The Dreaming (Bone Dressing #2) by Michelle Brooks

The time for best friends and midnight escapes to the cemetery Syd calls home is over.

As Syd faces the dangerous mysteries lurking in the shadowed depths of her past, she must sail from the shores of sanity through the rocky waters of the unknown on her journey to the sleeping bones of her next past-life. Caught on a roller coaster ride through mysterious cultures, rogue mercenary pirates, past loves and new-found abilities, Syd must find the strength to listen to her own heart. She must find a way to embrace her destiny, her future … and her past.

Help continues to come through the unlikely team of Sarah and T.J., Syd’s personal time-challenged dynamic duo. Blipping on and off her radar at the worst times, they never seem to be front and center when she really needs them. And Beau … when will she be able to function, to breathe, in his presence? What is her inescapable connection to him? And why can’t he admit his attraction to her?

Off on a race against time, against evil-incarnate, against her own fears and passions, Syd must turn to the strength within. To the strength of Bone Dressing. Bone Dressing: The Dreaming, the second in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau further on their adventure that transcends life itself.

I really enjoyed Bone Dressing – the first installment in Michelle Brooks’ Bone Dressing Series. I couldn’t wait to get more of Beau and Syd, not to mention T.J. and Sarah. I was even looking forward to more confrontations with Mr. ‘A’. What I wasn’t expecting was to be even more enthralled with this story than I was before.

The Dreaming continues the story of Syd and her quest to right wrongs that that occurred in past lives. The concept is totally unique and that combined with Brooks’ descriptive writing style, a flair for action and her flowing dialogue make Syd’s story genuinely entertaining. How entertaining? Well, for this review I decided to try something a little different. Since I don’t really think that I can do the book justice by just talking about it, I thought maybe I should just let the book speak for itself.

So, do you like books that start with bang? How’s this for an opening paragraph?

“Shit! What the hell are you doing?” My body slammed up against the ship’s central mast and bounced off, not slowing down the slightest bit with the sudden change of direction. Immediately I ricocheted against Beau’s chest before crashing right back into the mast, the salt water splashing off the solid wood post, stinging my eyes like a hive full of hostile bees. My eyelids slammed closed in a last-ditch attempt at self-preservation. God, my eyes were on fire! It felt like they were going to burn a hole through my skin and go rolling across the deck any second.

And then there is the romance. Oh yes, the romance. There is a an undeniable attraction between Syd and Beau that transcends time.

As our lips met, the world simply ceased to exist. There was just this moment, Beau, me, the water lapping at our bodies, caressing us with its cool blessings of life and love. Beau’s hands slid up my shoulders, weaving into the hair at the back of my head, pulling me desperately deeper within his kiss… within his embrace… within him.

How about the macabre? An aspect of the story that is so dark it’s actually mesmerizing?

My head turned suddenly, following a couple who’d just come around the path from behind me. They were dressed up like a bride and groom. A rotting, decomposing bride and groom, yes, but a bride and groom nonetheless. Deep, dark eye sockets gazed longingly at one another, full of love and adoration, despite their current decrepit state. As they joined the crowd of dancing bodies he took her bone-drawn hand, twirling her into the center of the skeleton ball.

So, are you convinced? Like I said, I really liked Bone Dressing, but I was even more impressed with The Dreaming. I’m thinking that this is one series that is just going to get better and better with each installment. It has a little bit of everything. Romance, humor, mystery, magic and more than enough action. Because of the language (mainly from Syd… Beau just can’t keep her mouth under control) and the sexual situations and violence, I wouldn’t categorize this as YA. Maybe older teens or New Adult, but definitely not younger teens. Book 2 is a lot more intense in every way, but that intensity was an integral part of The Dreaming. Anything less wouldn’t have stayed true to the characters or the story.

The Bone Dressing Series will include 7 books so there is a lot more action in store for Syd, Beau, T.J., Sarah and Mr. “A” in the coming books. The next book in the series is The Awakening and I can’t wait to see where in the world or the past, this cast of characters ends up next.

Bone Dressing by Michelle Brooks

Description: Time is running out … the Dark that’s been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her …

Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves … bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can’t stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn’t remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything … including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself.

This was a book that was hard to put down. The action and the intense feelings of Syd put you right in the middle of the action. There are few authors that have actually wrapped me up in their description so much that I have actually cried right along with the main character, and this is one of them.
After reading Michelle’s bio, I knew I had to read this book. Her dead on sense of humor was too good to resist and this book didn’t disappoint.
The only reason that Bone Dressing didn’t get 5 stars from me was because at times I found myself lost – kind of like I was missing something important. It may have been just me, and I will read the book again to make sure. It wasn’t enough to distract from the reading or not want to continue following Syd and her new companions in their next adventure. If you like YA fantasy written with vivid descriptions and a wonderful sense of humor, don’t miss this story.
Can’t wait until the next installment!