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Monday, December 14, 2009

Dreams of the Past by Stephanie Barmann

Dreams of the Past by Stephanie Barmann
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Short (87 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Some Dreams are Meant to Come True.

Men don’t rate highly on busy Janelle’s list of priorities, especially not when they have a habit of cheating on her. The last thing she expects is to fall in love with Jake, a man she’s met online.

Jake, a military man, can't get Janelle out of his head. She haunts his dreams at night, and now she’s agreed to meet him in real life.

rom the moment they set eyes on each other, they knew it was meant to be. Will history repeat itself or will Janelle and Jake find their happy ending?

The hauntingly intriguing cover will draw readers in before they've even reached line one. And it proves an apt cover for this novella, Dreams of the Past. Janelle and Jake are wonderful main characters, and have rather mirror characters in the dreamworld, Regina and Charles.

It is Janelle and Jake that remain our focus however. Their relationship follows an odd plot, where shared history y and the revelations of dreams are important. This is unusual as a romance, as the two are in a relationship from the start, yet it seems neither is exactly the same person they were, (because of events) as at the start of the relationship.

Some images are intense, graphic even. Barmann shares a take-you-there skill that will have your heart pounding in fear in places, and in anticipation in others. Barmann is to be congratulated for her daring way of presenting ideas, as well as communication styles. I have to admit that the straightforward email style in certain places within the story rather dropped me out of the story for a brief span. The fairly long flashback also proved confusing; or perhaps it would be more correct to say it required too much focus, affecting the flow of the story.

What saves it is the exceptional descriptions; these draw the reader immediately back into the narrative. At times, characters’ dreams seem more real than actual events. This is true for our heroine Janelle, especially, as at times she seems to doubt where exactly reality is – and gradually, her paranormal sight becomes irrevocably entwined with the tale. (It’s when characters in her dreams recognize her in actuality that I realized the other side to this tale.)

Overall, dialogue is believable, feelings evocative, and the tale itself unpredictable. Well worth reading.