Aug 302019
 

THE STARTER WIFE by Nina Laurin
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
ISBN-10: 1538715716
ISBN-13: 978-1538715710
Pages: 352
Review Copy From: Author
Edition: Signed TPB
My Rating: 4

Synopsis (via GR)

Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it’s an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it’s female, low, muffled somehow. “Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is.”

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She’s not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It’s Colleen.

My Thoughts

I had added this title to my GR TBR shelf back on May 23, 2019, after seeing many comments about it in some of the Facebook book groups that I am a member of. There was a giveaway for it in another group that I am a member of, Bloom With Tall Poppy Writers and was notified I was a winner. YES!!!!

Eight years ago, Byron Westcott, Professor of Literature, lost his wife, Colleen to suicide but her body was never found. Even though he was considered a possible suspect at the time, the police announced they were closing the case due to lack of evidence that it was anything other than a suicide. Friends of the couple, right before Colleen’s death, saw that she was not emotionally stable and appeared to be either overindulging with alcohol and/or drugs.

Claire Greene is touring the college for her MFA and meets Byron and is instantly attracted to him feeling that it is love at first sight, even though there is a 20 year age difference. Six months later they are married and on all accounts, believes she has a perfect life. Until recently things just aren’t the same. She then receives a phone call from a woman, that she believes is Colleen and she is now on a mission to find out what happened to her.

But soon after, Claire is exhibiting the same delusions and paranoia that resembled what Colleen experienced the last few weeks of her life.

Reading the entire book felt like a tennis match, I kept going back and forth with my thoughts on who was the victim and who could possibly be a suspect of nefarious acts. At every twist and turn in the book, and there were many, I would change my thinking as to what the real truth was. After reading the 4th page before the ending, I audibly gasped. I still had 3 pages to read!! And those final 3 pages left me stunned.

Without giving away spoilers, I finished the book with a few unanswered questions, which is why I gave it 4 stars!! I felt that the ending wasn’t satisfying, however, the suspense was so intense that I read this book in 2 sittings.

I will be checking out Ms. Laurin’s previous novels as I also saw many positive comments on those books.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
Aug 272019
 

KEEPING LUCY by T. Greenwood
Genre: Historical Fiction; Family Life Fiction
Published by St. Matin’s Press
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
ASIN: B07J4RMRNT
Pages: 306
Review Copy From: St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley
Edition: eBook
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR)

From the author of Rust & Stardust comes this heartbreaking story, inspired by true events, of how far one mother must go to protect her daughter.

Dover, Massachusetts, 1969. Ginny Richardson’s heart was torn open when her baby girl, Lucy, born with Down Syndrome, was taken from her. Under pressure from his powerful family, her husband, Ab, sent Lucy away to Willowridge, a special school for the “feeble-minded.” Ab tried to convince Ginny it was for the best. That they should grieve for their daughter as though she were dead. That they should try to move on.

But two years later, when Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her a series of articles exposing Willowridge as a hell-on-earth–its squalid hallways filled with neglected children–she knows she can’t leave her daughter there. With Ginny’s six-year-old son in tow, Ginny and Marsha drive to the school to see Lucy for themselves. What they find sets their course on a heart-racing journey across state lines—turning Ginny into a fugitive.

For the first time, Ginny must test her own strength and face the world head-on as she fights Ab and his domineering father for the right to keep Lucy. Racing from Massachusetts to the beaches of Atlantic City, through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to a roadside mermaid show in Florida, Keeping Lucy is a searing portrait of just how far a mother’s love can take her.

My Thoughts

Warning: have plenty of tissues nearby!!

It’s 1969 and Ginny Richardson has just had an emergency C-section but doesn’t get to hold or see her newborn daughter, Lucy. The doctor explains that the baby has severe disabilities and should be institutionalized, which her father-in-law has already committed the baby to Willowridge School for both the baby’s and family’s sake.

But 2 years later, Ginny’s best friend informs her that the school has been the subject of an exposé that it the residents are treated poorly, is horrifically filthy and that the caretakers are less than desirable. Ginny, at this point, decides to visit the school and her daughter against the controlling and arrogant father-in-law’s decision. What she finds is unbearable. She decides to take Lucy, and with her BFF Marsha, go on the run for a week, hoping that her husband and his father, change their minds that Lucy needs to be part of their family and in their home. Only to find out, her father-in-law’s firm is representing the school.

This story touched me to my core as I have been involved in similar instances and the author nailed it!!!!

I mention similar events. When my sister was born with Cerebral Palsy, 9 1/2 years prior to my birth, my parents were told to institutionalize her as she would not live past 16, have severe disabilities and to just forget about her. As told to me by several relatives, my father cold-cocked the doctor and took my sister home. She will be 73 this year living in assisted living for the past 8 years, with a more active social life than me.

While in High School, we went to a similar school for my psychology course. It was horrific with the same problems as Willowridge in the story. To this day, I can remember Joey, the 5 year old boy with big brown eyes that clung to me. I often wonder what happened to him and thankfully, that “school” also closed.

The narrative, characters, and emotions are raw, straight from the heart and soul. The reader will feel every emotion that Ginny was feeling, love, fear, guilt, betrayal and self doubt!!

KEEPING LUCY will tug at your heartstrings. And as a mother, understand the love a mother has for her child. A compelling and profound read that I highly recommend!

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Aug 202019
     

    THE MURDER LIST by Hank Phillippi Ryan
    Genre: Psychological/Legal Thriller
    Published by MacMillan/Forge
    Publication Date: August 20, 2019
    ASIN: B07GV9B15X
    Pages: 352
    Review Copy From: Macmillan/Forge via NetGalley
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

    Problem is–she’s wrong.

    And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

    The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

    My Thoughts

    Rachel North, the wife of Jack Kirkland, high profile defense attorney, has decided to also study law and when she graduates they plan are becoming partners in his law practice. He is also a member of the Committee for Public Counsel Services or aka The Murder List, where defense attorneys do pro bono cases for indigents that have committed murder. But he isn’t too happy that she will be interning under the Assistant District Attorney, Martha Gardiner. As a prosecutor, Gardiner feels that she lost the biggest case of her career against Jack and that loss cost her total embarrassment and possibly a chance to become the next D.A. However, Rachel feels that this internship will help her down the road and an honor since Ms. Gardiner chose her because of the potential, she saw in Rachel.

    The story alternates between the present and 6 years earlier when Rachel worked as the Chief of Staff for Senate President Thomas Rafferty. Also during this time she had jury duty and ironically it was a case where Jack Kirkland was defending a person from The Murder List and Martha Gardiner was the prosecutor, which she won.

    After this case, Rachel receives a note from Jack asking her to meet him as he would like to get a grasp on what went wrong, what was the jurors’ opinions and the reason for the loss. She decides to meet him for coffee and while at the coffee shop, she receives a frantic call from Senator Rafferty, who is also a friend of Jack’s, that one of their coworkers has been found murdered and that the police need to talk to her. But this leads to the case that Jack and Martha again go head to head and she loses.

    Now 6 years later, while Rachel is interning, Martha Gardiner reopens the case. And then the cat and mouse game begins. Who is manipulating whom? Who really killed Dani? And who is lying about the evidence in this case and who has the most to lose?

    This is the first book I read by this author but I have been wanting to for a very long time. And after finishing this book, I am wondering why did I wait so long?

    The suspense anxiety is palpable. I kept going back and forth between characters as to who was the biggest conspirator and who was controlling the situation.

    This was a white knuckle read at warp speed. A riveting read!! With an ending that was mind-blowing.

    Highly, highly recommend! And trust me, I will never put off reading another book by this amazing and esteemed author!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Jul 312019
     

    LAST SUMMER by Kerry Lonsale
    Genre: Women’s Fiction; Suspense
    Published by Lake Union Publishing
    Publication Date: July 9, 2019
    ASIN: B07HNSYCGG
    Pages: 297
    Review Copy From: Lake Union Publishing via NetGaley
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Lifestyle journalist Ella Skye remembers every celebrity she interviewed, every politician she charmed between the sheets, and every socialite who eyed her with envy. The chance meeting with her husband, Damien; their rapid free fall into love; and their low-key, intimate wedding are all locked in her memory. But what she can’t remember is the tragic car accident that ripped her unborn child from her. Ella can’t even recall being pregnant.

    Hoping to find the memories of a lost pregnancy that’s left her husband devastated and their home empty, Ella begins delving into her past when she’s assigned an exclusive story about Nathan Donovan, a retired celebrity adventurer who seems to know more about her than she does him. To unravel the mystery of her selective memory loss, Ella follows Nathan from the snowcapped Sierra Nevada to the frozen slopes of southeast Alaska. There she discovers the people she trusts most aren’t the only ones keeping secrets from her—she’s hiding them from herself. Ella quickly learns that some truths are best left forgotten.

    My Thoughts

    Ella Skye, a celebrity journalist, wakes up in a hospital with her husband Damien at her side, however, she has no recollection of what happened or why she is there.

    What is even worse is that Damien told her that the baby she was carrying, Simon, died during an emergency C section. However, she can’t recall being pregnant. And how is it that she was even pregnant since Damien and she never wanted children.

    Trying to process what has happened, she realizes that she can’t remember anything from the last 7 months. Is this amnesia a residual from the accident or could it be selective memory loss? And why is Damien not answering her questions from both the accident and the memories she has lost since last summer? There is one thing, however, that keeps nagging at her is that there was some type of argument between them the night of that fateful crash but she does not know what it was about. Are they holding back with secrets and betrayals?

    This was the first book that I read by this author and enjoyed her writing style. I chose to read this book via comments about it on some of the FB groups I follow. It was easy to picture the characters and scenes with the distinct words that the author wrote.

    The suspense was captivating. I was totally engrossed with this book.

    I found myself not liking some of the characters because of their actions but when the author wraps up this story in an intense and electrifying ending, I was shocked as I didn’t see it coming.

    Highly, highly recommend.

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Jul 302019
     

    FALSE STEP by Victoria Helen Stone
    Genre: Domestic Thriller | Women’s Fiction
    Published by Lake Union Publishing
    Publication Date: July 1, 2019
    ASIN: B07GVMDC6V
    Pages: 278
    Review Copy From: Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 3

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.

    For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.

    In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.

    But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.

    My Thoughts

    A 3 year old boy, Tanner Holcomb a member of a very influential family, has gone missing for 4 days and the community has been looking for him.

    Johnny Bradley, while hiking with his dog, comes upon the little boy and becomes an instant hero. His wife, Veronica, doesn’t like the new media attention since she has a secret that can’t come to light. Veronica then finds her husband’s secret second phone and money hidden in the basement. Was it fate that Johnny found the boy or was there something more nefarious going on?

    Both Johnny and Veronica have secrets that can explode their life as they know it and their daughter Sydney, will be devastated.

    The story was constant throughout the book which allowed me to finish the book. The descriptive writing flowed. However, I didn’t feel that it was a 4 or 5 star page-turner. I did figure out the who and why early in the story.

    For me, this book was just a 3 star read. This was the first time I read anything by this author, however, it wouldn’t stop me from picking up another book by her.

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

    REVIEW DISCLAIMER

  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.