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Monday, March 28, 2016

Book Review: Affliction by Marilee Brothers

Affliction (Soul Seeker #1) by Marilee Brothers
Genre: Adult (Paranormal Romance/ Suspense)
Date Published: February 29, 2016
Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Twenty-two year old Honor Melanie (Mel) Sullivan has an affliction. Due to childhood trauma and inappropriate social behavior, she diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism. But, Mel knows Aspergers is not her true affliction. She prefers not to gaze into a person's eye because she is a soul reader, and what she sees can be frightening. It can also get Mel into trouble.

After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her family home in southern California and travels to Oregon where she meets Harley-Davidson riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby-selling scheme involving a foreign girl from Kazakhstan, and others. Even though Mel's life is in danger, she won't stop until she finds the answers that will help those unable to help themselves.

Affliction is the first book in the Soul Seeker Series by Marilee Brothers. Mel can see into a person's soul. It has been both a blessing and a curse for her, but through this story she seems to embrace it more and more. After moving to 3 Peaks, she finds things aren't what she expected. Her friend is in a coma, and there seems to be all kinds of shady-ness around her. She meets Billy, who has some inner demons of his own to fight, and is swept up a romance while she's trying establish herself in her new life. I have no reason not to like him, but I don't trust Billy. I just never clicked with him. There's another guy I like for Mel, but I'm not sure how that will pan out either. Afflicted was a clever little mystery, romance with an aspect of the supernatural thrown in for good measure. I'm really curious what life will bring to Mel next.

The ARC of Affliction by Marilee Brothers was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

May 2014

The baby's soul is spotless. Unlike her mother's. That's why I have to save her. If I don't, her soul will soon be stained with fear and pain like her three older siblings. I have a plan. Yes, it's half-assed, but a half-assed plan is better than nothing... right?

I'm at the end of my shift as a nurse's aide. Visiting hours are over. I check the nursery window for proud daddies and grandparents. Nobody. Still in my scrubs, I slip into the nursery and call to the overworked nurse on duty, "This one is needed in the lab."

She nods. I tuck the tiny baby girl in my right arm and hold her close to my body, similar to a running back clutching a football. Head down, I step out into the hall and walk to the door leading to the stairs.

"Hey, you!" Male voice.

My heart leaps in my chest. I stop and turn. Stan, from the janitorial staff, pushes his mop down the hall in pursuit of a cute, young LPN who gives him a coy finger wave. I take a shaky breath and slip through the door.

With her fondness for blue sky, sunshine and mountains, Marilee never wandered far from her home in central Washington state. She grew up in a family of readers, a gift for which she is eternally grateful. At age eleven, she wrote her first play and produced it in the back yard after recruiting several neighborhood children to play supporting roles. Marilee, of course, was the star.

As a freshman in college, Marilee met the love of her life. Married at nineteen (not recommended) and the mother of two baby boys by twenty-one (bingo... bango...) Marilee returned to college to earn her bachelor's degree in education before giving birth to a third son (bongo!) Outnumbered four to one, Marilee finally put a stop to the male baby boom. The seasons were defined by the type of ball she tripped over in the living room. Fall: Football. Winter: Basketball. Spring: Baseball. At the Brothers' dinner table, Marilee learned not to say, "Throw me a roll."

After teaching and coaching at the high school level, Marilee earned her master's degree in psychology and counseling. Much of her writing reflects her experience as a counselor for behavior disordered teens. Always in love with the written word, Marilee tried her hand at writing poetry and short stories during the busy child-rearing years. When she became an empty nester, it was time for a new challenge . . . time to write a book. As she began to learn her craft, she entered writing contests where she was lucky enough to be spotted by a publisher who signed her to a multi-book contract. Marilee is currently working on her tenth book.

To learn more about Marilee Brothers and her books, visit her website & blog.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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