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on December 19, 2002
Courtesy of Love Romances
In Dreams by Nora Roberts
Kayleen Brennan was on vacation in Ireland, exploring the countryside and hoping to find some goods for her family's antique store in the States. When out exploring, she gets caught in a bad storm. The enigmatic Flynn rescues her, and then her adventures really begin. He is cursed to spend eternity living only through his dreams, with one week every 100 years to truly live. He intends to make this week one to remember with Kayleen, hoping to convince her to be with him forever. She is drawn to him, but when she finds out his secret, will she be able to accept him for who, or what, he is?
This was another good story from a master, but has a tendency to get bogged down in details. Granted, the heroine is an antiques expert, but is it really necessary to go into so much detail about Flynn's furniture? Queen Anne this, Louis XV that, it is overdone and detracts from the story. Kayleen and Flynn make an interesting pair however, complementing each other in many ways. The story surrounding Flynn is intriguing, as to why he is condemned to the "life" he has. If one can get past the over-the-top detail in many places, this is a delightful story.
The Sorcerer's Daughter by Jill Gregory
Willow of Brinhaven's father, a powerful dream sorcerer, is imprisoned for angering the great sorceress Lisha. He is doomed to remain there for 100 years, unless Willow brings Lisha the Necklace of Nyssa, which is protected by the Trolls. He father vows to send out a dream to a protector for Willow on her quest, leading her through the Perilous Forest and Troll's Lair. But in error, the wrong person, Blaine of Kendrick, receives the dream. Blaine is known for causing trouble and his exploits with women, and he is the last person she should count on. But upon meeting, they are drawn to each other and eventually agree to go on the quest together. But the more they are together, the more Blaine wishes for a different quest, one to win the fair Willow's heart forever.
This was quite a fantasy tale, with trolls, sorcerers, and magic galore. It has a cute storyline, with details of Willow's quest, and the matching of wits between Blaine and Willow. Blaine is the typical "bad boy" of those days, and Willow is a young woman trying to overcome her position in life. The sparks between the two of them will light up the darkest of nights. There is also an interesting side story; the real reason Lisha imprisoned Willow's father.
The Enchantment by Ruth Ryan Langan
Annie Tyler is trying to make a real estate business for herself in Maine. Things are going fairly well, but she gets her break when Cordelia Sykes Carrington, one of the wealthiest women in the state, solicits Annie to sell her summer home. When Annie arrives, expecting to have the place to herself, she is surprised to find Ben Carrington, one of Cordelia's sons, show up as well. When they become trapped there together by a sudden storm, strange things begin to happen, with a lack of electricity keeping them cut off from the outside world. But even stranger is the fact that they are falling for each other. When the storm is over and things are back to normal, will they find their attraction is real, or just a dream?
This was an okay story, but probably the least favorite of this reviewer's in the collection. Too many things are far-fetched and unrealistic. Example, Isn't it rather strange that ALL the power in the house, all the phones, and their cell phones don't work, but the refrigerator works just fine? The point is made several times throughout how there was a power failure, but neither character thinks it odd that the refrigerator works when the stove doesn't. Some of these smaller details just confuse the story, distracting one from the love story between Ben and Annie.
The Bridge of Sighs by Marianne Willman
Claire is an American art appraiser, trying to overcome her recent divorce from her adventurous ex-husband, Val. She gets the chance of a lifetime when Count Ludovici of Venice, summons her from one of the oldest and richest families in the city, to inventory and appraise his extensive art collection. She can't resist the chance to return to Venice, where she was born, but left as a young child. Her ex-husband is also there, to photograph the artwork, much to Claire's dismay. Or is it? She still loves him but is convinced things will never work. When she starts having haunting dreams of a young girl, Bianca... a dream which fast becomes a nightmare, upon learning Bianca disappeared many years ago, believed to be murdered. Will Claire and Val learn to be together again, or are they truly meant to be apart? Who is the mysterious Bianca, and what happened that fateful night she disappeared?
This was probably the favorite story in the collection. Especially since this reviewer was reading it during her very own dream vacation in Venice! It was fun to be reading about the very sights being visited. The story in itself is well written, too. Claire is a bit lost; trying to find her place in her life after everything she thought she wanted falls apart. The addition of the sad story of Bianca, enhances the feel of the story, and makes Claire realize she needs to go after her own dreams if she ever wants to be truly happy.
All in all, this is a memorable collection. Each and every book in the "series" these four authors collaborate on is a delight, well worth the addition to any romance lover's library. One will want to make this addition to their "keeper" shelf!
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on February 6, 2002
"Once Upon a Dream" is an enchanting anthology by four very talented romance authors. It's a nice, light read, and is wonderful for those days when you just need to relax!
The first story, "In Dreams" by Nora Roberts, is the best. Flynn has been sentenced to an eternity trapped in a half world of dreams, with only one week every century in which to live. Five hundred years into his sentence, when his week is just beginning, Kayleen Brennan, the dark-haired beauty who haunts his dreams, shows up at his door in the middle of a storm. Flynn brings her in and tends to her, and as the two spend time together, the ever-sensible Kayleen begins to see that there really is magic in the world. The romance these two share is both passionate and tender, and will surely warm readers' hearts. At the end of his week will Flynn trap Kayleen in his half world just to keep her with him, or does he love her enough to set her free? This is a highly original and magical tale, and I guarantee it will make you smile!
Next is "The Sorcerer's Daughter" by Jill Gregory, my second favourite story in this anthology. Willow's father, Artemus the sorcerer, has been imprisoned by the powerful sorceress Lisha. The only way to set him free is the retrieve the fabled Necklace of Nyssa and give it to Lisha, so Willow embarks on a highly dangerous journey to find the necklace. Concerned about his daughter and her journey through the "Perilous Forest", Artemus weaves a spell that is supposed to send and old friend to Willow's aid, but instead sends the infamous rogue Blaine of Kendrick, who's out to get the necklace for himself. This is a lovely, fanciful tale and it is sure to please readers.
Third is "The Enchantment" by Ruth Ryan Langan. Annie of Tyler Real Estate has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime when she is asked to sell the Carrington estate in Maine. She travels to the mysterious, deserted estate to check it out, just as Ben Carrington arrives to take one last look at his family home. With a little help from a ghostly presence, Annie and Ben get to know each other on borrowed time, and discover the enchantment of true love. This is an enjoyable and entertaining tale about taking the time for what's really important in life.
Finally is "The Bridge of Sighs" by Marianne Willman, which is the weakest story in the anthology, but is still worth reading. Claire of San Francisco's "Sterling Galleries" travels to Venice to appraise a very special art collection. In Venice, Claire runs into her ex-husband Val everywhere she goes and begins to wonder if she could fix what went wrong between them. Claire is also haunted by dreams of a troubled young woman from the past, and is determined to uncover the truth regarding her fate. This is a lovely story about righting the wrongs of the past in order to create a bright future. The plot of this story was a little weak, as were the characters, but that didn't stop me from reading and enjoying it.
Overall, "Once Upon a Dream" is a wonderful anthology filled with magic and love. Each of the four authors has created an intriguing, fanciful, and original story that will leave you satisfied and happy. So read this book today!
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on January 29, 2001
This is my first time reading an anthology of novellas. Since each story is less than 100 pages long, all my complaints are baically centered around their shortness.
There was a definate lack of character development in most of the stories, but my main complaint is the lack of growing love. The characters in Nora Robert's "In Dreams," Jill Gregory's "The Sorcerer's Daughter," and Ruth Ryan Langstan's "The Enchantment" all fall in love in less than a week. Marianne Willman's "Bridge of Sighs" involves a recently divorced couple dealing with the problems that caused the divorce, so they of course had more of a history.
One of my favorite things about romance novels is that you see the character's love grow and their personalties evolve, but this of course cannot be done in less than 100 pages. However, all the stories were delightful, and a good deversion to read separately at different times, so not to be overwhelmed by their shortness. Definatelty a fun read when you have an hour or two to just relax and lose yourself in the world of dreams.
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on December 28, 2000
Once Upon a Dream is the third anthology by these same four authors. The last two were Once Upon a Star and Once Upon a Castle. In this one, each story is considered a paranormal romance and has a dream theme in it, hence the title. They range from contemporary, to historical, and fantasy-type fiction. Each has it's own style and each has just enough passion to steam up the nearest window.
In Dreams by Nora Roberts Kayleen, who has never experienced true love, travels to Ireland and ends up, in a very unusual way, at a castle. Flynn, who has been cursed and trapped for five hundred years, finds the woman who haunted his dreams. It's passionate, magical, and mystical. How Roberts is able to create all these characters is beyond me, and the way she writes them is mystical in itself. It's a romantic lesson in the right kind of love -- another contemporary romance winner, of course.
The Sorcerer's Daughter by Jill Gregory Willow of Brinhaven's father, a sorcerer, has been condemned to a stone dungeon by someone with greater powers than his. The only way he can be freed is if Willow risks her life to find a great treasure. Her father sends help through a dream, but the attempt goes astray and she ends up dealing with Blaine of Kendrick, a mercenary solider who wants the treasure for a future bride. This historical read shows that sometimes mistakes can be a good thing when it comes to romance. This one has a fantasy-like flair to it.
The Enchantment by Ruth Ryan Langan Annie has a chance to sell a large waterfront estate. The fact that it's haunted intrigues her all the more. When she drives out to stay the weekend she experiences more than a ghost but was it all just a dream? It's a contemporary romance about taking the time to smell the roses and love reaching from the great beyond.
The Bridge of Sighs by Marianne Willman Claire is taking a trip to Venice to procure some art. A haunting dream and an ex-husband named Val follow her to the romantic city. Neither will leave her be until she faces the past and reveals the truth. It's a contemporary romance about opening one's soul to purge the pain in order to receive true love.
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on November 7, 2000
"In Dreams" by Nora Roberts. In a remote part of Irelandss Avondale Forest, a half of a millennium has past since the curse confined Flynn to a world of dreams. Now Kayleen has entered his castle, his dreams, and hopefully his future.

"The Sorcerer's Daughter" by Jill Gregory. To free her captive father, Artemus the wizard, from Lisha, Willow must retrieve a necklace amidst the Perilous Forest. To protect and aid his cherished daughter, Artemus weaves a spell that sends the wrong man after the Necklace of Nyssa.

"The Enchantment" by Ruth Ryan Langan. Annie of Tyler Real Estate is the agent responsible for the Carrington estate sale in Maine. Ben decides to take one last look at his family home before everything is sold. Neither one expected the enchantment of love.

"The Bridge of Sighs" by Marianne Willman. Claire of San Franciscoss Sterling Galleries flies to Venice to evaluate the Count Ludovicci's Renaissance art collection. However, in Venice, Claire begins seeing visions of a doomed past that forecasts an equally nasty fate for Claire.

All four novellas are superbly written and are enchanting romance tales. Readers will feel the magic as the quartet of authors cast a spell on the audience.

Harriet Klausner
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on November 30, 2000
Having recently discovered romance novels through the work of Nora Roberts, I picked this up to try some additional romance authors. I was very pleased with my choice! Ms. Roberts is at her best, in my opinion, when she blends fantasy and magic with romance, and the first novella does that extremely well. The concept of the trapped sorcerer and the lost traveller is excecuted very well, and of course has the required happy ending.
The second novella is also very sweet, and is a little more along traditional fantasy writing. The third and fourth novellas were much weaker, and I thought really lacked even the minimum of character development required in romance writing.
However, the collection makes for great fireside reading without too much concentration required.
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on January 29, 2001
I loved this book. I never thought I would ever read, let alone enjoy a romance novel. I look forward to reading more of these authors novels.
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on May 2, 2003
This book has many enchanting stories full of romance and magic. A true joy to own
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on June 16, 2016
good read
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