If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: Drive Me Sane by Dena Rogers / @crimson_romance @DenaRogers_

Title: Drive Me Sane
Author: Dena Rogers
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Music, Military (Post), Romance
ARC Received From: Dena Rogers

Unable to perform her duties in the army after a twelve-month deployment to Afghanistan that leaves her with scars no one can see, Sera Cavins returns to her hometown hoping that some time alone will help her find her way back to being the girl everyone once knew. That is, until she finds herself sharing a house with the man who left her heartbroken merely weeks before her deployment.

Tyler Creech made it to Nashville and even earned a number one hit, but being a rising country music artist isn’t as easy as he thought. He’s back in Cobb City, Kentucky, looking for something to ease the stress of his next release. He discovers it standing on his mom’s and stepdad’s lawn when Sera, the girl he once planned to marry, shows up.

They’d been perfect for each other, until the strain of Sera’s deployment and pressure of Tyler’s career drove them apart. Now with neither of their lives going the way they anticipated, both are fighting different yet similar demons.

But change is good, and sometimes going a little crazy is too. Sometimes it’s what keeps you sane.

Sensuality Level: Sensual

Unwarranted jealousy. Stress. Changes.

It was all too much for Tyler and Sera, and ultimately drove them apart. Which was so sad to read about. Not that their present relationship was any better, but that was only because there was so much left unfinished between them.

My jaw dropped when I read Sera's initial reaction to seeing Tyler's truck. Then I laughed and thought, "Holy shit! She is all kinds of crazy!"

It wasn't long before I stopped laughing though. Her reaction was, yes, slightly over the top but it was also somewhat warranted given Tyler's last message to her before they officially ended. Sera was dealing with a lot more than surprise over seeing Tyler again. She was hurting and struggling to cope with her PTSD. She didn't know how to talk about it, didn't know how to ask for help. She shut Tyler out when she should have let him in. She gave up when she should have fought for them.

To be fair, Sera wasn't the only one suffering. Tyler was all up in knots over seeing her again, and that came after he was trying to choose a follow-up song and dealing with the stress of being on the road. When he realized the magnitude of Sera's emotional and mental burden, he took it upon himself to shoulder that load for her. It only added to the heaviness he already carried, and stretched him even further.

It was funny how they came full circle. They dealt with the awkwardness of seeing each other again, hashed out as best they could the problems of their past, even got to a place in their relationship where the world was right and it seemed like their problems were finally behind them. But then they found themselves in that same place they'd been years before and it was, once again, time to choose. His career meant the world to him but she meant even more. If he left again, would she come with him? Or would she stay?

I thought it was over. It felt like it. She stayed, he went. His career, her fears. I wanted to slap them both, demand they get their heads in the game before they ended up losers. I didn't have to though, thank God, because one of them found the courage to fight for both of them.

Best. Decision. Ever.

Love makes you do crazy things. They don't make sense to others. Hell, they may not even make sense to you. But you know that what you're doing is right because you gain your other half instead of losing them. A love that strong doesn't happen often. When it does, it's worth holding onto with everything you've got. Tyler and Sera foolishly gave up their first chance at happily ever after, but they were smart enough to not let the second chance pass by. Call it age, call it maturity, call it destiny. Whatever you want to call it, it gave them a chance at a future that'd been postponed for far too long.

Deeply poignant without too much angst, Tyler and Sera's story is a wonderful debut for Ms. Rogers. Her writing is clear, her characters complex without being overly so, the situations they face relative. She pulled me in with a shotgun beginning and kept me enthralled until the very end. I hope she continues to write stories like these. I can't wait to read what she writes next.

Dena grew up in Central Texas, but has lived in the foothills of Kentucky, with her husband and two sons, long enough to consider it home. She enjoys road trips with her family, watching her husband race at one of the local dirt tracks, and a good cup of coffee. When she's not doing one of those things, you can find her with her nose in a book (and 2 or 3 in her purse).

She loves writing small-town stories of happily ever after and has an affinity for all genres of music, but is partial to her southern roots.


  1. Thank you, Miriam for such a kind review. It makes my day knowing that you really got and liked Sera and Tyler's story. Loved the review!

  2. I know everyone at Crimson is so proud of Dena and this book. Thanks for the review!