I devoured this book, which blew me away in its daring and originality.
The hero, Theron, is an incubus, a dream demon who has spent thousands of years giving women sexual dreams. He strikes a bargain with Vlad of Moldavia. In exchange for creating an enmity between the rulers of two lands, Dragosh of Maramures and Bogdan of Moldavia, Vlad promises he will allow Theron to possess Vlad's body for three days. Neither Vlad nor Theron, however, is making an honest deal. Theron does not plan on ever leaving Vlad's body. Vlad has no intention of ever letting Theron into his body at all.
Theron arranges for his demon friend Samira to give Dragosh a nightmare that has the effect Vlad was hoping for. After waking from it, Dragosh imprisons his once-beloved sister Lucia in a castle, breaks her betrothal to one of Bogdan's sons, and betrothes her to Vlad instead.
Six years pass, and Vlad does not keep his end of the bargain. But Theron still has one joker up his sleeve. If Vlad does not allow him to possess his body, Theron has threatened to visit his fiancee, Lucia, in her sleep, and use his dreams to teach her every sexual act he knows of.
Lucia is isolated in a castle with only women for company, mostly a kindly but senile old nun and her maid who secretly disdains her. At the behest of her brother and fiance, both women constantly harp on Lucia to preserve her purity, so she secretly feels ashamed about her body. Lucia is lonely and her self-esteem is low, because she has no real friends. Vlad is a cruel man but since Lucia only met him once she's not aware of that. She spends her days daydreaming about the kind and gentle prince who will one day come to her. She doesn't know that the one coming to her is Theron who plans to seduce her in her dreams for revenge.
DREAM OF ME is a dark, dark, erotic fairy tale. Because of all her daydreams, Lucia exerts more control over her dreams than most women do, and she is determined to stay pure and true to her fiance, who she thinks is kind and gentle, even in her dreams. But Theron is just as, if not more so, determined to seduce her mental virginity away from her. But in order to do so, he has to make his dream self take on some of the kindness and gentleness of Lucia's dream prince.
Though DREAM OF ME is not perfect, it is very daring and original. I loved that Cach was not afraid to make Theron as dark as she did. And I was mentally fanning myself as I read this book.
There were two main flaws in the book for me. The first (and this was also true of COME TO ME, the prequel) is that the language sounded too contemporary for the medieval era characters. The second, also true of both books, was that I never really felt like I was in Transylvania or Moldavia, where the story takes place. I didn't get much sense of the climate, the vegetation, the food, or the dialect of this foreign land.
Nontheless, I loved DREAM OF ME. It's rare to find a romance that truly surprises me anymore, and this one definitely did. It was truly original, unique, and different. It's definitely not the kind of book that will work for everyone, but it worked for me in spades. I hope Cach writes more books as dark and unique as this one. I know I will be the first in line to buy them!