Lovers, Dreamers, and Me by Willa Okati

Willa Okati’s Lovers, Dreamers, and Me


Tolliver’s buried his life in taking care of his sister and the independent bookstore his grandmother left him. That doesn’t leave much time for romance or fun. Sarah, his sister, thinks he’s getting hidebound and decides to do a little matchmaking. Only the first problem with which is that her choice is another man, and Tolliver’s not gay!

It turns out, Noble’s not either. But he is attracted to Tolliver, deeply, and as a seer, he knows they can be together, if they can just figure this out. He’s not above using his psychic gifts to draw them together on a sexual journey to self-discovery, but the road has more twists and turns — and toys — than even he ever dreamed.





Tolliver’s parents died when Tolliver was only eighteen and his sister, Sarah, was only nine. Since then, he’s spent all his time, energy and effort into raising his sister and taking care of their bookstore which has been passed down in their family for generations. Tolliver is a quiet man, happy in his life and hard working, foregoing personal time and pleasure to ensure he takes care of his responsibilities. All of his careful plans and ideas are shaken when Noble starts to stop by the store with his mysterious sayings and enticing body.

Tolliver is a bit naive and innocent, happily oblivious in his life. He doesn’t realize his neighbor has a crush on him or that his sister needs help. It’s not until events are forced onto him does he realize what has been in front of him the whole time. This is probably the reason he doesn’t think of himself as gay, he hasn’t had a romantic relationship and has been too focused on his sister and the bookstore. When a somewhat mysterious Noble starts to stop by the bookstore, Tolliver is shaken.

Noble is a world traveled and sophisticated man who happens to be able to “see” things. What he sees seems to be up to interpretation but he clearly can see a vague sense of the future, part of which he “sees” Tolliver and Noble being happy together. But to convince Tolliver of that is no easy feat. Tolliver is very cautious and thoughtful, attempting to think out every step with possible consequences but he simply can’t fight the strong chemistry and attraction he feels for Noble. More so than any previous person, he can’t stop thinking about Noble and seeks him out, against his better judgment.

The story is told from Tolliver’s point of view in a beautiful, flowing voice lending an ethereal quality to the story and characters. Although Noble’s visions are vague and not defined, Tolliver believes in him and comes to depend on Noble’s strong confidence and sense of self. Noble remains a mystery for most of the story, from his visions to his cryptic comments, unwilling to talk about his past or his future. At times his way of speaking, vague and knowing, was almost maddening as he refused to share the insight and knowledge in any way except the ubiquitous “you’ll see” mantra.

Interestingly this rarely bothered Tolliver, who seemed to prefer discovering the answers in his own time, provoked by the few sentences Noble would offer for him to think on. Their path is not an easy one and the internal conflicts are neither small nor inconsequential. The characters, however, are nicely fleshed out and given life and flaws that can’t help but charm. Tolliver’s sister, Sarah, is a very vivid character and nicely drawn. She exemplifies the problems inherit when a child grows up without parents, struggling with her own ranging emotions and maturing. Her humor and love of Tolliver coupled with flashes of great maturity and great immaturity added a depth to the story and richness to the telling.

This is a well-written story with an easy, beautiful style of writing. It’s not my favorite of Oakie’s as I ultimately felt Noble was too much a mystery for the majority of the novel. His refusal to share his insights occasionally caused some pique for me and took away some enjoyment of the novel. For all his considerable charm, Tolliver moved past the conflicts quicker than I would have thought, given his temperament and background. Even with these problems, I enjoyed the book and would read it again. It may not be my favorite, but it’s a guaranteed pleaser. The issues I had with it are unlikely to deter anyone from liking the story and furthermore, they may not even have the same problems. Either way, I still suggest you run and get it. 

Get it HERE!


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