I’m a pretty big Santino Hassell fan, but my fangirling didn’t start until I had read his first contemporary. I haven’t (YET) gone back and read his In the Company of Shadows series. hangs head in shame I did read Stygian and really enjoyed. So when I read the blurb for Insight I was so incredibly intrigued.
Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.
Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.
Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.
I know right? Psychics, secrets, mysterious visions and sparking heat. GIMME. This is like Angela catnip or something.
Insight starts off slow, introducing the main characters and setting up Nate’s backstory. Nate Black is an empath living in a small suburb of Houston. His abilities have never been anything but a painful hindrance to living a semi-normal, somewhat happy life. When one can feel the emotions of the people he comes into contact with on a regular basis there are no secrets, no mysteries and he knows exactly how they feel about him. To make matters worse, his family is well known and not for any good reasons. They are pretty much known as the town drunks and weirdos.
When Nate is suddenly hit with a vision of his estranged brother’s last moments before his death, he doesn’t know what to do. At first he’s sick and upset, then when he realizes the official story is Theo committed suicide, he knows it’s a lie. No matter the amount of time since they’ve been in contact with each other, no matter what problems they might have had in the past, Theo is Nate’s twin and he knows he wouldn’t have ended his own life. Besides, he knows what he saw in that vision and there was definitely something strange going on. Armed with nothing but a backpack of Theo’s belongings and memories of that vision, Nate heads out toward New York. He’s determined to find out what really happened to Theo. And it’s when he’s hitching his way down the highway that he meets Trent.
As they work their way from Houston, through New Orleans and on into New York, Trent and Nate get to know each other. Their attraction builds at a steady pace and for the first time in his life Nate feels a real connection with another person. A connection filled with warmth and kindness and honest affection. Nate confides in Trent his reasons for traveling to New York and in a moment of irritation the truth of his psychic abilities and his family’s history. Instead of turning away fro his travel companion, Trent is intrigued by Nate’s honesty. Their friendship and attraction grow to a point where they become lovers. But neither knows what will happen when they finally reach New York.
What starts off slow, and sexy if I must say, revs up a bit and becomes much more mysterious once this couple hit the Big Apple. The last months of Theo’s life were spent in a bar known as haven for the psychic glbt community, which is where Nate must go if he wants to find out more about his brother’s life and death. As soon as he hits the front door he realizes he might have made a mistake. Everyone he meets at Evolution is more powerful than he is, and they all have these stories about his brother. Some of them make sense, but others don’t. He learns about the Community and how it is a safe place for those with psychic talent. As Nate digs deeper and slowly peals back the layers of Theo’s past and his involvement with Evolution, the Community, and all the players within this story really gets going and I was on the edge of my seat wondering what in the hell was really going on. Who were the bad guys? Who were the good guys? What makes this even more dark and mysterious is the fact that Nate is still seeing visions and experiencing certain moments in Theo’s life in his dreams. I don’t really want to give away too many spoilers, so suffice it to say that while I enjoyed the opening of Nate and Trent and their connecting while on the journey to New York, I really feel like this story really hits its stride once the details and history of the Community and their link to Nate’s family slowly begin to trickle onto the page.
But this is a romance, so I’ll mention that I really enjoyed Nate and Trent and their smoking hot attraction to each other. Smoking. Hot. Lawdy. They have a HFN ending, but for me it was exactly how their book should have ended. Don’t worry though, I have a feeling we will be seeing much, much more of this couple as the series progresses. Which makes me a very happy. Final Grade- B+
“A psychic community,” Nate said slowly. “What is it, like a Facebook group?”