It’s been a while since I’ve read a straight-up romance, so when I came across Kalopsia by Lucinda Lamont, I figured it would make for an interesting read.
Kalopsia: Book blurb
Kalopsia – (n.) The delusion of things being more beautiful than they really are.
They say you never know what goes on behind closed doors, but do you really know what goes on outside your front door either?
Kate is a twenty-something, successful woman. Funny, attractive and independent, she seemingly has everything going for her. But when it comes to love, Kate wouldn’t know a good idea if she stopped at a zebra crossing and watched it pass by in front of her.
Suffering at the hands of her mentally abusive partner, she doesn’t quite have the gumption to leave. That is, until Greg shows an interest.
With Greg by her side and offering her everything she has ever wanted, Kate thinks she has finally met her prince. But will temporary feelings have permanent consequences?
Kalopsia: My review
That sounds like quite an interesting premise for a romance! Mental abuse in relationships is not something that’s spoken of enough, I think. Partly because there is quite a bit of grey in this area. Fights and arguments are a normal part of every relationship, and when angry words are said, how we react to and interpret it depends on many factors, ranging from our upbringing to our emotional resilience and just how exhausted we may be on any given day.
Even when it comes to seriously manipulative things like gaslighting, many victims may not even realize the extent to which they are being manipulated or brainwashed by their partner. So I was curious to see how Lucinda Lamont had tackled this mentally abusive partner.
Kalopsia is told entirely from Kate’s perspective. It’s all about how she thinks, what she wants, and how she responds to the people and situations that arise in her life. It is quickly evident that not only is Kate unhappy with Tom – the mentally abusive partner – but that she believes Tom is quite the jerk. He’s an alcoholic; doesn’t work; lives off her money; and expects her to give up her friends and baby sit his daughter when she comes over for her weekly visits.
And Kate is not happy about any of it. Tom has had fits of anger in the past – and though he’s never hit her, Kate is worried he may kill her if she leaves him. Why? Because he keeps threatening to kill his ex-wife – but of course, he’s never acted on the threat.
And though Kate has fallen out of love with Tom, she’s afraid to leave him. Also, she doesn’t have the motivation or push she needs to just get it over with. That is, until she meets Greg.
He’s everything that Tom isn’t – witty, fun, good looking, and seemingly genuinely interested in Kate. After a few heart-to-heart conversations with him, Kate finally gathers the courage to tell Tom that it’s all over between them.
Soon after, its entry – Greg, and Kate’s love life is off to a roller coaster ride. There’s only one hitch in the situation – Greg is a married man. He says he’s in a completely loveless marriage and is about to end it very soon. But Kate can never be sure of his intentions.
So is he the genuine thing or is he just using her? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
At just about 195 pages, it’s a quick breezy read. The biggest stumbling block for me was the fact that the entire story is told from Kate’s perspective. I was not a fan of this treatment, probably because I like my books to be much more layered.
But, once I got used to it, I actually found the front seat view into how a 20-something thinks about love and relationships and marriage very interesting. Here, Lamont has done a fine job at capturing the whiny, anxious way our brains can react to things, and the way we can over analyze situations until we are seemingly reading too much into something.
If you’re looking for a breezy, light read, do give Kalopsia a go!