I am a longtime subscriber to the Water Forest Press newsletter. Water Forest Press specializes in publishing independent authors on a smaller scale. Victoria Valentine heads the site, so it stands to reason that she has published books of her own. In the most recent newsletter, she mentioned that if you would like a copy of her book Love Dreams, you should drop her a line. I let her know that I would gladly review it for her for Examiner, and I received my copy the following week.
Despite the old adage proving us wrong for decades, when I received my copy I truly did judge it by its cover. It was on my kitchen table while I finished up the last book I was reading, Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (amazing book), and all who passed by it also judged it as cheap and tawdry erotica. But I had made a promise to review Valentine’s book, and she did pay the cost to ship it to me, so I dutifully started reading it.
Let’s establish the fact that I am not generally a fan of erotica. Most of what is available out there rushes to the juicy parts, sacrificing a fleshed-out story and decent writing for a quick buck. Thankfully, I made sure to read the description of Love Dreams on Amazon.com that specified that this book is not erotica; it is a romance novel. I wholeheartedly agree.
When I initially started reading Love Dreams, I read 65 pages in one day. Normally, I only read a chapter or two of a new book at first to wet my appetite. I was thoroughly impressed with how well this was written, and I wanted to keep reading. It is not cheap nor tawdry, and the dialogue is genuinely likeable, although it does still suffer at times from female narration. Most men would not normally use the language that these men do.
Love Dreams is not overtly sexual. It is tasteful and takes its time in laying out the plot, which involves a woman named Sienna, whose emotions are severely damaged from a prior relationship, and Michael, the wheelchair-bound man who steals her heart. Dr. Trainor, a rich acquaintance, is the antagonist of the book. He vies much harder for Sienna’s affection than Michael because he is able, both financially and physically. Sienna’s final choice is not surprising, but this book is more about the journey than the destination.
Love Dreams is a delightful novel that explores the fantasy of dreams meeting reality. It gives us hope for the impossible, even when it ventures into unrealistic territory. The last twenty pages or so consist of events that seem improbable and slightly rushed, but you are willing to suspend disbelief simply because you want these characters to finally be happy.