Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance with paranormal elements from Adria J Cimino. CLOSE TO DESTINY is tumble through the metaphysical for a young woman rebuilding her life after surviving anorexia and multiple suicide attempts.
Catch my review below and enter to win a book from Ms. Cimino.
About the book:
Kat is struggling to get her life back together and put her anorexia and suicide attempts behind her. She must expel the mysterious inner demons that have plagued her for years, and patch up the rocky relationship with her fiancé.
But when she arrives in London for a therapeutic art project, an encounter with an enigmatic woman named Destiny upsets her views of reality and plunges her into a quest for the truth about her past—an astonishing past that reaches back well before her birth.
After midnight, Destiny leads Kat to extravagant parties at an eerie luxury hotel and introduces her to a man who seems to know her better than she knows herself. Kat tries to convince herself this is all part of a strange dream. But as evidence mounts suggesting otherwise, Kat is torn between fascination and fear.
Will Kat run away, or will she seize the fleeting opportunity to change her life and find true love?
Alternating between the reality of day and the mystery of night, Close to Destiny by best-selling author Adria J. Cimino is a magical realism story of déjà vu and righting past wrongs.
Katherine is a young woman whose life seems way too difficult. She’s struggled with anorexia, depression and suicidal ideation (and attempts) for the last several years. She’s worked with a therapist for some time, but feels as if she’s getting nowhere close to recovery. Her art therapy, however, seems to hold promise and she’s contacted by another therapist, Gwen, who works out of London and would like to display the charcoal drawings Kat’s made.
It’s as good an excuse as any Kat needs to leave her life behind for a bit. Recharge, restart, she imagines might occur. And time away from her emotionally distant, philandering fiancé is probably not a bad idea either.
From the start of her London adventure, Kat seems pulled into a separate world of the Grand East Hotel. Awakened by a nude woman in the middle of the night is the first of her unsettling experiences. When the same woman, calling herself Destiny, appears a couple nights later and drags pajama-clad Kat to a glamorous soiree, Kat isn’t sure what’s real and what’s in her head. Is this all a dream? A psychotic break? And what of Will, the man Destiny is determined for Kat to meet.
Is Will real? His kisses certainly are, but Kat’s easily overcome and unsure. The deeper Kat falls into the maze of her enchanted hotel, the more she cannot decipher the truth. The stately ballroom where her night time adventures always lead is far from the daylight reality. She meets some of her nighttime companions in the day–outside of the hotel even–but she can’t trust what they tell her. It can’t be real, this past lives intruding upon the present, can it? And then there’s her depression. It’s ebbing, the more time she spends with Destiny and Will.
As Kat struggles to make sense of the happenings around her, she learns that she’s strong enough to return to her former life. Or, is that yet another escape? Will and Destiny are convinced that Kat suffers from a haunting guilt due to poor decisions in another life. Could Will truly be the soulmate she was once denied?
This is an interesting romp through the psyche. Starting with a woman whose worldview is skewed and unreliable, was an excellent choice because it left me constantly guessing, like Kat, what was real. That had the (unintended perhaps) effect of keeping me constantly wary, however, and hampered my bonding with Kat. That said, I was able to get into the haunting aspects–because it seems there are some “ghostly” experiences to be had in this story. Again, it’s not clear if the visions Kat experiences are all in her mind, but the physical manifestations of those encounters has me leaning toward some true interaction with the spirit realm, some of which is clearly brokered by Destiny. It’s a curious book that ends with most of the questions answered and Kat on stable emotional ground for the first time in her adult life. I enjoyed the circuitous path, for all that the language is spare and the chapters short.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends.
About the Author:
Adria J. Cimino is the author of Amazon Best-Selling novel Paris, Rue des Martyrs and Close to Destiny, as well as The Creepshow (out in Spring 2016) and A Perfumer’s Secret (also out in Spring 2016). She also co-founded boutique publishing house Velvet Morning Press. Prior to jumping into the publishing world full time, she spent more than a decade as a journalist at news organizations including The AP and Bloomberg News. Adria is a member of Tall Poppy Writers, which unites bright authors with smart readers.
Adria writes about her real-life adventures on her website, and on Twitter. She lives in Paris with her husband Didier and daughter Phèdre. When she isn’t writing, you can find Adria at her neighborhood café watching the world go by or on Facebook.