Our Comfort Reads: Dream Man

Our Comfort Reads
Our Comfort Reads is our own blog feature that Cait and I use to do a small review and recommend books that we read when we need a little pick-me-up, whether we’re overwhelmed with our TBR pile, need a break from a bad run of books or just want something familiar to read that we know will deliver a good story and a happy ending.  These are all our “A” rated books, ones we hope you’ll enjoy too.Today, mine’s a pretty old favorite.  It’s one of my first Linda Howard books, probably back before I really paid much attention to who she was.  If I’m reading romantic suspense, I’ve always loved the added kick of a heroine with some psychic ability and this may be the book that started it all for me.

Dream ManDream Man

By Linda Howard
Publisher: Pocket
Publication Date: January 1, 1998
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Detective Dane Hollister of the Orlando police department has never met anyone quite like Marlie Keen. While he has doubts about her supposed clairvoyant powers, she sees crimes as they’re being committed, there is no doubt about how much he desires her. To Marlie, Dane is all heat and hard muscle, and he makes her body come alive as it never has before. But not even she can foresee that their passion will lead them on a dangerous journey into the twisted mind of a madman who will threaten their happiness and their lives.

Goodreads Summary

A vicious killer is stalking the women of Orlando and homicide detectives Dane Hollister and Alex Trammel have been assigned to the nearly impossible case. The killer leaves nothing at all behind – they have absolutely no forensic evidence, no idea how he gets in or out, no idea how he chooses his victims and no witnesses. Then the unbelievable drops into their lap. A psychic claimed to have “been” there and seen everything from the killer’s eyes – for the skeptical Detective Hollister, Marlie Keen has just skyrocketed to the top of his suspect list.

Marlie had thought her debilitating visions left her six years ago and is terrified that they’re back. She’s not thrilled that the super-alpha Dane is invading her space either, demanding to know how she knew about the crime scene. His disbelief fades as her visions prove accurate and their volatile relationship turns romantic at warp speed. The killer is also moving faster and becomes aware that the police are closing in, putting strain on Dane professionally and Marlie psychically – leaving both vulnerable to him.

This is one of those books that has to come with a little warning – when you read it, you have to remember that it was written in the late 90s. Guys were a little less PC. Dane does a lot of grunting caveman-ish behavior that probably wouldn’t go over very well in a book written today. The wardrobe is pretty nondescript in the book, so there’s nothing to detract from the story, but you’ll have to ignore some furniture references unless you enjoy wicker in your living room.

The story is fairly straightforward suspense – serial killer stalking city, psychic can “see” what he’s doing, cop is suspicious of psychic but then realizes she’s the real deal and the two fall in love while chasing killer. So why do I love it? Well, Howard does great drama. Back in 1998 she wasn’t as polished and let’s be honest, this isn’t as good as something like All The Queen’s Men, but Dane is super sexy for a ridiculous caveman and I love Marlie’s inner strength. She started out a little wimpy and let Dane run over her but as she dealt with her visions and figured out where the power was in the relationship, she got smart and strong.

Dane..well, you have to really like the big goofy alphas. He has a little section where he’s in his head talking about his philosophy about women and it’s a little funny. He’s thinking about how as a man, it’s his job to walk down stairs first in case the woman falls because he’s bigger and stronger – things like that. Thankfully, he’s just nutty sexy too. The little epilogue is hilarious.

The serial killer story isn’t terribly suspenseful because throughout the story you know who he is and you sort of know what the big ending has to be because it’s broadcast a mile away. It’s still big and emotional because it’s more about Dane and Marlie than it is about the killer.

This is one of my comfort reads because although it’s a little dated, I really like the sexy love story between Dane and Marlie and the psychic romantic suspense genres is one of my favorites. It’s not as complex as some of Howard’s later books, but I think it’s still got drama and emotional punch and the satisfying ending always puts me in the mood to head back to my TBR pile refreshed and ready to read something new.

Barbara

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Comments

  1. My very favorite comfort read is Kill and Tell by Linda Howard. My second favorite is After the Night, by Linda Howard. My third is Son of the Morning by Linda Howard. Big smile!

  2. A lot of my very big favorites are from her and Nora. My little collection of Howard paperbacks are starting to crack apart. 🙂 Your picks are both really good ones too – After the Night is on my shelf too!

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