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PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: “When All The World Sleeps” by Lisa Henry & JA Rock


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.


Have you ever thought about the power of the subconscious mind? How it responds to your every thought and emotion, your fears and desires? At the risk of sounding like a universal self-help guru I will remind you that your subconscious is your loyal slave, your greatest protector and your fiercest ally; it is your absolute truth and there is no hiding from it. It is YOU, with the most powerful will to do what your conscious mind will not. Now imagine what your subconscious would do for you, if it had control of your body, while you, and all the world sleeps…

For Daniel Whitlock it’s a fucking nightmare! For years his subconscious has surfaced while he sleeps and played servant to Daniels deepest darkest fears and desires; seeking pleasures and avenging the wrongs that Daniel’s conscience mind will not. Dangerous thoughts, obsessive guilt and desperate fear of his subconscious action have led to Daniel’s self-imprisonment in his tiny cabin in the woods.  It’s worse than a nightmare; it’s an excruciating existence that honest to God, began to read like a horror story. So of course I was thrilled!

The author’s paint Daniels condition with broad strokes and detail the emotive effects on his psyche with a fine liner. Its irresistible reading. The contrast between his waking and sleeping self is so conflicting you would think it a case of split personalities and this adds depth, intrigue, and a whole lot of guesswork about his true persona. Daniel sleepwalking scared the hell out of me, and I was excited to explore the possibilities of his fearless, devilish and horny subliminal mind! I found him extremely psychologically arousing with the potential to be one of the most original and emphatic characters I have ever read – until I reach the 35% mark…

Then he manifests into yet another tragic hero who constantly obsesses over his guilt and sorrow over the things his conscious mind cannot control or recall. Seeking his penitence he embraces masochism as a means of driving his subconscious to exhaustion.  It makes for good reading BUT, when the authors continue to rehash every detail of that night, the aftermath, the emotions and hatred toward Daniel from a bigoted, hick town community it gets old fast.  It gets boring because well, I’m not daft – there is no need to patronise me by going over and over and over the same things all the freaking time. I get it already! For this I blame the editor, cos this does not need to be 400 plus pages long, 150 of those pages are purely repetitive: this-is-why-you-need-to-feel-sorry-for-poor-bullied-misunderstood-Daniel melodrama.

That was my biggest criticism and my other one was; what starts out as something unique, inspired and full of suspense turns into something that’s not. I had to wrap my head around the fact that I was now dealing with sweet, loving, pulpy, healing kindness in the form of Bel – who was very lovely and an oh-so-very-perfect antidote to Daniel’s nightmares – too perfect perhaps? Maybe not, I’m just feeling a tad bitter because it didn’t go MY way.  I think the author’s tamed or repressed Daniel’s subconscious a bit too much and my dazzle faded fast.

Now I bet you all think its crap and it really isn’t. It’s good, well written, (as always) and the sex is among the best I have read from either of these authors. They brought something innocent and fresh, erotic and decadently sexy to this power exchange but most importantly, it made sense! In the bedroom they made sense, but outside? Not so much. I never quite got what Bel saw in Daniel; what was the attraction beyond his innate need to protect him? To avoid spoilers, I’ll say that Bel’s deep attraction and willingness to go as far as he did for Daniel was questionable. But I suspect that these guys will be a lot of reader’s favourites.  Only time will tell if they will be mine…

Overall this failed on the promise of dark suspense for me and then I was battered into boredom with long winded, repetitive explanations BUT, I still admired a lot of it and even loved a little of it …



Title: When all the world sleeps
Author: Lisa Henry, J.A Rock
Publisher: Riptide
Pages: 405
Release Date: 24 March 2014
Purchase Links: Riptide.

One comment on “PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: “When All The World Sleeps” by Lisa Henry & JA Rock

  1. katinka
    March 22, 2014

    Excellent review. It helped me make up my mind and I decided that it’s best if I pass. Really crave a new Lisa Henry though. But it has to be a solo project! :)


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This entry was posted on March 21, 2014 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Shelley and tagged , , , .

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