The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…
For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.
When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.
Honest to goodness, I was sucked into this book from the very beginning. All of the elements that I want in my paranormal fantasy stories were present: subtle details, a plot that is relatively quick but with characters that don’t develop too fast and grow boring, and of course, a unique story. I have never read a book about the Sandman legend. Of course, I’ve heard songs about the Sandman and I know he’s the sleep/dream guy but anything more than that and its out of my league. Here though, he’s the love interest with tattoos and purple eyes and….well, I don’t want to spoil too much of him.
As for the story itself, Nora is a teenager who has been visited by the Sandman every night for years, although she has been in therapy all the while telling herself she hasn’t. Meanwhile, the Sandman has hidden a dream inside of Nora to hide from the Nightmare Lord. From here on, things get dark. Nora and the Sandman explore their relationship, while the Nightmare Lord hunts down the dream which Nora holds and goes through her friends (via some pretty gruesome murders) to do it. Just a warning: don’t read this one before going to bed, my friends. This is a daytime read!
Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.
She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.
When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.
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Book Soundtrack: Dream On – Glee Cast Version Feat. NPH (Originally by Aerosmith)