Ship Of Dreams
by Reilly Ryan, historical (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-385-2


Yes, this story takes place on the RMS Titanic. Yes, one of them, Will Woods, is a rich man accompanying his mother and his fiancée Annie back to New York. Yes, the other one is a bloke from the wrong side of the streets, although Warren James Hyde this time around is a con man rather than some happy-go-lucky drifter who won the ticket in a game of cards. And yes, like all very average gay romances tend to be, this one has the two men immediately falling at first glance and the romance is then pretty much a tedious episode of stolen glances and fumbling quickies. And when the iceberg shows up to punish these people for being boring, the whole thing is so dreadfully anticlimatic that I find myself wishing that people in this story will die slower and more excruciatingly so that I can at least get some entertainment. Not that the main characters die in this story, of course.

I believe the problem with Ship Of Dreams lies mostly with the author's writing style. There are plenty of short and curt sentences here and way too much telling. I never really get a good idea of what is going on inside the characters' heads. Their love is dreadfully boring because it is static, depicted as perfect from the get go, with the characters never having to grow or change because they are already in love.

On the bright side, the guys here don't cry incessantly or make mawkish melodramatic speeches like overwrought little girls pretending to be boys in bad fanfiction. Still...

Unless you are really starved for gay romances and you cannot forgive Kate Winslet's Rose DeWitt Bukater for not having a penis, I'd strongly recommend that you watch the movie instead of reading this one. The author has guts, I'd admit, to tackle a story with this setting, but this effort is doomed from the start because there is no way this very average paint-by-numbers gay romance can ever compare to the melodrama of the movie. And let's admit it, when you think of the RMS Titanic, you think of the movie.

Rating: 52


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