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The Dreams You Made in the Dirt

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  759 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Dear Author,
MC1 (maybe eighteen to twenty years?) grew up hard in a dysfunctional family in a small remote community. His mother is gone and no one will say what happened to her. His father has always been abusive physically and emotionally. No one has ever stood up for him. He is smaller than average, making him a target for torment, but has had to learn how to fight for
ebook, 53 pages
Published June 16th 2014 by M/M Romance Group @ Goodreads

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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  759 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
This story is representative of Lisa Henry's writing style. The mood is somber and dark, and the MCs damaged: Cole because he's ex-military and has seen his friends die, and Aiden because he lost his mother at a young age and has suffered horrific abuse at the hands of his father.

There's a side plot involving a mystery, but there are no clues or investigations, just a slow psychological awareness of past events. (view spoiler)
..not going to lie. A bad start and my feed give me little incentive to dive into the avalanche of freebies this year's M/M Romance Group event has to offer. I'm not really eager to watch contestants go down in what seems like the book version of Idols' audition rounds. A huge thanks to the friends that make the selection process easier by weeding out the not so stellar stuff though!

I couldn't resist this Lisa Henry story and I wasn't disappointed. Sure, it's a bit run-of-the-mill and too short
Lisa Henry
Jun 16, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
It's my Love's Landscapes story! Hooray!

Thanks to Mel for a great prompt, and to the volunteers who helped knock this thing into shape. More or less. (They did the more, obviously, and I took care of the less.)

I hope you like the story, guys!

Anything you want to know about the story, ask away :)

Here's the direct link, for those like me who keep clicking on the wrong thing and going in circles:

And here's the link for the downloads: http://www.mmromance
Julio Genao
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
started really strongly, but came apart a bit, by the end.

pretty ok, with some nice scenes, but on the whole i'd have liked the story to play out a little more slowly, with fewer hints and a more satisfying resolution that didn't all tumble out in such a short time.

i wanted more, basically. henry has a soft touch with vulnerable characters, and it's always tough to let them go.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jan by: Elena
3.5 stars
I love the cover and the title, and it's Lisa Henry's so I was sold.

Her style is there, and I love it. She knows what she's writing and she knows what she wants to achieve.

The problem is... this is too rushed. In every sense of the word.

Too "insta-lovey" for my taste.

I liked the characters together but I had the sensation they both need more development, not only from the author's part, but also of themselves.

It's a way too soon, Aidan needs some growing-up, more healing. I'm not referring to t
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it

I knew Lisa Henry was good and this is was no exception.

Short, gentle,tender, and heartbreaking. This is all about abuse and overcoming it. A simple story with a little cinderella tale theme.

A Girl Has No Name
The Dreams You Made in the Dirt got me engrossed immediately and I had to finish it in one sitting. Aidan is 18 years old and he grew up in a highly dysfunctional family. He is used to stay quiet, to not be noticed and he tries to keep himself out of his father's way. But one day, his father finds out about his secret and nearly beats him to death. But fate has another will and Cole, an ex-military man finds Aidan and takes him in. While Aidan is terrified at first and not able to trust anybody ...more
Trisha Harrington
This was amazing, and wonderful, and emotional at times. Basically, it was so close to perfect. I would have loved something a little longer, though, because I would have loved a HEA. Don't get me wrong, the ending is hopeful and honestly left me wanting more, but everything wasn't as happy as I would have like for the characters. Aiden especially.

Aiden and Cole were wonderful MC's. While both of them were damaged, it was Aiden who really wormed his way into my heart. What happened to him was so
Lilia Ford
Loved this. There was an unusual quietness to the story, but I found it totally engrossing and moving. The characters felt very present and real. And then there's Dingo Creek--what a great name--and the abandoned quarry, which hover over the story like a creepy, haunting presence, a perfect background for the characters' nightmares. I especially loved reading a Lisa Henry story actually set in Australia! I hope there are more to come. Her picture of her homeland is definitely not the fun-loving, ...more
Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs
****3.75 Stars****

Beautiful Cover, Beautiful Title, Beautifully Told.....Just Beautiful!!

Emotionally charged story of two young men. Both suffering for different reasons.

Short and Sweet...but well worth a read!!

I'm just loving Lisa Henry at the becoming one of my fav authors.

Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it

One of my goals for the summer is to read more short stories to find new authors and characters to love and follow. But that plan blew up in a flash when I spotted Lisa Henry’s new short story The Dreams You Made in the Dirt. I tried to tell myself—“NEW voices, Laura.” New! Haha…I couldn’t resist though.

I love Lisa Henry’s way with words!

“It warmed him from the inside that he’d made Cole happy, even if it was only for now, for this most brief moment in time. It seemed like the sort of moment he
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love the title: evocative, poignant and perfect.

Definite hurt/comfort story set in the barren outback where the mood is as bleak as the surroundings. Emotionally charged story of one young man coming of age, tormented, and a PTSD vet new to town. This isn't a complicated short story, but it is tight and well wrought. Wonderful sensory descriptives add a lot to the tale. Very good if not an easy read. But, it's Henry--you gotta expect to pay for it.

Favorite quote: Is the one that contains the t
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
4.5* rounded up

Lovely short story of two young men suffering both from PTSD, though for different reasons.

Beautifully told, in an engaging, imaginative and absolutely not clichéd prose. Great plot to which I cottoned on only slowly. Kudos!

On top of that: this is one of the very few truly erotic stories I read in the past 6 months. All the intimate descriptions were fresh, suggestive and took me along, emotionally and as per the sensations they describe.

I swear, Henry is getting better with each
A simple hurt/comfort story with a little cinderfella woven in. I enjoyed it until the relationship started, at that point I was majorly creeped out. Aiden came across as too young and far too vulnerable to be making those kind of decisions. For me this would need to be a full length story with some time given for him to gain strength and independence first. I think perhaps Cole needed someone to care for though and I really liked his character.

There were a lot of story aspects I liked, they tal
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it

Wow, this short story definitely packs a punch.

It started of slow and trivial but quickly turned disturbing just after the first post. The plot definitely plays on psychological aspects of abuse and how it messes someones head.

The story was very compelling but I wasn't quite convinced with the nature of Cole and Aiden's relationship. It's possible that Cole's feelings for Aiden is born out of sympathy or protectiveness for the young man. Aiden may also have taken his gratitude for Cole as attrac
Rosa, really

Wow. I really need to read more Lisa Henry.

Aiden did seem a young for a relationship with Cole, especially with his past, but I love them together. The melancholy tone was beautiful & I thought the ending was well-done for a novella.
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
Well, got dayum, this is what you're supposed to do with a short story, a complete short story.

Aiden and Cole are fully formed characters, people, yes people. The supporting characters are just as real. I know this because I strongly disliked Aiden's inhuman excuse for a sperm donor of a father.
Also, because of Tessa and how fab she is.

Sometimes it takes someone, unexpectedly, in particular to help one discover the strength they already possessed. In this story, it's a two-way street.

A good shor
Mandy*reads obsessively*
I think the author fulfilled the LL picture prompt request.
Aiden is abused, physically and emotionally. Pretty much a slave to his family, when his dad beats him and leaves him for dead, Cole finds him and saves him.
Both of these men have trauma and issues, and i agree with Cole's sister Deb that it felt a bit like Cole was taking advantage of ( a very willing) Aiden.
Aiden is very naive and young and Cole is literally his savior, not to say they don't really care for and love each other. But I w
Lisa Henry's writing always manages to paint a picture for me and this was no exception. The descriptions of the landscape, the house and, of course Aiden and Cole, two men each enduring their own pain and suffering, managed to put me right there in the story. She does hurt/comfort so well, without becoming sappy, but I will admit to tears when the title came into play. Thanks for the story Lisa!
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was one of the saddest story I ever read, so much pain, abused, loneliness.
I would have been great if the author wrote a few more pages with a HEA at the end.
After so much suffering I think Aiden and the readers deserve it.

Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved this story! Actually, I would have *loved* a couple hundred more pages with Cole and Aiden (and Tessa!). Lisa Henry is such a talented writer. Highly recommend!
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories

Lisa Henry’s contribution to the Love’s Landscape event is about two broken men who need each other in order to start healing and find hope and comfort in each other.

Loved this one, the title is perfect! The story is dark, engrossing and moving, it’s intense, emotionally charged and beautifully told. Definitely one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read, there was so much abuse, pain and loneliness going on that I was tempted to crawl into my kindle and kill the bastard with my bare hands.

Lisa He
A brilliant story that's definitely met all my expectations. It was sweet but not shallow, with likeable MCs and it has left me with contented sigh and smile on my lips. Also I really appreciate the quarry mystery addition there.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic, great hurt-comfort with wonderful characters. LH did an amazing job of establishing these characters in such a short time. The advancement of the plot was really helped by reading the prompt which was really well written too.
4.5 stars rounded up.

Well, one thing is certain: Lisa Henry definitely knows how to write !!! :D

It was a heartbreaking and sad story. It was slow burn but at the same time a bit insta-lovey and, surprisingly, it all fit well with the story's length.

To me, Lisa Henry's style is always beautiful and flowing and The Dreams You Made in the Dirt is no exception! I got hooked from the start and I didn't even know when those 50 pages went by...

The only nagging issue for me was the lack of some kind of

4.5 stars

Gentle and tender, heartbreaking and full of tension. This is about abuse and overcoming it.

John (Cole), an Iraq war vet, has returned to his recently deceased uncle’s home to get it ready for sale. When Cole’s car breaks down on the way, tow truck operators, Aiden, and his father, Phil, show up for the tow.

There is a subtle, almost shy awareness between Cole and Aiden that slowly spins out in the story. Both of them are suffering from some type of abuse— war-related PTSD in Cole’s ca
Anyta Sunday
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
(view spoiler)

I'm now thoroughly depressed.

Well-written. Emotional. Just . . . (view spoiler)
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, short
I struck gold! Two 5 stars short books in one day!!
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dritc
~4.5 stars~

...rounded down only because I think it could have been longer. So beautiful and raw, very representative of Lisa Henry's writing. Loved it.
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I like to tell stories. Mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters. They gotta work for it though. No free lunches on my watch.
“Are you mad?”
“Why would I be mad?”
“I’m covered in mud.”
“Are you sure that’s mud? I thought you were covered in the dreams you made in the dirt.”
“How do you know you love someone?” he’d asked his dad when he was kid.
“Huh. That’s a tricky one. I suppose you know you love someone when you want to make them happy.”

It was as good an answer as any, Cole thought. The word didn’t have to come laden with expectations. It didn’t have to be difficult. It didn’t mean forever, or a commitment. Love could be as ephemeral as a single breath. That didn’t make it a lie.”
More quotes…