Review: Dreamer (Chosen by the Gods #2) by Ann Mayburn
Plagued by intense nightmares since she was a child and forced to learn how to defend herself in the nebulous realm of the subconscious, Shan has the potential to become one of the most powerful Dreamers ever born. Devon, dreamy warrior for the war god Mentu, has to fight more than just his attraction to this fiery little submissive as they track down the source of a rash of vicious demon attacks on Washington D.C.’s High Priests and Priestesses. Steamy and instantly addicting, Dreamer is a GraveTells “Must Read”!
Series: Chosen by the Gods #2
Author: Ann Mayburn
Prominent Characters: Devon, Shan
Recommended Reader Age: 18+
Sexual Content Level: heavy, with language typical of erotica
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
I breezed through the first 20% of this book, completely engrossed in the characters, setting, and fast-paced plot; it is incredibly engaging and, from a world-building perspective, not like anything I’ve read before. Set in our modern day world (Washington DC), in a reality where a religious revolution has taken place and all the various pantheons of the gods throughout history are real and being actively served and worshiped, Dreamer grabs you by the imagination and just keeps reeling you in.
Our heroine is as unique as the setting. A small, young Asian woman whose sense of style is a cross between a goth, a punk, and a princess, Shan is a natural sexual submissive with an otherwise fiery, determined, and passionate personality. She’s also a skilled blacksmith and jewelry maker. Seriously, this is a chick I really liked spending time with. Devon, Chosen of the war god Mentu and a captain of the temple guards, first encounters Shan in a BDSM club and is intrigued by just a glance of her. Their next meeting, full of aggression and determination, is just as sexual charged, and the Dom in Devon is incredibly drawn to this girl even though she apparently knows exactly how to piss him off… and excels at it. He’ll do anything to protect her, independent rebellious attitude and all.
Unlike Shan’s wardrobe, this relationship is not all roses and rainbow sparkles. Shan and Devon share an amusing antagonism toward each other even as they fight their inevitable attraction. I was almost sad to see them finally accept each other as a couple because some of the most enjoyable dialogue came from their bickering… almost. The scorching hot sex and connection between these two definitely makes up for that.
This novel contains elements of and references to BDSM, but is not hard core or over the top… although I would warn the BDSM-shy that it does include some light bondage, improvised clamps, and spanking. Devon, despite Shan’s repeated argumentative accusations, is NOT a complete overwhelming asshole, but he does have the most delicious protective and dominating side.
The chemistry between Devon and Shan could power a small nation and there are enough steamy scenes between them to keep erotica fans happy, while also enough emotion and romance to have PNR fans cheering the couple on from their not-so-dry seats. The language is gritty, even from Shan, and the terminology is definitely explicit, but the pacing is excellent and the flow of the story is addicting. I devoured this is book in less than a day.
I feel I should mention the personality similarities between Devon and Bones of the Night Huntress series. Now I don’t mean that Devon is a clone of Bones, because that is far from true, but it definitely made me feel nostalgic to see some of Bones’ more endearing traits showcased in another, equally lovable, hero. I’m not going to spoil it for you; you’ll just have to read Dreamer to find out!
“Glad you finally decided to stop ogling me long enough to look at my face,” he said in a deep voice that made things tighten low in her body.
Embarrassed at having been caught staring at him, of all people, she snapped, “I was wondering why your belt buckle is so big. Overcompensating for the small size of something below?” Jack had a coughing fit behind her as she fisted her hands on her hips.
Those amazing teal-blue eyes narrowed behind his thick lashes and his shoulders tightened. “Listen here, Polly Pretty Pants, I didn’t sign up for–“
“So,” Jack said in a loud voice. “You’re probably wondering why I brought you here, Shan.”
If you want to learn how to REALLY defend yourself, do it like this…
“We do whatever works. It doesn’t have to look pretty, it doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to annihilate our opponent.”
You can wear the leather pants any day, Devon…
Giving her his wolfish grin, Devon said, “Who wears the leather pants in our relationship, Kitten?”
Growling at him, she said nothing and pressed her breasts against the solid wall of his chest.
Devon shook his head in mock disappointment and leaned down, whispering in her ear, “Who wears the leather pants in our relationship?” His breath was warm, and the deepness of his voice made her shiver.
A touch breathlessly, she said, “You, Sir.”
Every girl needs a little variety…
With a low growl, he grabbed her hair in a tight fist and held her lips a breath away from his.
“You need to know this, Shan. I will never be a vanilla lover in the bedroom. That doesn’t mean that everyday will be whips and chains, or that I expect you to bow and scrape to me when we are out together. But once that bedroom door closes…”
He took her lips in a demanding kiss, parting them and stroking against her tongue until she thought she would lose her mind. Drawing back from her, his voice took on a rough edge. “I will always be the Master.”
If you liked Dreamer…
If you enjoyed Dreamer and you haven’t read the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, you’re gonna want to start at the beginning with Halfway to the Grave, and check out all the delicious yumminess that is Bones. The passion between Cat & Bones is luscious, the sex scenes unforgettable (hello, Chapter 32!), and they have a similar bedroom dominance relationship to Devon and Shan’s.
If you’re a fan of BDSM stories with heart, you absolutely must read Joey Hill’s Vampire Queen series. The Vampire Queen’s Servant starts off a little slow while you learn about the vampire world and the two main characters, Lyssa and Jacob, but quickly amps up in just about every way possible. These books will make you laugh, cry, and want to jump your significant other!
Now, if deity plotlines are your thing, start making your way through Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. Technically, Fantasy Lover is the start of this crazy-long series, but if you absolutely must skip it, you’ll be ok reading book 2, Night Pleasures. The Dark-Hunter men are dominating and protective, and the storylines will rivet you to your e-reader. These books are really hard to put down!
Dreamer may be the second in the Chosen by the Gods series, but you never feel like you’re missing out on any important details or back story. I know books with BDSM are not for everyone, but for those that do enjoy it, this story is nearly a perfect blend of charm, heart, passion, and adventure, with just enough kink to make it saucy without feeling contrived. Dreamer is a GraveTells “Must Read”!