Can the man of his dreams save him from the man of his nightmares? Ever since childhood, or at least as long as he’s been able to remember, Daniel has been able to see the future in his dreams. It’s never so clear cut as seeing something take place, or having a conversation, it’s all open to interpretation. When a familiar storm looms on the horizon of his dreams, Daniel knows exactly that that means. The monkey, though, offering him a rose … ? That’s something new.
In his dreams, Daniel can be anything. In the waking world, though, Daniel — who looks more like a viking warrior than a librarian — owns a rare book shop, researching and tracking down old volumes. He’s part Indiana Jones, part wizard, and it’s everything he loves. Despite everything Paolo did to him to kill that love, as he killed every other good thing between them, Daniel still lives in a world of paper, ink, and history.
When Karden Templeton comes through the door of Daniel’s rare book shop, he doesn’t come with a rose. Instead, he comes with a request. Kar is a ‘fixer,’ and he’s good at it, and he wants to know what it will take to get Daniel to be willing to work with Paolo, again. A rare book has been found in a Welsh abbey that may or may not be from the fallen library of Alexandria, and the men who’ve hired Paolo to find out the truth behind this book will stop at nothing to verify their discovery. And neither with Paolo.
Daniel made a mistake when he fell in love with Paolo, his professor at college who saw the intelligence, the brilliance, and the vulnerability in Daniel. Never wanting to be the center of attention, prone to blushing — and with his pale skin, it was always a very noticeable blush — Daniel’s childhood growth spurt embarrassed him. It made him the center of attention, which, because of his dreams and ability to know just enough of the future, he already had too much of. Paolo took advantage on him, with his charismatic attention, their shared interest in books and history, the whisking away to exotic locations … where he would leave Daniel to work while he found some other pretty young man to sleep with.
Leaving Paolo was the hardest thing Daniel had to do, and even knowing that, should Paolo crook his finger, there’s a large part of Daniel that would still want to go running. He hates the man and hates the hold Paolo has over him. The mere thought of the man makes Daniel’s thoughts turn inward to an unhealthy obsession and fixation until, that is, he met Kar.
Kar will flirt, charm, and befriend just about everyone. He has a quick smile, a keen sense for how to get along with people, and a keener sense of how to make them happy. Growing up in a casino, Kar saw the tricks and mannerisms that people used on one another. Kar, though, doesn’t use it (much) to his own advantage. Instead, he likes to find answers to problems, to make certain his employers get what they want and that people get what they need and that no one gets hurt. When he finally finds out the reason behind why Daniel wants nothing to do with Paolo, Kar doesn’t know what to do. Hurting Daniel … it isn’t something he’s willing to do.
This is one of those books with a giant cast of supporting characters, of friends and neighbors who like to stick their nose into everyone else’s affairs. The quirky couple, the cute couple, the brash teenagers, the “I hurt you if you so much as look at him wrong!” sibling … and yet, despite having all the tropes living cheek to cheek on the same block, the book manages to give just enough of them to add flavor without taking anything away from the story. The focus of the book is on Kar and Daniel’s slowly growing friendship and more-ship … and all the many ways they never quite find their way back to Daniel’s bed.
In fact, Daniel’s first real kiss with Ker tastes like chocolate, and was kind of adorable. This is a cute book with a sweet couple — and quite a few sweet side-couples, too; I really want a Nick and Sam book. Despite the fact that those two are and were and may yet be a pair of thugs working for the dangerous man behind the mysterious book and Paolo’s money, they’re still really fun. All in all, this is a good book for when you want a light romance with an emphasis on cute and charming and enough of a story to entertain.