Circle of Betrayal

Close Enough To Kill Series Volume 1

Fiction - Thriller - General
352 Pages
Reviewed on 03/22/2016
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Jacqueline Simon Gunn is a clinical psychologist in Manhattan. She is the author of four non-fiction books, including co-authored non-fiction novel, Bare: Psychotherapy Stripped, as well as numerous articles relating to psychology, psychotherapy and running. In addition to her clinical work and writing, she is an avid runner. Circle of Betrayal is her first work of fiction. Gunn is currently working on two sequels for her novel, as well as other writing projects.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Circle of Betrayal is a thriller novel by author Jacqueline Simon Gunn, and the first in the Close Enough to Kill series. Our heroine is Kadee Carlisle, a student of forensic psychology, and through her scientific and often neurotic lens we see that romance is dead and buried. That is, until she meets Noah Donovan, who embodies everything a lover should be, inside and out. Their passionate affair becomes too intense, and Kadee cannot control her overwhelming obsessions, both for Noah’s love and for the truth about him. This breeds darkness within her, and when Noah ends up dead, Kadee can’t be sure that she’s innocent of the crime. Psychology and sex mix as the narrative of the women in Noah’s life unfolds.

Fans of erotic fiction are sure to be thrilled by Jacqueline Simon Gunn’s passionate telling of a torrid romance, and those who also enjoy the crime genre will find it suitably dark. The allusions to clinical psychology are superbly astute, revealing powerful and often sad truths about human nature. The explanations for the motives of each of the main suspects pull no punches, delving deep into the psyche to drag out all the hurt and pain they experience. This is expressed in eloquent prose, with shifting perspectives that allow real insight into more than just Kadee and Noah’s experience. Circle of Betrayal is highly recommended for those seeking a more intellectual erotic read, with well crafted characters and a plot that takes plenty of unexpected twists and turns.

Jack Magnus

Circle of Betrayal: Close Enough To Kill Series, Volume 1 is a psychological thriller written by Jacqueline Simon Gunn. Kadee Carlisle had the kind of beauty that turned the heads of men and women alike, but she was still single at the age of 35. While New York City was the perfect setting for a chance encounter with an eligible man, she had learned long ago that her appearance was all too often all those prospective companions were interested in. The forensic psychology student had just about given up on the concept of having a relationship when she met him in a coffee shop. He was almost too perfect. Noah was tall and good-looking, and he was a doctor, but best of all, he listened to her intently, with interest and enthusiasm sparkling in his eyes as she spoke to him. Her friend, Hailey, had set out for her the right and proper protocols for dating, but when Noah called and asked to see her that same night, she found it impossible to play hard-to-get, and, further, she postponed her plans for finishing her research paper that evening to see him. While she was still resolved not to have sex with him on the first date, she was sure to remove the temptation by arranging to meet him at the restaurant, but it would still, nonetheless, be a struggle. There was something about Noah, something very special.

Jacqueline Simon Gunn's psychological thriller, Circle of Betrayal: Close Enough To Kill Series, Volume 1, is fast-paced, riveting and suspenseful. The author's professional familiarity with the subject matter gives this story and its unforgettable characters immediacy and authenticity. The reader can't help but watch with dismay as Kadee falls in love with the manipulative, controlling and cold Noah. She knows there's a problem with his refusal to meet her friends and socialize with them, and his relationship with Belle, his mother, seems definitely a strange one, but no matter how badly he treats her, she can't turn him away. When Noah is found murdered, she's the first person Detectives Poole and Gibbs consider as their most likely subject. Gunn's detectives are a joy to watch as their differing interview styles and thought processes complement each other’s and make them a formidable team. While predominantly an absorbing psychological thriller, Circle of Betrayal is also a most impressive police procedural mystery. Circle of Betrayal: Close Enough To Kill Series, Volume 1 is an outstanding debut novel. I'm looking forward to seeing the next offering in this series, and I most highly recommend this one.

Marta Tandori

Kadee Carlisle is a 35-year-old forensic psychology graduate student who’s cynical, strong-willed and always has her guard up around men. She likes to flirt and toy with their affections but can never buy into the whole intimacy thing. In other words, she’s always in control of her life. However, as Kadee soon realizes, one random occurrence can change one’s life in a heartbeat and hers is precipitated by an unsettling phone call from her friend, Hailey, who’d been having an affair. This leads to a long telephone discussion, which also leads to Kadee dropping her coffee, creating an unpleasant morning-without-coffee withdrawal that necessitates a trip to the coffee shop around the corner from her apartment – which leads to her chance encounter with Noah Donovan, standing in line in front of her. Tall and lanky, Noah definitely isn’t Kadee’s type, but she’s mesmerized by the way he talks and the way he listens to what she has to say. And he gets her name right from the get-go. Kadee is immediately smitten and when Noah suggests dinner some time, she’s already lusting for him and imagining an afternoon of sex back at her apartment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he’s an upwardly mobile medical doctor. Noah’s dinner invitation comes shortly thereafter, but it doesn’t take Kadee long to realize that there are many things fundamentally wrong with their relationship; the most startling being that despite her so-called independence, she cannot seem to disengage from Noah. However, this is just the beginning of her troubled and turbulent relationship with a man where all is not as it appears…

Circle of Betrayal by Jacqueline Simon Gunn is an erotic, psychological thriller and an obsessively compulsive read that will keep readers off kilter, both intellectually and emotionally, from beginning to end. A psychological thriller is one that emphasizes the psychology of its characters and their emotional – and oftentimes unstable and turbulent – states of mind. Gunn herself is somewhat more innocuous in her description of “five women, one murder, a web of secrets, lies and betrayals.” All very true. However, the book is so much more – and then some. As a clinical psychologist, Gunn knows her subject matter intimately and doesn’t hesitate to explore the darkest recesses of the human psyche. Her prose alternates between engaging and hypnotic, not allowing the reader merely to sit back and become a spectator to the disturbing story as it unfolds. In her effortless style, she provokes us to examine the obsessive/emotionally abusive relationship between her two protagonists and, in effect, forces us to become emotionally invested in every aspect of the story. Circle of Betrayal is many things, but boring certainly isn’t one of them. Well worth the read!