Hanover House by Brenda Novak

February 18th, 2016 Kimberly Review 69 Comments

18th Feb
Hanover House by Brenda Novak
Hanover House
by Brenda Novak
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 198
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Welcome to Hanover House….Psychiatrist Evelyn Talbot has dedicated her life to solving the mysteries of the psychopathic mind. Why do psychopaths act as they do? How do they come to be? Why don’t they feel any remorse for the suffering they cause? And are there better ways of spotting and stopping them? After having been kidnapped, tortured and left for dead when she was just a teenager—by her high school boyfriend—she’s determined to understand how someone she trusted so much could turn on her. So she’s established a revolutionary new medical health center in the remote town of Hilltop, Alaska, where she studies the worst of the worst. But not everyone in Hilltop is excited to have Hanover House and its many serial killers in the area. Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok, is one of them. And yet he can’t help feeling bad about what Evelyn has been through. He’s even attracted to her. Which is partly why he worries. He knows what could happen if only one little thing goes wrong…


Hanover House by Brenda Novak is a prequel novella in the Hanover House Chronicles. Book one, Her Darkest Nightmare releases in September 2016. Hanover House is a romantic suspense with a dark bite to it. Novak weaves in the mind of a serial killer as she thrusts us into this thriller.

Novak takes us to Hilltop Alaska with the intro to this dark romantic suspense featuring Evelyn Talbot a psychiatrist whose past drive her s to unlock the mysteries of psychopathic minds. Edgy and suspenseful Hanover House gave us a taste of the darkness to come. As a teen, Evelyn was kidnapped and tortured at the hands of her high school boyfriend. Damaged and driven she is determined to understand. She has secured the funding for Hanover House and Hilltop, Alaska will now house some of the most dangerous sociopaths.

The small-town of Hilltop did not have the political muscle to stop the medical center and their only officer, Alaskan State Trooper, Sergeant Amarok finds himself conflicted. He is not happy about these offenders being housed in their backyard but he is curious and attracted to Evelyn Talbot.

Novak really delivered the suspense and thrills from introducing sociopaths to taking us inside the mind of a serial killer and introducing threats. Evelyn carries the scars of her nightmare both physically and emotionally but that does not deter her. While I admired her tenacity, a part of me thinks she is a bit of a daredevil. Novak did a great job of fleshing her out and allowing us to understand her drive. She is strikingly beautiful, but socially inept. Her poor mother, I felt for the woman and have to wonder how she sleeps at night or for that matter how Evelyn functions.

The perspectives, letters and other tools Novak used to relay this tale added suspense and pushed this into thriller territory. I loved the dark tones, and perspectives from a serial killer and those of a prospective patient. Those sensitive to rape, torture and mental abuse may find some chapters disturbing even though Novak was not overly detailed.

What makes this a romantic suspense is the relationship that develops between Evelyn and Sergeant Amarok. This will be a slow building relationship but the chemistry is there. I was surprised to see the age difference. Amarok is younger but so far, the relationship feels genuine.

For fans of dark romantic suspense, an interest in sociopaths and thrillers Hanover House set the stage for a promising and engaging series.

Read an Excerpt

He’d found what he needed. At last. After twenty years of waiting, of planning, of purposely blending in to escape notice, he had the thread that would lead him back to the only woman who’d ever really mattered in his life.

The only woman who’d ever been a challenge.

The only woman who’d ever gotten away.

Once his parents had finally gone to bed, and long after anyone would expect for them to have a visitor, Jasper Moore stared down at the envelope he’d recovered from his father’s desk. Inside was a letter from Evelyn Talbot’s father, pleading with Stanley and Maureen to come forward if they possessed any information on Jasper’s whereabouts. It said that Evelyn had been through enough. That the Moores should finally do the right thing and divulge any information they possessed.

But they never would. They were the ones who’d helped him escape in the first place, all those years ago—and they told everyone they hadn’t seen him since before the murders, even though, in recent years, he risked a furtive visit now and then, if he could do it safely.

Anyway, it wasn’t the letter that concerned Jasper. He didn’t give a shit about the Talbots’ emotional plea for justice and closure.

He was far more interested in the return address on the outside.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

69 Responses to “Hanover House by Brenda Novak”

  1. Lexxie

    I loved this introduction to Hanover House, Kim, and I can’t wait to see what will happen later in this series. It’s very dark, though, and Evelyn is kind of a daredevil.
    Great review 🙂

  2. Kala

    I read this last month and absolutely LOVED it! I cannot wait for the first book to come out. Sounds absolutely creepy and disturbing. Perfect to read on a rainy winter night 🙂

  3. Lorna

    I have read another review about this book and really thought it was by you but I am wrong, of course. I don’t think this would be a good one for me, although a few years ago I would have loved it. I am changing a bit in what I will read and starting to get away from all the serial killer type books I used to read so many of, and moving more towards contemporary romance, in addition to the paranormal 🙂

  4. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve been really wanting to read this one. Does it say something about me that I like a dark thriller like this? Evelyn sounds like a character I’d like to meet even if she is a daredevil. Great review!

  5. Samantha

    I compared this to the book version of Criminal Minds. I love the creepy factor! I can never get enough of true crime documentaries and crime tv shows. This book was a perfect fit for me even though the ‘romance’ is not at the forefront.

  6. Katherine

    I’ve always enjoyed Novak’s writing but there were a few plot lines in her Whiskey Creek series that strayed into ick territory for me. This is and the book she had out this past summer both have me seriously intrigued. I think she’d write fabulous romantic suspense and it sounds like this qualifies. I’m looking forward to reading this one!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Katherine, I read one of the Whiskey Creek books, and didn’t even realize she wrote romantic suspense..I am very excited to continue the series. I like the darker elements. She holds back on the details but still managed to amp up the suspense.

  7. Lover Of Romance

    Its always a unique experience to read the darker reads….and you definitely have me curious about this. I haven’t read this author, but I want to.

  8. Tyler H. Jolley

    I didn’t realize this was a series. Isn’t it funny how much you empathize with the mothers and fathers in books. Those thoughts never creeped into my head until I had kids.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      No worries, SuziQ you can just leave the URL link blank 🙂 The only requirement to comment is first name and email address 🙂 I hope you try this, I am excited about the series.

  9. Candace

    I hadn’t heard of this series yet. It sounds intense. I’m a bit curious. I was thinking that’s a short book but then saw you said it’s a novella. For a novella that’s a good size. I may consider reading this, I’m not sure yet if it’s too dark for me.

  10. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Wow, this one definitely grabs me…and I love the idea of a person turning her situation into a proactive search for answers. She becomes a healer instead of a victim. Thanks for sharing.

  11. kindlemom1

    This is so an author that I need to try. I was thinking I had but now that I look on Goodreads, I don’t think I have, shame on me!

  12. Quinn's Book Nook

    Holy cow, this definitely seems dark and intense. I’ve never read anything about Brenda Novak but she is an author I want to try. I love that the book is set in Alaska!

  13. Jenny

    While the rape and torture sentence really got my attention and made me question if this is the book for me, I don’t think I can pass it up Kim! I absolutely loved the one book of Brenda Novak’s I’ve read, so I think I need to give this a try for sure. With the lights on of course:)

  14. Lilyn G

    Hmm. This is one of several good reviews I’ve read about this book. Might as well give in and add it to my TBR.

  15. Kristin

    You what the forked it? Somehow, I’m having problems with “securing funding” and “not enough political muscle”. I can’t see psychopaths being housed together to be studied. Call me crazy…. bwahahahahahaha…. yeah, cold meds dumb down my funniness…

    Great middle of the road review!!!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes it was forkable…I mean she was traumatized and now she wants to study them? It was a novella and that hurt it, because you know me ..I want more!

  16. melliane

    the name does ring a bell but I can’t remember if I have read a book by her or if I have seen many reviews about her. I’ll have to investigate

  17. Jen

    This sounds like an interesting read, but…. before I go out and buy it, it’s not a vampire/werewolf etc story is it?