When She Dreams by Amanda Quick
Burning Cove #6
May 3, 2022, by Berkeley
Review by Iby
This book starts with an amazing first line: “You poisoned me.” Suddenly, the reader is thrust into 1930s California, the setting of this interconnected romantic suspense series. Although this is book 6, you can easily pick up at this book and understand what’s happening. Each book features one couple, and they are all involved in solving a crime. There is lots of glamour, as part of each book takes place in Burning Cove, a fictional small town with celebrities near LA.
With this series, you know what you are getting – glamorous women, smart men, and a mystery that can be tricky to solve. In typical Amanda Quick fashion, there are slight paranormal elements in the later books in this series. Our female main character, Maggie, is known to have lucid dreams. The male main character, private detective Sam, has intuition to help him solve crime (not explicitly a paranormal ability).
The set-up is intriguing, if not a bit convoluted. Maggie received a blackmail notice to her employer while she is covering for her employer, an agony aunt (think 1930s answer to Dear Abby) while she is on vacation. Her natural next step is to find a private investigator to further look into the matter. Sam is getting a fresh start as a PI when he meets his first client, Maggie. Part of the mystery centers around a lucid dream symposium hosted in Burning Cove, and so they head there together to solve the mystery.
Although I’ve enjoyed each entry into this series, this latest installment was a bit more difficult for me to get through. In her Amanda Quick pseudonym (this is one of three names that Jayne Ann Krentz writes as), the author tends to have a bigger focus on the plot. However, I am a character-driven reader, and I had a difficult time connecting to Maggie with this story. Quite frankly, I found her annoying, and I thought Sam was patient and sweet, if not a little bland. This is problematic in any type of romance story, but maybe less problematic in a plot-driven book like this one. The action and the setting kept me invested to the end.
I also struggled with the paranormal elements. Trust me – I can go to some WEIRD paranormal places – but Maggie’s powers seemed boring and pointless. Yes, she has incredibly vivid dreams, and she can sense vibes from objects, but it doesn’t ever seem to serve a higher purpose. She is driven to master the dreams, but to what end? I would have been more sympathetic to her as a character if Maggie had dreams that predicted the future or tried to serve the greater good with her powers.
Although I found this book a lesser entry into a wildly entertaining series, it was nice to revisit Burning Cove and some of the characters we have seen before. I love the unique 1930s California setting, and I am entertained by the mysteries. Summer is coming, and I can picture eager readers sitting under a pool umbrella, with a glamourous hat and fabulous sunglasses, reading this series. If you decide to do just that, I recommend starting with the first book of the series and prepare yourself for a nice mental vacation in Burning Cove.