Man of My Dreams
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Man of My Dreams
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Suzanne Forster, Virginia Kantra & Maggie Shayne
352 pages
October 2004
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Man of My Dreams is an enchanting anthology that features everything from contemporary romance to science fiction and paranormal - but whatever the genre, these stories each possess a touch of magic. Sensual, serious, adventurous and sometimes humorous, these well-crafted stories are a delight. Fantasy or reality, the women here all find the men of their dreams in unexpected ways.

Sherrilyn Kenyon takes us on a journey to a strange and exotic world in the emotionally charged “Fire and Ice.” Livia typpa Vista is a Vistian princess who has been commanded by her brutal father to marry a territorial governor sixteen years older than her father. But the agreement all hinges on the fact that Livia must be a virgin bride. Livia wants no part of the wedding and manages to sneak away to a local bar, determined to lose her virginity even though it may mean her own death. When she catches sight of her father’s Royal Guard, she ducks into a booth in a dark corner and finds herself sitting across from the most handsome man she’s ever seen.

Adron Quiakides is drowning his pain and his past in alcohol when a pretty young woman slides into his bar booth. When she leans over and kisses him, he finds himself lost in her sweetness and innocence. As a former League Assassin, he is still a man to be feared even though he is permanently disabled. When a Royal Guard interrupts his kiss, Adron gets rid of him and whisks Livia back to his apartment. What follows is a deeply moving story of love and healing as both Livia and Adron learn what it means to really love.

Maggie Shayne spins the dark, suspenseful tale of psychic Megan Rose in “Daydream Believer." Megan is the owner of the Celestial Bakery but longs for her premonitions to be useful or helpful in some way. The information she receives is practical but never of any consequence - until she has a vision about a murder. She reports what she has “seen” to the chief of police, but he is skeptical. Megan is disappointed, but puts the incident behind her until she finds herself being pulled over for speeding by good-looking cop Sam Sheridan.

Detective Sam Sheridan is masquerading as a traffic cop. The truth is, her premonition was eerily accurate and the chief of police suspects that Megan might be involved with the murders. Sam has been ordered to get close to Megan and find out just how much she knows. Megan is immediately attracted to Sam when she realizes that he is the man she has been dreaming about since she was twelve. In that dream, a voice tells her that she must break the curse and save his life. As the murder investigation brings them closer together, Megan must not only help to uncover the killer, but she must also find a way to save Sam from the curse that threatens his life.

“Shocking Lucy” by Suzanne Forster is all about life choices and taking chances. It follows the life of Lucy Sexton as she prepares for her wedding day to her safe but boring fiancé, Frederick Anderson. Lucy’s world is changed while she is searching for a wedding gift for Frederick. She and a complete stranger end up wanting the same attaché case, but in the end, the handsome stranger ends up buying the case and then presenting it to Lucy as a present. Lucy is touched by his gesture and his kind words, but decides she can’t accept such an extravagant gift. Before she can repay him, he disappears.

Lucy is surprised when she runs into the stranger once again. Noah Hightower, an electrician who runs his own company, is working on the electrical system for a new restaurant on the top floor of the building where Lucy works. She tries to return the attaché case, but sparks fly every time she and Noah meet, and the case if forgotten. Noah makes her feel reckless and wild, but Lucy is planning her wedding to her sensible, but reluctant, fiancé. Can Noah convince her that there is more to life than settling for the safe choice? And what will Lucy do when she discovers that Noah has secrets of his own?

Magical and frightening are two words that best describe “Midsummer Night’s Magic” by Virginia Kantra. In the modern retelling of this fairy tale, we watch Janet Porter get a second chance at love. Janet, a small-town librarian, is coming home late from a boring dinner party when her car breaks down on a dark, lonely stretch of road. When she gets out of her car, she sees lights in the distance, so she sets off to seek assistance. At first, her rescuer is nothing more than a shadowy figure in the dark, but she catches a glimpse of the young man and is reminded of Ross MacLean, a man she loved and lost more than fourteen years ago.

He is still on her mind two months later when she is suddenly given the opportunity to see this compelling stranger again. She is drawn to him and throws caution to the wind, joining him and the carnival people he travels with at Carter Farm on the night of the Summer Solstice. But the truth is much more sinister. These are not simple carnival folk and the young man is indeed Ross MacLean, her long-lost lover. Will Janet believe the dark, frightening tale he tells her? And if she does, will her love be strong enough to save them both?

Sherrilyn Kenyon, Maggie Shayne, Suzanne Forster, and Virginia Kantra combine their considerable writing talents to produce a masterpiece of magic, filled with tales that are very different in style and genre. Man of My Dreams delivers deeply satisfying stories of love, healing, redemption, and second chances.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Norma Collins, 2004

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