Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance from Brenda Rothert. COME CLOSER is a story of a survivor who’s suffering PTSD and the doctor who reaches her–putting his own career on the line again.
About the book:
Sometimes appearances deceive. Take me, for instance. I look like a respectable doctor with his shit together, but the rural Montana mental hospital I work at is actually a sanctuary from my demons. At just thirty-five years old, I’ve already failed on an epic scale. Treating patients at Hawthorne Hill is part of my atonement.
I’ve found peace when a new patient turns me inside out. Allison Cole is a beautiful, haunted survivor who fell into silence after witnessing a murder. But even without words, I’m drawn to her. The closer we get, the more I’m tempted to cross my professional boundaries and give in to my desire.
Soon I find myself in a desperate race to put the pieces of Allison’s silence together. Her life becomes inextricably entwined with mine as I fight to save the second chance I never thought I’d have. I’ll break whatever rules I have to in order to protect this woman who’s been to hell and back. For her, I’ll do harm.
Daniel is the chief of staff at a private mental hospital in a remote location in Montana. It’s a nice place for people who have the funds. Allison arrives as a mute patient scarred by witnessing the brutal murder of her twin sister AVA, and hasn’t spoken in the month since that event.
As Allison tries to heal from the PTSD she’s confronted by the psychiatrist, Dr. Heaton, regarding the possibility of being complicit in Ava’s murder. Meanwhile, Ava’s been losing herself–and burying her grief–by getting lost in books. When no one can reach Allison, Daniel notices her reading habits and they begin communicating via book recommendations and notes. As the story goes on, we learn that Allison is the target of a search by Ava’s killer. She has details–besides being an eyewitness–that tie people well-known to Ava into several other murders, drug deals and big crimes. Daniel’s sure that Allison’s telling the truth, and he’s trying hard to protect her, but the threats are getting closer to their facility, and Daniel, a man who’s working his way back from losing his medical career already once–is putting everything on the line to keep Allison safe. And that’s not just because she’s his patient.
This is an intriguing romantic suspense novel that has really fantastic descriptions, and a pace that kept me turning the pages. The revelations about Ava and Allison’s history–and the ordeal that resulted in Ava’s murder–were well-written and felt authentic, not salacious or convenient. Daniel has a whole lot to lose if he’s caught up in another scandal–his medical license and visitation rights with his young son. The stakes are high for him, but Allison’s life is also in the balance, and it could be that employees of the mental hospital have motivations for keeping Allison sidelined. I also thought the discussions regarding Daniel’s career issues were well put-together and realistic.
I think readers will enjoy the twists, the slow-burn of romance and the mystery in this one. It’s not a typical romance, and that really caught my attention. I was rooting for Daniel and Allison to not only make a future together, but to survive the imminent danger, too.
About the Author:
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.