Title: The Institute Book One: Healer
Author: Cassandra Gold
Publisher: Amber Allure
Characters: Tristan Matheson, Cam
Sub-Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Series
For years, Dr. Tristan Matheson has hidden his unusual healing abilities, pretending to be an ordinary doctor instead. And he’s eluded detection—until now. When Tristan’s targeted, a mysterious shapeshifter named Cam becomes his only means of escape.
A member of the Delphic Institute, Cam is capable of taking the shape of anyone he’s ever seen. Retrieving Tristan was supposed to be an ordinary mission, but the feelings the doctor stirs in Cam are surprising and unwelcome.
Unfortunately, Tristan and Cam have a bigger problem than their mutual attraction. A war brewing between groups interested in “recruiting” people with special talents could tear them apart before they ever get together…
Wow! I’ve read several books by Cassandra Gold and I’ve really enjoyed every one of them, but I have to admit that Healer is one of my favorites by her. I knew from reading previous works by Ms. Gold that I would probably be in for a treat. Her books are very character driven and heavily romantic, but what I wasn’t prepared for was the fast-paced action and the suspenseful storyline. I was immediately swept up into the lives of these characters and before I knew it the book had come to an end.
Tristan is a healer. He has the gift of being able to heal some illnesses and disabilities by just putting his hands on the patient, and through some inner powers he’s able to pull out what ails them into himself and cure them. Because of this, Tristan lives in fear of being discovered. He knows there is a group that is following him and wants to put him through a series of tests like some freakish lab rat, so he’s aware that although he lives his life on the edge, he can’t help but still want to help people with his gift.
One day Tristan’s luck runs out and he finds himself running for his life, but suddenly a handsome man appears named, Cam, and whisks Tristan away from danger and into the safety of a place called The Delphic Institute. Tristan soon learns that the institute is a safe haven for all types of people who have different gifts, but they use their powers for good instead of evil. At first Tristan is leery of his new safe haven, but because he instinctively trusts Cam, he finds himself becoming friends with others and honing his craft to really help others. But, as the two men continue to become close, Cam is always holding back. Tristan knows there is some deep mystery behind Cam’s inability to open up about his life and heart to Tristan. Just when Tristan starts to feel hopeless that he’ll never truly gain Cam’s love and total trust, danger to the institute and others like him, push both Tristan and Cam into the fight of their lives. Will Tristan ever get Cam to open up and take a chance on a once in a lifetime love?
I loved this book! There is plenty of romance and adventure in the Healer to satisfy the pickiest of readers. As usual, Ms. Gold really is able to get to the heart and soul of her characters. Both Tristan and Cam are truly wonderful men, but they are also both very flawed and have to work through their own insecurities before they can truly be together. I really appreciated how even though Cam held himself back from Tristan emotionally, they still really liked and respected each other. They worked really well as a team and ended up basically bringing out the best in each other.
Even though Tristan is adorable and I loved him, I found myself as captivated with the mysterious Cam as Tristan was! He’s truly a chameleon of a character. I won’t give away his special gift, but in all honestly, I understood why he was so paranoid and afraid to be himself. It was enjoyable to watch him slowly evolve into a more confident man. Through Tristan’s love, devotion and friendship, Cam is able to be more comfortable in his own skin. They were an easy couple to love and root for.
Healer really starts and ends with a bang! It’s the first book in the Institute series and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. After reading about such an amazingly different cast of characters, I’m anxious to see what Ms. Gold has in store for us yet! Highly Recommended!
Reviewed By: Gabbi