You Shouldn’t Have Come Here Summary, Characters and Themes

“You Shouldn’t Have Come Here” is a psychological thriller novel by Jeneva Rose. It tells the story of Grace Evans, a woman from New York City who seeks a peaceful getaway at an Airbnb on a ranch in Wyoming. The ranch owner, Calvin Wells, is charming and attractive, but Grace soon uncovers unsettling details: a lack of cell service, a missing woman, and a growing feeling that something isn’t right.

The novel has been praised for its suspenseful plot, unexpected twists, and exploration of themes like isolation, deception, and the dark side of human nature.


Grace Evans, a New York banker, seeks solitude at a Wyoming ranch Airbnb. The handsome host, Calvin Wells, welcomes her, but Grace soon finds unsettling signs: women’s underwear in a dresser, a bloody window, and a lack of phone service. Calvin explains away the oddities, and they begin a whirlwind romance, fishing, horseback riding, and sharing intimate details.

Grace’s unease grows as she experiences strange events: a woman’s scream in the night, a pit filled with animal carcasses, and an encounter with the local sheriff who shows her a picture of a missing woman, a previous guest. 

Calvin’s brothers, Joe and the mechanic, add to the tension with their drunken behavior and a violent confrontation.

As Grace digs deeper, she learns about Calvin’s tragic past, his dead parents, and his ex-girlfriend who died in a car accident involving Joe. 

She also discovers that the missing woman never arrived at the ranch. 

A birthday party for Calvin turns passionate, but Grace continues to uncover disturbing secrets.

The arrival of Albert, an older guest, and the revelation of his connection to Calvin’s family raise more questions. A confrontation with Wyatt, a local deputy, reveals a tangled web of relationships and infidelity. 

Grace finds herself drawn into the ranch’s dark history, haunted by nightmares and a growing sense of danger.

The situation escalates when Joe attempts to burn down the house, confessing to a dark family secret. 

Sheriff Almond advises Grace to leave, but she sneaks into the basement and discovers a photo of Albert and a guest book with the missing woman’s signature.

As the truth unravels, Grace realizes she’s in grave danger. Calvin’s behavior becomes increasingly menacing, and she uncovers his gruesome secret: he’s a serial killer who taxidermies his female victims. In a desperate fight for survival, Grace kills Calvin and frees the missing woman, Briana.

After setting the house on fire, Grace escapes and returns to the gas station where her journey began. 

She reveals her true identity, Avery Adams, and sets the station ablaze before returning to her normal life in Chicago, haunted by her harrowing experience.

You Shouldn't Have Come Here Summary


Grace Evans / Avery Adams

Grace Evans, initially presented as a New York banker seeking respite from her busy life, is revealed to be Avery Adams, a woman with a complex and dark past. She is a strong, independent character, motivated by a desire for freedom and adventure, which leads her to book a stay at Calvin Wells’ ranch. 

Despite her outwardly calm and composed demeanor, Grace/Avery is perceptive and resourceful, quickly noting the unsettling details in her environment, such as the cracked window with a streak of blood and the women’s underwear in her dresser. Her adaptability is evident as she navigates the escalating dangers at the ranch, ultimately taking decisive and violent action to survive. 

Her dual identity adds depth to her character, revealing her capacity for deception and resilience. 

Her final actions, including the arson at the gas station and her return to her family, underscore her complexity and the lengths she will go to protect her secrets.

Calvin Wells

Calvin Wells is the handsome and enigmatic host of the ranch Airbnb, initially appearing as a charming and attentive figure. However, his character gradually reveals darker layers, marked by his unsettling hobbies and the mysterious disappearance of previous guests. 

Calvin’s background is fraught with tragedy, including the deaths of his parents and his girlfriend Lisa. His complicated relationships with his brother Joe and other characters like Charlotte and Betty paint a picture of a man burdened by past traumas and unresolved guilt. 

His interactions with Grace shift from protective and affectionate to controlling and menacing, culminating in his violent demise. 

Calvin’s duality as both a romantic interest and a sinister antagonist adds to the novel’s tension and intrigue.

Joe Wells

Joe Wells, Calvin’s younger brother, is a character marked by a troubled past and a strained relationship with Calvin. 

His history of drunkenness and involvement in the accident that killed Lisa adds to his complexity. Joe’s actions are unpredictable, from apologizing for his drunken behavior to attempting to burn down the house. 

His confession about the fire that killed their parents and his role in the various conflicts at the ranch highlight his internal struggle and desperation. 

Joe serves as both a foil and a catalyst within the narrative, his instability amplifying the story’s tension.

Charlotte Miller

Charlotte Miller is a local who shares a complicated past with Calvin and Joe. Her presence disrupts the budding relationship between Calvin and Grace, and her interactions with the Wells brothers reveal underlying tensions. 

Charlotte’s relationships are fraught with jealousy and unresolved feelings, as seen in her involvement with both Calvin and Joe, and her tumultuous history with her ex-husband Wyatt. 

Her character adds layers of local intrigue and personal conflict to the story.

Sheriff Almond

Sheriff Almond represents the law and order in the rural setting of Dubois, Wyoming. His character is pivotal in uncovering the darker aspects of the ranch and its inhabitants. 

His persistent questioning and investigations into the disappearance of Briana Becker add a sense of urgency and impending danger. 

Sheriff Almond’s role is crucial in driving the narrative towards its violent climax, as he pieces together the clues that Grace/Avery ultimately uses to survive.


Wyatt, Charlotte’s ex-husband and a deputy, is another figure of authority whose actions are driven by personal vendettas and unresolved feelings. 

His physical confrontation with Calvin and Joe highlights the intense personal conflicts within the small community. 

Wyatt’s character adds to the novel’s depiction of complex interpersonal relationships and the simmering tensions that underlie the surface of rural life.


Albert, initially introduced as another guest at the ranch, is later revealed to be Calvin and Joe’s uncle. His presence adds a layer of mystery and menace, especially with his inappropriate behavior towards Grace. 

Albert’s death, caused by his severe allergies, adds to the story’s body count and the sense of peril surrounding the ranch. 

His character contributes to the overall atmosphere of danger and unpredictability.


Betty is depicted as a surrogate mother figure to Calvin and Joe. Her cryptic warnings to Grace and her role in the household add an element of foreboding. 

Betty’s actions and her relationship with the Wells brothers offer glimpses into the family’s troubled past and the psychological scars they bear. 

Her presence adds to the story’s suspense and the ominous atmosphere at the ranch.


Isolation and Vulnerability

In the book, isolation is a prominent theme that contributes to the protagonist’s vulnerability. 

Grace Evans finds herself in the remote and desolate surroundings of Dubois, Wyoming, where the lack of cell service and internet connection heightens her sense of isolation. This geographical isolation mirrors her emotional isolation, as she embarks on this trip seeking freedom and an escape from her structured life in New York. 

The ranch itself, adorned with unsettling taxidermized animal heads, becomes a symbol of her entrapment. 

As the story progresses, Grace’s vulnerability is exacerbated by the ominous and unfamiliar environment, the mysterious and potentially dangerous inhabitants, and the eerie, unexplained events that unfold around her. 

This isolation not only makes her physically vulnerable to the threats around her but also psychologically undermines her sense of security, leading to increased paranoia and fear. 

The theme underscores how isolation can strip away layers of perceived safety, leaving one exposed to hidden dangers.

Deception and Hidden Truths

Deception plays a critical role in the narrative, with characters harboring secrets and presenting false facades. 

Calvin Wells, the seemingly charming and helpful host, embodies this theme as his outward persona masks his dark and sinister nature. Throughout Grace’s stay, she uncovers unsettling truths that Calvin has concealed, such as the real story behind his girlfriend Lisa’s death and the presence of the missing woman Briana. 

The discovery of the backward lock on her bedroom door and the hidden guestbook entries reveal a calculated attempt to deceive and trap her. Additionally, Grace herself is not who she appears to be; her real identity as Avery Adams is only revealed at the novel’s climax. 

This duality in characters underscores the theme that people and situations are often not what they seem, and that hidden truths can lead to deadly consequences. 

The layers of deception create a web of intrigue and mistrust, driving the plot’s tension and culminating in a violent revelation of the characters’ true natures.

The Intersection of Romance and Danger

The novel intertwines elements of romance with the ever-present threat of danger, creating a complex and suspenseful dynamic. 

Grace and Calvin’s developing relationship initially offers a semblance of romance amidst the rustic backdrop of the ranch. Their interactions, including horseback riding and skinny dipping, suggest a growing intimacy. 

However, this burgeoning romance is laced with an undercurrent of danger, as Grace’s unease and the eerie events around her cast a shadow over their relationship. 

The juxtaposition of romantic moments with incidents like the scream in the night, the pit of dead animals, and the aggressive behavior of Calvin’s brother Joe highlight the precariousness of Grace’s situation. 

This intersection is further complicated when the truth about Calvin’s violent past and his role in Lisa’s death is unveiled, transforming the romantic connection into a deadly trap. 

The theme explores how romance can sometimes serve as a deceptive veneer, masking deeper and more sinister intentions, and how love can turn into a tool for manipulation and control. 

The ultimate revelation of Calvin’s true nature and Grace’s survival underscores the peril that often lies beneath the surface of seemingly romantic encounters.