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The Spiral: (Bittersweet Empathy: The Tragedy of Amy Durene, Book One) by Nikki DeKeuster
The Spiral: (Bittersweet Empathy: The Tragedy of Amy Durene, Book One) by Nikki DeKeuster
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The Spiral: (Bittersweet Empathy: The Tragedy of Amy Durene, Book One) by Nikki DeKeuster

Nikki DeKeuster

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H.P. Lovecraft was wrong. Fear isn't the strongest emotion. Fear only causes three reactions: fight, flight, or freeze. Love, on the other hand...love is limitless. And far more deadly.

Take it from me; I'm an empath.

My name is Amy Durene, and I've got a story to tell before there isn't enough left of me to tell it.

That stupid, rotted ol’ barn in backwoods Maine starts out as just another place to feed my best friend’s insatiable ghost-hunting habit. Until I’m inexplicably lost, for the first time, in emotions that aren’t mine. An animalistic fear that never really leaves me.

On some level, that's smart. I should be afraid. Especially when people's moods start swinging at my whim. But, you know, it’s also kinda fun—if you don’t count the heart attacks, fatal job promotions, and Choco Tacos with criminally wasted potential left in my wake.

Then there's the delicious bit of trouble from down the way. He's emotionally silent but breaks the sound barrier on my other five senses. I can't affect what I can't feel, so he's safe...right?

Am I?

The pressure of keeping everyone’s emotions at bay is cracking my jury-rigged mental wall into a Cheshire grin. The question is, whose grin is it? Mine, yours, or something curiously sinister? As reality twists into a labyrinthian spiral, each step I take brings a little more tragedy and a little less me. I’ll have to double back on my fading footprints and find what passes for the truth before my sixth sense becomes my only sense.
 
What I discover will be bittersweet, like chocolate-covered razor blades.

Content warning: Mature content and themes. Graphic language. Graphic sex. Graphic violence. Graphic design. Graphic ellipsis use…

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D
12/17/2021
Desirae
United States United States
I recommend this product

A Must Read!

Oh. My. God… This book was everything and more! Each chapter was more deliciously surprising than the previous one and some of them even touched on a few of my hidden fantasies- Care to take at guess at which ones? Plus, I really loved the author’s writing style; I felt like I was there with the character the whole time. I happily give this book 5 out of 5 stars and loved reading every page! In the words of Lestat from the movie Queen of the Damned, right after he tasted his first drop of blood, “More!”

KM
12/03/2021
Kirk M.
Canada Canada
I recommend this product

Pageturner

Bittersweet Empathy’s content warning says it all. Graphic language, graphic sex, graphic violence, graphic design, graphic ellipses use… Yes, the book has all this but there’s much more. Nikki DeKeuster is a great writer who weaves a wonderful tale of erotic paranormal horror. Is that a thing? It is now. Follow Amy’s empathic journey as she traverses a ghost hunting friend, parents, high school, and a ‘delicious bit of trouble’ who is too tempting for his, or anyone else’s, own good. Don’t try to tell Amy what to do. I yelled at the pages of the book but she never listened. Well, maybe you’ll have better luck. I like a lot of action in a story and Bittersweet Empathy didn’t disappoint me. The characters are well developed, believable, and have their own unique personalities. It has just the right amount of humor. If you mixed Stargirl with X-Men and threw in a touch of X-Rated I think you might have something close to this book. Buy it now and read it. You’ll be happy you did. May cause sleepless nights and an inability to put the book down.

J
12/02/2021
Jennifer
United States United States
I recommend this product

Awesome story with characters that one can fall in love with.

When I started reading this book I was immediately drawn to it. There wasn't even a cover for me to look at and I was still drawn to the story and characters within the first chapter. The cover is so perfect for this book though. Nikki introduces every character in a way that their individuality stands out to the reader. Her pacing is perfect with intense moments that surpass expectations. Amy and Kayla are ordinary teenagers in Albion, Maine. They are best friends and I’d dare say like sisters. They do everything together. One day, that closeness changes, not by choice. Kayla’s emotions are so high, Amy has to keep her distance (somewhat). When Amy is suddenly able to feel other people’s emotions after a run in with some raccoons in an old abandoned barn, the two of them begin their quest to discover the root cause. The excitement of teenagers with hormone levels at their peak, combined with unexplainable events, all make for a thrilling journey toward the unknown. Daniel enters Amy’s life and becomes a breath of fresh air in a tumultuous sea of emotions. Amy rediscovers moments of inner peace she didn’t know were missing until Daniel helps her find them. His first time meeting Kayla is one to be remembered, as Kayla behaves like a mother when asking Daniel questions. Amy’s mother and Kayla’s Ma are at two different ends of the “mom” spectrum. It is obvious from the first time we meet them. Seeing them interact was comical for me because they are SO different. I can’t neglect sweet old Abuela; she plays an important role. Kamrie also plays a very important role in helping this story develop. Amy needs to somehow pay for her cigarettes, to help with the bull****, so The Gilded Gelding becomes the perfect place for that. Following Nikki’s characters through the ups and downs of an empath’s roller coaster ride of emotions is a thrill for the reader. In the dark, unable to see what is coming, the reader quickly turns the pages to learn what’s around that next sharp turn. Within the first few chapters, I fell in love with most of these characters. There were a few that I didn't like. However, they have such a small—but necessary— role in the story, they were tolerable. This book gets my highest recommendation. The scenes flowed so perfectly that I didn’t want to put it down. Every step of the way, I wanted more. Even had nights when I couldn't go to sleep because I was so engrossed in this novel. I strongly suggest that if you enjoy fictional horror, then this book is for you and you should grab yourself a copy as soon as you can.

J
12/02/2021
Jennifer
I recommend this product

Awesome story with characters that one can fall in love with.

When I started reading this book I was immediately drawn to it. There wasn't even a cover for me to look at and I was still drawn to the story and characters within the first chapter. The cover is so perfect for this book though. Nikki introduces every character in a way that their individuality stands out to the reader. Her pacing is perfect with intense moments that surpass expectations. Amy and Kayla are ordinary teenagers in Albion, Maine. They are best friends and I’d dare say like sisters. They do everything together. One day, that closeness changes, not by choice. Kayla’s emotions are so high, Amy has to keep her distance (somewhat). When Amy is suddenly able to feel other people’s emotions after a run in with some raccoons in an old abandoned barn, the two of them begin their quest to discover the root cause. The excitement of teenagers with hormone levels at their peak, combined with unexplainable events, all make for a thrilling journey toward the unknown. Daniel enters Amy’s life and becomes a breath of fresh air in a tumultuous sea of emotions. Amy rediscovers moments of inner peace she didn’t know were missing until Daniel helps her find them. His first time meeting Kayla is one to be remembered, as Kayla behaves like a mother when asking Daniel questions. Amy’s mother and Kayla’s Ma are at two different ends of the “mom” spectrum. It is obvious from the first time we meet them. Seeing them interact was comical for me because they are SO different. I can’t neglect sweet old Abuela; she plays an important role. Kamrie also plays a very important role in helping this story develop. Amy needs to somehow pay for her cigarettes, to help with the bull****, so The Gilded Gelding becomes the perfect place for that. Following Nikki’s characters through the ups and downs of an empath’s roller coaster ride of emotions is a thrill for the reader. In the dark, unable to see what is coming, the reader quickly turns the pages to learn what’s around that next sharp turn. Within the first few chapters, I fell in love with most of these characters. There were a few that I didn't like. However, they have such a small—but necessary— role in the story, they were tolerable. This book gets my highest recommendation. The scenes flowed so perfectly that I didn’t want to put it down. Every step of the way, I wanted more. Even had nights when I couldn't go to sleep because I was so engrossed in this novel. I strongly suggest that if you enjoy fictional horror, then this book is for you and you should grab yourself a copy as soon as you can.