Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Lis’ Review: The Institute, Book I: Healer by Cassandra Gold

Cassandra Gold
The Institute, Book I: Healer
Amber Allure, October 30, 2011

Links: Author’s website | Buy book here

For years, Dr. Tristan Matheson has hidden his abilities, pretending to be an ordinary doctor. He’s eluded detection—until now. When he’s targeted, Cam, a mysterious shapeshifter, becomes Tristan’s only means of escape.
A member of the Delphic Institute, Cam is capable of taking the shape of anyone he’s ever seen. Retrieving Tristan was supposed to be an ordinary mission, but the feelings the doctor stirs are surprising and unwelcome.
Unfortunately, Tristan and Cam have a bigger problem than their mutual attraction. A war brewing between groups interested in “recruiting” people with special talents could tear them apart before they ever get together...

Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Paranormal, Action, Adventure, Erotica, Abilities, Heroes & Villains, Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 3 out of 3

Reviewed by Lis:

When I received this book to review, I was a bit apprehensive. I read earlier books by this author and while not bad, I didn’t love the stories either. However, when I read the blurb, I was instantly interested, so there I was with a handful of book and eager to read. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t disappointed. The Institute, Book I: Healer thoroughly restored my faith in this author.

Healer is the story of Tristan – a sweet and gentle, but strong man – who’s always on the run, always hiding from groups who want to explore his talent. You see, he’s a healer. Not just any healer, but a very strong one who can heal people with his mind. While on the run, he’s aided by Cam – Chameleon – a shape shifter who can change his form and looks at will. Cam takes him to the Institute, where Tristan can be safe and where he no longer has to run. This is actually where the real story starts.

You probably guessed, correctly, that Tristan and Cam hook up while Tristan is trying to find his place at the Institute. Throughout the story it is discovered that Cam is not just the easy going, charming man he appears to be. He has secrets and like his name suggests, he hides who he really is. The question is, can Tristan see through to the real Cam?

Healer is a sweet, well written story. I found myself immersed in the narrative right from the beginning. There’s a bit of everything in this book: action, adventure, romance, hot sweet steamy & wild monkey sex as well as growth of the main characters. I very much liked how Tristan and Cam both developed throughout the story. They undergo change, do and say stupid things and yes, there is a big misunderstanding. It troubled me a bit at first, but thought later that it was well done. It made both Tristan and Cam’s characters believable and, well, human. This is also, in part, attributed to the fact that this story takes place over several months.

The only thing I didn’t quite like was the part where The Institute itself and the bad guys are underdeveloped. It is clear where the focus of this story lies. In Healer there are good guys and bad guys, but the bad guys are just that: the bad guys. The author relies heavily on the theme where people with special abilities are exploited by the government/private groups, but it is never really explained. It could have given more depth.

The Institute, Book I: Healer is a wicked good beginning of what hopefully will be a new series. It certainly had me smiling.


  1. you had me at wild monkey sex ;) sounds like a good one.

  2. *runs in and out*
    In a hurry, cheerio


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