The Recluse


Edward Kendrick


Fireborn Publishing

Release Date

November 12th, 2016



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TV star Laird Wakefield died after a motorcycle accident--or so it was announced to the news outlets by his doctors. Not true. With his face horribly scarred, he has gone into total seclusion, living in what the townspeople call "the haunted mansion on the hill" for the past five years.

But that is about to change. On a dare from his brother, twenty-three-year-old Dev Pierson breaks into the mansion's basement. When Laird catches him in the act, Dev is terrified at first when he sees Laird's face and Rage, Laird's huge guard dog. Much to Dev's surprise, after he explains why he's there, Laird invites him upstairs for a drink.

Slowly, a friendship develops between the two men. Then the question becomes, can Dev convince Laird to face his fears and end his reclusive existence? And if he makes the attempt, will Laird survive emotionally?



Book Cover

  • Meh


  • Too brief to put down


  • How Laird trolled people who tried to break in by using recorded screams and having his not-so-vicious dog named Rage ready to attack
  • Laird and Dev both seem like really decent guys, and this haunted house break-in is probably the best thing to ever happen to them both*
  • It seems like Laird isn't as negatively affected emotionally by his scars as his agoraphobia would have us believe**
  • That Laird's dog has been his best friend for the past few years or so
  • A lot of the stories with scarred characters tend to be angsty or sad, and they really don't have to be
  • The women in this story have been great and super supportive; no misogynistic stereotypes***
  • They've been through a lot together...

Character Depth

  • Hip deep

Mood Upon Completion

  • Happy


  • No typos

Sex Scenes

  • Decently hot
  • Decently sweet^


  • …but they've only known each other for 3-4 months, and they're already getting married; that escalated quickly
  • We don't get much at all about Dev's family; it seems like they'd be supportive like his friends

Emotional Depth

  • Weakly emotional

Content Warnings

  • None

^There was only one sex scene, but it’s a short story so that’s fine

*Laird thankfully didn’t seem as closed off to a relationship as I expected; there wasn’t really any “You can’t love me, I’m hideous!” crap.

**He takes neighborhood walks at night because he doesn’t want the paparazzi to find out where he lives and get pictures of him, not because he’s scared of people or the outside world. He also knows his scarring is extensive, and that people don’t tend to handle anything too outside their norm very well, so he doesn’t want the hassle. There’s no “he stared broodingly out the window as he brooded about never going outside” kind of cliche that’s often present in books with agoraphobic characters.

***It’s great when most of the characters are positively portrayed; I’m not looking for a utopia, but it’s just refreshing that the antagonist is a nebulous entity (the media) instead of a specific person. It’s also fine if there are negative people in a story, as long as their negativity isn’t based in stereotypes.

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