When All the World Sleeps by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

WhenAllTheWorldSleepsDaniel 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.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I can honestly say that this is one of the hardest books to get through that I’ve read in a long time. Not because it was a bad book and not because I was offended or that the author’s writing couldn’t hold my interest. It was simply because of the horror that Daniel lived through. When all the World Sleeps was just as scary, if not scarier than any officially labeled horror story that I’ve read.

The monster that Daniel was fighting was within himself. Well, that and bigotry. He was alone and terrified of not only what could happen to him, but what he could do to others.

Bel was a character that I didn’t know how to take at first but I found myself respecting him. He had doubts and he wasn’t always as understanding as he could have been, but honestly, in the same situation I’m not sure how I would have related to Daniel. As much as I’d like to think that I would be accepting, forgiving and understanding I’m not sure how I would have handled his particular circumstance. I admired Bel’s courage and determination to keep Daniel safe, regardless.

Even though this book is labeled BDSM, that’s really not the focus… or at least not the way it normally is in a book baring that label. Vague, I know, but it’s something you’ll have to read to understand. All you really need to know is that Daniel is a mess and Bel is willing to do anything he can to keep him safe and help.

As much as I liked When all the World Sleeps I can pretty much guarantee that this is not a book for everyone. Even fans of contemporary M/M Romance. This book is dark and scary and it spends a lot of time in those places. I definitely needed a much lighter read when I finished this one.  Basically it’s one of those books that I’m not sure I would have read if I would have known exactly what I was in for, but I’m extremely glad that I did.