“I dream of a man. I can never see his face, but I know he loves me more than anything and I love him the same way in return. I imagine us going for rides and bathing in the stream, making love under the oak next to it. I dream of being happy.”
I have always loved Fairytales and when I saw this m/m twist on the classic 'Sleeping Beauty' I knew I wanted to read it.
It starts with a King and Queen, deeply in love and desperate for a child. The Queen seeks out a sorceress and it comes about as we know it will.
A baby boy is born, but the witch has put a curse on him.
So as Ian grows and matures, he discovers his attraction to men, he grapples with it.
He doesn't know how to tell his parents and thinks he must marry a woman to fulfill his duty as future king.
Then his wedding day arrives, also his nineteenth birthday, the day the witch said her curse would kill him.
Well we know what happens, the young prince and all of his kingdom fall into a deep sleep instead and are forgotten by the rest of the world. Their fate become a myth, a bedtime story told to children.
Then we meet Nicholas, born 200 years after Ian and his people have disappeared from everyone's memory.
Nicholas grew up listening to that tale, he loved it and becomes obsessed with the 'lost kingdom'. His childhood wasn't as idyllic as Ian's. His parents aren't loving and caring and he is more or less ignored and left to his 'daydreams'.
Nicholas grows up dreaming of a young blond playmate. They are the best of friends.
In his dreams he plays with him. They play chase and hide-and seek, swimming and ride together. They grow older and fall in love. Nicholas, despite only knowing and loving him in his dreams can't help but compare all other men to him and finds them all lacking.
His heart belongs to Ian.
He tries to get over someone he doesn't really thinks exists, but he can't :
“But it feels real. I am alive when I am with him in a way that I am not while I’m awake. I am… whole, but when I do wake up and he is not there, I have to realize all over again that it was only a dream and that what we have is not real, that he is not real, and I grieve, Charles. It is like… like he has died and part of me is dead too. There are mornings I wake up and simply weep until I fall back to sleep.”
This is a romantic story as Fairytales usually are and Nicholas toils and searches until he can save his love.
If you are a fan of these kinds of stories and love to see Price Charming find his own Prince Charming this is a good one to read, I can hear 'Once Upon A Dream' playing on my ear as I finished this book.