Readers looking for a unique and thought provoking read will get just that with Craving Stains by Alina Popescu, a mish-mash of fantasy and reality. Keep reading to get a glimpse of this compelling read, along with my impressions of it. Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $20 Wayward Ink GC and 3 e-copies of this book too!
Wynn Brenwood has been trapped by his mother since birth, shut away in a sterile, hospital-like apartment.
Is it her desire to keep him safe that sees him locked up in his pristine cage? Or are her motives less innocent and well-intentioned?
Wynn longs to break free to experience the world he sees beyond his window.
Desperate to escape, he meets Doyle, a handsome, leather-clad, and enigmatic stranger.
But is Doyle real, or is he just a figment of Wynn’s imagination?
A young and happy-looking hostess whom Moira barely acknowledged greeted her and walked her to the Director’s office. They know how much of a screw up they have to weasel their way out of, Moira thought, a cold smile curving half of her mouth. She was going to make them sweat, and she was going to get everything she wanted from them.
Doctor Miller, the chief physician on Wynn’s case, the Director, and some mousy-looking little man who Moira suspected was an accountant or something along those lines were all waiting for her. They first offered her any and all treats and beverages in the universe, and when met with her brusque refusal, they slouched in their chairs and prepared for the onslaught.
“Gentlemen,” Moira started, smiling broadly, yet having no warmth reflected through her eyes. “I hear you’ve sent a report to the Finance Bureau, claiming my son is in perfect health,” she went on, her voice turning icier with every word. “Maybe it’s time for us to end our contract then. No use paying you that obscene monthly fee to have you donothing but hold his hand.”
“Miss Brenwood, it was simply the truth,” the accountant said in a bitter voice, but reconsidered under the murderous stare of the Director.
“Moira, darling, please ignore him,” the Director said, his heavy breathing being for once caused by something other than his obesity. “We clearly stated that this qualified as proactive care, preventing any other future illness in your son’s case.”
“Well, Clifton,” Moira said, stressing the man’s first name with a curl of her lip. “You weren’t very convincing apparently. They are going to investigate me for money laundering. As I have all the proper documents and invoices from you, I assure you, they will find nothing wrong with my papers. But as your reports indicate otherwise, I am sure they’ll think someone in your lower financial ranks isn’t in on it, thus forgetting to cover your tracks, and have your hospital investigated as well.”
She watched the man pale, his jaw dropping, making an obscenely gaping hole. She rolled her eyes, and then shook her head. What the hell had these idiots thought would happen? That when the Bureau came a-knocking and found nothing, they’d just go home with their tail between their legs? Of course they’d always investigate both or all parties involved in a potential fraud.
“Clifton, you really have no idea how the world works. How on earth do you manage this hospital?” She graced them with her special, mocking smirk, the one she’d developed in the many decades of being a rich wife with seemingly too much time on her hands.
“Mrs. Brenwood, I assure you, we will fix this,” the Director said, turning to look at the accountant sternly.
“Oh, I am sure you will. Now, Dr. Miller, I need a private moment with you.” She stood and left the office without saying goodbye, walking straight to Miller’s own office. Moira ventured a glance over her shoulder and saw the good doctor following her like the obedient little dog he was.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
With around 50 pages Ms. Popescu has crafted a thoughtprovoking and atmospheric tale where fantasy and reality are blurred to lead readers on a merry chase. With bits of sci-fi and futuristic elements too readers are shown a world full of dangers that a cruel woman uses to her advantage in her perverted name of love to wrap up with an ending that leaves readers guessing.
The cold and manipulative Moira Brenwood came from the slums but used all her twisted talents to rise to the top and become a very rich woman that uses those riches to keep her son locked in a gilded cage. Under the guise of keeping him safe he's a virtual prisoner, never allowed to leave or interact with anyone other than his mother and his doctor. Having lost the only two people she ever cared for has her desperate to keep Wynn safe but it feels as if there's more to her actions than just that and I felt that there were bigger secrets hidden beneath her pristine facade.
Wynn has been kept in isolation since a childhood illnes. His life is completely regimented, full of bland colors and bland food, with one day blending into the next. The only things that keep him going are the occasional promises to go out for a walk, which never come to fruition. All of this makes Wynn a truly sympathetic character, but one who's also a bit naive around the edges. Considering his cloistered state though this is no surprise. As he gets closer to the edge, showing his frustrations more acutely, a mysterious man shows up to give him moments of happiness, newfound sensuality, and acceptance. Is this man his savior or will he guide him further into the darkness? Regardless of what the answer is, Doyle is a mysterious character who's the complete opposite of Wynn but who shows great compassion towards this young man with the hope and promise he represents being truly enticing. How the story's conclusion is viewed will be up to the reader as they sift through the clues buried within the narrative in this memorable novella that deserves to be a full-length story.
My rating for this is a B.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: http://amazon.com/author/alinapopescu
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