Alyssa Matthews works at ‘weird central’ for the Institute of Paranormal Research Cambridge (sounds fancy, doesn’t it?) as a researcher for the past two years. She’s a workaholic who has one friend (sounds sad, doesn’t it?) She’s decides to take on a new assignment and write a story about an old case, Cain Andrew. Years ago, he died from burns resulting from Spontaneous Human Combustion (sounds real, doesn’t it?) I’m can’t say that I’m a fan of this type of paranormal story but I appreciate the story telling for what it is, and as this is my first read from this author, so I was really looking forward to it.
Folks, this is a dark tale. there are really scary (to me) monsters at night and death all around. There are some light moments that added a nice blend and those really kept me going. Alyssa is very much a loner, she was an orphan at a young age, grew up in foster care, and didn’t create any social connections at all during her childhood. After aging out of the system, she finds a home to invest in and meets her neighbor and only friend, Greg.
During her investigation of Cain, Alyssa finds herself questioning her sanity. She begins to lose it – what’s real and what’s part of her nightmare. But through it all she finds herself falling in love with Cain because he offers comfort and protections from the boogey man. I thought Alyssa was a great character and the pacing of her development was well done. I don’t think that she ever became what I would consider well-rounded, but she’s able to socially function. (*spoiler*) I had a big problem with was Alyssa’s decision that suicide was her only choice to be with the one she loved. I really didn’t see that coming at all and I definitely didn’t agree.
Cain’s existed in an alternate plane where he was able to have knowledge of the present and the past, but not the future. I thought this was an interesting way to handle his non-human existence and still have him be an active member in the story. Along with that, there were some characters, especially Nathaniel, that I thought had very interesting stories to tell.
I must admit that I didn’t quite understand Cain and his reasons for choosing goth as his chosen expression. He’s 33 for goodness sake, maybe I just think of goth as a teenage/young adult genre. But I digress. For me that didn’t take away from the story, I would have just liked to know a little more his background and why he made the choices he did. His selfish actions to finesse his musical career were a little too much for me, considering he starting dealing in witchcraft and dark forces while not knowing the repercussion of his actions (sounds scary, doesn’t it?) Like I said, this is a dark tale.
There was a single sex scene in the story and it didn’t tickle my fancy at all (not one bit – no way, no how) even though it was appropriate for the time and place. It actually gave me the willies a little bit.
If you like ‘em dark and HEA this is the one for you!
*Book provided by author for review
Last Regressby Rachael ThorneRelease Date: July 15, 2012