Monday, June 20, 2016

ARC Review: Into the Light by Aleatha Romig

Series:     The Light #1
Pub. Date:June 14, 2016
Publisher:Thomas & Mercer
Length:354 pages
Source:NetGalley

Oy. This book. This mindfecking book. I had to ruminate on it for a few days before writing my review. It kinda freaked me out! So let me start out by saying that this is not really a romance book. It's a dark story. A thriller with a twisty dysfunctional relationship. Aleatha is really good at writing these twisty books that make you question yourself and, for me, this one evoked similar feelings to Consequences.

This series is about a cult known as The Light. People in The Light follow Father Gabriel and his teachings. It seems that people who have gone into The Light are rechristened with Biblical names. (Life before the cult is known as being in The Dark.) I'm not sure what Father Gabriel's teachings were... other than that women are subservient to the men. The women in The Light are not allowed to question men, particularly the elders, or else they will suffer "correction" from their husband. Not all cult members come into the cult willingly, so two of the cult's campuses are in uber-remote areas. The bulk of the story takes place at the cult's northern campus in the far north of Alaska.

The leading female of this story has been rechristened Sara. She has been "acquired" by the cult and given to one of the Assemblymen as his wife. Sara only remembers waking up in a hospital with no memory of who she is or was. She has to trust what everyone is telling her, particularly her husband, even if she has no memory of these people and things don't quite feel right to her. What follows is Sara being indoctrinated into the cult and their way of thinking... all the while they are making her think she has always been there and is just not remembering. This part was so FREAKY!  I felt like I was the one being indoctrinated at times. I really got sucked into Sara's character and this whole situation.

Sara's husband in The Light was Jacob. He is former military, and now serves The Light as a pilot flying Father Gabriel around in a cushy private plane, making deliveries and supply runs. I'm not going to say much about Jacob's character because I think the reader needs to work out the conflict with his character on their own. I struggled with him quite a bit, and it didn't just have to do with the deception and his correction of Sara. There are other circumstances in play that make you question things throughout the book. I had a lot of "is he or isn't he" moments.

The plot line was fantastic. I am really curious what kind of inside information or research Aleatha did for the cult aspect. Because if all of that came out of her head... she has a dark and twisty brain! The indoctrination part was so detailed and captivating that I could not stop reading. I have been a fan of this author for quite a while, but I was newly impressed with this book. There is somewhat of a cliffhanger, so I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Thomas & Mercer via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About the Author



Aleatha Romig is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives in Indiana. She grew up in Mishawaka, graduated from Indiana University, and is currently living south of Indianapolis. Aleatha has raised three children with her high school sweetheart and husband of nearly thirty years. Before she became a full-time author, she worked days as a dental hygienist and spent her nights writing. Now, when she's not imagining mind-blowing twists and turns, she likes to spend her time a with her family and friends. Her other pastimes include reading and creating heroes/anti-heroes who haunt your dreams!

Aleatha released her first novel, CONSEQUENCES, in August of 2011. CONSEQUENCES became a bestselling series with five novels and two companions released from 2011 through 2015. The compelling and epic story of Anthony and Claire Rawlings has graced more than half a million e-readers. Aleatha released the first of her series TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE, INSIDIOUS, in the fall of 2014. These stand alone thrillers continue Aleatha's twisted style with an increase in heat.

In the fall of 2015, Aleatha moved head first into the world of dark romance with the release of BETRAYAL, the first of her five novel INFIDELITY series. She also began her traditional publishing career with Thomas and Mercer. Her books INTO THE LIGHT and AWAY FROM THE DARK will be published through this mystery/thriller publisher in 2016.

Aleatha is a "Published Author's Network" member of the Romance Writers of America and represented by Danielle Egan-Miller of Browne & Miller Literary Associates.



Excerpt


Jacob leaned over me, his chest flattening my breasts. With our proximity in the darkened room, I could only make out his form, his shoulders, arms, and the silhouette of his hair against some distant faint light. There were no details. Hearing his familiar voice, without seeing his unfamiliar eyes, eased my anxiety. He smoothed the hair away from my face and kissed my nose. “We both follow Father Gabriel. You aren’t the only one who must obey the rules. I can’t question why you lost those memories any more than you can question me. All I can do is hold tight to the memories I have of us, for both of us. Even though you don’t remember my face, I remember yours.” He traced under my eyes, wiping away the remnants of tears. “I remember your beautiful blue eyes, the way they open with amazement at new discoveries and the way they flutter as you come apart beneath me.” He was back to stroking my hair. “I remember the first time we made love and every time since. 

“I remember the first time I saw you, the first time I heard your voice, and”—he brushed his lips against mine—“the first time I kissed you.” He scoffed, “It wasn’t supposed to happen, but I couldn’t resist. I knew you were mine from the first time I saw you, even if you didn’t.” 

His memories gave me a sliver of my past. “I didn’t?” 

“No, not then. You were dating someone else.” 

“What? That was before we were here, right?” 

“Yes, it was before everything.” 

He sighed and laid his head back on his pillow. I was afraid he’d stop talking, yet more scared to ask him to continue. Thankfully, he didn’t stop, but when he resumed speaking, his voice had a faraway tone, as if he was seeing it all again. 

“You were laughing, and I thought you were one of the prettiest women I’d ever seen. You have a great laugh.” He reached for my hand and intertwined our fingers. “I know this crash course in remembering how to be an Assemblyman’s wife hasn’t given you many opportunities for laughter. That’s why I want your memories to come back. Sometimes it seems like we’re back at the beginning. I want to be beyond that . . .” He was back up with his elbow beside me and his head on his hand. Looking down at me, he continued, “To where you laugh instead of cry.” 

“I’m sorry.” 

He touched my lips. “To where you’re not constantly apologizing.” 

I kissed his finger. “I’d like that too, but you have to admit, this hasn’t been easy. I mean my eyes, leg, and ribs. I’ve just gotten my sight back. We’ve been banished, and my hair is gone.” 

“I do.” He exhaled. “I admit that it’s been a rough few weeks, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.” 

“The Light?” I asked with a smirk. 

“Yes. See? It’s something everyone wants.”