Synopsis: The Manipulator
I can manipulate the emotions of anyone who lets me.
I will make you hurt, make you cry, make you laugh and sigh.
But my words don’t affect him. Especially not when I plead for him to leave.
He’s always there, watching and waiting.
And I can never look away.
Not when I want him to come closer.
I didn’t mean to fall in love.
But now that I have, I can’t stay away.
I’m mesmerized by her smile, by her eyes, and the way she moves.
The way she undresses…
I’ll keep watching and waiting. Until I can make her mine.
And once she is, I’ll never let her go.
Not even when she begs me to.
Trigger Warnings: This book ends on a cliffhanger. It is a dark romance that contains graphic violence, dub/non con, and deals with subject matters such as child trafficking and human sacrifice. If you have ANY triggers at all, this may not be the story for you.
Haunting Adeline (Cat and Mouse Duet #1) by H.D Carlton
Publication Date: August 13th, 2021
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Dark
Purchase on: Amazon,
Add to: Goodreads
First of all, let me start with H.D. Carlton’s trigger warning. I won’t even pretend to care if some of these spoil the book for you. Readers need to know what they’re getting themselves into with this one. Let me be clear: this book is NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART! Haunting Adeline contains graphic violence, dub/non-con, and deals with subject matters such as child trafficking, human sacrifice, and the death of children. While I firmly stand by my 5-star rating, I was absolutely disturbed for a good part of the story.
I honestly have been sitting on writing this review even though I read the book a couple weeks ago. I feel like I’m not going to be able to accurately convey how the book effected me. I also don’t like to leave crazy long reviews, cause I know I don’t like to read them so I try to keep them short and sweet and to the point.
“Let me know which stars you prefer. The ones above you, or the ones I make you see.”
I’ve never read a stalker romance before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But when a few trusted romance reviewers began raving about Haunting Adeline, my interest was piqued. I mean, even I don’t mind a twisted love story every now and then, so why not give it a try? Well, Lord, have mercy on my soul, I feel so wrong admitting it, but I needed the stalker to get the girl. Zade (hot stalker man) is both an anti-hero and a hero. (Think Dexter but times his hotness by 1000.) He personifies goodness in a way not many men ever could, but he’s also a possessive asshole with aggressive tendencies.
This is a stalker trope, and the themes in this book are dark, so be warned before you give this a go. I highly recommend reading Satan’s Affair first. It is in the same universe and that is where we first meet Zade, out MMC. I also think its important to read SA first cause some key scenes from HA are more detailed in SA. And SA is a novella so its a quick read for understanding how this universe is going to be.
“When you make someone fall in love with the darkest parts of you, there’s nothing you can do that will scare them away. They will be yours forever because they already love all the fucked up bits and pieces of you.”
Adeline (Addie) Reilly is an author living in a home called Parson’s Manor in the deep woods of Seattle having been passed down from her great grandmother to her grandmother, and now to her. This home has a deep, dark, and mysterious history. Addie is constantly running into the spirits within the home. While exploring her newly inherited home, Addie discovers something that starts her on a chase to uncover the past and its secrets. Only she isn’t aware that there is someone waiting in the shadows watching.
Zade (Z) Meadows is a wide-range and very skilled vigilante who is the founder/owner/creator of Z. A large undercover team that busts pedophiles—women and children sex trafficking rings and organizations. He came across this in his youth scrolling the dark web when he found his love for hacking. Zade notices Addie at one of her book signings and in an instant had an obsession and love form for her. From there he decided that she was his little mouse and that he was going to hunt her. That’s where his stalking begins.
“If my redemption resides somewhere within you, then I will spend the rest of my life searching for it inside of you.”
This book honestly has everything, characters that draw you in from the beginning, suspense, creepy/thriller aspects, a murder mystery, all-consuming obsessive love and passion, and the spice, holy lord don’t even get me started on the spice. I had to “self-care” a handful of times while reading this, that’s all I’ll say.
My absolute favorite part of Haunting Adeline was H.D. Carlton’s flawless writing. She creates a tale that is spooky, gothic, and atmospheric. I felt my heart racing many times, much like watching a scary movie, because of how well she crafted this story. I could easily picture Parsons Manor and Satan’s Affair (hello, American Horror Story), and don’t even get me started on Sibby and the awful night’s sleep I had after meeting her.
“if I had fallen in love with a lie, I would’ve been devastated. I just wish he wasn’t such a bad guy. But then he’d be a different man—a man you might not be able to love.”
This book is a whirlwind! I couldn’t put it down for a second. Just like Zade’s obsession with Addie—I was obsessed with this book. I absolutely love them. Their relationship is well… taboo but incredibly addicting. Not only is this romance but it is filled with a mystery story underline as well as the very disturbing topics revolving around sex trafficking. Everything is detailed, so if you are squeamish to gore, this is not a book for you. This also is very HOT in the spice department. Get ready to have your body physically heat up reading some of the smut in this.
This book and its characters spoke to me deeply. They are both dark and twisted in their own ways. And they bring out different things in each other. Zade has a very dark past and you can see as the book goes on that Adeline is making him more human, making him feel. And Zade is getting Adeline more in touch with her darker side that’s been dormant. A side that once shown, she craves.
I stalk her because I’m fucking addicted. I’m fascinated with every move she makes, every word that comes from her pretty pink mouth. And now I’m addicted to her scent, her taste, and the way she sounds when she’s scared for her life—just as much as I’m addicted to the way she sounds when she’s begging for more.
This is book one in a duet and it does end on a cliffhanger, so if you don’t like them I recommend waiting for the duet to be complete. But I absolutely can not recommend this enough and it has changed what I expect in dark romance now. This book has, for me, level up the genre. And I honestly can not wait for book two and anything HD writes!