Sea Of Dreams
by Keira Ramsay, paranormal (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-437-7

Fiona Neal, our heroine, should have known that something was about to change in her life when she waited at the wedding of Aidan Hughes and Leanan Murphy (whose story can be found in the first book in The RuneQuest series called Baptism By Fire) and Aidan greeted her as one of his kind, a Sidhe. Fiona had no idea at that time that she's a Sidhe, of course, and she dismissed "Aidan Hughes, Salamander Clan" as a crazy fellow. Instead, Fiona moved on to a wedding party quickie with a cute guy who turned out to be Aidan's buddy, Mike Alvarez. She left without giving him her name and that was that.

Three months later, Fiona has moved on from waitressing in Big Sur to taking up the job of a naturalist in Florence, Oregon. Apparently she has a relevant college degree for that job, so hey, good for her. It's a new start, but Fiona is also missing her foster parents and her two buddies back in Big Sur. You see, Fiona can't remember anything about her life in the first fourteen or so years and she's recently getting all these strange dreams about Ireland.

She is just getting the hang of things in her new place when she narrowly avoids getting into an accident with a Camaro. What do you know, the man behind the wheel of the Camaro turns out to be Mike himself. He claims to have a faulty accelerator, she claims not to have met him before, and like they say, it must be fate.

If you have read Baptism By Fire, you'll most likely remember Mike as Aidan's human buddy who stumbled upon the true nature of his buddy by the end of that story. He's convinced since then that what he saw back then was a dream. Like Fiona, he's moved here to start over again in a new environment. Being a fireman in a fire station that is way less sophisticated compared to his old workplace in San Diego takes some getting used to, but he's definitely happy that he finds Fiona here since he's never succeeded in getting that quickie out of his mind.

Aidan and Leanan remember Fiona too, for reasons different from Mike's, and when they learn where Fiona is, they pay her a visit to reveal to her that she's one of them too. Poor Fiona will soon find herself the prize to be won between two warring factions, the Fae and the Pixies. I know, it's hard to imagine those cute pixies in various children's books to be mean and dangerous, but we aren't talking about Enid Blyton's fairy tales here.

Sea Of Dreams is indeed something like a dream - it is so well-paced with perfect timing and all for a novella that I find myself believing utterly that the main characters are in love. True, those two started out with a literal bang but Ms Ramsay manages to develop the relationship of those two very well. Mike and Fiona talk as much as they boink so I can easily believe that they have something between them that is a little bit stronger than lust. The paranormal aspects of this story don't really come to play prominently until late in the story. The resolution is simple but somewhat open-ended, a development I very much prefer to one where the author wraps everything up neatly but unbelievably. This resolution, or the lack of it, is far more believable to me. Oh, don't worry, the romance is fully resolved, don't worry, I'm talking about the subplot involving the Fae and the Pixies wanting to claim Fiona as one of their own.

I have to say, I also love how well the author evokes the mixed bag of uncertainty and excitement that one tends to feel when starting life anew in a strange place. From looking foward to missing the ones left behind, the whole gamut of emotions are very well depicted here in a way that I can certainly relate to. The description of the scenery is also most effective. It's as if I'm there with the characters to take in the view.

Lush, romantic, and - of course - sexually explicit, Sea Of Dreams is a most enjoyable read. It gives me a credible romantic relationship, and the paranormal elements balance the romance nicely. It also takes me to places in the author's head, and that's what I really like about it.

Rating: 88

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