Author: Nicky James Cover Artist: Nicky James
Release Date: 5 April, 2018 Price: 3.99 USD
Mental Health Category
Reviewed by Jacy
Cover Art: The cover has the profile of a man staring off into the distance. He is sporting a knit cap and facial hair. At the bottom right are bears, beautifully rendered. The title and author’s name are in dark print and easy to read.
Synopsis: The sneak peek we are allowed draws you in to discover its contents. There is not a warning of sexually explicit content.
Plot: The Grizzly Bear Project is in its final year for Aspen Taylor. As he is tracking the grizzlies, he is surprised to find a man who catches his attention. And he looks familiar. Huxley Dempsy runs from everyone and everything he thinks is out to get him. Including Aspen.
Aspen Taylor- Wildlife Biologist
Huxley Dempsy- Suffers from Paranoid Personality Disorder
Jeff- Aspen’s colleague and friend
Ms. Dempsy- Huxley’s mother
Flow/Continuity: There is no break in the story and the intimate scenes fit where they are placed.
Conflict & Climax: The biggest conflict is in Huxley’s mind. The way Aspen learns to communicate with Huxley is admirable and while hesitant, Aspen helps Huxley work through some of his worries.
Editing/Formatting: Distinct chapter headings and no typos.
Priced: Not determined at this time. I have no doubt it will be worth the price.
Conclusion: There is a realism to the fieldwork performed. This is a story within a story for Aspen then for Huxley. When the stories intermingle they make a cohesive storyline.
I can tell the author spent quite a bit of time researching Paranoid Personality Disorder. This could be anyone’s true story as it is told with so much heart and accuracy.
Rating: 9 out of 10
ABOUT THE BOOK
Run! Hide! We are watching you, Huxley!
Huxley Dempsy suffers from a paranoid personality disorder. After a horrific tragedy five years ago, Huxley is convinced people are out to get him. Taking refuge in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, he is a prisoner to his own mind. If he can think it up, it must be true, and there is no convincing him otherwise.
Wildlife biologist, Aspen Taylor, is on his way north again to close up the final year of the Grizzly Bear Research Project. Studying wildlife in their natural habitat is what sings to his soul. However, who he finds in the mountains is almost as beastly as the bears he studies.
An underlying sense of familiarity draws Aspen to learn more about this Wildman, and a strong sense of attraction binds them together almost instantly. But can Aspen break through the barriers of Huxley’s mind and convince him to go home?
He was fishing. Without a rod. I guessed the thread he was manipulating was likely fishing line.
He remained squatted for a long time, his focus intensely trained on his job. His long hair spilled out from under his tuque and partly covered his face. Once, he reached up and scratched fingers through his thick beard as he peered around.
I was so lost in observation, I forgot to move out of sight. The instant his eyes found mine, his fishing was forgotten.
He jumped to standing and flicked his gaze around before it landed back on me. There was no sense in walking away, I’d been found out and figured I might as well introduce myself.
I walked forward, closing our distance, and smiled. It was not returned, and the wildness behind his eyes became almost frantic as he scanned the forest behind me again.
“Hello,” I called. “I’m sorry to startle you. My name is Aspen Taylor, and I’m running the Grizzly Bear Research Project in the area.”
I slowed my pace when the frenzied look in his eyes didn’t settle. He glanced to the rock where he was perched and darted his gaze to the shore and in every direction as though looking for an escape. When he didn’t find one, apprehension turned to hostility, and his face darkened.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to sneak up on you,” I added when he didn’t respond.
Again, he scanned the forest, his distrust flooding him so full it leaked into me.
I shuffled and reflexively scanned as well. Years of working with grizzlies made me instinctively alert, but I got the sense that wasn’t why he was intently focused on the surrounding forest.
“I’m alone,” I said, holding my hands open and to my sides. “We saw your cabin the other day, and I wanted to introduce myself and let you know what we were doing in the area so you wouldn’t be startled by our presence.” Like you are now.
His analysis turned to my person, and his gaze trailed my body, taking mental notes before returning to my face.
“Is that code?” His voice was deep and scratchy. It came out a little rough, and I wondered if he had a cold.
“I know who you are. I know what you want. You think I’m stupid, but I’m not.”
He lowered his head to his coat and coughed again. It was wet, thick with phlegm, and it made me cringe. He didn’t sound good, and the cryptic statements made me question his sanity as I waited for the newest fit to pass.
“You don’t sound too well,” I noted when he raised his head again.
He tentatively stepped from the rock back onto land, never taking his eyes from me, his query keeping his brow furrowed. With care, he lowered his bucket on a rope to the ground. The awkwardness of the exchange and curt responses had me grasping for what to say.
“Okay, so, again, I didn’t mean to barge in here or anything. I just wanted you aware we are in the area and will be for a while.” And why are you living in a cabin that doesn’t belong to you?
“You have a team?”
“Yes, there are six of us.”
Weariness grew behind his eyes. I could barely make out their color with our distance, but they seemed dark, maybe brown. There was vulnerability in his features that was hidden behind the beard, but I saw it.
Under his open fleece jacket was a dark colored, heavy shirt that fit snug to his body, and I couldn’t help noting the solidity of the man underneath. Like I’d initially observed back in town, he was attractive, in a rugged, outdoorsy kind of way. Which, I’d always admired and been drawn to.
“So, what now?” he said, drawing me from my observations.
Nicky James lives in the small town of Petrolia, Ontario, Canada. She is mother to a wonderful teenage boy, and wife to a truly supportive and understanding husband, who thankfully doesn’t think she’s crazy.
Nicky has always had two profound dreams in life; to fall back hundreds of years in time and live in a simpler world, and to write novels. Since only one of those dreams was a possibility, she decided to make the other come alive on paper.
Nicky writes MM romance books in a variety of styles including contemporary, medieval, fantasy, and historical.