Title: Roman Dream
Author: Vic Winter
Length: 12,000 words
Publisher: Torquere Press
Genre: m/m Contemporary Romance
Linus has been having extremely vivid, very erotic dreams of his life as a slave during Roman times. In fact, his dreams are becoming so real he sometimes has trouble distinguishing them from reality. When he begins to notice people and places from his surroundings appearing in his dreams, he figures his brain has just filled in the details, but then he meets his dream master Markus at the library where he works. He’s never met the man before in his life, but Professor Mark is very real and Linus likes him so much more than the Markus in his dreams. Will he be able to keep his dream man and the real one separate?
I like stories by this author on the whole and this one turned out to be a great read. It tells of Linus who’s been having intense erotic dreams where he is the slave to a Roman. He wakes from these dreams with the disconcerting feeling that he’s actually lived through the experience. He’s even more worried when the spitting image of his Roman master appears in the library where he works. He and Mark hit it off straight away, but Linus’s dreams still intrude on his life.
The part that worked best for me in the story was the way that the characters of Marcus/Mark were so different. Linus finds his cruel Roman master desirable and their times together are erotic, but when Linus meets the real Mark, the relationship is different to the dreams. The warmth and tenderness shines through their interactions, and the sex between them is tender and reciprocal, unlike the D/s sex in the Roman dreams.
I also liked the way that Linus puzzles over his dreams, trying to fit their meaning around his day to day life. There’s a slight mystery around why Linus dreams of Mark and perhaps my only niggle is that this was never really resolved.
Linus s a great character who revels in his nerdy nature and is wholly comfortable with himself – although it was nice to see the odd flash of how this had not always been the case. His love of research was a major part of his personality and this was shown with a certain amount of self-depreciation. His friendship with fellow librarian, Dana, was nicely done and provided a few lighthearted moments in the story.
Overall, there managed to be a lot packed into the word count here. Linus is a great, rounded character. There’s his puzzlement over the dreams, and a new, exciting relationship with Mark. I enjoyed the story a great deal and it left me with a smile on my face.