Once Upon a Dream (Mystic Beach #1) by Aislinn Archer
@Archaeolibrary, @AislinnArcher, #18andOlder,
#Paranormal, #Rockstar, #Romance,
Best friends in this life. Even more in her visions of a life before. Will his rockstar dreams tear them apart?
I’ve loved Hunter since the day we met. Now I’ve seen a vision of our past together — long before that day in first grade. But Hunter doesn’t believe my vision, and my feelings for him have made things complicated. And that was before his band got its big break. Now, every step he takes toward superstardom feels like he’s leaving me further behind.
At 15, I was cut adrift, my mother gone, my father casting me aside. The only things that matter to me are my guitar and my best friend, Brighid, who’s always been there for me. But she had this dream, and now she thinks we belong together, as more than friends. Even before my band started taking off, I knew I couldn’t belong with anyone — especially not her. I have to keep her safe, even when what I’m keeping her safe from is me.
Two best friends.
A rock-and-roll dream becoming reality, and a romantic dream evaporating in the heat of the spotlight. Bringing both their dreams together in a happily-ever-after could require divine intervention.
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5 out of 5 (exceptional)
ONCE UPON A DREAM is the first full length story in the Mystic Beach series. I first met Ellie and Hunter in their short story - Here Comes the Sun - which takes place when they are six years old. This one takes place over a longer amount of time, and they both grow and change in a number of ways.
Both of them lose their mothers and neither of their fathers will ever win a 'Father of the Year' award! Ellie - who changes her name to Brighid - is hands down my favourite. She deals with what life throws at her, loves her best friend, and does the best she can. Hunter - I love him and hate him at the same time. He's got a long way to go before I'll forgive him for how he treated both Ellie and himself. And those pathetic excuses he makes to himself just aren't going to cut it. Too many excuses and not enough thought. Being completely honest here, the longer the book went on, the more I disliked him!!!
There is enough mysticism here to keep me happy whilst definitely leaving me wanting more. In fact, that's the feeling I've got now that I've finished this story. I want - no, I NEED - more! I want to see how the paranormal becomes normal for Brighid. I want to know more about Mystic Beach. I want to know more about the guys in the band, especially Kieran! And not forgetting Mace.
The world-building - whether in Virginia, Delaware, or New York - is first class. The characters are all different and don't blend into each other. The pacing is perfect. And the part near the end in New York? Had me in tears! Good on Brighid for showing backbone though and doing what was best for her. Still had me in tears though.
A fantastic book that I thoroughly enjoyed and can't wait for the next one. Highly recommended by me.
PS - LOVED the Robin of Sherwood references!!!
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Aislinn Archer is an award-winning journalist, columnist and photographer, music and tech journalist, and editor, as well as a semi-retired live sound engineer.
She has created two interconnected series spanning the contemporary/paranormal fantasy and rockstar romance genres, set in coastal Delaware, where she has lived for more than 20 years. She is a member of Mensa and the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids.
In her free time, Aislinn is an Irish language learner, persistent advanced-beginner guitar and bass guitar player, photographer, foodie, gadget guru, jewelrymaker and lampwork glass artist. She is a voracious reader of the urban fantasy, fantasy and rockstar romance genres, and dedicated music fan across many genres. Aislinn also loves visiting Disney World with her teenage son and her best friend, attending concerts and spending time on the beach.