Have you ever dreamt that you were falling in love with someone only to wake up and find out the person you loved didn’t exist? Welcome to Ren Dyer’s hell, the difference being her lover exists but has no idea Dyer has lived a whole relationship with her, in another universe.
When I first started reading this sequel to In Dyer Need (full disclosure: I was part of the beta reading team), I was mad at Claire Highton-Stevenson because this book felt like a completely different story, which was not what I had signed for.
In Dyer Need was a romance in a post-apocalyptic world. I loved the urgent feel it had, the atmosphere, the danger and close relationships it bred. In Dyer Circumstances is much heavier on the romance. No more zombie-like potential attackers, no more danger. It is not, however, a fluffy romance. Ren and Andrea, the MCs, are the same, strong women melting each other. I liked them a lot in the first chapter, I still do in the final one. We get to see another side of them, a more tender and vulnerable facet, emphasizing the strength. And while the romance is good, it’s what happens concurrently that I really enjoyed.
If you’ve seen Usual Suspects (one of the smartest movies I’ve seen, before Kevin Spacey ruined everything), you might remember that feeling at the end when everything is revealed and you realize nothing you thought you’d seen was real. Here, Ren – and, therefore, the reader – finds out in the first pages that what she thought had been her reality for the past months wasn’t true. How her universe and reality interlock is what’s most captivating in this book. I can’t say much more without spoiling, but the author weaves a fascinating web of facts and feelings that made me forget I was expecting another story. I have no regrets for that nonexistent one.