Reviewed by JustJen
Title: When All the World Sleeps
Author: Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock
Heroes: Daniel Whitlock/Joe Belman
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 422 pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: March 24, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing, Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: Daniel Whitlock is terrified of going to sleep. And rightly so: he sleepwalks, with no awareness or memory of his actions. Including burning down Kenny Cooper’s house—with Kenny inside it—after Kenny brutally beat him for being gay. Back in the tiny town of Logan after serving his prison sentence, Daniel isolates himself in a cabin in the woods and chains himself to his bed at night.
Like the rest of Logan, local cop Joe Belman doesn’t believe Daniel’s absurd defense. But when Bel saves Daniel from a retaliatory fire, he discovers that Daniel might not be what everyone thinks: killer, liar, tweaker, freak. Bel agrees to control Daniel at night—for the sake of the other townsfolk. Daniel’s fascinating, but Bel’s not going there.
Yet as he’s drawn further into Daniel’s dark world, Bel finds that he likes being in charge. And submitting to Bel gives Daniel the only peace he’s ever known. But Daniel’s demons won’t leave him alone, and he’ll need Bel’s help to slay them once and for all—assuming Bel is willing to risk everything to stand by him.
Wow, this was not quite what I expected. Daniel has some major issues going on here. He has had a problem with sleepwalking since he was a child. He would often wake up to find out odd things he did while sleepwalking. When he was younger, things were pretty harmless, such as drawing pictures, painting rooms in the house, etc. But after he was almost beat to death by some local bullies, things all changed. He ended up burning down the house of the main bully, killing him as a result.
Fast forward a few years, Daniel is out of prison after doing time for the death of the bully. He is back in his old town, hiding himself away in a house in the woods. He goes to great lengths to try and control his sleepwalking, mainly by locking himself up at night. Unfortunately, his sleeping self is very smart and has found almost every way to unlock himself. The best way he found is to use iced locks, but they only stay locked as long as it takes for the ice to melt, which is usually about 3 hours. So, needless to say, he doesn’t get much sleep.
Bel is a local cop who, after the bullies again take action, ends up trying to help Daniel, first offering to keep any eye out and unlock him so he can get a decent amount of sleep. After spending some time with Daniel, he begins to understand that Daniel may actually be telling the truth, and has been doing so all along, that he really doesn’t remember what he does while sleepwalking.
That is the basic gist of the story here. Bel and Daniel grow closer, with Bel taking a dominant role in the relationship, trying to help poor Daniel, who just cannot seem to get a break. They live in a town where the vast majority of the people hate Daniel for what he did. There are so many things for them to overcome here.
I really enjoyed this story, which kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat pretty much the whole time. This was definitely well written, technically, but, on the flip side, I was a bit disappointed with how few details we were given throughout. Yet other details were given over and over. There were many questions left unanswered, and just when I thought we would get some understanding, the story moved on. As harsh and disturbing as this seemed on the outset, I really didn’t have the same feeling at the end. Perhaps I’m reading too many of these types of stories in that I’m becoming hardened to the gory details. I’m not sure. I just know I wanted and expected a little bit more from this story.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review. *