Title: The Shrink
Series: Love Nests #2
Author: Sophia Karlson
Genre: Dark Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 30, 2020
Apparently she’s a bit crazy.
Apparently he’s the shrink who will cure her.
Apparently they aren’t allowed to fall for each other at all…
Stacey Sinclair’s mother died in a gruesome car accident six years ago, and now everybody thinks she is finally losing it. Surely a few crazy actions on her part don’t justify her seeing a shrink for months on end?
For a psychologist, Dr Ivo Linder is too decent, too caring, and too handsome to get a glimpse of what really goes on in her head. Stacey’s unforeseen feelings towards him make her retaliate — she taunts him, never expecting to fall with him into forbidden lust.
As their attraction intensifies, the old adage stands: it doesn’t matter, as long as nobody finds out. But someone always finds out and when they do, will Stacey and Ivo risk everything to give their love a chance?
Author’s Note: This book contains graphic content and themes that might trigger some readers.
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Once outside the bar, Ivo let go of her wrist. Stacey stepped away from him, eyes sparkling with wrath. She wrapped her arms around her body, closing up. The crowd on the inside had spilled out to the sidewalk, and if he didn’t move quickly, she could disappear in the ill-lit surroundings.
What a dump. The need to get her away from the seedy bar quadrupled.
He peeled his jacket off and held it out to her. “Come on, you’re cold.” What the heck was she thinking, wearing a strapless top and a cock-tease mini-skirt in the heart of the Cape winter?
Stacey shrugged. “I’m good.”
In my opinion, you’ve never been worse. He stared at her, but she met his gaze head-on. “Where’s your car?”
“Not here.” She looked as if she wouldn’t answer him, but capitulated. “I took an Uber here.”
And was she going to take a taxi home? Or hitch a ride with her hook-up, spend the night with some dick, only to flounder home at some point tomorrow morning? Hung over, humped by some stranger, and then attempt her exam? No wonder she kept on flunking. He tried to keep a straight face, but in this environment, with her here, barely dressed, every control centre in his brain was having a breakdown. “I’ll take you home.”
At this, she laughed. “Dr Linder, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“And why’s that?”
She was spelling it out for him, all right. But he could be bloody stubborn and thick-headed too. “My type…you’re so not ready for me.” She blinked at him, flirting with her eyelashes.
Every tendon in his body tightened, every muscle pulled towards his centre where his dick rose without invitation. Who mentioned ready?
He dropped his gaze, only to see chills sprouting on her arms and over her exposed chest; her fingers folded over her arms, turning white because of the cold.
He swallowed, unable to respond verbally without melting into her and holding her close, mouth against mouth, lips teasing. With one step, he closed the gap between them and dropped his jacket over her shoulders.
She shuddered at the gentle gesture. “I don’t need you, Doctor. And you don’t need me blazing your life into the ground.”
He was in her face now, their bodies sinfully close, his hands still on his jacket but resting on her shoulders. “I’m exactly what you need.”
She chuckled. “What about never having sex with me? Anywhere?”
“Stacey,” he sighed, resisting to urge to drop his forehead to hers. “I’m taking you home.”
His control slipped. The day was too long. The past three hours too intense. “Then, over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a bottle of paint stripper and brush you down. Layer by layer, until we find the real you and you stop pretending. So, cut it out.” The words came out in a way he should never talk to a patient. Being human sometimes interferes with the job.
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Sophia Karlson writes sensual, emotional, and evocative contemporary romance, often set in far-flung settings. She used to work in the travel industry before turning
to full-time writing. Her first book, Perfect Mistake, was a finalist for the Daphne Award for Romantic Suspense and won the Kathryn Hayes award in 2019. All her novels can be read as standalone, although she tends to write about siblings because family dynamics are so intriguing. Taking readers on a journey of their own with her books is part of the plot. Bon voyage!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4 out of 5
Two lives connected through circumstance and by tragic pasts.
Stacey Sinclair needed to find a way to get through the final semester of college and graduate with her Accounting degree. The only trouble is that her past haunts her and only two people know what it is that haunts her, but they don’t know everything. Stacey finally told her brother and her best friend, Mila part of what happened to her six ago and what has caused her to blow off her studies and exams. Now she has to face the consequences of said blow off by meeting with the Dean of her college to find out if she would be dismissed or if she can continue on with her studies. She’s lucky that Dean Finch is giving her one more chance, but there will be caveats to her finishing her degree and one of them is to see a counselor twice a week for the rest of the semester or until said counselor signs her off. Her goal is to get signed off as soon as possible, but she isn’t prepared for the counselor that she sees at all.
Dr. Ivo Linder has lived through his own version of tragedy and is now on the other side of the depression, substance abuse, and anger. He volunteered to help out in the counseling center on campus when an email went out looking for people to help due to a shortage of counselors. He has his spare time taken up with various volunteer project, some that he created on his own, to help others in need and in danger to themselves. He is so busy that he has no time for a personal life, and he is fine with that, until Stacey happens in his office, then his whole world gets turned upside down.
This story is rife with tragedy, psychological and emotional turmoil and great characters. With such tragic happenings and the aftermath of those tragedies, the story is written very well, and could be any number of people we meet on the street. I enjoyed the story and had my emotions pulled one direction to the next. Stacey’s story is so heart-wrenching and the way she dealt with her emotions, fear and feelings seems pretty normal with what she has gone through and what she was dealing with. She needed to share those with someone though so that she could heal and Professor Finch made her do that. I give this story and 4-star review and recommend it to readers that are looking for an emotional read, a story of two people finding their path forward after tragedy, or a story of two people who should not get involved finding their true happiness with each other.