The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett
Dusty Everhart might be able to predict the future through the dreams of her crush, Eli Booker, but that doesn’t make her life even remotely easy. When one of her mermaid friends is viciously assaulted and left for dead, and the school’s jokester, Lance Rathbone, is accused of the crime, Dusty’s as shocked as everybody else. Lance needs Dusty to prove his innocence by finding the real attacker, but that’s easier asked than done. Eli’s dreams are no help, more nightmares than prophecies.
To make matters worse, Dusty’s ex-boyfriend has just been acquitted of conspiracy and is now back at school, reminding Dusty of why she fell for him in the first place. The Magi Senate needs Dusty to get close to him, to discover his real motives. But this order infuriates Eli, who has started his own campaign for Dusty’s heart.
As Dusty takes on both cases, she begins to suspect they’re connected to something bigger. And there’s something very wrong with Eli’s dreams, signs that point to a darker plot than they could have ever imagined.
Dusty and Eli are a team when it comes to dreams and investigating. But unfortunately for Dusty, they’re still not more than friends. Eli leads her on a bit until he finally comes clean about why he can’t date her. Meanwhile, Dusty’s former boyfriend comes back into the picture to stir things up. And Dusty has to stick close to him in order to learn who’s behind some recent attacks.
The Nightmare Dilemma is the second installment in the Arkwell Academy series. This YA, dark fantasy series is now a must-read for me. The characters are vivid and engaging. The setting is a school of magical creatures with a twist. And story is a captivating mystery with an overlying arc that kept me wanting more. I hope to see many more in this series as well as others from this talented, newly-published author.