4 star rating
Defining Moments
Moments In Time, Book #4
By Dori Lavelle
ISBN#   9781500362638
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

Spoilers…though I did leave some surprises for the reader to discover   


defining-moments-moments-in-time-dori-lavelleBetrayal. Lies. Secrets.

How much heartbreak can one heart take?

Melisa Dane has made it through the worst. Her heart was broken, but Florian Dane, better known as “Heat”—and the man of her dreams—returned to mend it. Now, with her family almost complete, Melisa is ready to sit back and enjoy life.

But fate isn’t done with her yet. The perpetual smile on her face freezes when the second man to steal her heart shows up in her life once again. Scott Bergfeld, the husband she buried and grieved for years ago, is not dead, and he comes back bearing secrets.

Heartbroken and confused, Melisa tries to find answers to questions she never thought she’d ask, but what she learns throws her life into turmoil. Soon, cracks start to form in her marriage with Heat. As her heart is torn into two halves—between the man she loved first and the man she married first—she comes dangerously close to having her whole life destroyed again. How many people will end up getting hurt? This time, does she have the strength to make it through?


Well, Ms. Lavelle does not disappoint.  This is the fourth book in the series and it is certainly packed with punch.  I was drawn in from the very beginning and could NOT stop reading until I had read the last word.

While this is the fourth book, the reader is given sufficient back story to be able to read this book independently from the remainder of the series.  Of course, I highly suggest that you read all four books!

The story begins where book 3 leaves off – the story of Melisa, having found happiness again with her first love Florian Dane – aka “Heat”.  Unfortunately, not all is set for a “happily ever after” just yet for Melisa as the reader quickly discovers. 

Melisa and Heat are expecting their “second” child.  They are slowly building a relationship with the son Melisa gave away for adoption at birth.  Unfortunately, upheaval, loss and surprises are just around the corner.  One car accident twists this happy family into despair while trying to cope with the unthinkable…the loss of their unborn child.  Melisa does what she does best…runs away (at least still in the same town) from Heat to cope with the devastation, which is now her life.  Her best friend, Carlene, facilitates this move by offering to her a room in an upscale hotel that she and her husband Nick own for as long as Melisa needs (really Carlene….enabling this running away behavior???!!!).

During the healing process, Melisa begins taking walks around a familiar park, where her first husband (Scott) and she created many memories.  Low and behold….a “dead” Scott reappears.  As a reader, I felt all the emotions that Melisa felt…stunned, happy, sad and mad.  What the heck Scott…running away from your life by playing dead?  There are many reasons he has done what he has done…and the reader feels the pain Melisa must endure while sorting all of this out.  After all, she loved her husband immensely and grieved deeply and now he is come back to what?  That in and of itself, is an interesting twist.

The reader will also enjoy the evolution of the relationship (and all of its inherent twists) between Melisa, Heat and Ben (their first born child).  I felt this storyline was well written and as it might well be in real life.  Learning to love and trust new found family members is a slow process and not to be rushed.

How long as well as what will it take for Melisa to realize that she and Heat must move past their tragedy together as a couple?  Sequestering herself as she has done in the past is not the way to “healthily” deal with and progress from the loss of their child.    I must admit that occasionally I really wanted to shake Melisa….did she not learn anything from how she dealt with the loss of Scott previously?  Running away is NOT the answer.  If it were not for Melisa’s lack of insight from her first loss, I would have rated this a “5”…but I just could not get past Melisa’s lack of personal development on the whole issue of handling tragedy….. or should I say…not handling but running away.

I give ten thumbs up for Heat…he was such a devoted husband!  He gave Melisa all the space she needed even though what he needed was to deal with the loss of their baby together.  He was just so much more emotionally mature than Melisa.  Additionally, he was more understanding when he finds out about the ongoing association of Melisa and her “dead” husband than I would expect any husband to be.

Scott….at first I was furious with him!  Being SO selfish for running away.  But as the complete story unfolds, I become more compassionate about his actions.  This storyline unfolded in bits and pieces and keeps the reader intrigued; knowing there just has to be more to this story.

I thoroughly enjoyed (wept, laughed, praised and swore – mostly in my head, but not entirely) throughout the book.  The high points were great and produced a big smile and the low’s were low.  Ms. Lavelle’s storytelling is gripping and draws the reader in from beginning to end.  My suggestion is to get all four novellas, curl up with a good cup of tea and a box of Kleenex and get reading.  You won’t regret it.  I will patiently await further stories from this author.