Review: A Blood Thing by James Hankins


Release date: June 5, 2018

Publisher: Thomas and Mercer

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Never trust a blackmailer.

Vermont’s promising young governor, Andrew Kane, is at another public meet-and-greet when a stranger from the crowd slips him a cell phone and whispers, “Keep this with you…keep it secret…you’re going to need it after the arrest.”

Hours later, Andrew’s brother, Tyler, is taken into custody—framed for the brutal murder of a young woman—and Andrew discovers there is only one way to free him: answer the mysterious phone and agree to a blackmailer’s demands. All the governor has to do to make it all go away is compromise everything he stands for and grant a full pardon to a convicted felon. With no better option, he complies. Which is his first mistake…because the stranger isn’t through with him. He has another little condition. Then another. And another. And Andrew has no choice but to play along until he can find a way out of this personal and political nightmare. But he isn’t prepared for what he will face, or how far he will have to go to save his brother and keep his family together.


How far would YOU go to protect your family, your dearest loved ones? Many novels may ask this question, but Hankins provides a slightly new spin on this age old question by adding in some political intrigue and corruption as well as some domestic suspense making for a tense read that had me hooked.

This follows the Kane family as they deal with a manipulative and highly intelligent blackmailer who is intent on wreacking havoc on every single one of them. This is a family of prominence and wealth, plenty of power especially as the oldest sibling is the Governor of Vermont. I didn’t necessarily love most of the family barring Tyler, that kid stole my heart with his pure innocence, but I was rooting for them regardless because they were dealing with a nightmare of a situation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. They were all very well drawn even if they were unsympathetic for the most part and Hankins is a great writer with a true talent for storytelling.

I would recommend this one for fans of Brad Parks, it definitely had a similar feel to it with plenty of sharp turns and tense moments. It did feel a little drawn out in the middle portion, but the ending was exciting enough to make up for any slower moments for me.

A Blood Thing in three words: Calculated, Intense and Vengeful.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Captives by Debra Jo Immergut


Release date: June 5, 2018

Publisher: Ecco

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


The riveting story of a woman convicted of a brutal crime, the prison psychologist who recognizes her as his high-school crush—and the charged reunion that sets off an astonishing chain of events with dangerous consequences for both

As an inmate psychologist at a state prison, Frank Lundquist has had his fair share of surprises. But nothing could possibly prepare him for the day in which his high school object of desire, Miranda Greene, walks into his office for an appointment. Still reeling from the scandal that cost him his Manhattan private practice and landed him in his unglamorous job at Milford Basin Correctional Facility in the first place, Frank knows he has an ethical duty to reassign Miranda’s case. But Miranda is just as beguiling as ever, and he’s insatiably curious: how did a beautiful high school sprinter and the promising daughter of a congressman end up incarcerated for a shocking crime? Even more compelling: though Frank remembers every word Miranda ever spoke to him, she gives no indication of having any idea who he is.

Inside the prison walls, Miranda is desperate and despairing, haunted by memories of a childhood tragedy, grappling with a family legacy of dodgy moral and political choices, and still trying to unwind the disastrous love that led to her downfall. And yet she is also grittily determined to retain some control over her fate. Frank quickly becomes a potent hope for her absolution—and maybe even her escape.

Propulsive and psychologically astute, The Captives is an intimate and gripping meditation on freedom and risk, male and female power, and the urges toward both corruption and redemption that dwell in us all.


I haven’t seen much early buzz about The Captives and I’m not sure why, the blurb alone is eye catching and the cover caught my eye immediately as well, and then I started reading this gem. A profound and sharply intelligent crime novel is a rarity, don’t get me wrong, I love my crime fiction and devour it weekly, but most of the books that fall under the umbrella of CF don’t hold a candle to The Captives, this is a special book from an incredibly talented writer, they type I won’t soon forget.

This flips back and forth between Frank and Miranda’s perspectives and each were equally enthralling. Miranda is in prison, at the start her crime is blurry but you do know she is serving serious time and her lack of hope and total desperation is heartbreakingly apparent. Frank may not actually be a prisoner himself but he is a slave to his own tortured soul and his pain and despair was also woefully raw. Their relationship is harrowing yet beautifully restrained, not having any clue how things would play out kept me on the edge of my seat throughout and you just know things won’t end well for these two.

Immergut’s prose is lyrical and astute, her knowledge of the inner workings of a women’s prison is glaringly clear and heart wrenching all at once, some of these women’s personal stories were achingly sad. There was such an authenticity to this aspect that it was hard to stomach at times, but nothing so disturbing that I was bothered too much. I was reminded of Laura Lippman, it had that same well executed sophistication as both her plotting and writing has and I bet fans of her work will enjoy this one as much as I did.

The Captives in three words: Intelligent, Enthralling and Keen.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher and Broadside PR for my review copy.

Review: Lady Be Good by Amber Brock


Release date: June 26, 2018

Publisher: Crown

Genre: Historical Fiction


Set in the 1950s, Lady Be Good is Amber Brock’s mesmerizing return, sweeping readers into the world of the mischievous, status-obsessed daughter of a hotel magnate and the electric nightlife of three iconic cities: New York, Miami, and Havana.

Kitty Tessler is the winsome and clever only child of self-made hotel and nightclub tycoon Nicolas Tessler. Kitty may not have the same pedigree as the tennis club set she admires, but she still sees herself as every inch the socialite–spending her days perfecting her “look” and her nights charming all the blue-blooded boys who frequent her father’s clubs. It seems like the fun will never end until Kitty’s father issues a terrible ultimatum: she may no longer date the idle rich. Instead, Kitty must marry Andre, her father’s second-in-command, and take her place as the First Lady of his hotel empire. Kitty is forced to come up with a wily and elaborate plan to protect her own lofty ideas for the future, as well as to save her best friend, Henrietta Bancroft, from a doomed engagement: Kitty will steal Henrietta’s fiance, a fabulously wealthy but terribly unkind man from a powerful family–thereby delivering the one-two punch of securing her now-fragile place on the social ladder and keeping her friend from a miserable marriage.

Then Kitty meets Max, a member of a band visiting New York from her father’s Miami club, and her plans take a turn. Smitten, but still eager to convince her father of her commitment to Andre, Kitty and Hen follow Max, Andre, and the rest of the band back down to Miami–and later to Cuba. As Kitty spends more time with Max, she begins waking up to the beauty–and the injustice–of the world beyond her small, privileged corner of Manhattan. And when her well-intended yet manipulative efforts backfire, Kitty is forced to reconsider her choices and her future before she loses everyone she loves.


There is something so glamorous about New York City in the fifties, maybe it’s the throwback to a simpler time, but the descriptions of the clothing, style and good clean fun never ceases to delight me. Brock really brought this time period to life and transported me from NYC to Miami and then to Cuba, all exotic locales with plenty of intrigue and excitement.

I’m not one that needs to fall head over heels in love with a character in order to enjoy a story and while I know I didn’t adore Kitty, there was something about her determination and good intended manipulation that worked well for me even though she was a bit of a spoiled little daddy’s girl. While she may have started out as an entitled and immature woman who only cared about finding the perfect husband by the end she had grown and matured. I always appreciate seeing a character grow and this added depth to an otherwise surface level read.

Recommended for those looking for a fun, easy and light historical read with gorgeous descriptions of not only the places the characters inhabit but the people themselves, I seriously swooned over the thought of some of Kitty and her best friend Hen’s outfits!

Lady Be Good in three words: Glamorous, Glitzy and Sweet.

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: After Nightfall by A. J. Banner


Release date: August 7, 2018

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Beware of friends with secrets…

Imagine your closest friend utterly betraying you. Years later, when she seeks forgiveness, you invite her to your engagement party as a gesture of reconciliation. But seething hostilities rise to the surface, ruining everyone’s evening. After an awful night, your friend’s battered, lifeless body is found at the bottom of a rocky cliff.

Newly engaged Marissa Parlette is living this nightmare. She should be celebrating her upcoming wedding, but she can’t shake the image of her friend lying dead on the beach. Did she fall? Was she pushed? Or did she take a purposeful step into darkness? Desperate for answers, Marissa digs deep into the events of the party. But what she remembers happening after nightfall now carries sinister implications: the ugly sniping, the clandestine meetings, the drunken flirtations. The more she investigates, the more she questions everything she thought she knew about her friends, the man she once trusted, and even herself.

Bestselling author A. J. Banner keeps readers on a razor-sharp edge in this intricately plotted novel of psychological suspense…in which nothing is as it seems.


I’ve read and enjoyed all three of Banner’s books but I have to say, After Nightfall is my favorite to date. It’s the perfect summer mystery, it’s not too heavy and is on the shorter side making a quick read that you could devour poolside, yet it does have enough darkness and depth to give it some bite making it the ideal vacation read and yet another book I’m recommending you add to your summer TBR.

I mentioned before that it’s on the shorter side which means Banner wastes no time with filler and you get right to the heart of the story almost immediately. Stories of female friendship with a dark edge always intrigue me and the relationship between Marissa and Lauren seems at surface level ordinary enough. But it’s quickly apparent that there is a tense, awkwardness bubbling underneath the surface that had me hooked.

That’s as far as I’ll go in terms of the plot, but I was surprised by how many surprises there were in this one. It’s a straightforward enough story told solely from Marissa’s point of view, no detectives perspective muddling things up, just a regular woman on the hunt for answers about her frenemies death. Besides the fun twists along the way to keep me engaged it also had an well executed turn in the end, I absolutely loved how things worked out and was so satisfied.

After Nightfall in three words: Compulsive, Astonishing and Suspenseful.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Ain’t She a Peach by Molly Harper


Release date: June 12, 2018

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Women’s Fiction


An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden…a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.


Last year Sweet Tea and Sympathy was one of my favorite reads, it had all of the elements I need in fun women’s fiction so I’ve been dying to read the second book in Harper’s Southern Eclectic series for months. The wait was well worth it, the second installment was just as witty and charming as the first and I really hope Harper continues to write about the kooky residents of Lake Sackett for a long time.

One of my favorite things about this series is the fun cast of characters and when I saw that this book would focus on Frankie I was delighted. She’s a quirky chick who doesn’t take crap from anyone and she’s also sarcastic, but charming when needed, a combination that always works well for me. Her budding relationship with Eric was not only adorable, it wasn’t formulaic or predictable. You also get to catch up with the characters from the first book and seeing what Margot was up to was just delightful.

This was a strong follow up to a hilarious series, the ultimate pick me up that I read at just the right time. You can’t read this without smiling, it’s got sassy southern charm by the bucketful and a little romance that will make you swoon, what more could a girl want?!

Ain’t She a Peach in three words: Humorous, Sassy, and Cheeky.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: When Life Gives You Luluemons by Lauren Weisberger


Release date: June 5, 2018

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: Women’s Fiction


New York Times bestselling author Lauren Weisberger returns with a novel starring one of her favorite characters from The Devil Wears Prada—Emily Charlton, first assistant to Miranda Priestly, now a highly successful image consultant who’s just landed the client of a lifetime.

Welcome to Greenwich, CT, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton, Miranda Priestly’s ex-assistant, does not do the suburbs. She’s working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

Karolina Hartwell is as A-list as they come. She’s the former face of L’Oreal. A mega-supermodel recognized the world over. And now, the gorgeous wife of the newly elected senator from New York, Graham, who also has his eye on the presidency. It’s all very Kennedy-esque, right down to the public philandering and Karolina’s arrest for a DUI—with a Suburban full of other people’s children.

Miriam is the link between them. Until recently she was a partner at one of Manhattan’s most prestigious law firms. But when Miriam moves to Greenwich and takes time off to spend with her children, she never could have predicted that being stay-at-home mom in an uber-wealthy town could have more pitfalls than a stressful legal career.

Emily, Karolina, and Miriam make an unlikely trio, but they desperately need each other. Together, they’ll navigate the social landmines of life in America’s favorite suburb on steroids, revealing the truths—and the lies—that simmer just below the glittering surface. With her signature biting style, Lauren Weisberger offers a dazzling look into another sexy, over-the-top world, where nothing is as it appears.


I have to say that so far the summer books I’ve had the pleasure of reading have really been outstanding, I think there’s always a small group of amazing books released each summer but this year I feel like the stakes have been raised, and Weisberger took things to a whole new level with this one. If you’re a fan of The Devil Wears Prada (and seriously, who isn’t?!) you’ll gobble this one up. If you’re new to this series you’ll still love it, it’s not necessary to have read the previous books but they’re all fun so you should.

You have three points of view here; Emily, Karolina and Miriam. All three are polar opposites but fun and entertaining in their own right. Emily will always be my favorite, her biting, acerbic wit is legendary and her pop culture references are on point. This book is uber hip and up to the minute AND it’s funny as hell. It’s scandalous, emotional, hilarious and compulsive, I can’t think of the last time I had so much fun with a book.

Grab this one and head to a pool with a cocktail and be prepared to devour it in one sitting, theglitz will dazzle you and the drama will shock you and make you laugh, the ideal light read for summer is here!

When Life Gives You Luluemons in three words: Delicious, Scandalous and Witty.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

#BlogTour Absolution by Paul Hardisty @Hardisty_Paul @Orendabooks


Release date: March 30, 2018

Publisher: Orenda

Genre: Thriller


It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.

So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible. Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.

Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy. At times brutal, often lyrical, but always gripping, Absolution is a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Absolution! I have an extract from the book to share today.



Guns and Money

26th October 1997

Latitude 6° 21′ S; Longitude 39° 13′ E, Off the Coast of Zanzibar, East Africa

Claymore Straker drifted on the surface, stared down into the living architecture of the reef and tried not to think of her. Prisms of light crazed the many-branched and plated corals, winked rain- bows from the scales of fish. Edged shadows twitched across the shoals, and for a moment dusk came, muting the colours of the sea. Floating in this new darkness, a distant echo came, hard and metallic, like the first syllables of a warning. Clay shivered, felt the cold do a random walk up his spine, seep into the big muscles across his back. He listened awhile, but as quickly as it had come, the sound was gone.

Clay blew clear his snorkel, pulled up his mask, and looked out across the rising afternoon chop, searching the horizon. Other than the weekly supply run from Stone Town, boats here were few. It was off-season and the hotel – the only establishment on the island – was closed. He could see the long arc of the island’s southern point, the terrace of the little hotel where Grace worked as caretaker, the small dock where guests were welcomed from the main island, and away on the horizon, a dark wall of rain-heavy cloud, moving fast in a freshening easterly. He treaded water, scanned the distance back toward the mainland. But all he could see were the great banks of cloud racing slantwise across the channel and the sunlight strobing over the world in thick stochastic beams, everything transient and without reference.

He’d lost track of how long he’d been here now. Long enough to fashion a sturdy mooring for Flame from a concrete block that he’d anchored carefully on the seabed. Long enough to have snor- kelled every part of the island’s coastline, to know the stark difference between the life on the protected park side, and the grey sterility of the unprotected, fished-out eastern side. Sufficient time to hope that, perhaps, finally, he had disappeared.

The sun came, fell warm on the wet skin of his face and shoulders and the crown of his head. He pulled on his mask, jawed the snor- kel’s mouthpiece and started towards the isthmus with big overhand strokes. Months at sea had left him lean, on the edge of hunger, dark- ened and bleached both so that the hair on his chest and arms and shorn across the bonework of his skull stood pale against his skin. For the first time in a long time, he was without pain. He felt strong. It was as if the trade winds had somehow cleansed him, helped to heal the scars.

As he rounded the isthmus, Flame came into view. She lay bow to the island’s western shore, straining on her mooring. He could just see the little house where Grace lived, notched into the rock on the lee side of the point, shaded by wind-bent palms and scrub acacia.

And then he heard it again.

It wasn’t the storm. Nor was it the sound of the waves pounding the windward shore. Its rhythm was far too contained, focused in a way nature could never be. And it was getting louder.

A small boat had just rounded the island’s southern point and was heading towards the isthmus. The craft was sleek, sat low in the water. Spray flew from its bow, shot high from its stern. It was some kind of jet boat – unusual in these waters, and moving fast. The boat made a wide arc, steering clear of the unmarked shoals that dangered the south end of the island, and then abruptly changed course. It was heading straight for Flame. Whoever was piloting the thing knew these waters, and was in a hell of hurry.

Clay floated low and still in the water, and watched the boat approach. It was close enough now that he could make out the craft’s line, the black stripe along the yellow hull, the long, narrow bow, the raked V of the low-swept windscreen. It was closing on Flame, coming at speed. Two black men were aboard, one standing at the controls, the other sitting further back near the engines. The man who was piloting wore sunglasses and a red shirt with sleeves cut off at heavily muscled shoulders. The other had long dreadlocks that flew in the wind.

Twenty metres short of Flame, Red Shirt cut power. The boat slowed, rose up on its own wake and settled into the water. Dread- lock jumped up onto the bow with a line, grabbed Flame’s portside mainstay and stepped aboard.

Clay’s heart rate skyed. He floated quiet in the water, his heart hammering inside his ribs and echoing back against the water. Dread- lock tied the boat alongside and stepped into Flame’s cockpit. He leaned forwards at the waist and put his ear to the hatch a moment, then he straightened and knocked as one would on the door of an apartment or an office. He waited a while, then looked back at the man in the jet boat and hunched his shoulders.

‘Take a look,’ came Red Shirt’s voice, skipping along the water, the local accent clear and unmistakable.

Dreadlock pushed back the hatch – Clay never kept it locked – and disappeared below deck. Perhaps they were looking for someone else. They could be just common brigands, out for whatever they could find. All of Clay’s valuables – his cash and passports – were in the priest hole. His weapons, too. It was very unlikely that the man would find it, so beautifully concealed and constructed was it. There was nothing else on board that could identify Clay in any way. Maybe they would just sniff around and leave.

Nine months ago, he’d left Mozambique and made his way north along the African coast. Well provisioned, he’d stayed well off- shore and lived off the ocean for weeks at a time – venturing into harbour towns or quiet fishing villages for water and supplies only 10 paul hardisty

when absolutely necessary, keeping clear of the main centres, paying cash, keeping a low profile, never staying anywhere long. He had no phone, no credit cards, and hadn’t been asked to produce iden- tification of any sort since he’d left Maputo. Then he’d come here. An isolated island off the coast of Zanzibar. He’d anchored in the little protected bay. A couple of days later Grace had rowed out in a dinghy to greet him, her eight-year-old son Joseph at the oars, her adolescent daughter in the stern, holding a basket of freshly baked bread. He decided to stay a few days. Grace offered him work doing odd jobs at the hotel – fixing a leaking pipe, repairing the planking on the dock, replacing the fuel pump on the generator. In return, she brought him meals from her kitchen, the occasional beer, cold from the fridge. He stayed a week, and then another. They became friends, and then, unintentionally, lovers. Nights he would sit in Flame’s darkened cockpit and look out across the water at the lamp- light glowing in Grace’s windows, watch her shadow moving inside the house as she put her children to bed. One by one the lights would go out, and then he’d lie under the turning stars hoping sleep would come.

After a while, he’d realised that he’d stayed too long. He’d made to leave, rowed to shore and said goodbye. Joseph had cried. Zuz just smiled. But Grace had taken him by the hand and walked him along the beach and to the rocky northern point of the island where the sea spread blue and calm back towards the main island, and she’d convinced him to stay.

But now Clay shivered, watching Dreadlock move about the sail- boat. The first drops of rain met the water, a carpet of interfering distortions.

‘Hali?’ shouted Red Shirt in Swahili from the jet boat. News? ‘No here,’ came the other man’s voice from below deck.

‘Is it his?’ said Red Shirt.

‘Don’t know.’

‘It looks like his.’ ‘Don’t know.’

‘No guns? No money?’ ‘Me say it. Nothing.’ ‘Fuck.’

‘What we do?’

‘We find him. Let’s go.’

The jet boat’s engines coughed to life with a cloud of black smoke. Dreadlock untied the line, jumped back aboard and pushed off. The boat’s bow dipped with his weight, then righted. Clay dived, watched from below as the craft made a wide circle around Flame, buffeting her with its wake, then turned for shore.

It was heading straight for Grace’s house.

Review: The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand


Release date: June 18, 2018

Publisher: Little Brown

Genre: Women’s Fiction


From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love…if they don’t kill us first.

It’s wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people–an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that’s not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin–with the bride-to-be discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony–everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom’s famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield–and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read.


I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll repeat myself every single summer, but summer doesn’t officially start for me until I’ve read the latest Elin Hilderbrand novel. While I have several authors on my summer must read list every year, hers are the books I look forward to the most, she really is the queen of the beach read and The Perfect Couple is her best book yet!

While Hilderbrand’s books definitely aren’t always sunshine and cocktails, this was a bit of a departure from her previous books. There’s still that wonderful ensemble cast where you feel like you’re a fly on the wall, and there’s also the stunning backdrop of the now familiar beaches of Nantucket, but this had a slightly darker feel since there’s a murder mystery at its core. Think Liane Moriarty in terms of vibe but set it among the super elite and wealthy and that’s TPC.

This was yet another effortless read, super entertaining and a true page turner. Hilderbrand is such a great writer, she really brings Nantucket to life, you can smell the lobster rolls, feel the sand between your toes and imagine you’re surrounded by the glitzy characters who reside in Nantucket. These characters all had juicy secrets and problems and I was eager to find out what really happened to Merritt and along the way there were plenty of turns. A few characters from her previous novels are featured, catching up on their lives was awesome, especially Chief Ed as The Castaways was one of my favorite books. Recommended to everyone, I’m calling it the must read book of the summer purely based on it’s fun factor alone but it’s incredibly well written and plotted to perfection boot, the ultimate summer read.

The Perfect Couple in three words: Juicy, Secretive and Fun.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen


Release date: June 5, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Women’s Fiction


In this intricate and enthralling domestic drama the author of the “gossipy page-turner” (Glamour) The Perfect Neighbors goes deep into a marriage in crisis, peeling back layers of secrets to discover where the relationship veered off course—and whether it is worth saving.

Josie and Frank Moore are happy… at least Josie thinks they are. As parents of two young girls in the Chicago suburbs, their days can be both busy and monotonous, and sometimes Josie wonders how she became a harried fortysomething mother rather than the driven career woman she once was. But Frank is a phenomenal father, he’s handsome and charismatic, and he still looks at his wife like she’s the beautiful woman he married more than a decade ago. Josie isn’t just happy—she’s lucky.

Until one Saturday morning when Josie borrows her husband’s phone to make a quick call—and sees nine words that shatter her world.

Now Josie feels as if she is standing at the edge of a sharp precipice. As she looks back at pivotal moments in the relationship she believed would last forever, she is also plunging ahead, surprising everyone (especially herself) with how far she will go to uncover the extent of her husband’s devastating secret.


I was a huge fan of The Wife Between Us which Pekkanen co authored with Greer Hendricks but I had never read her solo stuff before. This is very different from TWBU, it’s more of a psychological drama than a thriller, so I just wanted to make sure that you guys were aware of that, because if you’re looking for something similar it’s really not. BUT this was good, just in a totally different way, think less tension, no twists, straight up women’s fiction with an emphasis on Josie’s emotional journey.

I liked the way this was structured, it may even have been my favorite aspect, it was set mostly in the present as Josie deals with the effects of her husband’s betrayal but there are a handful of chapters that go back to important times in Josie and Frank’s relationship. I loved the insight this gave the reader into their history, it added depth and dimension to their characters. Josie was a really relatable character, she’s one of those every woman type of people, you either feel like she could be you or you know someone like her. Her actions, choices and thoughts read as very genuine and raw, I think her behavior was an accurate portrayal of how someone in her situation would act.

My only slight complaint is that it was fairly predictable but not in annoying way, I just knew pretty much exactly what would happen well before it actually did, but as this isn’t a thriller, it wasn’t a huge issue. Recommended for those looking for a well written, insightful read that leans to the lighter side.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Old You by Louise Voss @LouiseVoss1 @Orendabooks #TheOldYou


Release date: May 8, 2018

Publisher: Orenda

Genre: Psychological Thriller


Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir

A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller

Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.

But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

I’m so pleased to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Old You today.


It should come as no surprise to me that once again, Orenda has published a book that is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, but this book was chock full of surprises and even better than I could have imagined. The Old You was my first Louise Voss book, I had no idea what to expect but the brief synopsis grabbed my attention instantly. Dementia is a horrible disease, I’ve seen it’s effects firsthand and it’s devastating and totally frightening. Imagine being worried sick about your spouse after such an awful diagnosis, then take it a step further and give it a sinister feeling lurking besides the disease. That’s what Lynn is facing, the loss of her once brilliant husband’s mind and the idea that something isn’t quite right, something even worse than his illness.

I’m not going to dive any further into the plot because there were so many delicious twists and turns in store that elaborating further would only ruin your future reading experience. (I’m assuming this will be going straight onto your TBR because this was an outstanding read.) Well executed domestic suspense/noir is not as easy to find as you would think, but let me assure you this is incredibly well done and stands out from the crowd. Voss is a skilled writer, she has that uncanny ability to slowly draw the reader into a dark web of secrets and lies, she slowly and intoxicatingly gives you details that keep you engrossed and desperate to know what will happen next. The simmering tension and uneasiness was palpable, the air was thick with tension and fear throughout the entire book, words can’t convey just how perfectly paced this was. Keeping a slower paced book exciting is no easy feat, there has to be something to hold your attention and let me tell you, Voss had me hanging off of every single word. I was waiting on pins and needles because I just knew bad things were bound to happen and secrets would be revealed, and when they were I was completely satisfied AND stupefied. Highly recommended by me for fans of crime fiction in general but also for anyone looking for an excellent example of domestic noir/suspense. This is a must read and will most definitely be on my list of favorites for the year.

The Old You in three words: Unnerving, Innovative and Ingenious.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.