This week's Oldie but Goodie is...
Once Upon a Dream
by Jennifer Archer
Released January 2001
I love the first line on the back of the book. "Robin Wise wanted to meet the man of her dreams, not the man in her dreams."
And that's exactly the dilemma facing Robin. She has been dreaming about a cowboy/gambler, a man who has all the right moves, and says all the right things. Problem is, the guy looks an awful lot like her new next-door neighbor, Alex Simon, college professor and klutz extraordinaire.
There are a few things in Robin's life that hamper her search for Mister Right - she has agoraphobia (she is afraid to leave her house and her backyard, and hasn't done so for more than a year), and all the women in her family die between their 29th and 30th birthday. Alex has his own issues. He broke up with his ex-fiance because she kept trying to change him and mold him into something he was not, and now he doesn't trust the female species.
Robin and Alex can't stand each other from the moment they meet, but something keeps making sure the two of them have plenty of reasons to interact. And then there's the dreams. Alex has bee dreaming he is a cowboy/gambler who is hired by a kooky woman with purple toenails to help keep her great great grandmother safe. A kooky woman who looks an awful lot like Robin. Both recognize the other in their dreams, but neither says anything to each other, for fear of looking like a weirdo.
Oh, and there is a secondary set of characters in Robin's uncle Ethan and Millie, the woman she looks upon as her honorary aunt. The two of them will have you grinning. This story is nicely woven around superstition and old wives tales - the basis for Ethan believing he can break the curse, as he sees it of the women dying in his family. Time is running out, though, because Robin will be turning 30 very soon.
Ms. Archer writes a very fun story in 'Once Upon a Dream.' You will be smiling and the interaction between Robin and Alex and their pets, as well as the bickering between Ethan and Millie. I was hard-pressed to try and classify the heat leave in this novel, because it is neither Sweet nor Sensual. I decided to call it Sweet with a Kick. There is a bit more detail that a Sweet description would warrant, but not enough to call it Sensual, and there is no actual 'action' described. So, Sweet with a Kick it is.
You can find a complete listing of all of Ms. Archer's novels on her website - http://www.jenniferarcher.net/