Title: Only In My Dreams
Author: Dana Marie Bell
Page Count: novella (Kindle format)
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by me
50 words or less: Gabe Anderson is the sheriff of Halle and is also a Hunter, in charge of hunting down rogue shifters and bringing them to justice. He knows who his mate is, he wants to claim her, but other circumstances get in the way, leaving Sarah wondering if someone else has Gabe's attention. Can Gabe convince Sarah that she's his one and only or is their relationship over before it even begins?
This, the most current offering in the Halle Pumas series (before we shift over to Halle Shifters with Bear Necessities that is) is an important installment in the story, but I'll say at the onset that I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the others. Don't worry, this book is still enjoyable, and it adds important things to the series, but there were enough loose ends and elements that didn't quite add up that I can safely say that there are other installments that I enjoyed much more.
Gabe and Sarah are a lot alike in that each has a special position within their world that carries a lot of responsibility and garners them each a lot of respect. Gabe is a Hunter, or rather, he finds out at the beginning of this book that he's a Hunter and has to be trained on how to do the job, a process which will require him to be away from Halle for six months. He takes the advice of his supervisor and mentor and doesn't claim Sarah before he leaves as he thinks the separation would be too hard for her if he did; this mistake just goes to show that you should do what you think is right.
Sarah is okay with waiting until Gabe is done with training to begin their life together; what she is not okay with is having to find out everything that's going on with Gabe through Chloe, a close friend of his. Gabe remains in close contact with Chloe and seems to share a lot more information with her than he does with Sarah, and this doesn't sit well with Sarah or anyone else in Halle, since for all intents and purposes it looks like Gabe has a girlfriend on the side. Chloe doesn't do anything to discourage the rumors that are flying about her and Gabe either, which is one of my issues with the book and something that I'll get to in a minute.
Sarah isn't a wimp, and she decides that if Gabe can lollygag around with his female friends, then there's no reason why she can't do the same with her male ones. She strikes up a friendship with Jim, the town veterinarian who's also Chloe's mate- there's a weird love cube going on here at this point, with hurt feelings and mixed signals thrown together that makes for a lot of problems that everyone has to deal with if they're going to move past all of this.
The whole premise of the tangled relationships and the trying to make your beloved jealous to draw their attention back to you isn't one that's brand new, but the execution of it here was a little disjointed when compared to the rules of the world. Probably the biggest issue that I had was that Sarah is the freaking Pride Omega- she has the ability to know what any Pride member is feeling and as a result, they can't lie to her or disguise their emotions. Therefore, it would have been easy for her to find out that a) Gabe loves her beyond all reason, b) that he isn't cheating on her and can't image ever doing so or even wanting to, and c) that he and Chloe are just friends, albeit close ones. She doesn't seem to really accept any of these truths even at the end of the story, and while I get it that she's new to being the Omega, this frankly does not make sense to me.
Second, I didn't really understand why Gabe and Chloe didn't realize what people in Halle were saying, and that nobody bothered to follow up with any of the involved parties to try to find out the truth. I know, I know, people will gossip the tongues out of their heads while simultaneously saying they don't want to pry into other people's business, but apparently Gabe didn't talk to anyone in Halle while he was away except for Chloe and, when he could reach her, Sarah. I wasn't able to buy into the idea that this colossal misunderstanding was allowed to go down without anyone really taking an active interest.
I don't want people to leave with the idea that I didn't like this book. I did, and it contributes a lot to the overall series- the dynamic between Gabe and Chloe and Chloe's issues with getting Jim to accept the idea that she's his mate play a big role in Bear Necessities, an awesome, awesome book that widens the playing field to include all kinds of shifters. I was just left feeling like the hero and heroine had to go through an awful lot of pain in this story that ultimately wasn't fully resolved or addressed. Still, I highly recommend this series and reading all of the installments, this one included.
Overall Grade: B-
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