Ruling Class (Kings of High Court College #2) by J.A. Huss

Book Description:

Published: September 2, 2020

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 5

You want the diamonds?
You want the mansion?
You want the lake, and boats, and the cars?
You want the security?
And the man?

Then you do what you’re told.

★♥★

I live in his castle.
I sit at his feet.
I wear his collar.
I am his offering.

★♥★

The Chosen Ones… the Ruling Class.
They are a breed apart.
And yes, that pedigree matters.
Not just anyone can rise above and become their equal.
It takes sacrifice .

★♥★

Ruling Class is the final book in the Kings of High Court College Duet by New York Times bestselling author, JA Huss. It is a dark bully romance with triggers.

Review –

All I can say is “Hang on to you you’ve got” because you are going to be blown away with the conclusion of this series.

The second book in this dark duet is here and Prepare Yourself!!

With the ending of book one you know secrets and chaos will unravel in this deliciously dark read!

Cooper Valcourt and Cadee Hunter’s journey continues as they want answers and vengeance for the corruption all around them. Can they make their plan come to fruition or will others interfere with their own hidden agenda? This is a wild ride of deception, lies, twists and so much more you will need to pick your jaw up off the floor. All the characters from book one are back too. There is so much happening in this but I cannot say a word. Such an intricate storyline and colorful characters, this is a definite must read duet! Cadee is so strong and Cooper, well what can I say about Cooper but WOW!  

Cooper’s brothers and father have a more significant role in this story, and they add a lot of creepiness to the tale. The story culmination is exciting, the secret society conspiracy is suspenseful, and maybe Cadee and Cooper did not get their answers and secrets, but they got some life lessons along the way.

All the way until the end the surprises kept coming, it’s not your typical HEA, but it definitely fits the storyline of the books !

You won’t be disappointed with this dark suspense/mystery romance.

Five stars does not do this book justice!

Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad #3) by Tana French

Book Description:

Published: July 13, 2020

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Stars: 4

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and his girl, Rosie Daly, were all set to run away to London together, get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.

But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn’t show. Frank took it for granted that she’d given him the brush-off–probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.

Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie’s suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.

Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he’s a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly-and he’s willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.

Review –

“An Irish undercover cop delves into his working-class past.

When Frank Mackey left Faithful Place more than 20 years ago, he never imagined returning. Of course, he thought he’d be leaving with his childhood sweetheart Rosie Daly. When Rosie failed to show up at their meeting spot that fateful night, Frank was broken-hearted but decided to go it alone. He’s moved on and hasn’t looked back—until he receives an urgent call from his sister Jackie, demanding that he return to his childhood home. She’s got the one thing in the world that could make him come back: information about Rosie, whose suitcase has been found in a vacant house. This new intelligence throws mysterious shadows on Frank’s theories about Rosie’s fate. Suddenly, what was once buried history starts coming to light, and Frank isn’t quite prepared for the twists his life begins to take. Not only does everything seem to tie into his family of origin, but menacing fingers seem to be reaching out for his young daughter Holly. If only Frank’s position as an undercover cop would give him some insight into the case. Instead, Scorcher, the lead investigator, has an eye out for Frank’s interference and keeps him at an increasing distance as the investigation heats up.

Though French (The Likeness, 2009, etc.) plies readers with dark and stormy clichés, the charming narrative will leave readers begging for a sequel.” Kirkus Reviews

LOVE  this series and look forward to reading/listening to Broken Harbor, which was published two years after this one. If you like foreign crime fiction/drama, you should really try the Dublin Murder Squad series.

 

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

Book Description:

Published: February 27, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 4

Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College-and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his four young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Alison Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enrol in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed … and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer-and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Alison fled to the Netherlands and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess-but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to. The last thing Alison wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all …

Review –

“An Irish expatriate steps back into a nightmare from her student days.

Alison Smith left St. Johns College in Dublin two days after her boyfriend was arrested for murdering five female students, and she’s stayed away for nearly 10 years. She’s found contentment of a sort at a job in the Netherlands, though she continues to resist a friend’s attempts to set her up with eligible men. Then two Irish detectives come to her door and ask her to come home and talk to her ex, Will Hurley. He’s been in a psychiatric hospital ever since he confessed to being the killer who preyed on lone female students. But now another victim’s body has been found in Dublin’s Grand Canal, and Will says he has information he’ll share only with Alison. Even though she’s spent the last decade pretending her year at St. Johns never happened, Alison agrees to help Will prove his innocence. It’s a plus that Michael Malone, one of the two Garda detectives who brought her back to Dublin, also thinks Will is telling the truth. In flashbacks, we see Alison’s excitement at leaving her childhood home in Cork for Dublin, searching for student digs and going to parties, her romance with Will, and her growing doubts about her BFF Liz’s friendship. But she never doubted Will, never suspected him, and never thought that her desire to tell the truth would lead to his guilty plea. It’s partly to right that unintentional wrong—and partly because of the encouragement from Detective Malone—that she tries to find the real Canal Killer. Amid distracting details about clothes and cushions, she confronts not only a past tragedy, but a current threat.

Although Howard  meanders a bit through the streets and shops and pubs of Cork and Dublin, she picks up the pace when it most matters—and tosses a lovely curveball at the end, too.” Kirkus Reviews

If you like foreign crime fiction/drama with a WTF ending – this is the book for you!

 

When You Find Me by P.J. Vernon

Book Description:

Published: October 9, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 5

Her husband is missing.

Visiting her family’s South Carolina estate, socialite Gray Godfrey wakes from a night out to an empty bed. Her husband Paul is gone and a thrashing hangover has wiped her memory clean. At first, she’s relieved for the break from her tumultuous marriage; perhaps Paul just needed some space. But when his car is found abandoned on the highway, Gray must face the truth: Paul is gone. And Gray may not want him found.

Her life is unraveling.

When a stranger named Annie calls claiming to know Paul’s whereabouts, Gray reluctantly accepts her help. But this ally is not what she seems: soon Annie is sending frightening messages and revealing disturbing secrets only Gray could know. As Annie’s threats escalate and Gray’s grip on reality begins to slip, the life she thought she had and the dark truth she’s been living begin to merge, leaving an unsettling question: What does Annie want? And what will she do to get it?

A chilling look at marriage, madness, and the lives we think we lead, WHEN YOU FIND ME is a daring debut from a talented new voice in psychological suspense.

Review –

“Christmas Eve finds alcoholic heiress Gray Godfrey, who’s returned for one of her infrequent pilgrimages to Piper Point, the South Carolina home of her imperious mother, in the arms of Jacob Wilcox, an old friend-with-benefits who smooches her up on the dance floor at Ruby’s and finds his kiss returned with interest. Of all the scandalized spectators on hand to watch the show, Gray’s husband, Paul, a clean-energy lobbyist with political aspirations, is the most shaken. Before he can do more than scream at his wife briefly, she blacks out, and when she awakens on Christmas morning, she’s alone in bed, and Detective Nina Palmer, of the Elizabeth County Sheriff’s Office, reports that Paul’s car has been found abandoned along a highway. Gray, her recently divorced sister, and her lawyer cousin do their best to deflect gossip that finds in Paul Godfrey’s disappearance an echo of real-life South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s absence while he was reportedly hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2009. As Gray’s experiments with sobriety return decidedly mixed results, she receives a voicemail message from someone calling herself Annie who wants a hush-hush meeting to talk about Paul. Instead of showing up, however, Annie follows up her first contact with a series of increasingly intrusive, disturbing, and frankly mocking messages that threaten Gray’s hold on both her husband and her sanity.

Although the Grand Guignol(a dramatic entertainment of a sensational or horrific nature), climax won’t surprise genre veterans, Vernon creates a fleet, suffocating sense of velvet nightmare as he races through the list of all the taboos readers would love to believe every wealthy, politically connected Southern family has violated.”Kirkus Reviews

This was fantastic read and I highly recommend you add it to your TBR pile!

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Book Description:

Published: October 13, 2020

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Stars: 4

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author).

Review –

“The disappearance of a teenage girl disrupts the lives of her former therapist, his family, and a lonely neighbor.

Seventeen-year-old Saffyre Maddox has been in therapy with Roan Fours, a child psychologist, for three years for self-harming after the deaths of her parents. When Roan suggests Saffyre is ready to move on, she feels betrayed and begins following Roan and spying on his wife, Cate, and two teenage children. She learns Roan is having an affair but also that multiple sexual assaults are taking place in his neighborhood. When Saffyre disappears after her blood is found by the apartments across the street from Roan’s house, Owen Pick, one of Roan and Cate’s neighbors, is arrested and jailed based on his history of visiting incel websites after having been placed on leave from his job following sexual misconduct complaints. At the same time, Cate becomes suspicious of Roan’s lies and where their son, Josh, is sneaking out to. Jewell’s latest domestic thriller features an array of characters set in a posh London neighborhood but struggles to create any real tension regarding Saffyre’s disappearance. The themes of sexual assault and incel culture are only marginally developed despite the key part each plays in the story. As such, even with these subjects, Jewell’s latest is not nearly as dark as her earlier novels. This might be a welcome change if the characters had emotional depth or unique narrative voices, but they too are only superficially realized.

A lackluster and underdeveloped story.” Kirkus Reviews

While I totally agree with Kirkus Reviews I still gave this book four stars because Invisible Girl is a dark mystery/psychological thriller/domestic drama/character study about the masks people wear and what happens when their true selves are exposed. It might not be for everyone but I think it’s worth a read.

 

Feast of Sparks (Thornchapel #2) by Sierra Simone

Book Description:

Published: August 1, 2019

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 5

I’m an outcast and a loner, named for death itself. Fate wasn’t supposed to have plans for me.

But then she came back—the girl I once kissed in a thorn-covered chapel in the woods. She came back, and I could no more resist her than I could pry out my own heart. And by some trick of fate, she wants me as much as I want her. The only problem? She also wants the man who owns Thornchapel, Auden Guest.

And so do I.

Eight years ago, I did something to Auden, something terrible. He hurt me back the only way he knew how, and so here we are: our hatred seasoned with pain and my loneliness seasoned with longing. The only thing we can agree on is Proserpina Markham, and she wants us to find a way to be together—all three of us.

If Auden wants to earn her as his submissive, then he has to earn me as well.

But with the discovery of bones behind the altar and the carnal revel of Beltane fast approaching, it’s becoming clear that Thornchapel’s secrets are much deeper and older than any of us could have ever guessed. And no matter how bright and merry a feast of sparks may be, it’s always followed by ashes.

And darkness.

Review –

““It’s a ritual without meaning…If we can’t assign meaning to what we’re doing, then how will we know if we’re doing it right?”

Have you ever put a puzzle together, striving for the final moments when you can finally see the picture before you? Each piece provides a part of this bigger picture, this greater being. Everyone believes the finish is the most important. However, each piece and its placement is as important as the final product. This is the feel behind Sierra Simone’s Thornchapel series. You cannot see the finished portrait, rendering, story. Instead, each of these books, Feast of Sparks, her newest book, included, is the piece towards the end. And it’s this realization while reading it that both excites and frustrates you, much like putting a puzzle together. 

Time and again in this book, my focus was drawn to the nature of Thornchapel and its surroundings because Simone draws that for us time and again in Feast of Sparks (and the prior one, A Lesson in Thorns). What I know about Simone’s stories is her intentionality in her choices. There is a reason that nature, the wild of this place, is crafted for us. Even more, there is a collective consciousness in this story, a connection through ritual between the past and the present…and I imagine, the future. The six (Auden, Saint, Proserpina, Rebecca, Delphine, and Becket) are connected to their ancestors and their parents through their study and use of the rituals. There is something big here…and I’m not sure I have it fully worked out in my head, to be honest. But it excites me, and I think Simone is pointing us to the idea that our rituals build our mythology and connect us to our past as a way to absolve our future or maybe it’s to question our beliefs in our families, in a religion, in our self. If you simply focus on this alone, what you find is the genius of Sierra Simone and the reason I will always read her books. Feast of Sparks is a reminder of the depth of Simone’s storytelling, of the careful crafting of her characters, and of the headiness of her thinking as she pours this trauma-filled, love-driven erotic story on the page. And it’s magnificent to say the least.

While this book is seemingly St. Sebastian’s story (and it is heavily favored towards him), it is actually everyone’s story, just as A Lesson in Thorns. Each character is given chapters like the first book in the series. However, St. Sebastian’s story consumes more of this book. You will find out the trouble between St. Sebastian and Auden. I’ll be honest. Reading that story on the page grew my anticipatory anxiety the most. I want them to forgive each other and move forward in their relationship with Poe; however, Simone makes you patiently wait on their story. I found myself taking more breaks in reading this book than any Sierra Simone book before me (well, except maybe for Priest). She has a way of crafting Feast of Sparks that there were crescendo moments that the story builds to, and waves of discomfort wash over you until the resolution. I personally love those moments, but they make me nervous for the characters because I want a specific resolution for them…and I’m never sure if my resolution matches the author’s (in this case Simone’s). This emotional unraveling is my love for Sierra Simone. I want to feel deeply, as I do here, when I read. That should be an author’s intent, and Feast of Sparks pulled so many emotions out of me that I had to stop and relish those feelings before moving forward into the story. That’s delicious to me. That’s my biggest warning with this book: it will make you feel a myriad of emotions and feelings, and you’ll need to find a way to deal with that menagerie of angst, joy, and lust.

On the feeling of lust, as any Sierra Simone reader knows, she has a corner on erotica. Anything goes in a Simone book, and Feast of Sparks in no different. In fact, in my opinion, this book is steamier than A Lesson in Thorns. Even more, the $exiness begins fairly early in this book. And it doesn’t disappoint. While dealing with the theme of open love, this book, as was suggested in the first book of the series, is also focused on Dom/sub relationships. Notice the plural as this is the case with this book. If you struggle to read a Simone book given her language and depth of ideas, you can count on, especially in this book, reading $ex at its most tangible and erotic.

Additionally, I believe Simone is using the rituals in this book to highlight the situation of the relationships in the story. In A Lesson in Thorns, the Thornchapel six engage in Imbolc, and it highlights the change from innocence, specifically Poe’s innocence. In Feast of Sparks, the ritual is Beltane, a spring ritual meant for new beginnings and the start of spring. In this story, new beginnings abound: Auden and St. Sebastian, Auden/St. Sebastian/Poe, Rebecca/Delphine, Becket and his understanding of his relationship to his priestly vows, etc. Even more, it’s the beginning of understanding themselves as both individuals and as a group. Truth in identity runs like a ribbon through this book. As the six engage in a ritual, it acts as a metaphor for their personal growth in the story. Again, it’s the genius of Simone’s writing. Everything is intentionally created to highlight or underscore the significance of the people in the story. 

For relationships to occur, however, one needs characters. Feast of Sparks provides more development of these characters in its progression of the story. Simone gives us 6 (I’d actually argue 7, as Thornchapel/Thornhill/nature is a character in this story) characters, and they are so varied that you can find yourself, the reader, in at least one of them (or at least parts of yourself). When you spy yourself in some part of a character, you empathize, you connect with them, and the story becomes more palpable. 

Even more Simone is working with the construct of queer in her book. Interestingly enough, two of the characters label themselves (or are labeled) as such: St. Sebastian and Rebecca. However, the other three never conceive that label for themselves, even though they engage in queer activities. This is interesting because it illustrates the flexibility within this term, as it suggests that labels are reductive to a certain degree. Even though Rebecca defines herself as gay, she readily kisses Auden (that’s no real spoiler), blurring the lines of labels. It’s this that I love about Sierra Simone. There are shadows of this truth in her other books. $exuality is constructed in a moment, she is suggesting, through her character’s actions. She might also be suggesting that $exual preference and one’s actions can only be defined by the person, not a societal definition. If I’ve lost you in my discussion of this aspect of the book, well, you’re in good company. But it’s ideas like this that elevate Simone’s stories, Feast of Sparks included, above other romances, her books are intentional craftsmanship. That is the beauty of her writing. 

This story is incomplete. Feast of Sparks does not end the series and its overarching story; it simply presents another beginning towards its end, another piece of the puzzle. This book is also so much more than I’ve put forth here in this review. I could write a seminar paper on the imagery and metaphor, on the way in which Simone uses mythology to point to the truths of the characters in this story. Even more, this book holds greater truths about belief (or disbelief), identity, longing, respect for the past, collective memory with our ancestors, the difficulties of love, and power. Sierra Simone’s Thornhill series is much more than your average romance. Feast of Sparks and its siblings will challenge you; it will titillate you; above all, it will make you believe in a love without bounds, a love meant beyond space and time, a love meant, I think, to heal the wounds of the past; it’s a romance for the ages.” professor romance.blog

I couldn’t have said it better than Professor Romance and I totally agree that you will have to step away or take breaks while reading, or in my case, listening, because IT IS JUST TOO MUCH!  I knew what the plot twist would be,(there are hints given by two characters) but couldn’t believe what Auden did, and never thought he would do such a thing. The ending had my heart bleeding for St. Sebastian. I can’t wait will book three is available on audio!!!!

Hold Still by Tim Adler

Book Description:

Published: March 17, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 4

‘I photographed the moment of my husband’s death…’ So begins HOLD STILL, a nerve-twisting thriller that promises to be Murder On the Orient Express for the Snapchat generation.

How much do we really know about those we love? Kate is visiting Tirana, Albania with her husband Paul, a much needed break from Paul’s website business which lately seems to be of growing concern.  “Hold still,” says Kate, taking a picture as Paul steps onto the balcony. “We’ll always be together,” Paul responds. Suddenly there is screaming below and a blaring car horn. Kate stares down from the balcony at the broken body of her husband lying dead in the street.

Overcome with grief, Kate can’t accept her husband’s tragic death, and she replays the incident again and again, searching her pictures for a vital clue to what really happened. When she meets the enigmatic Priest at a grief support group, they journey into a world of violence and secrets and Kate realizes what Paul really meant when he said he would never leave her……

Review –

Kate Julia is in Tirana with her husband, Paul, for the funeral of one of his family.

Back in their hotel room Paul receives a text. At the same time Kate takes a picture of him on her phone. Seconds later he is lying dead on the ground, a long way below their penthouse balcony.

In a foreign country, where she doesn’t speak the language Kate, is left to answer the local police’s questions. Looking at the photograph she took of Paul just before his death Kate thinks she can see somebody on their balcony looking through the curtains, but will the police believe her.

Returning home to England with her husband’s ashes Kate becomes even more convinced that her husbands death is suspicious especially when she see’s the picture message that he received immediately before his death.Tirana is run by Mafioso type gangs involved in drugs, gun running and human trafficking. Was Paul involved with the gangs. If he was, was his death related to them and is Kate safe.

There is no doubt that the gang has members in England but who are they, where are they, what are they involved in, and how was Paul involved?

The story follows Kate’s quest for the truth.

Who can she trust, is anybody who they say they are? We find out she can trust NO ONE, she is completely on her own.

This book is a great psychological thriller. The author has managed to find a country, Albania, in which he can realistically set a great story.

A country that is run on corruption and fear, a country whose gangs are beginning to surface in the UK.

Kate’s plight is so believable, that at it makes the book fly by.

It would be a bit cliché to say there are twists-and-turns on every page but there are in every chapter. This book full of them, but the plot still flows at a pace that makes it almost impossible to put down.

A great read I would highly recommend. Just make sure you have nothing pressing to do when you start, because this one is nigh-on impossible to put down.

A great read!

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

 

Book Description:

Published: May 14, 2019

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Stars: 5

First dates can be murder. 

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control. 

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date. 

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him… 

Review –

“It’s the day after Laura Lochner’s date with a man she met online, and she hasn’t returned to the Connecticut home of her sister, Rosie, her brother-in-law, Joe, and their little boy, Mason, where she’s been staying after a bad breakup. Rosie fears the worst, but Joe advises caution. After all, Laura is an adult and can have some fun, right? But Rosie has a bad feeling. Laura won’t answer her phone, and Rosie only has more questions after poking around online for info on Laura’s date, Jonathan Fields. Rosie eventually calls the police, and events begin to cascade like dominoes. Interspersed with Rosie’s attempt to trace Laura’s movements and get a handle on the guy she went out with is Laura’s first-person account of the actual date as well as enlightening snippets of sessions between Laura and her therapist. Laura’s is the most compelling part—a tormented, often prickly piece of storytelling by a woman carrying the pain of a horrible event that happened in high school and feelings of abandonment by a father who always seemed to love Rosie more. Laura’s desire to be loved is all-consuming, but her conviction that she is not worthy of love is heartbreaking. She sees subterfuge in nearly everything Jonathan says and does. Meanwhile, Rosie must come to terms with some ugly surprises of her own as she digs into their past. As the timelines inevitably converge, Walker’s clever misdirection paves the way to a truly chilling finale, and she has plenty of insightful things to say about the blame placed on women by society and themselves for the idiotic, careless, and sometimes downright evil things men do.” Kirkus Reviews

I found the storytelling to be clever, extremely well thought out, and riveting. By the time the book concluded, I had experienced so many feelings – anticipation, dread, anxiety, happiness, hope, shock, surprise and although my theories were wrong, the Author tidied everything up so nicely that I was not only happy I was wrong but was thrilled by it. Nothing really came out of left field, one does not really need to suspend disbelief while reading.

What you do need to do is find a comfortable reading spot and dive in! 

 

 

Last Girl Gone (Laura Chambers Mystery #1)by J.G. Hetherton

Book Description:

Published: June 12, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 4

This pulse-pounding series debut is the next obsession for fans of Julia Keller and David Bell, and readers of unflinching thrillers.

Sometimes, the journey home is the most harrowing. And it’s every parent’s worst nightmare.

Investigative journalist Laura Chambers is back in her tiny hometown of Hillsborough, North Carolina, the one place she swore never to return. Fired from the Boston Globe, her career in shambles, she reluctantly takes a job with the local paper. The work is simple, unimportant, and worst of all, boring―at least until a missing girl turns up dead, the body impeccably clean, dressed to be the picture of innocence.

Years earlier, ten-year-old Patty Finch left home and never made it back. But for the people of Hillsborough, Patty was just the beginning. Child after child disappeared, a reign of terror the town desperately wants to forget. Now that terror has returned to seize another girl. And another. And another.

This is the story Laura’s been waiting for―her one last chance to get back onto the front page. She dives deeper into a case that runs colder by the second, only to discover the truth may be far closer to home than she could have ever imagined. Powerful, intricate, and tense, Last Girl Gone will have you looking over your shoulder long after the last page.

Review –

I didn’t care for the first half of the book because of the protagonist  being all “ME, ME, ME” She wanted the best stories and all the glory it would bring her and the chance it would give her to again move to the big city. She didn’t seem too mind who she stepped on or used (Frank) and wan’t very upset when he was killed by the killer she was pursuing.

But, in the second half she becomes a “better” person slowly at first and then at the end she could  care less about a story or the glory. The plot was good but several events were implausible  and unrealistic, but it is fiction, after all.

I loved the ending and even shed a tear or two. Great debut novel but the second book, published in 2019, is nowhere to be found and I mean NOWHERE. Not even Amazon. What is the deal?  I would really like to read it to see if the character of Laura has continued to grow. But I guess that’s not in the cards. 

The Loyal Wife by Natalie Barelli

Book Description:

Published: June 1, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

Stars: 5

She thought they had the perfect marriage…

Tamra never dreamed she would marry someone like Mike Mitchell: handsome, rich, a wonderful husband… until she finds out that Mike is having an affair.

But Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Mike Mitchell should have remembered that before he made a fool of her.
Because Tamra knows something about Mike. Something he did. Something evil. And she was prepared to carry the secret to her grave.

Not anymore.

To make matters worse, Mike’s daughter Madison has come to visit for a few days, and Madison doesn’t like Tamra. Well, that’s too bad, because Tamra doesn’t have time to argue. She’s too busy ruining Mike’s life while remaining, on the surface at least, the perfect, loyal wife.

But when Tamra’s plan spirals out of control, she finds that things are not what they seem.
And now, it’s too late.

Review –