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The Dream Hunter Kindle Edition
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“No one—repeat, no one—writes historical romance better than Laura Kinsale.” —Mary Jo Putney, New York Times–bestselling author of Sometimes a Rogue
“Laura Kinsale creates magic. Her characters live, breathe, charm, and seduce, and her writing is as delicious and perfectly served as wine in a crystal glass . . . If there is one thing I wish for every romance reader, it is to experience the singular and extraordinary pleasures of a Laura Kinsale novel.” —Lisa Kleypas, New York Times–bestselling author
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00J84KZ7C
- Publisher : Open Road Media Romance (April 1, 2014)
- Publication date : April 1, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 5052 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 404 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #304,879 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I loved this story; the life in the desert was so well described it felt as if I was there. I don't know how Zenia could endure the cold emotions of Lord Winter's parents who only allowed her to live with them because she had his child. I found the ending a little confusing as Zenia had to face the emotionally punishing behavior of her mother to prevent continuing the mistakes she had made. At times I wasn't sure what she was thinking or talking about but it didn't interfere with enjoying the way the story ended.
The plot was different from so many other period romance stories. The author used some cliches, like how awful the young society women at the time were in that they had no individuality or personalities worth knowing; and the frustrations faced by heirs to estates and how they hated the necessity of learning about how to run one when they would rather be doing something else. But most of the story was fresh and entertaining. The writing and editing were good, the story details seemed to be accurate as to period values and mores (as far as I could tell--there were no glaring mistakes that I could see).
I would recommend this book to readers that like a little adventure with their romance, especially centered in the Arabian dessert of the early 1800's. The story has several descriptive love scenes that include sexual activity so some readers may find this offensive, but I've seen worse. It didn't feel like the book was written just so the author could include sex like some books feel; it fit into the story and moved the plot forward effectively.
Storyline: Lord Winter, adventurer extraordinaire, on the outs with his controlling father Earl Belmaine, decides to take on the intriguing prospect of locating and bringing back to England, the fabled "String of Pearls" - a horse known only by legend and supposedly to be found deep in the Arabian peninsula. Apparently it will not be his first trip to this area of the world, because it's soon revealed that he had previously visited Lady Hester Stanhope, "mad" Queen of the Desert, on several occasions at her hilltop fortress in Arabia.
In this book, Lord Winter arrives just in time for Lady Hester's funeral and decides to spend the night in her deserted, pillaged fortress. Except, he's not exactly alone - he encounters an individual that to all appearances is a young distressed and fearful Bedouin lad going through some documents. In fact, the "lad" is the daughter, Zenobia (Zenia), of Lady Hester who has been sadly mistreated by her mother, serving as a ragged servant in her home for several years. Although Zenia looks to be about 14, she is in fact 25 years old. She's desperate to get to England so she can meet her father, Michael Bruce, who is unaware of her birth, and be rid of the desert forever. She realizes she's of genteel background, but feels like a castaway, not even having owned shoes for many years. She. wants. the. fabled. shores. of. England. But, as usual, her mother has left her with nothing but fear in her soul. Afraid to reveal her identity to the English Consul, out of concern she will be held responsible for her mother's debts, she's alone and terrified.
Thinking she is a young boy and believing he can make use of her abilities, Lord Winter requests she accompany him deep into the desert in his quest to find the String of Pearls. Zenia tells him her name is Felipe and her price for accompanying him will be the a ticket on a ship to England to which Lord Winter readily agrees.
**Spoilers** From here on out, the time spent in the desert serves to bind the two of them as they struggle through sand, wind, dangers in the desert, including lack of water and food. Although Felipe sleeps with her hand touching Lord Winter each night, he doesn't realize Felipe is actually a woman for three long months, calling her his wolf cub and choosing to think of her physical connection in touching him as he would a loyal dog. By the time truth is revealed, the two are in hot water with political factions in the Arab desert. Believing they will be killed the next morning and in their desperation to find comfort, they make mad passionate love. The following morning, help arrives from unexpected sources, they escape their prison only to be run to ground - Zenia escapes with Lord Winter's help - he is wounded and believed to have perished.
Eventually Zenia finds her way to England, identifying herself as Lady Winter and pregnant with Lord Winter's child. Michael Bruce welcomes her into his life with open arms, Lord and Lady Belmaine, after some questioning, also want her and her baby daughter, Elizabeth. They believe Elizabeth is the only descendant they will ever have since everyone believes Winter is dead. But, of course we know he can't be dead because the book isn't even into the half-way mark and sure enough, two years later he shows up in London, requesting to meet up with Zenia who has continued to pretend to be "Lady Winter" so her child will not be considered illegitimate.
The stiff and stuffy Lord and Lady Belmaine have insisted that Zenia live with them on their estate so they can have a measure of control in Zenia's and Elizabeth's life. Zenia's life has finally turned into a safe haven, including protection, comfort, clothing that aren't rags, even shoes - plus, she has a daughter that she absolutely adores and she has free reign to love Elizabeth, with seemingly complete guidance over her baby girl.
Into this world returns the semi-outcast, Lord Winter, looking for the wolf cub he fell in love with in the fiery desert. How dare he survive the attack? Things were going so well for everyone. Zenia is very cold toward him, she's over-protective of their baby, his parents want him to settle down and learn to oversee the family properties. Lord Winter can't break through the protective shield of fear Zenia has woven about herself. This tripe goes on for far too long. In the process, the reader begins to further understand the man we fell in love with in the desert. He's stifled, angry, bewildered, and we finally realize he's been a loner all his life and now must learn to maneuver in a world that includes a "wife" that will not marry him, a baby he wants to become acquainted with, but is being protected as if she's a breakable egg and his mother - well, she's over the top cold. At this point, he had my blessing to abandon everyone (except Elizabeth) and head back to Arabia.
In Lord Winter's favor, he presses through until the man deserves a gold medal, the silver star, a medal of honor. So, we as the reader, must have some patience because Zenia's previous life was so dire, she valued some things more than she should have and Lord Winter's past was so over-the-top smothered and sheltered, as his father's one and only child, he valued some things more than he should have, such as freedom from the rigid rules of society. The two must learn to let go of their fears and distress and find some common ground. This part of the book is full of ups and downs and Zenia is mostly very uncooperative.
Finally, everything comes together in the last couple of chapters and personally, I found some of the writing in those segments to be absolutely off the hook. I first read this book two years ago and found it to be as fascinating yesterday as the first time I read it. Ms. Kinsale - please write more books. Find your muse once again and give. us. more. please.