Blog Tour: Dream of You by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Today I'm talking about Jennifer Armentrout's Dream of You, a Wait for You novella set between Roxy and Reece's Fall With Me and Nick and Stephanie's upcoming Forever With You. Dream of You is a story that I didn't expect to move me so deeply, but it did, and I love it so hard. Keep reading for my tear-stained review and an excerpt from the book!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23795188-dream-of-youRating: 5 stars
Pub Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts
Genre: adult contemporary romance*
*Even though all the other books in the series are more new adult, Dream of You really does have two fully adult protagonists who are far removed from new adulthood
Format/Souce: DRC, from the publisher
Status: Book 4.5 of the Wait For You companion series
Lins: check out my reviews of Wait for You, Be With Me, Stay With Me, and Fall With Me!


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17455585-white-hot-kiss

Summary:
Abby Erickson isn't looking for a one-night stand, a relationship, or anything that involves any one-on-one time, but when she witnesses a shocking crime, she's thrust into the hands of the sexiest man she's ever seen - Colton Anders. His job is to protect her, but with every look, every touch, and every simmering kiss, she's in danger of not only losing her life but her heart also.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
You all know I adore Jennifer's Wait for You series, but honestly, other than the fact that Dream of You is a JLA novella, I didn't have a particular NEED to read it the way Fall With Me and Every Last Breath were/are I NEED THEM LIKE YESTERDAY. I liked Colton, sure, but I was okay with him just being a side character. So I went into Dream of You with very few expectations, and honestly, that blank slate state of mind can be the best way to go into a book. I was completely blind-sided by how much Dream of You, specifically Abby's internal character arc, spoke to me. I was so overwhelmed by my emotions while reading Abby's story that I had to put my phone down (it's on my Kindle app) to cry. I do have a bleeding heart, and I also do tend to relate to some aspect of the books I read....but never, NEVER have I read a book at the exact moment I needed to read it without knowing.

Plot-wise, I thought Dream of You was fairly similar to Fall With Me. Like Roxy, Abby is in some serious trouble of the deadly kind and is also going through some personal issues. In Roxy's case, it was wondering about her future and her best friend; in Abby's case...well, we'll get to that. And rescuing our damsel in distress is a sexy Anders brother, but this time is the surprisingly simple older brother Colton. I say simple because Reece also has some personal demons in Fall, but Colton is probably the most easy-going guy in the entire series, despite his intense job as a police detective, and I really appreciate that. I love that there's a guy who knows what he wants and just...GOES for it. He's so straight-forward. No games. No bullshit. Done. I like that because he and Abby have both done serious long-term relationships so it makes sense that they don't have to play all the games it feels like you do the first time around.

The thing was, Colton was confident and self-assured, maybe even a little cocky, but he wasn't arrogant. He was like a unicorn. (DRC, 48%)

Now for Abby. Oh, boy, do I love Abby. I love her because she's so...normal. She's a regular girl on a bad date and then her life gets all crazy, but most of all: normal.And part of that normalcy means Abby embodies, if not all, then quite a few of the significant fears and insecurities I have in my own life, and that's what hit me so hard when I read Dream of You. For instance, THIS:

I'd never thought of myself as someone who had self-esteem issues. I had my body hang-ups, like any normal woman, but the lack of intimacy and the reintroduction of it shined a really harsh light on the way I viewed myself, on how unconnected I was with my own body. (DRC, 55%)

Uh, watch where you're dropping those truth bombs, Jen, because that's hitting it a little too close. And then also this:

"It wasn't like I never wanted to fall in love again. I had hoped that I would, but it wasn't something I had imagined happening in a long time. For one thing, I really didn't put myself out there to even meet anyone. To do that, I'd actually have to go out more often." (DRC, 55%)

*chin wibble*


"I hadn't experienced anything in the real world." PLUS "Curves are beautiful. *sniffs*


"Lack of confidence...[is] one of the most normal, common things out there." *will tears to go back inside tear ducts*


Nope nope nope nope nope nope nope.
*tears slide down face unwillingly*


*gives up, puts head down and sobs*


CAN I GET ANOTHER MOTHERTRUCKING AMEN IN HEAR WHILE SISTER JEN IS PREACHING?! And sorry not sorry for that.


This. ALL of this. Even in a book which would be considered primarily a "trashy romance" or "chick lit" as I'm sure all those obnoxiously high-brow readers and critics would call Dream of You, Jen manages not only a deeply intense internal character arc but one that hits on very real and terrifying fears of mine and I'm sure many other women as well. Bonus points for the feminist part about needing the strength to come from yourself. There are so many days when I almost tweet out that I need an emotional boost from my friends and followers on Twitter, but I almost always stop myself because even when other people tweet me nice things.... it doesn't mean much if I don't believe it myself. It's amazing that Abby recognizes that. Colton is a great guy, but if Abby doesn't ever believe she's beautiful, she'll always think he's "just saying" nice things instead of meaning them. That's not a good foundation for a relationship and it's not a healthy mental place either.

And yet, I like that while Abby is having these emotional eureka moments about how there are worse things than confidence issues, in NO WAY are these issues trivialized. I think that's very important. Too often people try to downsize another person's conflict....but why? Yes, we all laugh about how Hermione once mentions that being expelled is worse than being dead, but school (especially HOGWARTS of all places!) is important to her. Why do we have to tear her down for her priorities? Abby is quite literally fighting for her life during certain scenes in Dream of You, but I still think she's allowed to worry about her stomach and her thighs. Are there "worse" things like possibly dying or having a cinder block thrown through her window? Yes, but to Abby, her body issues are also a major conflict in addition to the bad guys threatening her every move. I love this play of internal and external conflict and the differences between them. It's not always about just one or the other; not only can you have both, but sometimes even a seemingly trivial internal conflict can take over your life until you're not really living anymore AND it will happen with a gentle slide you don't even notice. This, more than anything else, is what hit me so hard. I don't have people trying to kill me, but my own mind plays these cruel tricks that affect me in a different kind of life-threatening manner.

So thank you, Jen. Thank you for writing the book I really needed. Thank you for giving a voice to a different kind of conflict. Thank you for writing a character in whom I can recognize myself. Thank you thank you thank you. (also thank you for Colton's abs because those are important too)

Oh, and bonus point #1: Publishing info. Jen has written it all: traditional, small pub, indie, and Dream of You, through editor Abby, has tons of interesting and helpful hints about the biz we all love.

Bonus point #2: I LOVE when authors love each other, and it's pretty cool that Jen name-drops her friends in Dream of You for Abby's clients. That definitely put a smile on my face!
Purchase Links:
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paperback^              ^kindle         


Excerpt:
Colton leaned toward me with his gaze locked onto mine. “I didn’t know you in high school, but I knew of you.”

“You did? I can’t imagine it was anything interesting. I was boring as—”

“I never got the impression you were boring,” he interrupted, and goodness, I could fall into those eyes and never come back out. So cheesy sounding, and if I saw it in one of my author’s books, I’d redline the hell out of that, but now I got it. It was possible. “I just thought you were this pretty girl who sat two seats behind me in history class and was shy.”

Several things occurred to me at once. He remembered that we shared history class together? Holy crap on a cracker. And he thought I’d been pretty? I was sure I probably weighed twenty pounds more back then and I wore these godawful glasses that were so trendy nowadays.

Colton was a flirt.

“Looking back, I wish I had the balls to talk to you then.” He returned his attention to his crepe while my jaw hit the table. “But you were with Kevin and…yeah, that’s not my style, you know?” He glanced in my direction. “You’re going to eat the crepes, right?”

“Yeah,” I murmured, cutting into one side. I forced myself to eat a bite, and it was like heaven just orgasmed in my mouth. Wow. That was inappropriate. I resisted a giggle. “What about you? You’ve been a cop this whole time?”

“Yep. It’s what I always wanted to do. Started off as a deputy, then became a detective for the county before transferring to the city. I love working as a detective, but with my hours all over the place, Reece, my brother, has pretty much straight up adopted my dog. She doesn’t even stay at my house anymore.” He finished off the second crepe with an impressive quickness and then settled back against the chair, stretching out his long legs. “Almost got married.”

Thank God I had just swallowed a piece of crepe because there was a good chance I would’ve choked. “Almost?”

“Was engaged.” He grinned, and I felt my tummy dip in response. “Nicole and I were together for…hell.” He glanced up at the ceiling, pursing his lips. “For about six years.”

Holy crap, six years? That was a long time. I wondered if she was the woman I’d seen him with at the movies that one time, but that was like, maybe a year ago.

“Got all the way down to planning the wedding date when we came to the realization that we wanted different things in life.”

Catch up with the rest of the series:
  

  


       https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20980791-forever-with-you


About the Author:
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.
Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.
She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Author Links:
   

2 comments:

  1. I have no words... *chin wibble is right* (but I giggled when I saw the word wibble hahaha)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I keep hearing about her work; I may have to check it out!

    ReplyDelete