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.

View all my reviews

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!

View all my reviews

Review: When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

When the Stars Go DarkWhen the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wracked with grief after a personal tragedy, Missing Persons Detective, Anna Hart, flees from her regular life in San Francisco, in order to give herself time to heal.

She heads back to the town she grew up in with her loving foster parents, Mendocino, in Northern California.

Once there, she rents a modest cabin in the woods and actually ends up taking in a new canine companion, who she names, Cricket.

Obviously. this enhanced my enjoyment of the story.
((Just kidding. Kind of, not really.))

Anna also reunites with her childhood friend, Will, who happens to now be the local Sheriff.

Knowing how successful Anna has been in her career, Will enlists her help with assisting him finding a teenage girl, Cameron, who has recently gone missing.

This new investigation is a good distraction from Anna’s own tragedy, but her involvement means more to her than that. She quickly becomes engrossed in the case.

Having survived very significant childhood trauma herself, Anna has dedicated her life to helping other children and survivors. As stressful as it can often be, it’s her calling.

We watch the investigation unfold, as Will and Anna work together to try to find out what happened to Cameron. Maybe they can get to her before it’s too late.

They end up tying her case to that of other missing girls in the area and the intensity definitely begins to build from there.

This is a great story. It’s subtle, dark and heart-wrenching.

It really reminded me a lot of Rene Denfeld’s, The Child Finder and I mean that as a heavy compliment.

It’s quite nuanced, more than your average book in this genre, which I appreciated so much. McLain packed a lot in.

I loved the investigatory elements and learning more about Anna’s background as a character; how her early life lead her to the point where she is at.

Overall, this story has good action, a compelling mystery, layered, well-established characters and a satisfying conclusion.

There were some areas that felt a little slow for me, but that didn’t overshadow any of the other fantastically done elements.

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

I appreciate the opportunity and hope this author writes more in this genre!

View all my reviews

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!

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: Her Dark Lies by J.T. Ellison

Her Dark LiesHer Dark Lies by J.T. Ellison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars**

From the start of their relationship, Claire Hunter, knows that by marrying Jack Compton, her life will change dramatically.

The Compton family is extremely rich and powerful; we’re talking the top 1%. Claire is an up-and-coming artist with a studio in Nashville and not much else. She’s new to their world and the circle of predators that comes with it.

The couple are set to wed at the Compton family’s luxury villa on Isle Isolde on the coast of Italy. It is planned to be an intimate occasion, with just family and a few very close friends.

The night prior to departing for Italy, the couple surprises an intruder in their home. It doesn’t end well and Claire is rattled by the whole incident. It’s not setting a good tone for her wedding weekend.

Even after arriving in Italy, her nerves are still rattled. The property is intimidating and Claire feels unsettled from the start.

As she begins to meet Jack’s family and the property’s many servants, she slowly starts to let her guard down. It’s clear they all love Jack very much and want him to be happy. That’s how it appears anyway.

It doesn’t take long before odd things begin happening; scary things. To Claire it seems that someone is trying to sabotage her and their nuptials, but who?

Terribly inclement weather sweeps in, adding more fuel to the fire. Everything has to be rearranged; the villa is in chaos. Then the bodies start dropping.

Her Dark Lies is an over-the-top, locked room Mystery, with more twists and turns than a roller coaster. You better grab your Dramamine before you go on this ride!

The author made some interesting choices in deciding what perspectives to follow; you actually get the perspective of the antagonist. I wasn’t crazy about this, as to me, it felt like it took all of the suspense out of it.

I liked the setting, but could have done with even more of the lore and history of Isle Isolde. We did get a few glimpses into the past of the Villa and there were a lot of skeletons in those closets.

While this is a good story, I was hoping for just a little more atmosphere and suspense. Technically, it has everything that makes up a good Thriller, but somehow it still felt a little anticlimactic for me.

With all of this being said, I know a ton of Readers are going to love the fast-paced drama of this novel. Just because it wasn’t the perfect book for me, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I did and most likely, you will too!

Thank you so much to the publisher, MIRA, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion.

View all my reviews

Review: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

When No One is WatchingWhen No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Needing a distraction from her life, Sydney Green, decides to take one of the over-priced historic walking tours of her Brooklyn neighborhood.

She’s a history buff and is curious to find out what the tour guide will cover. While on the tour she quickly realizes that the community she has lived in her whole life isn’t being represented.

It’s hard to understand the history of a place while simultaneously ignoring the people who have lived there for generations.

Sydney decides to create her own, truly historic, walking tour of the neighborhood. With encouragement from her neighbors and friends, she begins to research the events and people she would like to cover.

It’s a big task, however, and she can’t do it all alone. Help comes in the form of a most unlikely source. A new neighbor, Theo, who just moved into the brownstone across from Sydney’s offers to be her assistant.

She’s hesitant to accept help from Theo at first. She doesn’t really trust him, or understand what his motives may be. As Sydney sees it, him and his Lululemon-loving live-in girlfriend are part of the problem.

Gentrification, they call it. Wealthy people swooping in and taking over urban neighborhoods; raising home prices, tax assessments and rents for all, thus displacing the long-term residents in the process.

Sydney can see it happening around her, changing everything. Theo’s persistent though and in a sort of dorky, yet charming way, he works his way through Sydney’s defenses and into her life.

Before she knows it, the two of them are working together on a daily basis. Also, as it turns out, the girl Sydney assumed to be Theo’s girlfriend, is actually his ex; it’s complicated.

As they dive into their research, events in the neighborhood are beginning to snowball. People are disappearing and both Sydney and Theo encounter strange things happening in the night.

It appears that something more sinister is going on than Sydney initially assumed, but who is going to believe her? Is she just paranoid, or is someone, or something, actually behind her neighbors mysterious disappearances?

I loved this story! I started out reading the paperback, but ended up switching to the audiobook and loved the narrators.

When No One is Watching has a lot of layers. It is a rare type of Thriller that I would actually read again.

I’ve noticed the reviews are mixed and I totally get that. The narrative heads in a direction that won’t be for everyone.

It definitely toes the line of Horror. I would comp this to Get Out meets Lock Every Door. If you loved either of those, I think you will enjoy this just as much!

Additionally, this story played to one of my biggest fears; knowing the truth about something and having no one believe you.

I guess it boils down to a feeling of helplessness. I love how Sydney fought back and how Theo supported her. Their relationship was great to read.

Overall, I found this to be a fast-paced, mind-reeling, horrifying modern-day Thriller and I loved every minute of it. Crossing my fingers this gets adapted into a film. It would be fantastic!!

Highly recommend!

View all my reviews

Review: The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

The MaidensThe Maidens by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mariana Andros, a dedicated group therapist, has suffered a lot of trauma in her life. Therefore she exhibits a great amount of empathy and patience for her clients.

Due to a large inheritance, Mariana doesn’t need to work, however she continues her practice in order to help others.

Mariana has lost almost everyone she has ever loved. In fact, the only family she has left is her niece, Zoe, currently a student at Cambridge University.

That’s why when Zoe calls her one night, extremely distraught, Mariana boards a train the next morning to go to her. She must help.

Arriving in Cambridge stirs up a lot of memories for Mariana. She attended school there as well and wasn’t prepared for the emotional repercussions of being back on campus.

She tries to push her own emotions aside, however, in order to better focus on Zoe. Apparently, a dead body found the previous evening has been identified as Zoe’s good friend. It is obvious the girl has been murdered.

After conversations with Zoe about her dead friend, Mariana begins to suspect Edward Fosca, a popular and captivating Greek Tragedy professor may be the culprit.

Sure, he has an alibi, but not one that Mariana considers to be reliable; his secret society of young women students, known as The Maidens, would most likely be willing to lie for him.

Mariana successfully inserts herself, through various connections, into the investigation, putting herself on a collision course with the undeniably charming, Professor Fosca.

The Maidens is compulsively readable. Once I started it, I could not put it down!

I loved how Michaelides wove together all of the different aspects of this story. I thought it was wonderfully crafted. I was so engaged, I had to remind myself to come up for air.

The setting of Cambridge was extremely vivid. It starts as this beautiful, pristine and exclusive place. Then over the course of the narrative, a dark underbelly becomes exposed as Mariana digs further into the mystery.

I absolutely loved that. So is life, am I right!?

Additionally, Mariana had such depth of character. I loved learning about her and watching her try to push past her own anxieties and fears, to try and help Zoe.

She became laser-focused in her search for the truth and I was cheering her on the whole way. I wouldn’t say she is overly likable, in the traditional sense, but I certainly found her to be believable.

I could swoon about this for days, but will spare you that and wrap it up by saying, I loved this book!

I thought it was so fun, super entertaining and memorable. The setting, the characters, the twists and turns; it is WICKED!!!

I actually think I enjoyed this more than The Silent Patient, and that’s saying a lot. I already cannot wait to see what Michaelides comes up with next.

Thank you so, so, so much to the publisher, Celadon Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate it more than I can say. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I cannot wait for it to release!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Dear ChildDear Child by Romy Hausmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Dear Child is a taut Psychological Thriller that will leave you scratching your head until the very end.

It immediately drops you into this puzzle. It can take some time to get your bearings, but once the narrative begins to unfold, it’s completely intriguing.

The story is told from three main perspectives: a kidnapped woman, known as Lena, who has just escaped her captor; her daughter, Hannah; and Lena’s father, Matthias, who has been searching for his daughter for thirteen years.

From Lena and Hannah’s perspectives, the scope of the hell they, along with Hannah’s brother, Jonathan, have lived through begins to take shape. A cabin in the woods, the ‘father’ who controlled their every move and their utter isolation.

After her dramatic escape, Lena is hit by a car and immediately transported to the hospital, with Hannah in tow. It is there that the true depth of the mystery is exposed.

Is this woman really Lena? And if she’s not, then who is she?

This story is dark, twisted, sick, and intricate. Progressing through this story is like peeling back the layers of an onion; something stinks and at times you want to cry.

I thought this was so cleverly plotted. I had so many theories, my head was spinning. It did not end how I expected and I really enjoyed the journey.

There were moments in the beginning where I was almost too confused, but once the puzzle started to come together, wow. It was chef’s kiss.

The Epilogue was the delicious icing on the cake. It gave me that evil grin I love to have at the end of a story.

The most disturbing part of this was that it could really happen. There is nothing far-fetched about it. A cabin in the woods isn’t suspicious in and of itself. You can really do anything you want behind those doors.

I highly recommend this for people who love tense and twisted stories. I believe this is the first Thriller this author has written and obviously it shows incredible promise.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am definitely anxious to pick up more from Hausmann!

View all my reviews

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!

View all my reviews

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.

View all my reviews