lost in your imagination and get pulled into their world the writing just skips to something else and it never finishes the train of thought that you were in. The other one is with all the growth of the characters you keep reading about Bri who it seemed from page to page was bouncing back in forth in her decision to be with Alex and it just kept stretching on over and over which took away from the book for me. I understand having to struggle through decisions but it was a bit too much. Other than those two things this book has the potential to be a 5 heart book. It did keep me interested and wanting to discover more about the two. I think there was just so much that went into this that maybe the book should have been split into two so things weren't glossed over or some things that weren't so important or repetitious could have been taken out.

TeriLyn's thoughts: **In the Desert generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.**

In the Desert follows the contemporary, new adult journey between two characters searching for self-discovery. Through the course of a cross-country road trip the reader travels through the heroine’s, Brighton, thoughts as she’s tries to figure out a purpose to her life. Her trip companion, Alex - who initially joins against Brighton’s wishes, also seeks solace in the downward spiral of his life.

After losing someone in her life Brighton feels as though she can’t find her footing. Unsure of where she wants to spread her wings, her trip was originally meant to be solo. Alex throws a wrench in her plans and the two of them set out to find themselves only to discover each other.

The setting, plot, and conflict for In the Desert all worked for me. I liked the histories of the characters both shared and separate. The futures they thought they wanted but never expected. The truths they learn about themselves through each other. The issues they work through fit the time in their lives.

Why I didn’t rate it higher is because the heroine too often was very self-absorbed. There were some exchanges when I felt her efforts reflected selfishness and self-pity. Her thoughts many times were rushed and there several points in the story that I wish developed more. An abruptness to transitions between scenes through me off track while reading at times.

Overall, In the Desert was an enjoyable read. Although it’s the third book in this series, I read as a stand-alone and didn’t feel as though I missed anything central to the main characters. However, it did intrigue me to learn the story of a couple who were secondary characters here. In the Desert is for new adult lovers willing to take a road trip.

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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