Having never read a Heather Graham title before, I entered the raffle for OUT OF THE DARKNESS on a whim, and unfortunately it didn’t work out for me.
CW: ableism, amisia
Within the first 20 pages of this book, the protagonist’s cousin (who has Down Syndrome) is referred to as a “burden” and “the [r-slur].” While the second comment is (weakly) challenged in the text, there’s absolutely no reason to use either of those words in your manuscript publishing in 2018. They’re harmful and inaccurate, and it’s beyond easy to do better, what with all the resources readily available to writers these days.
Additionally, I had to roll my eyes at the 18 year old hero calling the protag “an excellent lover” - which he knows because “naturally, [they] had been intimate.” Uhh, newsflash: asexual and/or otherwise celibate people exist. They’re not unnatural. Sex isn’t a given just because you’re in a romantic relationship, and it’s quite othering to imply that might be.