Review: The Dilemma by B.A. Paris

The DilemmaThe Dilemma by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

B.A. Paris, my Queen.

Although very different from her prior works, I still really enjoyed this. Smaller in scope, yet quite intricate as a character study.

Following husband and wife, Livia and Adam, this story takes place during the course of one day. The day of Livia’s much anticipated 40th birthday party.

Adam and Livia were married very young and never had the chance to have the wedding of her dreams.

She has always looked on this party as an opportunity to celebrate not just her birthday, but also their relationship.

As the day arrives Livia is dragged down by a monumental secret she is keeping from her husband.

Unfortunately, she’s not the only one with a secret. Adam has a life-changing secret as well that he is choosing to keep from her.

The narrative alternates between the two as they struggle with their decisions to keep such important facts secret from one another. It is very introspective in a lot of ways, but there is still quite a bit of suspense.

Over the course of the story, the reader learns the true nature of their respective secrets and what those secrets could mean for the family as a whole.

As I mentioned above, this novel seemed smaller in scope compared to her previous novels. By that I mean, all of the action takes place at their home during the course of one day.

Her previous novels certainly covered larger geographical areas, as well as longer spans of time, making the stories seem more complex.

However, I think after you complete this one, and you sit back and think about what you have read, the real intricacies begin to come to light.

I cried reading this. The characters go through so much, it really moved me.

Although I would classify this as more domestic drama than psychological thriller, which is what I would classify her earlier novels, I appreciated it very much.

Her writing style is just so compelling and never fails to keep me glued to the pages.

B.A. Paris has a fan in me for life. I will always pick up every single thing she has published.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. This was absolutely one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it did not disappoint.

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Blog Tour Review: The Last Affair by Margot Hunt

The Last AffairThe Last Affair by Margot Hunt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

From the outside, suburbanite Mom, Gwen Landon, seems to have it all. With successful husband, Josh, two children and a Labrador, they are a living example of the picture perfect family. Until Gwen winds up dead, that is, bludgeoned to death in her own backyard with a driveway paving stone.

Nora Holliday also appears to be living in suburban bliss, although behind closed doors, things are a bit darker for Nora. Her husband, once an abusive alcoholic, now in recovery, is challenging to live with and the love and spark is definitely gone. Nora does what she can to try to keep it all together for their children but that type of life can be hard.

When Josh and Nora run into each other at an out of town hotel bar, they make a irrevocable and passionate decision that will alter all of their lives.

Full of the domestic drama we all love, glazed with a delightfully devious revenge plot, The Last Affair will keep you vigorously turning the pages until the very end. Once I started down this twisted road of secrets and lies, I could not put it down!

Jumping back and forth between multiple perspectives helped this one to never lose its pace. There were so many secrets, so little honest communication, it was frustrating and amazing all at the same time.

If you are looking for a fast-paced, cleverly plotted domestic drama to help get you through this holiday season, you should definitely consider picking this one up!

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to read this early. Thank you so much to the publisher, Harlequin — MIRA, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I had a lot of fun with this story and am definitely looking forward to Margot Hunt’s next novel. I think her writing has grown a lot for this book compared to For Better and Worse so I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

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Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Those PeopleThose People by Louise Candlish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let’s get the main grit out of the way:
I am trash for domestic drama from Louise Candlish.

She has such a knack for examining the dark side of an otherwise mundane domestic landscape. Additionally, I am really into how she formats her stories.

She incorporates the use of mixed media, such as police interviews, newspaper articles, texts and/or emails, and I absolutely love that.

This story is set on Lowland Way, a quiet residential street in a posh-suburban neighborhood. The envy of other neighborhoods, this one seems the perfect place to be and raise a family.

Everyone gets along so smoothly, they have even organized ‘play-out Sunday‘, where the street literally gets blocked off to cars and the kids just play in the street all day while the parents relax and socialize. Everyone cooperates. Everyone participates. It’s perfect.

That is until Darren and Jodie move into #1 after Darren inherits the property. They bring with them loud music, inappropriate language, a dodgy renovation project, not to mention many cars that he actively works on and sells from his driveway.

The icing on the cake being that they refuse to follow the rules of play-out Sunday and continue driving cars on the street!!!

As you can imagine, neighbors are not impressed. In fact, their presence causes so much stress that several people discuss selling and moving on. Long-term owners on the street refuse to be cowed by the newcomers however and the plotting and diabolical scheming begins.

Y’all, these neighbors are savage!
They take their domestic peace VERY SERIOUSLY!!!
I can’t say I blame them but, damn, the stuff they come up with!

I had a really great time reading this. As with Our House, you know from the very beginning that a crime has occurred but you aren’t quite sure who the victim is. Overtime, through interviews and the perspectives of multiple characters the true story gets revealed. This style, for me, makes the plot move along very quickly and I love starting a new chapter in order to see someone else’s POV.

At this point, I am a fangirl for Candlish and will definitely continue to pick up any domestic drama she puts out! Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate it!

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