Book – Dreamers Destiny
Author – Tempeste O'Riley
Star rating - ★★☆☆☆
No. of Pages – 200
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, dual POV, but sometimes omnipresent
Would I read it again – No
Genre – LGBT, Paranormal, Witch
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK, BY THE AUTHOR, IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
*This review may contain spoilers*
Okay, this is going to be a hard one, so I'm just going to jump straight in. I was looking forward to reading this since the day I asked to review it. With that gorgeous cover, a Wiccan character and a book store owner, all mixed up with dream walking, I was desperate to get started. And, now that I'm finished, all I can honestly say is that I was disappointed.
I HATE a few things in this book, things that were instantly thrust at me, the second I began reading. And, I mean the second. Here we go :
starting a book with sex. It's a total no-no for me, because I have no clue who these characters are, I don't care about them or their sex lives and, frankly, I've been given no reason to care about them. So why should I care or enjoy anything about two people I don't know getting it on right from line one?
starting with a dream. This is probably a spoiler, but it's also a no-no of mine. I never, ever want to read a book that is going to lie to me. Not making it clear when a dream is a dream, is as good as lying. Especially when it's at the start of the book and I don't know or care about anyone yet. Implying something is real, when I don't know whether it is or not, is frustrating and makes me mad. Hence, not a great start to a book that I was really, really looking forward to.
word choice. This is another pet hate of mine, but there is nothing sexy about the words 'stabbing', 'rod' or 'channel' in a sex scene. Nothing.
Quite honestly, I had no issue with the style of writing or the plot, but the execution left something to be desired. I really liked Liam, as a main character, but he was – sadly – the only character I did like. Raven and Nate, who were intriguing and whose part in the story was completely ignored (which I'm assuming is due to them having their own story?) were the only minor characters I liked and there was, by far, not enough of them in the book.
I find it difficult to say, because of the declaration by the author that Dianne was based on a real person, but I didn't like her. At all. She was kind of creepy (fake-leering at her own nephew!) and too over-bearing and pushy for my tastes. She continually tried to control Liam's life and business, even when he told her to back off, and wouldn't take no for an answer. I get the whole “worried aunt” persona she's meant to exude, but I just didn't like her at all.
Sadly, the same could be said for Cam. For me, he's a really weird character and not one that I want to follow into his POV. When Liam tries so hard to protect Cam and give him exactly what he asked for, even at cost and harm to himself, Cam is nothing but a judgemental asshat, who expects him to be a mind reader, while getting uppity about his choices. I also find it a little ridiculous how many times this guy “screams” in bed! I mean, there's an over abundance of sex scenes as it is, but he screams at least once in every single one, and most of the time it's for something small. So, either he's hell of a sensitive to small stimulation or it's an over-exaggeration. Either way, it didn't feel believeable.
Overall, the characterisation wasn't done well. There was a lot of confusion and inconsistency within the main characters personalities. It was like they were having constant mood swings, the changes were so severe. Cam is needy as all Hell in the dream sequences, but self-assured and commanding in real life. While Liam is the opposite. It's unbelieveable for them to change to much between the two lives that are supposed to so closely mimic their real lives. At times, Cam is femme and a twinkish character one minute, then he's butch. Liam flits between overbearing and demanding in the dreams, then pathetic, naïve and helpless in real life. I get that characters can be diverse in their emotions and range of personality quirks, but this was excessive. It was like they were two different people in their dream lives.
P.S. It takes 50% to find out how old Liam is. Hmm... Not to mention that Cam and Liam both talk, act and read like teenagers/college guys, rather than people in their early thirties.
Oh, and can I just say there was TOO MUCH sex? Way too much. The story didn't need it, benefit from it or in any way progress because of it. It was excessive. After the first few, I skimmed through them and only stopped for dialogue or when it was over.
And, it's either a difference between UK and US or the author has some seriously warped ideas about tattoo artist's work hours. Because, going by the book, Cam often works into the evening, past eight o'clock, and then goes back to work again after dinner breaks. This is bordering on excessive and ludicrous.
The timeline was very inconsistent and confusing. We weren't told when time had passed (two days or a week) until well into a scene and it made reading and figuring out what was going on really difficult. Half the time a simple “two weeks later” at the start of a chapter would have settled it, but that information wasn't given until really late on, when it was almost pointless.
It would have been nice – and helpful, considering the point above – to have the dreams and main story separated. This is usually done with Italics, but there was no separation here (hence the pet hate at the start). Each time Cam or Liam ended up in a dream sequence, I had to spend at least half a page figuring out whether it was real, a dream or just a completely random event, because it often wasn't made clear until the dream was over or halfway through, by which point I was already confused.
switching of pet names
POV – when it becomes omnipresent
humming and hawing about the relationship they're already in
And, I have a few unanswered questions. Like, when searching for a “permanent” reminder of their relationship, not one of them thinks about a tattoo? Why does the waitress rhyme off their order to them, after they'd already decided? This was neither necessary or done in a way that made sense, because they'd just finished reading the menu's, so they knew what they were ordering. Why does Bass put up with Cam at work, when his personal life constantly gets in the way and interferes with his work? What happened to Nate and Raven? What happened to Dianne and Nosha? Both are made out to be very important to the MC's, but the issues are never resolved. (I've checked and this is billed as a standalone, not part of a series) Will Cam ever explain the dream walking to Bass, like he promised? What happened to the bad guy, after the binding?
I didn't like the way it was constantly implied and outright mentioned that men weren't supposed to talk about their feelings. Not only is this chauvinistic, but it's not the only instance either. Later, it's said that taking pictures at a wedding is a woman's thing:
“Pictures are always for the womenfolk, even when it's not their wedding or their child's wedding.”
I don't like the way Nate is discussed. Sure, he has a disability, but describing it as “twisted legs” is very dismissive and as though that defines him and means he's somehow “less than” the other characters. Though Liam goes on to support Nate, it felt false and didn't tally at all with the perception shown in the written text.
For me, the relationship was the main focus of the story, but it fell short. There was no progression of the relationship, no “I love you” declaration. Everything just happened in an instant because they've known each other in their dreams for years. But that doesn't translate to real life. They made very little attempt to get to know each other after finding each other in RL, before jumping into a relationship. Even then, the acceptance of having met each other in their dreams was too widely accepted by everyone who found out about it, sceptics and cover members alike.
I found the danger to be second to the relationship, and then became glossed over after the initial attack, until it was time to deal with hit. While important events were also skimmed over – Liam meeting Sarah and Dan, Cam meeting Nate (both of which never happened on page and were never mentioned!), Liam getting his first tattoo and so much more.
Overall, the romance has promise, even if it does happen a little fast, but I can't get over all of the little inconsistencies and confusions. There are just too many issues, which is really disappointing, because I'd really been looking forward to it. But leaving me with so many unanswered questions is a major failing and I can't excuse that.