Front cover - 9780778315865Reviewed by Sarah Lelonek

I didn’t think I was going to be able to finish Alice Close Your Eyes by Averil Dean, but I did. To say this novel was graphic is to put it mildly. This book is a tragic mess of BDSM sexual encounters with a hurtful, awful man and a plot so thin that I had to question if it was even there. The only saving grace in my eyes was Dean’s ability to write well enough that I didn’t notice any grammatical errors.

Alice Croft is a young adult novel-writing woman in her late twenties. She lives by herself and harbors a dark past. Alice spends most of her time stalking Jack Calabrese for reasons unknown to the reader. Alice finally makes her move. Unfortunately for Alice, her breaking and entering goes wild when Jack returns early. Alice finds herself stuck in a dangerous relationship that she finds herself unable to resist.

That plot alone is what made me decide to read Alice Close Your Eyes. I was interested in her past and wanted to know why she was stalking Jack. I didn’t realize that the novel would be completely about sex and abuse. I, myself, cannot handle that kind of reading material. I was waiting for a decent plot to kick in, making the sexual writing worth my time. However, I felt like what little plot that was presented wasn’t worth my time. Alice had a rough past and that past causes her to make poor present choices. That’s about all I got from the novel. I didn’t feel like there was enough story mixed with the bondage sex scenes to fully piece this book together.

Others may really enjoy this novel. I’m sure it appeals to a certain market. After reading reviews on other web sites, I found that some people really enjoyed this book. They saw it as a page-turner and a thriller. I found myself not wanting to turn the page and see what horrors lie ahead. I didn’t feel the thrill of the novel. I didn’t think the random flashbacks to Alice’s past were all that impressive.

Professionally speaking, I think Alice Close Your Eyes was written well. I liked the flow of the sentences. I didn’t think there was too much description or too much dialogue. I liked the varied word choice. Other than that, though, I really didn’t enjoy this book. I hate giving such a negative review, but I can’t talk up a book I just found no desire to keep reading.

Hopefully, someone else can enjoy Alice Close Your Eyes. I feel like the author showed some promise with the plot synopsis. I just don’t think that the plot translated into words very well. The disturbing images are not anything I can handle. If you’re going to read Alice Close Your Eyes, be ready for a world of pain and problems.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is planning on attending Graduate School for English Rhetoric and Composition. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harlequin MIRA. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.