Dreaming of You
Successful and innovatigve Santa Fe hotel owner Faith McBride is unlucky in love and suffers from unrequited love for Brandon Grayson. Brandon is a very successful restaurateur in his own right, and he just happens to be one of Faith’s brother’s childhood friends – and Faith has been in love with him since they were kids.
With Brandon’s older brothers recently settled down in happily marital bliss, his mother is determined to see him wed. The trouble is that even though he sees how happy his brothers are, Brandon refuses to fall into the same trap.
When Brandon’s apartment bathroom springs a leak, necessitating some major repairs, he gratefully accepts Faith’s offer of a hotel room for a few weeks. Aware of his mother’s plan to see him wed, Faith sets in motion a plan to help him see her as a desirable woman before he falls for someone else. So, with some help from Brandon’s sister and some old friends, she decides to ask Brandon for some lessons in how to attract a man, then sets out to make him jealous by dating some very attractive guys.
Faith’s ploys work, and Brandon falls for her. When he discovers that she set out to “trap” him though, he’s angered and breaks it off. Brandon’s family soon make him realize that he’s let go of the woman he loves and Brandon makes every effort he can to win Faith back.
Reading the first fifty or so pages of this book is like being stuck in stop-and-go traffic. This book is part of a series and there are so many people to introduce and so much exposition to get through that it really slows up the pace. Just as the story would start to take off, I’d be introduced to another Grayson relative…which was quite unnecessary, as these people didn’t really figure into the plot.
The book started to get interesting when the business rivalry between Brandon and Faith heated up – Brandon constantly tries to steal Faith’s employees (and in particular, her head chef) to work for him instead. Sparks started to fly at that point, and I hoped that the book would center around this professional rivalry because the restaurant and hotel were interesting and pretty unique elements.
This book started to slide downhill when Faith came up with her convoluted schemes to trap Brandon. I kept having to double check to make sure I wasn’t reading a wallpaper historical, because that’s exactly the kind of harebrained scheme a TSTL heroine would come up with. And in fact, TSTL is exactly what Faith became every time she was around Brandon.
Brandon, for his part, seemed trapped in a historical as well. He was a complete fake rake. (And, a fake man too – at the beginning of the book a woman offers him a one-nighter, and though he’s unattached and she’s beautiful, he turns her down for no reason, even though we’re told that he goes through women like water.) We’re told again and again that he doesn’t want to get married. Why? We never find out. There doesn’t seem to be any reason other than plot device. We’re told again and again that his mother wants to see him wed. Why? Again, no reason other than plot device.
This book turned into a complete wall-banger for me after Faith and Brandon slept together and Faith’s virginity was revealed. Again, I felt like I was reading a historical, particularly given Brandon’s odd response. That incident and a pointless misunderstanding at the end of the book drove me over the edge.
Faith and Brandon were actually pretty smart and interesting characters – as long as they weren’t with each other. The moment they were, both became TSTL. If you are a Grayson family fan, you might like revisiting the family – they show up a lot, and do nothing. Everyone else would be better off skipping this book.