Review: Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper ScissorsRock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Rock Paper Scissors, Feeney examines the age-old question, how well do you know the one you love?

After Amelia wins a mystery weekend away at a historic chapel in the Scottish Highlands, she thinks it may be just what she and her husband, Adam, need to spice up their marriage. Amelia feels like they need some time, and distance from his work, to reconnect.

Surprisingly, Adam agrees and the two set off. The weather isn’t great and rapid snowfall makes the travel difficult.

By the time they, and their sweet dog, Bob, have made the very long journey, everyone is going stir crazy in the car. Arriving at the chapel, they’re taken aback by how isolated it is. There’s literally nothing around as far as the eye can see.

It’s at this point, the couple begin to recognize just how peculiar this entire holiday actually is. Who did she win this trip from again?

The lodgings are strange, eerie and ominous. With the weather getting worse, tension among the couple continues to rise. This is definitely not going as they expected. The power source is questionable and at the rate the snow continues to fall, they may not be able to get out.

Told between alternating perspectives, as well as through annual anniversary letters, the truth of their frightening holiday in the Highlands, as well as their marriage, begins to come to light.

Y’all, Feeney dropped the mic on writing a suspenseful Thriller with this one!

I enjoyed this so much. From the very first chapter I was hooked. Feeney’s clever plotting and magnificent twists kept me glued to the pages. I had to know the truth; who was lying and why?

There was a dark tone glistening just along the surface. I knew it went deeper than what I was getting. The reveals were perfectly paced; what a treat!

This did have quite a few tropes I tend to enjoy, but they came as surprises to me. I don’t even think I read the synopsis prior to picking this up. I saw, Alice Feeney, printed on the cover and that was enough.

If you are fan of things such as isolated locations, creepy houses, hidden secrets, marital strife, jaw-dropping plot twists, characters who are authors and people being stranded places, you should absolutely check this one out!!!

Also, I was impressed with the character work. All of the main characters were just so interesting and besides some lightly-sprinkled craziness, were all quite unique.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flatiron Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I have already bought a finished copy for my shelves.

One of the best Thrillers of the year!!!

View all my reviews

Review: How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott

How to Kill Your Best FriendHow to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Georgie, Lissa and Bronwyn have been best friends since their days together on their college swim team.

In the years following school, their friendship group, which includes a few male swimmers, have remained close, frequently taking swimming holidays together.

Lissa and her new husband recently purchased a beautiful island resort, somewhere in the South Pacific, and the group takes full advantage of the lovely waters there.

On their most recent holiday at the resort, Georgie chose not to attend. She’s now living in New York and it would have been an extremely long trip. That’s the excuse she gave at least. She did have some other reasons for not wanting to go.

It’s on this occasion that Lissa, taking an unimaginable solo night swim in the dangerous waters of Kanu Cove, drowns. Her body assumed swept out to sea, is never recovered. Fisherman in the area did spot the body at one point, but before they could recover her, she slid back under the dark surface.

Georgie is out of sorts from the very start. She arrives late, she didn’t get the memo on the dress code, and most importantly, she cannot believe that Lissa would have made that swim at night, alone, voluntarily.

Bronwyn is out of sorts as well, but for different reasons. She’s receiving threatening messages, she’s distracted, constantly looking over her shoulder, but why?

The group is set to stay at the floundering resort for a long weekend and a heck of a lot happens during that time. There’s creatures surfacing from the depths, mysterious occurrences, flaired tempers, entirely too much booze and a storm of epic proportions. Will any of them get off the island alive?

How to Kill Your Best Friend is the second novel I have read from Lexie Elliott. I absolutely love her writing style.

While I did feel this was a bit of a slow burn, I didn’t enjoy it any less because of that. I love the way Elliott builds her characters and the way she allows us to see inside their heads; learn about their pasts and motivations.

I generally enjoy competition tropes, or tropes where characters are members of a team or club. This definitely had that dynamic, even though the women are well past school age. There’s still something about the interactions of people that compete, or train together, that I just find so relatable.

It’s like when you are in that kind of relationship with a group of people, it can feel like you are closer to them than anyone else in the world. There’s an assumption that you know everything about each other, but everyone’s keeping secrets, aren’t they?

Additionally, I loved the setting. The close to abandoned resort. The fact that the characters were stuck there. No matter how uncomfortable they got, or how much they wanted to leave, that wasn’t an option.

Secluded locations allow for the tension to really build and Elliott captured that claustrophobic feeling so well here. Especially towards the end, as the weather picked up, so did the stakes.

Overall, I thought this was a really well executed story. It was dramatic and tense, I had a lot of fun with it!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I am a huge Lexie Elliott fan and will continue to pick up anything else she writes.

View all my reviews

Review: The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

The Guilt TripThe Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Rachel, Jack, Noah and Paige are a friendship foursome with a lot of history. Rachel and Noah have been best friends since college and there was a time when they considered being more than friends.

Alas, it wasn’t to be. Now twenty-years later, Rachel is happily married to Jack, while Noah is married to Paige.

When Jack’s brother, Will, decides on a destination wedding with his flamboyant fiance, Ali, the foursome, with Ali in tow, travel to the beautiful country of Portugal for the event.

It never takes long for drama to arise when Ali is around. It seems to follow her everywhere, and as predicted by the friends, is created before they’ve even left the airport.

Ali’s exuberant, over-the-top nature gets under everyone’s skin. There’s never a break with her. It’s always something.

Rachel is unnerved to observe that Ali seems to be paying special attention to her husband. While Jack doesn’t appear to be recipricating her advances, Rachel still begins to wonder, what exactly is going on there?

As they settle into their cliffside villa, things continuously get worse. Ali flaunting herself around is making everyone uncomfortable, especially now that Jack has revealed to the friends something he heard about her from a work colleague.

Is this even a woman he wants his brother to marry?

But Ali isn’t the only one with secrets. Everyone has something to hide and as suspicions begin to creep across the group of friends, all is threatened to be revealed.

This was a compelling story. I definitely had fun reading it; particularly the first half. I’m all for excessive domestic drama. I love long-buried secrets, deceptions, betrayals; it’s addicting. The setting was great and I loved the whole destination wedding scenerio.

I was hooked. Nevertheless, there were some finer details that didn’t sit quite right with me. It’s a good story, but not perfectly suited to my tastes.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked it. I’m not mad I read it. It was interesting, it was shocking, wild and not a bad way to spend a weekend!

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

I think if you love quick, domestic suspense stories, you should definitely give this one a shot!

View all my reviews

Review: The Dare by Lesley Kara

The DareThe Dare by Lesley Kara
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two things have greatly influenced Lizzie’s life: her epilepsy and the tragic death of her best friend, Alice, when they were just 13-years old.

Twelve years later, Lizzie has finally found contentment. She has successfully moved out of her parent’s house and in with her fiance, Ross. Her parents couldn’t be more happy. Lizzie is engaged to a doctor, the perfect person for her.

Whilst unpacking boxes that have been stored in her parent’s attic, Lizzie comes across one from her teenage years. It contains items that really dig up memories of Alice and her death.

Lizzie was with Alice when she died and was clearly traumatized by the event, but she can’t remember much. Having suffered a seizure, her brain wiped clean all memory of that fateful time.

Dragging on her the most is the fact that Alice’s family, in addition to other kids at school, blamed Lizzie for Alice’s death. They believed she wasn’t telling the whole story.

Alice’s older sister, Catherine, harrassed Lizzie ceaselessly after that. Apparently believing she could scare the truth out of her. Lizzie’s story has always remained the same: she doesn’t remember.

It was so bad, Lizzie’s family had to move house after the accident. They needed a fresh start.

Now that Lizzie has finally got the true fresh start she has been dreaming of, a life with Ross, her past suddenly seems to be coming back to haunt her.

Told through past and present perspectives, The Dare is an absolutely addictive roller coaster ride of deceptions and suspense.

I really enjoyed Kara’s 2019-release, Who Did You Tell?, so was very much looking forward to getting to this one. I love how she weaves past and present perspectives together. She has such a knack for showing how much events in our pasts can influence our present, and this story was no exception.

Lizzie is a great character. She was someone I could really get behind. While initially I thought she may be naive, I think in made sense in light of all she had been through. Her innocence didn’t diminish her intelligence however, and I thought she was able to handle all that was happening to her with incredible control and thoughtfulness.

The level of deceipt in this novel is off the charts. Once the reveals began to unfold, my jaw spent half the time on the floor. My pulse was racing just anticipating what Lizzie would need to do to escape her prediciment.

If you like nail-biting, twisty-turny, who do I trust, Domestic Thrillers, you absolutely need to check this one out!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Ballantine Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. At this point, I can confidently say, I will pick up anything Kara ever writes!

View all my reviews

Review: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

The Other PassengerThe Other Passenger by Louise Candlish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

Jamie and Kit are part of a group of London commuters known as the Water Rats.

They have the luxury of making their daily commute via riverboat on the Thames, as opposed to more traditional, oftentimes more frustrating modes of transportation.

They drink coffee together in the morning and more spirited drinks after work. It’s not a bad way to start, or end the day.

On the first Monday back to work after the Christmas holiday, however, Jamie is approached by two police officers as he disembarks from the boat. Apparently, Kit hasn’t been seen since the Water Rats Christmas drinks celebration a few days prior.

They had all been a bit sauced when they finally boarded a late boat to get home. The boat was practically empty, but it seems another passenger reported that Jamie was the last person seen with Kit.

Jamie is under suspicion. He can hardly believe it. He and Kit did have a bit of a row, but then he went straight home. Back to his longtime partner, Claire, who can certainly attest to his whereabouts.

As the hours, then days, tick by with no sign of Kit, things begin to get progressively worse for Jamie. It’s all a bit of a downward spiral.

Through a past perspective, the evolution of Jamie and Kit’s friendship is brought to light, including their signficant others, Claire and Melia. Kit and Melia have a contentious relationship, with Jamie and Claire witnessing evident unhappiness on more than one occasion.

Could Kit have run off on his own, or has something much more sinister happened to him?

Jamie needs to find out. His very freedom may depend on it.

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Louise Candlish’s brand of Domestic Thriller. There’s something about the way she weaves a tale that I am absolutely addicted to reading.

It’s always over the top, full of unlikable characters, as well as plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting.

The Other Passenger did start out a little slow for me, but around the midpoint, it really heats up. After that the gas pedal is all the way to the floor until the conclusion.

This is one of those stories where the last little bit left a devilish smile on my face. I always enjoy that type of wickedly satisfying ending.

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

I am so on board for anything Candlish writes, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next!!

View all my reviews

Review: For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

For Your Own GoodFor Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Belmont Academy is a prestigious, private New England high school that attracts the best and the brightest; both in students and teachers alike.

Teddy Crutcher is an English teacher there and proudly, the recent recipient of the Teacher of the Year award.

Admittedly, he’s not always a favorite of the students though. It could be because he does push them, it’s true. Sometimes they require a little tough love, something certain spoiled brats don’t seem to be getting at home.

Students that seem overly arrogant, like everything will be handed to them, may receive a little special treatment from Crutcher. He needs to show them that the world doesn’t work that way.

Zach Ward is one of those students. Just the sight of him gets Teddy’s blood boiling.

For Zach’s part, he can’t understand why Mr. Crutcher seems to dislike him so much. Everyone likes him, teachers, students, other adults, everyone. It’s truly puzzling.

When Zach needs to perform extra credit to up his grade in Crutcher’s class, Teddy makes sure it will be a challenge, not caring how much it interferes with Zach’s other commitments.

The tension rises when a fellow teacher asks Teddy to tweak when the assignment will be due. She has deadlines for Zach at the same time and certainly he can’t be expected to complete both.

The audacity! Teddy seems to be the only person at this school with any regard for propriety.

Then tragic events bring the once heralded school to its knees. Parents begin removing their kids, donations plummet; only Teddy can bring it around.

For Your Own Good was an absolute blast to read. My first Samantha Downing novel, but definitely not my last.

It was hella twisted, no one was safe. I didn’t know where it was going, or what the conclusion would be.

I absolutely love how Downing crafted this. I never felt like I had enough information to put everything together. I wanted to, I desperately wanted to know, but there were so many pieces to the puzzle and I couldn’t get any of them to fit.

There were a few twists towards the end that just made me giddy, they were so diabolical. The conclusion was perfection!!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I can’t wait to dive into Downing’s backlist now.

View all my reviews

Review: Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

Such a Quiet PlaceSuch a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The private neighborhood of Hollow’s Edge has always been a desirable place to live. It’s close to the local private college and a lot of the residents actually work there together.

Because of that, and many other reasons, Hollow’s Edge offers that bougie upper-class feel that many people seek. It’s a solace from the outside world of sorts for the people who live there.

That is until the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A murder for which one of their own, Ruby Fletcher, was sent to prison. But Ruby wasn’t really one of them, was she?

She didn’t own a house in Hollow’s Edge. She was just staying there with Harper Nash after Harper’s fiance moved out. Ruby was younger than everyone else, not as settled. She was known to raise a few eyebrows from time to time.

Now a year and half has passed since the Truett’s tragic deaths. Ruby has been released from prison on a technicality and guess where she ends up?

Right back in Harper’s house. Harper is horrified. There is a possible murderer living under her roof. A murderer who is most likely quite peeved that her friend’s testimony may have helped put her away in the first place.

It doesn’t take long for rumors and suspicions to begin circling around Hollow’s Edge, sowing seeds of contention amongst the remaining residents.

It’s clear to Harper that Ruby is up to something, although she’s not sure what. She knows Ruby is hiding things from her; the scariest of which may be her intentions. Is Ruby seeking revenge, or something else?

Such a Quiet Place is pure entertainment. It kicks off very quickly and the suspense really never lets up.

I though Miranda did a great job building the tension over the course of the story. I was completely enthralled by it the entire time; wanting to know the truth about the Truetts and Ruby Fletcher.

For me, this is a super solid Domestic Thriller. It had red herrings, twists, reveals, unlikable, judgemental characters and a steady, nail-biting pace.

I love stories set in insulated neighborhoods. Stories that portray the often dramatic interactions between neighbors and friends. It’s amazing the sort of secrets that can be found in such places.

I was really looking forward to this title and I had a ton of fun reading it. Completely engaging, beginning to end.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I can’t wait to see what twisted things Megan Miranda comes up with next!!

View all my reviews

Review: The Therapist by B.A. Paris

The TherapistThe Therapist by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

B.A. Paris, my Queen of Manipulation, is back with an all new Domestic Thriller, The Therapist, releasing this Tuesday, July 13th.

When they began their relationship, Alice and Leo, were making a go at it long-distance. However, as time passes, it no longer feels enough to just see each other on the weekends.

Deciding to make the jump of living together, Leo buys a house in an exclusive, gated-community called, The Circle, in London. As lovely as it is, it’s a far cry from Alice’s little cottage in the country.

Making the transition easier is the fact that Alice actually got to keep her cottage, renting it out to tenants temporarily, because Leo was able to get such a bargain on the house.

When Alice finds out how he was able to get the house at such a steal, however, she’s furious!

A woman, Nina, had been murdered in the house, in their bedroom. She cannot believe Leo withheld this information from her. He’s a liar and Alice is so angry about the whole thing that she can’t even stand to be around him while she processes it all.

Leo, sheepish at being caught out, agrees to give Alice some space to work through all she’s learned. Alice, for her part, doesn’t just work through it though, she becomes obsessed with it.

Alice doesn’t believe the official story that Nina’s husband was the killer. She can’t explain why, she just knows that isn’t right.

As strange occurances begin happening at the house and suspicious neighbors seem to be lurking around every turn, Alice isn’t sure just who she can trust.

Gaining some assistance from a Private Detective also interested in Nina’s case, Alice begins a deep dive into the life of the woman who used to live in her house.

With numerous red herrings, a protagonist that I wasn’t sure I could trust, more twists and turns than an amusement park roller coaster, I could tell I was reading a B.A. Paris!

I listened to this entire audiobook today while performing my regular Saturday chores around the house. I ended up cleaning things that didn’t even need cleaning. I had to know how this was going to turn out.

I came nowhere near predicting the end, although I don’t generally try to do that. I like to just go along for the ride and let the author take me where they choose.

I will admit, toward the beginning, feeling frustrated with Alice. She’s a bit bullheaded and I just couldn’t understand why she was so fixated on Nina. However, I was satisfied with how that was ultimately explained and as I grew to know Alice, it made a lot more sense.

The intensity definitely continued to build at a nice steady pace as the story went on. There’s a lot of suspects!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio and St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with an early copy to read and review.

B.A. Paris is definitely one of my go-to Domestic Thriller authors and I had a blast with this one!

View all my reviews

Review: A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams

A Dark and Secret PlaceA Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Following an extended absence, Heather Evans returns to her family home after her mother commits suicide.

Not only is Heather plagued by the regular grief you experience after the death of a loved one, but she’s genuinely dumbfounded as to why her mother would have chosen to end her own life.

Reading the note her mother left, Heather is even more confused. It seemed her mother felt extremely guilty over something, but what?

Also, the note is written in a way that leads Heather to believe it wasn’t intended just for her. The context makes it seem like she is apologizing to someone else as well, but who?

It’s apparent her mother had secrets and Heather feels like she needs to discover them if she is ever going to make sense of her death and put it behind her.

Then she finds the letters. Her mother had been corresponding for years with the Red Wold, a infamous serial killer, Michael Reave, who has been in prison for 20-years for his crimes.

Heather teams up with an old friend and the two begin to look into her mother’s past.

Meanwhile, a copy cat killer has begun kidnapping and murdering women in their area, reopening the case of the Red Wolf for police and citizens alike.

This was interesting. There was a lot going on, a lot of threads to follow.

Various perspectives were given and occassionally I would forget where I was in the timeline and with who. We get Michael’s past perspective, which was interesting and his past with Heather’s mother is unveiled over the course of the story.

I will admit to feeling my mind wander at times and I never felt super compelled to pick it up once I stopped reading. Always a sign to me that I’m just not that invested in the characters, or their outcome.

With this being said, this is a good book. It’s a solid story that I think a lot of people will enjoy. While I won’t be including it on any of my favorites lists, there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with it.

It appears that this author has written a lot of Fantasy novels, so this may be her Thriller debut. If that is the case, it definitely shows her skill and I would pick up future novels from her in this genre.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Crooked Lane Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I always appreciate the opportunity to provide my feedback!

View all my reviews

Review: Shutter by Melissa Larsen

ShutterShutter by Melissa Larsen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Following the death of her beloved Father, Betty Roux needs an escape. She packs her bags, severs her ties and flies to New York City, with dreams of becoming an actress.

Once there, she phones up her old friend, Sofia, who she knows has found some level of success behind-the-scenes in the film business.

Sofia and her live-in boyfriend, Ben, are more than happy to take Betty under their wing and she begins to stay at their place; walking dogs to make ends meet.

Before too long, they offer to introduce her to the mysterious filmmaker, Anthony Marino, a man they have worked with in the past and have a friendly relationship with. THE Anthony Marino.

Upon meeting Betty, it seems Anthony has discovered his new muse. He offers her the starring role in his next project.

She’s flattered, but also a little uncertain. She didn’t even audition and has no experience, what does he see in her?

Who is she to argue with genius though? He clearly knows what he is doing, so Betty agrees to step outside her comfort zone and take on the role.

The project is the be filmed at the Marino family property on a private island off the coast of Maine. From the very start, Betty is unclear about the specifics of the whole thing.

Anthony tells her it will be loosely-based upon the classic film, Cape Fear. It’s to be filmed more like a lightly-scripted reality television show versus a traditional film.

The bare bones crew, which includes Ben, Sofia and the man who is to play Betty’s on-screen boyfriend, Mads, travel to Maine with the hopes of capturing all the footage they need within a month.

Prior to filming, Anthony assigns Betty a new identity. She is now to go only by the name, Lola; he is hoping that will allow her to let down her defenses and evolve into the character he is looking for.

Events on the island spiral quickly and Betty begins to wonder what exactly she has gotten herself into. She should have listened to her Mother.

Y’all, I would have thrown this across the room when I was finished with it, but it’s on my Kindle soooo…..

Betty was one of those characters that I quickly grew frustrated with and there was never even a glimmer of hope of her redeeming herself.

In and of itself, that’s fine. I don’t need to like the characters in the books I read. In fact, I frequently enjoy books where the entire cast is unlikable. It all depends what those unlikable people are doing.

It needs to keep me engaged. It needs to be sinister, it needs to be wicked, wild, intriguing; give me something!

This felt so bland to me; top to bottom. The narrative style did not suit my taste at all, there was no sense of place, no atmosphere. I couldn’t have cared one way or another about Anthony Marino, or his petty film project.

At the end of the day, while the synopsis sounded intriguing, the execution fell well below my expectations.

As I always say, however, there is a Reader for every book and a book for every Reader. Just because this didn’t work for me, does not mean it won’t work for you. If you think it sounds intriguing, give it a go!

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

View all my reviews