Friday, October 19, 2012

Hyde by Lauren Stewart

Book 1
by Lauren Stewart

My Rating: A-

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Off the Hook Publishing

ISBN: 9780988170100

Number of pages: 389
Word Count: 105,000

Book Description:
To survive, they must embrace what they most despise . . . in themselves and each other.
Mitch Turner is everything women want most in a man—charismatic, successful, drop-dead gorgeous. Except he’s not a man—he’s a monster.
The only way Mitch can protect others from his monstrous side is to stop them from getting too close…that and a 7x7 foot cage. Isolated by his genetic curse, he spends his life hurting people emotionally, driving them away before Hyde can harm them physically. But, after a night of the best sex Mitch has ever had, he realizes that might be impossible. Except the woman he wakes up with claims she doesn’t remember any of it.
Eden Colfax is everything men want most, men other than Mitch, that is. She’s kind, honest to a fault and sickeningly sweet. To rid herself of the monsters that haunted her broken childhood, Eden doesn’t lie, doesn’t curse, and definitely never wakes up naked in strangers’ beds…until the day she does. 
Then the flashbacks start—places she’s never been, people she’s never met, blood she’s never spilled. She discovers she’s split into two parts—the woman she thought she knew and another who is capable of anything. And the only person with any answers is the one man she never wants to see again. 
What neither of them know is that someone is watching them both, manipulating them, determined to see just how evil the two of them really are. And when the truth begins to seep through the cracks, leaving them nowhere to turn but each other, they will be forced into a partnership neither had expected. Because in life, who you trust is as important as who you are. And when you can’t even trust yourself, sometimes the only person you can rely on is the last person on Earth you should be falling for.

*** This novel is intended for adults only, as it includes lots of cursing, descriptive sex, biting sarcasm, and themes similar to those in Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, from which this story was inspired.

My Review:
What an incredibly creative, entertaining book. Who would have thought that you could take the story of Jekyll and Hyde and turn it into a modern-day love story, but Lauren Stewart has done it. And she's done it amazingly well. I loved this book!

This story is about Mitch and Eden. To meet them, you would never guess that they have anything in common. Mitch is a foul-mouthed, foul-tempered self help guru. His main method of treatment...telling you to suck it up. He definitely believes in tough love, especially since all that venom helps to keep his secret hidden. 

It's a secret he shares with Eden...even though she's not aware of it yet. Eden is as opposite from Mitch as you can imagine....sweet, honest, virginal. Her goal in life is to be good and she has no plans in changing that...until she wakes up naked with Mitch and absolutely no recollection of how she got there. She thinks that she's sleep-walking and she would be wrong. It doesn't take long for Mitch to figure out that they have more in common besides just amazing chemistry. 

I like the way that this book played out. It's the first book in an Urban Fantasy series. There is a LOT of mystery about who exactly are the players behind-the-scenes and exactly what they are doing. I have a feeling that is a mystery that will be solved bit by bit throughout the books. I loved the chemistry between Mitch & Eden and the fact that it was shown to be just as hot as it is (something that tends to be lacking in a lot of UF books). I like them together and how they even each other out. They are both the extremes in their personalities, but as the book progresses you can see them evolve and develop so that they will meet more on middle ground. This was especially true for Mitch. He's a pretty harsh guy, but that completely mellows around Eden (unless he's trying to protect her)...LOVE THAT.

As with a lot of UF books, this one ended with a cliff-hanger. Don't worry...I didn't find it to be a painful one, but it definitely makes me anxious to read the next book. But I would have been that way regardless. I did like the little twist at the end with the new, unexpected ally. I cannot wait to see how that plays out...definitely intriguing!

This was an absolutely brilliant start to a new series. I'm definitely a fan and can't wait to read the next book.

I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

About the Author:

After earning degrees in Fine Arts and English, Lauren Stewart wanted to see the world. A lack of funds meant that she didn’t get far. She spent two years traveling around Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada—first as a choreographer and then as an English teacher—meeting folks from all the places she couldn’t afford to go to. But that time was highly useful—she learned about herself, other people, and how insane life actually is.
Lauren reads in almost every genre. So naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you'll find elements of other genres--fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn’t kill us, should make us laugh.  


Lauren Stewart said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Christi! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book and very happy to see that the cliffhanger wasn't too painful. ;)

- Lauren

Christina M. McKnight said...

I love a cliffhanger! To me this is what keeps me reading a series.

I read HYDE a few months ago and am awaiting the release of Book 2 (Do we have a name yet?) in December.