**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn't know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn't on offer.
So after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.
Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.
Tate's angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn't want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.
Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn't a bartender, he's a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn't speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back form the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.
Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate. As secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, and Lauren tries to find her inner biker babe.
OMG how am I ever gonna be able to write a review for this book?! To say it was amazing would be the understatement of the century! I was engaged on page one and couldn't put it down for anything. I have to say sitting in your computer networking class while thinking about a book is not a good idea! This book took me on a roller coaster of a ride and I enjoyed every minute of it. Sweet Dreams takes place in a small town in the middle of nowhere. The book is told from Laurie's pov. Laurie and Tate are amazing together...absolutely perfect! This story is chalk full of drama, intrigue, angst, romance and sex...lots and lots of sex. It has a few curve balls thrown in and a crazy psycho ex girlfriend, not to mention a serial killer who is terrorizing this small town. I'm a sucker for bikers and Tate drives a Harley...nuff said! Unless you count the fact that he's a bad*** bounty hunter. This book was amazing. It will draw you in and refuse to let you go. The only thing I didn't like was it had a tendency to go really into detail which caused it to drag a bit in places but it didn't take away from the story.
Laurie is a 42 year old woman who has just left a bad marriage. She had a high paying job, lived in a gated community in a huge house with a husband she loved dearly. Her husband has spent the last 4 years sleeping with her best friend. Everyone knew it but her. She's got blonde hair and not the "ideal" body type. She's a little on the curvy side. She's mouthy, insecure, and trying to be independent.
Tate...oh Tate. Tate is a sexy bad*** biker bounty hunter. He owns a the bar where Laurie works. He's 44, tall with dark hair and dark eyes. He's edgy and dangerous. He knows what he wants and goes after it. He's a possessive, controlling alpha male with anger issues. In the beginning he's hiding a big secret from her. He's perfect in every way.
Sweet Dreams begins with Laurie sitting outside a bar. It's a bar in the middle of nowhere. She has been driving around the country for months looking for a place just like this. She wants to wants to start an unspecial life in a nowhere town, in a nowhere bar where she can be a nobody.
Her first encounter with Tate isn't a pretty one. He's angry and he calls her a bunch of names (old and fat) when he finds out his business partner Krystal has hired her. She overhears him and decides then that she can't stand him and she sets out to avoid him at all cost. A few days later they end up working together. He tells her he knows she heard him and tries to apologize. He even admits that he didn't mean it and has a habit of saying things when he's angry and regretting it after. She still keeps away from him even when he begins flirting. We go from hatred to apologizing to flirting in a matter of days...whiplash much?! Still she continues the no eye contact, only speak when spoken to, I don't care attitude. He doesn't take kindly to being ignored especially when he wants to be noticed. These two are like fire and gasoline...and they stay that way throughout the book.
We meet a guy named Wood. It's obvious he and Tate have a past. Wood is interested in Laurie and so is Tate. Tate stakes a claim on her. They eventually end up on friendly terms but the peace is quickly shattered.
A waitress at the bar is brutally raped and beaten the night that Tate fires her. He being a bounty hunter, the cops ask for his help in finding the serial killer. The woman dies in the hospital making her his latest victim. We find out that he's been watching her. He knows what room she's staying in, that she walks home, and swims late at night. These two are a lot closer than she realizes. He has to leave town to hunt this guy down and before he goes he lets her know that when he comes back she is his. He does it in biker speak though (She will be on the back of his bike) and she doesn't understand what it means. He kisses her and then leaves town for a month.
While he's gone, she and Wood get close. She starts spending the night at his house. They do things but she doesn't sleep with him. It was headed in that direction and probably would have happened sooner rather than later but Tate shows up. Wood tells her all kinds of ugly stuff about Tate. Tate has been sleeping with Wood's sister since they were young. Her name is Neeta and that woman is crazy...like bats*** crazy! Neeta is married and this automatically puts Laurie off since she was cheated on. When Tate gets back to town he's ready to claim what's his but things aren't like he thought. He's thought about her non-stop and he's glad to get back to her. He kisses her and then she rails him about Neeta. After they fight and she tells him about Wood, he walks away.
The following day as he delivers the phone he bought her (yeah, he's really letting her go) she receives a phone call that her dad has had a heart attack and he puts them both on a plane and flies home with her. Once getting to the airport, her sister's boyfriend informs her that her ex husband is at the hospital. Tate gets rid of him, staking his claim again by calling her his girlfriend.
"I get that you're a big guy but I'd like to talk to my wife."
"Then you shouldn't have thrown her away when she was your wife. Now she ain't. Now she's somethin' to me and I don't let men I don't like get close to her and I gotta tell you, man, I do not like you."
They spend the night in the hotel together and he goes running the next morning. Her ex, not getting Tate's demands, shows up and pretty much tries to force himself on her. Tate shows up and removes him from the room. She and Tate end up having sex for the first time. He calls Wood and lets him know that Laurie is officially his "old lady" and her relationship with Wood is over, then explains what he meant by his comment before he left. He tells her about Neeta (well most of it, minus one big secret). They are officially together at this point. He ends up having to leave her to hunt the killer again. This time they talk every night and text throughout the day. When she finally gets home he isn't there. The night he returns he gets a proper welcome home in the middle of the bar. She spends her first night (which will end up being forever) at his house. After they have some seriously hot sex, Wood shows up and they end up fighting. She gets hit in the crossfire. She's confused about the fight, he's not explaining anything and he's actually mad at her. She gets up in the middle of the night and gets on the couch. She's awakened by an angry Tate who moves her back to the bed. He lets her know that if she's mad she'll be mad in his bed and if she's having trouble sleeping then she'll do it in his bed. The next morning she wants to go home but he's not having it. She tells him she needs time alone to which he informs her she's had 3 weeks alone while he was gone. The book pretty much does this over and over again. He gets mad, does something stupid, and she wants to leave. He doesn't let her.
Now to save space we're gonna hit the high points. When drama isn't happening between them, they are perfect together and happy.
Crazy ex girlfriends...yeah...
Neeta catches wind of their relationship and fly's into town looking for blood. Married or not, she claims him as hers and no one else is gonna live in her house with her man. A stand off happens outside his house and here we find out that Tate and Neeta have a 10 year old son together. Laurie being herself automatically assumes that he's with her because it will make him seem more stable since he's fighting for full custody of his son. He puts that theory to bed quickly. His son, Jonas, is a cool kid. He's just like his dad in every way. He takes an instant liking to Laurie seeing her as comfort and stability. She falls in love with the kid and they are close very quickly. There's an incident where Neeta grabs Jonas and hurts him while trying to get him out of Laurie's arms. Because of this, Tate washes his hands of her and will not let Jonas go back with her.
She tells Tate she loves him but he doesn't say it back. It's pretty obvious that he was going to until they were interrupted. Later that night they revisit the conversation and he makes her tell him again. He does this so he can say it back to her.
They are woken in the middle of the night to Neeta banging on their window drunk. Here he fights with her. Finally having had enough he tells Neeta that he's in love with Laurie and she's not leaving his house. The next time we see Neeta she is showing up at the custody hearing extremely drunk and full custody is granted to Tate. Jonas moves in with them full time. She officially moves in with him after a fight when he finds out that she's been looking for apartments. He doesn't ask, he demands she unpack her bags.
Laurie's ex best friend shows up looking for Laurie's ex husband who is in town and no one knew it. This scene was funny. Laurie said some seriously funny but ugly things to her ex friend and then to her ex when he showed up. I laughed a lot, she and Tate both had fun with that conversation. Once they are gone, the police show up. Neeta has been raped and murdered by the serial killer. Tate tells Jonah and he goes straight to Laurie. They end up on the floor with her rocking him in her lap while they both cry. After that they are inseparable...all 3 of them. Neither father or son want her far from them. They have the funeral where Tate's mom shows up and makes a scene.
On her birthday a few months later, Tate proposes to her kind of. He puts a ring on her finger and tells her they are getting married on the anniversary of the day they met. Things go well for awhile. They are making a life together with Jonas, a family.
I'd found special in Carnal and in Tate. Special wasn't exactly perfect but, even so, it was pretty f***ing spectacular and it was finally, finally mine.
Then the worst happens. Laurie is grabbed by the serial killer. He's a guy who works at the bar with them. Tate is out of his mind with worry but holds it together enough to do what needs to be done. The entire town is looking for her. She manages to get away when a regular from the bar shoots the guy but she's been stabbed. The killer chases her through the woods but at this point Tate has already figured out who it is and where they are. She runs into a clearing and sees Tate's car headed for her before the attacker knocks her to the ground. Tate almost kills the guy. We get several people's POV here including Tate's while he's looking for her. She spends a few days in the hospital and then she's released under Tate's care. He's not dealing with it as well as she is. He blames himself for not keeping her safe.
The epilogue takes place on her next birthday a year later. They are already married and are the happy little family attending another wedding.
Things I really LIKE about this book:
- He calls her Ace and babe
- Tate has a dainty female cat he calls buster
- He claimed her from the beginning
- She calls him honey
- How protective he is of her...has people with her at all times when he isn't in town
- No matter how much they fight he won't let her leave his bed. She sleeps with him regardless
This was an amazing book! It's one of the easiest 5 star reads I've ever rated. It deserves many more. I recommend this book to everyone! Read it! You will not be disappointed. It will draw you in and not let you go until the journey is over!
My Tate / Laurie
"Not big on repeatin' myself, babe."
"Not big on being called babe, babe."
God, if he wasn't so handsome, strong, sometimes sweet, didn't have a Harley, that beard, a tendency to play with my hair, didn't look so good in jeans and wasn't so danged good in bed, he would seriously not be worth it.
"You're your own brand of trouble, I know that and you're still right here."
"You stole my wife."
"Yeah, bud, I did."
"You humble me."