A stand alone novel, published October 2004. The tiny pic is from my book cover, which I think is much more pretty.
New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz lures readers to the edge of fantasy and desire with this red-hot novel about a free-spirited young woman and the gorgeous man who steals her heart and mind …
As a dream interpreter at the Belvedere Center for Sleep Research, Isabel Wright has never lacked attention from the opposite sex. Of course, that’s because they’re hoping she’ll shed a little light an their dreams. Lately, however, she’s been pining for a man she’s never met. She knows him only as Client Number Two – and his most intimate dreams have captured her imagination…
But everything goes south when her boss drops dead at his desk and Isabel loses her job – until Client Number Two finally pops up, asking all kinds of questions. His name is Ellis Cutler, and he’s even sexier than she imagined him. He’s convinced there’s a sociopath on their trail, but fortunately that doesn’t stop him from introducing Isabel to a passion wilder than she’s ever known. Drawn into a web of desire, betrayal and murder, Isabel and Ellis now have to find the killer before they find themselves falling far too deep …
Isabel has always been fascinated with dreams and dreaming, as she is a very lucid dreamer herself. Unfortunately, the people around her think her just strange, a daydreamer, a psychic. But Isabel is really happy with her new job at the Belvedere Center, where she interprets dreams from other very lucid dreamer, rated a Level 5. Of course she has figured out soon enough that she is working with government agents, who are trying to solve crimes by dreaming. And with her helping interpret those dreams correctly, she hopes they are successful. The lack of feedback is very frustrating, especially as she has seen some horrid dreams which are giving her nightmares herself.
Then one night her boss dies, and his son is taking over the Center. Having had issues with his father his whole life, he doesn’t share his vision, and one of the first things he does, is fire Isabel. Which is very inconvenient, as Isabel has made some big investments in her dream furniture for when she finds her dream house. So she is in dire need of a salary. Her only option is to go back home, and ask her sister and brother-in-law for a job. They run a motivational centre, and Isabel will start giving seminars there.
But her dream is to start her own consulting agency, under her own rules. If they want her to interpret dreams, she wants more context and feedback. When the director of the secret government agency finds out Isabel is fired, he sends his number one agent on her trail, to hire her for his own firm so he can keep Isabel under control.
Ellis Cutler has been having dreams about Isabel, just as she is been having about her dream man, Client Number Two. He has been wanting to seek her out for months now, ever since she started suggesting things in his dream reports, so this assignment is something he really is hot for. But he is not so sure Isabel is the meek type who will be happy with the job offer and gladly accept. And he is right. Isabel refuses. She wants her indepence, even though there will never be many clients looking for her services. But on the other hand, there aren’t many people around who can do what she does in dream interpreting.
But things get dangerous when an old collegue with a gambling addiction wants to sell Isabel the contact information about the three secret clients she was working for. Before Isabel and Ellis can get to him, he is killed in a hit and run accident. And now Ellis is really getting paranoid: there were supposed to be only two anonymous clients! If the third one is who he think it is, it might be a solid lead. He beliefs one of his fellow-agents has gone rogue and has staged his own death. The recent murder of another collegue has made him suspicious of that. But his boss thinks he is obsessing with this Vincent Scargill, and doesn’t believe him.
When the new Dr. Belvedere finds out, that over 60% of the funding of his company comes from the anonymous clients Isabel Wright has been handling in the past year, he is extremely anxious that he wants her back, and will give her anything she wants! But Isabel is not interested.
Things start happening at a fast pace, and Isabel and Ellis find themselves in some dangerous situations. And they need to find some answers, fast.
It just occurred to me that I don’t read many stand alone novels, when I typed those words. But I really did love this one. It is a classic Jayne Ann Krentz novel. With a great mix of romance, humor, strong characters and great secondary characters. And with a twist at the end of the book you just don’t see coming. Of course I did have some suspicions which came true, but the story is still original and just a good read.
Isabel is a nice young woman, who went her own way in life, despite the sneers from her friends and family about what she believes is true and important to her. She didn’t cave to the pressure to become something in the corporate world, of she is more than smart enough for that. Instead, she followed small jobs into the world of dreams. She was working for a psychic-dream-hotline when Dr Belvedere found her and snatched her up. I still have no idea what she really did, how she can interpret a dream, or perhaps dream it herself, but that doesn’t matter much. I liked her from the first page.
She has been dreaming of Client Number Two for months now, and when she meets him in the flesh, she knows that sometimes, dreams come true. They just belong together, and knowing a person’s dreams is perhaps the most intimate knowledge you can have.
Ellis has been orphaned at the age of 12, and he has been cautious with relationships for ever. He knows a loved one can be snatched away in a moment. But when he starts dreaming of Isabel, he knows he wants to meet her, and perhaps court her. And when they meet in person, he knows she is the one for him, and he will do anything he can to convince her of that fact.
Beside being a secret government agent, he is a very good investment consultant.
All in all, a good love story, with a nice touch of mystery and suspense thrown into the mix. Again, Jayne Ann Krentz has written a book I love.