Release Date: March 4, 2013
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance, novella
Book Source: Author
Emory Bennett owns a lucrative dreamwalking business. Trained in weaponry and Muay Thai, she spends her nights entering the dream realm resolving her clients’ nightmares, whatever they might be: bad guys, scary beasts, or the classic forgot-to-wear-my-pants nightmare. Her jobs get complicated when a gorgeous man keeps appearing requesting her help.
Grayson, a fellow dreamwalker, is stuck in the dream realm while a stranger inhabits his body. He needs Emory’s assistance in the waking realm, which he can’t visit if he can’t get back into his body.
Once Emory is convinced Grayson’s not a figment of her imagination, they concoct a plan to lure the body snatcher out. But as Emory begins to fall for Grayson, the line blurs between him and the stranger who inhabits his body. She must keep it together to get close enough to discover his secrets, or divide her very soul if she can’t bring the man she loves back.
Walking through other peoples’ dreams can be risky sometimes, but Emory Bennett wouldn’t trade her job for anything. As a dreamwalker, she fights the demons that plague the innocent in their sleep, helping them find peace that carries over into their waking lives. But, when another dreamwalker starts following her on her journeys, asking for her help in reclaiming his body, she’ll have to fight her greatest battle yet, and one that could cost her everything.
Similar to the idea of “lucid dreaming,” Dream On takes place more in the dream realm than the waking world. Emory is one of a few, rare people, known as “dreamwalkers,” who are able to leave their body in spirit and enter the dreams of others. In Emory’s case, she’s turned her skills into a successful business, even though she tends to keep her abilities a secret, only opening up to a few people she really trusts. Although there are risks, Emory is more than capable of taking care of herself, whether waking or dreaming.
This premise has a lot of potential for some great adventures on its own, but Ms. Pizzitola goes quite a bit further by introducing Grayson, a dreamwalker whose body has been stolen by someone else. Unfortunately, neither Grayson, nor Emory, have much to go on at first, leaving Emory to go undercover in order to get information from the man who’s stolen Grayson’s body. The real danger to Emory was, thankfully, revealed slowly, giving the suspenseful nature of Dream On plenty of time to develop.
One of the things I would have liked to have seen more of in Dream On is the history and origins of the dreamwalkers. Aside from a brief mention about Emory’s mother teaching her how to use her gift, there’s not much mentioned about how the dreamwalkers came to be, leading me to think the ability is a genetic trait. Yet, they seem to be rare enough that Grayson’s presence is a complete surprise to Emory. I found the idea of the dreamwalkers very interesting, but finding out more about them would have lent additional depth to the story.
Emory and Grayson are a lot of fun to read, though, their easy rapport and verbal swiping at one another providing needed humor and a sweet intimacy in all the right places. Emory is the perfect “tough girl”-turned-awkward-love-interest, and Grayson shines as the wounded hero who’s determined to make the most of the surprising attraction between them both. Although Emory’s stubbornness works to his advantage, he does realize the danger he’s put her in, more so than she does, and gives her plenty of chances to leave him to his own devices. Of course, Grayson’s chivalry does allow for an interesting internal struggle; his jealousy of his own (possessed) body’s proximity to Emory making him more willing for her to continue to put herself in harm’s way if it means she might actually be his, body and spirit, if they succeed.
Having never read anything by Ms. Pizzitola before, I found Dream On to be a solid introduction to her work. The novella is short, but suspenseful, and has enough flirty romance to keep things fun. Emory and Grayson are a well-written couple, for the most part, and compliment one another in both personality and ability. Although there were a few issues that affected my connection to the story as a whole, I enjoyed immersing myself in the dreamwalkers’ world, and hope that there will be more from Emory and Grayson, and maybe other dreamwalkers, too, in the future.
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)