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Guarded Dreams

Sometimes, reality is better than a dream.”

Once upon a summer, a boy unexpectedly meets a girl at the beach. Their bodies and souls know what their brains do not. They are meant to be one. But…

Eli dreams about being a US Coast Guard.

Ava dreams about being a country music star.

Those dreams send them careening in different directions, and their summer love story is left as a wish that never came true.

Four years later, Eli's Coast Guard career is threatened, and Ava's dreams are shadowed by her past, just as fate brings them together once more in New York City. 

As their lives start to crumble, they find the possibility of a second chance in each other. If they’ll only listen to what their souls are whispering and realize that, sometimes, the best dream to come true is simply to have loved.

Inspired by Luke Bryan’s “Sunrise, Sunburn, Sunset” comes a novel from award-winning author, LJ Evans, about all the ways dreams can be chased, lost and remade, and how love can guide you through.

Genre: contemporary women's fiction, contemporary romance, second chances

Series: standalone, an Anchor novel

Pages: 460

Release Date: May 2, 2019

Available: eBook, paperback, hardback, and box set

Other Books in Series: Forged by Sacrifice, Avenged by Love, Damaged Desires, Branded by a Song, Unmasked Dreams, The Military Bros Box Set

The Anchor Novels: The Military Bros Box Set

Three slow-burn, sizzling, military romances plus an exclusive novella. Heartfelt beach reads full of love, sacrifice, and family. The perfect book boyfriends to kick off your summer.


“The energy was coming off of her in waves, like an undertow, and I was going down.”


GUARDED DREAMS ― a second-chance, military romance. Eli’s chasing a dream of the Coast Guard that he’s determined to make his, no matter the consequences. He isn’t looking for love, but when the free-spirited singer, Ava, breezes into his world, he finds himself changing his tune.


FORGED BY SACRIFICE ― a slow-burn, political romance. Mac is determined to change the world. A life in politics is his future. The dream of a law degree Georgie once gave up is finally in reach. When they're given an unexpected chance at love, they can’t deny it. But will her family’s past make his future an impossibility?


AVENGED BY LOVE ― a fake-marriage, military romance. Travis is focused on two things: his Coast Guard career and his brother's future. Everything changes once the beautiful, comic-loving Jersey crashes into his world, needing more help than he knows how to give. A marriage of convenience seems like the only solution. But what happens when convenience turns to love?


THE HURRICANE ― bonus novella. Catch up with Eli, Mac, Truck, and their wives eighteen years after the gang first met in Guarded Dreams. This stunning bonus story shows the true meaning of family, sacrifice, and love as the gang gathers to help Eli and Ava rebuild.


The Anchor Novels from award-winning author, LJ Evans, are HEA, military romances about true friends, real "family", and the dreams we reshape as we go through this wild ride called life. With vivid, endearing characters, these books just might carve out a special spot in your heart and then stay there forever.


Don’t miss out on this music-inspired series that readers say will leave you breathless.

Pages: Over 1100

Release Date: May 21, 2021

Available: eBook

The Anchor Novel Box Set on Amazon
Anchor Box Set on sale now


Guarded Dreams teaser

Teaser pics courtesy of Lisa Reads A Lot on Instagram

Guarded Dreams teaser
  • Amazon Bestselling Author, Jami Albright, says that "Guarded Dreams is a lovely, lyrical, and moving second chance romance that sucked me in and refused to let go until I was wholly in love with Eli and Ava. LJ Evans has written a beautiful story that will steal your heart, and make you believe in love that lasts forever."

  • “LJ Evans is a unicorn author. You know the kind - they only come along once in a blue moon, but every word they write is pure magic. Every single one of her books brings all the feels and more, and Guarded Dreams is no exception. This book is absolutely amazing.” – Novel Momma

  • “Smooth cadence, lovely words, times that made my heart hurt and soar, Guarded Dreams took me on a journey filled with chasing dreams, highs and lows, struggle and sacrifice, and a love that fills the soul.” – Z.O. Goodreads Reviewer

  • “This is the greatest second chance romance without all the angst. You will laugh, sniffle, swoon and fall in love with all the characters." – V.M. Goodreads Reviewer

  • "Where in the world have I been for this to be my first time reading LJ Evans! She totally nailed it with this one… I have laughed, cried and completely fallen in love with Ava and Eli." – Curly Hair Lass 

  • “The story of how Ava and Eli learn to weave their lives together is wonderfully told!” “I always get a little choked up when reading books by LJ Evans and this one is no exception!” – K.W. Goodreads Reviewer

  • “Have you ever listened to your favorite song, that you have been obsessed with for years and then the artist strips the song down, doing an acoustic version, that blows your mind? It's like hearing the song for the first time, as it's becoming a masterpiece in their hands. This is how LJ Evans, develops her characters. It's a beautiful masterpiece in her hands. This is not your typical romance.” -Luv2Read Romance



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Ava & Eli teaser
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LJ Evans Logo image of girl with musical notes in hair
LJ Evans tag line where music and stories collide
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LJ Evans on goodreads link