For as long as she can remember, Londoner Alaina Porter has had vivid dreams of another woman’s life. The woman, Aurora, lived centuries ago in Roman Britain, and she loved a centurion named Marcus. Over the years, Alaina convinced herself that no matter how real the dreams felt, it was just her imagination. Her very active, very consistent imagination.
At loose ends after years of working in mind-numbingly boring offices, Alaina decides to write down her dreams. She ends up publishing the book to rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.
In New York City, successful young businessman Bradley Thomas hears a book review on one of his favorite podcasts and nearly misses his subway stop in shock. He buys the book on his lunchbreak and by the next day he’s googling the author and requesting to use his several weeks of piled-up vacation time to take an improptu trip to London to find her.
Because every single thing that happens in the book has happened in his dreams.
Alaina shrugged. “I’m just waiting for the right person. I’ll know him when I see him.”
“You’re just waiting for Marcus, that’s what you’re doing.”
Alaina gaped at Gemma. “What? I am not… I wouldn’t… that’s ridiculous.”
“Is it now?”
“Marcus isn’t real,” Alaina hissed at her friend. “Those are just dreams and I’m not even in them. They don’t even take place in this millennium,” she added.
Gemma shook her head. “Doesn’t mean you’re not unconsciously measuring every man you meet up against your dreamy Roman hottie.”
Alaina glared at Gemma. “I’m not,” she insisted.
“Speaking of Marcus,” Gemma began.
“We aren’t,” Alaina interjected.
Gemma just continued speaking as Alaina hadn’t interrupted her. “Have you had any new dreams since the last one you told me about? Or has it all been repeats?”
Alaina opened her mouth to answer, but before she could speak, the hot waiter arrived with their lunches. They thanked him and assured him they didn’t need anything else. Alaina picked up her fork and dug into her Caesar salad — she took a moment to bemoan the choice given Gemma’s line of questioning — and studiously ignored the expectant look on her friend’s face.
“Come on, Lainey.” Gemma poked at Alaina’s hand with her fork. “I’m not letting you not answer.”
“What if I don’t want to talk about it?”
“Not an option, Alaina.”
Alaina rolled her eyes and put down her fork. “Fine. No, I have not had any new dreams. Yes, I have had some repeats. No, not exciting ones. And no, I still won’t take you up on your offer to have your historian friend research the names.”
“Alaina,” Gemma whined, drawing out the last syllable. “What if they were real?”
“They’re not real! They’re figments of my imagination!”
“Sure, they’re figments of your imagination, which is incredibly vivid and consistent but only in regards to this one story.”
“We’ve already had this discussion, Gemma, and I told you, I don’t believe in reincarnation.”
“I bet you did when your name was Aurora.”
“If I had a paper clip right now, I would throw it at you.”
“I bet you were less violent when you were Aurora, too.”
Alaina picked a crouton off her salad and hit Gemma square on the nose with it.