Genre: Romantic Suspense

Sunday Spotlight: Heedless by Shannon McKenna

Posted January 3, 2021 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight: Heedless by Shannon McKennaHeedless by Shannon McKenna
Series: The Hellbound Brotherhood #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: December 4, 2020
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 308
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Whatever it takes to protect her...Security expert Nate Murphy came to Shaw's Crossing to kick ass and help the Trask brothers fight off their enemies. He didn't expect to get knocked off his feet by the elusive, gorgeous Elisa, the mysterious woman who works in Demi's restaurant. Elisa's holding something back...something big. Nate's a Marine and ex-bouncer whose specialty is breaking heads...but the fear in Elisa's eyes makes him want to crush whoever put it there. If only she would tell him the truth...

Secrets and lies...

Elisa Rinaldi is on the run from a killer. She doesn't dare expose him because he's holding her little brother captive. Hiding in the mountain town of Shaw's Crossing had seemed like a good idea at the time, but getting attached to the people there was not...particularly the hard-eyed, hard-bodied Nate Murphy. Because her new friends have big troubles of their own, and their trouble makes a lot of noise. Things have gotten messy in this town, with cops and media coverage everywhere. If she shows up on TV or online, she's dead...and so is her beloved brother.

Elisa has to leave Shaw's Crossing-after a parting gift to herself. One unforgettable night with Nate, and she'll do the right thing...even if it breaks her. The passion between them leaves Nate gasping for breath. Then Elisa vanishes. Nate can't rest until he finds her. He means to solve her problem once and for all...by any means necessary.

Elisa will risk everything to protect the man she loves, but Nate just won't back down. Now danger is coming from all sides, while her mortal enemy is playing a game of cat and mouse...

And the stakes are both their lives...

Excerpt

Nate had to go back a few times, to check on the water and gauge the temperature. In between times, he slid right back into the warm bed and wound himself around Elisa’s slender, silken one. So lithe and strong. Those beautiful, plump, perfectly shaped tits. So perfect for his hands, his mouth.

His dick was in a perpetual state of frantic eagerness whenever she was in his line of vision. Or his thoughts, for that matter. And the touch of her skin made his heart thud and his whole body instantly overheat into a thrum of raw need.

Wait. He had to pace himself. This wasn’t about him. He had to make it perfect for her. It was the iron-clad rule. Forever and always.

When the tub was finally full, he turned to find her already in the bathroom door, winding that long, night-dark curly mass of her hair into a thick messy knot on top of her head, and securing it with the black elastic tie she’d used for her braid.

He was speechless, his entire brain busy processing the sensory input of her naked beauty. Her eyes fell to his erection, and she gave him a teasing smile, her eyebrows going up. “Oh! So it’s that kind of bath?”

“It’s just a bath,” he assured her. “Any kind of bath you like. I don’t want to overdo it.”

“Speak for yourself, buddy.” She stalked past him, stroking his chest and arm as she went by, and her slow, teasing touch buzzed against his nerves like electricity.

He followed, helpless and dazzled. She moved like a queen. Regal, lofty. He could stare at her elegant back forever. The little wispy dark curls at her nape.

Nate stepped in front of her and went in first, down the steps and to the bottom of the hip deep tub. He held out his hand. When she took it, the contact was a soul touch. A mark of divine favor, and she was a goddess with the power to bless and transform him. To change his fate forever.

He couldn’t even pretend not to look at her. From her bold eyes and face and her body’s stance, she silently commanded it.

He took the opportunity to memorize every tiny perfect detail. The curly wisps of dark hair clinging to her cheekbones, the secret, mysterious smile in her golden eyes, the flushed, sexy lips. So full. Their beautiful, sensual shape.

She already acted so differently with him, after only a few hours of being lovers. Since they met, he’d admired her beauty and wanted to know her secrets, but she’d kept him at arm’s length. She’d struck him as fragile, brittle. Hunted.

She didn’t seem that way anymore. She felt her power now. He saw it in her eyes, in the tilt in her chin, in the way she held her shoulders. She flaunted her body as she descended slowly into the water, and sank down onto the bench, the steaming water now up to her collarbone. “Thank you,” she said demurely.

He followed her lead, and sat down next to her. But the natural magnetism of their bodies just pulled him toward her until their thighs touched.

“Is the temperature OK?” he asked. “It’s not too hot?”

“It’s perfect,” she said. “It’s delicious. Just like this.”

They floated there for a while, and he reached over, sliding his finger into her hand. He felt almost, oh God forbid, shy. He fished awkwardly for something to say.

“So, Gina says there’s a strip mall about twenty miles down the highway,” he said. “There’s an electronics store with gaming stuff there. I checked, and the site says it opens at nine. Plus there are clothing stores, so we can outfit you.”

“Don’t worry about that,” she said. “I’ll get my stuff back from Demi’s apartment if I survive. A change of clothes is the least of my worries right now.”

“You shouldn’t have to wait,” he said stubbornly. “We’ll just grab a few things.”

“Very nice of you, but not necessary,” she told him. “Is this part of your seductive lover-boy routine? Buying me fripperies?”

“No, just a simple to-do list,” he admitted. “I’m not the crafty scheming type.”

She floated out into the middle of the tub and spun around to face him, smiling into his eyes. “You’re sweet, Nate,” she said. “Did you know that?”

“No,” he said, bemused. “Not particularly.”

She surged forward and cupped his face in her hands—and kissed him.

God. He was so primed, he could have come then and there. By a hair, he fought it down, breathing it down, fists clenched. Her lips were so soft and sweet. A tender, velvety hidden secret that only he was privileged to know. It humbled him.

Her hands splayed over his chest. So trusting. The points of her nipples touched his chest, ever so slightly. Tiny twin kisses, every point of contact a bright glow of hyper-awareness.

Kissing her made him want to be worthy of her. To be better than he was.

Then she was on his lap, straddling him. Knees perched on the bench, right over his stiff, aching cock. Her body undulating against him with a sigh, the water heaving and sloshing around her shoulders. Inviting him to take whatever he wanted.

What, was this some sort of test of his resolve? Damn. He made a low sound, a groan of frustration, and lifted her gently up, holding her suspended in the water.

“Take it easy,” he complained. “We shouldn’t do it again so soon. You should rest. Take it easy. You’re killing me.”

“Am I?” Her small, secret smile drove him nuts. “Talk about mixed messages.”

“Don’t tease me,” he pleaded. “It is really fucking hard to say no to you.”

“So don’t,” she said. “If it’s hard to say no, it should be easy to say yes.”

She reached down to caress his dick. That twist-squeeze-pull, from root to the head, made him shudder and gasp. “What a waste of a beautiful hard-on,” she said. “Say yes, Nate.”

The water sloshed heavily as she stood up. Pink from the heat. Gleaming.

She sank down facing him on the top step, which was barely covered in water, and fixed her big, dreamy eyes on him, red lips parted, eyelashes tangled with drops of water. Trailed her hand down slowly. Over her breast, over her belly, and then lower, to the whorl of dark silky hair on her mound.

Her legs opened. “I just feel so hot,” she whispered. “But poor me…it looks like I’ll have to take care of this all by my lonely self, right?”

“Holy fuck,” he groaned. “Really? You’re going to do this to me?”

“Well, technically speaking, it’s something that I’m doing to myself,” she mused. “What choice do I have, if I want this orgasm? And I do want it. I want it bad.”

He watched, hypnotized, at the stunning spectacle of her pale skin, her gleaming, luminous hot pink folds sensually caressed by her long, slender fingers. Parting herself, opening, showing him all of it. Her golden eyes were half-lidded, lost in a sensual dream. Completely unself-conscious. Owning him, taunting him, toying with herself. Watching him watch her, with that seductive smile.

He liked that energy. Playful, strong. Enjoying her pleasure. Egging him on. Fucking with his head, in the best possible way. It was agony, and he loved it.

“So strange,” she said, in a dreamy tone. “I don’t even know the person I am right now. You have the strangest effect on me. I go all naughty sexpot. I feel like some sort of celestial deity. Bow and tremble before my power, mortal.”

“I’ve always trembled before your power,” he said. “I felt it all along. You’ve just been a little distracted lately, so you haven’t felt it yourself.”

She laughed at that, but the it petered out, breathless, as she took her own sweet time. Eyes closed, head thrown back. Strands of her hair had tumbled loose, floating in the water, waving like seaweed. Lost in her pleasure. Unguarded.

She went rigid, and then he watched as pleasure rippled through her, shaking her like a storm wind. So fucking gorgeous.

And that was it. She’d won. Whatever might have remained of his self-control vanished. He didn’t even remember why he’d been trying to hold back.

Water sloshed over the edge of the tub as he reached for her.

The Hellbound Brotherhood


Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: January 2021

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Shannon McKenna

Shannon McKenna Author Photo

I started writing my first romance novel in secret. I was working a temp job in Manhattan at the time, supporting my music habit (details on that secret double life here) and even if there was nothing for me to do, I still had to look busy. But I hated wasting time, and I needed to round out my singing career. Most artists choose a practical Plan B to back up their improbable Plan A. Not me. "Long Shot" is my middle name.

So I set up a Document 2 with a fierce looking spreadsheet on it. If the boss du jour walked by, I switched screens. When the coast was clear, I went back to my story. One stern fact I learned from that experience is that you need more than just stolen crumbs of time and attention to make the magic happen. I also learned that every little crumb helps. Life is full of these little contradictions.

It wasn't until I moved to southern Italy (details of that long shot here) that I was really able throw my weight behind the writing. There I was, not a word of Italian, no job, no clue, just long, quiet days alone with nothing to do and no excuses. I finally slogged my way to the end of the short category romance that I’d been dinking around with for years. Kensington accepted it, bless them, and I had my start. I wrote four more category romances for that line before I got the chance for a place in an anthology of erotic novellas for the new Brava imprint. Then came my first single title novel, Behind Closed Doors—and my writing career took off.


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Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan Johnston

Posted October 22, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 15 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review/Rant: Shattered by Joan JohnstonReviewer: Casee
Shattered by Joan Johnston
Series: Bitter Creek #8
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: December 29, 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 423
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one-star
Series Rating: one-star

Nine years ago Kate Grayhawk Pendelton walked into Wyatt Shaw's life--and out of it the next morning. Now Wyatt's back--and has the power to shatter Kate's future with the man she loves.

By reputation, Wyatt Shaw is a brutal killer who always gets what he wants. And he wants Kate and her twin eight-year-old sons.

Texas Ranger Jack McKinley is hot on Wyatt Shaw's trail. The presumed heir to the D'Amato crime syndicate is threatening to steal the woman he loves.

Holly McKinley is fighting to keep Jack from leaving her for another woman. Now the secret she's kept for over twenty years may save their son's life, and cost her the only man she's ever loved.

This review was originally published December 30, 2009

Warning! Spoilers Ahead!

!@#$$%^&!@#$%^&

I can’t tell you exactly what I was saying as I was reading this book. What I can say is that Joan Johnston really screwed her readers on this one. Shattered is the newest book in Johnston’s Bitter Creek series. I have doggedly stuck with it (waiting for Jack and Kate to FINALLY get together) only to end up feeling completely screwed over at the end. I felt like Johnston was giving the proverbial finger to her readers while writing this book.

The Bitter Creek series started way back in 2000. In 2005, The Next Mrs. Blackthorne was released. It was supposed to be the story of Clay Blackthorne and Libby Grayhawk (which it was to a certain extent). It was either in this book or the one before it (The Rivals) that Kate and Jack first meet. Kate is nineteen and instantly falls for Jack. Sparks fly, etc. Jack is older and more jaded. He rejects Kate, which sends her into the arms of another man. Nine years later, they meet again. Kate is widowed (or so she thinks) with twin boys. Jack is going through a divorce. It’s finally their time. At the end of A Stranger’s Game (2009), Kate and Jack are as good as together. Then Kate’s husband comes back from the dead. Obviously you think that is the obstacle that will come between Kate and Jack. Nope.

The bottom line is that Kate and Jack DON’T END UP TOGETHER. OMGWTFBBQ. It’s bull shit. The story would have been good if JACK AND KATE WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO END UP TOGETHER. There is no sense to be made from the fact that Kate and Jack END UP WITH OTHER PEOPLE. And who they end up with is so fucking cliched. Jack ends up with the wife he was going to divorce. Kate ends up with the man she had a one night stand with, resulting in the birth of her twins.

In the midst of all that, Kate’s husband decides that he wants revenge on his bitch of a wife and her lover. Then he decides to blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blabety blah.

The end.

1 out of 5.

The series:

Book CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook CoverBook Cover

one-star


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Throwback Thursday Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen Rose

Posted September 17, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Throwback Thursday Review: Closer Than You Think by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Closer Than You Think (Cincinnati Series, #1) by Karen Rose
Series: Cincinnati Series #1
Also in this series: Alone in the Dark (Cincinnati Series #2)
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 688
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Your Back and Did You Miss Me comes the newest novel by “the queen of romantic suspense” (Crime and Punishment).

Psychologist Faith Corcoran is desperate to escape the stalker who’s made her life a nightmare for the past year—desperate enough to run to the one place that has been her nightmare far longer. Both boon and bane, her recent inheritance of her grandmother’s old house in Cincinnati offers sanctuary in which she can start her life anew, but requires that she face the dark memories that still resonate to this day.

But she has no idea how close to home her fears still are.

Two college girls have gone missing in the area, and FBI Special Agent Deacon Novak is called to work on the case. When his inquiry unexpectedly leads him to Faith, he finds a beautiful and brave woman he can’t help but fall for. Soon they’ll discover that this seemingly simple investigation is anything but. Reaching back decades into Faith’s own past, it will shatter everything she believes to be true and will give terrifying new meaning to flesh and blood.

This review was originally posted on April 14, 2015.

Closer Than You Think was the best book I’ve read in ages. It actually drove me to write a review. A lot of you don’t remember me, I’m sure, but I actually used to read and review books regularly here at Book Binge. O_o. Now, I hardly read and when I try to review, the cursor just sits there are stares at me. The it’s asks me “Well,are you just going to sit there?”. No, I’m not. I’m turning you off and going to take a nap.

As it happened, Closer Than You Think was a book that I could not put down. I finished it in two days and that’s only because of running my daughter around to soccer. Onto the review…Faith Corcoran has changed her name, took all her money out of the bank and leaves Florida for Cincinnati, where she just inherited a home from her grandmother. After being stalked by the man she put in prison for over a year.

The first night she arrives home, the key doesn’t work to the lock, so he heads back down the winding hill. Coming back the next day after getting the power turned on and the locks changed, Faith runs into what she thought was an animal, but soon realizes is a young, terrorized, horrified woman. Faith’s car goes over the embankment but she quickly climbs up the bank to make sure the woman is all right. Finally the cops get there.

When Deacon Novak arrives at the scene, he doesn’t know what to think. Faith brings out his primal instincts, but he knows she has to be on the suspect list until they can cross. Her off. After all, the victim seemed to come from her house as it was the only one between the accident site and her house. The only problem with the house is that someone has been using the basement as a torture chamber and no one has any idea.

They have multiple suspects; a stalker that may have followed her up from Florida. Two uncles that may have an ax to grind because she alone inherited the house. Or one of the uncles could be working with the stalker. Or it’s someone other than all three of them. All you do know is from the killer’s pov, he wants her dead. Badly.

Karen Rose writes some of the best sociopathic villains I’ve ever read. That’s part of the reason I can never put her books down. I’ve also been waiting to read Deacon Novak since he was first introduced in the books. Karen Rose does write some of the best suspense out there, but she also writes some of the best romantic suspense. Deacon and Faith were drawn to each other from the beginning. Deacon couldn’t help but want to protect Faith. As for Faith, as cheesy as it is, she feels an animal attraction to Deacon which is not like her at all. When you put all these elements together, there is nothing I didn’t like about the book. There is a lot of family stuff I left out, but suffice to say if you don’t read this book, you’re missing out.

Rating: 4.75 out of 5.

Cincinnati

four-half-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Shadow Woman by Linda Howard

Posted September 10, 2020 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Shadow Woman by Linda HowardReviewer: Rowena
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
Publisher: Ballantine
Publication Date: December 26, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
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three-stars

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From Linda Howard comes a thrilling and sensual new novel of romance, suspense, intrigue . . . and memories that can kill. SHADOW WOMAN  Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn’t recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else’s. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.   Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn’t a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.   Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn’t trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Linda Howard's Running Wild.
Praise for Shadow Woman  “Dazzling . . . From the opening line, [Shadow Woman] will grab readers and take them on an exhilarating and terrifying adventure!”—RT Book Reviews   “Fast-paced, intricately detailed romantic suspense . . . Readers won’t want to put it down until the extraordinary conclusion. . . . Highly recommended.”—Fresh Fiction   “An intriguing plot and captivating characters [with] lots of drama, tension, intrigue and suspense.”—The Star-Ledger

This review was originally posted on January 23, 2013.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book by Linda Howard.  I don’t even remember the last book that I read by Howard but whatever it was, I read it a while ago.  I was kind of wary going into this read because I read online that a chunk of readers were disappointed in this book and I also read that the hero and heroine don’t even come together (like talk to each other) until more than halfway through the book.  So yeah, I was scared to start this one.

Having read it from cover to cover now, I can say that the readers were right that the hero and heroine talk to each other (as love interests) for the first time at about the 70% mark on my Kindle copy.  But I wasn’t too mad about that, I was actually very interested in what was going on in the story that I didn’t mind too much.

This story takes place in DC and follows Lizette Henry as she tries to remember the life that brought her to where she is today.  She wakes up one morning and doesn’t recognize the face that is looking back at her in the mirror.  Things aren’t adding up to what she knows and she starts to remember how to do things that she can’t remember learning so a huge chunk of this book is trying to find out what happened to Lizette that brought her here and so on and so forth.

Lizette is known as Subject C to the people that are monitoring her.  Her entire life is bugged.  There isn’t a part of her life that isn’t carefully monitored and Lizette doesn’t have any idea why.  When flashbacks start coming in, Lizette starts relying on old habits that she doesn’t remember but knows how to do anyway.  When the bullets start flying, Liz is on her own until the guy that she’s been dreaming about, X shows up and at first she doesn’t trust him because he shows up with guns and he’s chasing her and blah blah blah but that changes after they finally talk.

I enjoyed this story but I will admit that it was really slow in the beginning.  It took me a while to really get into the story but by about the fifth or sixth chapter, things picked up and things got interesting.  I enjoyed the characters and I enjoyed the putting the puzzle pieces together.  This book was kind of like The Hangover, the Secret Service edition.  Lots of action, not a lot of romance but still an enjoyable read.  I would have liked to get to know Xavier a bit more but aside from that, this was a good read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

three-stars


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Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart

Posted August 6, 2020 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Guest Review: Shadow Lover by Anne StuartReviewer: Jen
Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: March 1, 1999
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 320
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three-half-stars

A woman holds vigil over her wealthy, dying step-mother. Tensions -- already high with greedy relatives appearing to claim their inheritances -- are further strained by the appearance of the dying woman's long-lost son, who ran away 18 years ago. His mother greets him with joy, the relatives with resentment, but the woman alone knows he is hiding something...that he is not who he says he is. As she uncovers secrets and deceptions of the past and present, she knows only one thing in her heart -- that the irresistible appeal and seductive power of this mysterious stranger may be more dangerous than she thinks!

This review was originally posted on January 30, 2014.

I’ll just get this out of the way now–this book is not going to work for everyone! It has some flaws, yet I found myself really enjoying it. It’s very gothic, which is something I love in romances. I get to enjoy the tension of “who is a good guy/gal here” while still knowing that the romance will be happy in the end. Honestly, when I started the book I was worried I had accidentally stumbled into a non-romance gothic. I genuinely wasn’t sure there was going to be a happy ending. Rest assured readers, there will be a happy resolution, even if the path to get there isn’t quite what you expected!

Carolyn has returned to the home of her wealthy foster mother Sally McDowell to care for her while she’s dying of lung cancer. The rest of the wealthy, disgusting family also takes up residence during the vigil. While Sally shows her a certain amount of affection, the rest of the family treats Carolyn as a poor relation, and even at the start of the book Carolyn fully intends to cut them all out of her life once Sally dies. The family is thrown into turmoil, however, when Alexander McDowell, Sally’s long lost son, shows up. The problem is, Carolyn knows it can’t be Alex because she alone saw Alex die over a decade ago. So who exactly is this man claiming to be Alex? Is he a con man trying to get money, or is there something more going on?

Carolyn and Alex have some interesting chemistry. Carolyn had been infatuated with the teenage Alex, even though he was an obnoxious, spoiled juvenile delinquent who acted horrible towards her. When he ran away at age 17 (and when she saw him get killed), she was devastated. Clearly there is a part of her that desperately wants to believe this man is the real Alex, and whoever he is she is still very attracted to him. Alex too is drawn to Carolyn against his better judgment. It created some of the great tension in the book, and it made their sexytimes a little more steamy than I expected. Alex, however, is kind of a dick, at least for much of the book. He’s smug, cocky, and selfish. These qualities definitely soften up later in the book, which made me question just how smug and cocky he really is, and what is all an act. Who is the real “Alex”? Part of what I enjoyed about this book was the complexities and mysteries of the characters! Some characters turn out to be much worse than they at first appeared, and others turn out better. I love this kind of psychological creepiness, rather than the supernatural creepiness gothic novels sometimes have.

But there are some things not to like here, too. As I said, Alex can be kind of off-putting and domineering, and Carolyn can be kind of a wet blanket. The book is a bit dated, which isn’t surprising given that this is a reissue. (The original was published in the late 90’s.) The book age wasn’t totally obvious, though–for the most part, nothing in the story jumps out as being out-of-touch, just not quite modern. There are some things that don’t make tons of sense, though. One of the biggest questions is why Carolyn would bend herself over backwards for this family in the first place. She is basically the daughter of a servant that Sally took in when she was 2 years old. Everyone in the book agrees that Carolyn was never treated like a real member of the family, always like a poor relation to be tolerated. Sally never adopts her and it’s very clear that she’s never really considered “family.” Carolyn had moved out and gotten her own life, but she quits her job, gives up her apartment, and moves back in to care for Sally even though she admits Sally’s love is cool and conditional. While the other relatives seem to be most concerned with Sally’s illness because of how it will affect their inheritance, Carolyn is only getting some sort of small stipend, not a huge chunk of money. The explanation given is that Carolyn never had a real family and therefore feels loyalty to the only one she has, even if it’s a lousy one, but that’s not a great reason in my mind, especially when the family is insanely rich and could afford the best care. There really was no logical reason for Carolyn to be there, but you have to just accept it and move on!

There were other problematic points too, though it’s difficult to go into detail without spoilers. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I don’t want to ruin them for anyone. I can say, though, that I still greatly enjoyed the book. The slightly unbelievable points didn’t overpower the mystery and the great atmosphere. If you enjoy gothic romances and are willing to overlook some mild unbelievability, I think this book would be a hit for you.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5.

three-half-stars


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