Mark's Reviews > Of Dreams and Ceremonies

Of Dreams and Ceremonies by Julie Bozza
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's review
Oct 04, 2013

it was amazing
bookshelves: gay-fiction, contemporary, absolutely-fabulous

This time the southern hemisphere meets the north. In the first book we were left reeling with joy after Dave follows Nicholas to England and proposes to him in front of the family? I was so glad when I found out a second book would be written, as I couldn't possibly rest without knowing, where does it go from here? Once again Julie doesn't disappointment and comes through with a wonderful story of the Aussie coming to terms with the UK and its culture. Even more so for Dave, the egalitarian Aussie, thrust right into the middle of British aristocracy.

For me this book is really in two distinct parts as the title even eludes too. The first half of the book dealing with the wedding and the second the honeymoon, so let's take a look at the book exactly in this way.

The Wedding

Has Dave done the right thing? Was it too hasty and on a whim? Was Nicholas's proposal of marriage really thought out? Well, after Dave gets over the jet-lag he reflects on what he had actually done and said yes too. Although he never has any doubts about his decision he does leave himself surprised and reeling from his spontaneity from such a important decision for life. Nicholas also, he asks and Dave says yes immediately from conviction and love, both never doubting that this is the right thing to do.

Dave is now trying to get to know the family and Nicholas's way of life. As you can imagine for an Aussie, being thrust into British aristocracy can't be easy. However, Nicholas's father the Earl is happy to except Dave as a future son-in-law and makes him feel at ease. Julie created a titled British family but with modern ideals very well. I must admit to thinking would an Earl really be so understanding of his son's homosexuality, but here the family just celebrates the joy that Nicholas has found in Dave and are happy for him that he has found his true love. I loved Nicholas's family and even if it was a family of nobility you felt the love and togetherness they all had for each other and  Nicholas.

The wedding plans get underway and everything is perfectly arranged in record time. Only a couple of stumbling blocks. From Nicholas's family the expectation of dress for the day is top hat and tails. There is of course no way an Aussie could or would ever feel comfortable wearing that garb. A little disappointment can be sensed in Nicholas, but respects Dave’s values. Deniz comes to the rescue and comes up with the perfect solution on dress. Deniz, Vittorio and Charlie are invited, arrive and the celebrations can begin. This was for me a wonderful moment, a wedding is normally always a happy moment and this was no exception, you could feel the commitment that Nicholas and Dave have for each other and the love just oozed out of the book. Sappy? Well, I suppose. But then aren’t weddings anyway? Not a dry eye in the house.

However, all through the preparations and up to the wedding Nicholas has his fears about the immigration process for Australia and as Australia doesn’t recognize gay marriage he is worried whether they will let him in at all or the process would take so long they would be separated for 6 months just after getting married. I can perfectly understand these fears, dealing with officials, especially immigration ones is a daunting prospect. As a Brit living in Germany the process was a snap compared to getting into Australia, but the process of jumping through bureaucratic hoops is still the same and i totally sympathised with Nicholas and his concerns.

I really liked the family butler who is like a second father to Nicholas, always looking out for and looking after him. There were some nice moments between him and Dave as they spoke about their concerns of his health and condition. You could feel that he totally trusted Dave and therefore was happy that he should follow Dave to Australia.

As with any wedding, after this it was off on honeymoon………………

The Honeymoon

In the first book Julie creates a wonderful, magical and mysterious place with the watering hole in Australia where their relationship flourished into something beautiful. Here the magic and mystery is back on the honeymoon. So where do you go in the UK if you want, myth, magic, folklore and adventure? Yes, it’s off to Cornwall for the honeymoon. Being a born and bred Cornishman I was immediately delighted, well a little squee of joy did escape containment. Now I really was interested in how Julie was going to deal with this, especially for a reader like me who comes from this corner of the planet and knows almost every rock from childhood.

Well I needn’t have been afraid. Julie creates a beautiful picture of Cornwall, its mystery and magic and its quirky locals. We are swept away to a land of coasts, coves and shipwrecks, of stone circles and towering cliffs, if you are going to find magic and mystery in the UK then Cornwall is the place to go. But then maybe I’m biased - lol!. Julie describes things beautifully and mentions place names that all exist, so I rather think that she has been there maybe a number of times herself. I could smell the seasalt in the air, hear the crashing of waves on the beaches and feel the mystery hanging in the air. Julie mentions Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula, so to give you an idea...........


..........and as Dave puts it,
“A long way down at the foot of the cliff, there was a crescent of pure white sand between two sharp dark outcrops of rock, with gorgeous turquoise water lapping gently on this mild day. “Beautiful” he said. And he’d thought Australia had cornered the market on beautiful beaches.”

Kynance Cove

Well, I can only agree with Dave on that - fair dinkum mate!

They have a remote holiday cottage on a coast next to a stone circle. Nicholas is enchanted with the place, if not a little spooked. He almost senses the power and magic in this stone circle. Something built so long ago, it is almost like a lost form of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. Julie does it again, we are there feeling the atmosphere and pull of these stones. I know myself there are a number of these stone circles on the very South West tip of Cornwall, but only the locals know where they really are and keep them secret ~ unless you look up the grid reference in Google~ lol! But they are definitely not signposted from the road. You can find them, but it is a bit of a hunt which maybe adds to their mystery

Nicholas starts seeing strange lights in the stone circle at night, and his fascination for them increases. Dave the more practical one tries not to encourage Nicholas’s imagination. But alas Nicholas disappears one night, curiosity getting the better of him, and Dave has to go and search for him. As to what happens or what is going on, well I’m not giving that away here in my review, suffice to say that it is something that has been going on in Cornwall for about 200 years and is still going on. Want to know – then read the book! It had me guessing and glued to the page right to the end.

A lovely Celtic ceremony takes place for Dave and Nicholas in the stone circle before they leave, conducted by the locals which again can be seen as an honour, acceptance and sign of friendship. I found this to be a lovely touch. Especially as folklore is still very deep rooted Cornwall. Julie brings the local characters to life with all their quirkiness. I was smiling as I know such characters and how they treat the tourists or “emmets” in Cornish as they are called locally for someone who isn’t Cornish, always a little tongue in cheek.

Julie has definitely done her homework on researching the local folklore and its stories as I can vouch for their authenticity being a local. As I was reading the descriptions are perfect and I could feel a kind of energy emanating from the pages for something that is so old and steeped in myth and legend. I immediately knew she was talking about The Merry Maidens near to my hometown. Here are a couple of photos of this ancient stone circle that I took when visiting my family in Cornwall last year.

Butterfly Hunter 2a

Back to the book, of course needless to say Nicholas manages to get all the paperwork done and leaves for Australia. As soon as they get there Charlie comes to Dave and tells him that the elders wish to hold a ceremony for himself and Nicholas. This of course in Aboriginal culture is a HUGE honour for two white males. I found this to be such a great balance between the ancient Celtic ceremony held in England before they left and then the welcoming Aboriginal one in Australia. Both ancient, both magical, it really is a book…………

Of Dreams and Ceremonies

Butterfly Hunter 2b

Come and join us today on our blog, where we will be interviewing Julie about her book and to celebrate the release day will be having a great giveaway.

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Reading Progress

October 4, 2013 – Shelved
October 4, 2013 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 4, 2013 – Shelved as: gay-fiction
October 4, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
October 7, 2013 – Started Reading
October 12, 2013 –
75.0% "Oh! This is so good. Absolutely loving it."
October 12, 2013 – Shelved as: absolutely-fabulous
October 12, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Macky Oooh you big tease!!!! Lol. ;D

Mark I know, sorry. XX

Kaje Harper Lucky guy!

Mark Thanks Kaje. I do feel quite privileged I must say :-)

message 5: by Tina (last edited Oct 12, 2013 01:47PM) (new)

Tina Macky wrote: "Oooh you big tease!!!! Lol. ;D"


He is... and I' m sure he loves it. :*

message 6: by Ami (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ami Cruel tease!

message 7: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Bozza Mark! Thank you! What an awesome review... I'm delighted that you enjoyed the book so much, and especially the parts set in Cornwall. It's really great to hear how that worked for you. :-)

Thank you again for all your support.

message 8: by Tina (new)

Tina Great review, Mark. And happy celebrating with Julie. :)

message 9: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Bozza Tina wrote: "Great review, Mark. And happy celebrating with Julie. :)"


And now I'm dashing off to work for the more prosaic part of the day! :-)

message 10: by Bev (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bev Lovely review reading it as we speak. x

message 11: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Enjoy it Bev and if you have room between Nicholas and Dave, then think of me while you're in Cornwall with the book! XX

Macky Wonderful review Mark, I love the pictures... Feel like I've been transported , away from the dismal, wet North of England into paradise! * sigh* <3 :) x

message 13: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Thanks Macky! XX I also interviewed Julie about the book if you're interested. Hope you like it XX

Macky Of course I am!!! Off to read it ASAP.. :) xx

message 15: by Gina (new) - added it

Gina Awesome review Mark! Looks as if I need to read these books!! Great job!!

message 16: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Thanks Gina! I do live this series and there's one more to come - yeah!!!

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