Book Review – Hanover House by Brenda Novak | Blushing Geek

Book Review – Hanover House by Brenda Novak

Hanover House by Brenda Novak | Blushing Geek

Hanover House by Brenda Novak
Series: The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles , #0.5
Published September 1st 2015 by Brenda Novak, Inc.
Genre: SuspenseRomance
244 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Find on Goodreads
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Welcome to Hanover House….

Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the antisocial mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them?

After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst.

But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries.

He knows what could happen if only one little thing goes wrong…


As you may have known, I’m very picky and hard to please in this kind of genre that’s why you can’t see me reading that much from other authors. But I am slowly working on it, *wink.

Looking at the cover and the title, I really thought it’s going to be a horror story. I guess it was the main reason why I decided to try reading the prologue to see whether I will like it or not. Sometimes, all it takes is for me to read the first chapter or the prologue and by then I could get the idea whether I will enjoy the whole story or not. And yep, I did enjoy the first chapter so I decided to go for it.

I don’t read the story’s sypnosis on the same day when I’m to read the book but I accidentally read this one’s sypnosis. Oops! But it still didn’t persuade me to stay away, I think it even intensified my desire to try this story. It was actually a pretty short read but I can’t say it’s a novella because it’s definitely longer than that.

The psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot had a very rough past. She was kidnapped, raped and tortured for three days by her boyfriend when she was just 16 years old. Aside from that, she also witnessed the murder of her three bestfriends by the hand of the same boy. After three days, she was left for dead but miraculously survived. Twenty years later, she worked her best to make Hanover House possible. It’s an institution where the main purpose is to study the mind of psychopaths. Why do they act as they do? How come they become one? And how to spot them.

Sounds exciting eh? I love suspense and I have never read something like this before. I’m not usually fond of reading stories with anything medical and I thought there’s going to be a lot of these going on here. But nope, there’s none. This is the prequel of the series so I figured there’ll be more suspense, medical and ofcourse more Amarok and Evelyn moments in the next book especially when the construction of the Hanover House will be completed.

The prologue had me really curious but the next few chapters we’re not really that exceptional. The only thing that it proved to me was how hard headed the heroine is. She’s been through a lot and I understand her motivation so instead of being annoyed, I have to say that I’m quite impressed. And then when I reached the part where this hot sergeant trooper was introduced, my! The romance part in my head was instantly on high alert haha. Their first meeting wasn’t described thoroughly. It just said they met in the mayor’s office during the deliberation about the Hanover house and all, and then when she went back to Alaska, she asked him to meet up with her at 9pm to see the vandal in the building. And then something leads to another making her go to her very first bar trip after so many years. And yep, sparks do fly.


I’m not quite sure what I will feel about Evelyn but I sure do admire her determination to push through her project. She was a victim when she was just 16 years old by her boyfriend and was there when he killed her best friends so I can’t really imagine how she was able to conquer that. She was tortured for three days and was left for dead. So it was really a miracle that she escaped death the first time and then happening it for the second time, well, I have to say she’s very lucky. It’s been 20 years since the incident happened and I can really understand why she’s still not fully healed considering what she achieved. Well, something like that sure is hard to forget. Fortunately, there’s nothing in her character that I find annoying so that’s a good sign. Besides, I love her fast thinking during her second abduction. My! I’m not even sure if I could pull that off if I was in that position.

Amarok. Dang! This guy already got my full attention right on the moment when he helped Evelyn win hilltop’s trust (not completely but it really worked). I’m more into bad guys (*currently drooling imagining Mad Rogan),but man! This guy got me in just like two pages when he was introduced. I just love how caring and understanding he was to Evelyn considering he was one of those who strongly disagree about the Hanover house. I also love the fact that whenever he’s around, I feel secured, like no one could really hurt you when he’s around. Also, I always like it when he easily gets pissed off when someone comments on his and Evelyn’s age pap, hehe. So yep. Considering Evelyn’s condition, he’s very patient and even helping her to overcome it. My! He sure is a keeper.

Final Thoughts

I always love romance especially if it was incorporated so perfectly with the suspense. And this one sure did it right. The suspense part wasn’t as exciting as what I mostly read from MHC (I always love guessing the culprit, *wink) but this story was a decent one and it sure had me in the edge of my seat a few times.

I don’t think the ending was a cliffhanger, I guess it’s just something that will really make you read the second book since the culprit got away for the second time and also not one from the side of the main characters died. And this time, the culprit will not wait another 20 years to come back. Ooh, scary.

It was my first time from the author but I sure did enjoy it. I also love the fact that after meeting the hunk Amarok, the story became fast paced and thus didn’t give me the time to get bored.

Highly recommended!


Check out my book shelf for book suggestions and recommendations!


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Kimberly Caffeinated Reviewer

I had very similar feelings about this one too. I think I read the next book or maybe the next two, but lost interest. Great review!

6 years ago

I’m glad we had the same thoughts about this book Kim 🙂 Hopefully I’ll enjoy the next books though 😉

Sophia Rose
6 years ago

Glad it was moderately enjoyable, Vanessa. I got this as a freebie and hope to read it at some point. I like the sound of the hero and am willing to give the stubborn heroine a try. Whew! What a past she has.

6 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

The hero is a catch Sophia Rose, my! That guy is just irresistible. I guess the reason why I enjoyed this story so much was because of him, haha, sucker.

Diva Booknerd
6 years ago

I think I’d be a little hesitant with this one because of the nature of the storyline. I’m not entirely sold on the idea that she would be able to separate her own lingering trauma from what happened at sixteen with the cases she sees now. I don’t think you could be that objective and unbiased. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy it Vanessa but sorry it didn’t work entirely for you. Great review!

6 years ago
Reply to  Diva Booknerd

Thanks Kelly. It wasn’t that great but it wasn’t that bad either. I’m actually still open to try the other books in the series and hopefully they’ll be much better 🙂 Thanks Kelly

Melissa (Books and Things)

I usually don’t like romance with suspense, but this one does sound like it is blended perfectly with the storyline. Oh you have me so curious about this one!!

6 years ago

Yes it was able to blend the two together Melissa that’s why I really had a good time. Hope you’ll give this one a try 🙂

Nadene@Ttly addicted 2 reading

3.5 is not bad. It shows that this is a story with potential. I love romance with an element of suspense. I think I am going to look into this one.

6 years ago

Yey. Hope you’ll get the chance to try this out Nadene 🙂

Carole's Random Life
6 years ago

I really enjoyed this when I read it years ago. I have the first two books of the series waiting for me to get a chance to read them. Glad you enjoyed it!

6 years ago

I’m glad you enjoyed it as well Carole. I am planning to get a copy of the other books in the series as well. Hope they”ll be as good 🙂

Mary Kirkland
6 years ago

That sounds really good. I think I would like this book.

6 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, this one’s really good Mary. I hope you’ll enjoy this one if you decided to give it try 🙂

6 years ago

I still have to try any of her books, but I have Her Darkest Nightmare and I’ll probably give it a go soon! Glad you tried this one, though, I think it sounds promising and romantic suspense can be seriously good in my opinion 🙂

6 years ago
Reply to  Silvia

I am actually starting to like romantic suspense and this one’s a pretty good start. Also, I broke my promise of not buying any books this year because I saw a great deal of her books when I was window shopping in our local bookstore, hihi

Lily B
6 years ago

when I saw the cover I thought it looked like an asylum horror story >.<

6 years ago
Reply to  Lily B

Hehe, same here 😉

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