Review: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

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I absolutely love Chevy Stevens.  She’s one of my go-to authors, one of the few whose new books are definite must reads.  This latest from her didn’t disappoint.

When Lindsey met Andrew, she thought all her dreams were finally coming true.  He was loving, attentive, wealthy, handsome…basically everything you could want in a husband.  And things were very good for awhile.  But then he began to change.  Or rather, his true personality began to show.  Controlling and abusive, this wasn’t the man she fell in love with.  As things get more and more dangerous, she starts to plan her escape.

Finally it happens.  She and her daughter get away, and Andrew is sent to prison for several years.  When he’s released, though, all those feelings come barreling back.  The paranoia, the fear that she’s being followed. And has someone been in her house, messing with her things and with her mind?  Andrew swears it’s not him, but clearly he’s not the most trustworthy individual. And lest you think you’ve got it all figured out, don’t blink.

In some ways this is your typical “wife leaves abusive husband” drama.  But then it becomes more.  Because Chevy Stevens.  She has a way of taking the ordinary and weaving it into a compelling story that you just can’t put down.  Don’t miss this one!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Never Let You Go

Review: A Necessary End by Holly Brown

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All Adrienne wants is a baby.  Is that too much to ask?  Unable to have one of her own, she and husband Gabe have jumped through every hoop to make their dream come true.  And it almost happened once.  Now that chance is here once again, and Adrienne’s not about to let this one slip away.  She’ll do anything to make it happen.  Even if the birth mother’s demands seem a bit….unusual.

So Leah moves in with Adrienne and Gabe.  And they craft a most nontraditional agreement.  Not only will she live with them for a year following the birth of the baby, she’ll also wait until the end of that year to sign the baby over to them.  Oh and she gets an allowance of several hundred dollars a month.  If that’s what it takes, though, Adrienne will do it even if Gabe is a bit less enthusiastic.

When the baby is born, she goes to increasingly sneaky lengths to keep the baby from Leah.  Meanwhile, Leah’s starting to pull away from Adrienne and form more of a bond with Gabe.  And then the baby daddy shows up, throwing everything into a tailspin.

There’s so much more going on with this book.  Leah has a secretive past.  Something bad happened with the previous birth mother, although we don’t find out the full details until the very end.  I have to say, I didn’t like any of these characters.  But in this case, that’s okay.  I think that was the author’s point.  A great little suspense of a story!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  A Necessary End

 

Review: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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A missing baby.  A maybe slightly psychotic mother.  A lying father.  Kinky next door neighbors.  They’re all there, a cast of characters to set you up for one heck of a story.

When their babysitter cancels at the last minute,  Anne’s first instinct is to skip the dinner party next door.  But somehow, her husband Marco convinces her that it’ll be okay to leave the sleeping baby home alone.  Their houses share a wall, after all.  And they’ll be checking up on Cora every thirty minutes.  What could possibly go wrong?

Of course it does go wrong.  Baby Cora goes missing.  And there are very few clues left behind.  It’s natural that suspicion would fall upon her parents.  Anne has been slightly depressed, after all. And Marco’s business isn’t doing so well. Was he so desperate for money that he’d stage a kidnapping and ransom demand?

But wait.  There’s more. There are also the shady dinner party neighbors, especially the wife Cynthia who has eyes for Marco.  And Anne’s dad? He’s got a ton of money, thanks to her mom.  Along with that, he has some questionable business dealings.  Or was it really just a random event, a crime of opportunity?  Somehow the detectives in charge don’t think so.  But the deeper they dig, the more twists and turns they find.

This was quite an enjoyable book.  There are so many characters who could be guilty that even when I found how who dunnit, I was still suspicious of the others.  And it’s very twisty and turny, right up until the very end.  Also to note, I listened to the audio version which had an excellent narrator.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Couple Next Door

 

Review: The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon

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Beautiful.  If I had to describe this story using just one word, that’s what it would be.  From the very beginning until the absolute end, it truly weeps with emotion on every page.

It begins with a baby left in a basket. Aptly named, Moses is a crack baby abandoned by his mother. But for the love and sacrifice of his grandmother, who knows where he would have ended up?  He and Georgia are unwillingly thrown together at a young age.  And even though they grow up together in a sense, they’re not really together.  Until one day, Georgia begins to feel something.  And she thinks Moses does, too, although he denies it. Georgia has a normal family life, Moses does not.  He’s damaged, at least in his mind.  But love is love, and love conquers all.  Sometimes.

This is a romance, a mystery, a book of suspense.  It’s a story of family, of life and loss and death.  It’s a story with good guys and bad guys, and sometimes they’re one in the same.  Very soon after I started this book, I was afraid it would break my heart.  And it did.  But that’s okay.  Because often those are the stories that stick with you the longest.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Law of Moses

 

Review ~ The Trespasser, by Tana French.

29430013I must admit, I picked up this book in error. I had heard a lot of positive reviews regarding French’s books, and in particular, her Dublin Murder Squad series. Me being me, at midnight on a work-night, browsing Audible, I saw this book and thought “Oh, I’ll try the first book in the series”. It wasn’t until about chapter 10, that I realised that this is actually the 6th, yes, 6th, book in the series! However, even though, this is a continuing series, the characters come and go, and it just so happens that the characters in this novel, only featured in one other previous story. I missed a little background, but it was barely noticeable as I continued to read/listen to the story.

The plot was a fairly standard “who dunnit” type deal, and I must say, there was a plot point introduced that didn’t seem to gel, and in my opinion, could have been left out entirely. In spit of these small misgivings, the tone and characters really carried this novel.

Dark, gritty, and dirty, are some phrases I would associate with the tone, and the pace is fast, keeping the narrative at a good pace. The characters, on first glance, seem quite traditional; societal attitudes are still steeped in an air of patriarchy and French seems to spend quite a bit of time in establishing that the main character is a lone female in a squad of patronising and bullying males. Even though a lot of time, I was thinking to myself, doesn’t this police station have a HR department, the repetition of the antiquated attitudes actually reinforced the character development of Detective Conway.

I really recommend this book if you want to escape for a while, and read some good police procedural fiction. Is it in my top ten? Probably not. However, it is a good little read in its own right, competing with a ton, and indeed winning, of other similarly themed thriller fiction.

Until next time,

Pegasus

The Trespasser

Review: Retreat by Jay Crownover

01-a1 I love cowboys. I especially love when they aren’t your traditional Stetson wearing kind.

Fresh mountain air, horses, sexy cowboys and enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat.

I loved Leo, even if she had a rough beginning. What started out as a girl’s only week ends up with a life changing discovery that has her realizing she’s stronger then she thinks. She also wasn’t looking for love in these hills, but who knew cowboys could be so sexy?

Leo and Cy had this crazy instant chemistry that sometimes seemed to fast, but they were both looking for each, even if they didn’t realize it. Their connection was hot. Their sexy times were even hotter. Simple flirting turned into much more that neither of them was prepared for. It was a blast to see Cy strip Leo of her prickly outer shell. In the midst of life and death situations, these two managed to find love and peace with each other.

I liked the balance of suspense and comedic moments. I’m not usually a super fan of suspense books, but this one was just right for me. From about halfway through, I was reading as fast as I could, just so I could know what happens.

There were actually a few emotional scenes that will make you need the next book just as much I need it. Whew! Jay sure packs a punch.

What a fabulous start to this new series! I can’t wait to read about the next cowboy!

~Melpomene

Review: I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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There are those books that, while good enough to keep you reading, aren’t necessarily in the “can’t put it down until I finish it” category.  And as voracious readers, we understand that.  Not every story can be a page turner of epic proportions.  That’s what I was thinking as I worked my way through the first half of this one.  But then, oh boy.

The loss of a child is unimaginable for most of us, thankfully.  So it’s impossible to truly understand how we might react.  Would you find the strength to go on?  Or would you curl up in a ball and simply wither away?  Jacob’s mother is faced with just this dilemma when his young life is tragically ended on a rainy street.  To make matters worse, the driver just keeps on going.  Justice is not served, she’s left without a child and a purpose, and a killer runs free.  So she leaves town, presumably hoping for a fresh start elsewhere.

The detectives on the case, however, can’t let it go.  Lead after lead is exhausted, and still they plow on, hoping for that big break.  And finally it comes.  But it’s not what they expected.  Actually, it’s not what anyone expected.  And this is where I’ll stop.

Told in differing viewpoints alternating between past and present, this story is unforgettable.  Seems like a simple detective novel at first, but ends up being so much more.  So much more that I did not move from my couch as I raced through the last half.  Get it, read it, and enjoy!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  I Let You Go