Foster sisters Krystal and Nichole have always been there for each other, so when Nichole is committed to a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill her husband, Krystal drops everything to defend her.
Scarred by a hard upbringing, Nichole and Krystal managed to construct comfortable lives for themselves. Krystal became a respected lawyer, and Nichole was happily married to an architect—until Nichole starts raving that her husband isn’t her husband, believing that he’s an imposter.
Driven by fierce loyalty, Krystal starts asking questions, but she’s not sure she can bear the answers. Her investigation leads to the sisters’ dark shared past…to a horrible tragedy and a well-guarded lie that cemented their sisterly bond.
But that lie can’t kill the truth—the battered, gasping, clawing truth that’s coming for them both. Now Krystal and Nichole must both fight for the lives they’ve built before they’re consumed by the one they left behind.
I’m such a fan of this author, she writes really smart psychological thrillers and as a psychologist herself she provides such a fascinating insight into her books. She has a knack for getting deep inside her characters minds and psyches that really allows for a very interesting reading experience. If you like psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the psychological aspect you have to check out her books.
This flips from the present day and Krystal’s viewpoint to the past in Nichole’s POV. Both timelines were great and super interesting for me, both women had an incredibly rough childhood and seeing how their bond in the past informed their present day relationship was fascinating for me. As the book nears the finish line I was totally caught up in this dark story of loyalty and how tragic events can bond people in an unbreakable way. Definitely recommended as a fast paced and engaging read.
He wakes up on a deserted beach in Maryland with a gash on his head and wearing only swim trunks. He can’t remember who he is. Everything–his identity, his life, his loved ones–has been replaced by a dizzying fog of uncertainty. But returning to his Maine hometown in search of the truth uncovers more questions than answers.
Lily Reid thinks she knows her boyfriend, Jack. Until he goes missing one night, and her frantic search reveals that he’s been lying to her since they met, desperate to escape a dark past he’d purposely left behind.
Maya Scott has been trying to find her estranged stepbrother, Asher, since he disappeared without a trace. Having him back, missing memory and all, feels like a miracle. But with a mutual history full of devastating secrets, how far will Maya go to ensure she alone takes them to the grave?
Shared fates intertwine in a twisty, explosive novel of suspense, where unearthing the past might just mean being buried beneath it.
Amnesia storylines are not usually my favorite thing in a thriller but there was something about the description of this one that urged me to give it a chance. Initially when I started this I was intrigued by the three viewpoints and the mystery surrounding all of them. By about a quarter of the way through I started to get a little bit bored and I even debated on setting it aside, but again, something kept telling me to give it a little more time. I’m glad I did because things got better in the end.
One of the reasons I almost gave up on this was I predicted many of the things that happened along the way. I think many thriller readers will be able to do the same, BUT the ending was so strong for me that I think it was worth it. I was almost lulled into a false sense of security having seen things coming ahead if time so when the last couple of chapters arrived with some true surprises, I was very pleased. If you don’t mind having some patience this could work for you, I am happy I finished and applaud the author for a satisfying and dark conclusion.
Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is honestly a bit out of his league.
So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting—even if temporary—isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.
With the humor and heart we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.
Ok why have I never read a Steven Rowley book before?! This was such a funny, tender read with the most endearing characters, I just freaking adored it.
Despite the premise being sad with Maisie and Grant losing their mother and then immediately after her death their father checks himself into rehab, this was mostly lighthearted. Patrick has the exact type of sarcastic humor that I adore and seeing him put his niece and nephews needs above his own was hilarious, poignant and heartwarming. It was also insightful as it examined grief and loss as well as navigating life as a gay man. I can’t really say enough good things about this one, it was everything for me. Definitely recommended by me, especially if you enjoy character driven comedies with a cast that you won’t forget.
Brendon Lowell loves love. It’s why he created a dating app to help people find their one true pairing and why he’s convinced “the one” is out there, even if he hasn’t met her yet. Or… has he? When his sister’s best friend turns up in Seattle unexpectedly, Brendon jumps at the chance to hang out with her. He’s crushed on Annie since they were kids, and the stars have finally aligned, putting them in the same city at the same time.
Annie booked a spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle to spend time with friends before moving across the globe. She’s not looking for love, especially with her best friend’s brother. Annie remembers Brendon as a sweet, dorky kid. Except, the 6-foot-4 manwho shows up at her door is a certified Hot Nerd and Annie… wants him? Oh yes.
Getting involved would be a terrible idea—her stay is temporary and he wants forever—but when Brendon learns Annie has given up on dating, he’s determined to prove that romance is real. Taking cues from his favorite rom-coms, Brendon plans to woo her with elaborate dates straight out of Nora Ephron’s playbook. The clock is ticking on Annie’s time in Seattle, and Brendon’s starting to realize romance isn’t just flowers and chocolate. But maybe real love doesn’t need to be as perfect as the movies… as long as you think your partner hung the moon.
Aww this was such a cute book! I love the recent insurgence of rom com books giving a nod to nostalgic rom com movies, it makes me wistful for the movies of my youth. Brendon being the rom com lover was such a sweet flip of the usual gender roles, I’ve read plenty of books where the heroine is obsessed but this is the first one where the hero is the bigger fan and it was adorable and endearing. When I read the first book in this series, Written in the Stars I was so curious about him and was delighted to see him as the lead here. Annie was lovable and fun, I actually felt sorry for her as a big part of the plot here focused on pressuring her to basically give up her entire life to move to Seattle and thought her best friend, Darcy was damn harsh a few times. It just seemed a little over the top to me, but overall this was freaking cute.
The audio was wonderful, this was the first time I listened to a book narrated by Lauren Sweet and she did a great job inflections emotion into her voice that made it incredibly easy for me to get swept away by the story. I’ll definitely be looking for her name the next time I’m browsing a new audiobook to listen to, do you ever do that? If I’m really drawn to a narrator I’ll seek them out and maybe even try a book I wouldn’t normally listen to if I know they have an engaging manner.
Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.
Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.
Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.
Their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences. They could turn their backs on each other again…or they could learn to forgive once and for all and finally become true sisters of the heart.
Hey everyone! I’m super excited to be sharing an excerpt from The Stepsisters today. If you wanna follow along with the tour click hereI also listened to the audio version so read on for my thoughts on that as well!
Daisy walked into the locker room, stretching her neck and trying to release the kinks in her back. The surgery had gone long, with her seven-year-old kidney patient requiring unexpected repair work on her large intestine.
Daisy had worried about the extended time under anesthesia, given her patient’s weak condition. But little Molly had come through like a champ. Daisy had stayed with her in recovery until her patient had woken up. Once she’d confirmed Molly was breathing comfortably and not in too much pain, she’d left her in the capable hands of the recovery room team.
She opened her locker, pulled out her cell phone and saw she’d missed a call from her father. She pushed the button to call him back and took a seat on the bench.
“Hey, Dad,” she said. “I was in surgery.”
“I figured. Everything go all right?”
She smiled. “My patient did great. So, what’s up?”
As she asked the question, she found herself tensing. Her father had retired and moved to Hawaii a couple of years ago. He’d quickly realized that he wasn’t ready to not work and had joined a small general medicine practice in Maui. He worked a few days a week and frequently came back to LA to visit.
Not now, she thought desperately, knowing that there was no way to keep the situation with Jordan a secret if her father came to town. While he often chose to stay at the Bel Air Hotel, he would still be close enough to figure out there was a problem. As she had no idea what was happening with her husband, she doubted she could explain the situation to her father.
“I’m calling about Cassidy,” her father said. “There’s been an accident.”
Daisy tried to remember if she knew where her half sister was these days. Cassidy was a travel writer. While her home base was in Miami, she was frequently off visiting exotic places. Although hadn’t Sage mentioned something about Patagonia?
Given they were sisters, one would assume Daisy and Cassidy would stay in touch, but that never happened. Despite sharing a father, they weren’t exactly close. Eight years younger, Cassidy had initially been tight with Daisy, but after the divorce, everything had changed. Sage had become the beloved, fun sister, while Daisy was merely to be tolerated.
“A couple of days ago,” her father said, drawing her back into the conversation. “She fell while hiking in Patagonia. She has some broken bones and maybe a concussion. It’s hard to tell exactly, because her doctor didn’t speak much English and my Spanish is terrible. Desean was there, so he told me what had happened. He’s going to stay with her until she’s on the plane back home.”
“Her boyfriend.” Wallace sounded surprised she didn’t know. “I’m not sure that’s how she’d refer to him, but they’ve been seeing each other on and off for a while now. I met him the last time I visited Cassidy. He’s a good man. I like him. He said he would get her onto the plane I’m chartering.”
“To fly her back to Miami?”
“No, to Los Angeles. She’s going to need round-the-clock care and somewhere to stay. I’m assuming I can have her brought to the house.”
Daisy held in a groan. There was only one house in their family and she was living in it.
While her father knew in his head that she and Cassidy hadn’t gotten along in years, he’d always wanted them to be closer. They were “his girls,” as he still called them. Even after the divorce, he’d stayed in touch with Sage and had visited her a couple of times in Europe.
“Dad, no,” she began, then stopped. There was no way to refuse. The house was big enough and Cassidy was family. Wallace wanted to take care of his daughter—end of story.
Dozens of thoughts flashed through her head. Things like wondering how long she could keep the separation a secret and what she was going to tell the kids and how mean Cassidy was going to be, but she ignored them. Instead she told herself to suck it up and said, “When is she arriving?”
“In two days. I’ll email you the particulars, including some ideas about nursing care. I can’t get away for a couple of weeks. I have too many patients scheduled. But I’ll get there as soon as I can.”
“There’s no need to rush, Dad. We’ll be fine.” A lie, but the last thing she needed was her father showing up, as well.
“Thank you for doing this, Daisy. I’m going to let Joanne know. If you’d tell Sage, I’d appreciate it. Do you have her number?”
“I don’t think so.”
“I’ll text it to you, along with the flight information when I get it. I’m not happy Cassidy was hurt, but I’m glad you three girls will have a chance to hang out together. It’s been a long time since that last happened.”
It had never happened, she thought grimly. Daisy and Cassidy had been close and then Cassidy and Sage had bonded.
An uncomfortable thought occurred to her. What if Cassidy and Sage were still tight? That would mean if Cassidy came to stay, Sage would follow. Unless she’d already gone back to Italy, andwouldn’t that be nice.
I’m a longtime fan of the author and have completely enjoyed reading her books in print, but a few months ago I decided to try the audio version of another book of hers and absolutely loved the narrator, Tanya Eby. When I got the chance to have an early listen of The Stepsisters it was a no brainer, Tanya is an incredible narrator and really brings the characters Susan creates to life. She has such an engaging quality in her voice, if you’re an audiobook listener this was fantastic!
I loved the premise here, the messiness of these women’s complex family dynamics appealed to me so much. You have Daisy who is dealing with a troubled marriage, her ex stepsister Sage, who has more issues than I can get into here, and then their half sister, Cassidy who had an accident and needs their help. The idea of dealing with ex family members who you have a troubled past relationship with sounds like a nightmare but wow did it make for some pretty amusing reading! I didn’t grow up with step siblings but I can’t imagine reuniting as adults who aren’t even really related anymore and then trying to unpack old issues and problems, just sounds awful but I liked witnessing these characters work through things. No one writes complex family dramas like the author and if you like messy families as much as I do check this one out. This felt a little sharper and more edgy than the authors previous books and I am here for it. Give me some catty women, drama and people behaving badly as a summer read and I’m all in.
For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.
But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.
Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.
What a delightfully quirky and charming read this one was! If you’re like me and fell in love with the authors debut, Red White and Royal Blue and have been anxiously awaiting her sophomore novel you’ll be pleased I think. However I do want to warn you that this one reads differently than that one, and not in a bad way, it’s just much more odd and out there than her first. But it’s still charming, funny and full of diverse characters that will steal your heart, it’s just weird.
As much as I enjoyed both August and Jane as characters and loved watching them fall in love the secondary characters totally and completely stole the show for me here. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I did find myself more interested in their lives at times than on what was going on between A and J which seemed a little off to me. Just an observation, I was still invested in the main romance but I think the whole time travel thing may have distanced me slightly. I did think the author did a good job of not going too far in the sciencey direction and my brain only hurt a few times trying to figure out time loops or whatever but I think romances grounded in reality are more my jam. This gripey review may make it seem like I didn’t enjoy this one, but I did I think I just had super high hopes and expectations and found it to be a teeny tiny bit lacking at some points. Still recommended but go into it knowing what to expect is my best advice.
Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.
Liza is drowning in the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.
Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.
When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She’s not the world’s best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?
As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late to start over…
There is just something special for me about listening to an audiobook that is narrated by someone with an accent and I could’ve listened to Georgina Sutton’s voice all damn day. It was soothing and melodic and coupled with the beautiful story SM wrote it was an absolutely delightful listen for me.
I’m such a fan of stories about unlikely friendships and the relationship between Kathleen and Martha was just the type of odd pairing that I enjoy. At first glance these two have nothing in common but maybe they can learn a thing or two from each other? Kathleen’s zest for life and feisty personality is the opposite of Martha’s hesitation and shyness but these two balanced each other out perfectly, I just adored them both separately and together. Their adventurous road trip swept me away and made me feel like I was cruising down Route 66 alongside them and the settings were well described and full of life. Liza was an added bonus to two wonderful characters and I so enjoyed her journey to find what makes herself happy instead of being constantly consumed by what her family needs, I think most mothers can relate to that, I know I sure did. This was heartfelt, funny and warm and overall just a lovely and sweet read.
Her stomach lurches as she sits in the windowless room. He throws her phone to the ground, grinds it against the floor with the heel of his shoe and brings his face closer to hers. There was no turning back now, her life as she knew it was gone.
When the lifeless body of a man is found on an industrial estate, Detective Kim Stone arrives on the scene and discovers he’s been tortured in the worst way imaginable.
But as she breaks the devastating news to the victim’s wife, Diane Phipps, Kim can’t help feeling that something isn’t quite right about the woman’s reaction.
Twenty-four hours later, the victim’s family disappears into thin air.
Then a second body is found staked to the ground in a local nature reserve.
Desperate to crack the case open quickly, Kim and her team unravel a vital clue – a fiercely guarded secret that links both victims and could cost even more lives.
A secret that some police officers are also protecting.
Faced with deceit from those she should be able to trust, family members who won’t talk, and local reporter, Tracy Frost, opening a can of worms on the case of a woman murdered by her husband a year ago – Kim is in deep water like never before.
Kim must find the motive if she is to find the killer who is systematically targeting and torturing his victims. But can she unlock the shocking truth and stop him before he strikes again?
You know those books that are all consuming type of reads, the ones where when something or someone from your real life interrupts you it takes a second for you to renter the real world and leave the fictional one behind? That was this sort of book for me, I am so attached to the world of Kim Stone and company that once I started this one I was truly absorbed and had a difficult time switching my mind off when I had to set it down. I found myself making dinner or folding laundry and thinking about the case the team was trying to solve. So I guess you could say this one got in my head and under my skin!
Marsons raised the stakes here, this is one of her darker, grittier and more disturbing books in the series and is a contender for one of my favorites. As always there was a fresh and intriguing new angle here, I swear the plot lines in this series just keep getting better and more fascinating and once again, I learned something new. So you have a tense and exciting plot and then as always you have the characters themselves, and just when I think they’ve been developed just about as far as they can be there’s another layer to them that gets peeled back revealing something new. Kim’s old nemesis Tracy Frost plays a large role here, mostly as a subplot and the repartee between these two cracks me up. Surprisingly I loved learning more about Frost and her personal life as well and will be interested to see what kind of role she will have in future books. The case was wrapped up in the end but the ending left me desperate for the next book, sort of a mini cliffhanger. Once again highly recommended by me, this series never lets me down and is always a guaranteed five star, heart pounding, twisty, intense must read.
The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, it begins a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and for her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?
Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards. In The Summer of Lost and Found, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired fans for decades.
Well, I thought I was ready to read a book set during the pandemic and was curious to see how the author would navigate things but I think it may have been a little too soon for me. I’ve been watching a few TV shows that incorporated the real life events recently and have been ok with it but for some reason this just didn’t translate to a book well for me. I think maybe it’s set primarily in the early days, March 2020 to be exact, and it just brought me back to a place of anxiety and fear that I wasn’t into. So I wanted to start by saying that right off because this is more about me than the book and my own emotions and feelings so take that into consideration when you hear what I’m saying here.
As much as this one unsettled me there was still things to like, I enjoyed the large cast of characters and their various challenges and problems. With an ensemble cast there is a lot going on and while it felt a little chaotic, it definitely kept things interesting. I truly have to give some major credit to the narrator, I don’t know if I would’ve finished this one had I read it in print actually but Cassandra Campbell did a fantastic job of keeping me engaged. There’s a lot of family drama, life drama, friendship drama and just overall drama and that’s usually right up my alley, but again having it centered around the pandemic was just too much too soon for me. If you think that wouldn’t bother you though give this a try, if the pandemic wasn’t mentioned I would’ve adored this one I think, a total me issue and not the book at all, MAM is a wonderful writer and I’m sure many will love this one.
In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.
Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.
The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.
But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.
Is this the most perfect YA rom com ever?! It is you guys, this was adorable, swoony perfection from start to finish. If you like rom coms, or maybe just rom com movies, or maybe you just like books in general you have to read this. I swear you won’t regret it and I even think you’ll finish reading it with a cheesy grin and the warm and fuzzies.
As light and funny as this one was there was an emotional component as well as Liz is grieving the loss of her mom snd senior year is really making her realize how many big milestones her mom isn’t there for. It’s a great balance though, still many hilarious situations and Liz’s sadness made me want to wrap her up in a hug and keep her safe. I know I would’ve liked this in print, it’s too good not to, but the audio was outstanding and I think it brought the story to a whole new level. There’s lots of sarcasm and banter between Liz and Wes and Jesse Vilinsky nailed the delivery of the wit and humor so perfectly. Highly recommended by me especially if you’re feeling nostalgic for older rom com movies as there’s so many great references here.