Title: Dragonflies at Night
Author: Anne Marie Bennett
Publisher: KaleidoSoul Media
Publication date: September 22, 2020
Genre: Romance, Metaphysical Fiction
One Sentence Summary: Savannah lost her mother and father in the span of six months as a teenager, but her mother continues to watch over her, and helps guide her to Ben, a superstar looking for one true connection.
I don’t really consider myself to be a romance reader, but I was intrigued by the metaphysical aspect of this novel, of the idea of a mother continuing to watch out for her daughter beyond death. As a mother of a daughter myself, this struck a chord in me, so I felt I needed to read this story. It turned out to be saccharine sweet, but the constant flow of a mother’s love shining through on every page, as well as the maturity both Savannah and Ben showed, made it palatable and just right. The author’s note at the end also made the premise a lot easier to swallow.
Such a Sweet Story
Dragonflies at Night is a very sweet romance with a touch of the supernatural. Savannah has suffered through several heartaches throughout her life, starting with the loss of both of her parents within months of each other when she was only a teen. But she still feels her mother looking over her from beyond, especially when she sees her mother’s favorite creature, the dragonfly. Ben is a wildly popular singer who can’t go anywhere without having to travel incognito and he isn’t particularly interested in a relationship. But there’s a spark between Ben and Savannah when they unexpectedly meet at a yoga retreat.
This is a cotton candy sweet novel, but it’s also the most realistic romance I’ve ever read. Yes, it does fall into the template for a romance novel and, yes, I did find it a little too sticky sweet, but it also really showcases a couple who are established in their lives trying to find a middle ground in which to let their love flourish, who are willing to risk in order to find the happiness and love they both deserve. And, sweetly, the love Savannah’s mother knows her daughter will have.
There isn’t a ton of tension in this novel. It all unfolded quite naturally and almost too easily for a romance novel, which was actually quite refreshing. Reading it felt more like I was shadowing a couple, listening in on the complications they happen to need to navigate around. I liked that Ben’s fame needed to be taken into consideration and that Savannah very seriously and maturely considered what it would mean for her and the life she had worked hard to build for herself. Most of all, though, I adored how mature they both were about their relationship. While most stories would lean heavily on miscommunication and fired up emotions, Savannah and Ben were so mature, so down to Earth, that I couldn’t help but know it would flourish no matter what.
But there’s another layer to this story, a supernatural element. Savannah lost her mother to cancer when she was a teen, but her mother continues to look after her. I really enjoyed the interludes narrated by Deirdre Rose, Savannah’s mother, as it showcased so beautifully and so fully how a mother never stops loving, worrying, and caring about her child. There’s a connection between mother and daughter throughout the entire novel that’s just so tender.
Dragonflies at Night did seem to unfold a little too easily, a little too conveniently. Of course, there were some hurdles, but they were not of the insurmountable sort. It read more like a fantasy or dream with how easily and quickly it flowed. From love at first sight to the easy slip into a serious relationship with no major issues, this makes for a light read that might have a reader screaming about how unrealistic it is, but that also gives it it’s fantasy feeling, one that let’s the reader’s imagination ask what if?
A Couple Made in Heaven
Dragonflies at Night is the story of Savannah and Ben, of two souls that didn’t know they needed each other. At the beginning, both seemed quite content with their lives, but meeting each other somehow made their lives more complete.
Savannah is sweet and fun and so incredibly understanding. Despite her losses, it seems that knowing her mother is still watching out for her and loving her from beyond enables her to still love openly and freely. She was neither particularly spunky or quiet and shy, but quite down to Earth and comfortable in her own skin. Ben, for being so famous, was remarkably down to Earth as well. He was humble, but still an artist at heart. Sometimes his incredible focus on his music, even while with Savannah, annoyed me, but it was also kind of endearing since he was so inspired by her, showing her he loved all parts of her and understood her as well and deeply as lifelong partner should. Together, Savannah and Ben were like a match made in heaven. They fit perfectly together, making their love at first sight seem somehow easier to swallow and their romance absolutely magical.
There’s also a large supporting cast around them, from Savannah’s deceased mother to Ben’s bodyguard. From the love and care that surrounds the couple from these people, it’s clear they’re special. There were times when I did feel doubtful of one character or another, but they really pulled through for their friend, which could make an already sweet story even sweeter, but it melted my heart a little because it can be so hard to find friends who love each other like that.
Dragonflies at Night mostly takes place on one coast of the US or the other. Savannah is based in the New England area while Ben makes his home in Los Angeles. I didn’t get a clear sense of either location, except one felt more prone to rain and the other had a lot of sun and heat, which let me down a little bit since I live in LA. But I did like that it created a layer of uncertainty, an obstacle for Savannah and Ben to jump over. If anything, dealing with the distance was probably the only real tension and major hurdle in the story, but it was used remarkably well over the entire middle section, keeping it from being a bit of a lull as middle sections are wont to do.
A Very Sweet Perfect Love Story
Yes, Dragonflies at Night is super syrupy sweet and, yes, the love at first sight and falling in love with a celebrity do seem a bit unrealistic and over the top. But it also worked out really well for this story. Savannah and Ben were the perfect vehicles, especially since they’re in their thirties and have lived life a little. Their maturity and understanding made their story easier to swallow, and, honestly, invited readers to indulge in their own fantasies of a romance with a celebrity. I also liked the light supernatural touch and the unwavering love and devotion of a mother. It was neither too much nor too little, but really served to sew the story up nicely. It gave an added layer of depth to Savannah and said a lot about Ben in the way he handled her loss and fears. Overall, very sweet, very tender, but definitely a warm and fuzzy kind of read.
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Thank you to author Anne Marie Bennett and publicist Penny Sansevieri for a review copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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