BN.com Gift Guide

Dream Man

( 127 )

Overview

Had she finally met the man she longed for...or was she dreaming?
Marlie Keen was trying to lead a quiet, ordinary life. She thought the knowing -- the clairvoyance that allowed her to witness crimes as they happened -- had been destroyed in the nightmare of her past. Then one night it returned with a vengeance, and she desperately needed to find someone to make it stop.
Detective Dane Hollister of the Orlando police department had never met ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (1) from $26.17   
  • New (1) from $26.17   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$26.17
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(4564)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
1476752451 SHIPS WITHIN 24 HOURS!! (SAME BUSINESS DAY) GREAT BOOK!!

Ships from: BAY SHORE, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Dream Man

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

Had she finally met the man she longed for...or was she dreaming?
Marlie Keen was trying to lead a quiet, ordinary life. She thought the knowing -- the clairvoyance that allowed her to witness crimes as they happened -- had been destroyed in the nightmare of her past. Then one night it returned with a vengeance, and she desperately needed to find someone to make it stop.
Detective Dane Hollister of the Orlando police department had never met anyone like Marlie. He had doubts about her clairvoyance, but there was no doubt how much he desired her. Her soft, sweet scent set his blood afire, and he wanted to wrap her in his arms and chase the sadness from her eyes. To Marlie, Dane was all heat and hard muscle, and he made her body come alive as it never had before. But not even she could foresee where their passion would lead: a hungry quest for the elusive, dreamy ecstasies of love...and a dangerous journey into the twisted mind of a madman who would threaten their happiness and their lives....
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Detective Dane Hollister has a tough life. He hasn't had a day off in a month, a serial killer with a predilection for slashing women to death is on the prowl and now a psychic who claims to witness the murders through the killer's eyes has come forward to share her visions. As far as he's concerned, the psychic is as twisted as the slasher. For her part, from the moment she walks into the Orlando police station, Marlie Keen is sorry she offered to help. Hollister (and everyone else) treats her gift of ``knowing'' with suspicion, but the detective's investigation into Marlie's past convinces him that her gift is genuine. Hollister moves into Marlie's home, nursing her through terrifying and exhausting bouts of clairvoyance. At the same time the two ease the sexual tension threatening to overtake them-which if it doesn't quite make for good police work, does make for steamy romance. The author (Heart of Fire) has obviously done her homework on the procedure used to develop a serial killer's profile and brings this process cinematically alive. Hollister makes the perfect romantic hero. As Hollister's partner says about him: ``He's street-smart, woods-savvy, and sly as a fox. A real throwback. Mean, too. Damn, can he be mean! But he turns to putty where women are concerned.'' Howard's writing is compelling, especially the murder scenes. If you ignore an insipid epilogue bogged down in psychic overkill, this is Howard's best work yet. (June)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781476752457
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 4/13/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

It was eleven-thirty when Marlie Keen left the cinemaplex with the rest of the Friday night moviegoers. The movie had been a good one, a lighthearted romp that had made her laugh aloud several times and left her in a cheerful mood. As she walked briskly to her car, she thought she could tell which movie people had seen by how they were acting now. It wasn't that difficult; the couples who were holding hands, or even exchanging kisses in the parking lot, had obviously seen the sexy romance. The aggressive bunch of teenage boys had seen the latest martial arts thriller. The well-dressed young professionals who were in earnest discussions had seen the latest Thelma and Louise imitation. Marlie was glad she had chosen the comedy.

It was as she was driving home on the brightly lit expressway that it hit her: She felt good. The best she had felt in years. Six years, to be precise.

In startled retrospect, she realized that she had been at peace for several months now, but she had been so caught up in the sedative routine of the life she had built here that she hadn't noticed. For a long time she had simply existed, going through the motions, but time had done its slow work and eventually she had healed, like an amputee recovering from the loss of a limb and learning to cope, then to enjoy life again. Her loss had been mental rather than physical, and unlike an amputee, she had prayed through dark, endless nights that she never recover that part of herself. At some point in the past six years, she had stopped living in dread that the knowing would return, and simply gotten on with her life.

She liked being normal. She liked being able to go to movies the way normal people did, liked being able to sit in a crowd; she hadn't been able to do that before. Several years ago, when she had realized it was actually possible, she had turned into a movie junkie for a while, visually gorging on the films that she thought were safe. For a long time any degree of violence was unbearable, but for the past couple of years she had been able to watch the occasional thriller, though they weren't her favorite type. To her surprise, she hadn't yet been able to watch any sex scenes; she would have thought that violence would have been immeasurably mote difficult for her to handle, maybe even impossible, but instead it was the portrayal of intimacy that gave her problems. Dr. Ewell had been fond of saying that no one should ever lay bets on the human psyche, and she was amused to find he was right. The violence in her life had been traumatic, devastating, while the sex had been merely unpleasant, but it was the "love" scenes that still had her squeezing her eyes shut until it was over.

She exited off the expressway onto a four-lane street, and of course was caught by the traffic light at the bottom of the exit ramp. The radio was tuned to an easy-listening station and she inhaled deeply, feeling the slow music and the lingering lightheartedness of the movie combine in a delicious, physical sense of contentment --

-- the knife flashed down, gleaming dully. A sodden, muffled THUNK! as it struck. The blade rose again, dripping red --

Marlie jerked back, an unconscious physical denial of the horribly real image that had just flashed in her mind. "No," she moaned softly to herself. She could hear her own breathing, sharp and gasping.

"No," she said again, though she already knew the protest was useless. Her hands were clenched on the steering wheel, white-knuckled, and even that wasn't enough to stop the trembling that started at her feet and went all the way up. Dimly she watched her hands start shaking as the spasms intensified.

-- Black, gloating pleasure. Triumph. Contempt --

It was happening again. Dear God, it was coming back! She had thought herself free, but she wasn't. The knowing was coming closer, growing, looming, and she knew from experience that soon it would overwhelm her. Clumsily, her coordination already deteriorating, she steered the car to the right, so she wouldn't block the exit ramp. A car horn blared as she wavered too close to the vehicle beside her, but the noise was distant, muted. Her vision was fading. Desperately she braked to a stop and shoved the gear lever into park, hoping that she had managed to get completely out of traffic, but then the nightmare image was back, hitting her full strength like a beacon that had brushed by her in search before homing in.

Her hands fell limply into her lap. She sat in the car staring straight ahead, her eyes unblinking, unseeing, everything focused inward.

Her breathing became harsher. Rough sounds began to form in her throat, but she didn't hear them. Her right hand lifted slowly from her lap and formed itself into a fist, as if she were gripping something. The fist twitched violently, three times, in a rigidly restrained stabbing motion. Then she was quiet again, her face as still and blank as a statue's, her gaze fixed and empty.

It was the sharp rapping on the window beside Marlie that brought her back. Confused and exhausted, for a terrifying moment she had no idea who she was, or where, or what was happening. An unearthly blue light was flashing in her eyes. She turned a dazed, uncomprehending look at the man who was bent over, peering into the window as he tapped on it with something shiny. She didn't know him, didn't know anything. He was a stranger, and he was trying to get into her car. Panic was sharp and acrid in her mouth.

Then identity, blessed identity, returned with a rush and brought reality with it. The shiny thing the man was using to rap against the glass transformed itself into a flashlight. A glint on his chest became recognizable as a badge, and he, frown and commanding voice and all, was a policeman. His patrol car, Mars lights flashing, was parked at an angle in front of hers.

The images of horror were still too close, too frighteningly real. She knew she had to block it out or she wouldn't be able to function at all, and she needed to get control of herself. Some vague danger was threatening, some memory that danced close to the surface but wouldn't quite crystalize. Desperately she pushed away the fog of confusion and fumbled to roll down the window, fighting for the strength to complete even that small act. The exhaustion was bone-deep, paralyzing, muscles turned to mush.

Warm, humid air poured through the open window. The officer flashed the light beam around the interior of her car. "What's the problem here, ma'am?"

She felt cotton-brained, thought processes dulled, but even so she knew better than to blurt out the truth. That would immediately get her hauled in on suspicion of being under the influence of some kind of drug, probably a hallucinogen. Yes, that was it; that was the vague danger she had sensed. A night in jail, for a normal person, would be bad enough; for her, under these circumstances, it could be catastrophic.

She had no idea how much time had passed, but she knew that she must look pale and drained. "Ah...I'm sorry," she said. Even her voice was shaky. Desperately she sought for a believable explanation. "I -- I'm an epileptic. I began to feel dizzy and pulled over. I think I must have had a slight seizure."

The flashlight beam sought her face, played across her features. "Please step out of the car, ma'am."

The trembling was back; she didn't know if her legs would hold her. But she got out, holding to the open door for support. The blue lights stabbed her eyes, and she turned her head away from the brightness as she stood there pinned in the glare, a human aspen, visibly quaking.

"May I see your driver's license?"

Her limbs were leaden. It was an effort to retrieve her purse, and she dropped it immediately, the contents spilling half in the car, half on the ground. Innocuous contents, thank God; not even an aspirin bottle or pack of cigarettes. She was still afraid to take over-the-counter medications, even after six years, because the mental effects could be so unpredictable.

By concentrating fiercely, holding the crippling fatigue at bay, she managed to pick up her wallet and get out her license. The policeman silently examined it, then returned it to her. "Do you need help?" he finally asked.

"No, I'm feeling better now, e-except for the sh-shakes," she said. Her teeth were chattering from reaction. "I don't live far. I'll be able to make it home."

"Would you like for me to follow you, make sure you get there okay?"

"Yes, please," she said gratefully. She was willing to tell any number of lies to keep from being taken to a hospital, but that didn't mean she had lost her common sense. She was incredibly tired, the aftermath worse than she remembered. And there was still the nightmare image -- knowing or memory, she couldn't tell -- to be dealt with, but she pushed it out of her mind. She couldn't let herself think about it; right now she had to concentrate only on the tasks at hand, which were remaining coherent, upright, and functional, at least until she could get home.

The policeman helped her pick up her belongings, and in a few moments she was behind the wheel again, edging back onto the pavement, driving with excruciating care because every movement was such an effort. Twice she caught herself as her eyes were closing, the darkness of unconsciousness inexorably closing in.

Then she was home, turning in to the driveway. She managed to get out of the car and wave at the officer. She leaned against the car, watching him drive away, and only when he turned the corner did she set herself to the task of getting inside the house. To safety.

With weak, shaking, uncooperative hands she looped the strap of her purse around her neck, so she wouldn't drop it. After pausing for a moment to gather strength, she launched herself away from the car in the direction of the front porch. As a launch, it was spectacularly lacking in power. She staggered like a drunk, her steps wavering, her vision fading. Every movement became more and more difficult as the fatigue grew like a living thing, overwhelming her muscles and taking them from her control. She reached the two steps leading up to the porch and stopped there, swaying slowly back and forth, her blurred gaze fixed on those two steps that normally required no effort at all. She tried to lift her foot enough to take the first step, but nothing happened. She simply couldn't do it. Iron weights were dragging around her ankles, holding her back.

She began to shiver, another familiar reaction from before, in that other life. She knew she had only a few minutes to get inside before she completely collapsed.

She dropped heavily to her knees, feeling the resulting pain as only a dull, distant sensation. She could hear her own harsh, strained breathing, echoing hollowly. Slowly, torturously, she dragged herself up the steps, fighting for each inch, fighting to keep the darkness at bay.

She reached the front door. Keys. She needed the keys to get in.

She couldn't think. The black fog in her brain was paralyzing. She couldn't remember what she had done with her keys. In her purse? Still in the car? Or had she dropped them? There was no way she could retrace her steps, no way she could remain conscious much longer. She began fumbling in her purse, hoping to find the key ring. She should be able to recognize it by touch; it was one of those stretchy bracelet things, the type that could be slid onto the wrist. She could feel metal, but it eluded her grasp.

Bracelet...She had slipped the keys onto her wrist. It was a habit so ingrained that she seldom even thought about it. The shaking was worse; she pulled the key ring off her wrist but couldn't manage to fit the key into the lock. She couldn't see, the blackness almost complete now. Desperately she tried again, locating the lock purely by touch, concentrating with her last fierce vestige of strength on the herculean task of guiding the key into the lock...Got it! Panting, she turned the key until she felt the click. There. Unlocked.

She mustn't forget the keys, mustn't leave them in the lock. She slid the bracelet back onto her wrist as she twisted the doorknob and the door swung open, away from her. She had been leaning on the door, and with that support suddenly gone she sprawled in the doorway, half in and half out of the house.

Just a little more, she silently urged herself, and struggled to her hands and knees again. Get in far enough to close the door. That's all.

It wasn't really crawling now. She dragged herself in, whimpering with the effort, but she didn't hear the noise. The door. She had to close the door. Only then could she give herself over to the blackness.

Her arm waved feebly, but the door was out of reach. She sent a command to her leg and somehow it obeyed, slowly lifting, kicking -- a very weak kick. But the door swung gently shut.

And then the darkness overwhelmed her.

She lay motionless on the floor as the clock ticked away the hours. The gray dawn light penetrated the room. The passing morning was marked by the path of sunlight, shining through a window, as it moved down the wall and across the floor to finally fall on her face. Only then did she move in a restless attempt to escape the heat, and the deep stupor changed into a more normal sleep.

It was late afternoon when she began to rouse. The floor wasn't the most comfortable of sleeping places; each shift of position brought a protest from her stiff muscles, nudging her toward consciousness. Other physical complaints gradually made themselves felt, a full bladder protesting the most insistently. She was also very thirsty.

She struggled to her hands and knees, her head hanging low like a marathon runner at the end of the race. Her knees hurt. She gasped at the sharp, puzzling pain. What was wrong with her knees? And why was she on the floor?

Dazedly she looked around, recognizing her own safe, familiar house, the cozy surroundings of the small living room. Something was tangled around her, hampering her efforts to stand -- she fought the twisted straps and finally hurled the thing away from her, then frowned because it looked familiar, too. Her purse. But why had her purse straps been around her neck?

It didn't matter. She was tired, so tired. Even her bones felt hollow.

She used a nearby chair to steady herself and slowly got to her feet. Something was wrong with her coordination; she stumbled and lurched like a drunk on the way to a common destination: the john. She found the comparison faintly humorous.

After she had taken care of her most pressing need, she ran a glass of water and gulped greedily, spilling it down her chin in the process. She didn't care. She couldn't remember ever being so thirsty before. Or so tired. This was the worst it had ever been, even worse than six years ago when --

She froze, and her suddenly terrified gaze sought her own reflection in the mirror. The woman who stared back at her had her face, but it wasn't the soothingly ordinary face she had become accustomed to. It was the face from before, from six years in the past, from a life that she had thought, hoped, was finished forever.

She was pale, her skin taut with strain. Dark circles lay under her eyes, dulling the blue to a muddy shade. Her dark brown hair, normally so tidy, hung around her face in a mass of tangles. She looked older than her twenty-eight years, her expression that of someone who has seen too much, lived through too much.

She remembered the stark, bloody vision, the storm of dark, violent emotion that had taken control of her mind, that had left her empty and exhausted, just as the visions always had. She had thought they had ended, but she had been wrong. Dr. Ewell had been wrong. They were back.

Or she had had a flashback. The possibility was even more frightening, for she never wanted to relive that again. But it suddenly seemed likely, for why else would she have seen that flashing knife blade, dripping scarlet as it slashed and hacked --

"Stop it," she said aloud, still staring at herself in the mirror. "Just stop it."

Her mind was still sluggish, still grappling with what had happened, with the aftereffects of the long stupor. Evidently the results of a flashback were the same as if she had had a true vision. If the mind thought it was real, then the stress on the body was just as strong.

She thought about calling Dr. Ewell, but a gap of six years lay between them and she didn't want to bridge it. Once she had relied on him for almost everything, and though he had always supported her, protected her, she had become accustomed to taking care of herself. Independence suited her. After the encompassing, almost suffocating care of the first twenty-two years of her life, the solitude and self-reliance of the last six had been especially sweet. She would handle the flashbacks by herself.

Copyright © 1994 by Linda Howington

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter 1 It was eleven-thirty when Marlie Keen left the cinemaplex with the rest of the Friday night moviegoers. The movie had been a good one, a lighthearted romp that had made her laugh aloud several times and left her in a cheerful mood. As she walked briskly to her car, she thought she could tell which movie people had seen by how they were acting now. It wasn't that difficult; the couples who were holding hands, or even exchanging kisses in the parking lot, had obviously seen the sexy romance. The aggressive bunch of teenage boys had seen the latest martial arts thriller. The well-dressed young professionals who were in earnest discussions had seen the latest Thelma and Louise imitation. Marlie was glad she had chosen the comedy.

It was as she was driving home on the brightly lit expressway that it hit her: She felt good. The best she had felt in years. Six years, to be precise.

In startled retrospect, she realized that she had been at peace for several months now, but she had been so caught up in the sedative routine of the life she had built here that she hadn't noticed. For a long time she had simply existed, going through the motions, but time had done its slow work and eventually she had healed, like an amputee recovering from the loss of a limb and learning to cope, then to enjoy life again. Her loss had been mental rather than physical, and unlike an amputee, she had prayed through dark, endless nights that she never recover that part of herself. At some point in the past six years, she had stopped living in dread that the knowing would return, and simply gotten on with her life.

She liked being normal. She liked being able to go to movies the way normal people did, liked being able to sit in a crowd; she hadn't been able to do that before. Several years ago, when she had realized it was actually possible, she had turned into a movie junkie for a while, visually gorging on the films that she thought were safe. For a long time any degree of violence was unbearable, but for the past couple of years she had been able to watch the occasional thriller, though they weren't her favorite type. To her surprise, she hadn't yet been able to watch any sex scenes; she would have thought that violence would have been immeasurably mote difficult for her to handle, maybe even impossible, but instead it was the portrayal of intimacy that gave her problems. Dr. Ewell had been fond of saying that no one should ever lay bets on the human psyche, and she was amused to find he was right. The violence in her life had been traumatic, devastating, while the sex had been merely unpleasant, but it was the "love" scenes that still had her squeezing her eyes shut until it was over.

She exited off the expressway onto a four-lane street, and of course was caught by the traffic light at the bottom of the exit ramp. The radio was tuned to an easy-listening station and she inhaled deeply, feeling the slow music and the lingering lightheartedness of the movie combine in a delicious, physical sense of contentment --

-- the knife flashed down, gleaming dully. A sodden, muffled THUNK! as it struck. The blade rose again, dripping red --

Marlie jerked back, an unconscious physical denial of the horribly real image that had just flashed in her mind. "No," she moaned softly to herself. She could hear her own breathing, sharp and gasping.

"No," she said again, though she already knew the protest was useless. Her hands were clenched on the steering wheel, white-knuckled, and even that wasn't enough to stop the trembling that started at her feet and went all the way up. Dimly she watched her hands start shaking as the spasms intensified.

-- Black, gloating pleasure. Triumph. Contempt --

It was happening again. Dear God, it was coming back! She had thought herself free, but she wasn't. The knowing was coming closer, growing, looming, and she knew from experience that soon it would overwhelm her. Clumsily, her coordination already deteriorating, she steered the car to the right, so she wouldn't block the exit ramp. A car horn blared as she wavered too close to the vehicle beside her, but the noise was distant, muted. Her vision was fading. Desperately she braked to a stop and shoved the gear lever into park, hoping that she had managed to get completely out of traffic, but then the nightmare image was back, hitting her full strength like a beacon that had brushed by her in search before homing in.

Her hands fell limply into her lap. She sat in the car staring straight ahead, her eyes unblinking, unseeing, everything focused inward.

Her breathing became harsher. Rough sounds began to form in her throat, but she didn't hear them. Her right hand lifted slowly from her lap and formed itself into a fist, as if she were gripping something. The fist twitched violently, three times, in a rigidly restrained stabbing motion. Then she was quiet again, her face as still and blank as a statue's, her gaze fixed and empty.

It was the sharp rapping on the window beside Marlie that brought her back. Confused and exhausted, for a terrifying moment she had no idea who she was, or where, or what was happening. An unearthly blue light was flashing in her eyes. She turned a dazed, uncomprehending look at the man who was bent over, peering into the window as he tapped on it with something shiny. She didn't know him, didn't know anything. He was a stranger, and he was trying to get into her car. Panic was sharp and acrid in her mouth.

Then identity, blessed identity, returned with a rush and brought reality with it. The shiny thing the man was using to rap against the glass transformed itself into a flashlight. A glint on his chest became recognizable as a badge, and he, frown and commanding voice and all, was a policeman. His patrol car, Mars lights flashing, was parked at an angle in front of hers.

The images of horror were still too close, too frighteningly real. She knew she had to block it out or she wouldn't be able to function at all, and she needed to get control of herself. Some vague danger was threatening, some memory that danced close to the surface but wouldn't quite crystalize. Desperately she pushed away the fog of confusion and fumbled to roll down the window, fighting for the strength to complete even that small act. The exhaustion was bone-deep, paralyzing, muscles turned to mush.

Warm, humid air poured through the open window. The officer flashed the light beam around the interior of her car. "What's the problem here, ma'am?"

She felt cotton-brained, thought processes dulled, but even so she knew better than to blurt out the truth. That would immediately get her hauled in on suspicion of being under the influence of some kind of drug, probably a hallucinogen. Yes, that was it; that was the vague danger she had sensed. A night in jail, for a normal person, would be bad enough; for her, under these circumstances, it could be catastrophic.

She had no idea how much time had passed, but she knew that she must look pale and drained. "Ah...I'm sorry," she said. Even her voice was shaky. Desperately she sought for a believable explanation. "I -- I'm an epileptic. I began to feel dizzy and pulled over. I think I must have had a slight seizure."

The flashlight beam sought her face, played across her features. "Please step out of the car, ma'am."

The trembling was back; she didn't know if her legs would hold her. But she got out, holding to the open door for support. The blue lights stabbed her eyes, and she turned her head away from the brightness as she stood there pinned in the glare, a human aspen, visibly quaking.

"May I see your driver's license?"

Her limbs were leaden. It was an effort to retrieve her purse, and she dropped it immediately, the contents spilling half in the car, half on the ground. Innocuous contents, thank God; not even an aspirin bottle or pack of cigarettes. She was still afraid to take over-the-counter medications, even after six years, because the mental effects could be so unpredictable.

By concentrating fiercely, holding the crippling fatigue at bay, she managed to pick up her wallet and get out her license. The policeman silently examined it, then returned it to her. "Do you need help?" he finally asked.

"No, I'm feeling better now, e-except for the sh-shakes," she said. Her teeth were chattering from reaction. "I don't live far. I'll be able to make it home."

"Would you like for me to follow you, make sure you get there okay?"

"Yes, please," she said gratefully. She was willing to tell any number of lies to keep from being taken to a hospital, but that didn't mean she had lost her common sense. She was incredibly tired, the aftermath worse than she remembered. And there was still the nightmare image -- knowing or memory, she couldn't tell -- to be dealt with, but she pushed it out of her mind. She couldn't let herself think about it; right now she had to concentrate only on the tasks at hand, which were remaining coherent, upright, and functional, at least until she could get home.

The policeman helped her pick up her belongings, and in a few moments she was behind the wheel again, edging back onto the pavement, driving with excruciating care because every movement was such an effort. Twice she caught herself as her eyes were closing, the darkness of unconsciousness inexorably closing in.

Then she was home, turning in to the driveway. She managed to get out of the car and wave at the officer. She leaned against the car, watching him drive away, and only when he turned the corner did she set herself to the task of getting inside the house. To safety.

With weak, shaking, uncooperative hands she looped the strap of her purse around her neck, so she wouldn't drop it. After pausing for a moment to gather strength, she launched herself away from the car in the direction of the front porch. As a launch, it was spectacularly lacking in power. She staggered like a drunk, her steps wavering, her vision fading. Every movement became more and more difficult as the fatigue grew like a living thing, overwhelming her muscles and taking them from her control. She reached the two steps leading up to the porch and stopped there, swaying slowly back and forth, her blurred gaze fixed on those two steps that normally required no effort at all. She tried to lift her foot enough to take the first step, but nothing happened. She simply couldn't do it. Iron weights were dragging around her ankles, holding her back.

She began to shiver, another familiar reaction from before, in that other life. She knew she had only a few minutes to get inside before she completely collapsed.

She dropped heavily to her knees, feeling the resulting pain as only a dull, distant sensation. She could hear her own harsh, strained breathing, echoing hollowly. Slowly, torturously, she dragged herself up the steps, fighting for each inch, fighting to keep the darkness at bay.

She reached the front door. Keys. She needed the keys to get in.

She couldn't think. The black fog in her brain was paralyzing. She couldn't remember what she had done with her keys. In her purse? Still in the car? Or had she dropped them? There was no way she could retrace her steps, no way she could remain conscious much longer. She began fumbling in her purse, hoping to find the key ring. She should be able to recognize it by touch; it was one of those stretchy bracelet things, the type that could be slid onto the wrist. She could feel metal, but it eluded her grasp.

Bracelet...She had slipped the keys onto her wrist. It was a habit so ingrained that she seldom even thought about it. The shaking was worse; she pulled the key ring off her wrist but couldn't manage to fit the key into the lock. She couldn't see, the blackness almost complete now. Desperately she tried again, locating the lock purely by touch, concentrating with her last fierce vestige of strength on the herculean task of guiding the key into the lock...Got it! Panting, she turned the key until she felt the click. There. Unlocked.

She mustn't forget the keys, mustn't leave them in the lock. She slid the bracelet back onto her wrist as she twisted the doorknob and the door swung open, away from her. She had been leaning on the door, and with that support suddenly gone she sprawled in the doorway, half in and half out of the house.

Just a little more, she silently urged herself, and struggled to her hands and knees again. Get in far enough to close the door. That's all.

It wasn't really crawling now. She dragged herself in, whimpering with the effort, but she didn't hear the noise. The door. She had to close the door. Only then could she give herself over to the blackness.

Her arm waved feebly, but the door was out of reach. She sent a command to her leg and somehow it obeyed, slowly lifting, kicking -- a very weak kick. But the door swung gently shut.

And then the darkness overwhelmed her.

She lay motionless on the floor as the clock ticked away the hours. The gray dawn light penetrated the room. The passing morning was marked by the path of sunlight, shining through a window, as it moved down the wall and across the floor to finally fall on her face. Only then did she move in a restless attempt to escape the heat, and the deep stupor changed into a more normal sleep.

It was late afternoon when she began to rouse. The floor wasn't the most comfortable of sleeping places; each shift of position brought a protest from her stiff muscles, nudging her toward consciousness. Other physical complaints gradually made themselves felt, a full bladder protesting the most insistently. She was also very thirsty.

She struggled to her hands and knees, her head hanging low like a marathon runner at the end of the race. Her knees hurt. She gasped at the sharp, puzzling pain. What was wrong with her knees? And why was she on the floor?

Dazedly she looked around, recognizing her own safe, familiar house, the cozy surroundings of the small living room. Something was tangled around her, hampering her efforts to stand -- she fought the twisted straps and finally hurled the thing away from her, then frowned because it looked familiar, too. Her purse. But why had her purse straps been around her neck?

It didn't matter. She was tired, so tired. Even her bones felt hollow.

She used a nearby chair to steady herself and slowly got to her feet. Something was wrong with her coordination; she stumbled and lurched like a drunk on the way to a common destination: the john. She found the comparison faintly humorous.

After she had taken care of her most pressing need, she ran a glass of water and gulped greedily, spilling it down her chin in the process. She didn't care. She couldn't remember ever being so thirsty before. Or so tired. This was the worst it had ever been, even worse than six years ago when --

She froze, and her suddenly terrified gaze sought her own reflection in the mirror. The woman who stared back at her had her face, but it wasn't the soothingly ordinary face she had become accustomed to. It was the face from before, from six years in the past, from a life that she had thought, hoped, was finished forever.

She was pale, her skin taut with strain. Dark circles lay under her eyes, dulling the blue to a muddy shade. Her dark brown hair, normally so tidy, hung around her face in a mass of tangles. She looked older than her twenty-eight years, her expression that of someone who has seen too much, lived through too much.

She remembered the stark, bloody vision, the storm of dark, violent emotion that had taken control of her mind, that had left her empty and exhausted, just as the visions always had. She had thought they had ended, but she had been wrong. Dr. Ewell had been wrong. They were back.

Or she had had a flashback. The possibility was even more frightening, for she never wanted to relive that again. But it suddenly seemed likely, for why else would she have seen that flashing knife blade, dripping scarlet as it slashed and hacked --

"Stop it," she said aloud, still staring at herself in the mirror. "Just stop it."

Her mind was still sluggish, still grappling with what had happened, with the aftereffects of the long stupor. Evidently the results of a flashback were the same as if she had had a true vision. If the mind thought it was real, then the stress on the body was just as strong.

She thought about calling Dr. Ewell, but a gap of six years lay between them and she didn't want to bridge it. Once she had relied on him for almost everything, and though he had always supported her, protected her, she had become accustomed to taking care of herself. Independence suited her. After the encompassing, almost suffocating care of the first twenty-two years of her life, the solitude and self-reliance of the last six had been especially sweet. She would handle the flashbacks by herself.

Copyright © 1994 by Linda Howington

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 127 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 130 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Linda howard wins!! Again!!

    I cant say enough about this book. It grabbed my attention from the first pages. Heroine. Tramatized. Has guts to face it and forge on to do the right thing. Hero comes in. Also with guts to do the right thing. Villian is really bad. Successful villian. Hero pushes into heroines life. They fall in lust. To love. Do they win against the evil villian... you decide. I will always read anything linda howard writes!!! She may not always be a five but!!! She is always entertaining and never boring!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2010

    Mr. Perfect is Better

    (Originally posted on http://book-addicts.com/blog/2010/08/review-dream-man-by-linda-howard/)

    This suspenseful romance revolves around Marlie Keen - a woman with a powerful psychic ability - who ends up going to the police station where she meets Detective Dane Hollister - a very cynical, domineering and cut-to-the-chase kind of man - to report a killing she had 'seen' through the eyes of the serial killer himself.

    The book opens with Marlie driving home after enjoying a romantic movie; a simple pleasure she was not able to enjoy until very recently. The reason for this is masterfully explained by a series of dramatic events that forces Marlie to pull her car over as she experiences strong paralyzing visions of a killer approaching his intended victim.

    I loved, loved Marlie's internal struggles where she has to deal with a rather interesting ability that has now resurfaced after years of dormancy. Not only is her ability back, it's even stronger and all-consuming than it's ever been.

    Some sick and twisted part of me rather enjoyed Marlie's attempts to resist the visions assailing her and remain conscious enough to talk to an officer who follows as she studiously drives home. I even delighted in the well-written quest of her epic fight to her front door, fumbling of her keys, opening her door and finally collapsing on the floor as soon as the door shuts behind her.

    The intensity of the opening had me practically salivating for more. What was this strange intriguing ability of hers? Who was the sick killer of her visions and was his killings happening at the same time or was this just a dream as the title suggests?

    My confidence that inflated since the first chapter sadly blew out as I was introduced to the detective slash caveman of men, Dane Hollister. I experienced an uncomfortable awkwardness as Dane is struck with the most intense sexual attraction the moment he lays eyes on Marlie. In his partner's and boss' presence no less.

    So, okay, it's a romance novel; this is to be expected even if a little extreme. The sexual tension was built up pretty nicely, but by this time I've already checked out and only continued reading because 1. I like train wrecks and 2. I wanted to see where she was going with this (see reason 1.).

    It has to be said that as male counterparts go, this guy was a major turn-off. Not only is he imposing and unmoving in his belief that Marlie isn't a psychic, he plots against her. Oh, and he uses her as bait. Without telling her. Against Marlie's wishes, he calls the press and they hound her and broadcast her as a psychic consultant which ends up costing her her job. Mr. Romance he is not.

    I would have doubts as to who was the real villain in this book if the antagonist wasn't so blaringly obvious. My first impressions of Marlie changed from admiring to despising because, after all, she fell in love with a hormone-crazed, high-handed and overbearing man (to name a few of the better qualities). Marlie didn't put up much of a fight while this man forced his way into her life, even taking up temporary residency at her home - without her permission. She was largely submissive in answer to his aggressiveness in more ways than the obvious romantic one.

    The main plot revolving around the actual serial killer was okay if a bit cliché of not only a story that's overdone, but a bit of a repeat from another story by the same author. The identity and mo

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2002

    ONE OF MY FAVORITE BOOKS!

    I have acutally read this book twice and I'm keeping it so I can read it again. I loved this book! What more can I say? It's the best! ENJOY!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2001

    A POWERFUL EDITION TO HOWARDS COLLECTION!

    I CAN NEVER QUITE GET THE WORDS OUT. THIS BOOK IS SOOO GOOD, YOU CAN NEVER PUT DOWN ONE OF LINDA'S BOOKS. I THINK THAT IT'S WONDERFULL THAT THE FEMALE CHARACTERS IN HER BOOKS ARE SO STRONG WILLED AND MARLIE IS EXACTLY THAT! THE SUSPENCE IS CHILLING AND THE LOVE SCENES ARE STEAMY. YOU FALL I LOVE WITH DANE HOLLISTER. I CAN'T WAIT TO READ ANOTHER!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2001

    Sensational.

    Ms. Howard always lives up to her writing talent. She never disappoints. Don't miss out on this wonderful book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2001

    WOW

    One of the best Linda Howard books I've ever read!! It was electric. The characters sizzled, and the suspense kept you on the edge of your seat, unable to keep from turning pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Loved it

    Dreamy

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    The is one of my favorite stories with a favorite author. Lots of action and great characters to revisit when I need a break from my crazy world.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2012

    I cannot say that this is the best book I have ever read, but if

    I cannot say that this is the best book I have ever read, but if you want an easy read this is the book. I have read way better romances but I really liked the element of suspense of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    10/31/12

    10/31/12 A very good book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Glad to have read

    I found it to be a quick read for the summer. I gravitate towards Linda Howard simply for an insightful, quick read. Dream man is on the dark side, but I would not like it any other way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    Recommended highly I read about two books a week, so I am hard to please

    I loved this book it was funny, romantic and suspense.
    It had everything and was put together in a vert intertaning way.
    Jo

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun read

    Marlie Keene lost her clairvoyant abilities six years ago following a traumatic event but they have suddenly returned with a vengeance. A vicious serial killer is preying on Orlando and Marlie has a lock on him. When she reaches out to the police, Detective Dane Hollister is skeptical at best. Despite his disdain for her gift, he cannot deny his strong attraction to Marlie. Before long, he becomes a believer in her both as a psychic and a romantic interest. Dane is like a bull in a china shop once he decides to pursue Marlie romantically. His super alpha style sometimes work but often has Marlie assert herself. While she has some fragility resulting from the aftermath of a vision, she knows how to handle Dane and the banter was humorous. There are some real steamy scenes involving the two of them as they spend most of their time together trying to capture the killer. The tension related to the murders is high, especially as the killer escalates and Marlie is at risk. There's a nice balance between the work to solve the case and the development of Dane and Marlie's relationship. The story is interesting and was a perfect audiobook for my road trip. I highly recommend this book, even though the narrator's voice interpretations were comical in the audio version.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2011

    Too many spelling errors!

    But other than that, I liked it okay.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2011

    One of my all time Faves

    A hero to eat up, a strong woman to give him a good run for his money. This is a keeper I love re-reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Full of Romance and a terrific Suspense story!

    I thought that "Dream Man" was an exciting story that combined both romance and suspense. I have read several of Linda Howard's books and I have enjoyed all of them, however in this book I thought there was a thick dose of lengthy descriptions of rape and murders. The more I read the more I was thoroughly caught up in Marlie and Dane's story! These characters had a chemistry that kept me from putting the book down because Ms. Howard captured their love story, and yet she wove it into a tension-filled adventure. I think that this book is one of Linda Howard's best. I would gladly recommend it to all my friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 6, 2010

    Misplaced admiration

    Although somewhat engaging this book is perhaps on the bottom of my list of romance novels. The characters are almost obnoxious. The female protagonist is hopefully underdeveloped because otherwise she is rather loathsomely perfect. There is nothing identifiable with either protagonist. The writing is mediocre and less than thrilling. However, I would strongly recommend Linda Howard's other romance novels; just not this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 3, 2009

    Linda Howards

    Linda Howard out did herself. i have the unabridged mp3-cd. It's romantic, exciting and keep u intested until the end. I hope she redo all her books and put them in unabridged mp3-cd. You'll love them all.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    a little disappointing

    I hate to say it, but this book was a little disappointing, especially after reading Linda Howard's other book, Dying to Please (which I gave 5 stars). I'm not sure when this book was originally published, but I got the impression that this was one of her earlier novels, and if so, her writing has improved since then. The plot itself wasn't really bad...psychic helping the police solve murders. Actually, it was kind of interesting. But what I didn't like was the relationship between Marlie and Dane. Yeah, their scenes were pretty hot, but it just didn't feel realistic to me. Marlie goes from a person who can't even watch sex scenes in movies and hasn't had a relationship in years to suddenly jumping in bed with this guy she hardly knows. And Dane came on to her too strong, and way too fast, and not always appropriate. I just felt this story was missing something. Maybe if they had more time to get to know each other and eased into the relationship, it would have been a little better. So overall, it was okay, but the character development needed some work I think. I'll still continue to read Linda Howard though...so this wasn't her best story but I did enjoy the other book I read by her.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2009

    Not Particularly Well Written

    but it had a lot of sex. Right off the bat, first scene in the police station, simply questioning the heroine, and with several other detectives in the room, the male lead had an instant boner jutting out of his pants. Didn't she actually bump in to it or something? I just couldn't take this book seriously.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 130 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)