Published: 15th February 2016
Author: S. Yurvati
Hunky pheromone-laden-man meets pretty accident-prone female—it should have been a love story with a happy ever after ending.
However, when the bored deities choose Candy and Thorne for an amusing game, the gods/goddesses put forth sets of circumstances that can tear the couple apart and wound them deep within their human souls.
City girl, Candy wanted to become a successful artist and maybe someday find a man who would make her feel loved and valued, a feeling she’d never known while growing up. However, with a name like ‘Candy Cane’, males never failed to remind her with a wink and snicker, how it sounded like she was a ‘professional’. And ‘professional’ held so many connotations, none of which she had in mind regarding relationships with men.
With her father’s sudden demise, Candy finds she’s inherited funds and a carriage house in beautiful historic Savannah. Not only can she now afford to go to SCAD, her future as an artist looks promising. Unfortunately her step-mom (and her disturbing son Todd) resides in the main house. When Candy gets her first commission for a life-sized portrait of a beautiful woman from a rather unsettling man, she soon questions what had seemed coincidental.
Candy is a modest female who has always found solace in her artwork, whereas her widowed step-mom, Cherry Ann, considers physical pleasure and money as her measures of worth. And as Candy pursues her art, Cherry Ann pursues a new lover who expands her world of sexual gratifications far beyond past parameters. Cherry Ann finds her new risqué sex life to be addictive and doesn’t recognize the danger of the man she’s invited into her life.
After surviving a couple of ‘accidents’, Candy realizes someone apparently wishes her harm. When she’s chased (by the one thing she fears most) Candy accidentally, or so it seems, crosses into a new dimension, land or whatever. She finds herself in an unknown wilderness without resources, let alone a map, or GPS, plus she left her cell phone at home—again. Looking around she sees a curious terrain that is void of color, thus leaving the landscape looking like an old sepia photograph, hardly the Savannah spring day she’d left behind.
The artist in her wants to understand how primary colors could disappear to leave a land so colorless . . . so entirely beige-ish. How could such a phenomenal occurrence come about? A land without modern conveniences—almost as though she’d stepped into a time past, yet that wasn’t quite accurate either.
As Candy literally stumbles through the wild terrain, an intriguing hunter comes upon her. His presence makes her girlie parts beg to become ill behaved, and before she knows it, her hormones are arguing with her strict moral compass.
Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book with a tree on the cover.
So this story starts with a bit of a fantasy vibe with a God and Goddesses coming together seemingly to cause a bit of trouble for some unsuspecting people from different realms. You have the Moon Goddess Luna, Mother Earth Em and Sol the Sun God. They meet every few centuries perhaps to play a game because they are bored and wish to be amused. The game this year is to pit a mundane human from the techno-plane against one from the mystica-plane and then choosing the season and realm they will meet on. Luna knows how the others can be cruel so needs to be the one to pick the season and realm so she can keep measure of the rules. Spring on mystica realm in Ky-Portus, where the techno guy is from. Sol picks a guy from techno and Em picks a girl from mystica, Savannah. Let the games begin, even if it does take a little while to get there that is.
We first meet Candy at her father’s funeral along with her step-mom number two Cherry-Ann and her son Todd – who is a little on the creepy side for with how much he clings to his mother’s side. Always there, always watching. The funeral happens to be a fiasco right from the start. Let’s just say that the man of the hour makes a bit of a talking point. It’s at the wake that Candy meets Mark, someone who makes her feel a little uneasy but she doesn’t know why just yet. When you find out more you will understand why she would get those kinds of vibes from him.
Candy is an artist; she likes the clean, white, blank sheet that has possibilities attached to it with what can be drawn. Look forward, never back. A comfort blanket of sorts as it’s something within her control that she can look after. A coping mechanism as no-one ever really looked after her as a child. This is the skill that Mark wants her for by requesting she does a portrait for a historic home renovation. He has a photo of a woman, Rebecca, from around 1874 and thinks it is the perfect choice for her to paint. The money is good and so is the challenge to paint her, but is there more to the deal than meets the eye. For reasons unknown he feels like she might be a threat to him. Could it because of a secret he holds about who, or maybe what, he really is?
Candy might be a bit of a loner but when she clicks with someone you know that there are good vibes flowing. This goes without saying for her new tenant Liam, who is renting the apartment in the carriage house, which her father left her. Doesn’t take long for a friendship to be formed or for him to get her to go out on ghost tours that he guides. Good to find out fun interesting facts about Savannah but not so good to have strange accidents occur. Stones falling from buildings are one thing but a hit and run might just be the start of what is to come. He might have just met her but feels very protect and close to his friend. One lovely thing he does is getting her a kitten for her birthday. Seems this little kitten has a story to tell all of her own – even gets her own POV. Coco is on her ninth life and this time round has a mission to accomplish. Protect Candy at all costs, though that might be easier after they fall into another realm. What have they got themselves into?
Now at times I did feel like there were just too many POV’s going on, with some not really being that relevant to the story at all. I was fine with the God and Goddesses at the beginning as they set the scene for what’s to come. The pirate ghosts made for interesting reading as you are left wondering where they might fit in and how they knew what game might be being played on Candy. I also liked the introduction of Rebecca through her diary, which shows just what certain characters are really like. The thing is you then had POV’s from Candy, Liam, Mark, Joe, Cherry-Ann, Todd, the cat Coco, and then finally Thorne. Joe the good Samaritan wasn’t really needed at all and even Cherry-Ann and Todd could have just been left as characters within either Candy, Liam, Mark, or even Coco’s, POV’s. Cutting it down might have got the story flowing quicker to get to the part where Candy finally meets Thorne – which isn’t until the end of the book. Lot’s of crazy, creepy, disturbing things happen before getting to that point so hold on for the ride.
Candy getting to Thorne though is where the story picks up a bit and gets a little more interesting. She just happens to meet him after being chased by dogs and then falling into another realm, one that happens to be devoid of any colour at all. Leaves on a bit of a cliff hanger with the hint of what might be to come. With cutting everything down though the blurb would make a bit more sense as it talks about Candy and Thorne being together but it takes a while before they meet. Everything might make a bit more sense in part two as it might show how all the characters are needed or not. Questions are left unanswered but it does leave you wanting more to see how the game plays out.
Note: I do think the book should have a trigger warning on it due to abuse, gang rape, incest story line and anxiety featuring high throughout.
3 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.