Title: Dreaming of You
Author: Ethan Day
Publisher: Wilde City Press
Pages/Word Count: 143 Pages
At a Glance: I did not find this reissue of the 2009 novel Dreaming Of You to be one of Mr. Day’s stronger works.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Restaurateur Aden Ingle has been in love with the perfect man since his fourteenth birthday. Unfortunately, his perfect boyfriend only exists in his dreams. But Aden’s always believed it was his destiny to meet his dream man, and he’s perfectly content to wait around for him to walk into his real life.
When he meets Logan Price at a Hotel/Restaurant Trade Show, he finds himself drawn to this man who shakes him out of his dream world. Pretty soon, the flesh and blood reality is becoming more appealing than the fantasy. The only problem is Logan lives half way across the country in California.
Aden’s going to have to choose whether to give up everything he’s built for himself professionally and uproot his whole life for Logan, or wait for the man from his dreams to become a reality.
Review: Aden lives in a world where nothing really measures up to the fantasy lover he has been seeing in his dreams since he was fourteen years old. Successful in life but not in love, Aden is restless and searching and pleasantly surprised when he hooks up with a fellow restaurant owner at a trade show. There is an almost instant attraction between the two, and Logan sets out to charming the pants off Aden—both figuratively and in actuality.
However, the pull of that perfect imaginary lover is too hard to resist, and Aden finds himself using the distance between he and Logan, and a genuine fear of committing to the wrong man, as a means to evade deepening their relationship. Months pass and despite Aden’s misgivings, he is drawn further into Logan’s life and finds himself falling in love. But his dream is not done toying with him, and it may be the undoing of a future happiness that only Logan seems able to provide. Will Aden really put his life aside to pursue his dream man when flesh and blood Logan stands in the wings offering a happy ever after?
I want to begin this review by stating that I have thoroughly enjoyed this author’s past work. His ability to a write fast paced storyline, humorous dialogue and notable side characters, which almost always includes an empowering female amongst them, are really top notch and entertaining. Having said that, I did not find this reissue of the 2009 novel Dreaming Of You to be one of Mr. Day’s stronger works.
First and foremost, Aden did not come across as a confused and obsessive man who was holding out for his dream man. Rather, I found his inner dialogue, which was a consistent part of each scene, both angry and aggressive—in a nutshell, rather mean-spirited. His behavior towards others was often dismissive and laced with contempt; it was meant to be funny but instead, came off as brittle and sharp. Often the pacing of a story will alleviate some of the sharper wit that author Ethan Day is known for—making it funny and slightly crazy in tone—in a fun and sassy way. Unfortunately, the pacing of this story merely left some gaps in the backstory and caused the relationship that was building between Logan and Aden to seem rushed and unfinished in some ways.
A great deal of time was spent on the front side of this novel, establishing their initial appeal to each other; then we began this series of flashbacks from past to current time—from Aden’s establishing his love for Logan to Aden’s farewell party from the restaurant in order to move to the West coast to live with Logan. It all got very confusing at times, particularly when we became privy to Aden’s dreams about his perfect lover and their interactions as well.
Then we are introduced to Aden’s longtime friend, Finn. Rather than balance Aden’s disconcerting character traits, Finn came off not as intelligent or caring but as selfish and, unfortunately, bitchy. Even when Finn offered a weak apology for her selfish behaviors, it was apparent that it was merely lip service and untruthful. I found her irritating and toxic for Aden rather than a voice of reason or a sounding board he so desperately needed. The Finn was so self-centered that rather than softening Aden’s childish and selfish behavior, she encouraged it. Normally this author is so careful in writing women who are not stereotypical, but that was not the case here.
Logan was incredibly sweet and almost too good to be true. He was so very patient and attentive to Aden, even going as far as flying Aden out to the west coast to be with him for a few days. This led to a scene that I didn’t quite understand—it seemed to have no real place in the overall story. I was really unsure why his friends were introduced at one point, merely to establish that Logan’s best friend carried a torch for him—that plot point seemed to go nowhere and, in fact, the whole friend meet-up seemed just like a bit of filler as it was never really developed.
All in all, Dreaming of You is short on humor and large on snark. The ending really threw me, and not in a good way. I was unsure as to whether I liked Aden by novel’s end, and I certainly didn’t think he deserved a nice guy like Logan. But all that aside, it was the tone of this novel that really undid me. It was mean-spirited in many ways, and not the usual lighthearted humor or well written plot this author is so known for delivering. While I cannot recommend this story to you, I can assure you that many other books written by Ethan Day are incredible, with amazing characters, and I encourage you to look up hi other works. You will not be disappointed.
You can buy Dreaming of You here: