Author: K Larsen
Release Date: June 5, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mystery
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
30 years of affection.
10 years of soul shattering love.
8 years of happy employment.
2 months of turmoil.
1 week of truth.
A lifetime of betrayal.
Would you have seen it coming?
Annabelle Fortin is jaded. After landing herself in a bit of trouble, she's mandated to community service at an assisted living facility for early onset dementia. There she meets Jezebel, one of the residents and they strike an unlikely friendship.
This is the story that unfolds over the course of Annabelle's court ordered six month sentence.Who you trust is everything, yet nothing is what it seems in this domestic noir, psychological thriller.
A crazy coming-of-age-psychologica
l-thriller-romantic-suspen se novel!
Jezebel by K. Larsen
Cover Design: Cover Me Darling
Release date: June 5th
I’m so MAD! There, I’ve said it. I’ve accepted it. You all know. We can move on. This author, this author I tell you. If you haven’t read her work before, you are truly doing yourself a disservice. There are certain authors out there who are so spectacularly well versed that you just want to shout their name for the world to hear, but at the same time keep them in your pocket so only you can have them. That’s how I feel about K Larsen each time I crack the pages open on her latest work. You go into her stories not having much background, but knowing you will end your journey completely fucked in the head in the most wonderful kind of way. She weaves tales so completely unique that each and every time you feel like kicking the person next to you because they haven’t experienced the same head trip you just have. And yes, I realize all this may sound like a bad thing, but it SO isn’t. Because this should always be the goal of authors, to evoke these kinds of feelings from readers. For them to emit something we are so passionate about that we can’t help but spew a myriad of emotions that not everyone is comfortable feeling. It’s those questions that will keep your blood spurning long after the last page has been turned. You won’t simply be able to just casually move on to your next story. These ones will stick with you.
Forewarned: you will not be receiving a traditional HEA, at least not in the way you think. I guess it just all depends on how you look at it. And that right there will be all the spoilers you will receive from me, and even that is vague. But it’s intentional. I will say that for the most part, I had all the secrets figured out by the end, but even then, I did NOT see that ending coming. And that is what has me fuming. Livid to the point of wanting to punch something. But oh so alive. I mean, you go the whole book thinking the story is one thing, and the closer you get to the end, the darkness really starts to seep in. But when you really concentrate on all the details, the darkness was there all along, wasn’t it? Larsen delivers multi-dimensional characters that even long after the story is done, you feel as if you’ve only scratched the surface. Even when the book is done you want more. Not because your questions weren’t answered, but because you can’t believe it’s over. You can’t possibly imagine a world where these people don’t exist. What kept running through my mind as I read this was that it was very much a cross between The Princess Bride, Fried Green Tomatoes and Misery. I won’t tell you why though. Just know that she will make you fall in love with the villains and come to loathe the heroes. But in the end, aren’t we all a little of both? There are so many shades of grey in this book, she gives Christian a run for his money! I can promise you this; you’ll finish this story and it will leave your head spinning. And if you are anything like me you will want to immediately message the author and tell her how much you hate her. And that you love her. But like Jezebel says, hate and love go together. And in that, Larsen nails the emotions with perfection.
Take my advice: make Jezebel your next read. You won’t regret it!
Moving across the sterile room toward the chair opposite the lady, Annabelle cracked her knuckles, then sat. Unlike the other rooms she’d passed in the hallway, this woman’s was cold. Not homey at all. No pictures or decorations hung on the walls, no trinkets sat on shelves.
“So, am I allowed to stay?” she asked scratching her arm that didn’t even itch.
“I suppose.” The woman looked her up and down, wariness pulling heavily at her features.
“What’s your name?” Annabelle finally asked desperate to break the silence between them.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” the woman answered with a smart-ass grin. The corners of Annabelle’s mouth kicked up into a smile. She chuckled and tucked her legs up under herself in her chair.
“I could probably just ask someone,” she returned.
“Where’s the fun in that?” the woman answered, a sour expression on her face as if she had just bitten into a lemon. Annabelle shrugged. “How old are you?”
“Eighteen,” she answered. The woman’s eyes lit up like sparklers.
“Eighteen was grand! You must be having the time of your life.” The woman clapped her hands together excitedly.
Annabelle frowned. She was absolutely not having the time of her life. “It’s been less than awesome,” she answered dryly.
“Bullshit!” the woman squawked.
Annabelle started at the curse from the woman before noting the huge smile on her face. “Eighteen will be the best year. You’ll see. You’ll look back when you’re sitting in some home somewhere, like me, and think, damn, eighteen was fabulous.”
“I sure hope so,” she answered, frowning.
“You have quite the pout, you know that? It twists up your features and makes you ugly.”
“That’s not very nice.” Annabelle scowled. She eyed the old woman, a sudden wave of insecurity rushing through her.
“It’s not meant to be nice. It’s the truth. Truths are often ugly.” Annabelle blinked, unsure how to respond.
“Child, are you always this…this boring?” the woman asked.
“I’m not boring!” she squawked crossing her arms and pursing her lips in irritation.
“Well you’re not exactly riveting either, are you?” the woman volleyed back, revealing a half smile.
“What do you want from me?” Annabelle asked irritated. This woman was crazy but not boring. She might actually enjoy some of her time if she got to sit with this mystery woman each week.
“Well, Annabelle Fortin, eighteen, let’s start with something easy.”
“Okay.” she answered.
“Why are you here?” the woman asked while pulling a blanket from the back of her chair down and placing it over lap. Annabelle looked at the woman’s sock clad feet. For the first time since her DUI she felt ashamed to admit why she was here. “This isn’t rocket science love, just spit it out,” pushed the woman after a pause of silence.
“I don’t have a choice. It was ‘volunteer for six months’ or serve jail time. I chose this.” she answered lifting her chin and meeting the woman’s gaze.
“A rebel. I like it. What’d you do?”
“I got pulled over for driving drunk.” Annabelle explained.
“Was anyone hurt?”
“Only my pride.” Her tone was laced with sarcasm.
“Oh posh, scandals and alcohol go together like peanut butter and jelly. That’s not all that exciting,” the woman tsked. Annabelle felt her face wrinkle in confusion. “There must be more to it…”
“Nope. Grounded until I leave for college. No phone. Limited computer use. No friends over and stuck here once a week for four hours.”
Stifling a snort the woman said, “Dear God, you mean that I’m to be your only source of entertainment for the next six months?” She slapped a hand to her chest dramatically. Annabelle cocked her head and stared at the nut job, hard. “Your life is definitely worse than mine,” the woman concluded with a roll of her hazel eyes.
Bubbles formed in Annabelle’s gut. Her rib cage started to shake and finally, she laughed. A loud, hearty laugh. A laugh that startled her. A laugh the likes of which was so genuine that she couldn’t remember the last time it had happened. The mystery woman promptly joined in, giggling right alongside her. It put her at ease. Her heart felt lighter.
“So tell me, do you have a boyfriend?” the woman asked as their laughter died down.
“Do you have a name?” she responded with a smart-ass smile.
“Touché, tiger, touché.” The woman grinned a dazzling smile revealing a row of straight white teeth.
“So, are you going to tell me?” she pushed.
“Not today,” the woman answered simply.
“You are strange. Very strange. And you don’t seem to be confused at all. Why are you here?”
“Ahh, life’s great mysteries. Confused – is that what you think dementia is?” the woman asked.
“Well, mostly. Forgetful and confused.” She shrugged.
“And does that come and go?” the woman pushed.
“Sure, like you’re fine for a while and then not. That’s why you need to live somewhere like this.”
“I think based on your definition I would be delirious. Dementia affects memory, thinking, language, behavior. Delirium is more of a sudden unexpected severe confusion and rapid changes in the brain’s function.”
Annabelle rolled her eyes. “How are those different?” Annabelle asked. She was struggling a bit to keep up with the woman. Her brows were knit together as she tried to work out what the woman was getting at.
“Exactly my dear! How are they different?” Annabelle huffed and shook her head in frustration. Having a real conversation with this woman proved difficult and tiring.
“Okay, I give up. New topic? You said you had quite the life before this. Will you tell me about it?” she asked.
“On what?” she sighed. Maybe the kitchen crew would be better.
“Whether or not you like love stories.”
Annabelle half-shrugged, “Sure. I usually like a little suspense or mystery with my romance but a love story could be alright.”
“Oh but my dear, every great love story has a twist. If there’s no twist, how does one ever know if their love can endure?”
“Endure what?” she questioned as she pulled at imaginary threads on her sleeve.
“Anything,” the woman answered as if that were the only answer.
Annabelle thought about her words for a moment. Let them sink into her brain. Did her parents love story have a twist? Surely not one that she’d heard about. Or was a twist just a tragic event? If that was the case then her family, her parents, had endured a twist and survived it together, even if just barely. Either way, she wanted to corral the woman into a singular train of thought.
“Okay. Tell me your story,” she answered.
“It might upset you, or perhaps I have no story to tell. We have six months! Let’s start with someone far more interesting. Celeste Fontaine.”
Annabelle’s face scrunched up. “Who the heck is Celeste Fontaine?” she asked.
“Oh she was a girl I knew. A caretaker for a large Chateau just outside of Paris, France. She had everything she ever imagined in life. Blissfully happy parents who spoiled her rotten. Friends she adored and a man that made every woman on the planet jealous of her. But let’s go back to the very start shall we?”
The woman had a mischievous gleam in her eye. Annabelle would be lying if she said she wasn’t a little bit curious about any story the woman might tell. She was a character for sure, and that meant she probably hung out with some interesting people before she ended up at Glenview. She probably had lots of good stories to tell. Hell, it beat wearing a hairnet and latex gloves in the kitchen. She shivered at the thought of cafeteria food,trays and dirty silverware. And hairnets.
“Are you cold?” the woman asked, head cocked to the side.
“No,” she answered shrugging away the kitchen visual.
“Are you ready to pay attention?” The woman asked.