Book Reviews

Chrysalis (The Formicary 1) by S.E. Harmon

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Disability / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 01-October-2021

Book Blurb

Waking up in the hospital with a gunshot wound to the head is bad. Finding out I have amnesia is far worse. My memory is practically wiped. I don’t know why someone wants me dead. Hell, I don’t even know my name. They say my name is Christian Cross. Too bad that name means nothing to me.

I haven’t forgotten everything, though. Grayson Laurie has always been my kryptonite, and it would take more than a bullet to the brain to forget him. He assures me that I’m imagining the distance between us, but I know better. I just don’t know how to fix it. I console myself that at least I've reached rock bottom and things can’t get worse…until they do.

My life is a tangled mess of lies and deceit. The more I learn about myself, the less I want to know. I want nothing more than an honest future with Gray, but the past isn't about to let me go without a fight.

Fortunately, I’m starting to realize that fighting is my specialty.


Book Review

“Revenge proves its own executioner.” ~ John Ford, The Broken Heart


Christopher Cross (Chris), of ‘Chrysalis’ by S.E. Harmon, wakes up in a hospital room with no idea of who he is or why he is there. The only thing he can remember is Grayson Laurie, the love of his life. Finally, Grayson comes to see him, but he is inexplicably distant. Chris thinks they are still together, but the reality is they haven’t been for years, ever since Chris disappeared without a trace, leaving Grayson angry and broken-hearted. Chris doesn’t know what happened or what he did wrong, but he tells Grayson that he will do anything within his power to fix it.

Grayson allows Chris to kiss him in a moment of weakness, but a furious man, Grayson’s current boyfriend, interrupts them. Understandably, he demands to know what is going on. Grayson takes him out into the hall and explains that Chris has a brain injury that has left him with amnesia. Grayson begs his boyfriend to be understanding. His boyfriend leaves in a huff. Grayson comes back into Chris’s room.


Chris feels increasingly unsafe in the hospital; he makes an escape plan. He waits for the night shift when the hospital is quieter, steals scrubs, and walks out of the hospital with no money and no place to go. A car pulls up beside him, and he freezes until he realizes it is Grayson who insists that he get in the car. Grayson takes Chris home, where they both used to live. When the authorities come looking for Chris, Grayson tells them he hasn’t seen him. Lying is totally out of character for Grayson. Chris feels bad he has to. While Grayson is at work, Chris searches the house, looking for clues that will help him remember. He finds a secret room, one that he is sure that Grayson isn’t aware of. In the room, he finds some disturbing things. There are weapons on every wall, money, and several passports. As he surveys the items, Chris wonders if he even wants to remember who he is.


This book is the first in the ‘Formicary’ series. Chris’s amnesia makes him an unreliable narrator, adding suspense to the story. As Chris’s memory returns, he realizes how lethal he is and how dangerous his past has been. Now, Chris understands why he left Grayson without saying goodbye. As he contemplates leaving again, Grayson tells him he has tried to stay away from Chris, but, even though he is sure it will end in heartache, he loves him too much to let him go. When Grayson begs him not to leave, against his better judgment, Chris stays. Whatever comes their way, they will face it together.


‘Chrysalis’ is an exciting story, full of intrigue and suspense. Many stories within stories kept my mind churning, trying to figure out what was happening. This would make an action-packed movie! Thanks, S.E. I can hardly wait for the next book.



DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book was purchased by the reviewer.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 274 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 01-September-2021
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link