Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons on 2004
Genres: Romantic suspense
Source: the library
Also by this author: Copper Beach, Dream Eyes, River Road, Secret Sisters, Eye of the Beholder, Lost and Found, Sharp Edges, When All the Girls Have Gone, Smoke in Mirrors, Hidden Talents
A red scarf. A roller coaster. A tidal wave of blood...
Isabel Wright spends her days at the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research analyzing the dreams of others. Dr. Martin Belvedere, a pioneer in the field, recognized her unique talent for what he calls Level Five lucid dreaming. It's satisfying, lucrative work, but it can be emotionally draining. Especially when one of her anonymous subjects, known only as Client Number Two, captures her imagination through his compelling dream narratives. Secretly, she thinks of him as "Dream Man."
His real name is Ellis Cutler. A loner who's learned not to let anyone get too close, he works for a highly classified government agency with an interest in the potential value of lucid dreaming. And he's just been ordered by his boss to make contact with Isabel, who's been fired after the sudden death of Dr. Belvedere. Heading to California, he pushes his fantasies out of his mind, determined to maintain a professional relationship with the woman who reads his dreams, the mysterious figure he has come to think of as "Tango Dancer."
But when they meet in the flesh, the dream becomes real enough to touch. And a waking nightmare begins-when a suspicious hit-and-run leads them into a perilous web of passion, betrayal, and murder, and forces them to walk the razor-thin line between dreams and reality.
Falling Awake has all of the usual Krentz elements: a wounded alpha hero, an independent heroine who doesn’t quite fit in, and a suspenseful mystery with layers upon layers of deception and unexpected twists. Isabel and Ellis felt familiar because I’ve read so many Krentz books, but they’re both interesting and likeable characters. The plot is well-paced and kept me turning the pages, and Krentz was successful in misdirecting my suspicions on several occasions (though I did spot one of the villains pretty early on.)
I’m generally a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz’s romantic suspense novels, yet despite its strong points, Falling Awake never completely pulled me in. I think it’s because I couldn’t quite buy into the lucid-dreaming aspect of the book, which is strange because I’ve accepted paranormal talents and other highly improbable premises in her other books. It’s not that I don’t accept the idea of lucid dreaming — those dreams where you know you are dreaming, and can control the dream to some extent. But Krentz gave it a psychic-but-not-exactly-psychic twist, and that’s where it fell down for me. . . maybe because I felt she didn’t really commit wholeheartedly to something that could have worked really well as a fantasy element, but lacked credibility for me on a more realistic level.
Bookwyrm’s verdict: I enjoyed reading Falling Awake, but it’s not going on my “re-readable” list.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017