Linda Howard definitely has a thing for cops! And given the kind of cops in her stories, I could have a thing for them too! Even though the Dream Man in the title doesn't refer to the hero, Detective Dane Hollister could very easily fit the bill. He and his partner, the always-elegant Alex Trammell, are two hard-working Orlando detectives and the last thing they need is a savage killing in their town.
Marlie Keen is trying to live as normal a life as possible, given that she has the most extraordinary psychic talents lying dormant beneath a six-year-old trauma. The last thing she needs is a resurgence of this ability, which allows her to see the violent attack through the eyes of the killer!
The last thing either Dane or Marlie need is the added complication of a strong physical attraction between them! Dane is immediately skeptical when Marlie arrives at the police station to report her visions of the first killing, even though her accuracy is unnerving. Marlie is seriously aggravated by Dane's sarcasm and disbelief even though she has been accustomed to this kind of a reaction all her life. Dane is puzzled by his own responses to Marlie; he can't seem to keep away from her even though he is sure she comes under the heading of "kook and/or wacko". A second killing - and Marlie's visions of it happening - go a long way to convincing Dane of Marlie's true skills and his protective instincts along with his gruff honesty begin to charm Marlie and give her an unusual sense of safety. The fact that he's big and handsome doesn't hurt either!
The building of the romance between Marlie and Dane is a delight to behold, and is in no way diminished by the frightening crime story that is unfolding throughout the book. Linda Howard manages this delicate balance extremely well (as she does in Mr. Perfect and Open Season to name just two of her other excellent books), and we are swept up with Dane and Marlie in a breathtaking muddle of love and murder! Yes, there are a couple of plot holes - if you're under police protection you probably don't go to work and then drive home to the safe house (duh) - but it's a minor point, and in no way detracts from the overall high quality of this story.