The high energy in "Dreamless" comes from two major creative challenges (which the author masterfully meets). The first challenge happens early in the book when the hero and heroine acknowledge they are in love! Traditionally, this should happen at the end of the book, not the beginning. My immediate thought at reading this early acknowledgement of love was to think: "You can't do this!" Had the story just become a suspense novel with a secondary love interest? I was prepared to stop reading but the plot had opened so many "How will it turn out?" questions, that I just had to keep reading...at least a few more pages.
In a normal romance, the love interest is the central focus. "Will the couple get together in the end and how will they do it with all the obstacles that stand in the way?"
Often one or both lovers are deeply flawed and afraid to love. They spend a good part of the book trying "not to fall in love"; this creates a lot of tension which keeps the reader's interest. Then towards the end of the book, there is a "black moment" when all seems lost; the relationship will not work. Finally at the climax of the story, from the depths of despair, the lovers resolve their differences and the reader ends the story with a wonderful feeling.
An author, who buys into this standard story line, receives "ready-made, plot-provided interest". If an author does not follow this plot line, she has to reinvent the wheel; that is, create her own unique tension.Read more ›
Horses are Jake's life, and the horrendous construction noise threatens to send value mares into labor much too soon. His and Cassie's peevish telephone skirmishes quickly escalate to all out war. Surprisingly, after meeting they do establish compromises and quickly fall into a dating routine. Unfortunately, vandals strike at both of their properties, endangering their livelihoods and eventually their lives.
Author Darlene Gardner pours on the romance while never backing away from the painful events of the past in DREAMLESS. Cassie and Jake begin as enemies who make an immediate connection when tragedy draws them together. Then they do something seldom acknowledged in the romantic genre: they date and truly enjoy their growing relationship: movies, a favorite restaurant, hearts and flowers, oh my! Of course, they also meet with incredible personal challenges that put their beliefs and their love to the test. But once established, their feelings for one another never waiver. Cassie's father and Jake's ex-wife provide important subplots that teach important lesson in love and forgiveness. A beautifully told tale that will hold readers riveted, DREAMLESS comes highly recommended.