Friday, January 29, 2010

Dream Man--Review

Dream Man
Wild Rose Press
Nancy Parra
(304 pages) Spicy


Dr. Eva Stanford only wants to help her patient sleep through the night. Little does she know that the old woman holds the secret to a thirty-year-old mystery that threatened the political life of a presidential candidate and Eva’s own family.


FBI Agent Nate Cancaid has a reoccurring dream of a woman with dark hair and blue eyes whose murder he is unable to prevent. When the blue-eyed doctor enters his office, he feels the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end.


It’s bad enough when Eva’s patient claims that Eva and Nate are her married assistants, but coincidences grow too complicated for her scientific mind when some of the clues come straight out of Nate’s dreams. Can Eva keep from losing her heart to a man of intuition or has fate already dealt her a losing hand?


Nate thought about how beautiful Eva was...

How soft, how she held him close and tore him apart bit by bit. But she never promised him anything. That simple truth was hard to swallow. He was the one who pursued her. He was the one who pushed her into his bed. All she did was ask him to help her client.

It was no wonder she came at him like she did this morning. In her mind, the sex was good, but that was all they had. He pounded the pavement beneath him and scowled. No, it was more than that and he knew it. Nate swore she knew it too. They could pretend otherwise, but it didn’t make it any less real. It complicated things. She was hip deep in this damned
mystery and he felt fate closing in around him.

Fate was a tricky thing. Sometimes free will wasn’t strong enough to combat it.

How the hell was he going to keep her safe? She didn’t want him around
twenty-four-seven. And yet that was what he needed to do if he was going to keep the dream from coming true. Speeding up, Nate turned a corner and headed home. He was certain of one thing. He
shouldn’t have let Eva go to the clinic alone.

Available to buy in paperback or e-book format:
Dream Man

My Thoughts:

I’ve read and enjoyed other books written by Nancy Parra. Dream Man wasn’t all what I expected it to be. I expected a contemporary romance. What I got was a tightly written, very entertaining, suspense. I made the mistake of opening it just to see the opening scene before I went to bed. It grabbed me and didn’t let go. I read a fourth of it before my eyes simply would not stay open. I read the rest the next day in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down. Nancy has a way of developing interesting characters and this was the first real suspense of hers I had read. I had no idea she could write such a gripping story.

This is well written suspense involves politics, love, and an unsolved, thirty-year-old cold case. While I won't give away any spoilers, I will say the premise of using dreams is fascination and current.

The story begins with a mystery. An older woman has been sleepwalking and brought to the sleep Clinic for help. Mrs. Patterson, who during the day, is an innocent and sweet grandma, but during her deepest sleep cycle and becomes someone totally different for an hour or two. Further more, she claims to be someone who has been dead for thirty years. How is that possible? This is the riddle facing Dr. Eva Sanford.

Eva can’t make up her mind whether her patient is a multiple personality or is it an elaborate charade. If it’s the truth, then it’s a very dangerous one. Eva’s family is well connected politically and Eva is well acquainted with that world. She knows that this secret can bring down a presidential candidate. A candidate with connections who will do whatever it takes to see their *boy* as the President of The United States, and if it’s the truth, already has several dead bodies hidden. If Eva pursues this, she knows that not only is life of her patient, Mrs. Patterson, in danger, but so is Eva’s.

Eva contacts Nate Cancaid, an FBI agent specializing in solving cold cases. He’s a very much “just the facts ma’am” man who doesn’t believe in anything woo-woo—except he’s had a reoccurring dream every night and at the same time, for years. Coincidence or Fate?

Nate reluctantly meets with Mrs. Patterson’s alter ego and is unnerved when she recognizes him. How is that possible? He’s never met her before. He’s convinced it’s some sort of sophisticated hoax, because the truth isn’t possible, or is it?

What I enjoyed about Dream Man is as each piece of the puzzle falls into place the tension tightens and danger stalks Eva and Nate. My background is in psych and the dialog is realistic. You know Eva is a doctor from the way she speaks. She uses current terminology, as does Nate.

Both have issues and internal conflicts that both have to work through for their relationship to succeed. Eva swears she’ll never marry and doesn’t believe in happy ever after—she’s never seen it in her world where marriages are bartered for the good of the political party. Love has nothing to do with it.

Nate, due to his reoccurring dream, has sworn off blue-eyed brunettes for fear she’ll die if he marries one. Yet he recognizes Eva as the one for him. Externally conflicts come from someone who will do anything to keep the secret behind the thirty-year-old cold case buried. It’s a race against time.

Dream Man was a joy to read and I have to say, kept me on my toes right up to the denouement.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Nancy J. Parra holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism but turned to writing fiction when she discovered it was more fun to interview the people in her head. She lives in the Midwest with her wonderful husband. Since her two, almost-perfect children have left the nest; Nancy now fills her free time nurturing a mutt named George Bernard, and a bichon-poo, named Gracie Lou.

Nancy is currently hard at work on her next book. She loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at her website


~Sia McKye~ said...

Nancy, in case you couldn't tell, I loved your book.

What was your favorite part of writing this book?

Elle J Rossi said...

Hi Sia!

Great review. Definitely need to add this one to my TBR pile. Love the idea of using dreams.

Great coffee this morning!


Mason Canyon said...

WOW, sounds like a great book. I love the plot line. This one will definitely go on my wish and TBR lists. Thanks for introducing me to a wonderful author and a fantastic book.

Other Lisa said...

Oooh, this sounds like fun! I've been reading Nancy's blog for a while now, and I've always enjoyed it -- and this sounds like my type of book!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Sia,

Thank you so much for the wonderful review! And for hosting me.

The part I liked best about the book-besides hunky FBI agent Nate-was the idea that we are all somehow connected and actions have far reaching consequences. And perhaps dreams really do come true. :)


Joelle Charbonneau said...

Hi Sia - thanks for having Nancy on. I read this book and totally agree with you. Once I cracked the cover, I was hooked!

Nancy - what a wonderful read. I think it is so interesting that you wrote so many historical romances before turning to romantic suspense. You have a great contemporary voice (although your historical one was lovely, as well). And the mystery and suspense in the book was top-notch. What are the big differences for you when writing the two different genres and how do you overcome those challenges?

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Joelle,

So glad you liked DREAM MAN. Wow, good questions. I guess for me its all about the romance and HEA-whether it's historical or suspense. So I concentrate on that first. Then I work on the details and research necessary for each type of story. It's fun for me to change things up-historical to contemporary and back. I think it gives me a fresh approach to each story.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Nancy, I liked the connections of the dreams too. It made for fascinating reading. :-)

Did you have to do much research for Dr. Eva?

~Sia McKye~ said...

Joelle, I should have known better than to even peek when I was so tired. I've not read a Nancy Parra book yet that didn't grab me from the git-go.

Hey those dark circles under my eyes were well worth it, let me tell you. You're right, this is a top-notch job.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Lisa, you'll like it. Nancy has such a cool voice in whatever she writes but this one took me by surprise. A very nice one, I might add.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sia -

I had the same challenge and ended up staying up way late reading the book! (And yes, the dark circles were worth it).

Nancy, loved the book! What are you working on now?


Marilyn Brant said...

Hi Sia! *waving* What a fabulous review!!

Nancy, congratulations on writing such a terrific, heart-poundingly suspenseful story! I was so excited about this release ;). I know you've published many books and have written others across a range of genres. How do you approach writing multiple stories in different genres?

Nancy J. Parra said...


I had the best time researching Dr. Eva and sleep research. I find science interesting (but not enough to study it for a living. lol) There is some great information out there on dreams and sleep studies. I find it so much fun to take cool science and twist it up in a fiction story.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Elle, Mason and Lisa, I didn't mean to leave you out at all. Thanks for coming by, I hope you get a chance to read the book. I'd love to hear what you thought.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Deb, I'm working on a thriller with cool science involved along with a sweet historical. Oh and a couple of other books, lol. Then there is this hero that popped into my head about two weeks ago. He is tall, dark, handsome with turquoise blue eyes and he keeps hanging out waiting for me to give him a story. :)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks a great question. I'm such a story teller. lol. Nothing is more fun for me then catching someone's interest with a story and bringing them along for the ride. When writing different genre's, I try to put myself in the reader's place, figure out what they want and then craft it just for them. I think the nuances of different genres are so interesting.

Anonymous said...

Nancy--congrats on the great review! I don't read a lot of suspense but it sounds like you nailed the suspense angle in Dream Man. I can't wait to read your book!

A Cowboy Christmas(Dec 09)

Morgan Mandel said...

Sounds great, Nancy!

Morgan Mandel

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marin, thanks for stopping by. I think you'll like the romance in DREAM MAN as well. It's my spiciest book to date. :)

Hi Morgan, thanks for coming by and commenting.


Margaret Tanner said...

Great review Nancy, congratulations. Enjoyed the excerpt too.

Kat Sheridan said...

Great review, Sia, and Nancy, this sounds like an outstanding book! I really love romantic suspense, and this one sounds perfect for me! Wishing you much success with this. It sounds like a winner!

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Margaret, thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the excerpt.

Hi Kat, thanks for the wonderful comment. I hope you get a chance to read DREAM MAN.

Cheers~ Nance

Linda Kage said...

Wonderful review. I have to say DREAM MAN is my favorite book by Nancy J. Parra. It's the perfect romantic suspense.