NEW ADULT: Psychological Thriller | Romance | Suspense
POV: First Person, Alternating
READ BELOW: SYNOPSIS | REVIEWS | EXCERPT
Can love triumph over all –even catatonic depression? Can love defeat everything–even a diabolical evil?
A new bride suffering from catatonia. A determined husband trying to break through the black pit in which her brain escaped to. And a ruthless abomination who will stop at nothing to tear them apart.
Melvin and Erica are childhood sweethearts. Theirs is a love nurtured through the years. Everything is perfect. They are on the road to their happily ever after. Until their love is put to a series of tests: trials of fire.
Erica is brutally assaulted, left for dead but miraculously survives. Undeterred, they go through with their wedding. But an unwanted outcome and an unexpected memory of the assault push Erica to the edge. Her mind switches off. She becomes catatonic.
Armed with only his unwavering love for her, Melvin strives to unlock her mind and bring her back to him.
But what if the key to her brain opens up a Pandora’s box, unraveling a hideous truth about the crime which they mistakenly thought was solved? Will they be able to accept it—or survive it?
Chroma Hearts is an intensely emotional psychological thriller about a love that destroys and a love that heals.
Top review by Bookbed.org:
“My heart was pounding the whole time I was reading this book because [expletive deleted]. It opened with a crime (stuff of nightmares, really), and I thought the writing style was nothing less than perfect—vivid and dramatic. …
“The whole thing felt like following a crime movie or TV show, complete with mini cliffhangers, dramatic plot twists and flashbacks and wtf-worthy revelations. At the rate my investment was going, I was already practically begging to get to the bottom of it all even in just the first few chapters. But what I was into was how moral compass, family dynamics and most of all, mental illness were explored. This was the first time in years I’ve come across catatonia in a romantic context. …
“It was a smorgasbord of emotional black hole-forming elements. … I found the ending quite satisfying (and surprising, … I felt like there were no loose ties left behind, and that the author was able to cover all gaping wounds in the best possible way.
“Chroma Hearts by Mayumi Cruz is a gripping and thought-provoking story about fighting for love against mental illness, with a side of crime solving. Strongly recommended for those who enjoy mind-stirring and heart-squeezing.”
The following reviews can be found HERE.
“You hit the right note with this book.”
“If you’re an adrenaline junkie, this fast-paced gripping tale of unwavering love and betrayal is for you.”
“In her dedication, Miss Mayumi wrote, ‘Enjoy reading!’ and I really did! The book has a strong start. I have a couple of ‘what the fck moments’ when some events happened and some truths unveiled–and that’s positive. It obviously means I’m affected. Besides the plot, what I liked most about this is Miss Mayumi’s words. Artsy. Especially Erica’s letter/poem. That made my heart melt and want to have a love like theirs–strong, and can withstand all the storms. Love that will choose to fight and forgive each other. Love that doesn’t leave.”
“Super ganda ng story!” (English translation: “The story is so beautiful!”)
Bullets were still pouring haphazardly into the room. The man by the window stumbled backward, his back falling flat on the floor with a loud thud. Another bullet zoomed above my head, followed by a spree of shots. I heard a groan from the direction of the bed. Hurriedly, I finished loosening the chain around the table’s foot and was starting to pull it, when suddenly, a bloodied, half-naked body dropped to the floor beside me.
Cold fear gripped me. I was afraid to move. The body was just a foot away from me. It was clearly on the point of death, struggling hard to breathe. Sprawled on the floor, neck angled awkwardly to the left, its face was covered with stringy, thick hair with only an eye barely visible, half-closed, glassy.
I held my breath as trembling, blood-streaked fingers groped and fumbled aimlessly, nearly missing my hand. Slowly, I shifted myself out of its way. To my horror, its fingertips found and grasped my watch instead. The bronze outer casing with the embossed anchor design glinted under the flashes of blaring car lights.
Realizing its find, the eye snapped fully open, its pupil dilating. I stifled a gasp. It focused its vision on the watch, which was literally under its nose. Shaking, blood-smeared fingers tip-toed over the surface of the watch’s casing, then slid up and down over the raised outline of the anchor, carefully, almost reverently. As if committing it to memory.
Suddenly, the eye shifted its line of vision. It flickered beyond the watch. It focused on me.
I almost had a heart attack.
It was looking directly at me.
It recognized me.
Or not. Of course not! It cannot see me. It wouldn’t recognize me. My head was covered with a hood. My face was hidden by darkness. Struggling to calm my wildly thumping heart, I leaned further backward, just to make sure.
Suddenly, generous blood coughed out of the person’s mouth, followed by shallow, labored breaths. The sound of dying. I almost shouted with joy. Dreadful wheezing. Ragged groaning. A short grunt, much like an animal being slaughtered. And then, stillness.
Dead at last.
I yanked my watch. It was full of blood. I hated blood. I dug into my pocket and took out my handkerchief. I wiped the blood off feverishly. I was doing a good job at it too, when the front door was whacked forcibly, repeatedly, its hinges almost breaking loose. It was only then that I noticed the shooting had stopped. The police were trying to get inside the room.
Scrambling to my feet, I opened the back door, stumbling outside. I closed it just as I heard the front door crash down with a deafening bang. Without looking back, I ran.
The darkness of the night and the trees shielded me. I ran fast, down the narrow, rugged path of the rocky hill to an off the beaten road, sliding a few times down. But I got up, kept on, panting, stumbling, and running again. At last, I came upon my car at the foot of the hill, parked and concealed by tall, wild grass. I slid inside, shaking off dirt from my pants and fired up the engine.
About a kilometer away, I put my foot down on the brake. I got out and roamed my eyes around. The night was pitch black with only the sound of chirping, local crickets for company. The mountain range loomed tall, dark, and formidable all around me. I didn’t wait long. The sound waves reflected by the towering summits were carried to my ears by the wind. Echoes drifted, persisted for some time: “Sir! They’re all dead, sir!” “No one’s alive!” “All clear!”
Well, how about that? The police did all the work for me. I’ve been told their motto was to serve and protect and did they deliver! They served me by killing off the people I was planning to eliminate from my life, and they protected me by getting all the credit for doing it.
Pulling down the hood from my head, I slid back inside and stared at myself at the overhead mirror to find my hair was a mess. I grimaced. I hated mess. Removing the gloves carefully, I wrapped them in old newspaper, reminding myself to dispose of them later. I ran my fingers through my hair for some semblance of order. My watch told me the time, and I grinned. I was right on schedule. I didn’t have to drive like crazy to catch my flight.
I was already safely and comfortably seated inside the plane when I realized I was missing something.