Falling Awake (Jayne Ann Krentz)

June 30, 2017 Book Reviews 4 ★★★

Falling Awake (Jayne Ann Krentz)Falling Awake on 2004
Pages: 424
Purchase: Amazon
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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.



About Jayne Ann Krentz

author photo of Jayne Ann Krentz (2018 photo by Marc von Borstel)

The author of over 40 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense, often with a psychic and paranormal twist, in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Pseudonyms: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, Jayne Bentley, Jayne Taylor, Amanda Glass.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017

4 Responses to “Falling Awake (Jayne Ann Krentz)”

  1. RO

    Ooh, you really went way back on this one, Lark! I used to read Krentz all the time back in the day, and for some reason, I sort of moved on. That doesn’t mean that she’s still not a really good author, but I may have moved into erotic romance back then. (lol) Now, I’m back into suspense, spy stories and thrillers, but you never know if I’ll get back into some of my fave authors from back in the day. Sure hope you’re doing well, and that you have a super great weekend! Hugs…RO

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I know what you mean. I do that too: get really into a particular author or genre for a while, and then move on to another one. I do tend to re-read my favorite authors, though, and over the years, the number of those has increased considerably!

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      Yes, this one didn’t quite do it for me. Luckily, she has a whole lot of good books, so the occasional “not quite” one doesn’t bother me. 🙂