Thursday, June 28, 2018

Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle

Kat struggles as a single mom to keep life as normal as possible for her son Ethan. Creating a new life after her divorce from her abusive husband Andrew. Ethan is by all definition a genius. As many gifted children do, he had a hard time fitting in socially with his peers. Often the victim of bulling and isolation. Attending a high end private school called Cambridge, every day at school was a struggle for him.

Imagine Kat's surprise when Ethan was over the moon at the thought of attending an overnight field trip with his fellow classmates. After much contemplation she decided to let him be a normal kid and hopes for the best as she sends him on his way to Camp Crosby. Then every parent's worst nightmare comes true. She gets that dreaded visit by the police informing her Ethan is missing. We then are allowed into Kat's world of a personal deep dark hell of waiting for word if her child is alive. Will she ever see Ethan again? Honestly I had no idea how this would turn out for Kat.

After reading the The Marriage Lie by this same author, I knew this would be one heck of a read. I loved that book so much. I was not surprised at all to discover this totally lived up to my expectations. What stood out with this book is that I was at the edge of my seat the entire time. I had no idea if they would find Ethan dead or alive. Ms. Belle was able to stir up emotions in me and made me have anxiety as the search went on. I think in this day and age we can really relate to this because we have experienced so many of these cases in the media. Unfortunately many do not end well. So the anticipation of the ending was defiantly consuming my thoughts even when I had to put the book down to do other things. The author achieved the ultimate goal by making me feel as if I were watching an actual child abduction case, but from the viewpoint of the mother. Absolutely terrifying.

As if the story was not suspenseful enough, the last chapter blew me away. I never saw that coming. The author fed you some clues, but there was one piece of vital information that you discover in the last chapter and that was my ohhhh moment. I think my mouth literally fell open. Fantastic book that is going to stay in my thoughts for quite some time.

5 stars from me!

Thank you so much to Kimberly Belle, Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for this opportunity to read and review this wonderful book!

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

This book is going to knock your socks off!

15 years ago 3 teenage girls go missing from an upscale summer camp. They disappeared into the night without a trace. Vivian, Allison and Natalie were all best friends that had been staying in the same cabin and went missing the next morning. Camp Nightingale, aka Camp Rich Bitch (love the nickname by the way) was forced to close their doors as their reputation was tainted for obvious reasons.

Fast forward 15 years and meet Emma. An artist whose painting career is taking off and should be elated with her new found success, but is instead tormented with guilt and regret. There were actually 4 girls in that cabin, Emma was the fourth girl. Emma had not known this group of girls before camp. Upon being put in their cabin with them, Vivian quickly took Emma under her wing and showed her the ropes. They became thick as thieves until the night of the girls disappearance. What happened that night? Does Emma know more than she is letting on? Why was Emma spared?

Emma is approached to come back to Camp Nightingale as a painting instructor. The owner, Franny wants to rebuild their reputation after 15 long years of being empty. Emma warily accepts the invitation in hopes to gain some closure and maybe do some snooping of her own.

There is alot of hype surrounding this book...and it is so deserving of it! I have read alot of really good books this year and this is one of the best so far. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way through this book. The ending was phenomenal. I finished it last night and spent the day thinking about it.

This is my first book by Riley Sager, I guess I have been living under a rock. How I have not read Final Girls is a mystery to me but it is on my list to purchase next. I loved his writing style. It was so easy to read and I felt like I was there at camp. I got chills down my spine each time he had them go to the latrine at night because I remember being at camp and creeping around in the dark scared out of my wits. He takes you back to that moment.

5 stars from me!

I am so glad I got the opportunity to read this book before the July publish date. Thank you to Riley Sager, Penguin Books and NetGalley.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Husband's Lies by Caroline England

My thoughts...
This is going to be a review that is hard to write without including spoilers. There was just so much going on and so many twists, that is will be hard not to reveal secrets hidden in the book's plot. I hate when I read a review just to get an idea if I am going to like a book and then the reviewer reveals half of the twists. So bear with me and I will do my best not to spoil it for you.

Most people have that group of friends in high school that they share everything with. Usually upon entering adulthood they end up going their own ways, saying they will meet for drinks or coffee but never do. They slowly drift apart as adult responsibilities take precedence. This doesn't apply to this  group. They have stayed in touch and are much a part of each others lives. This group of friends playfully referred to themselves as the A Team, which consisted of Dan, Nick, Will and Jenn.

The book opens at a wedding being held for Nick and Lisa. During the wedding, Will's wife Penny displayed bizarre behavior, climbed onto a window ledge and appeared to be contemplating jumping. The book takes you through each characters relationship with each other. As with any group of people that have known each other this long there are many secrets lying beneath the surface. Nobody can deny that as a teenager you bond more with your peers while you work your way through life, not always making the right decisions. So it may seem shocking that this group knows so many things about each other, but not if you consider they have been through so much together.

The ONLY reason I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is because it was a slow burn for me. I really struggled the first part of the book to follow along. There were so many characters introduced in the first couple of chapters that I had to restart the book and take notes. Now this might not be the case for you. I personally just like to get pulled into a book and not have to concentrate on that many relationships at one time. It did open at the wedding and to be fair, all the people in the book were present at the wedding so they needed to be introduced. It just got confusing when there were brothers, aunts, uncles, parents and then the A team and their wives all at once. I just feel like I need to explain why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5, because it really was a great read.

In summary, if you like a really scandalous read, this is the book for you! There a ton of surprises and scandals that for sure! It has a little bit of everything in it. Some of the issues addressed were-infidelity, mental health, drug use, infertility, paternity and  sexual preference. That may sound like alot but isn't that true to life? Everything in this book is very realistic. So scandalous yes, but true to life also yes. This is what you get when you have a group of friends that have been through so much together and you know all their secrets....their many, many secrets. Very entertaining book.

4 stars from me!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland

My thoughts...

Lizzy lives a pretty low key lifestyle. She lives with her longtime boyfriend Joe and manages a high end shop that sells gifts and clothes.  Life is pretty uneventful for Lizzy, that is until she acquires a stalker.  Suddenly, random notes appear in places that are not readily accessible to the average person. The stalker appears to know her every move and has access to her schedule, her home, car and work. Each note escalates with  a more sinister tone, until Lizzy ultimately experiences physical harm. 

Every time Lizzy lets her guard down another note appears.  The police now know her address by heart. Understandably this shakes Lizzy to the core. She has to struggle to keep her lifestyle normal, but lack of sleep and anxiety are overwhelming her and taking a toll.

Lizzy finds herself suspicious of everyone. Why would anyone want to stalk and harm Lizzy? Everyone appears to love her bubbly personality.  Is it a scorned admirer? A jealous past high school classmate? Her landlord and manager that has access to her home and work? Her jealous boyfriend that accuses her of being a flirt? A friend's brother that is too friendly? A neighbor that wants to get to know her? Her estranged sister? It could be anyone.....and that is the problem. It really could be anyone.

I found this to be a very well paced book. It held my attention from the start. There was never a period where I felt that the book dragged. The stalker made sure of that. It held my interest because I kept wondering what on earth was going to happen to poor Lizzy next. There were so many possible suspects that it kept you wondering.

As for the ending, there is no way you are going to be able to guess how this ends unless you have psychic abilities! This one has a couple really big twists at the end that I highly doubt you are going to see coming. I  couldn't wait to find out who the stalker was. I had no idea there was another twist thrown in there too! This was my first book by Shalini Boland and it definitely will not be my last!

5 stars from me!!! Happy reading!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

This story revolves around two friends- Alex and Carrie.  These two become quick best friends, bonding during support group sessions.  Alex is battling anorexia and Carrie's battle is cancer. 

Alex has destroyed her relationship with her husband and children, or so she believes. She lives in a chronic state of guilt and despair. Feeling isolated and hopeless, she clings to her new friend Carrie, no matter what the circumstances. 

Carrie is new to town, but makes it known that she has a wonderful, supportive family.  Her life is practically perfect, except for her diagnosis of a aggressive form of cancer.

Is everything as it seems? Or are there lies and deceit found around every corner?  Why does everyone around them keep disappearing? Where is Joanne, Simon and Smudge? Who is Natalie?

My thoughts

There is a whole bunch of lying and a whole lot of surprises in this book! I feel this isn't your typical suspense/mystery book, I feel it touches on alot of deeper subjects in addition to the twists and turns. Basically, it is a bit deeper than that. It touches on how people adapt to mental illness and grief and how they compensate for it.  Being an Emergency Room nurse myself, I deal with people going through major life events and I get to see how they cope with it. I felt the author really captured how people that are so consumed with anorexia function. Alex had to lie to cover up more lies. It was a way of life for her.

Well thought out book. I often had to stop and wonder who was lying and why. There were many lies being spun, but in the end they were all explained away. They are truly friends until the end or are they?
5 stars 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Day I Lost You by Alex Sinclair


 This story takes place in a high end apartment building that Michael Walls resides at. The majority of the book is from the point of view of his ex wife Erika. Unbeknownst to Michael, his ex wife and daughter Alice have arrived to his building to collect a toy that Alice has left behind during one of her visits with her father. Erika and Alice's visit turns drastically wrong when Alice bolts out of the elevator and disappears before her mother can locate her. Every parents worst nightmare unfolds as the reality sets in for Erika that her daughter is now missing.

The story is narrated by Erika, with some chapters being in the present tense with the search for Alice progressing. Other chapters focus on filling the reader in with the past life that she lived with Michael that lead up to their divorce. Michael climbed the ladder to become a high powered, wealthy attorney that had no time for his family. He was a controlling husband that could not understand why Erika felt the need to leave him and take Alice with her. There was an event that took place that Erika often refers to that she felt was the end of their relationship. 

My thoughts

Mr. Sinclair, you have managed to do it again! After reading "The Last Thing I Saw" I was expecting another great twist. I was not disappointed! This story seemed straight forward about a mother's pure terror of losing her daughter. We go through the journey of all the emotions she is feeling during this traumatic event that is occurring. We also get a glimpse of all the resentment and distrust she has for Michael. But true to form, there is a major twist at the end.

You no doubt will be in for a surprise. Fantastic ending, I was completely suprised at the turn of events the last couple of chapters.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello


Caroline lives in a suburban neighborhood where google is often used to drum up dirt on others and attribute to gossip. She unearths some disturbing things in her past that she has no recollection of. Wary of asking her friends, risking them thinking she has lost her mind, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth. Has she been living a lie? Did she give birth to these two beautiful girls? 

My Thoughts

 This book was extremely intriguing. It held my interest from the very first page. Sometimes you read the first couple pages and you already know you are going to enjoy the book. This was one of those times for me.

We are allowed to travel along with Caroline, with insight into her innermost thoughts and allowed to feel her spiraling out of control as she desperately seeks the truth out. Or do we even know what the truth is that she is seeking? Can you stuff all your memories in a so called memory box and pull them out as you see fit? 

This author spun this story into a very twisted ending. I had no idea it was going to take that direction. Fantastic turn of events. Really enjoyable, unputdownable (as Andrew would say) read!