Updated: Jan 19
Dream of You
by Jennifer L Armentrout
Published by Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
A Wait For You Novella
Abby Erickson isn't looking for a one-night stand,
a relationship, or anything that involves any one-on-one time, but when she witnesses a shocking crime, she's thrust into the hands of the sexiest man she's ever seen - Colton Anders. His job is to protect her, but with every look, every touch, and every simmering kiss, she's in danger of not only losing her life but her heart also.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy #NewAdult Happy Ending
Trigger Warning: Dream of You contains gun violence, and violence in general. Be advised.
Dream of You by Jennifer L Armentrout is a novella written in the Wait For You world, featuring Reese's older brother Colton, and Abby, a witness in a brutal crime, who are brought together when Colton is put on the case.
I really enjoyed Dream of You. In fact, I have yet to find a novella that Jennifer has published through the 1001 Dark Nights Books that I haven't loved. There were a few things I really liked about this story. First of all, I love a good second chance plot. I'm not talking your typical ex's getting back together. No. This is a true second chance with that someone you always crushed on in high school, but never got the chance to act on that attraction. Second of all, the fact that our main character, Abby, isn't the typical size 2 woman that is described more often than not in romance. That Colton admits to not having a type, and is genuinely attracted to her. Women tend to forget that men can, and are attracted to women who are not supermodels, and it's nice to have that reminder in a book. Lastly, I loved the action element to the story. Having Abby be a witness to a crime, and everything that followed afterwards, kept up the entertainment factor, but didn't overpower the rest of the elements of the story.
Abby is a character I could easily hang out with. Sweet, friendly, with a passion for books, and with a job I would love to have. Her backstory is bittersweet, marrying her high school sweetheart, who eventually passed away the same way her parents died; in a car accident. Piecing her life back together, she moves back home, and after a four years, after putting herself out there, ends up witnessing a murder. Which brings her to Colton. Colton isn't mentioned too much in the main novels. He is there. One of the guys. We see him a bit more in Fall With Me, as he is Reese's brother, and the lead detective on the stalker case, so I didn't know him enough to know if I would like him. Oh boy, do I like him. Colton makes his intentions clear pretty quickly, and the way he treats Abby is wonderful. How he navigates her self-esteem issues is swoon-worthy. Their chemistry is a mix of sweet and spicy, and I'm all for it.
Dream of You may be short, but it packs a punch just as strong as the main novels. The romance is hot, the action is steady, and there is a healthy dose of realism in it when it comes to the pressures that women face everyday to look a certain way. And not just women who are bigger. All women have their hang ups. It's natural, and this little novella embraces that, while also reminding the reader that, hey, just because you don't like something about yourself, doesn't mean someone else doesn't find it beautiful.
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Colton: "I must say, I sort of liked what you were wearing before more."
My cheeks flushed red as I made my way to the table
Abby: "You must be exhausted then."
One eyebrow arched
Colton: "Oh, sweetheart, I'm never too tired to appreciate the beauty of a woman who just woke up and is still walking around in the clothes she slept in."
Abby: "I didn't know you were a charmer."
Colton: "More like an outrageous flirt."
Abby: "I don't want you to go out of your way, Colton."
One side of his lips kicked up
Colton: "I don't mind going out of my way for you. Not at all."
He started to turn and then stopped. Placing the tips of his fingers under my chin, he tilted my head back.
Colton: "Can I ask you something?"
The dimple appeared on his left cheek and then he bit down on his lower lip.
Colton: "Do you believe in second chances?"
His finger slipped up my chin and his thumb smoothed along the skin under my lip.
Colton: "So do I."
Colton: "You know, every couple of years, you've crossed my mind. That's the damn truth."
His eyes met mine and held.
Colton: "It was always unexpected. Never unwelcomed. Did you think of me?"
Abby: "Yes. I've thought of you."
His grin turned smug
Colton: "Hell yeah."
He opened his mouth, closed it, and then tried again.
Colton: "If I'm horny and want to get laid? Honey, how old for you think I am that all I'm about is getting laid."
Abby: "Well, I mean, I get horny and want to get laid too, and we're roughlt the same age. All I'm trying to say is that it's human nature."
Colton: "Human nature?"
His blue eyes brightened as he laughed under his breath.
Colton: "Can I just tell you that I'm thrilled to hear you get horny, and honey, you want to get laid, I'm your man, but you don't really know me, Abby. And we're going to change that. You and I are going to get to know each other in a way that's long overdue."
Abby: "We are?"
Colton: "Oh, we are. You know why? Because we got a second chance to do so and we aren't going to miss that, are we?"
Colton: "That's right."
Lifting his arm, he cupped my cheek with his hand.
Colton: "Here is an important piece of information about me. If I'm looking for just a lay, I'm not going to bring that woman crepes in the morning or fix her window. And I'm sure as hell not going to risk my career to just screw around with a witness. If I'm going to take that risk, it's going to be worth it."
His thumb dragged under my lip, causing me to suck in a shallow breath.
Colton: "And honey, I have a good feeling you're worth it."
And when he lifted his mouth again, I whimpered from the loss. Actually, whimpered.
Colton: "I like that sound. Really fucking like it."
Colton kissed me once more.
Colton: "There're a few things I want to get straight."
Abby: "Does that require talking?"
His answering chuckle brushed my lips.
Colton: "It does. But I can multitask."
Abby: "Thank God."
His body shook with another laugh and his mouth was moving along the curve of my jaw.
Colton: "You're not pretty."
My eyes flew open and widened.
Abby: "Excuse me?"
Colton: "I don't think you're pretty."
His mouth found my pulse.
Colton: "I think you're fucking beautiful."
Colton: "I thought you were beautiful damn near a decade ago."
The hot, wet lick against my pulse caused my back to arch.
Colton: "With your dark hair and fair skin, you were like a living Snow White. I don't have a type, Abby. I don't go for just blondes or whatever."
With his other hand, he worked my shirt to the side, baring my shoulder.
At first, I didn't get what he was referencing, but then I felt his finger trailing the lacy strap of my bra.
Abby: "I think checkered print is underrated."
He laughed and then pressed a kiss to the hollow of my throat.
Colton: "And something else I want you to understand, Abby. You're not average. You could never be average."
Abby: "You barely know me."
Colton: "Nothing about you screams average. Never did. I know damn well that hasn't changed."
Colton: "If you stay like that, I'm going to be way too tempted."
Abby: "What's wrong with being tempted?"
Colton: "Damn if I remember right now."
Colton: "You look lovely."
Abby: "Thank you. So do you. I mean, you don't look lovely. You look hot. Sexy. Very nice."
His brows rose.
Abby: "I think I'll stop talking now."
Colton: "Actually, keep talking. It's doing wonders for my ego."
Abby: "I don't think you need any help in that department."
Colton: "True. My head is probably already too big."
Colton: "You have that look on your face."
Abby: "What look?"
Colton: "Like you don't believe a word I'm saying."
My eyes widened.
Colton: "That's okay. Do you know why it's okay?"
I shook my head
Abby: "I'm guessing you're going to tell me?"
Colton: "Nah, sweetheart, I'm going to show you."
Colton: "I was planning on being a gentleman."
Colton: "Hell. God question. I'm not even sure."
Falling in love was exhilarating. It was arousing, possibly the most powerful aphrodisiac.
It was also scary as hell.
Because I'd already loved and lost once.
And knowing what I knew now, that I would lose Kevin, I still wouldn't go back and change a damn thing. Love, no matter the amount of pain it could rain down on your head, was worth it.
Colton: "You're a beautiful woman, Abby. And you're smart and kind. You're funny. And it's a damn shame you don't see that."
Jillian: "Whatever. It doesn't matter. You're normal. I'm normal. We're not perfect and not having the greatest confidence doesn't make you any less of a person."
Abby: "What do you want me to say, Colton? How do I respond to that? I'm not mad that she misses you. You probably miss her too. You were together for a long time, but ... but we just reconnected and I don't know where our relationship is going. And you know what? Yes. I don't have the greatest confidence in myself right now. I haven't seriously dated anyone besides Kevin, and the last four years have been a really long dry spell. And I know that's not the greatest issue to have, but whatever. I like you. I really like you, Colton. I've always liked you, but I'm going to be honest. I'm going to suck at this whole daring thing and I'm going to have moments when I doubt why you're here. And it doesn't help when your ex-fiance looks like a Sports Illustrated model. I shouldn't have run from the bar. That was stupid, but guess what, I'm probably going to do a lot of stupid things. That's just the beginning."
His lips started to twitch.
My eyes narrowed
Abby: "You think this is funny?"
His eyes said he was lying
Colton: "Not at all."
Abby: "Uh-huh. Is that all you have to say about that?"
Colton: "No. That's not all. I don't think less of you because you don't see what I see, what I know, when I look at you. That's the issue I'm more than willing to work with. You get that?"
I nodded as I pressed my lips together.
Colton: "I like you, really like you. I've always liked you, too. And yeah, Nicole is great looking, but she's not the person I'm standing in front of and she's not the person who gets me hard when I think of her. And she isn't the person I almost lost last night. That's you, sweetheart, all you."
Warmth invaded my cheeks.
Colton: "I can tell you where this relationship is gong. Or at least where I hope it is. We're going to spend more time together. We're going to really get to know each other, and I'm going to chip away at that low confidence shit until you see what I see."
My breath caught as he took a step forward and lifted his hands, gently holding my cheeks once more.
Colton: "I want this to work. Because like I said before, I believe in second chances and I don't believe in coincidences. There was a reason why you and I reconnected, and I don't want to pass that up. And we almost lost that last night, so really, we're working on a third chance. I want this to work."
Abby: "I ... I want this to work too."
Abby: "Do you want to stay?"
Colton: "Hell yeah, but if I ... if I do, I'm not leaving tonight. And if I don't leave tonight, I'm going to be upstairs and I'm going to want to be in that bed and in between those pretty thighs of yours. If you don't want that or you're not up to it because of last night, let me know now. I can wait, but either way, I'm not letting fo of you tonight."
Colton: "I'm so damn impatient. That bedroom seems awful far right now."
My laugh was breathy
Abby: "It's not that far."
Colton: "Fuck it ain't."
Reaching around, he pulled out his wallet. A silver foil packet appeared between his fingers. I arched a brow as he tossed it on the bed behind me.
Colton: "What? I always like to be prepared."
Abby: "I guess it's a good thing that you are because I don't have any."
Something about what I said had an effect on him. He groaned.
Colton: "Then we need to make this one count, huh?"
Abby: "I ... It's been so long since I've done this, Colton."
Colton: "I know."
Abby: "Four years."
He threaded his fingers through mine.
Colton: "I figured that."
Abby: "You want to see me, but I'm not sure you really want to. I don't look like -"
Colton: "I know what you look like. I have two eyes and I've been checking you out often. Enough that it would probably make you uncomfortable if you knew. I fucking adore what I see. I want what I see."
Colton: "You know what, Abby? You're unbelievably sexy. Every last fucking inch of you."
He brushed the back of his hand over my shoulder.
Colton: "This is."
That hand then dropped to graze the swell of my breasts.
Colton: "So are these, and so is this."
He trailed a finger down my belly and around my navel.
Colton: "And I want to lick these hips."
His hand smoothed over one, and then around, cupping my rear.
Colton: "Actually, I want to taste every part of you."
Abby: "I've fantasized about this for so long."
Colton: "Are you serious?"
Abby: "So serious?"
Colton: "You really shouldn't have told me that."
Colton: "Because I have no idea how I'm going to be able to slow this down now."
Roxy: "Oh my God, I just want to shove my face in it."
Calla: "Please don't do that."
Reece: "I have something you can shove your face in."
Jax: "Please don't do that in my house."
Reece: "We're not in your house."
Jax flipped him off.
Reece: "Just pointing it out, buddy."
Colton draped his arm over my shoulders as he lifted the mouth of his bottle to his lips. When he lowered the bottle, he dipped his head and pressed his lips to my temple.
Roxy: "You guys are so freaking adorable."
Colton: "I know."
I laughed as I rolled my eyes.
Abby: "He's incredibly modest."
Reece: "Don't I know."
Calla: "I'm going to grab the plates and stuff. Anyone need anything?"
Abby: "I'll help."
I only got so far before he dragged me back.
He smiled down at me, revealing that one dimple.
Colton: "You're forgetting something."
There was no stopping the smile when I stretched up and kissed him. Someone, probably Reece, catcalled. When I settled back on my feet, and turned around, Colton smacked my ass.
Roxy: "So freaking adorable!"
Nicole: "Do you really care about him? Because I know if he's with you, he really cares about you. He doesn't date idly."
Abby: "I know. I've dreamed of him - of someone like him - for a long time. I'm in love with him. I don't know if he feels the same way, but I know ... I know how I feel."
Nicole's eyes closed briefly.
Nicole: "Make sure you tell him that. Make sure you show him. I ... I never really did, you know? I was stupid. Don't be stupid like me."
Abby: "I ... I really loved Kevin. He was more than my husband. He was my closest friend too, and when he died, I wasn't sure if I'd ever feel that way about someone else. I wanted to, but I ... I just wasn't sure. Even though I was with Kevin in high school, I still noticed you and I still .... God forgive me, had a crush on you. And well, what I'm trying to tell you is that I ... I love you. And I know it's soon and it's probably too soon for me to be saying that to you, but I wanted you to know that I do. I do love you, and I know you probably are seconds from freaking and -"
Colton: "I am freaking out."
Colton rolled onto his side and suddenly we were eye to eye
Colton: "I'm freaking out in a good way."
His hand curled around my cheek
Colton: "It's not too soon. Or if it is, we're both feeling it too soon."
Abby: "You ... you love me?"
Colton: "Yeah. Yeah, I do. I think I fell in loe with you the moment you said you thoroughly enjoyed crepes."
Abby: "Really? IT was the crepes that made you fall in love with me?"
Colton: "They had something to do with it. And so did you sweet ass."
I laughed again
Colton: "Your smile had a lot to do with it. So did your strength. And your kindness. Everything about you actually."
Abby: "Wow. That's all very sweet."
Colton: "It's the truth. I love you, Abby."
Abby: "I've dreamed of you for so long."
Colton: "You don't have to dream anymore."
Check out the rest of the Wait for You series below!