3.5 star review, 5 star review

OpenLibrary Review – Dream Man by Linda Howard

Dream man

This 1998 classic one was way overdue for a re-read, and the comments from my review of Troublemaker made it imperative. Dream Man is available from Openlibrary, but the usual disclaimers apply.

Detective Dane Hollister of the Orlando police department has never met anyone quite like Marlie Keen. While he has doubts about her supposed clairvoyant powers, she sees crimes as they’re being committed, there is no doubt about how much he desires her. To Marlie, Dane is all heat and hard muscle, and he makes her body come alive as it never has before. But not even she can foresee that their passion will lead them on a dangerous journey into the twisted mind of a madman who will threaten their happiness and their lives.

So things to note, I adored this book, it got 5 stars from me and I have reread it so very many times. And I still love it, but, just bear in mind these comments are me trying to read this thing with 2016 eyes. If you still love and have fond memories of this book, you just may want to look away. Because as much as I still enjoyed it, I think perhaps it didn’t hold up to time as well as others have. And considering this is such a widely read and reviewed book, well there may almost certainly be spoilers, and my comments are going to be more directed and specific than I would otherwise be. You have been warned.

Holy crap, I DID NOT remember Dane being such a stalkerish pig. I really didn’t. I will grant you that he is no where in the alphahole league as the ones I really trash, but I remember him as being a sweet hero. But really his bowling her over and moving in was slightly creepy to me now. I mean there is some genuinely witty banter, and he is rather sweet at times, but still. On the plus though it was the late 90’s version of this Athur Dayne guy-which is a must read. READ IT!!!!

Other pluses include a psychic heroine, but it somehow doesn’t strike as hardcore paranormal, she is a strong heroine who shows a huge personal growth pattern (some would say too much), the romantic connection, the sex scenes, and Dane’s partner, and the mystery and truly creepy villain. There is a ton of good stuff.

On the side of I don’t know if this is a plus or a minus-the prose is remarkably purple and I enjoyed the hell of it in the way that only a reader of the old skool possibly could, your mileage may vary.

On the negative Marlie kind of gets healed by the magic Peen, there is some acknowledged condomless sex that I had completely forgotten about (and Linda Howard is usually so wonderful with this), the hero flat betrays the heroine (not sexually, but…professionally), and there wasn’t nearly enough groveling… but the make-up sex was hot and sweet.

And back to the pluses, the epilogue, the magical wonderful baby epilogue. I know that epilogues in general get a bad rap, and baby ones even more. But seriously, this one simply must be read, to quote one of the nurses “There may be justice in this world, after all.”

So in the end what was formerly a 5 star book is probably down to a 3.5 star book for me now, still goo, still maybe a re-read, but not the top of the re-read stack. And maybe subconsciously I knew this and it was why I had such a delay in re-reading it. Who knows?

Dream Man


5 thoughts on “OpenLibrary Review – Dream Man by Linda Howard

  1. Interesting, is it not, what one remembers and what one doesn’t, about a favorite book? (even after multiple re-reads)

    I do remember feeling angry at Dane’s highhandedness a couple of times (or three), but I also liked that Marnie didn’t really get him get away with it. There’s an exchange, when he tells her he likes her ‘raspy’ voice, and she tells him why it’s raspy…yeah, no sparing the sexist hero’s feelings there.

    I haven’t re-read this one in a couple of years, so I don’t know how well it would hold up for me, but I have a near perfect recall of that epilogue. Perfection, says I.


    • Yeah, Marlie as a character, I still enjoy her. But truly, it’s fascinating how time and experience make things register differently, even with such a well read book. It’s why I reread so much I think. The book isn’t different, but I AM, IYSWIM.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The thing I enjoy most with some re-reads is seeing which books/characters, I’m still willing to give a pass (meaning, I acknowledge they are problematic, I still enjoy them), and which I just have to give up on. Most, if not all, of Linda Howard’s work that has problematic elements, up to (and including) Death Angel, belongs to the first group–and I find that telling in itself.


      • Agreed. And I still enjoy Death Angel too, even with the ridonkulous beginning.

        I wish I could explain what it was that makes this true though. Even the Rescues series (particularly Heartbreaker) have something that keeps pulling me back.


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