Another month, another psychic heroine in series romance land. In Dreams has a tantalizing premise and some sexy scenes. Sadly, the finished product is merely an average read.
New Orleans resident Lucy Ryan has psychic dreams of the future. One night she dreams of a young woman’s murder. In an attempt to see if she can stop it, she goes to the murder scene. She arrives too late to stop the murder, and the killer sees her. Terrified, she tries to flee deep into the bayou, only to find herself being pursued by two gunmen determined to silence her.
Lucy finds sanctuary with Justin Guidry. The New Orleans P.I. is spending some time on his family’s houseboat, trying to sort out his feelings about a case that went wrong. They never met before, but Lucy knows him all too well. She’s been having some very explicit sex dreams about him. Now that she’s met him, she knows it’s only a matter of time before those dreams come true.
The love scenes generate a decent amount of steam and there are some good ideas here. I liked how the author introduces the idea of destiny and how some things are simply meant to happen. There are a few coincidences here that would normally strain credibility. They were easier to buy into given this larger sense that things are happening because they’re supposed to, which naturally works better in a paranormal plot than it would in a regular contemporary.
While the sex scenes are fairly explicit, the book really isn’t all that sexy. The story is much more focused on the mystery than the romance, with the investigation propelling the action. The plot bears more than a passing resemblance to one of Rosemoor’s Harlequin Intrigues. If not for the more graphic sensual scenes, this might as well be one of those. That wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing if the mystery plot weren’t so mundane. It’s developed in a reasonable manner, but isn’t suspenseful or all that intriguing. It’s ho-hum. It’s the kind of mystery where the author eventually produces two characters to serve as suspects late in the book, except it doesn’t really matter which one is guilty because we don’t know anything about either one of them. She could have switched the killer’s identity and it wouldn’t have mattered. It’s really difficult to care one bit about the suspense plot.
It doesn’t help that the characters are bland. The author makes an attempt to explore Lucy’s ambivalence about her abilities and to advance her strained relations with her family. But it all happens so easily, entirely by rote, that it doesn’t really amount to much. Lucy and Justin’s conflict boils down to the usual he-doesn’t-believe-she’s-really-psychic bit. Just when they’re getting close, he reveals right on cue that he still doesn’t believe her, she feels betrayed, etc., etc. Both Lucy and Justin would have had to be developed more as people to make this anything more than run of the mill.
In Dreams gets off to a good beginning and has a few decent moments. It’s not bad. It’s also not particularly good or interesting. Diehard fans of this plot may want to check it out (or they could check out the other psychic-heroine-in-New Orleans series romance out this month, A Father’s Duty by Joanna Wayne, even if it’s only marginally better). Anyone else might be better off looking for one of the better variations on the same material that’s out there.