by Christine Feehan, Marjorie M. Liu

September 2006
ISBN: 0-8439-5687-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

With two talented authors in their “stable”, Dorchester Publishing has offered readers a special treat. Dark Dreamers brings two fine paranormal series together in one book. Fans will get to read a Carpathian novella from Christine Feehan and then experience the world of Dirk and Steele with Marjorie M. Liu. The results are spectacular.

When he realized that his people and humanity were in danger, Prince Vladimir Dubrinsky sent his best warriors out into the world to act as guardians. Some in pairs, others alone, he kept no record of their mission lest it fall into the hands of his enemies. When his son Mikhail became the ruler, many of the hunters returned home to swear loyalty to the new Prince, while others remained alone.

Falcon has been away from home for centuries, protecting humanity from vampires at the expense of his own soul. Feeling the end approaching, he is on his way back to the Carpathian Mountains where he will die, unwilling to become the enemy of his people. As he travels through Romania, he is moved by the plight of the street children who beg for money, and does not fear the gangs who prey on the other tourists.

Sara Marten is almost out of time. The evil that has hunted her since she was young is very near, and she despairs of helping the seven special children she has found among the orphans. They all appear to have psychic powers, as she does, and she is determined to rescue them. When she encounters Falcon, she cannot believe it. He has been in her dreams for years, and now he stands before her in the flesh. But he is no dream, and Sara knows that they have a special connection.

Dark Dream may be a novella, but it contains all of the passion and excitement of a full book. Readers will be captivated by Falcon’s story, and enchanted by Sara and her heart full of love. Author Christine Feehan’s exquisite skill is evident in all of the little details that make this story a page-turning delight.

Author Marjorie M. Liu brings us another fascinating Dirk and Steele story in A Dream of Stone and Shadow. Charlie and his brothers are prisoners of an evil witch. Unwilling to do her bidding, they are trapped. Every time Charlie dies, his soul takes flight while his organs regenerate. When he finds a little girl being held by monstrous humans, he knows that he must help her. He casts about for someone to contact and finds Aggie Durand, a woman who sees the future. She is also a warrior who saves children from predators. She will be perfect for his quest.

Aggie feels something, like a warm hand on her neck, sending sensations through her body. It is not like one of her visions, but something completely different. The feeling intensifies until she meets Charlie, or what appears to be Charlie, in a vision. Charlie tells her about the child, Sarah, and Aggie immediately begins her search. But there is a bond between them, and she wants to know more about the mysterious Charlie and his willingness to die over and over again to save a young child.

Charlie knows that Aggie would be the perfect woman for him, if he could ever escape from the witch. But he won’t leave his brothers, and he won’t try to escape while he needs to keep dying to help Aggie find Sarah. Gargoyles are guardians, and this is his duty. He wonders what Aggie would feel if she could see him in his true form.

The romance between Charlie and Aggie is being conducted on a psychic level, and it is a unique twist in the story. Aggie must not only save Sarah, but find and rescue Charlie before the witch discovers what he does in death. I hope that we will see more of Charlie and his brothers now that they know about Dirk and Steele.

Reviewed in August 2006 by Paula.