Blog Tour: You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

You Will Remember MeYou Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You Will Remember Me is a deviously twisted tale of obsession and long-buried secrets. That sound great, right!?

A man waking up on a beach in Maryland has no memory of his past, or even his name. He is left with foggy recollections that lead him to the state of Maine and directly to people who recognize him.

They say his name is Asher and he has been missing for years. He is quickly reunited with his long-lost sister, Maya, who takes him in and agrees to care for him during his recuperation.

When Lily Reid’s boyfriend, Jack, goes missing after an evening swim at a beach in their Maryland town, everyone suspects that he has drowned.

Lily refuses to give up on him however, so she begins an investigation into where he may have gone. It leads her to a small town in Maine.

There she spots Jack on the street. Upon approaching him, he has no memory of her. Making matters worse, he and his sister, insist that his name is actually, Asher.

Lily is so confused. Why would Jack have given her a false name? It is clear to all, Ash is suffering from amnesia due to a head injury and Lily decides to stick around for a bit to interact with him more. She’s still in love with him.

Following three perspectives, Ash, Lily and Maya’s, this story is a wild ride. It’s fast-paced and engaging the entire way through.

Personally, I enjoy an amnesia story. I also love obsession tropes and long-buried secrets. This book has all of those things, so was a great recipe for me!

A few of the elements involved in the story were a bit far fetched and a tad convenient, but honestly, it’s still a great time. It’s not a story that’s asking you to take it too seriously.

I think if you go into this looking for fun twists, turns and devious actors, you’re in for heck of a fun experience.

Hannah Mary McKinnon has a way with over-the-top drama. It’s her style and I’m here for it. It’ll keep me coming back, that’s for sure!

Thank you so much to publisher, MIRA, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I truly appreciate it.

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Review: Madam by Phoebe Wynn

MadamMadam by Phoebe Wynne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**2.5-stars rounded up**

When 26-year old, Rose Christie, gets hired on as a Classics teacher for the illustrious, Caldonbrae Hall, she’s understandably nervous about the placement.

Caldonbrae, a traditional boarding school for girls, is a far cry from the public schools she has taught in previously and from the start, Rose feels out of place.

Her trepidation doesn’t improve as classes begin. The young ladies treat her with contempt and an overall lack of respect.

She is astounded that such well groomed girls would think that it is okay to treat one of their teachers in such a way.

But it isn’t even just the girls. Other teachers and staff barely give her the time of day. She’s like an annoying gnat they all seem to want to swat away.

The longer Rose is there, the more confounding the whole experience seems to be.

As Rose slowly, and I do mean slowly, begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the shocking truth of Calonbrae Hall is revealed.

Y’all, the premise of this book had such promise. I wanted to love it. I expected to love it. Unfortunately for me, it fell a little flat.

The atmosphere was my favorite aspect. It did feel gothic, like the school was trapped in time.

Set on the cliffs of Scotland, it felt cold and remote. While Rose was there, it felt like she was very far removed from the rest of the world; from anyone who could help her.

I was intensely interested in the beginning, for probably the first 20%, and I felt the last 15% was engaging as well. However everything in between was like watching paint dry.

There were so many details. I just kept waiting and waiting for something to happen and it was like, the payoff never came.

I liked the ideas behind where the author was going, but I just think the execution was a miss for me. I feel like it could have been edited down. Perhaps if it were more concise, it would have been more impactful.

In other words, in this case, it’s not the content, but how that content was presented that was the issue for me.

Additionally, I do think it is important to note that I listened to the audiobook. I think the narrator did a good job. Frankly, if I had read a hard copy, I may have been even more displeased with it.

With this being said, just because it didn’t necessarily work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. If the synopsis sounds interesting to you, absolutely give it a shot!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with the opportunity to listen to this audiobook. I do appreciate it very much!

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Review: The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

The Hunting WivesThe Hunting Wives by May Cobb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hunting Wives is a darkly provocative Domestic Thriller that left me flipping the pages well past my bedtime! 💙💄

The story follows Sophie O’Neill, a 30-something lifestyle blogger, who recently moved with her husband and young son from Chicago to a small Texas town; full of rich people and their drama.

Sophie actually lived in this town for a few years in high school. Her Mom moved them a lot and this was one of their many stops.

Fortunately, she still has a good friend from that time, Erin, so at least when she, her husband, Graham, and their son, Jack, arrive, they know someone.

Erin is involved in a lot of charity work, including glamourous fundraising events. It is at one of these events that Sophie meets the Queen Bee, Margot Banks.

While Sophie had been aware of Margot before, interacting with her in person is on a whole new level.

When it seems Margot is interested in including Sophie in her clique, who secretly refer to themselves as the Hunting Wives, Sophie can hardly believe her luck.

Before she knows it, she’s brushing off Erin, Graham and everything else, in order to hang out with Margot and the rest of the Hunting Wives. This includes spending a lot of time at Margot’s lake house, skeet shooting and drinking.

While that may seem innocent enough, with these ladies, it is far from it.

Before she knows it, Sophie is in way over her head and at risk of losing absolutely everything she loves. The worst part is, she can’t control herself. She is out of control and she knows it.

The Hunting Wives is risque, sexy, fast-paced, full of dangerous twists, booze and bad choices. In short, it’s everything I love.

One of my favorites tropes is obsession, of any sort. I thought Cobb did a great job of creating these unhealthy relationships and really taking them all the way. She held nothing back.

I had so much fun with this story. I couldn’t put it down once I got into it.

Every new, crazy situation the women got themselves into took it up another level in the risk. By the end, my pulse was definitely pounding through some fairly intense scenes.

In short, this was a great time.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity. It was so much fun!

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Review: The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French

The Other Side of the DoorThe Other Side of the Door by Nicci French
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Bonnie Graham’s friend asks her to perform at her wedding at the end of the summer, she readily accepts.

All she has to do is put a band together. How hard can it be?

Even though she is currently a music teacher, Bonnie has been on the music scene for a long time and knows a lot of people.

Thus, she is able to hastily assemble a band with members including her ex-boyfriend, Amos, and her best friend, Sonia.

As the summer wears on and they spend more time together prepping for the show, tensions begin to rise and relationships become strained.

When Bonnie finds the body of her lover, and fellow band member, Hayden, dead, lying in his apartment in a pool of his own blood, she thinks she knows what happened.

She then hatches a plan to try to protect the killer, but does she really know who that is?

Alternating between past and present perspectives, with Bonnie as the main protagonist, the truth behind Hayden’s life, death and their relationship is revealed.

I feel almost exactly the same upon finishing this, as I did after Lisa Jewell’s, The Family Upstairs.

In short, underwhelmed.

I thought that I would really like this, as I frequently enjoy stories focused on music, or musicians. However, this was just too slow of a burn.

With this being said, I also appreciate a slow burn, but the final payoff needs to be worth it and for me, this just wasn’t.

The back-and-forth felt extremely chaotic to me. I generally prefer an alternating timeline, but it has to be seamless and here I found myself forgetting which time I was in.

Additionally, I didn’t find the relationships and corresponding drama to be particularly believable.

At the end of the day, while there were some glimmers of a solid story under all the chatter, this one just did not work for me.

It may work for you though, so do not let my opinion sway you from picking it up. If the synopsis sounds interesting, give it a go! There’s a Reader for every book!

Thank you so much to the publisher, William Morrow Paperbacks, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

Even though this one didn’t quite work for me, I would definitely be willing to pick up more work from this author!

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Review: The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer

The Perfect DaughterThe Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After Grace discovers an abandoned 4-year old girl in a park, she knows the little one is destined to be her daughter. Grace fights hard to foster the girl and ultimately adopts her into the family.

Grace and her husband, Arthur, have two boys, Ryan and Jack, but Grace has always wanted to mother a daughter. That relationship is just so special.

As it turns out, mothering this particular little girl, named Penny by her older brother, Jack, is more challenging than Grace initially anticipated.

Penny, due to trauma in her early life, has suffered a schism within her psyche, outwardly displayed as a case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID.

Once known as Multiple Personality Disorder, Grace and the rest of the family are slowly introduced to Penny’s alters, Ruby, Chloe and Eve.

When Penny is accused of killing her birth mother, caught red handed at the woman’s apartment, Grace knows there has to be another explanation. Her sweet Penny would never be capable of such violence.

But would one of her alters? Would Eve, the most aggressive and openly hostile?

Penny gets arrested, and subsequently committed, to Edgewater Psychiatric Hospital for care and treatment prior to her trial. It is there that she comes under the care of the perceptive, Dr. Mitch McHugh.

The Perfect Daughter is a fast-paced and intriguing Psychological Suspense novel. Palmer did a great job of keeping the tension high throughout the story.

I was constantly questioning who, or what, to believe. I know that mental health and disorders can be a complicated topic to write about, but I never felt icky about this. It felt like Palmer handled the topic with care, never demonizing Penny simply because she suffered from DID.

In signature Palmer style, this did get pretty wild towards the end, but it was a heck of a lot of fun to read.

He definitely has a brand and style he keeps returning to, and you know what, it works for me. It may be a little far-fetched, but it keeps me coming back every time!!!

The audiobook is fantastic, highly recommend that medium, as the narrators truly sweep you up into the story!

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me with copies of this to read and review. In my opinion, this is Palmer’s best work yet, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

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Review: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The Good SisterThe Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Fern and Rose are fraternal twins. As often happens with twins, they are opposites in many ways. From the outside, the division is clear; Rose is the responsible one, Fern is the quirky one.

In The Good Sister you follow both of their perspectives, gaining an inside view to their fascinating relationship.

Rose has placed herself in a quasi-caregiver role over Fern and Fern, for her part, is codependent in her interactions with Rose. So much so, that when she discovers Rose cannot become pregnant, she decides to have a baby for her.

This may seem like an odd statement, but once you meet Fern’s character and learn a bit about the way her mind works, it actually makes sense.

Through flashbacks to their early life, it is clear that Rose has always felt the need to protect Fern. Firstly, from their mother, and later, seemingly, from herself.

Fern has done a bad thing. Throughout the course of the narrative, what that is, comes to light. Poor Fern has let this one event, although admittedly horrifying, define her.

As Fern starts to follow her new plan to become pregnant, she learns things about herself she never knew. She also begins to see things about Rose she never noticed either.

I was oddly captivated by this story. I wouldn’t really consider it to be a Thriller, but I’m not sure what else to call it? An eerie character study?

Regardless, I found it to be interesting as heck. I couldn’t take my eyes off the sh*tstorm evolving on the page!

It was really fun to watch play out. I was impressed with the pace at which Hepworth reveals the truth behind Rose and Fern; so well done, it kept me engrossed the entire time.

I would absolutely recommend this for Readers who enjoy complex familial relationships. This was my first novel by this author, but I am looking forward to picking up more.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martins’ Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review! I appreciate the opportunity to provide my thoughts and opinions.

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Review: None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney

None Shall SleepNone Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Emma Lewis is a rare survivor of a serial killer. She was actually held hostage by him for days prior to her escape.

Travis Bell is a U.S. Marshall candidate, whose father lost his life in the line of duty at the hands of a serial killer.

In addition to these odd circumstances, they are also both extremely intelligent. It’s because of all of this, the FBI decides to recruit Emma and Bell to interview juvenile killers and provide insight on cold cases.

The theory is that teen killers will be more willing to open up to other teens, as opposed to stiff old, fuddy-duddy FBI agents.

Both Bell and Emma agree to the assignment within the Behavioral Sciences Unit and move into the dorms at Quantico. They begin training with other recruits and start their teen killer interviews.

The first interview ends up going better than expected. The killer does seem to be more receptive to them and opens up about his crimes and motivations.

Concurrently, the BSU is working on an active, high-profile serial killer case where all of the victims are teenagers.

Trying to get to the bottom of this case, and catch the killer before another teen is killed, the BSU decides to turn to infamous teen killer, Simon Gutmunsson, for help.

Emma ends up interviewing Simon alone and this is where the strong The Silence of the Lambs vibes begin.

Emma and Simon’s relationship is very Clarice and Hannibal. The more they talk, the more Simon is able to draw out of Emma. Details she should not be confessing to him under any circumstances.

Simon is a masterful manipulator, who could strike with zero provocation.

Simon is revealing a lot to Emma as well and it begins to seem that he has a connection to the current case, but how?

This story was super intriguing from the very first chapter. Emma and Bell were both great characters to get to know.

Because of their history of trauma, they were both working through the effects of that; deciding how they wanted their lives to go. Channeling their pain into potential good for others, instead of letting it hold them back.

They hit it off right away and bonded quickly. I thought that made sense. They were the only people in that position, going through the same things. They had no one else.

Watching their relationship evolve over the course of the book seemed so natural. I am attached to them now and genuinely hope this is not the last we see of their characters.

I also loved all the scenes with Simon. He was chilling, much like Hannibal Lecter before him. The audiobook had incredibly creepy narration for his portions, so highly recommend that.

The cat-and-mouse interactions between Simon and Emma were so well-written. Additionally, Simon has a family member who plays a role in this story and their relationship was equally disturbing.

Overall, I thought this was an exceptionally tense and well-plotted YA Thriller.

Highly recommend to anyone who enjoys shows like Criminal Minds, or Mindhunter, as well as The Silence of the Lambs!!

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Review: The Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor

The Burning GirlsThe Burning Girls by C.J. Tudor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After a scandal at her church, unconventional vicar, Jack Brooks, and her teenage daughter, Flo, are relocated to the village of Chapel Croft.

This is quite a shift from their life in Nottingham, but they are both determined to make the best of it.

The location is peaceful and remote. It feels a million miles from their old life. Upon arrival, they are a little surprised by the untidy condition of the old chapel and their new residence, but still determined to make it work.

They also discover that Chapel Croft, like many small towns, has a dark past that lies not far from the surface. Five hundred years ago, eight Protestants, including two young girls, were burned at the stake for their beliefs.

This incident has shaped the town in many ways and the descendants of these original martyrs are still held in high regard.

They also have a slightly disturbing tradition of making little stick dolls in memory of The Burning Girls; a few of which Jack and Flo stumble upon shortly after arriving in town.

More recently, the village has been plague by other unfortunate events, like the disappearance of two teen girls thirty-years earlier.

In fact, just two months ago, the previous vicar took his own life. A fact Jack was unaware of when she accepted the position.

The people of the village have been through a lot. Secrets and suspicions abound amongst the residents, and when outsiders move in, it tends to cause quite the stir.

Flo unfortunately runs into the local bullies fairly soon after arriving in town and they latch on to her as their newest target. She also makes a friend, Lucas Wrigley, who because of a neurological disorder, finds himself bullied as well.

For her part, Jack is doing her best to learn what she can about her new congregation and ingratiate herself to its people.

Jack knows establishing strong personal relationships is key. She needs these people to trust her, if this placement is going to last.

However, some folks are easier to appease than others and Jack happens to be hiding a few secrets of her own, including the circumstances surrounding her departure from her former church.

The Burning Girls was such a fun read. It’s a slow burn, but once Jack and Flo are settled in their new home, disturbing occurrences begin happening with more regularity.

From there, the pace continues to increase through the jaw-dropping finale.

There’s some interesting subplots, where I wondered how it was all going to connect. Once the puzzle pieces fell into place, I was absolutely chilled.

I loved how Tudor brought this all together and honestly, didn’t see it coming!

Additionally, I loved the overall atmosphere. Chapel Croft came to life within these pages. It felt ominous; that feeling where you know something is not right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

There was a tremendous cast of characters. It felt like Jack and Flo against the world, which really increased the intensity. I just wanted them to pack their bags and move!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I had an absolute blast with it and can’t wait to pick up more of Tudor’s work!

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Review: Possession by Katie Lowe

PossessionPossession by Katie Lowe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ten years ago, Hannah’s husband, Graham, was brutally murdered in their bed.

Hannah, along with their baby girl, Evie, were both in the London home that evening, but Hannah claims not to remember a thing; a mysterious head injury apparently to blame.

The police arrested a man, Mike, for the crime. A stranger to both her husband and herself, this man is now in prison for Graham’s murder.

Hannah moved from the city after that, unable to stay in the home where such a traumatic event took place. Her and Evie, along with Hannah’s long-time love interest, Dan, now reside in a comfy home in the suburbs.

Even though, for the most part her life is going well, Hannah is still troubled by flashbacks to that night and to her troubled marriage with Graham.

Unfortunately, things are about to get stirred up even more, as a popular True Crime podcast sets sights on the decades old murder case and decides to feature it on the next season of their show.

Conviction host, Anna Byers, believes Mike, the man currently in prison for Graham’s murder, was set-up by the police and she claims to have the proof needed to set him free.

The show’s suspicions focus on Hannah and thusly, popular opinion begins to sway that way as well, churning up all sorts of issues for Hannah and her family. This negative focus on her, causes Hannah to spiral out of control.

Alternating between past and present timelines, as well as incorporating podcast episodes, the truth behind Hannah’s past begins to come to light.

Hannah is a hugely unreliable narrator, so that definitely added to the overall suspense, as you had to question even her most basic memories.

I did feel like the pace of this was a little slow for my tastes, however, and frankly, I never found myself really invested in the mystery.

Some interesting choices were made in the plot progression and I thought the ultimate conclusion definitely tread into over-the-top eye roll territory, but that could just be me.

Overall, it is a good story that I think a lot of people will have a lot of fun with. It will not go down as particularly memorable for me, but I’m still glad I gave it a shot.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity.

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Review: If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier

If I DisappearIf I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars**

With a story as strangely compelling as its cover, If I Disappear, is perfect for Readers who prefer an unconventional narrative.

After her divorce, Sera Fleece is a boat adrift. She spends her days listening to, and obsessing over, her favorite True Crime podcast, Murder, She Spoke.

When the podcast’s host, Rachel Bard, suddenly stops posting, Sera doesn’t take it well.

In fact, she suspects foul play is behind Rachel’s sudden disappearance from the air waves.

Further, Sera believes, armed with clues left within the podcast episodes, she will be able to find Rachel and possibly save her.

With this in mind, she travels to Rachel’s hometown, Happy Camp, in Northern California to investigate.

Once there, she is able to locate Rachel’s family ranch and secure a job through one conversation with Rachel’s greatly eccentric mother, Addy. Her duties will include working with the horses and general maintenance around the ranch; two things she’s not necessarily qualified for.

Doubts aside, Sera sees this as the best opportunity to delve into Rachel’s life and possibly discover what happened to her.

The strangest part is, no one else seems to be disturbed by Rachel’s disappearance. Not her parents, her brother, the other ranch hand, or any of her previous acquaintances in town.

Sera is able to make some progress and soon it is clear, something is not right with the Bard family.

Even though she realizes she is putting herself in danger, Sera cannot leave without solving the mystery. She is the only person left to advocate for Rachel.

While the content of this story is extremely intriguing, the writing style did not work that well for me. I never settled into the fact that it is told in the second person.

I wish it wasn’t, but honestly, I can’t imagine it otherwise. I think it just didn’t work for my taste.

I definitely needed to keep going. I wanted to find out the mystery of Rachel’s disappearance as much as Sera did; even though Sera, as a protagonist, drove me a little batty.

Some of the elements involved in building the mystery seemed off for me, but overall it is a good story. It’s tense and dramatic, with a whole host of suspicious characters, including Sera herself.

Additionally, there is some solid commentary in here on the treatment of girls and women within our society. I found that aspect interesting as well.

Overall, this is a solid debut and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I would absolutely pick up more stories from her.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

If I Disappear is slated to release on Tuesday, January 26th!!

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