Monday, September 16, 2013

ARC Review: In Her Dreams by Katherine Givens (e-novella)


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Two sisters: Evangeline and Angela Vernon are being matched by their mother with two men: the Duke of Manchester and the Earl of Cheshire. The problem is, Evangeline doesn't want the Duke but her sister Angela does.

When I read the premise of this story and discovered that it was a novella, I was interested in how the author planned to resolve such a complex storyline in such a short form. I was especially intrigued by Evangeline's "dream" man -- who, literally, appears to her in dreams.

I thought Katherine Givens succeeded in telling her story -- I thought the author showed a determined focus and concentrated on the central theme of the story: the certainty and the undeniability of true love. Angela tried very hard to contain her feelings for the Duke of Manchester but, as Evangeline and the Duke's engagement drew nearer, she found it harder and harder to ignore what was in her own heart.

Evangeline was more vocal about her refusal -- she had an ideal man, a man she loves -- although he is imaginary -- and she knows that she would not be happy if she married the Duke.

"There is more to a person than looks, which is all Manchester possesses. I long for excitement, for passion! I want a man that can make my heart quake with just one glance. I want a man that has something interesting to say." Thinking back on the outing to the theatre, she added, "I want a man, not a preening peacock!"

"Tell that to mother. She will not give two figs what your desires are. All that matters is what she wants, and what wants is for you to marry Manchester." Tired of their bickering and eager to finish her own preparations, Angela ripped the covers off Evangeline. "Rise or you will face the wrath of mother alone."
-loc 71 - 86

Their mother is the cause of conflict in this novella: she is blind to her daughters' wants and is focused only on attaining titles for them. Between the two sisters, I liked Angela's development more -- she had a quiet strength and conviction about her. (Evangeline struck me as a bit immature, especially with how she behaved towards the Duke and her mother.)

All in all, this is a novella that delivers what it has intended -- I like how the author was able to contrast the two sisters and their very different views of the same man: to Evangeline, the Duke of Manchester was an annoyance, but, for Angela, the Duke was divine. This was a satisfying read.

I have one question about the story: Evangeline's dreams (and how her story is resolved) has a paranormal bent to it. Was this intentional?

In Her Dreams is Katherine Givens's debut and will be released on October 1, 2013. To find out more about Katherine Givens, click below:
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Disclosure: I received the ARC through Netgalley. (Thank you to Katherine Givens and to Harlequin Escape Australia for accepting my request.) Yes, this is an honest review.

4 comments:

  1. Lucky you to have read this, Tin! I would sooo love to be your next door neighbor so we could share books. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Hi, Connie! I live soooooo far away from you! I think this is the next best thing. ^_^

    I'm glad you enjoyed the review -- curious: what are your thoughts on short stories and novellas? This one surprised me because the premise seems to call for a longer form -- but Givens manages to tell a complete story with just a novella.

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