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Out of Habit: Sometimes we dare to change the things we do strictly…

Out of Habit: Sometimes we dare to change the things we do strictly…

by Kathleen Dutton

Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers’ Favorite

Out of Habit is a curious and catchy title chosen by Kathleen Dutton for this book. The habit refers to the clothes worn by the convent nuns who take in and care for Allison Weston after the brutal deaths of her parents. She meets Ryan Harper after his truck wrecks her bicycle and this is the start of a tumultuous relationship. While Ryan becomes more and more infatuated, Allie holds back. She is harboring a secret she refuses to share, even if she can remember the details of her earlier life. Ryan appears to be the perfect boyfriend, kind, caring, thoughtful, and good-looking to add to the mix. He works as a sports photographer and journalist for a local paper. Allie however, had planned on taking the veil and spending the rest of her life in the convent. She qualifies as a teacher, specializing in the deaf. Both Allie and Ryan become attached to Jessie, one of the younger children, and it seems the way is clear for a happily ever after story. But Allie will not commit; she is uncertain and scared and that is before the blackmailing notes arrive.

I understood Allison’s reticence since she has deep-seated fears about her past, but wasn’t that years ago? Why does she feel she cannot move on? There is also the question as to whether she will remain in the convent and take her vows. It is where she feels safe. I was hooked, even before the threatening letters arrived and Allie had her flat wrecked. Now there are two unanswered questions. At times I wanted to shake Allie and beg her to share her memories and her fears with those who could help her. I could feel for her and cared what happened to her. It is always the sign of a good book when the characters come to life and engage the reader. I enjoyed this tale. It is well written, and there were no places where I had to recheck earlier facts or wonder who was who. From the nuns in the convent to Ryan’s family, each person made such an impression that I could picture them as if I had met them in real life. As a debut novel, this is an impressive work, including both a love story and a mystery and it is a very satisfying read. I was sad when I finished it. Kathleen Dutton’s Out of Habit is an ideal beach read that may keep you reading until the small hours.

Out of Habit: Sometimes we dare to change the things we do strictly…