Review: You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie

Goodreads

Release date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

Do you want to play a game?

Twelve years ago Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.

Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder…

Who will pay the price? 

Review:

With many thrillers feeling very basic and formulaic for me lately it’s getting harder and harder for me to find authors that I can truly count on to deliver solid books time and time again. CM is one of those rare authors for me, each of her books feels different from the last and they’ve all been highly entertaining and compulsive reads for me.

If a book has anything cult related in the plot I’m instantly interested and then the idea of meeting a total stranger who not only has the exact same name but also the exact same birthday really just piqued my interest even more. That was just the tip of the iceberg y’all, this one was WILD and kept me on my toes the whole time. It’s one big game of cat and mouse that never once faltered or let off the gas. If like me you’ve had trouble lately with finding a book to hold your attention then give this a try because it worked for me!

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: I Was Told it Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Goodreads

Release date: June 16, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Blurb:

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever. 

Review:

Abbi Waxman is just my kind of author, I adore her style and would read anything she writes, aight unseen. I don’t need to read the description or see the cover, I’m already sold as long as her name is attached. She’s an incredibly witty author and there’s always a playful quirkiness in her books, this was no exception.

Last year I fell head over heels for The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and now I have two new characters to love in mother/daughter duo Jessica and Emily. You hear from both women in alternating chapters and the author captured both personalities so well. Road trips can be fun, but they can also be hard, and so can mother/daughter relationships especially when the daughter is a moody teenager. Add in the stress of being on a college tour with a bunch of strangers and things can be tense. Both women were so relatable especially in terms of how they reacted to situations and bumps in the road, they just felt super authentic and like genuine, real life people and not just characters in a book. Definitely recommended to add to your summer reading list, it was funny, smart and heartfelt.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Goodreads|Bookshop.org

Release date: June 9, 2020

Publisher: Forever

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon launches a new series about three young women who become friends when the live Tweeting of a disastrous date leads them to discover they’ve all been duped by the same man.

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

Review:

Gah do you guys know how rare it is to read a romance that’s not only smart but also funny, sweet, sexy and engaging?! It really is but thankfully TBP is one of those rare gems that had all of that and more. More meaning what exactly? Well it had a heavy focus on a newly developing friendship between Samiah, London and Taylor and it also explored Samiah’s workplace and the dynamics at play in her office. I’m telling y’all, this one had a little something for everyone.

I have to tell you about the hero, Daniel this man is majorly swoon worthy and I just loved how he was a strong person in his own right but he also wasn’t put off or intimidated by Samiah because she is fiercely independent and incredibly strong too. They were both such interesting and multifaceted characters and I just adored them both separately and together. I’m thrilled this is the start to a new series, (London and Taylor will both be getting their own books) and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Highly recommended by me for romance fans!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Last One to See Her by Mark Tilbury @MTilburyauthor

Goodreads

Release date: June 4, 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

He says he is innocent. So why did he lie?


Mathew Hillock was the last person to see eleven-year-old Jodie Willis alive. When her dead body turns up four days later in his garden shed, the police think he’s guilty of her murder. So do most people in the town. But there’s no DNA evidence to link him to the crime.
 
Battling the weight of public opinion and mental illness due to a childhood head trauma, he sinks into a deep depression.
 
Can Mathew do what the police failed to do and find evidence linking the real killer to the crime?
The Last One to See Her is a terrifying story of what happens when you’re accused of a crime and no one believes you are innocent.

Review:

Do you like your thrillers dark, fast paced, disturbing and wholly unsettling? Then allow me to introduce you to the work of Mark Tilbury. He’s one of the few thriller authors who I can count on to always deliver a story that is at once compelling and twisty and his latest is no exception. There’s a reason he’s referred to as Twisted Tilbury after all…

As much as I love a dark plot if you add in some great characterization then I’m really satisfied and this book had some fantastic characters. Some I just adored and some I hated beyond comprehension, but they were all very well drawn. The plot was also great, you have several suspects and no clue who the bad guy really is right until the end and I never saw anything coming ahead of time either. The tension is palpable the whole time but as you get closer to the end things reach a whole new level of tense and the end was powerful and satisfying.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Review: The Summer Deal by Jill Shalvis

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: June 2, 2020

Publisher: William Morrow

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Blurb:

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and pretty much the opposite of Brynn except for one thing: they’re half-sisters. Kinsey is keeping this bombshell, and a few others as well. Long time frenemies from summer camp, there’s no way she’s going to tell Brynn they’re related.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s lifelong best friend, Eli, renewing a childhood crush. He’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. When he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have a sister, love, and a future―if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them. 

Review:

You may remember that late last year I finally discovered Jill Shalvis and in that short amount of time I’ve become such a huge fan. There’s a handful of authors that I can truly depend on to take me on a fun, entertaining escape and she is definitely one of them. Also, look at that cover, I mean have you ever seen a more perfect one for summer? The inside is amazing as well.

So this one is much more than just a summer romance novel. Yes, there is romance (two actually 😍🔥) but it’s also about friendship and family as well, truly a little bit of everything for everyone. It also has the author’s trademark fantastic characterization, every single person in this book feels so authentic and relatable on some level. A cute little addition that I adored was journal entries from two of the main characters back when they were frenemies at summer camp, and oh yes instead of a friends to lovers romantic relationship the two female leads have a love/hate relationship. I’m telling ya, this was such a fun one and a perfect addition to summer reading!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.