Review: Candy by Caddy Rowlands

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

Have you ever been haunted by a song?

Meet Connor Reed: talented, handsome, and criminally insane. He just doesn’t know the last part. Or does he?

Connor had been determined to become a rock ‘n roll star ever since junior high. It didn’t matter if no one else believed in him. He had Candy. Beautiful, sexy, faithful Candy. He almost couldn’t believe she was his. She had been his girl since high school. So what if she had only been fifteen?

Guys like him never had girls as fabulous as Candy. Hell, he never even had a friend, let alone a girlfriend. In fact, guys like him didn’t get any sort of break. It seemed bad luck was determined to follow him throughout life. From his Jesus-crazy mother to his jealous band mates, betrayal became a common theme.

Each time it happened, Connor had no choice but to do something about it.
But Candy was the exception. She really loved him. Throughout the years, Candy never stopped loving him; she never stopped believing.
Then the unthinkable happened. And, once again, he was forced into action.

You know how it goes.
After all, life is crazy.
But not half as crazy as Connor Reed.

Themes in book: schizophrenia, mental illness, murder, based on lyrics of Iggy Pop’s song Candy



Guest Reviewer Frannie’s Thoughts:

Wow, this psychological thriller/drama was a page turner! Caddy Rowland created a character, Connor Reed, that is mentally disturbed and violent, but for whom readers actually have empathy. His tortured soul, the voices in his head and his inability to distinguish fiction from reality keep readers in complete suspense.

The main character, Connor Reed, starts as a high school student who longs to be a rock and roll star and is committed to playing his guitar. In school he is a loner with peculiar actions and awkward mannerisms. Even his mother, who blames him for his father leaving and her lonely life, is afraid of him and feels that he is dangerous, Instead turning to religion, she punishes him for any indiscretions. Finally, when Connor begs her for a companion, she gives in and buys him a dog. Connor’s skewed reality is so out of check, however, that he terrorizes the dog and his mother.

To retaliate, she locks him in the closet for hours without bathroom breaks or food. No one cares about him except for his girlfriend Candy. For some reason, Candy is able to love him for what he is, a brilliant but tortured soul.

In all his delirium, he has a passion for women, who are drawn to his kind nature and soft spoken manner. He is devilishly good looking with an amazing body and a gift for music and playing the guitar. So when he is eventually incarcerated in an asylum, his doctor, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Brunswick, and his nurse Shannon fall in love with Connor’s dual personality. Women are attracted to the lunatic within him and are convinced that only they will be able to save him. But can Candy, Dr. Brunswick or Shannon be able to save him?

Despite knowing how disturbed he is, the reader can’t help but have sympathy for Connor and in some ways understand his plight. It is a page turner that is very hard to put down!



About the Author:  Caddy Rowlands takes a unique look at all the ways people process life, how they love, hate and exist in a sometimes very dangerous world. Caddy has always been a nonconformist. She pushes the envelope and with it the readers’ emotions by showing that even the villains have soft spots; although many times her characters don’t live happily ever after. Her characters challenge boundaries and insist that prejudices are left behind. Other books she has written include Shame, Seduction and Solace. Caddy Rowland also writes gay m/m romance under the name of Sibley Jackson.

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