Hunting Annabelle and Chasing Forever

Posted December 19, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 18 Comments

Hunting Annabelle

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads)Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle–beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle–who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.

Then Annabelle disappears.

Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken first hand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the centre of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened than he’s able to remember?

Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose.

Review: I love a good mystery/thriller and Hunting Annabelle is certainly that. Sean Suh has been in a psychiatric prison for a few years because he killed someone. He’s now out, living in a new state with his mom. He tries to stay away from people, drawing them from afar. That is until he meets Annabelle at the local amusement park he frequents everyday. He can’t stop thinking about Annabelle, even as images of him killing her randomly fill his mind. Then, Annabelle goes missing while out with Sean, and he’s certain she’s been kidnapped, except he’s lost some time, and his past doesn’t exactly exonerate him. The police aren’t too sure about the kidnapping theory, and then they set their sights solely on Sean, believing he killed her and his “she was kidnapped” story is just that.

What’s interesting about Hunting Annabelle is that Sean is someone you want to like…and not just want, you do start to like him. He’s murdered someone, plain and simple, but was it entirely his fault? Is he better now that he’s on medication? It’s difficult to tell, and it’s just one of the reasons you keep reading. I felt bad for Sean’s mom. I think she was very controlling, but of course, I can’t imagine being anything else when trying to “raise” a son who has already killed someone…and she obviously fears it will happen again. Hunting Annabelle was both what I thought it was going to be and something entirely different. I definitely recommend, and I think this will be one that readers will want to discuss!

Hunting Annabelle + Chasing Forever: Two new book reviews #ontheblog! #bookbloggers Click To Tweet

Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen

Chasing Forever by Kelly Jensen

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads)Malcolm Montgomery was a history teacher and track coach until an accident left him with two broken legs. He’ll recover, but life has knocked his feet out twice now. He’s not sure if he’s ready to try again, especially when it comes to love—and slick guys like Brian Kenway. Still, he needs help mentoring the school’s LGBTQ society, so he asks Brian to take some responsibility.

Brian has been hiding behind his reputation as a liar and a cheat for so long that he actually believes he’s that guy—until his nephew, Josh, turns up on his couch, tossed out for being gay. Brian has never considered being a father, but he knows all about being rejected by loved ones. Now Brian wants to be more: a partner for Mal and a role model for Josh.

But when Mal’s recovery is set back and the sad truth of Brian’s past is revealed, the forever they’ve been chasing seems even further from their grasps. It’ll take a rescue effort to revive their sense of worth and make Brian, Mal, and Josh into a family of their own.

Review: Chasing Forever is the third book in the This Time Forever series, except each book is about a different couple (though some characters appear in all of them). I didn’t read the first book, but I did read the second, Renewing Forever, and while I liked parts of it, I also was a bit annoyed by the characters sometimes. However, this didn’t stop me from wanting to read Chasing Forever, especially since it focused on Brian, a character I was curious to know more about. He’s portrayed as a bit of a player, someone who lies and cheats and isn’t a terribly great person. Parts of these things are true…or at least, they used to be…but that’s a very simple definition of Brian. He’s so much more than the parts he shows.

In Chasing Forever, Brian meets Malcom, or Mal, Montgomery who is dealing with an accident that has thoroughly changed his life. He’s suddenly not sure if he can do all the things he used to love. I thought Brian and Mal were great together. They both genuinely care about one another, despite their various “issues” if you will. It was great to see Brian so gentle with someone. The other “main” character, so to speak,  is Brian’s nephew Josh who has been kicked out of his house for being gay. This happened to Brian when he was around the same age, so it stirs up a lot of pain and memories. I really appreciated how Mal was there for Brian, though the big catalyst doesn’t really happen until close to the end (just FYI). Before that, it’s a matter of getting to know one another, taking care of Josh, and trying to figure out a way to also help other local LGBT youth who don’t have a safe place.

While I didn’t love Renewing Forever, I thoroughly enjoyed Chasing Forever and I’m so glad I decided to read it!

18 responses to “Hunting Annabelle and Chasing Forever

  1. I am very curious about Hunting Annabelle. I often choose not to read mysteries or thrillers but this one just sounds so intriguing! I think I’ll have to add it to my ever growing list!

  2. I already planned to read Kelly Jensen’s trilogy so I’m glad the last one was a hit. Chasing Annabelle does sound rather good when I’m in the mood for a thriller. Interesting premise.

    Thanks, Lauren!

  3. Hunting Annabelle is one I have been hearing about a lot lately, and I am glad you have been enjoying the thriller side of things! It sounds like one that hooks you in from the very beginning and doesn’t let you go all the way through. I am sorry you didn’t enjoy Chasing Forever that much though :/

    Olivia Roach recently posted: Blood’s Revolution [Book Review]

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.