Sunday, July 29, 2012

ARC Review: Forgotten Dreams (Short Story)

Rating: 4 Stars
Genre: (Paranormal) Romance
Author: Alexia Banks
Publication Date: August 6, 2012
Format: eBook
BlurbShane Connelly - a pretty young entrepreneur - is determined to shake things up as she leaves her drone of a boyfriend Marc, and the mean streets of Miami far behind. She goes in search of greener pastures in the North Carolina mountains, but finds it’s anything but the perfect spot to while away the hot summer months.
Her recently acquired country home turns out to be a burned out hovel in the middle of nowhere - and after a series of unexplained and chilling visions - she suspects it’s haunted. With her hopes dashed before her adventure can even begin, she is about to head home when a handsome stranger unexpectedly arrives at her doorstep.
Before she can beat a trail out of Swan Creek wine country, Shane and her handsome Cherokee neighbor Jesse are inexplicably drawn together as they dodge bullets, unearth ghosts, and unravel a dark town secret. As events reach a surprising conclusion, Shane realizes that it’s not the high altitude that’s making her head spin, but her tall lover with the penetrating dark eyes.

Forgotten Dreams was a fast-paced and intriguing read. I loved the city-gone-mountains gal, Shane Connelly, and the southern gentleman, Jesse Blackfox. This book drew me in on page one and I just had to keep flipping. Ms. Banks does a great job of portraying a fast-paced romance, however, the paranormal-ness (yes, I'm aware this is not a word) comes secondary to the relationship progressing between Shane and Jesse, therefore I would categorize this as more of a romance novel. 

We meet Shane as she's getting ready to take a break from her business and head to a newly acquired country home in North Carolina. Excited to be on her first vacation in what feels like forever, Shane is dismayed to find her house ravaged by an old fire and certainly not livable.

In walks Jesse. Tired of coming across ill-shot creatures and being forced to put them out of their misery, Jesse hopes the new mistress of the mountain will be proactive in removing Tommy Lee Campbell, local drunk and danger to all things living, from the land.

Oil and water quickly mix, although in the typical romance novel way: I like him but can't tell him, it's too soon. I can't stop thinking about her, but I'll scare her away. This back and forth doesn't continue for long, and soon Shane and Jesse are getting hot and heavy.

I did have a couple qualms with the book. The conversations between Shane and Jesse occasionally feels forced and over-explained by the way Banks adds she kidded/he teased/etc. I really wanted Banks to let me hear their conversations for myself, not tell me the tone of voice sentence by sentence.

My only other issue was an occasional lack of depth. There was no discussion about the haunting...ever. Even though three people so far had either seen or dreamt about the crazyness going on at that house. Also, Shane never had time to reflect on the uncovered secrets of the house. I found myself wondering what she was really thinking about all that happened at the end.

With that being said, I really enjoyed both main characters - Shane's head-strong, no-nonsense attitude and Jesse's calm before the (sexy) storm. Also, the love for animals in this book was apparent, and even though I was cringing through some scenes, I fell in love with Nelly the dog. Moreover, I LOVED Jesse's mom, Wila. I just feel like she has so much more story to her...I hope she makes an appearance in the next stand-alone novellas. 

Even the character's unisex names were awesome. Shane and Jesse - I loved that! :)

Forgotten Dreams is filled with relatable characters, a bit of creepy, and a secret that I couldn't wait to uncover. All that's missing is MORE! If you are a paranormal romance lover and would like a quick, satisfying read, most definitely grab a copy of Forgotten Dreams on August 6 - you won't be disappointed. :)


  1. Hmm usually the paranormal/suspense part comes first and the romance second..I am not sure i could deal with the lack of world building. It sounds like a quick fun read though..awesome review!

    1. I always looks forward to your responses Kim! :)

      Banks definitely took a different approach to this book. The lighthearted romance was sweet and endearing, but I did miss delving into the paranormal bit.


  2. Your review sounds a lot like mine. lol There were a couple of things in your review that you mentioned, that I think I skipped, but for the most part we agree on everything.

    Love your review! It's nice to see someone else review in the same manner as me. :)

    **Not trying to shamelessly plug here, but my review is HERE. I would love to know what you think of it. ;)**

    Oh and I am also a new follower thanks to Alexia Banks!
    Melissa @Spews of My Views

    1. Hey Melissa!

      Just stalked, commented, and followed your blog. :) Awesome review! I can't believe how much in common we have with just different wording! That's friggin awesome. *Blog Soul Mates*

      Can't wait to see what you review next.