What’s it about?
A handsome, successful, charming man. Healer. Miracle maker. Aaron Stein is all those things. Behind the benevolent façade, however, hides a monster: a destroyer of souls who lusts after power and control. Aaron plays his ruse again and again with unsuspecting women who genuinely believe that they have met their new “best friend”, their “soul mate”. Covert hypnosis, edgy trysts, psychological warfare – they’re all part of the sick game he plays “to have all the power”
…until his secret life is threatened by a series of events he never sees coming. Will his devoted cousin, Constance, succeed in protecting him, just as she has throughout his entire life? And what exactly is it that she does to protect him? Is she a murderer, or is she simply devoted to him? Are they merely cousins (possibly, once, long ago, lovers), or are they partners in crime? Did Aaron learn his evil ways from her, or was he born a psychopath? In the end, these answers will make no difference in the lives of the women who, each in turn, are charmed into becoming his victims.
“…Bill Walker, [is] a figment of Lucy’s imagination, conjured up by Aaron, who could create monsters masquerading as princes simply by spinning a woman’s hopes and dreams into a twisted semblance of reality, an illusion of her very own soul mate, and placing it before her to be admired and desired but always just out of reach.”
The story showcases a parade of women who fall under Aaron’s spell… Lucy, Celeste, Ruth,.. there are too many to mention. Aaron charms women for the mere pleasure of destroying them, he is a crusher of dreams, a serial killer of souls. I, the reader, am even a victim too because no matter how obvious it was and how many times I read the same thing happening in yet another woman’s life, I kept on hoping against my better judgement that Aaron would show a sign of remorse, that he would have a revelation and would change his ways, that something would happen to stop it happening over and over again. But no such luck. Aaron is a true and unadulterated evil person, there’s not a morsel of good in his whole body.
I believe this book will receive a diversity of opinions, there will be readers who will love this and other who will hate it. Me, I’m still stuck somewhere in the middle because I felt it had ups and downs. I found the final part of the book really a lot better than the first because the beginning are just short accounts of what he does to the women in his life he sets his sights on. Not only does Aaron repeat himself a lot, the women fall into his trap time and time again. After the first few, I really got the picture and wanted the story to move along to something else. It’s all presented a little over-easy, they see him and all fall head over heels in love with him (he also uses a bit of covert-hypnosis and, how convenient, every woman is susceptible to this).
Aaron is a narcissist in the true meaning of the word, he has practically no emotions other than thoughts about being caught and even then he is so confident that I really hated him. He’s not a likeable character and was obviously not meant to be one but I still missed some diversity, some humanity. If he really is like this, he could just as well also be a coldhearted and calculated killer. Then again, maybe he is or will be in the second novel. That is something to look forward to. Towards the ending though, he is presented with a challenge that was a welcome change from his usual game and it even got a surge of suspense. I really liked that surprise which kept me turning the pages to know how he could get out of this situation that fell upon him and I wanted to hear what really happened. I felt a little disappointed though that not all questions were answered by the end, several remain to be unveiled in the next volume.
*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion*