Author: Alexia Banks
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pub Date: TODAY! August 6, 2012, Crimson Romance
Source: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity to read and review your debut!
Itching for adventure, Miami private investigator Shane Connelly heads for Swan Creek in North Carolina wine country. But she quickly discovers it’s anything but the perfect spot to while away the summer months. Her country home turns out to be a burned out hovel that she suspects is haunted. Discouraged, she plans to head home when a handsome stranger arrives at her doorstep. Before she can beat a trail off the mountain, Shane and her dashing neighbor Jesse are inexplicably drawn together as they dodge bullets, unearth ghosts, and unravel a dark town secret. In the end, Shane realizes it's not the high altitudes that are making her head spin, but her brooding lover with the penetrating dark eyes.
At just 128 pages on my Nook Simple Touch, Forgotten Dreams is a pretty quick read that is easy to get into, so I finished it easily in one sitting. Therein lies my problem with this book. The story has SO MUCH potential but there wasn't quite enough detail to truly do this book justice. The characters are great -- what little we are able to see of them. Shane is a fiery redhead who isn't afraid to speak her mind and be herself, especially after she ditches her painfully dull boyfriend. Jesse is equal parts tough guy and sensitive sweetheart and it just so happens his mother also presents an interesting character of whom I think we see far too little throughout the story.
Seriously, it's really impressive just how colorful the characters are, given that this is such a short book. Multiple character development across the broad spectrum of a story is often a shortcoming with debut authors, but not a bit with Alexia Banks. If only the plot could have been as intricately drawn and fleshed out a bit more, we would have a seriously awesome read on our hands. But realistically, I understand that you can only provide so much detail in a book of this length. I'd love more of a backstory on the ghost and even Shane, herself -- more than what we see in her nightmares, anyway, which is certainly an intriguing way to learn about Shane, I must say. And let's face it, you can't properly build a relationship between two people in such a short read. Such a hot romance deserves a little more build-up and suspense. While Shane and Jesse not unexpectedly start off on the wrong foot, I wish there had been more time to make the transition to what their relationship ultimately became.
I also have to say that I would have loved to see more of the paranormal element in the storyline. There are big chunks of the story that drift away from it and I think the ghost story could have become more central to the plot than it ultimately did. There were times I was deliciously creeped out -- especially reading this late at night, but that momentum kind of died off soon after the various ghost sightings, which led me to forget that this was supposed to be a paranormal romance.
Bottom line, I think it can and should be considered a big positive that I truly wanted to be able to read more of this story. Yes, I did lower my rating because I felt like important details were missing with respect to key elements of the storyline. If you are looking for a quick read with some steamy romance, ghostly elements, and a splash of humor, you should definitely give Forgotten Dreams a try. It is a worthy debut that I hope brings the promise of more (and longer!) books from this author.
So have I intrigued you? Would you like to win an ebook of Forgotten Dreams? Well, be sure to enter the giveaway via Rafflecopter just below the rating. And below that are even more goodies in celebration of Forgotten Dreams Release Day!