Author: Tempeste O’Riley
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 2 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Liam Grady is the owner of the Feathered Quill, a quirky little bookstore in Asheville, and—though he doesn’t realize it yet—a dream walker. His last relationship failed almost a year ago, and he’s not had the interest or nerve to pursue anyone he’s met since.
Cameron Danu is a tattoo artist from rural Georgia. Cameron is left without a job after his boss, José, is forced to close the shop after a heart attack. When Cameron learns José has set up an interview for him at a small tattoo parlor in Asheville, he hopes for a fresh start in a new town.
Fate brings Cameron and Liam together, and they realize they’ve met before—in their dreams. A chance encounter and a winged tattoo might lead them to their destiny—if fear doesn’t turn their dreams into a nightmare.
Review: I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, so I’ll keep it short. Liam Grady and Cameron Danu dream of each other. They’ve had vivid, passionate dreams of each other for years, and are more than a little enamored with their respective dream man. Liam and Cameron then find out they’re real. Liam had a bit of time to warm up to the idea before Cameron found out. Cam didn’t take it well and asked Liam to never see him again and stay out of his dreams. Since Liam is the dream walker it’s up to him to stay out of Cam’s life completely. After not being able to do so, he decides to drink as a means to stay out of Cam’s life. He becomes a drunk. For a month. After meeting each other again, they decide maybe they want to give a real life relationship a try. Things are working out really well until someone starts attacking Liam in his dreams. Eventually Cam is attacked, too.
I found the premise of this book interesting but didn’t like the execution. Whereas I appreciate the attempt to show explicit consent in a sexual relationship, I feel it wasn’t done well. Liam is plagued with guilt as though he had raped Cameron. The word rape is never used and the issue of consent is danced around. We’re presented with the idea consent is black and white and full of grey areas at the same time. When Liam does finally admit to friends and family why he spent a month drinking himself to blackout every night he’s met with condemnation for having been drunk. Bear in mind, it was one month. One. Month. Liam is regularly reminded he was a loser for a month for the rest of the book. Is he worthy enough to train with the only person who can show him how to stay out of other people’s dreams? Only if he doesn’t fall back into his slovenly drunkard ways!
I think I could have overlooked, or at least been less bothered by the one month drunk and the not quite dream rape had I liked something else. Unfortunately I just didn’t find things in this book I liked. Liam and Cam were themselves okay, but the supporting cast just wasn’t my thing. Both supporting female characters were sassy and in your face. Actually, most of the female characters felt that way to me.
I’m sure this book has an audience, but I do not consider myself part of that group.