Title: When All the World Sleeps
Author: Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: March 24, 2014
Page Count: 340
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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.
This is completely different to everything I’ve read for a long while. Daniel’s character is painted so vividly, so realistically, I actually felt like I knew him. His is a tortured soul, both physically and mentally. His sleeping disorder does not allow him to live a normal life and interferes with his rest, his social life, and even his family relationships. Bel, the young cop who starts to believe that Daniel is not a cold-blooded murderer like everyone else does, warms up to Daniel and starts a relationship with him.
This is not BDSM in the way most books in the genre would depict it.
Daniel needs to be restrained so he can’t wander off at night and sleepwalk his way into trouble. Bel is completely naive to the world of submission and domination but he is creative and does his damnedest to help Daniel. Their relationship is so tender and rough at the same time in a way that blew my mind. I felt so heartbroken over how everyone abused Daniel on a daily basis. His sense of isolation and rejection was a palpable thing creating a knot in my stomach to the point that I had trouble going through some of the chapters.
But it’s so beautifully written and the HEA is so worth it at the end. Beware of this angst fest folks. It’s a hard book to read. It’ll tear in you in half. But it’s not too often you read characters so well-crafted in books and I highly recommend you read this. Just pile on the light reads afterwards to detox from the angst and the heartbreak. I absolutely loved this and it’s going straight to my favourites.