Mind Games is a romance suspense novel that is a peek into the concept of the butterfly effect as it relates to human nature, love, and emotions. The “butterfly effect”, is the belief that even the most inconsequential of actions by one person can create enormous after effects – both good and... read more
Mind Games starts out with the presumed two main characters Michelle Beauford and Brad Albrecht - the power couple of NYC - being bombarded with encouragement to marry by their friends and family. Brad is a hot shot attorney born from a legacy of attorneys while Michelle is an event planner... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Mind Games starts out with the presumed two main characters Michelle Beauford and Brad Albrecht - the power couple of NYC - being bombarded with encouragement to marry by their friends and family. Brad is a hot shot attorney born from a legacy of attorneys while Michelle is an event planner for one of the most prestigious marketing and public relations firms in New York City. Everyone envies their perfect relationship, but Brad isn't sure if he's ready to take their five year relationship to the next level of comittment.
While on vacation in Japan, Michelle meets and flirts with a mysterious man, Kenji Sakura, who falls for her, but demonstrates an obsessive love of her. In a cruel twist of dark irony, on the very night that Brad proposes to Michelle, she's kidnapped by Kenji - who had plenty of inside help with his plan thanks to his position within the yakuza syndicate - Duskai. Brad is run out of Japan by Kenji's employees with the threat of further physical harm - after being hung upside down from a hotel balcony overlooking Tokyo Bay. Realizing that she's completely at Kenji's mercy, Michelle forces herself to show affection for a man that she claims to hate while slowly realizing that she is - in reality - very attracted to him.
Eventually the stress of submitting to a love that her subconscious can't support causes Michelle to have an accident and suffer from amnesia - much to Kenji's relief. He uses the opportunity to reinvent Michelle into Annellyse Crawford, his soon to be wife. All seems fine until Interpol agent Daniel Thompson - who's always been tracking Kenji from before Michelle arrives on the scene - begins sniffing around after a tip from distraught Brad Albrecht. Daniel is determined to nab Kenji who is one of the top members of Duskai. But what seems to be a career move on Daniel's part is actually his need to get back at Kenji, who he blames for the death of his college sweetheart because of Kenji's obsessive nature when it comes to love. Daniel will use anything or anyone to take Kenji down, including Kenji's wife Annellyse. Oddly enough, Daniel falls for Annellyse although he despises her love for Kenji. Deep down he knows that if he just gets Kenji out of the picture, he can make Annellyse remember her past as Michelle and stay with him in Japan.
Through her meetings with Daniel and various flashbacks, the past begins to come back to Annellyse, leaving her to wonder what's real and what isn't. Annellyse's situation is further complicated since she's now married to Kenji and pregnant with their first child. Left in a precarious position, Annellyse matures as an independent character as she tries to navigate between the love she feels for Kenji and her desire for the truth. She begins to learn that her past as "Michelle" wasn't a particularly happy one, and that she is actually better off as Annellyse and married to Kenji. Daniel continues to be a burr in the couple's side, staging multiple antics to either break up the couple or get Kenji out of the picture. Eventually, this forces Kenji's hand. Kenji retaliates by cornering Daniel and serving him with a vicious beating - stopping just short of killing him. This is an act of mercy that Kenji will later regret.
Meanwhile, Daniel has already added pressure to the couple by bringing Annellyse's mother, Elise Beauford (the mother of "Michelle") to Japan to confront Annellyse and Kenji. Realizing that the couple is truly in love with a grandchild that she wants to see regularly (and in a better relationship than Elise is with Annellyse/Michelle's father Charles Beauford), Elise relents and returns to the United States. But, not before Annellyse warns her mother not to let any of her friends - and especially Brad - to know that she's okay and living in Japan as Annellyse Sakura.
Angered that his last ditch effort to break up the happy couple has failed, Daniel loses all grip on reality and decides to take matters into his own hands. Daniel kidnaps and attacks Annellyse, telling her that it would have all been so simple if she had just listened to him when he told her to leave Kenji. In a final stand, Daniel taunts Kenji by checking in via cell phone every-so-often as he parades her around the country to various yakuza syndicates - especially Duskai's rivals. No one will help him, citing their code of honor and unwillingness to be seen as actually helping an Interpol agent. Eventually, with the help of a syndicate friend, Kenji catches Daniel before he can do anymore harm to Annellyse. Angry and tired of being a pawn, Annellyse urges Kenji to finally "end it" with Daniel before the crazed Interpol agent begins to target their newborn son. In a show of independence and an unwillingness to be a victim anymore, Annellyse takes matters into her own hands and kills Daniel, ensuring (for now) that her family will be safe.
This is NOT a book for children or young adults who can't handle mature content. The yakuza organization (a crime syndicate) is a significant back drop which acts as a plot device throughout the novel. There are sexual situations in the novel as well as acts of violence (which also serve as plot devices).
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