Sergei spots Stuart at the wedding of mutual friends and starts chatting with him. Both are enjoying the conversation, but when Sergei suddenly leaves without getting Stuart’s phone number, Stuart just assumes that he’s not interesting enough for the Russian-born business man. Turned out by his parents when he reached 18 simply because he was surplus to requirements, it’s no surprise Stuart has some self-esteem issues. Sergei is much the opposite. If anything, he’s too close to his family, but he definitely knows he wants to make Stuart part of that family. Can the two men manage to find a way to have a relationship together?
Although “Fearing the Dream” is a sequel to Chasing the Dream, and features most of the same secondary characters, if you haven’t read the first book you won’t be missing much. Sergei and Stuart barely appear in the previous installment. This story picks up some time after the end of the previous book.
Stuart and Lee, one of the main characters from the first story, have a lot in common, which is probably why they’ve become good friends. Like Lee, Stuart is estranged from his family, although in his case it’s nothing to do with his sexuality. Stuart was just forced to leave home because his stepfather didn’t want another man’s son in his house. That’s clearly caused Stuart a lot of pain and created a lot of issues for him, but it’s also what has given him many of the qualities that Sergei finds attractive.
The story alternates point of view between Stuart and Sergei, so we get to know both men quite well. Sergei also has family issues, although in his case it’s an issue with them being too close, and in some cases too reliant on Sergei for him to have much of a life on his own. Sergei is definitely a very interesting character, but it feels like we don’t get to know him as well as Stuart. Instead, the focus ends up being on his mother, and while her story is definitely interesting, and plays a part in the plot, it seems that her story ends up coming at the expense of filling out a bit more about Sergei and how he got to where he is when we meet him.
While homophobia doesn’t play a role in Stuart’s estrangement from his family, it does supply quite a bit of the drama to the plot. It does seem a little like the author is going to the homophobia well a lot, but then it’s a very deep well, and it definitely works for the story line without stretching credulity.
“Fearing the Dream” is available from Amazon.