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
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!
i live in the kentucky bluegrass and enjoy coffee in the morning while listening to a great book.
i have read some less-than-fabulous reviews on this particular laura kinsale book. so much so that i was leery about listening to it, thinking it wouldn't be very entertaining.
well. i'm glad i ignored those reviewers.
it was worth the credit.
let me say this... while i truly LOVED this book, i wanted their to be a longer "connection" at the end, when they finally made it work and wanted to be together. i wanted more time with them that way rather than the back and forth, but i'll take what i can get.
laura never disappoints in her character development. these flawed men and women have so much to give to the other and i love the hours spent listening to their journey.
nicholas does a superb job, as usual, and i am hoping that laura will have more books out soon.
take a chance. you'll be glad you did, especially if you loved the other books.
love audio books - Anglophile
I had the Kleenex out within the first third of this audio. It has adventure, romance, and more. I didn't think Kinsale could top Flowers from the Storm, but I liked this one even more. Audible, please release more books by Kinsale!
Just a simple girl living the simple life. Nothing is complicated when the power of imagination leads the way. Close your eyes & just listen
I recently stumbled (for the first time) on LK's books with 'The Prince of Midnight' and absolutely fell in love with her writing as well as the narrator Nicholas Boulton. Once you've heard him you will compare all others readers to him and hope they are at least half as good! This is my third book by her and yearn for more of this combo- writer/reader. I must admit 'dream hunter' is a bit different than the other two as far as the setting, but trust me it is well worth your credit and time....... You will hunger for more!
His performance in 'Flowers from the Storm' will rivet you. His ability in changing voices for each character is amazing. You feel each emotion so deeply- anger, joy, hate, love, desire....sex! He tops the list!
This novel performance (pun intended) is especially fun for any reader that has not had the pleasure of Laura Kinsale read by Nicholas Boulton. Laura Kinsale writes with extremely "human" characters, and you become immeshed in their emotions, motivations, fears and passion. Ms. Kinsale is one of the rare writers that spend as much time developing her male characters, as she does her female ones. Her characters are multi-dimensional, and the superb acting by Nicholas Boulton enable you to experience and wring out every possible meaning of the storyline. I have read (or listened to) many different types of books, with many different performance artists, but the combination of her words and his voice is rare in your audio experience. A reader will find themselves immeshed in the story instead of the mechanics of writing or performing. A rare treat. Having said that, do not be surprised if you find yourself, therefore, cringing in embarrassment as the Heroine (Zenia) or Hero (Arden) perform idiotic acts as they muddle their way through a relationship. The interesting aspect of Ms. Kinsale's plot development is that she is almost willing to take you to the point of hating a Zenia for her fears or despising Arden for his impulsive savagery, before she pulls you back at the last second into reluctant sympathy. Just when you are about to wish that Arden would give up and let Zenia try to live alone, penniless because she is too afraid of potential abandonment, the author explains enough motivation for Zenia's fears and you slide into sympathy. Ms. Kinsale did that a few too many times (reluctance, stupidity, passion, fear, acceptance...over and over), for me; this is the main reason I voted for four stars instead of five.. I sped up a few of the last few times because I was almost screaming at Arden and Zenia. How can you not love a writer and performer that drive you to that point?
Many of Laura Kinsale's books have the pattern of attraction, passion, fear, reluctance, stupidity, sympathy and then faith. She is NOT formulaic but you will see a trend. However all of her characters are sharply drawn and different, and suffer from different fears. In some of her books (like Flowers from the Storm - my personal favorite) the hero is driven by more demons than the heroine.
Although I am not a huge fan of the Arabian desert romances as a rule, the first half of the book in the desert are the parts that I prefer. The scenes leading up to Arden's discovery of Zenia being a woman have the right amount of bravery and tension. My second favorite are the scenes of Arden's forging of a relationship with his tiny daughter.
I listened to this book over three days, during a car trip up and back between cities in Texas. At the end, I sat in my driveway to finish, even though I was so tired of being in the car. I was not about to leave these characters after hours of yelling at then to get some sense.
I have said in previous reviews that I thoroughly enjoy Nicholas Boulton's strong performances in each character of every novel he has performed. How he can perform suc distinctly different men, women and children, so consistently, is beyond me. In other reviews, you will hear than an audio performer has trouble in long dialogue exchanges, where the voices blend together or are indistinguishable. And, by the way, he does have a small part of the second of third chapter where a minor character is speaking with an American-style accent, and he was very convincing. The sections in Arabic accents seem authentic and smooth. This is never an issue with Nick Boulton. I have gotten to the point of recommending him as an artist to other authors (even those convinced he could not possibly play an American or a Frenchman), because I feel this actor can do anything. .
Passionate, uncomprehensible, loose-ending
Absolutely! I've tried all of her books on Audible and love the passion of her characters, especially the males. However, couldn't get into the "moon" book, and I'm glad I didn't start with that one. The first two are among my all-time favorites.
Yes, all the Kinsale audio books. He's superb in each one. I feel he does his homework on each character.
The main characters felt so deeply for each other it was hard to understand why one of them wouldn't except the other. I understand the person's history, but . . . really. Good story, excellent narration, but the end didn't wrap up the supporting characters in which I became very interested. Perhaps Ms. Kinsale does that in her next book.
This story, like all the other Laura Kinsale books, is at the top of my list. Mainly because both the story and the narration are so so well done. Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton are definitely on the top of my favorites list.
There aren't many narrators that I actually consider my favorites as I'm rather picky. But there are a rare few I actually consider top notch. Nicolas Boulton is one of them. The man is an artist. Truly! I don't think I've heard a book yet where he could not get a voice or an accent just right. His performances are always mesmerizing. Ms. Kinsale and her publishers made an incredibly wise choice in selecting him as the narrator for her books.
I loved the first part of this book. A glimpse into a different time and culture + strong, brave, but flawed main characters make for a great story. It slowed a little in the 2nd half & I kept hoping for a return to the previous settings, but it was overall an intriguing and enjoyable book. Narration was excellent.
Day dreaming book lover!
This is an unforgettable book with unforgettable narration. What was painful for me was the struggle of the characters to achieve peace. Their struggle goes right to the bitter end. Laura Kinsale will be an automatic download for me but when I want a nice, sweet romance, I won't look here. As far as narration goes, Nicholas Boulton is in the top three narrators for romance at Audible if not the top. I hope you won't hesitate listening to this book, especially if you are looking for depth of characters and strength and talent of narration.
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.
"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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