This was my first read by this author and for sure it won’t be my last since I really enjoyed her storytelling. Ava Harrison delivered a fast-paced emotional tale that really surprised me in a good way, of course. ‘Transference’ was well written for the most part, with an interesting premise and it held me captive from the very beginning. If you are interested in reading a therapist/patient story, with a damaged heroine and a likeable hero then you might want to try this one.
“…my smile is an imposter. It lies. It says I’m okay. But I’m not. Every smile is a plea. Every smile is a prayer that they don’t see my pain.”
Eve is a young woman who recently, after a tragic loss, started suffering from panic and anxiety attacks. She has nightmares that frighten her and even if she can’t fully remember them, she can’t shake the feeling that she’s missing something important. She’s damaged and lost, feeling under so much pressure caring for her mother who is a hypochondriac. When a car accident lands Eve in the hospital she meets Dr. Preston Montgomery, one of the hospital psychologist, who thinking that he can help her overcome the loss she recently suffered offer her his card.
Preston decided years ago to be a therapist to somehow heal himself. Over the years he came to love his profession, helping others always bringing him joy. He’s taken aback by Eve’s beauty and brokenness from the moment he meets her, reminding him of someone from his past. He knows that he should stay away from her, but he’s too intrigued by her not trying to know and help her.
“There was something in her eyes. Something I had seen before. A deep-rooted sadness I wanted—no, needed—to fix.”
Eve feels good in Preston’s company. He makes her feel safe, feeling that he truly wants to help her. She knows the lust she feels towards him is not good for either of them, but she can’t help it. As much as Preston tries to stay away from Eve he simply can’t. He wants to heal her, to protect her, to care for her, to love her, but sadly he’s her therapist and he can’t break the rules. But rules are meant to be broken, especially when some strong feelings are involved.
“How can something that feels so right be so wrong?”
I enjoyed this one! Overall it was well written, with an interesting premise and a forbidden aspect that surprisingly was done pretty well. As the story unfolds we get to see how badly both characters are struggling with their feelings for each other and their inner turmoil regarding the relationship between them. The story line was interesting enough, but I have to admit I would have wanted something more. Don’t get me wrong it was somehow intriguing, but personally I would have wanted more mystery or something.
Both Eve and Preston were interesting, engaging characters I liked from the very beginning. My heart broke for our heroine, but I wouldn’t have minded her past to be more tragic, her nightmares to be more detailed and not so vague. The author did a great job describing her panic and anxiety attacks. With every chapter, you can feel her sadness, her despair, how lonely and broken she is. Preston was a likeable character, but to be honest I wanted a little more from his character. He was sweet, caring, thoughtful and considerate and I liked him for this, but personally I wanted for him to handle differently his relationship with Eve.
The slow burn relationship between the two main characters was done pretty well. The way it progressed felt believable to me and nothing was rushed between them which I enjoyed. The connection/chemistry between them was palpable and I loved it and I liked all the sweet moments between them as the story unfolded.
As much as I liked the ending, I have to say it felt a little rushed. Everything progressed a little too fast for my liking, maybe because I wanted more time with these two characters together as a couple.
All in all, ‘Transference’ was a pretty great taboo/forbidden romance with a nice well developed plot, likeable characters and some sweet/emotional scenes.