In short, this book was less action-packed and less suspenseful than the previous entourage of Romantic Suspense novels I've been reading. Waking Nightmare read more like a forensics crime scene investigation procedural without all the flashy lights. Since the basis of the story surrounds the work of a criminal profiler and the tediousness of an ongoing criminal investigation, I can see why there'd be less suspense included.
Still, I'm appreciative of how much more realistic (as realistic as romantic suspenses and fictional crime thrillers can get) the investigative process attempted to be. We get a glimpse at just how frustrating cold cases can become with little information and evidence to work off of outside of a handful of victims who are unable to identify a perpetrator due to uncontrollable circumstances.
Nothing was overly flash-bang with conveniently placed breaks falling out of the sky.
The story, however, came off rather flat, as did the characters (stock-standard romantic suspense characters with a stock-standard romantic suspense... romance). I'm not saying that's a bad thing, because I still enjoyed the book very much. I enjoyed a different view of the criminal investigation: tons of paperwork, lots of footwork, lots of phone calls and internet searches, interviews, regular task force meetings...
There wasn't a whole lot of threat to our main heroine's life because the culprit didn't even target her until a lot later when she became a threat to his continued monstrosity of activity. So there wasn't too much of an opportunity for her to play the damsel-in-distress; not that she was anything of the type since it was pretty clear that she could handle herself quite well, being armed and able to defend herself with her expert Muay Thai boxing.
It helps that I kind of enjoyed all of the psychobabble of the criminal profiling aspect in the investigation.