Young Adult Book Review: Suspicion by Alexandra Monir

Title: Suspicion
Author: Alexandra Monir
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Genre Type: Paranormal
Publication Date: December 9th 2014
Source: ARC from Delacorte Press

Haunted by her parents' deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin's untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion's aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself--and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.

"There's something hidden in the maze."

Suspicion is one of those books that immediately caught my attention, seeming to be a near perfect fit for my reading taste. I had extreme *grabby hands* with this book. Here's what I said in my post for Waiting On Wednesday back in July where I gushed about how much I would love to read this book. And, I said ...

"I must be honest. The cover for Suspicion completely intrigues me with the mysterious girls running into that lush maze. Plus this book boast three of my favorite things: Romance, a beautiful setting, opulent manor & maze, plus a good-old-fashioned, spine tingling mystery. I want to know what is behind that maze!"

So, if you've read my blog any then you know I have a *thing* for settings, swoony romance and the paranormal, well ... how did the book fare to someone who eats those requirements like bonbons? Pretty well my peeps. The story kept me turning the pages, as I was literally besides myself trying to get to the part where I find out whether the girl is running into the maze - away from something, or to get to something. Ha! It's a little of both.

Suspicion is a romantic mystery at heart in my opinion, with a touch of Gothic influence from the classic Rebecca, a smidgen of paranormal to keep things unique, and a bit of the girl-turns-princess. The English setting of Rockford manor and the gardens and maze all set off beautifully the mystery portion perfectly and I could not have been happier in that aspect.

The mystery as I mentioned, kept me eagerly turning the pages. In the beginning there is a disaster with very sinister tones at Rockford manor, leaving Imogen broken in spirit and takes the lives of both her parents. Flashed forward seven years to New York where she is finally getting over the destruction with the help of her very sweet and caring guardians. A mysterious letter arrives pulling her back into the heart of the mystery of Rockford manor - a home that haunts her still. Determined to solve the mystery behind her parents death, the secret within the maze and her feelings for Sebastian, Imogen returns to Rockford Manor. Though it seemed to happen all quiet fast, I liked the take charge attitude Imogen took when deciding to return to Rockford. Once young and vulnerable, she showed some spirit and decisiveness in her actions.

The role of supernatural. This is the part that I so loved yet, I was also disappointed in. There is a touch of paranormal/supernatural that comes in play that I really enjoyed, and I would have loved for it to have been fleshed out better and explained in much greater depth. I was very fascinated with a certain ancestress and how she played a part with the maze, the occult, and the paranormal, but I was left wanting more.

Now as to the romance, and Sebastian. The name conjures up a dark, brooding hero. One that is sure to make you swoon right? I may have been overexcited, causing too high of expectations, but he fell a little short of my book-boyfriend material. I could see Imogen's fascination with the brooding Sebastian to a certain point, only I never really felt the romance between these two as much as I had wanted.

In the end, I got the absolutely yummy, Gothic setting I had hoped for, an intriguing mystery with Rebecca overtones to keep me turning the pages, and some unexpected supernatural surprises. The romance was okay, but did not quite meet my high expectations. Most of all, by the end of the story ... oh, yes - I knew what exactly was in the maze Imogen was running to and from.

I would recommend Suspicion to readers who want to escape reality to a romantic mystery with gorgeous Gothic settings and who like a touch of the supernatural in their reads.

My Rating: 3.5/4 Stars.

PLEASE NOTE: A copy of this book was provided by Delacorte Press in exchange for my fair and honest review. Thank you Delacorte Press for the review opportunity!