Title: Dream Lover
Author: James Ryder
Genre: M/M (contemporary)
Released: 9th September 2013
Sometimes dreams really do come true. But sometimes they can turn into nightmares.
‘The curse said that anyone who owned the Rockford plantation house would dream of their one true love, whether that love was their wife or husband or not; or indeed whether they had even met the person yet. You would fall in love instantly but when you consummated that love, you would condemn your soul mate to death, for within the next cycle of the moon your one true love would suffer the most agonising, painful death.’
Hard-nosed journalist Ryan Davis didn’t believe in the curse when he’d purchased the run-down Louisiana mansion. He still didn’t want to believe it after falling for Hunter Hampton, despite the fact that he’d had the most intensely sensual dream about him two nights before meeting him for first time. But it’s hard to ignore the tragedies that have befallen the previous owners of the property.
But who set the curse, and why? And more importantly, can it be undone before it’s too late?
What a little gem of a book. It only took me just over three hours to read, but my how James manages to pack a lot into a few pages.
Ryan leaves everything behind him and buys a house in Louisiana. More precisely a lovely, old plantation house in the middle of nowhere with the grounds to go with it and a history too. This is going to be his refuge and place to relax and get away from it all, running from his former life in Washington DC where his job and private life has left him disillusioned and fed up. I was drawn immediately into the book by the writing and beautiful descriptions of the old house. It was as though I was there and could feel, hear and smell the old plantation. The house needs fixing up but this comes as a welcome change to Ryan.
As this is rural, deep south USA, like most small and closed communities the characters are a little suspicious of the out-of-town stranger to say the least. I loved the way James brought his characters to life giving them all the quirkiness needed for such small town inhabitants, but also made them endearing at the same time too. As Ryan starts to get to know some of the inhabitants you start to get the feeling they are all holding something back about the house. This was really well done and added to the overall mystery and atmosphere of the book. You know there is something with the house, but at the beginning it remains elusive. Bit-by-bit the curse on the house is revealed and Ryan by this stage has already fallen for Hunter a local of the village who is hired to do the repairs on the house. When the curse is discovered, Ryan first refuses to believe in all the voodoo humbug, but as time goes on and more things begin to happen and he learns more about the history of the house, he really starts to believe that there might be something in all this and the fight is on to save Hunter and to try and break the curse. I really liked the historical aspect of the curse and could well imagine something like this happening. After all it was a planation house with a family who obviously used slaves to harvest the cotton. Again we are made aware of the horrible abuse that took place in those days and through this the curse has even more effect.
“Honey, the past is the past and there ain’t nothing we can do about it now. The house didn’t make slavery happen. It was the people who lived in it that did that. So I say, let’s fill these old houses with folks who can give it a new history, a better history.”
I must say I just adored Hunter, your typical “boy next door” kind of guy and a hunk to boot. But his attractiveness for me lies in his simple values and uncomplicated way of life in this small town. I fell in love with this guy myself immediately. The chemistry between these two is amazing, you can feel the luuurrve just oozing from the pages, but it isn’t sickly sweet, it’s written very well and gave me love butterflies in my stomach just reading about these too. Wonderful! I actually fell in love with all the characters in this book. James gives each characters their very own voice and brings them alive, so again a book with no cardboard clones for characters. I loved Hunter’s Uncle, a wily old goat with a good heart, but totally excepted his nephew and his sexuality until Hunter introduces him to Ryan as his new boyfriend. Here he wasn’t so tolerant about the idea, but why we find out much later. His Aunt who is controlling to say the least, but I guess only trying to protect her husband. The village doctor, someone who also like Ryan came to the town many years ago and ended up staying.
What I really loved about this book was the combination of mystery-suspense, love story, the characters, its descriptions, the well paced plot, historical aspects and the history of the characters, all woven into one great read. Although the alleged curse on the house finds a more modern answer, you are still left with a question mark on whether the old curse is really still in effect. This was brilliantly done and left me holding my breath right to the very end of the book.
About The Author
James Ryder lives in Ireland. Naturally that means he’s full of stories inspired by its romantic landscape and passionate history. The only problem is getting the time to write them down. He has one of those Northern Irish accents too, which are apparently very sexy. James is not convinced of this, but invites you persuade him otherwise.
He enjoys writing stories that see strong, intelligent men find love and passion against all the odds. Other than writing them, one of the things he enjoys most is hearing how his books have touched other people.
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James will be giving away a signed paperback copy of Dream Lover to one lucky winner. Just enter the rafflecopter draw below. Good luck!