Top critical review
Great Plot Potential But Lacks Depth & Pizzazz!
on September 22, 2003
Diana Ransom is a 30 year-old psychologist/therapist, who lives in San Francisco, and carries around lots of excess emotional baggage - "physician heal thyself." While growing up she was very close to her sister Clare, & her cousin Keely. Clare and Keely were aspiring young artists. Diana's creative outlet was through her strong, very vivid dreams and fantasy life, which she was able to create, control and mold at will. Diana's and Clare's parents and Keely's mother were killed in a terrible accident, Keely was separated from the girls by her father, and Clare, who had just reached her majority became young Diana's guardian. After the sisters' terrible loss, Clare began a relationship with a handsome, magnetic man, who she never introduced to Diana. She gave herself over to him completely, until he seemed to drain the very life from her. When he left her she became apathetic, with no will to live. Clare committed suicide. Diana stopped dreaming after her sister's death, but has remained firm in her resolution to find the man she believes was the cause of her sister's fatal unhappiness. She is very wary of men and relationships, and very protective of her cousin Keely who has recently come back into her life.
Keely has recently become involved with a mystery man also, and her situation begins to remind Diana of Clare's. Keely is totally unwilling to discuss the man she is in love with, or to introduce him to Diana. She begins to look strung-out after spending time with him, and then suddenly she disappears. Worried sick, and frantic to find her, Diana introduces herself to mysterious Nicholas Gale, a charismatic businessman, who she believes may be responsible for Keely's disappearance. She and Gale are drawn to each other with a force Diana does not comprehend - but Nicholas Gale understands their mutual chemistry all too well.
This is an unusual fantasy-paranormal romance. Gale and his twin brother Adrian, his darker half, are not vampires in the true sense of the word. They do not drink the blood of their victims, they absorb the life force they need to sustain themselves through the victims' dreams. Nicholas never hurts the women he uses, he skims their excess energy, leaving what they need to remain vital and alive. In return he gives the women the memory of extremely erotic dreams. Adrian, is not as careful and is certainly not bothered by Nicholas' "mortal" morality. He has drained the life from women and left their bodies behind without a second thought.
The plot-line is certainly an interesting one, and the novel could have been a winner. However the characters are stereotypes, much too predictable. Ms. Krinard gives us the classic heroine who fears relationships and needs to be with a "super man" to learn the beauty of sex and love; our hero broods in his immortal loneliness and then nobly resists love when he finds it "for the sake of his lover's life;" and the villain is a classical villain. No surprises here. Some of the dream sequences are erotic and original. But the overall narrative is similar to hundreds of others found in this genre. The story and characters both need a touch of salt or pepper - some spice to liven it up. I did enjoy reading the book to the end, but could not ignore its flaws. I would certainly try another, later book by Susan Krinard, as I believe she does possess originality and potential.