Reviewed by Tori
William Austin has always wanted to be a nurse, though he’s no longer sure the gratification is worth the pain of losing a patient. For now, he’s a nursing student and works two jobs—barista and private nurse. Will meets Blaine Coventry at the coffee shop, and when the altruistic young attorney offers him a job caring for his Uncle Elliot, Will accepts. Will finds that Elliot’s stroke has left him unable to walk or talk, and Elliot’s husband, James, says the goal is to keep Elliot comfortable until he passes. But Will starts rehabilitation, and his patient soon begins to make progress. When James resists, Will realizes something isn’t right, and investigates. Then he discovers a chilling secret that threatens to forever change Will’s life… or perhaps end it. (Goodreads)
The Left Hand Path reminded me strongly of the movie, The Skeleton Key, starring Kate Hudson. Both storylines revolve around a young health care aid who is hired to help a senior recovering stroke victim. Witchcraft plays a major role as we learn the real reasons behind the hiring of the home health care worker. The differences between the book and the movie is the book is M/M, there is more focus on the romance, and isn’t quite able to pull off the dark gothic feel the movie had but does give a good effort in the suspense department. Also, the book ends on a much, much happier note.
The story starts out in the past, giving the reader a pretty clear idea of what the book is about and the path it will follow. Heavily character driven, we get to know our protagonists on a somewhat singular level. I really don’t feel we spend enough time with everyone involved. It’s all presented in a straight forward manner with out much anticipation. I would have enjoyed also seeing more time spent on developing the romance. It happens pretty fast.
Rich in plot but lacking in length, Erno does a decent job of setting up the story and plotlines. Our hero, Will, is a likable chap in that he is sweet, considerate, intelligent but without coming off as irritatingly perfect. Blaine, a lawyer with whom Will becomes involved with, seems nice but as the story progresses we see shifts in his personality that provide us with even more clues to the main conflict of the story. Personable secondary characters help round out the story and move it forward to the main conflict and conclusion. I liked that we are given a small epilogue towards the end.
The Left Hand Path is a lightweight M/M PNR that reads quickly and offers just enough suspense and romance to hook you. I honestly felt at the end that the book would have greatly benefitted from a longer length. Erno has an interesting premise but is unable to completely develop in the short amount of pages.
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