Dream Student

Dream Student

College junior Sara Barnes thought her life was totally under control.  All she had to worry about was her final exams, Christmas shopping, applying to medical school – and what to do about the cute freshman in the next dorm with a crush on her.  Everything was going according to plan, until the night she started seeing other people’s dreams.

It’s bad enough that Sara is learning more than she ever needed to know about her friends and classmates, watching their most secret fantasies whether she wants to or not.  Much worse are the other dreams, the ones she sees nearly every night, featuring a strange, terrifying man who commits unspeakable crimes.  Now Sara wonders if she’s the only witness to a serial killer – and the only one who knows when and where he’s going to strike next.

Dream Student is the prequel to the Dream Doctor Mysteries.

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There’s someone in bed with me.  Someone’s holding me, someone warm and strong and I’m running my hand up and down his back and his eyes flutter open.  “Hi.”


In the flesh, literally and figuratively.  “You were expecting someone else?”

He gives me a hesitant little smile.  “This is going to sound really dumb, but for a second there I wasn’t sure if last night really happened or if it was just a dream.”

Any other time I would be very annoyed at that, but considering how we met it’s a fair thing to wonder about.  “It was definitely real, but if you want more proof you can go next door and ask Kelly and Amanda what they heard.  We were pretty enthusiastic, I guess you could say.”  If Beth heard those words come out of my mouth, she’d have a heart attack.  It might even be worth it, just to see her expression before she keeled over.  Honestly, I’m kind of shocked myself.

But it is true – I’ll bet they heard everything.  The walls are pretty thin, after all.  And it certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone in room 208 kept the neighbors up.  From what I’ve heard, Beth isn’t exactly shy about expressing herself when she’s, let’s just say, entertaining a guest in the room.  Why can’t I have some fun once in a while too?

He’s quiet for a bit.  He seems very contemplative.  I ask him, “Hey, what are you thinking about?”

He looks embarrassed.  I have a feeling I know what he’s going to say.  “Can I ask you something?”


“Well, I know this is probably a stupid question, but – is it always like that?”

I knew it.  They always ask, don’t they?  The phrasing varies, but the question’s the same.  Except I don’t think it is right now.  That was his first time, after all, so he’s got no basis for comparison.  It could be an honest question.   I’m definitely willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

I tell him the truth: “I’m not saying this for your ego, I really mean it – it’s never been like that before for me.”  But then again, I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.  I’ve never needed someone the way I do now.  And I’ve definitely never lost myself in it the way I did – we did – last night.  I’m sure that’s got a lot to do with it.

I’m glad it was like that for him.  They say you always remember your first time, and – this is exactly the kind of thing Beth meant when she said I’m a hopeless romantic – it’s supposed to be special and wonderful and perfect and all of that.  I’d say that last night qualified on that count.

I wish my first time had been like that, instead of what it was, with Richard, the time I didn’t want to think about this morning.  Rotten, awful, terrible, pick your adjective.  And I can’t think of another time that I’ve ever felt worse about myself.

We lie in bed a little longer and he asks me something else.  “What happened to you?” and as he asks he’s got his hand on my belly.  Right over my scar.

“Oh, that?  You noticed it?”  It’s funny.  The two boyfriends I’ve had since it happened never noticed, or if they did they never bothered to ask.

“Well, I saw it last night, and after about two seconds it went right out of my mind,” he says, going quite red.

“I should hope so,” I laugh.  “Anyway, I had my appendix out, senior year of high school.”


“The night before the prom.”

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14 Replies to “Dream Student”

  1. I wouldn’t use suspense at all in the description because suspense readers expect something very fast paced and tense. This book is way too laid back to be called suspense. I feel it’s best categorised as contemporary fiction with a paranormal element, of more simply paranormal fiction. t doesn’t have the feel of paranormal fantasy, despite the dream aspect; it feels to real for that. If you call it paranormal romance, you fall into the same trap as with using the word thriller, because paranormal romance readers expect very definite things that this book hasn’t got, like vampires, sex and a focus on the romance over everything else.
    So paranormal fiction would be my choice.

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