Title: Stolen Dreams
Author Name: Sue Brown
Publication Date & Length: January 30 2015 – 240pgs
After cheating on and losing the man he loved, Morgan Conway decided to get his life right. Now he owns a coffee shop and is engaged to Jase, an actor and rising star. All is perfect in his world until the man he thought was gone forever walks into his shop. His hidden feelings rush to the surface, unfortunately there for everyone to see, including his fiancé.
Shae Delamere was crushed when Morgan cheated on him five years ago. But he has a reason for seeking Morgan out. As Morgan and Shae get to know each other again, they discover the extent that friends meddled in their lives to keep them apart. Morgan cannot deny he is still in love with Shae, but he is engaged. With some hard decisions to make, Morgan struggles not to hurt the men he cares about—again. Shae has secrets he came to share with Morgan, but revealing them now could keep them apart for good.
I can’t say enough good things about this book. It held my attention throughout.
The story started out a little slowly, and it took me a while to warm up to both Shae and Morgan. They weren’t likable in the beginning. That quickly changed as the plot developed, and I enjoyed getting to know them through the pages. I loved the supporting characters and how each of them carried a different piece of the puzzle with Shae and Morgan’s past and Shae’s multiple secrets.
There is a lot of very descriptive sex in this novel, which works in context, but isn’t my personal preference. However, it’s all so well-written that it more than made up for it, and most readers will enjoy Shae and Morgan’s intense physical relationship. I felt it was true to their characters, and a lot was revealed about them through their intimacy.
All in all, this was a terrific book, and I’m really glad I picked it up.
This is the story of Morgan, a coffee shop owner and assistant movie director in Los Angeles. It is also the story of Shae, a classics professor in Austin. When we meet Morgan, he is engaged to Jase but he has never really gotten over Shae, his first love. When Shae returns to LA to visit his father in hospital, the two men meet again for the first time in five years.
It is an old story. Does Morgan hold on to his new love or does he risk everything and give Shae a chance? His choices and the relationships that emerge are fraught with all the complexites of any contemporary paring. Clashing career needs, family complications and years of miscommunication form very real barriers for the men involved.
Romance writing always walks a fine line between fantasy and reality. The genre is naturally fantasy, but we readers tend to want it as realistic as possible. It is here that I think this book struggles. At times the realism of two lovers trying to align schedules, work and families is a little too much for me. We read romance to escape all this!
In other parts of the book, fantasy wins out as things happen far too conveniently. The Jase plotline felt contrived. Without spoiling the story, I didn’t believe Jase’s actions or revelations were true to the character first introduced. If Brown wants realism, she needs to allow her main characters’ actions to be morally ambiguous without interfering.
I really like the two central families in this book. I loved the realistic awkwardness as the men met up with each other’s families after such an explosive break-up and an ensuing timelapse. Unfortunately, another central plotline about family secrets was similarly contrived to create tension and conflict. It wasn’t necessary. The story was already great without superfluous drama.
Sue Brown writes well and the main characters emerge as very two very loveable men. I just wish she had managed to balance fantasy and realism with more agility.
Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn’t following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she’s made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.