I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Epiphany by Christina Jean Michaels
Series: Legacy of Payne #1
Published by CreateSpace on July 19, 2008
Genres: New Adult, Romantic Suspense
“I had my first psychic dream when I was nine. Psychic implied power, and powerful wasn’t a word I’d use to describe myself. I couldn’t foretell the future or conjure visions at will, but I couldn’t think of a more fitting word to describe what I sometimes saw in my dreams.”
For 23-year-old Mackenzie Hill, tossing her life down the garbage disposal is easy after a painful incident shatters her life. Her heart is bleeding, and moving to Watcher’s Point is a chance to start anew, only she isn’t prepared for the guy who walks out of her dreams and into the flesh. Literally . . . because she’s been dreaming about this sexy stranger for years.
Mackenzie is even less prepared to face the dark nature of her dreams. They’ve turned disturbingly gruesome, full of blood and murder, and when they begin to coincide with the media’s headlines, she and Aidan realize her visions might be the key to stopping a madman from killing again.
Only Aidan has painful secrets of his own, and perhaps the biggest danger of all is falling for him.
The set up
Mackenzie Hill moved to Watcher’s Point, Oregon four months ago following disturbing events back at her hometown near Eugene. She also has psychic visions and recently they’ve turned violent. She also meets Aidan at a party and realizes he’s the mysterious, handsome man that’s consumed her dreams for the last two years.
Almost ten years ago, a serial killer called the Boise Hangman terrorized the city bearing his name and then just stopped. Two years ago, he resurfaced and a recent murder in Watcher’s Point has startling similarities to those in Boise. Mackenzie had a vision about the this murder but has never told anyone about her unique gift and is reluctant to step forward. Meanwhile, she and Aidan can’t seem to avoid their obvious attraction. He’s drawn into the situation but has a past he’s withholding, too.
What I liked about this story
Mackenzie brings baggage to the story but doesn’t spend much time and angst belaboring over her past. She’s trying to move forward and create a new life path in spite of learning that the man she believed to be her father wasn’t so and is rumored to have been the father of the one enemy she’s made since moving to this town. She’s got good sensibilities and tries to do the right thing by the investigation, even when it has the potential of exposing her secret. Her psychic abilities were understated and perfectly tempered. Aidan is so appealing and doesn’t waste time or emotions masking his feelings toward Mackenzie and she him.
The mystery of the Boise Hangman was in the forefront for the entire story, putting every relationship in question, though about midway I’d honed in on the likely suspect. It was intriguing and I liked how both Mackenzie and Aidan’s pasts were slowly revealed, often having a connection to the case. There was also a very awful twist that nearly derailed me but drew me into the story even more.
What I wasn’t too crazy about
The families of these two left a lot to be desired and the secrets they withheld bordered on being pretty cruel. They came close to being a bit over the top but stayed within the boundaries just enough to keep me connected to the story.
Mackenzie did a lot of weeping, enough for it to feel as if we’d crossed into the YA territory…not too terribly but there were times I wanted to just tell her to woman up! She also had a couple of TSTL (too stupid to live) moments, especially near the end. And Aidan’s tendency to be secretive got annoying after a while when it was clear that behavior was no longer necessary.
The bottom line
I am tiptoeing into this New Adult genre, mostly based on recommendations from friends but this one I decided on my own. My gamble paid off even though there were times the story had a YA cadence, not much but just a little. The mystery element was a real draw and I found that aspect very interesting. I liked the romance and the wisp of the paranormal with Mackenzie’s psychic gift, especially since it was within reason. I didn’t know this was the beginning of a series and am pretty happy about that. I will definitely be reading the next book.