Four authors have contributed novellas to the anthology Man of My Dreams and it is more of a mixed bunch than you might suspect. We have futuristic, paranormal, contemporary and fairy-tale romances all inside the covers. The tales allow the authors to expand their creativity in new directions, explore new possibilities or retell old favorites. Overall, the book was a success.
Best-selling author Sherrilyn Kenyon stretches her creative mind in a completely new direction with Fire and Ice. This futuristic tale features a hero on the mend, Andron Quiakides, and a princess on the run, Livia typpa Vista. She refuses to be married off to a man older than her father, so she escapes to find a man to take her virginity and prevent the arranged marriage. Andron is suspicious of the young woman, but agrees to help her flee the guards who are after her. Even in this shortened format, Ms. Kenyon has penned a tale with depth and outstanding characters. Readers who do not usually read futuristic stories will still enjoy this tale of devotion.
Maggie Shayne explores the world of psychic phenomena in her story, Daydream Believer. Megan Rose has been getting visions her entire life, but her family denied her gift and she has tried to supress it as much as possible. When the dreams start centering on a serial killer in her community, Megan knows that she has to call the police. The chief is skeptical, as she expected, but he asks Detective Sam Sheridan to investigate her claims further. As Megan is targeted by the villain, Sam must open his mind to the possibility that Megan’s visions have some basis in reality. He knows that no matter what, he must protect Megan while she tries to stop the killer from striking again. This taut thriller will propel readers along with Megan and Sam while they search for clues on the killer. Ms. Shayne’s writing is fast-paced and readers will be unable to put it down until they have reached the final page.
Suzanne Forster’s contemporary contribution, Shocking Lucy is oddly out of place in this exotic quartet. Lucy Sexton is determined to get a special attache case for her fiancé, Frederick. When she sets the briefcase down to look at a tie, someone else picks it up. Judging from his work boots, blue jeans and tool belt, Lucy cannot imagine why he would want such an expensive attache, and attempts to get it back. Noah Hightower pays for the case and then returns it to Lucy as a gift, hoping to negotiate for an hour of her time, just to get to know her better. This lively encounter puts more sparkle in Lucy’s step than Frederick ever has, and even her mother wonders if she is making the right decision to marry. This novella seemed lackluster next to the first two sections of the book, and did not really engage my interest, except to keep reading through the book.
Virginia Kantra offers a new version of the Tamlane story with Midsummer Night’s Magic. Librarian Janet Porter is having car trouble in a remote area, when she meets Rob Goodfellow and a handsome young man who offers to assist her. She is struck by his eerie resemblance to her former lover who left her fourteen years ago. As she is drawn into an otherwordly encounter she learns that the person who caused her such heartache in the past is much closer than she thinks, and that she can set him free. Even though this story has been told in many variations, Ms. Kantra’s version is evocative and alluring. It was a pleasure to revisit an old friend in a fresh way.