Welcome to the blog tour for Dream of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout! Yesterday was the publication day of this novella. Read my review below to see what I thought!
Dream of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Book 4.5 of the Wait for You series
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC sent for review
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Abby Erickson isn't looking for a one-night stand, a relationship, or anything that involves any one-on-one time, but when she witnesses a shocking crime, she's thrust into the hands of the sexiest man she's ever seen - Colton Anders. His job is to protect her, but with every look, every touch, and every simmering kiss, she's in danger of not only losing her life but her heart also.
What I Liked:
I haven't read a book from this series in quite some time! Well, in all honesty, all I've missed is Reece and Roxy's books, Fall With Me. I'm not big on New Adult contemporary romance - it starts to sound the same, over and over, and Armentrout is yet another author that falls in this trap (at least, in my opinion). This particular work by her is ADULT fiction - not New Adult. The protagonists are in their late twenties, I believe. The romance and chemistry is definitely adult-rated, not New Adult. Maybe that's why I liked this one more than I expected? I love adult romance!
Abby isn't expecting her date to end in her witnessing a murder. She was on a date with a guy she didn't even like, and she left in a rush - but then heard something and saw three men surrounding one man, and one of the three man shoot the lone man. When Abby is taken to the police station for a statement, she discovers that one of the detectives is Colton Anders, an old high school crush. Colton is even more sinfully handsome and wickedly sexy than he was years ago, but his job is to protect her from further threats. But the real threat lies between them - are either of them ready for a new relationship, with so much at stake?
Abby is an interesting protagonist. She is different from most of Armentrout's other characters. She is very insecure about her appearance and her body, and knows that she isn't of "average" proportions or beauty (whatever that means). Basically, she's insecure. Her husband and high school sweetheart died four years ago and in a way, she is still grieving. She still loves him. Meeting Colton sparks a fire in her that she has not ever felt. Abby's insecurities and self-doubts are common among many women, and it was gratifying to see that type of weakness in fiction.
Colton is your typical alpha male - gorgeous, sexy, wicked. He's also sweet and kind, and dotes on Abby in a yummy way. He brings her desserts for breakfast! Yes! But he's very one-dimensional in my opinion. Still, I liked the idea of him. I think he could have been more fleshed out. Abby is really fleshed out. Colton is not. This could be due to the length of this novella.
The story is on and off, honestly, in terms of the murder and the aftermath. Like, it doesn't seem to go anywhere at times, like it meanders. And then pops back up, and then tapers off. There doesn't seem to be a general climax in the book involving the murder. Yet that is what brings Colton and Abby together. It's like the murder was used to bring them together, and then it disappears. So, meh.
The romance is pretty hot, though I think it has a touch of insta-lust and insta-love. Abby and Colton say "I love you" very quickly... I don't doubt love, but hmmm. Still, the chemistry is sizzling and the interactions between Abby and Colton are sweet and hot.
I liked this novella, overall! It was a bit too short and the non-romance plot was lacking, but I still thought this book was okay.
What I Did Not Like:
Like I said above, I found Colton to be one-dimensional. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of him. He sounds like a hot guy, with a sense of honor and chivalry, and a certain sexy charm about him. But he seems too "godlike" and perfect and sweet. Can we see some of the "bad" sides of males in romance novels, too? Like, when they get angry, with the female protagonist? Real couple fight, real couples argue, real couples get angry with each other. I'm not saying anyone has to get hurt physically or something, but real relationships are this perfect.
The non-romance plot was a bit lacking, in my opinion. This sounds weird because there is plenty involving the murder and the aftermath and the retaliation. But mostly, I was feeling pretty meh about the story outside of he romance.
Insta-lova runs rampant in this novella. It's simply too short for me to both 1) get a good feel of Colton and his personality - he's too flat a character at the moment, and 2) really dig into the romance and the relationship between Abby and Colton. They reconnect for a few weeks and BAM! They love each other? I guess it's possible but ehh...
Would I Recommend It:
I suppose so! It's JLA, and most people who like one or two of her books like them all. This one isn't her best, but the romance is pretty hot and the book is short and enjoyable. It's an ADULT novel! Not New Adult or Young Adult. Just a warning.
3.5 stars. I haven't decided if I want to round up or round down. Either way, this one wasn't JLA's best by far, but it wasn't her worst. It was a decent novella, and I liked the 1001 Nights theme going on. Makes me want to try the other 1001 Dark Nights novellas!
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About the Author:
About the Author:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.
“I just don’t want to end up doing what my entire family does. Everything is about the Academy, and that’s not what I want to do. The only way I’m going to escape that is by leaving now. Anyway,” she said, pursing her lips as a thoughtful look crossed her face. “One of the things you never really see in a romance book is a woman who has self-esteem issues. I mean, I’m sure they’re out there, but they’re few and far between. Like they can have eating disorders, post-traumatic stress from sexual assault or mental abuse. They can be sold into sex trafficking and they can carry epic amounts of grief. We have female characters who have suffered every loss imaginable and ones who are scarred physically and mentality, but where in the hell are the average women? Ones who look in the mirror and cringe a little? Like, why are all those others acceptable to women, but reading or knowing another woman who has a low self-esteem is, like, worse than all that drama llama? Dude, I get reading for wish fulfillment, but you’ve got to have a little reality in the story.”
Brushing her bangs out of her eyes, Jillian exhaled loudly and then continued. “Whatever. It doesn’t matter. You’re normal. I’m normal. We’re not perfect and not having the greatest confidence doesn’t make you any less of a person.”
What Jillian said was so true.
Holy crap, the raw truth of it all floored me.
Women wanted other women to have high self-esteem and confidence. No one wanted to ever admit that their confidence was lacking, that they had a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror.
It was wrong that we weren’t able to have our weak moments. That we had to hide the fact that we were uncomfortable with our imperfections. That the journey to loving yourself doesn’t exclude recognizing there were days when you just didn’t want to see yourself naked.
And that there were worse things than having some confidence issues.
I glanced over at Jillian. This was one of those moments when I forgot that she was so young, because damn, she really could be a hell of a lot wiser than me. “You’re right.”
Her face transformed prettily when she smiled. “I know.”
I laughed. “And modest.”