Words are funny things.
Their meaning, the pictures they paint in the minds of those that hear them: they’re not always the same and to me at least, that makes them meaningless.
Take for instance the phrase ‘black widow’. Those words conjure the image of a spider, an eight-legged creature with the red imprint of an hourglass on its abdomen.
However, instead of speaking of an arachnid, of the resident of a spindly and dew-laden web, the people who whisper those words are talking about something much different.
They’re talking about me.
From what I’m told, I’m called the Black Widow because no man I’ve ever loved has survived.
Yet, I have no memory of any of it.
My new home leads me to the definition of another vague and meaningless word.
It’s a place where I’m supposed to seek refuge.
A place of retreat and security.
It’s a place where I’m supposed to be kept safe because I’m sick.
But the definition for this place is wrong and the word becomes meaningless when you’re tucked away and made silent by drugs and pretty white jackets.
My name is Alexandra Sutton and this is the story of what happened when I was imprisoned inside an Asylum.

It’s no secret that I adore this author and her wickedly erotic, mindblowingly dark, and downright fascinating stories that keep me on my toes and leave me reeling with twist after turn. It never ceases to amaze me the things Lily White can come up with and the originality behind her stories is the main driving force of why her books are such a smashing success. Asylum in particular stood out to me as most, if not all, of the story would be taking place within a mental institution and with an alleged murderer as a heroine and an enigmatic doctor as the ‘hero,’ things were bound to get interesting. And while I was truly entertained by the psychotic events as well as the diverse cast of characters, I was also left somewhat underwhelmed.

Dubbed the ‘Black Widow,’ Alexandra Sutton is quarantined in a well-known mental institution for further evaluation after being considered as the prime suspect of a murder. A murder she doesn’t remember. In fact, certain key and traumatic events in her life she has absolutely no memory of. Sometimes she’s grounded in reality; sometimes she floats off in an illusion. The only thing she’s certain of is that she did not commit the murder she was accused of, but with no one who believes her, Alex is well and truly stuck in the asylum, surrounded by white jackets, white walls and quieted by the drugs running in her veins.Dr. Jeremy Hutchins is Alex’s newly assigned psychiatrist. Not much is known about him or his background but he seems to be dedicated in solving her case. Though it’s not instant, there is an underlying attraction between the two that’s only enhanced as the story goes on because of the taboo nature of their doctor/patient relationship. For once, Alex feels safe and like she can breathe whenever she’s close to Jeremy. And the opposite is true for Jeremy: he’s not repulsed by her mental instability or the crimes she may or may not have committed.

The premise of this story is an intriguing, original, and compelling one and overall I did like it. However, (and this is a personal preference of mine) when stories take liberties with any psychological issues, I usually cannot fully enjoy the book. I appreciate the author warning that liberties were taken with illness treatments and completely understand that a story is fictional and is for entertainment purposes only, but it’s just not something I can get accustomed to while reading and will always hinder my enjoyment of the book. Plus, there were so many mind games, crazy characters, and even crazier events going on I think I was just overwhelmed by it all instead of being blown away over any one revelation.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have just been spoiled by all the usually amazing books Lily White puts out which is why I have such high expectations for each one. Regardless of my underwhelmed response to this book, it’s still a very well-written, well-researched, but batshit crazy story that you MUST be in the mood for.Asylum is a dark erotic standalone with mystery and thriller elements. It is not related to any other books from the author.