Into the Storm by Melanie Moreland features an agoraphobic author who finds his entire world is changed after he rescues an injured woman when her car crashes into a tree on his property. Joshua Bennett is a recluse his only companion is his large breed dog Bear, while preparing his rural Ontario property for the ensuing storm, he finds the car door open to the elements and the driver inside insensible and bleeding. Fleeing an abusive relationship, she regains consciousness with no idea who she is and how she came to be there.
Melanie Moreland captivated me in her strange yet effective inversion of Stephen King’s Misery. In what I found to be a refreshing departure from the norm, Into the Storm is set in Ontario. It was particularly fitting to be reading this as winter arrived and how last weekend shutting down the very highway Ms Moreland referred to in her novel.
Trapped by the storm and isolated from the outside world, they slowly open up, learning to trust and love, until the world once again shows up, threatening the fragile peace of their newly discovered world, and tearing them apart.
A literal hermit, Joshua has not left his property in years due to crippling agoraphobia the result of a brutal attack that almost killed him. He is unwillingly captivated by his uninvited guest, whose timid demeanor leads him to nickname her “Rabbit”. Rabbit slowly and inexorably works her way into this hardened man’s defenses but how long will their ideal last before the real world intrudes.
For the most part I was impressed and entertained by Into the Storm, Moreland hit all her marks in creating an interesting, compelling romantic thriller. As such I expect she will do well in her future work. Into the Storm had the flaws that one would expect in a debut, which it was. For the first two thirds of the book the story moved at a brisk pace easily sidestepping an over abundance of detail that would just bog things down. What was problematic for me was the last third of the story, once “Rabbit’s” identity was revealed and we revisit her life before the storm. Quite simply the conflict was over complicated and the ending was painfully long almost like the “mini-movie” at the conclusion of Speed. The HEA was lovely but personally I could have done with a little less detail that being said I did enjoy Into the Storm and would definitely read more by this author in the future.
AUTHOR: Melanie Moreland
RATING: 3 1/2 Stars
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Disclaimer: ARC was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
- Agoraphobia – A Very Common Phobia (comptaenligne.wordpress.com)