Reviewed by Ami
Title: We Met in Dreams
Author: Rowan McAllister
Genre: MM Historical
Length: 268 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 27, 2017
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: In Victorian London, during a prolonged and pernicious fog, fantasy and reality are about to collide—at least in one man’s troubled mind.
A childhood fever left Arthur Middleton, Viscount Campden, seeing and hearing things no one else does, afraid of the world outside, and unable to function as a true peer of the realm. To protect him from himself—and to protect others from him—he spends his days heavily medicated and locked in his rooms, and his nights in darkness and solitude, tormented by visions, until a stranger appears.
This apparition is different. Fox says he’s a thief and not an entirely good sort of man, yet he returns night after night to ease Arthur’s loneliness without asking for anything in return. Fox might be the key that sets Arthur free, or he might deliver the final blow to Arthur’s tenuous grasp on sanity. Either way, real or imaginary, Arthur needs him too much to care.
Fox is only one of the many secrets and specters haunting Campden House, and Arthur will have to face them all in order to live the life of his dreams.
Review: Arthur Middleton, Viscount Campden, has lived his life inside the confinement of his room for the past ten years. Suffering from illness of the mind after childhood fever, Arthur spends his days heavily medicated, as a way to deal with things that only he can hear or see. The one night, a hallucination in form of a stranger that calls himself Fox appears inside Arthur’s room…
Because of Arthur’s illness, the story takes place almost 90% inside Campden House, most notably his room. But Speedwell is able to not make the story feel claustrophobic. Instead it makes readers gain insight into Arthur’s situation over the last decade. My heart ached for Arthur and I got teary eyed a time or two.
I, as a reader, definitely felt for the young viscount. While Fox is basically the reason that Arthur finally takes the steps forward to get the ‘better’ life, I thought Fox only nudged him to do so. It’s Arthur’s determination that breaks himself out of the life he lives. Every time Arthur is able to gain small victory, step by little step, I felt like my heart burst in pride.
If I use one word to describe what I think of We Met in Dreams, I will definitely use “gorgeous”. The atmosphere, the story, the romance … with Arthur being a virgin that has minimal interaction with the outside world, the romance he has with Fox feels sweet and innocent at the same time. Not that Fox is innocent — he is older, more experienced for sure – but this story is written from Arthur’s point of view, and that what makes it feels that way.
I just can’t rate it higher because, well, I had expectations of something more sinister in play. Sorry, it’s the mystery/suspense lover in me … I couldn’t stop thinking of the movie Rebecca, as well as Gaslight (haven’t seen this one but I know the premise) the whole time I was reading this. I expected something more like both and was feeling disappointed that I didn’t get it.
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*