Title: The Boy in the Barn
Author: Ciana Stone
Publication date: January 2020
Format read: ebook
Fear. That’s what comes to mind when Sophie thinks of her childhood. Fear. And pain.
She ran away from home to protect her unborn child. Now, twenty years later, she’s a woman who learned to put the past and its dark secrets behind her. To stand on her own and to build a good life for herself and her son.
But the past is not yet done with her and those dark secrets rise from the grave. Her courage, and the strength of her love will be put to the test. What’s on the line is everyone she loves.
It’s flight or fight and this time she won’t run.
Fear is all around the barn. This novel surprised me by the sheer force of the cruelty and evil it possesses. Picking The Boy in the Barn was a bet for me. I wanted the shiver of a thriller, and something more. Well, the book ticked all the boxes!
Dark and twisted, The Boy in the Barn contains triggers and you should be aware of them. I went in totally blind and was shocked a couple of times. Yet, the author doesn’t use difficult subjects for the purpose of shocking. It felt to me as if she was merely reporting the atrocities some people may be faced with. Mental and physical abuse are around us, and not talking about it only reinforces the power of the devil. Yes, the reading can be difficult and uneasy, but it only strengthens the plot and the connection between readers and characters.
Talking about characters. Sophie is a strong and caring woman, a loving mother and good friend. I warmed to her really quickly and was glad to get to know her as chapters revealed what she had been through. They say our childhood makes us who we are. I agree to some extent. Depending on our personalities, we either fight it and learn, or reproduce what has scarred us. Sophie has not let what happened to her define her, but it still does, in more ways than she believes. Her story really is heart-breaking, and this emotional side brought a wonderful layer to the tense and scary plot of the book.
What does fear can do to us? If you want a really good answer to this, read The Boy in the Barn. The book includes a cult and the power of a man upon a crowd. It is scary and outraging. I am not a fan of cults in my novels, but Ciara Stone has created a hell on earth and through this cult, it is easier to understand how much pain and fear someone can bring.
All the characters have been touched one way or another by this cult and the fire fuelling it. If many scenes are graphic or cruel, the novel also brings relief, love, and shows how resilience can make a difference and change lives. Courage is needed, especially when horror is lurking in the corner. Ready to face their demons, Sophie and protagonists I can’t talk about (I know, so vague, hate me!) stand up against the shadow that has been poisoning their days.
The Boy in the Barn is an interesting romance suspense novel with enough tension to keep you turning the pages.
You can find the book here.
Thank you to Kelly Lacey for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.
Happily-ever-after is something Ciana believes in with her whole heart. Love may be a bumpy road and there are bound to be some perils along the way but in the end love should win. She tries to take that attitude into her writing and thinks that love, hope and laughter are some of the best medicine there is. Along with books.
She loves to hear from readers and the most important thing she thinks she can ever say is – “thank you. To every reader who has spent his or her hard-earned reading dollars on a Ciana Stone book, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
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