by Karen Marie Moning, paranormal (2006, 2002 reissue)
Jove, $2.99, ISBN 0-515-14150-X
Karen Marie Moning's Into The Dreaming is originally a short story that appeared in the anthology Tapestry that was published back in 2002. The anthology costs $7.99 while Into The Dreaming by itself costs $2.99. I'll let you decide which purchase will get you more value for money. For this particular blatant money-grab by Jove, I'll just reprise my review of that story from the review of Tapestry:
This story has a nice, almost inhuman hero redeemed back to love, one of my favorite themes in romance.
The King of the Unseelie Court of Darkness always take a human to train as his personal assassin. This assassin is called the Vengeance and he will be the one to do the King's dirty works in the mortal realm. First century dude Aeden MacKinnon becomes the King's latest prisoner in exchange for his clan's safety, and the King, in the centuries to come, he slowly tortures and twists Aeden until almost no trace of humanity remains in that poor loser.
The Queen of the Seelie Court of Light decides to save Aeden. To do this, she will exploit the contract made between Aeden and the King. If Aeden can find someone to love him in that one month the King will grant him reprieve from his Vengeance duties, Aeden will be free.
Where can she find such a pathetic heroine?
Well, meet Jane Sillee, our modern day Cafeteria Barbette and aspiring romance author. The Queen has sneakily given her a tapestry with our hero's handsome face in it. Before she receives this tapestry, Jane has already been having hot dreams about that guy. So she touches the cloth and woosh! Lookee here, who's the guy beside her now but Aeden himself! And she's back in time in fifteenth century Scotland too.
This novella, unfortunately, can't be more Mary Sue than if it comes with ponytails and pink frilly ribbons. Jane Sillee is so obviously the author living out her fantasy. Seriously, she even prods at the critics who calls her books purple, she talks about her love-hate relationship with the postman (who must be a clumsy dolt because he keeps losing the good letters and only brings her rejection slips, that sort of thing), and of course, she is the prettiest, purest, the most understanding heroine who can see into the goodness of our hero's heart like no one else could. The trouble is, when the author is happily living out her fantasy, it's her fantasy. I cannot see the goodness in Aeden's heart - I know it's there, for this is a romance novel, but I don't see it - but Jane knows it's there from the start. She believes in him when everyone is convinced that he's psychobrute on the loose. She trusts him, because she is his soulmate! And he, touched by her Pure Love, regains his humanity.
I really doubt that if Ms Moning actually finds herself living out this story, she'll be that fast to put her heroine in a happy ending where a milk cow and sex on rush-covered castle floors are preferable compared to modern plumbing.
This one, however, has some really nice humor - if Jane Sillee is Ms Moning's Mary Sue, she isn't above using her Mary Sue to poke gentle fun at her own occupation or even prose - which easily makes it my favorite of the four. It makes me laugh, for one. Ms Moning's silly romance is a hoot, even if the heroine is a walking, gullible target for serial killers everywhere.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
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