Threatening, frightening, creepy – all these adjectives come to mind when reviewing this almost-paranormal romance from the imaginative pen of Lindsay Longford. There’s a drought going on in a desolate Florida county, a severe, burn the leaves off the trees type drought, and single mom Josie Conrad is fighting both the elements and a terrible tragedy – the disappearance of her only child. Her nearest neighbor is the mysterious and enigmatic Ryder Hayes – she knows practically nothing about him, except for the fact that he has apparently stopped a pack of wild dogs from attacking her.
I found the first few chapters of this book a little difficult to get through – the threatening nature of this story is made very clear and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between reality and the fantasies running through Josie’s mind. I kept waiting for the scary violin music to start in the background! Josie is, of course, forced to deal with Ryder, and in the course of their interaction, an unwilling attraction begins. Again, not everything is clear – emotions are murky, things happen that may or may not be real, and confusion is often the result, not only for Josie and Ryder but also for the reader.
The plot is interesting, the romance develops against the odds, and the conclusion is (pretty much) satisfying, but I have to admit I finished this story feeling like I had watched a film through opaque glass – details had blurred and perhaps I had missed some important points. To be absolutely fair, I must say that this was my first Dreamscape book – and although the cover makes it clear that this is a paranormal romance, I was probably unprepared for the dash of horror that was blended in. Since then, I have added more Dreamscapes to my library – the best way I can describe them is a mix of Stephen King, Jayne Ann Krentz and perhaps a smidgen of Wes Craven!! A very specific kind of book for a very specific audience – make sure you are a fan of scary stories before you pick one up.