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.
©2014 Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock (P)2017 Riptide Publishing
I'm an unabashed fiction fan: mostly M/M, Romance, Erotica, Suspense, Thrillers, Action, NA/YA genres.
It’s no secret that I love Greg Tremblay’s voice acting skills. I make no bones about being a fangirl of his talent.
When All the World Sleeps is wonderfully and beautifully narrated by Mr. Tremblay. I kind of felt like he was holding my hand throughout this story. He navigates the different POV between Bel and Daniel brilliantly.
I honestly don’t think I would have made it through “reading” this, so huge, HUGE kudos to Greg for getting me through. Because this story is dark, y’all. Dark and depressing and weighted. Yes, it’s also a hot D/s story but mostly, I found it filled with pain and hurt, and sometimes brutal in its depiction of Daniel and Bel’s prejudiced small Southern town.
I like hurt/comfort stories – but this took me outside my comfort zone many times. It was worth it in the end, especially with Greg Tremblay there to guide me through, but I found myself drained at the end. Thankfully there’s a little light at the end of it, but the HFN (HEA if you squint really hard) is hard won.
It’s well written, as expected from the duo of Henry and Rock, but damn I need a nap and some super fluff to read after this one.
I reviewed my personal copy of this audiobook for Wicked Reads.
While I’ve only been listening to audiobooks for about a year, When All the World Sleeps might be my first ever impulse buy, as well as the first audiobook I’ve purchased within days of its release. But when I was clearing out our blog’s inbox and happened to open up the email from Riptide, something about the cover caught my eye, then the blurb sounded interesting, but what sold it for me, what made me use my monthly audiobook credit without hesitation was the author/narrator combination. Lisa Henry has scared the bejeezus out of me on more than one occasion. J.A. Rock’s The Subs Club series held me captive, waiting with baited breath for each installment. Both authors have made me laugh, fall in love, enthralled and entertained me. But the clincher… Greg Tremblay was the narrator. I quickly fell in love Tremblay’s vocal talents in Romanus by Mary Calmes and haven’t looked back since. Heck, over the holidays I bought six audiobooks largely because he was the narrator. So to recap, the combination of the authors, the narrator, and an intriguing plot led me to make my first ever impulse buy and I am beyond thrilled that I did.
Daniel Whitlock is a convicted murder whose sentence was mitigated due to a medical defense – that he was sleepwalking when he murdered the man who nearly beat him to death. Joe “Bel” Belman is a local cop who is dismayed that Daniel got away with such a ridiculous defense, disturbed by the fact that Daniel was released early, and disgusted that he is attracted to a murderer. Bel is annoyed when he must intercede to prevent Daniel getting beat up, but as an officer of the law he can’t choose who he protects – even if he thinks Daniel deserves the beating. However, when someone tries to kill Daniel, Bel finds himself thrust into Daniel’s life, learning that there is more to the man than what he and the rest of the town have assumed about him and that Daniel’s sleep walking might not be the line of bull he thought it was. The relationship that develops is… intense. Daniel is needy, but not in the way often seen in romances. He needs someone who can control him, someone who has the patience to restrain him while he sleeps so that he doesn’t hurt anyone else. It just so happens that Bel might be capable of fulfilling Daniel’s needs because his own protective streak makes him ideal for the job – protecting the town from Daniel and protecting Daniel from the town, especially when the arsonist seems intent on finishing the job of ridding the world of Daniel Whitlock.
When All the World Sleeps was a fascinating story. From what I remember from my neurological psychology class in college, the premise behind the storyline is not impossible and the authors do a wonderful job of crafting a plot around the improbable. Even though I began listening to the audiobook immediately after reading the blurb, with the combination of the authors’ writing skills and Tremblay’s performance, I found myself falling into the trap of the judgmental – accepting what those around Daniel said about him as fact. Tremblay conveys such conviction in Bel’s thoughts and interactions with Daniel, that it was so easy to paint Daniel as a lying, murdering tweaker. Yet with the simple change in the point of view from Bel’s to Daniel’s, Tremblay’s portrayal of Daniel exudes fear, frustration, self-loathing, helplessness, hopelessness, and longing – all with the added difficulty of performing both the awake Daniel and the sleep-walking Daniel. Henry and Rock’s words are superb and Tremblay’s performance is stunning, and combined they made When All the World Sleeps an audiobook I was captivated by and look forward to enjoying again.
As soon as this audio book was finished I went to the beginning and started again. First off it was a great story-I loved the development of the relationship between Bel and Daniel and while I felt sympathy for Daniel it was Bel's protective instinct and actions that really moved me. And Mr Tremblay's narration was out of this world. The man can do accents like no other. I never knew the southern American accent could sound so sexy!!!!! He had me rewinding just to hear some of Bel's statements over and over again. I hope these authors write together again I really hope they use Mr Tremblay.
This book was perfect didn't even feel like 12 hrs, the narrator oh my that narrator Greg tremblay is now officially my favorite narrator his voice for bell 😍 fantastic!!! I could not stop listening and when I had to stop I got aggravated because I had to, I had to see what was going to happen next. I felt so bad for Daniel he was so pitiful and bell was an angel, I need a bell in life! buy this book use a credit this is a must have an anyone's library.
Reviewer for Delighted Reader Blog
What to say, what to say... At least what to say without writing a novel-length review. This book just defies concise categories and description. It explores so much within the pages of this story. It delves so deep you need a flashlight when you hit bottom. Yes, this is a romance, but its a story of two separate men, their pasts, their town's attitude, guilt and redemption, exploring a unique relationship, and establishing ways to help a man deal with a rare disorder that leave him feeling like a monster. It's breath-stealing in its scope and there are small triumphs, but also set backs. There is no light fairytale ending, but yet I was well satisfied with how things were left.
Daniel Whitlock creeps in the shadows around his small southern town. He's worse than a disgusting disease in the eyes of the whole town. He killed one of their own. Oh, he was sentenced and did his time, but the courts reduced the sentence because it was proved that he had a rare sleep disorder that allowed him to walk in his sleep so that nobody could tell he wasn't awake. And one night, he set a fire in the house of the man who nearly beat him to death for being gay. Everyone knows that, but not one person can forgive burning a man alive.
Daniel is another person in his sleep so he spends his awake time terrified of falling asleep and devising ways to restrain himself when he goes to bed. And if it hurts, then that's alright since he deserves to be punished for what he did. He deserves the slurs and threats. He deserves his family shunning him and leaving him alone. But then one night, Officer Belman steps in before he can be beat up again. Belman was the nice kid who worked at the store and didn't treat him like he was a freak though now he is cautious and stern making Daniel wonder just what in the heck he did the night the man found him.
Bel, like the rest of the town, didn't have much use for Daniel Whitlock or the explanation that he killed a guy while sleepwalking, but he does have a great respect for the law and as a gay man who isn't out, he also is sensitive to the fact that Whitlock's victim was a man who nearly beat him to death and would have if a stranger hadn't come up on the group beating. Then one night when he thinks the guy is on drugs and causing trouble down at the local bar, he realizes that it isn't drugs or alcohol causing his behavior. Later, Bel is the one to rescue Daniel from his bed restraints when his cabin is set on fire, he starts to believe that Whitlock just might be telling the truth and the man's fear of sleep is no lie. Daniel desperately needs help and Bel is conflicted, but decides that he really does want to take care of Daniel.
From then on these two men begin a journey together figuring out how to help Daniel stay safely in bed, stay safe from harm, and figure out Daniel's need for pain, for someone to give him rules and enforce them, and someone just to believe him and care about him. Bel knows that by supporting Daniel, there will be consequences and he isn't sure that it is worth it because Daniel's condition wears on them both. Meanwhile, there are some who want to exact their own revenge for murder.
Alright, this story told from alternating points of view is never easy to read. It's dark and torturous in ways because of what Daniel goes through and how he and Bel struggle through making mistakes and slow forward progress. The vitriol and hatred from many is palpable and yet it's not out of the blue because Daniel really did kill the guy. But it broke my heart that a whole town would turn away when a guy gets beat nearly to death and then endures ongoing torment from the same group.
The relationship is a tough one because there are so many nuances. Bel was a fantastic and truly heroic hero for Daniel. He stood pat and was so loyal. Daniel never made it easy on him and because he was screwed up even played games so that Bel was never on solid footing with him. Daniel would strike out in bitter anger against the one guy who had his back, but fortunately, he would also know he did wrong and say so. I forgot most of the time that Bel's only twenty-three and younger than Daniel because he might be out of his depth, but he was poised and mature and probably the perfect match for a man like Daniel.
And Daniel, I just can't imagine. Whew boy! All his life, he thinks he's crazy, others think he's a freak, he's an out gay man in a community that isn't open to him, and then he is a murderer. He is terrified of what he is capable of and desperate to either not sleep or not get out of his bonds when he is sleeping. The murdered man's friends who were all part of the group who beat up Daniel are still after him. Then there is too good to be true Bel. Daniel has been abandoned by family and his ex-boyfriend so he is waiting for Bel to leave him like everyone else. He knows that nobody can handle his issues long term and he knows that Bel will destroy his career and his place in the community for being with Daniel. But he hopes and dreams for the first time and agrees to trust Bel and get counseling. Bel's support gave him courage and strength to not give in.
There is BDSM in the romance, but I wouldn't say this is a BDSM story. Yes, Daniel needed to have someone control him and they both got off on that and their 'play' time, but it's more complicated than that. Bel wisely researched on the lifestyle and tried to understand where Daniel's mind was. He liked control and liked rough sex and play so decided he didn't have to put labels on what they were doing or following what he thought of as the cookie cutter version of the lifestyle that made no sense to him. He would put the brakes on when he and Daniel were not on the same page. Bel was not a sadist to Daniel's masochism and Daniel wasn't a true masochist because he didn't get off on pain- he only thought he needed pain to keep him awake or when he felt he should be punished for his guilt.
There was also the element of family for both guys. Daniel's parents, ugh. I wanted to hate them, but I also get it. Daniel is coherent when he is asleep though he does crazy and freaky things and they lived with it for years. But I would have loved to have seen them have some shred of care or pity for a child even if unconditional love wasn't in them. Bel's family is so different-warm and supportive- and I held my breath as he not only came out to them, but with the town freak and murderer as his new partner. He knew he was asking a lot of them, but he had faith that they would come through for him.
I experienced this book in the audio format and had the pleasure of listening to new to me narrator, Greg Tremblay. I thought he had great command of all the voices, accents, and tone of the book. He didn't over dramatize what was already dramatic, but let the story reveal itself. I thought he was a perfect match and a fantastic narrator. Would definitely listen to more of his work.
In summary, this was another incredible outing with this pair of writers. They aren't afraid to go inside the darkness of the mind and write it with a tough fought and passionately erotic m/m romance.
I rec'd this book free.
This book is worth reading. It grabs your gut, your heart, your emotions, and holds your interest until the very end. Great narration, well written, I really loved it.
I would like to start off saying that the narrator was great! He kept the story alive. Unfortunately that's the only reason I continued to listen. Daniel was a mess. He made me angry and I actually wanted home to die. I never thought I wanted a character of a book to die that was supposed to be the main character. He did not inspire me. He was weak and whiny. Bell was to young. 23 was to young for me to feel like he was a hero let alone a cop. They lived in a small town with small minds and it showed in their character. Bell was not interesting at all. I also did not get great description from this book. Not a real back story. It almost felt unfinished. I am not an author but I enjoy stories and I feel like I did not get a good story. I appreciate your talent I just did not enjoy this story.
"loved this book"
Love this book it one of my favourites . And narrated by Greg Trembley , you can not get better.
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