The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Published:  May, 2018

5Stars

 

 

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware is a psychological thriller.

My Synopsis:
Harriet Westaway, known as Hal on The West Brighton Pier where she has a booth to read tarot cards, is in debt. She’s in debt to a loan shark, and has no idea how she is going to repay him. She can’t even afford her rent and utilities. When she gets a letter from a lawyer asking her to come to Penzance because her grandmother has passed and left her an inheritance, Hal is confused. She knows she is not the person that they are looking for. But, the pull of extra money is strong. If she could get enough to get her out of debt, with a little left over to start fresh….

So Hal, although nervous about lying to these people, goes to her “Grandmother’s” funeral, and then back to a rather creepy estate that is still probably worth a small fortune. The old house is being run by Mrs. Warren, who seems to have it out for Hal the moment she arrives, until Hal realizes she is this way with everyone. Hal’s inheritance may be a little bigger than anticipated. But her “relatives” may be a problem. What she finds is a family torn apart by anger and secrets and lies. Hal finds that deceiving these people is not who she is, but trying to get out from under her con is not so easy. While she attempts to step away, she finds herself drawn in closer. When she starts to realize that her mother actually did have something to do with this family, she decides to delve deeper. What she finds shocks even herself.

My Opinions:
Ruth Ware is such a talented author. Her characters are always deep, and even the house at Trepassen seems to be a character in this one. Ware’s plots are always well thought out, and the writing so smooth. Part of the story is told through a diary, which is interesting. The suspense kept building, and the twists kept you guessing to the end.

This book is about siblings, family, lies and secrets. This one felt like a gothic novel by Agatha Christie. I absolutely loved this book.

Read: July, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from The Death of Mrs. Westaway:

““The people who came to her booth were seeking meaning and control – but they were looking in the wrong place. When they gave themselves over to superstition, they were giving up on shaping their own destiny.” 

“Touching wood, crossing fingers, counting magpies—they were lies, all of them. False promises, designed to give the illusion of control and meaning in a world in which the only destiny came from yourself.”

“One for sorrow
Two for joy
Three for a girl
Four for a boy
Five for silver
Six for gold
Seven for a secret
Never to be told.”  (old English nursery rhyme — counting the Magpies is said to foretell the future)

 

Ruth Ware c Gemma Day About the Author:  Ruth Ware (1977 – ) is the best-selling author of psychological thrillers.  Before dedicating herself to full-time writing, Ruth worked as a waitress, a bookseller,  a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England.

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The Nightmare by Lars Kepler (#2 Joona Linna)

The Nightmare

The Nightmare by Lars Kepler

Publishing: September 25, 2018 by Knopf Doubleday

Originally Published: 2010

4stars

 

Previous Book in the Series: #1 – The Hypnotist

The Nightmare by Lars Kepler is the 2nd in the Detective Joona Linna series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Series Background (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books):
Homicide Detective Joona Linna works for the National Criminal Investigation Department in Sweden. His father was a policeman who was killed on the job when Joona was 12, so he was raised by his mother. After his military service as a paratrooper, he was recruited into Special Operations, and qualified for special training in the Netherlands in mixed close combat, innovative weaponry, and urban guerrilla warfare. He is respected by his peers, and somewhat envied, but considered stubborn, and somewhat aloof. His need to be “right” is a strange quirk. His crime solve rate is high, probably because of his empathy. He can understand, but not condone, the criminal mind, and anticipates the perpetrators moves. He is driven, driven to keep going until the crime is solved. He suffers from a rare form of migraine, but refuses to take the drug when he is working a case, since it makes him drowsy.

My Synopsis: 
When a young woman is found on a yacht floating in the harbor, it seems strange that the cause of death is drowning, because her clothes are dry.  With the dead woman’s sister and her sister’s boyfriend missing, Joona insists on being part of this case.  It quickly becomes obvious that the wrong woman was murdered.  That means Penelope and her boyfriend Bjorn are still out there, being hunted. Penelope is chairperson of the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society.  Who would want a peace lover killed? 

Meanwhile, Carl Palmcrona, who makes the final decisions regarding arms exports for Sweden, is found hanging from his bedroom ceiling.  It is a suicide, but how could he have hung the noose, as there was nothing for him to stand on.  Another puzzle.  When the two are finally linked, the net will be wide.

Saga Bauer is a detective with the Security Police who specializes in counterterrorism.  She will work closely with Joona to solve these crimes.

My Opinions:  
I read this book many, many years ago, but when offered the ebook through NetGalley, I am hooked all over again.  I had forgotten how good these books are.  Joona Linna is in a class all by himself. I love the way his mind works. I know Saga Bauer has her own series, but I had not read them, so I loved the fact that the authors brought her into this one…of course, now I have another series I’ll have to look into.  I’m okay with that.

The book is fairly long, but the pace is fast.  A lot of action, and a lot of suspense.  It is written using different points of view, so that you know what is going on with each main character, without any confusion as to timelines.  (You just want Joona or Saga to get there on time).

I love the characters that Kepler creates…not just Joona and Saga.  I loved the integrity of Alex, the naivety of Beverly, the insanity of Raphael, and the love of a mother for her daughters.  We are also learning a bit more about Joona’s background, and his rather strained relationship with his girlfriend Disa.

It was a good book, and I’m looking forward re-reading the next!

Re-Read: August 2018

Favorite Quotes from The Nightmare:

“Dying isn’t such a nightmare, the tall woman had said with a smile.”

“Axel leans back and thinks about Palmcrona’s words about “pulling an Algernon,” and dying without having to see his nightmare come true.”

 

About the Authors: Lars Kepler is a pseudonym for the husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril (b. 1966) and Alexander Ahndoril (b. 1967), best known for the Detective Joona Linna series which has sold over 12 million copies in 40 countries.  They  married in 1994 and have three daughters together. They live in central Stockholm. The name Lars is a homage to the great Swedish author Stieg Larsson, and Kepler from the German scientist Johannes Kepler.

 

 

Dark Water by Tricia Tyler (#1 Evangeline Broussard)

Dark Water

Dark Water by Tricia Tyler

 Publishing: September 24, 2018 by Entangled Publishing LLC

 4stars

 

Dark Water by Tricia Tyler is the 1st in the Psychic Evangeline Broussard series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Entangled Publishing LLC, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
FBI Special Agent Nick Garrison is on medical leave, but a friend who is currently deployed in Afghanistan asks him to visit his home town of Barfleur Louisiana to help his brother try and solve the case of a couple of missing women. Nick is happy to help. But when Detective Remy Boudreaux enlists the help of his cousin, Nick’s dander rises.

Evangeline Broussard is a psychic, and whether Nick likes it or not, she will be assisting in this case. He will have to put his past experience, his doubts and his distrust of psychics on the back burner. Even though he is suspicious of her gifts, their physical attraction to one another cannot be denied. Soon his protective instincts take over, and Nick finds that he doesn’t want to leave her side.

Meanwhile, Evie is struggling. She realizes that the missing women have one thing in common…they all have psychic abilities, and that means that Evie is now on the list of potential victims. She sees the killer in her dreams, and tries to connect with him, only to have him fight back. She is left exhausted. Nick’s emotions are overwhelming her, and her abilities seem to be at a standstill.

My Opinions:
I am not a romance reader, but the paranormal aspect of the book interested me. I didn’t have a problem with the sex scenes, and to be honest, the romance actually added to the overall plot of the book. However, at times I felt that the romance should have taken a backseat to the actual murders….but that could be me.

The writing was good, the plot and characters were captivating, and although I guessed who the perpetrator was early on, there was enough happening to keep things interesting.

For a debut novel, I really thought Tricia Tyler did well. I am also hoping for a second book to follow Evie, and her gifts.

 

Read: September, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Dark Water:

“Just remember this…no outcome is written in stone. Every choice you make has the potential to change the future.”

“Fate could sometimes be a bitch with PMS. This was one of those times.”

 

Tricia  Tyler About the Author:  (From her website) Tricia Tyler is an American author, born and raised in Arizona, but now living on the east coast. When she’s not writing or trying to corral her large family, she can be found longing for warm sunny days and a touch of the west.

The Proposal by S.E. Lynes

The Proposal

The Proposal by S.E. Lynes

 Publishing: September 21, 2018 by Bookouture

4stars

 

The Proposal by S.E. Lynes is a psychological thriller.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
Romance author Pippa Gates craves love. Divorced, living on her own, teacher by day, writer by night, she is looking for love wherever she can find it. Between the alcohol, the lovers, the overall poor behaviour, she is miserable, and having problems writing her second novel. Her best friend, Marlena, worries about her. When Pippa invites a door-to-door salesman, also an ex-con, into her home to hear his story, Pippa knows she has a best-seller on her hands. Marlena, knows she has a problem. Pippa doesn’t, and defends Ryan Marks at every turn. He makes her laugh, he makes her a better writer, he makes her feel alive. He also scares her a little.

Ryan Marks is sure he has found his soul-mate in Pippa, and he intends to make her realize it too. His secrets are there for her to discover, whenever she is ready.  He is patient, and is sure Pippa will come around.

Even when Pippa realizes she may have a stalker on her hands, she can’t really let him go.

My Opinions:
The story is told through Pippa’s blog, her personal journal, and initially a few tape recordings from Ryan. The book starts out with her personal journal, and the audience hears that if we are reading this, she is probably dead. What a great start to a book, and a great way to tell the story!

I do, however, have to admit two things. I am not a romance reader, so part of the book did not appeal. The second thing is that after that great start, the book leveled out for me for a while, moved a little slow, and then at some point, I didn’t even realize I was anxious to turn the page. That’s what made it good.

The author created a weak, self-destructive protagonist, that I didn’t particularly care for.  Pippa’s decisions were atrocious. Actually, I didn’t like any of the characters, but that didn’t really matter. The author took me on a roller-coaster ride, and I was always looking around the corner to see what was next.

The story is rather dark, and I think both Stockholm Syndrome and mental illness play a big part, which makes it rather sad. The manipulation was almost scary.

As always, Lynes nailed the suspense! Can’t wait to see where she takes us next!

 

Read:September: 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from The Proposal:

“The most beautiful love story ever written is Romeo and Juliet. Why? Because it ends before either can disappoint the other. Because it ends, amidst love’s glorious beginning, in death.”

“If you want love, find someone whose madness is compatible with your own. Where there is repulsion, there is attraction; where there is hate, there is love, and so on.”

 

S.E. Lynes

About the Author: SE Lynes is a British author who worked as a reporter, researcher and finally a producer at the BBC before moving with her husband, Paul, and two young children to Rome. After her third child, she returned to the UK, and now spends her time writing and lecturing.

 

The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman

The Fireman by Joe Hill

 Published: May, 2016 by William Morrow

5Stars

 

The Fireman by Joe Hill is an apocalyptic horror novel.

My Synopsis:
The world is changing. A deadly virus is spreading rapidly. Medically it is called Draco Incendia Trychophyton, but everyone just calls it “dragonscale”. This spore invades the body, creating a pattern of black and gold lines on the skin. Quite beautiful to see, until you burst into flames. It is highly contagious. The government of course, starts fighting back, killing anyone who is infected.

Harper Grayson is a very compassionate nurse at the local hospital. She always wished her life would be like a Disney movie, preferably Mary Poppins. It didn’t work out that way. When the hospital burns to the ground, and by the time she realizes she is infected, she is already pregnant. Her husband cannot believe that Harper refuses to live up to their pact. They were supposed to both commit suicide if they got infected, and go out together. Jakob doesn’t understand why Harper wants to live. He moves out, and eventually turns into a worse threat than the Dragonscale. He becomes part of the Cremation Crew, seeking out and killing all the infected.

Harper joins a small group of people, led by The Fireman, who have created a sanctuary, and learned to control their flames by becoming harmonious with them. The Fireman has taken things a bit further, and has learned to harness his fire, using it to protect the people, or to defend them when necessary.

But even within the sanctuary, there are rifts, and these escalate as fast as their flames ignite.

Harper has one goal. To stay alive long enough to give birth to her baby. To do this, she will have to learn to control the flames within, and to try to stay in harmony with the group. This will be harder as the days move on.

But there is hope…there is supposedly an island off the coast of Maine that has been doing research into the virus, and where all the infected are going. If only it is true…..

My Opinions:
I loved this book. I’ve had it for a while, and couldn’t quite get past the first chapter, kept putting it aside. Picked it up this time, and could barely put it down. I loved the characters, Grayson with her calmness under stress, the Fireman with his enormous ego, Renee with her books…..

Joe Hill is a very talented writer, and this book was reminiscent of ….okay his father. Sorry Joe, but you got your talent from somewhere. But Hill definitely added his own style to this. The humor was great! I also loved how he compared things to other books. There was mention of Mary Poppins, Narnia, Dumbledore, Sirius Black, and included some of King’s characters as well, including Tom Gordon, and a few plays on names from The Stand (Harold Cross, and Frances being Harper’s second name). These were little touches, but it made me smile everytime I saw one.

The whole premise of the book was good, and Hill made you think….about government control, about fanatics, about like-minded thinking…..about families, love, harmony…

Joe Hill is a story-teller….and a good one!

Read: July 2018

Favorite Quotes from The Fireman:

“There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out.”

“The hens are clucking. Harper thought it would be a toss-up, which term for women she hated more: bitch or hen. A hen was something you kept in a cage, and her sole worth was in her eggs. A bitch, at least, had teeth.”

“Harper weighed this notion in her mind.  Ash that could think,  and flame that lived, and a spore that could swap impulses and memories with the human mind.”

 

Joe Hill

About the Author:  Joe Hill, ( June 4, 1972 –  ),was born Joseph Hillstrom King.   He is the #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The FiremanNOS4A2Heart-Shaped Box, and Horns (which was made into a feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe). His book of short stories, 20th Century Ghosts, won the Bram Stoker Award and British Fantasy Award for Best Collection. 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

 Publishing: September 21, 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark

5Stars

 

The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Scott Turton is a mystery novel. Interesting that the book was originally titled The 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, but there was a conflict in the U.S. with another book, so we now have 7 ½ Deaths. Either way, poor Evelyn just keeps dying.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Sourcebooks Landmark, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Synopsis:
Evelyn Hardcastle is going to die tonight at the ball, and every night for the next 8 nights, unless Aiden Bishop can solve her murder.

Every day, Aiden wakes up in a different body (host), and gets to see the day unfold from different perspectives. He gets the opportunity to learn more about the other guests and servants at Blackheath Hall. In this way, he hopes to find the murderer before Evelyn dies for good. But every night at 11pm, Evelyn dies.

All of his hosts have some strange quirks, and some are outright nasty, but he is determined to use what they know to solve this murder. Unfortunately, there are other “rivals” trying to do the same thing. There are also two unknown characters, known as the Plague Doctor, and the footman. When he meets Anna, he agrees to work with her so that they can both leave together. Aiden is not sure who to trust. All he knows is that whoever solves Evelyn’s murder gets to leave Blackheath. Aiden really wants to leave, but he is starting to wonder how many times this cycle has been repeated?

My Opinions:
Well, this was really different….really good. I think that the atmosphere that Turton created at Blackheath made you feel like you were in an Agatha Christie mystery, and the plot was a little like Groundhog Day. Overall, it was great!

I admit to being a trifle confused at the beginning, and then I “got it”. (Sometimes it pays to read the blurb about the book just a little closer.)

For a debut novel, I was really impressed. The organizational skills required by the author to produce this book must have been monumental. (I’m picturing wall after wall of charts). It was deep, well-thought out, and the twists kept coming. It was great how you got to put things together as Aiden did, and occasionally I was ahead, but often behind.

Highly recommend this book, but go in with your thinking cap on, and pay attention!

 

Read: August, 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle:

“How lost do you have to be to let the devil lead you home?”

“It’s like I’ve been asked to dig a hole with a shovel made of sparrows.”

“I’m saying every man is in a cage of his own making,”

“If this isn’t hell, the devil is surely taking notes.”

(I could go on and on….)

 

About the Author:  Stuart Turton is a British author who has a degree in English and Philosophy.  Past jobs include stocking shelves in a bookshop, teaching English in Shanghai, and he’s now a freelance journalist.  This is his first novel. 

Perfect Girls by Alison James (#3 Rachel Prince)

Perfect Girls (Detective Rachel Prince #3)

Perfect Girls by Alison James

 Publishing: Sept 18, 2018 by Bookouture

4stars

 

Previous Book in the Series: #2 – Now She’s Gone

Perfect Girls by Alison James is the 3rd in the Detective Rachel Prince Series.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Bookouture, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Series Background (Warning – May contain spoilers from previous books):
DI Rachel Prince is a Detective with the NCA (National Crime Agency), which includes Interpol, so she is often sent to other countries to investigate or liaise with their police forces. She has recently been divorced (although they had been separated for 17 years), and she has also recently met her son Joe, who she gave up for adoption as a newborn. Her romantic relationships with men are ridiculous. She works with DS Mark Brickall, who seems to be rather flippant about his job, but I think he would easily risk his life for her.

My Synopsis:
Rachel has her DCI promotion assessment coming up, but when the opportunity to go to California to liaise with the local police on a case arises, she jumps at the chance. Apparently a young woman from the UK was found dead under suspicious circumstances.

She meets with the Washington, DC Interpol agent to go over the case, and then it’s off to Los Angeles, where the family of UK born Phoebe Stiles has landed, and they want some answers. When Rachel finds another similar case in San Diego, she starts looking for things to link the two victims. Although the L.A. police quickly arrest Phoebe’s boyfriend, Rachel doesn’t think he committed the crime. Eventually she is called back to England, but she can’t get the case out of her mind. When her boss refuses to let her go back to the States, she takes time off work and goes on her own. Criss-crossing the country, Rachel is finding more clues, and keeps getting closer to the perpetrator…until she gets too close.

My Opinions:
Each book in this series gets better. Although I’m not impressed with Rachel’s choice in men, she is starting to grow on me. She’s a little headstrong, and refuses to back down, even when ordered. I am also starting to like Mark Brickall, as I see, in this book in particular, that his heart is in the right place. The author is developing her characters quite well.

This was a really fast paced book, and a quick read. The plot was good, and everything held together well.

I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series!

Read: September 2018

Favorite Quote from Perfect Girls:

“‘People will think we’re having sex. Only even at my best I don’t think I’ve ever made anyone scream like that.”

 

About the Author: Alison James is a British author who studied languages at Oxford, then became a journalist, author, paralegal, commercial copywriter, a TV storyliner, and has now returned to writing.

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson (#13 – Women’s Murder Club)

Unlucky 13 (Women's Murder Club, #13)

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

 Published: May 2014

3stars

 

Previous Book in the Series: 12th of Never

Unlucky 13 by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro is the 13th in the Women’s Murder Club series.

Series Background:
The cast of the Murder Club includes: Lindsay Boxer, Homicide Detective; Claire Washburn, Medical Examiner; Yuki Castellano, Assistant District Attorney; and Cindy Thomas, Reporter. These ladies come together to fight crime “after-hours”, and often at a favorite restaurant called Susie’s.

My Synopsis:
Lindsay and her partner, are investigating “belly bombs”, where people are swallowing capsules which, when mixed with the acid in their stomachs, explode. They all seem to originate from one particular fast-food chain.

Cindy is trying to track down Mackie Morales, a mass murderer, who had once infiltrated their group, and escaped. Mackie blames Lindsay for the loss of her lover.

Yuki and Brady are on their honeymoon on a cruise ship to Alaska…which starts out wonderful, but ends …

My Opinions:
Everything seemed a little over-the-top in this one…”belly bombs”, pirates, and of course, a blast from the past.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy these books (I’m still reading them), but they have no real depth. However, it’s a fast easy read, which everyone needs from time to time.

 

Re-Read: July 2018

 

About the Authors: 

 James Patterson is one of the bestselling writers of all time, with more than 350 million books sold worldwide.  His lifelong passion for books and reading led him to launch a website, ReadKiddoRead.com, which helps parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians find the very best children’s books for their kids.  Each year, The Patterson Family Foundation awards scholarships to students at over 20 different colleges and universities around the country.

Maxine Paetro is a novelist and journalist, who lives in New York.  She has collaborated with James Patterson on a number of his Women’s Murder Club novels.

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Give Up the Ghost

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Published: December 2015 by Crewe Morris Creative

3stars

 

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe is a paranormal novel aimed at the YA crowd.

First, let me thank the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis:
Cass McKenna is in her last year of high school. 4 years ago, her older sister drowned. That was when Cass first started seeing and talking with the dead. She found them much better friends than “breathers”. Due to a major falling-out with her childhood bestie, Cass doesn’t have a whole lot of living friends, and she isn’t really trying for any reconciliations. With the help of a couple of ghosts that hang out at her school, Cass has been finding out the dirt about her classmates, and throwing it back in their faces. She’d earned quite the reputation until Tim came along. Tim lost his mom, is struggling with his loss, and thinks Cass may be able to help him.  Cass reluctantly agrees, but she may be getting in over her head.

My Opinions:
My reading preferences are all over the place, and I often pick up something aimed at the YA crowd when I need some light reading (usually after something pretty deep, as in this case). I usually enjoy them immensely. This was a good book, but it didn’t quite resonate with me.

Teenage angst, parental disagreements, and personal loss, all play big parts in this book, but something was missing. I also didn’t particularly like the fact that the protagonist used her gift to take revenge on people. It seemed like a petty, cruel thing to do.

However, the book is a fast, easy read. It wasn’t spectacular, and the characters were quite shallow, but the writing was good, and the premise interesting. Overall, it wasn’t a bad book, just maybe a little too light for me.

I have read Crewe’s “Ruthless Magic” and enjoyed it immensely, so I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.

 

Read: June 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Give Up the Ghost:

“The things people did only when they thought they were alone, the secrets whispered between friends, all the dirt no one wanted dug up: the dead saw it and heard it.”

“For a guy who had claimed not to be a stalker, he sure knew the tricks of the trade.”

 

Megan Crewe

 

About the Author:  Megan Crewe is a Canadian author living in Toronto with her husband and son. She tutors special needs children and teens.  Her novels focus on the YA crowd, in the supernatural/fantasy/sci-fi genres.

Cara’s Asylum by Elsa Harrow

Cara's Asylum

Cara’s Asylum by Elsa Harrow

Published: April 5, 2018 by Black Rose Writing

StarStarStar

 

Cara’s Asylum by Elsa Harrow is the story of a young girl sent to a mental institution.

First, let me thank NetGalley, the publisher Black Rose Writing, and of course the author, for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis:
Carmen Brown (Cara) is 16, when she is dropped off at Calm Springs by her father. She is about to turn things upside down in this facility where mostly elderly patients live out their lives, medicated as needed. Cara has had a rough up-bringing, learning about sex at an age where she should have been out playing, instead of helping her mother make ends meet anyway she could. Cara has learned to speak her mind. She doesn’t sugar-coat anything, and expects the same from others.

Alec is an intern, a few years older than Cara, studying to be a psychiatrist. He is the first to greet her upon her arrival at the Institute, and immediately gets attached to this very vulnerable girl. He pleads to be her caregiver, because he desperately wants to help her.

Almost from the beginning, there is an emotional and physical connection between Cara and Alec, which he fights to keep control of. As well, her insistence on honesty at all times, and her unending questions, leads Alec down a path he didn’t want to visit. He may have to deal with his own past if he has any hope of helping Cara.

My Opinions:
The premise of this book was good, very good. Unfortunately, it fell flat. It lacked depth, was just unrealistic, and a tad creepy.

My Rant – I am not a romance reader, and there should not have been romance in this book anyway. This is about a young girl sent to a mental institution (whether she should be there or not). The thought of such intimacy between a Caregiver and his young patient is atrocious. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t sleep together, the whole idea of their closeness, hugs, hand-holding, caresses, makes a mockery of a true Mental Institution. It would simply not be allowed to happen, and yes, it’s fiction, but fiction should at least have a ring of truth to it. Do you really think a 16-year old patient would be allowed to sleep in the bed of her caregiver? This just made me angry. Alec should have been fired, and the Institution held accountable.

That whole angle of their close relationship just took away from what could have been a very good book. Both Cara and Alec had issues to work through, there was no reason to put them in a romantic relationship. Okay, enough said, I’m calm.

Moving on. The book ended rather abruptly, almost like the author had a limited amount of time or words, and she’d hit her limit, or because the relationship between Cara and Alec ended, it was time to end the book?

However, if you take away the relationship issues that I had between the two main characters, the premise is good. Two people helping each other. I also thought the writing was very good for a debut novel, as well as the dialog. So overall, I have given stars based on those things.

Needless, to say, this book was not for me. I am sure others will like it, it just wasn’t me.

 

Read: August 2018

 

Favorite Quotes from Cara’s Asylum:

“Alec laughed. “I don’t know about that. How can I think of babies before I think of a wife? How can I think of a wife before I think of the future? How can I think of the future when I’m still caught in my past?”

““It was hard to see someone die mentally. Physical habitation is nothing if the mind is off in foreign matters.”

“You can’t silence an insane person, nor can you tame a sane one.”

 

About the Author:  Unfortunately, I could not really find much on this new author.