*I received a free copy of In Your Dreams from Harlequin HQN via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Blue Heron #4
Published by Harlequin HQN on 30 September 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancé's wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there's really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won't get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero.
But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she'll have to start by believing in him…
Beautiful love story, tender and a little tentative, In Your Dreams brought out a lot of feels.
My In Your Dreams review:
Both funny and very tender, In Your Dreams is a very nicely done contemporary romance that made me feel things all over the place regarding Emmaline. Her childhood was really weird, especially because her parents adopted a ten-year-old girl when Emmaline moved to her grand-ma at fourteen. Both her parents were child-psychologists so they really should have known better, too. In Blue Heron, she found a sense of belonging she had never had in Malibu, and when her fiancé broke off their engagement only two months before their wedding, she went back there to live in the house her grand-ma had left to her and her sister.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and Emmaline is invited to her ex’s wedding, and she really wants to go with a date. When the whole town bands together to get Jack Holland to go with her, she’s surprised when he agrees. Jack has recently been through a rough patch himself, first when he caught his beautiful wife cheating on him, and then a few weeks ago when a car with four teenagers plunged into the lake in January, and he dived in to save them all. Only one of them didn’t wake up, but stayed in a coma. Dealing with PTSD and hiding it from everyone, he is happy for the distraction a trip to Malibu will be for him.
I really enjoyed the story in In Your Dreams, but I thought that Jack’s PTSD was more a plot-device than anything else – to show how caring Emmaline was when he froze up and couldn’t continue on and she would notice and do just the right thing to help him shrug it off. Apart form that, the plot was well done, especially the way they both felt slightly guilty for their past failed relationships, and were gun-shy when it came to starting something new.
The epilogue is another thing I could have done without, it was written with a different narrator whose voice was not appealing to me, but it was very short, so I kind of shrugged it off and just let myself bask in the story of Jack and Emmaline anyway. Written in third person past tense, the narrator is pretty much omniscient when it comes to Jack and Emmaline, and that helped me feel like I got to know them and their quirks really well.
All in all, In Your Dreams was a very satisfying installment in the Blue Heron series, and if you enjoy contemporary romances with some smexy hotness, set in a small town where people meddle and care for each other, you should definitely give it a go.
Some of my favorite In Your Dreams quotes:
Seemed like everyone was getting married these days; Em had been to three weddings over the summer. In fact, she was considering marrying herself, just so she could register for the fun housewares.
Seemed like couples’ night at the pub. Maybe she’d stay in tonight. She and Sarge could watch YouTube videos of hostage negotiators, eat Kraft Mac & Cheese (don’t judge, it was delicious):
A flyer for a discount on heart-shaped cookies and cupcakes at Lorelei’s Sunrise Bakery – Valentine’s Day preorders now accepted. No need to save that, unless she wanted to buy herself some goodies ( which she did, though her uniform pants seemed a little hostile these days).