Teresa Lansing is a struggling single mom to six-year-old son Aiden, who happens to be deaf. As a veterinary technician in the small town of Cougar, she is doing the best she can with her circumstances. Always by her side are sounding board and best friend Alix and Alix’s daughter Sasha, Aiden’s best friend. They are always ready to lend a helping hand whenever Teresa needs it. After recently breaking up with her boyfriend, Teresa is struggling with the hurt and betrayal and has found herself in the romantic crosshairs of Frank McAllister, a SWAT team member from a neighboring town. She’s not ready for a relationship like Frank wants, but with her son Aiden to think about, and Frank’s willingness to help Aiden, Teresa soon finds herself falling for Frank despite herself.
If a romantic suspense is on anyone’s wish list, “The Rebound Effect” should be on that list. While at times readers may feel somewhat disconnected from Teresa due to her lack of trusting herself, one can’t help but relate to her on some level. Frank is a force to be reckoned with. However, his unwavering devotion to Teresa from the minute he sees her is a little on the creepy side. This side shows itself repeatedly with Frank’s obsessive personality and emotional abuse as the story unfolds. This book is one that will make readers really think about trust, whether it be in oneself or those one lets into the most private parts of their life.
A mysterious cop sweeps a single mother off her feet, but is this Romeo too good to be true?
Unlucky-in-love Teresa Lansing isn’t looking for romance when she meets Frank McAllister, a “disturbingly good-looking” cop who’s just taken a new job in the small town of Cougar. But sparks fly immediately between the two, and before long the persistent Frank has won over Teresa. Yet the dream guy is not quite what he seems in this cautionary romance from Griffin (Seventeen Days, 2018). Sure, he’s charming and attentive, and more than willing to open his wallet to pay for nice dinners. But his intensity is off-putting. After only two dates, he convinces Teresa to join him for a romantic weekend on the coast, where he starts talking about marriage and his plans to pay for her deaf son Aiden’s cochlear implant. The skittish Teresa, still reeling from her ex-boyfriend’s recent infidelity, is rightfully troubled, thinking that her new beau “had skipped several steps in their relationship without her permission.” But Frank doesn’t take no for an answer and Teresa, eager for security, is gradually persuaded that he can be trusted, even as the red flags are waving. Frank’s gaslighting is disturbing—the author clearly has a handle on the warning signs of emotional abuse—and Teresa is sympathetically drawn. Even as it’s obvious to readers that Frank’s intentions are suspect, she never comes across as a fool for succumbing to his manipulations or ignoring her best friend’s warning that “rushing things is one of the signs of an abuser.” But as the story progresses, the plot begins to strain credulity. Frank, it turns out, is no garden-variety abuser. Griffin tosses in a lurid backstory involving his ex-wife, who died via autoerotic asphyxiation, and throws in a serial killer who’s been murdering young women in the Cougar area. Still, the final confrontation between Teresa and Frank is legitimately frightening, as she discovers to what lengths he’ll go to make her his.
A love story that skillfully shows that abusers don’t need to use physical violence to control their victims.
Pub Date: July 15th, 2019
Page count: 220pp
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online: July 10th, 2019