Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: March 15, 2022
Genre(s): Horror
Page Count: 311
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 

Read book blurb here 

I just finished Toxic and .... I don't know. On one hand, I admire the deft twists - a long-term relationship sadly torn apart, a chance at a new romance with a hot man - and then the horrible realization that this new love is nothing like he appears to be. But on the other hand, it was ... less than I had hoped. 

One of the things I like about Rick Reed's books is that you really know his characters - their foibles, desires, dreams - and in Toxic, the POV moves between Connor, his ex Steve, his daughter Miranda and the new man in his life, Trey. However, with the exception of Miranda, the characters feel lightly fleshed out and as a result, actions by the various characters seemed unlikely, but then again I didn't have a good sense of any of their characters to really know. 

However, Reed does an exceptional job in fleshing out the circumstances of the book and those feel real and very personal. That sense that maybe a long-term relationship is a bit stale and the new man is the answer to a new exciting passion; the heartache that there is no second chance, the growing horror that the trust Connor placed in Trey was sadly misplaced, that sense that nothing and no one is safe, Miranda's intuition right away that something is not right - those elements really make this story soar. 

Overall, the horror elements of this story kept me turning the pages until the very end. And to be fair, this is not a romance novel, but rather a story based on the harrowing things that can happen when searching for love. 3.5 stars for Toxic. 

I received an ARC from IndiGo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.

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