LoveSpell, $5.50, ISBN 0-505-52418-X
Paranormal Romance, 2001
Once Upon a Dream is a story about dreams. Not-so-interesting dreams about curses. Robin Wise, despite her surname, is agoraphobic. She believes that the womenfolk of her family will not live after the age of 30. And now that she is this close to the big three-oh, she refuses to live the house even when a tornado heads her way.
I guess death via a collapsed roof never crosses her mind.
Since she doesn’t go out, her only way of having fun is dreaming about wild, hot interludes with this mysterious dream guy. When she rescues her cat from the neighbor’s dog (see, tornado won’t get her out of her house, but her cat can – now I definitely know I am reading a romance novel), she realizes that the guy next door is that hottie in her dreams! Oh, can she see him without blushing to the roots of her hair again?
Alex Simon dreams too of her. In these dreams they have hot interludes mixed with daring adventures in the past as they try to break the curse of the Wise women. Hence, the story is about both people dreaming about breaking curses. This is the only reason I can imagine why the pace of the story seems to be on perpetual comatose state.
For once, I don’t even feel that Robin or Alex is any well-fleshed character. They seem to be an amorphous gel of traits without any coherent personality. That’s fine if the story succeeds in the fantasy part, but I never get the sense of place or even feel of it. The author sets most of her story in the blurred reality between dream and real life, but I never actually feel any sense of being drawn into the setting, much less the story.
Once Upon a Dream has a very interesting premise, I’d grant it that. The plot is nothing I’ve read recently, and I thought I would get something fresh and exciting. The execution, however, with its skimpy characters and dangling plotlines, leaves a lot to be desired.