Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

Whenever I find myself rushing through the pages of a book, it means one of two things. It’s either a really bad book that for some reason I feel obligated to finish, or it’s one of those “grab you by the seat of your pants and don’t let go” books. In this case, fortunately, it’s the latter.

Two women, each trying to make a fresh start after a traumatic event. Emma is struggling to feel safe after being violently attacked in her own home. Jane is still trying to come to terms with the loss of her stillborn baby. Although their stories take place at different times, both women feel as if the house at One Folgate Place is just what they need to recover. Sure, there are A LOT of rules in place. But the price is right so they go for it despite any reservations they might have.

It’s really hard to describe what’s happening in this story. Told from two viewpoints and in two different time periods, you have to work a bit to keep the storylines separate. But then they begin to converge, and this is where the real creepiness begins. An obsessive owner, intrusive technology, secrets each woman is keeping…there’s a lot going on. But trust me, it’s worth it. A few of the twists were expected, a couple of twists at the very end really surprised me. A great thriller!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Girl Before

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Review: The Man in the Black Suit by Sylvain Reynard


“I’m no longer the prey. I’m the predator.”

For those who’ve heard of Sylvain Reynard books but didn’t want to feel obligated to read a trilogy, this book is perfect for you. The Man in the Black Suit was pure SR. Romance and intrigue galore. I can’t explain it, but there’s just something about SR’s writing that instantly connects me. I am never bored, nor do I skim. I read slowly to absorb every beautiful word. Perhaps it’s the scenery or even the romantic words? Perhaps it’s all the art? I’m not sure. I don’t even know who or what they’re discussing, but the passion that’s shown is what keeps me engaged.

In this story, Acacia and Nicholas start out on the wrong foot. I mean, he seemed like such a stuck up jerk. I wasn’t sure how she was going to get past his outer snottiness. But it was going to be so much fun watching these two clash. Their chemistry is off the charts. Acacia tries to maintain a work relationship with Nicholas but soon admits defeat and finds herself on a road she never thought possible.

“Acacia, there’s so much corruption in my world. Lies, betrayel, viciousness. You don’t know how lovely it is to be in the presence of someone truthful and honorable.”

From the very first page I was completely sucked in. The intrigue and suspense had me at the edge of my seat. And as I was reading, I felt like I was seeing all the beautiful art and people around me. It was like I was living in this book. That is what SR does to me.

Thank you, SR, for sharing your beautiful words with us. I know when I open up one of your books, I’m going to be immediately transported into a world filled with beauty and I’m not sure I ever want to leave.

~Melpomene

Buy The Man in the Black Suit http://amzn.to/2yKxNml

Review: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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High school can be a killer.  Literally in this story by Karen M. McManus.  I mean, my time in high school was no walk in the park but I never had to deal with the mysterious death of a classmate…

Five kids walk into detention.  Only four walk out.  Each of the survivors had their own reasons for wanting Simon dead.  Let’s be honest, he wasn’t really a nice person.  As the creator of a popular gossip app, his specialty was finding out the deepest darkest secrets and putting them out there for the world to see.  But killing him seems to be taking things a bit too far.  When everyone’s a suspect, who can you really trust?

A good story, entirely plausible in today’s world of instant gratification and immediate access to all kinds of info good and bad.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  One of Us Is Lying

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancé, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS

Review: The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

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There are certain things I look for in a gripping psychological thriller.  Great characters, engaging storyline, plausibility, a nice little twist or two…if these things are present then I’m likely to enjoy and recommend it to others.  This newest release from Kerry Wilkinson fits the bill.

Olivia is the girl who disappeared 13 years ago, and now she’s back.  Her mom and dad couldn’t be happier, although there are other people in their small village who have their doubts.  Where has she been all this time?  What exactly happened that day she disappeared from their backyard?  And why has she suddenly reappeared?  Questions abound as the mystery deepens.  If she’s an imposter, what does she want?

This was a great little story, full of suspense.  It kept me guessing until almost the very end which is no small feat.  Grab it and settle in for an enjoyable ride!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Girl Who Came Back

Review: When I Am Through with You

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This one didn’t go anything like I was expecting.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  However, it does make for a difficult task writing a review without giving too much away.

Teenagers, weekend hike in the mountains, somebody dies.  That’s the story in a nutshell.  There’s a bit more to it, of course.  Ben starts off the story by telling you that he killed someone.  Not just any someone, but his girlfriend while at the same time claiming to love her very much.  Just how and why he killed her remains a mystery for much of the story.  Along the way we’re introduced to a host of other characters with their own bits of intrigue.

While this was a good enough story, I feel like it could have been more.  I somehow felt cheated by the ending as I was expecting something a bit juicier.  Still, it’s suspenseful enough to keep you interested as you wonder just what’s going to happen with this ragtag group of teenagers out in the middle of nowhere.

Read it and let me know what you think!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  When I Am Through with You

~~Review: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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High school can be brutal.  Even more so when you’re the new girl.  Finding new friends can be a lifesaver.  Or not…

Kacey’s only known the dysfunction of life with her mother.  So when she moves in with her dad, things are shockingly normal. Including her stepmother and step siblings.  She even makes new friends, tops among them being Bailey and Jade.  Amazing how quickly they took her in and made her one of their own.  Maybe a bit too quickly?

When Bailey goes missing, all eyes turn to Kacey.  What does she know about Bailey’s disappearance?  And does it have anything to do with the legend of that creepy ghost lady everyone likes to talk about?  Kacey soon finds out that her new friends aren’t at all what they seem to be.

This is mean girls at its finest. Two’s company, three’s a crowd and all that.  The real thrill, though, comes from the many twists and turns along the way.  It’ll keep you guessing up until the very end.  And after you’re done guessing, you’ll just be shocked.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Little Monsters