Monday, March 13, 2017

ARC Review: Insight (The Community: Book 1) by Santino Hassell

Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

Dani's rating:

This book is grade A CREEPY: weird, intense, and fast-paced.

If you go in expecting a traditional romance, you might be disappointed. Because this story is anything but traditional.

First, Insight is a paranormal thriller. Second, it's a mystery. Third, it's a romance.

Nate is the narrator of the story. Depressed and bitterly lonely, Nate works at a liquor store, which he figures is a step above working at a fetish shop. Except it isn't. Old high school bullies come in and try to hit on him. And he has a powerful vision right there in the store. Bottles of booze go flying.

You see, Nate is an empath. He can feel other people's emotions. He comes from a family of psychics. His twin Theo was the more powerful brother, but now Theo is gone, and Nate needs to figure out what happened to him. And to do that he needs to go to New York.

The book takes us on a wild ride, from Texas to New Orleans to New York, and introduces us to a cast of complex characters, most of whom are members of the Community (I'm not going to tell you what that is; Nate can do that).

There's the charismatic Holden, who owns and runs a nightclub for psychic queers; there's Chase, stone cold and resentful; Beck, who tries to befriend Nate and sell him on the Community; and Elijah, sweet, fun, and flirty. But the only one Nate trusts is Trent.

Trent isn't a psychic. He's a grad student, a regular guy with serious smarts but no special powers. But he becomes Nate's everything. He's the only person Nate can touch without feeling like he's going to break apart.

Nate is determined to figure out what happened, not only to Theo but to other powerful psychics who've gone MIA.

The connection between Nate and Trent is instantaneous. That's how it works when you're an empath and find your soulmate while hitchhiking. Also, sex is that much hotter when you can get in your partner's head and FEEL his lust and pleasure.

Hassell is an incredible writer. The dialogue here is sharp; the imagery, focused. Every single character is nuanced and complicated.

While I would have preferred more romance, I can appreciate Hassell's talent. This book made me frustrated. And ANGRY. But at the end I just went with it.

If you follow the clues with Nate and Trent, you'll probably figure out the mystery, but not until the very end. The story sort of sneaks up on you. Before I knew it, I couldn't put it down.

I loved Trent and Nate together, and I was thrilled that we got an epilogue, which was all warm and cozy.

Until that fucking phone call.

Where the hell is book 2 when you need it?

Get the book:


The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
~Oscar Wilde

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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