Book InfoUnder The Cover of Darkness by Emma Luna
Series: Twisted Legends #8
Genres: Dark Romance
Purchase at: Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
I thought the suffocating loneliness of the last two year were bad, but then I was sent to Lakeridge Psychiatric Facility.
On the outside it’s disguised as helpful brochures and friendly doctors who have vowed to help, but the real truth is just below the surface, lurking in the shadows, and haunting my dreams.
At night he comes—taunting and abusing me. Bending me to his will, and making sure no one believes me.
That is until Dylan.
I can touch him and see him, but if my mind is capable of creating such horrors like my nightmares, can I trust that he's real?
I’m no stranger to breaking rules and living on the edge. I guess it kind of comes with the territory of being a rockstar. But when I’m forced to attend Lakeridge, to serve my time and get sober, I’m met with the one thing I know I can’t have.
I know we don’t have a chance, not unless I want to get kicked out of here, and made to finish my sentence in a proper prison. Still, something about her calls to me.
There is more to the marks on her pale skin than the doctors say, and her nightmares seem to be a little too real.
Digging deeper into the madness, I’m left to question, can nightmares really leave scars? Or am I becoming mad too?
Under The Cover of Darkness - My Review
There are some urban legends which are pretty much set in stone. Small details may change everybody knows and keeps to the story. Others, like Slender Man, are much more fluid and have so many different versions that it’s difficult to remember where the original story started. It’s that fluidity that makes it such a great story to retell, and Emma Luna certainly takes advantage of this.
Dylan is a drugged-up rockstar entering court-mandated rehab; Addy is under long-term psychiatric hold following a breakdown after the death of her family. They clash when they first meet so there’s a bit of an enemies to lovers vibe going on in this story. While Dylan is struggling with getting sober and thoughts of staying that way once he leaves Lakeridge, Addy is plagued by night terrors featuring the enigmatic Slender Man. The nightmares started when she was first admitted to the facility and, since then, the professionals have convinced her that they’re a manifestation of her mind. Never mind the injuries she sustains each time Slender Man visits her – she’s inflicting them upon herself while she sleeps.
When Addy and Dylan are forced to work out their differences and start to get to know one another, Dylan begins to question how Addy could possibly be causing the wounds she bears. Together they work towards helping each other heal and, as is inevitable, start to fall for each other. But what about Addy’s delusions of Slender Man and his threat to hurt Dylan if she doesn’t keep away?
I have a few issues with the realism of the story details, and yes, I’m well aware that Under The Cover of Darkness is a book based on an urban legend. Firstly, I don’t understand how Addy and Dylan ended up in the same facility, essentially working through the same therapy when they’re two people with vastly different problems. Then there’s the completely lax approach to safety and security in Lakeridge. Having been admitted to the unit after a suicide attempt, would Addy not have been on a 15-minute watch instead of allowed to go all night, each night without observation? Regardless of whether Slender Man was real or one of her delusions, this would at least have allowed staff to confirm how her injuries were being sustained. Then there’s the fact that Dylan and Addy were left alone together frequently enough that they could develop a romantic relationship and do the dirty. That’s negligent care, but at least the unit owns up to that by the end of the story.
But, let me put aside my issues for the moment. Despite all that, the story was an enjoyable one (a few scenes excepted – you’ll know what I mean once you read). I loved Addy’s spark and her cute little sidekick Sin. It was heartwarming to see both Addy and Dylan grow and heal and there were some amazing moments between them. I thought I’d gotten Slender Man figured out pretty quickly, but then an about turn had me doubting myself. It’s brilliant when an author can do that to you. Turns out I was right, after all, but those moments when you realise you have absolutely no explanation for what’s going down are kind of unnerving.
Despite its failings in the technical details Under The Cover of Darkness is a thoroughly good book that will keep you hooked for the duration. I also like the hint in the acknowledgements that this might not be the last we see of Dylan and his band – I’d love to see them back in another book.