To love him is to face her deepest fear...
In search of a legendary mare, Lord Winter enters the crucible of the red sands, forging unbreakable bonds of loyalty and trust with his young companion in the desert. But hidden beneath the ragged costume of a Bedouin boy is a remarkable young woman: Zenia Stanhope, daughter of the extraordinary Queen of the Desert.
Zenia wants nothing of the danger that Lord Winter lives for. She wants only to reach England, far from the blood and sand of the desert. But in one night of terror, condemned to death, their lives are irrevocably bound. Zenia escapes to an English world of elegance and comfort, leaving behind the lonely, fearless man who has changed her life and conquered her heart... until he returns to invade her sanctuary.
Now she must choose between safety and love, but can she find the courage to be the person she was truly born to be?
©1994, 2013 Hedgehog Inc (P)2013 Hedgehog Inc
Laura Kinsale knows how to build a character, strong, free spirited, and emotionally screwed up. Nicholas Boulton narrative is spot on, he brings the characters emotional mess to life. This story went somewhere that my mind has not planned, and I like that. Be it the 18th, or the 21st century, people have been screwed up for a long time. This story is a not so smooth journey through the land mines and emotional road blocks that people put up against getting hurt, and the anguish of not knowing how to get the love they desire. I love this author, and this narrator, you will enjoy this to the very end and then be a little sad when it is done.
Read everything this woman writes. She is a master. I had long since gotten over my historical phase when I discovered this author, and I still listen to everything she has on Audible gratefully. She is amazing, this story is amazing and very well read. I highly reccomend it.
This story sweeps from one end of the world to the other taking your emotions with it. Right up to end I didn't know what would happen. I enjoyed the audio book so much I purchased the book as well. Nicholas Boulton was fantastic. His narration made the story so real and the characters come alive. I won't go into detail of story as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Just read it, you will love every moment of it.
Eclectic lifelong reader
Now having listened to three Laura Kinsale novels, all narrated by the same narrator, I feel somewhat of an expert on her plots and characters. There are many things I enjoy about her books - she is a very vivid writer, and is good at coming up with plots that aren't as formulaic as some in this genre. Her male protagonists are, for lack of a better word, magnificent. Brooding, handsome, intelligent, sardonic, emotional, seeking a different sort of woman from those who usually throw themselves at him. They go through a pretty big change in the course of the book. Her female protagonists, on the other hand, drive me crazy. I appreciate that they each have their own singular beauty, and are courageous and daring - most of the time. But at other times, they are whiny, stubborn, and willfully blind to the love that these admittedly flawed men are trying to give to them, ascribing to a goal or purpose that makes them repeatedly reject what is offered to them. Toward the end of the book I'm saying, "You are a stupid woman" often to the woman who, yet again, will not take what is offered to her. I'm not sure if I will listen to another Laura Kinsale. I am interested in whether it might be the narrator - who is outstanding when portraying the male character - who is feeding my bias, or if those who have read her books feel the same antipathy toward the female character.
I've listened to three books so far and this author and narrator are a marrage made in haven.
Laura Kinsale's choice of Nicholas Bolton to narrate her books was inspired. This is my favorite of her books, but to hear it read by Mr. Bolton, it's like I'd never read it before.
His voices -- Arden's mother, the voice of Baby Elizabeth, THE LAWYERS -- are each so different and so perfect that it really is as though you're in the middle of a movie.
In fact, imagine that they made a movie of your favorite book -- and they didn't screw it up! That's what listening to "The Dream Hunter" is like for me. Highly recommend!
Yes! Practically nobody writes fictional characters as well as Laura Kinsale. From the main characters to the supporting characters, everybody is fleshed out and alive and real. Dream Hunter is no exception. Lord Winter, the hero, is as amazing a man as you will find in any historical fiction because he isn’t just a clichéd manifestation of a regency era male, but a bittersweet, lonely, damaged man who is struggling to find meaning in his life, even at the cost of it. He’s gorgeous and sexy and yet suffers from real life anxieties!
Zenia, the heroine, is truly his female doppelganger. Like him, she cannot seem to find that allusive sense of belonging. Lord Winter recognizes pretty early in the book that they belong together and the conflict all arises in the reluctance on Zenia’s part to recognize Lord Winter as her soul mate. Lovely Zenia has been neglected and mistreated and unloved most of her life (by her own mother) and she hasn’t the capacity to just overnight surrender herself to love and to being loved. Laura Kinsale always writes the most complex and abstruse female characters and Zenia is no different; for that, Zenia, like lots of Kinsale’s females, gets misaligned by some readers who expect and want less complication in the female protagonists. Zenia has been so damaged by someone who should have had her most complete loyalty and trust that it amazes me that she finally finds and accepts love at the end, not that she was stubborn and refused it for so long.
Anyway, listen to this gem of a novel and be utterly amazed at the plot twists and turns and the beautiful and inevitable ending. It starts in England, moves to the middle east and comes back to England and it all feels so right and yet so unexpected. And Mrs. Lamb, a secondary character, is pretty much worth the price of admission as portrayed by Nicholas Boulton! In my opinion, of Kinsale's books narrated by NB, Dream Hunter is the best so far!
Maybe but I don't usually listen to a book more than once. There are so many I haven't read.
I like the hero perhaps a little more, because the heroine was frustrating. He did so much for her and she seemed so indifferent.
Right up there with the rest. His male voices are fabulous.
Loved the train episode. A perfect example of him doing something so unreal and although caught up in the moment, her appreciation fizzled.
There were some real LOL moments between the two main characters.
I just Love the Allure of a Great Romance...a Pair of Rose Colored Glasses...some Fine Wine, and a Subscription to Audible...
The Dream Hunter by Laura Kinsale deserves another standing ovation. This is my second selection (The Prince of Midnight being first) by this amazing author. She is a master story teller, able to completely captivate and grip you; taking you right into her story’s wild tale. Move over the thrills-and-spills of “Indiana Jones”…The story of Arden and Zenia is every bit as action packed. The romance is steamy, crippling and healing all at once. You will not be able to put this book down.
I am in awe of Laura’s beautiful use of the English language. The scenes are vivid, and rich with color. You can feel, smell and taste the heat, the sand, the sweat and grit. Her characters are among the most developed and memorable that I have had the pleasure to read.
Nicholas Boulton has got to be the most outstanding narrator of all time. I have a few favorites, and they are each very special…but Nicholas has a voice to absolutely LOVE. His rich baritone voice is mesmerizing. Couple his tone with his many accents, and languages and you have nothing less than perfection!
This is a must listen...Absolutely Credit Worthy!
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
It seems to me that reviewers are missing the central source of conflict in this clever romance with literary aspirations. In a nutshell, the hero and heroine are polar opposites. Kinsale offers plenty of symbols and metaphors to convey this:
1. The hero's name is "Winter" - he is cold, emotionally withdrawn from other humans - and (paradoxically) drawn to landscapes of hot, arid emptiness. Zenia, meanwhile, has lived her entire life under the scorching desert sun. She longs for the cool, lush gardens of England, and paradoxically, the warmth of human contact.
2. More conflict stems from the enormous material differences in the life experiences of the two principles: Winter has always possessed social power and wealth; ergo, they mean nothing to him; Zenia has always lived a powerless and materially deprived existence. She longs for financial security, basic creature comforts and certainty about what the next day will bring. That she transforms herself from a Bedouin boy into a proper English lady at the earliest opportunity is perfectly logical. Readers who find English-Zenia tedious or bitchy misunderstand her character completely by assuming that she, like Winter, should see life as one jolly adventure.
3. Then there is the East-West difference. Zenia's worldview, we are told and shown, is essentially oriental: she is deeply superstitious, fearful of curses, genies, etc. Winter is a man of science, a product of European enlightenment. It is not hard to understand why Zenia and he might not see eye-to-eye on basic things.
Why does she hold him at arm's length, despite the best counsel of everyone around her, despite her own feelings for him, despite his obviously sincere and honorable courtship? Because she recognizes that they come from two different worlds; she doesn't trust him to settle down in England and be the kind of husband/father that she needs him to be. She cannot contemplate going back to the isolated, hand-to-mouth, nomadic existence that she knew before reaching England; and she believes (with reason) that Winter is incapable of changing from wanderer to couch potato, no matter what he says.
Looked at this way, the wonder isn't that Zenia holds out against Winter as long as she does, but that she yields to him at all.
Kinsale is a fine writer. And like most fine writers, she rewards the reader who takes the trouble to ponder her meaning. The Dream Hunter is a book that actually deserves to be reread, offering nuances of character, narrative structure and plot to the careful reader.
As always Nicholas Boulton was outstanding with the delivery of the story
"What a disaster"
This book has been wrongly titled. It should be “you will leave me” alternative “I won’t let you take Elizabeth” or something else to that effect. Minute after minute, hours after hours the same phrases all over again and again and again and again and again and again until the last minutes. I fast forwarded the last hours, and every time I started listening the same phrases all over again and again and again and again.
Not worth a credit, that’s for sure.
"Have an Adventure in the desert"
This is the first book of Laura Kinsale's that I have tried.
This book was well worth the time to listen to, it had adventure, suspense, happiness sadness, I was riveted I could not stop listening until the end.
The narrator was very good and has a nice easy going voice.
I recommend you get this book.
I am now looking for Laura's next book and I hope a new adventure.
"Another piece of perfection from Nicholas Boulton!"
Fantastic, Amazing, Wonderful!
Lord Winter, because of his complex character and the gradual unfolding of this complex and wonderful book. Be prepared to have your heart ripped asunder and then, thank goodness, put back together again.
Yes. I have all Laura Kinsale's books up to date and can't wait for the others to be made available. Nicholas Boulton is the most consummate narrator I have ever heard; he can slip into any character and make it his own and that is why these books are so wonderful. What a talent!!
Thank you Laura Kinsale, for giving us your wonderful books and persuading Nicholas Boulton to narrate them for us.
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