on August 3, 2001
When I first read this book 4 years ago, it was the first time I'd read a contemporary romance and I became a huge fan of both the genre and of Linda Howard. Only a great book could change my tastes in reading material, and this one certainly qualified. I re-read it recently and was just as impressed as I was the first time. This book has it all - great characters, sizzling sexual tension and an entertaining plot.
The heroine, Marlie Keen, is an empathic psychic who starts seeing horrific murders through the eyes of the murderer. Dane Hollister, a detective investigating the murders, is fiercely attracted to Marlie despite his reservations about her psychic abilities. Thanks to her past experiences reading others' emotions, Marlie is extremely wary of her own intense emotional reaction to Dane. As the two work together together to solve the murders, sparks start to fly. The romance that follows is compelling. Like Dane, I'm not someone who would buy the whole psychic thing in real life, but Howard makes it work in this book. Both characters are wonderfully developed. This is a great read for all readers, not just romance fans.
on February 16, 1999
I've been reading romance for over 20 years (Yikes!), beginning with Woodiwiss' "Flame and the Flower", and I know a good book when I get my hot little hands on one. I have less spare time to spend reading, and less patience with bad writing or editing as I get older - I cherish the time I spend curled up with a great book. I'm tired of the "old boyfriend" (if he was a jerk the first time around, why give him a second shot?) and "hidden kid" (not very honorable) themes, and this current amnesia craze gives me hives. When I want to read a good romance, I want unique and intriguing plots, dominant and protective males who want a partner not a maid, witty dialogue, and smart savvy heroines. Most of all, give me authors who don't get bogged down in the scenery and details - don't tell me what happens, show me - if I can't picture the action in my head and like the characters enough to care what happens to them, you've lost me as a reader. Linda Howard is one of the very best, and her books consistently make it onto my keeper shelf, which I'm very picky about and which is populated by volumes authored by those familiar names like Garwood, Deveraux, Quick, Woodiwiss, Garlock, and Lindsey - if I don't love it enough to want to read it over and over, it's outta here. If you liked this one, try her others, including "After the Night" and "Kill and Tell", two of my other favorites.
I can't tell you how many times I've read this book. It is not only on my keeper shelf, but is one of my favorit comfort reads. If you enjoy paranormal, suspense, and hunky cops, this books for you! Marlie Keen is a psychic who used to have incredible talent--but she hasn't been able to, or even wanted to, experience her talent in some time. It has actually been years, and she thinks she may have been "cured"--until she experiences a vision of a violent murder while driving home on the freeway. The murder is so clear and vivid to her she see no other choice but to go to the police--enter Dane, a sexy disgruntled homicide cop who dislikes her on sight, and then on principal. But he can't discount that she knows things only the killer or someone there could know...Linda leads through a thriller and a half here. And at times we even get to see into the head of the killer..talk about creepy. Dane is a Dream Man, and one of Linda's Alpha males she's known for, my favorite. This book is packed full of action and suspense, and you just don't know what's going to happen next...A Wonderful read!
on November 11, 2002
This is one of my favorites by this author. It combines suspense, romance, and the paranormal and the final result is a page turning story. Although you know who the bad person is early on in the story it is still suspenseful as you watch Dane and his partner with the help of Marlie track down the killer before he kills again. Don't be put off by the paranormal aspect of the story. You don't have to be a full believer to see it work in the story.
Marlie is a great heroine and a perfect foil for Dane. She brings out his protective instincts and at the same time stands strong on her own. The chemistry between these two is incredible and easily believable. This is a great addition to any personal library.
on May 9, 2005
I've read numerous Linda Howard books and realized this was my least favorite about halfway through the story. DREAM MAN lacked the normal zing and fervor in which she usually brings to the written page.
Marlie Keen is an empath, a type of psychic, who is uncomfortable in revealing her powers to anyone, thus keeping everyone at a distance. Six years ago, she endured a killer's attempted revenge, only to be traumatized to the point of having no powers. When these return, she is thrown into mind of a vicious killer. After going to the police, she is doubted and considered an accomplice. Once her alibi is verified, Detective Dane Hollister gives in to his instant attraction.
When Marlie has another vision, she calls Dane, who immediately rushes to her side. After witnessing the trauma a vision causes Marlie, he is determined to protect her at all costs. He moves into her home and invades all aspects of her life. Invades and conquers... it was more like a Viking domineering his woman.
The problem right from the start of this book is Dane's incredible attraction to Marlie. They argue and act like children who are attracted to each other. When Dane decides that he wants to be involved with her, he snaps his fingers and expects Marlie to fall in line. At this point, she loses her spunk and becomes a dishrag doll happy to be the obedient girlfriend. The strong character the reader is introduced to is snuffed out and replaced with a shell.
The story lags when Marlie and Dane are not on the trail of the serial killer. We're given hot and steam sex scene after sex scene, with little intellectual meat. Basically if Marlie isn't having a vision of the killer stalking and/or slashing his next victim, she's tossed into bed by Dane and expected to perform.
DREAM MAN is definitely not high on my reading list. I'd much rather read MR. PERFECT or KILL AND TELL. This is an average book that isn't up to the usual excellence of Linda Howard.
on April 17, 1999
This was my first book by Linda Howard and I really enjoyed it. I plan to go out and find as many of her books as I can.
All her life Marlie has "The Knowing", phychic abilities that allow her to enter other people's minds, especially when a crime is being committed. Six years earlier while helping look for a child murderer Marlie is kidnapped and forced to endure terrible circumstances. After this terrible incident Marlie lost all her phychic abilities and lived a normal life, until now.
A killer is on the loose in Orlando, Florida and Marlie is seeing events through his eyes. She tells the police, but Detective Dane Hollister doesn't believe her. Immediately she is his number one suspect. Although Dane quickly discovers that Marlie isn't a suspect, he is drawn to her like no other woman he's ever known. Together Dane and Marlie must work together to catch a killer and reach into the mind of a madman.
This is a great book and I can't wait to read more by Ms. Howard. (Although, why are all the heros tall with jet black hair?? Aren't there any blondes, redheads or men with brown hair anymore?)
on October 15, 2002
Linda Howard tells a marvelous story with Dream Man.
After six years of freedom from the "knowing", Marlie is chagrined to find that it - her clairvoyant empathy - has returned. A few days after she has a graphic and disturbing vision of a murder, she decides to go to the Orlando police to assist them in finding the killer.
Detective Dane Hollister doesn't believe a word that the woman with the compelling blue eyes tells him. But he knows that somehow Marlie knows exactly what she's talking about. He also knows that the feeling that overcomes him whenever the psychic is near is too strong to ignore.
After getting off to a rocky start and trying to deny a wild attraction, Dane and Marlie try to work together to find the Orlando Slasher and to figure out what's going on whenever they're in the same room.
Ms. Howard deserves commmendations for writing such an excellent story. I loved the scenes between Dane and Marlie, especially what each one went through as feelings were revealed. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who loves romantic suspense.
on January 31, 1997
Linda Howard successfully weaves a funny, delightful,
believable fantasy that is sensitive and intelligent
with earthy sensuality. It is by far the best Linda Howard
book yet, and certainly one of the best of the genre.
As usual, Howard manages to intrigue you in the action and
interaction of her characters without insulting you, her reader. Her female lead character is not a simpering nit-
wit, and her male lead is not an overbearing boor. Her characters are people whom you like but have failings. There are love scenes, but they are well written and lack the silliness of many romances.
If you like romances, you will probably want to read this book again and again. If you like Linda Howard, DON'T MISS
Howard disappeared for a period while she had back trouble, but she came back with a roar with this mesmerising book.
Marlie Keen is an empath. She feels what is happening to people in episodic black-outs, and what she is seeing now is murder in a most horrible fashion. Though she has been there done that before, she cannot withhold the information knowing the killer will strike again and again, so she puts herself through the ridicule in hopes of stopping a serial killer.
Dane Hollister wants this killer caught and will use anything and everyone in his path, including Marlie Keen. He is attracted her, and he will put himself between her and the killer, but no matter how he feels about her, he will use her as bait to stop this madman.
Marlie is deeply attracted to Dane, feels that attraction deeping into stronger emotions, possibly love. But she fights this, knowing most people cannot accept life with am empath, fearing that their every thought is laid bare. Dane swears he is different, yet when push comes to shove, he proves he, too, is not that much different than the rest.
Despite their personal problems, they are forced to work together, because Dane knows only through Marlie and her gift will be be able to bring this madman to justice. Marlie's visions grow stronger, just as her feelings for Dane, but then he betrays her. He promised her if she helped track the killer he would shield her from the public and the media. Knowing how devastating this would be to her, he deliberately alerts the press to the psychic presence on the case baiting the trap to make the killer focus his attention on Marlie. But in doing so, he may have lost the woman he was falling in love with.
Tense, gritty and emotionally draining. A book you will never forget and a fitting return for Howard.
on March 8, 2004
Linda Howard is one of my favorite authors. I will pretty much read anything with her name on it. Still, you have to like her style of writing. The story lines tend to change, but the basic premise is always there. Heroine meets man, he usually has a few issues, and they must learn to love and trust each other with whatever plot Ms. Howard has thrown in. I personally like the way she maneuvers these types of novels.
In Dream Man you meet Marlie Keen who is a psychic trying to live a quiet life away from everyone she knows. She is very much a loner with no friends or relatives that she enteracts with. Although Marlee used to work in the psychic field, she left because she was almost killed while helping the police solve a crime years ago. Guess what? Marlie witnesses "psychicly" a murder and feels compelled to go to the police. At the police station she meets hunky Detective Dane. Dane is your basic gruff workaholic cop who at first believes Marlie is nuts, and then believes she's a suspect. As he follows her around town and has her investigated, he ultimately comes to believe in her ability. Now he will have to work with her as they try to track down a serial killer. The characters are good, the story line flows and I read this book in one sitting. I would recommend.