Title: The Institute Book Two: Touch
Author: Cassandra Gold
Publisher: Amber Allure
Characters: Evan Holloway, Elijah Wexler
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Series
For Evan Holloway, life is a series of careful routines and rituals. For a man who can’t touch any object or person without getting a flood of impressions, that’s the only way to live. He’s not exactly happy, but he’s content—until a single, earth-shattering revelation turns his well-ordered life upside down. Suddenly, someone is trying to brand Evan a traitor, and has evidence to prove it.
On the run, away from the shelter of the Delphic Institute, Evan is captured. His only hope for survival is to escape. To accomplish that, he’ll do whatever it takes.
One night, Psychiatrist Elijah Wexler walks straight into the path of an unbalanced man who takes him hostage. But Elijah soon discovers that the man, Evan, isn’t so crazy after all. Now, Elijah realizes that everything he thought he knew about his job and his life was wrong.
Together, the two men must discover the whole, ugly truth before it’s too late…
I’m officially hooked on this series! It’s no secret that I adored the first book, but somehow Ms. Gold made me love Touch even more! What I loved about this book was: even though there were so many twists and turns in the plot that kept me on the edge of my seat, it’s still heavy on the romance. It’s honestly a perfect blend of mystery and romance that left me addicted to the story from the first page to the last word, and it left me with a big smile on my face. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m going to tread lightly with my review and hopefully I won’t give anything away.
Evan Holloway is one of the characters in the first book, Healer. Evan has the gift of touch. When he touches an object or a person he sees visions of their pain and life. Because of this, his parents thought he was mentally ill. We learn that for most of his teenaged years, he spent a lot of time in and out of mental institutions and has a deep fear of them. Several years ago, he was rescued by the people of the Delphic Institute and taken under their wing. He helps others with his gift, but he has to wear gloves to keep himself from being overwhelmed by from he reads from others.
Evan heavily relies on living at the institute. He has his routines and the people he trusts. When he finds out that he’s been accused of doing something he didn’t do, Evan is encouraged to run away, and in his desperation and fear, he does so. Soon, he’s kidnapped by people who want to use his gift for evil and put into a secret wing of a mental institution. He’s drugged and they try to brainwash him into helping them out. Instead, Evan becomes determined to leave and manages to escape. On his way out, he sees a man getting into his car, and he manages to grab the man, kidnap him and force him to give him a ride. He soon finds out his captor is Dr. Elijah Wexler who is a psychiatrist from the facility. As much as Evan wants to hate Elijah, he can’t. He quickly realizes that Elijah has nothing to do with what’s happened to him, nor does he know what’s going on at the mental institute. Before they know it a bond starts forming between them, and Elijah and Evan start to communicate and trust each other. But, as they continue to grow closer together, they know they’re in danger and know they must stop the evil madman who runs the facility before anyone else gets hurt.
I LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! It’s one of my favorites that I’ve read this year. Between the well-thought out plotline and the strong characterization, it was one of those books that I couldn’t put down, and when it was over, I wanted to read it again. Ms. Gold really understands her characters very well. They come across as real people with real problems. Yes, it’s a fantasy romance, but they still read like everyday people with flaws and all. They are not perfect, and they make mistakes, but with the power of love, they grow and flourish into better men.
I highly recommend this series! It’s one of my favorites and as far as I’m concerned, Ms. Gold cannot write another book fast enough! It’s earned a firm spot on my keeper shelf where I know I’ll re-read it again and again. Even though you probably could get away with reading Touch as a stand-alone book, I don’t recommend it. To truly understand the dynamics between the characters and the works of the Delphic Institute, I recommend reading these books in series order.
Here are the Institute books in series order:
Reviewed By: Gabbi