Review: We Told Six Lies by Victoria Scott

Young love is hard, y’all. All those emotions and hormones and stuff running wild. It’s easy to see how feelings could get out of control. But how far is too far?

Molly is missing. Just disappeared. And of course, the first place the police look is at her boyfriend Cobain. But he’s just as perplexed as the authorities are. He would never hurt her. After all, she’s his everything. Before Molly came into his life, he was just existing as he wandered through life. Molly brought the light to his world. And now she’s gone.

Cobain is determined to find out what happened to Molly. He knows more than what he’s told the police, and he has a suspect list. Did he really know Molly, though? What secrets was she hiding from him?

There’s A LOT going on with this story. It’s told from two different perspectives as well as shifting from past to present. Surprisingly, though, it’s easy to follow and suspenseful enough to keep you reading until the twisty end.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: We Told Six Lies

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Review: Any Second by Kevin Emerson

Is it fate that brings Eli and Maya together? Or is it just luck? Either way, it’s life-changing for both of them. Each dealing with their own version of trauma, they’re thrown together under the most unlikely of circumstances.

Eli is truly a victim. Kidnapped at a young age, he’s currently on a mission from his abductor – walk into the mall with explosives strapped to his chest and get redemption from all who have done the world wrong.

Maya is a victim of another sort. She’s a victim of her own anxiety. Hair pulling, skin tearing, sinking deep within herself…this is how she deals. She’s also at the mall that day, keeping her dad company while he gets a new driver’s license to complement his new life.

When their paths cross, neither of their lives will ever be the same. You see, Maya’s the one who sees Eli. She’s the one who notices something amiss. And she’s the one who decides to save not only everyone around her but also Eli himself.

Fast forward several months…Eli is trying to get back to a normal life, whatever that is. And Maya is still dealing with her anxiety, made understandably worse with her close encounter with death. And they meet again, this time when Eli transfers to Maya’s school. They’re drawn to each other, understandably. Will Maya be able to save Eli a second time? And will Eli be able to save Maya as well?

This is a very intense book starting from the first page. Heartbreaking at times, uplifting and hopeful at others, it’s the story of what can happen when we open our doors and let others in.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Any Second

Review: Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Heartbreaking. That’s the only thing I can say about this one. Even more so because it’s based on true events.

It’s 1948. Young Sally, still reeling from the death of her father, is desperate to fit it. So, on a dare, she steals a notebook from the local Woolworth’s. This one childish mistake sets in motion a chain of events that will have lasting repercussions. When a man posing as an FBI agent approaches her outside the store, Sally’s innocence and gullible nature guarantee that she’ll believe him. But what excuse for her mother, who allows this man to take Sally off on a supposed trip to the seashore? The only excuse I can think of is that it was a different time, simpler and more trusting.

For almost two years, Sally is victimized by Frank. They travel across the country, Sally being held against her will. Along the way, there are people who see something in Sally. And these people even make attempts to help her without truly knowing the extent of her abuse. Still, Sally must reach within herself and have the courage to speak up before she can be rescued.

While some liberties have been taken in the telling of Sally’s story, the fact remains that she was a real person and a real kidnapping victim. An interesting side note: Sally’s story was the inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Rust & Stardust

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: 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: Claiming Noah by Amanda Orlepp

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What would you do if you desperately wanted a child but were unable to have one? What lengths would you go to and where would you draw the line?

Catriona and James badly want a baby, James a bit more so. After trying unsuccessfully, they agree to try IVF. And it works. They soon find themselves the parents of a healthy baby boy. Diana and Liam are in the same predicament. They explore many options before eventually settling on embryo donation. And they, too, are successful. Another healthy baby boy.

But Catriona doesn’t find herself easily settling into motherhood. She’s soon in a downward spiral, deep in the throes of postpartum depression. Diana, on the other hand, quickly adjusts to being a mom. All is going well until the day her baby is taken right out from under her.

This story was completely different from what I expected. For that, I give props to whoever wrote the description. There’s not much worse than a book blurb that gives too much away. No such worries with this one. And I’m not going to give anything else away, either, other than to say that there are several juicy little twists and turns on the path to the final conclusion of this story.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Claiming Noah

Review: A Body to Spare by Sue Ann Jaffarian

  
Here we have Book 10 in the Odelia Grey Mystery series… And it’s TERRIFIC. Jaffarian makes Odelia’s crazy world of hit men, private eyes, cops and ex-cons seem almost run of the mill. But it’s still a surprise to find a dead guy in the trunk of her car. 

The dead guy has a bizarre past. Odelia and the gang manage to dig into it and find more than one bad apple who could be responsible. As usual, the more they know, the deeper trouble they get themselves into. 

Jaffarian rocks at creating believable relationships. Whether it’s Odelia’s marriage, immediate family, or professional contacts, I like eavesdropping on their conversations and coming along for the ride while they solve the mystery. 

You can read the books in this series as standalones, but if you choose to read several, go in somewhat chronological order. 🙂 

-calliope

Buy A BODY TO SPARE