Five Star, Apr 2004, 25.95, 225 pp.
Alice “Hallie” O'Brien has lately been filling her canvas with portraits of people she never met and edifices from late nineteenth century towns that she never has seen even in pictures. She desperately needs to understand why she paints people like Lady Scarlet and Knickers and Gabe, a man she is half in love though she never met him. Then there are the detailed paintings of brothels such as the Homestretch. When Hallie delivers her sister-in-law's baby as if she has done this before, she turns to her history professor mother for help. Following a short search, her mom informs Hallie that the town she dreams about is Cripple Creek, Colorado.
Hallie arranges for her friend Joshua Quinn to meet her in Denver. When he cannot make it, he sends his older brother Gabriel to meet Hallie at the airport. She is stunned when she sees him because he is the man in her portrait. As Hallie and Gabriel fall in love, she keeps zoning out ending up relating scenes from the 1890s. Gabriel worries about his beloved, but also how his sibling will react to his wanting Hallie and finally why is she “dreaming” of the past. Still he cannot shake the feeling that he has known her forever.
Sub-genre readers will enjoy this intriguing paranormal romance, as fans will want to know what exactly is happening to Hallie. The story line moves forward at a fast clip yet Denise Dietz ensures that the reader fully comprehends what Hallie observes and what Gabriel sees Hallie doing. Though the action is somewhat light, fans will gain plenty of pleasure from a tale that will make believers of everyone.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner