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Girl Well Read

Girl Well Read 

Published book reviewer, blogger of books & book lifestyle products, wine drinker and polka dot lover. I’d love to review your book next!  Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@girlwellread), Pintrest, Litsy, Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookLikes, and ReadFeed (Girl Well Read).

 

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things - Bryn Greenwood

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

At almost six feet tall with the redhead temper, Zee is an unlikely fairy tale princess for Gentry. She was in an accident that shattered her hip, and as a result goes to physical therapy. It is here that she met her knight (complete with a sword and armor). Zee has a long list of problems: money woes, her beautiful and gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her hoarder mother that is housebound, and her boss that is a drug dealer.

Gentry is a knight with a code of honour—he was told two years ago, by voices that only he hears, to be Zee's champion. He is not only autistic, but shy, and keeps a vigilant watch over his princess. He is always ready to rescue her.

When Zee's sister goes missing—is perhaps kidnapped—she turns to her champion. The ripple effect not only changes their lives, but connects them until 'The End' of their fairy tale.

Greenwood's The Reckless Oath We Made is a slow burn and I'm not sure that it is worth the patience. Let me clarify what I mean by that. As an English major, I thought I was going to love the way Gentry speaks—he speaks in Middle English, believing he's a knight—but I found it completely slowed the pace of the narrative, and certain readers will be alienated by the use of this speech. On one hand, the character is autistic, and he is being true to himself and how he chooses to live by what he perceives to be as a knight's code of conduct. But on the other hand, too much time is wasted on his speeches and reenactments. Unfortunately, this is also where she's going to lose more of her audience.

While this book didn't immediately suck me in, I did push through it in order to be able to objectively review it. After giving it much thought, I just don't think the book was for me and was mildly disappointed. Perhaps Greenwood should have abandoned the whole romance aspect, as well as Gentry's reenactments (less is more), and focused more on the mystery. She is clearly a talented writer, and for that reason, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things will be added to my pile of books to read.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

The Perfect Girl: A Novel - Gilly MacMillan

A special thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow Paperbacks for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Our "perfect" girl is Zoe Maisey, a 17-year-old musical prodigy. Zoe and her mother Maria have been ostracized from their former community after Zoe was found guilty of a drinking a driving accident that claimed the life of three teenagers, including her best friend.

 

Zoe has served time in a juvenile rehabilitation facility and Maria is determined to not only put the past behind her, but to keep the tragedy under wraps from her new husband, Chris, and his teenage son, Lucas.

 

Ready to embrace her "Second Chance Life", Zoe has recommitted to music and is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. But tragedy strikes again and by the end of evening on the day of the recital, Maria is dead and the thread holding everything together begins to unravel.

 

Because of her past, Zoe fears that she will be the prime suspect. Everyone—police, family, Zoe’s former lawyer—including Zoe, tries to piece together what actually happened. What Zoe knows for sure that the truth can be deceiving and the closer we are to someone, the less we are willing to see.

 

Told in multiple points of view—Zoe, Tessa and Sam—Macmillan's novel explores the complexities of relationships. The characters were well-developed and engaging. While not a seize-you-by-the-throat, heart palpitation thriller, The Perfect Girl is more of character study/psychological thriller and incredibly clever. Macmillan's pace is spot on, she reveals just enough to secure interest and move the story. She tasks her reader with unravelling the dysfunction—it's a slow burn, but worth your patience.

The Love Solution by Ashley Croft

The Love Solution - Ashley Croft

A special thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK/Avon Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

chem·is·try
/ˈkeməstrē/

noun
noun: chemistry

the complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people.

Although sisters Molly and Sarah share a close bond, they couldn't be more different. Molly wears a lab coat and is a scientist, while Sarah runs her own craft business making tiaras.

Molly has been assigned to a top secret project and is totally thrilled. Some of her excitement may also be because of her attractive new boss.

When Sarah suffers a humiliating and painful breakup, she turns to Molly—and science—for help. After all, what are sisters for?

Will Sarah find love where she least expects it, or is it really all in the chemistry?

 
First things first, the cover is adorable and totally sucked me in. However, this was a mixed bag for me. At times I found the story delightful and getting me right in the feels and other times, I was rolling my eyes.

The 'love bug' premise was cute and definitely had potential, but too far fetched that Molly would share this top secret project with her sister, no matter how close they are. Molly and Ewan were adorable as colleagues and their back-and-forth banter/relationship will have readers rooting for them to hook up. But Croft dismantles some of this with the bicycle race filler which was campy and unnecessary. I also struggled with the lack of depth that the love interests had, they were flat characters that could basically be interchangeable. They were without personality and dare I say, rather forgettable.    

I had high-hopes for this story, but it really was lacking the chemistry (no pun intended) that a romance novel should have. Ultimately I struggled with the plot—the conflict that is the driver of the narrative is incredibly frustrating, as is Sarah. Why would she want to be with such an absolute tosser? This book simply wasn't for me and I'm confident that it will find its audience.

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room - Megan Goldin

A special thank you to Edelweiss, NetGalley, Macmillan, and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are high-rollers in the world of finance. They are relentless in their pursuits and are masters of their craft and their lavish lifestyles are proof of their successes. But this life of luxury comes at a great cost—a gruelling schedule and oftentimes unrealistic expectations and deadlines.

 

The four are called in for an after-hours meeting on a Friday night. Given the out-of-the way location, and their recent failure to close on too many lucrative deals, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam fear that they've been summons as a result of their poor performance and that they are going to be made redundant. Vincent informs them that they are actually there to participate in an escape room challenge. Agreeing that it is smart to be on their best behaviour before bonus day, and their competitive personalities getting the best of them, they pile into the elevator. But when the doors shut and they are plunged into darkness, it quickly becomes apparent that they are trapped.

 

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

 

What starts off as a game turns into survival. Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam need to put aside their differences and work together to solve clues in order to be freed. But when the game reveals the secrets they've been hiding from one another, they realize that the terrible things they've done to get them where they are come at a high price. The final puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

 

Goldin's debut is a stomach-dropping ride. Alternating between past and present, the cast of characters are completely ruthless and will stop at nothing to succeed. They are fuelled by the rush that comes with making high-profile deals and will do anything that the company asks of them. Despite the unlikeable characters, or in spite of them, this story is totally compelling.

 

There are a few times where the reader has to suspend their disbelief and in this case, I'm willing to overlook it because it was so enthralling! Also, there were pockets in the narrative where it got repetitive and a touch (dare I say) predictable. But because it was so entertaining, I was completely captivated.

 

Whether it is a commentary on corporate finance or greed itself, the writing is clever and razor-sharp and I can't wait for more from Megan Goldin.

 

Stone Cold Heart by Caz Frear

Stone Cold Heart - Caz Frear

A special thank you to the author, Edelweiss, HarperCollins Canada, and Bonnier Zaffre Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

After a brief stint in the Mayor's Office, 26-year-old Detective Constable Cat Kinsella is back at the  London Metropolitan Police’s Murder Investigation Team. She is on the hunt for the killer of Naomi Lockhart, a visiting Australian temp worker who was last seen alive at a party thrown by her boss, Kirstie Conner. Her flatmate, Kieran Drake, an ex-con turned personal trainer, made the gruesome discovery of Naomi's body in their living room.

The evidence points to Kirstie's brother-in-law, Joseph Madden, who Cat recognizes as the owner/barista from the coffee shop around the corner from the police station. Madden insists he's being framed because at the time of the murder he was with his wife. But when the police question Rachel, she contradicts his alibi.

As the force build their case against Joseph, Cat is the one assigned with investigating the Maddens. She knows one of them is lying—she needs to figure out which one while also struggling with her own relationship issues.

Frear explores the secrets we keep from those we love and the ones that we want to remain in the dark.

The second instalment of the Cat Kinsella series is another banger! Frear is meticulous with her execution and is exceptionally gifted with character development and plotting. Even in the passages of Cat's inner dialogue there are so many subtle nuances that add layers to the storyline and ratchet up the tension.

Frear's ear for dialogue is exceptional—Cat and Luigi have such witty banter and I love DI Kate Steele. Why is this series not a TV show? But the best part, Frear has left her readers with a cliffhanger. I can't wait for the next book!

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

The Golden Hour - Beatriz Williams

 

A special thank you to Edelweiss, William Morrow, and HarperCollins Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Budding journalist Lulu travels to the Bahamas in 1941 to investigate the Duke of Windsor—the former King Edward VIII—and his wife, whose love affair caused the Duke to abdicate the British throne. Her assignment becomes complicated when the Duke's shady politics become apparent and when she falls in love with Thorpe, a scientist, who disappears without a trace.

From the opening chapter, Beatriz Williams captivates her reader. This sweeping novel is beautifully written with elements of mystery and intrigue. She effortlessly weaves together dual plot lines each richly crafted with meticulous details. Williams is one of those authors whose writing completely transcends with her elegant and awe-inspiring prose.

The difference between four and five stars was simply because I wanted more scenes with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and more from the other historical cast. Is that even a criticism, wanting more? Give this slow burn a read, you will not be disappointed.

Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood

Keeping Lucy - T. Greenwood

 

A special thank you to Goodreads First Reads, NetGalley, and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This heartbreaking story—inspired by true events—is a tale of how far a mother will go for her child.  In 1969, Ginny Richardson gave birth to a baby girl with Down Syndrome.  Her husband's family arrange to have the baby sent to Willowridge, a state-supported institution for children with intellectual disabilities.  Abbott, her husband, tries to convince Ginny that it is for the best and that they should move on after they grieve for her daughter whom, they were going to claim, died at birth.

Two years later, Ginny's best friend, Marsha, shows her articles about Willowridge—the living conditions are nothing short of horrifying, and the children are severely neglected.  Ginny, Marsha, and Ginny's six-year-old son visit the school to see for themselves if there is any truth to what is being reported and how Lucy is being cared for.  With the circumstances being exactly as described, Ginny takes Lucy and flees.  For the first time in her life, she is in control and in for the fight of her life against Ab and his powerful family.

Greenwood's writing is great, in fact, it's better than great.  She effortlessly draws the reader in and deftly balances the delicate subject matter with the story—based on real events—that needed to be told.  I felt that she kept the writing light on purpose given the horrific reports of institutions, like Willowridge, that actually existed.  It could be argued that this did the novel a disservice however, in this case, I think it worked.  Ginny was naive and passive and this type of character couldn't shoulder a heavier plot with a deeper exploration into both the depression that Ginny experienced as well as the deplorable conditions that Lucy was living in.      

At first, I was a little thrown by the third perspective, and the sentence structure was distracting because every sentence seemed to start with "Ginny".  Once I got past that and into the rhythm of the writing, I devoured this page-turner.

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

A Stranger on the Beach  - Michele Campbell

A special thank you to NetGalley, Edelweiss, Macmillan, and St. Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Caroline Stark is hosting a lavish housewarming party at her new beach house. When her husband, Jason, shows up not only late to the party, but followed by a Russian woman he claims is a business associate, the couple get into a very public and very ugly fight. She knows that Jason is lying and that the woman is really his mistress.

When her marriage falls apart and she is left with an empty bank account, and cancelled credit cards, Caroline has an impulsive fling with a bartender. Aidan also happened to be working her party that night and knows all about her husband problems. What she doesn't know is that Aidan has a history of violence.

As if things couldn't get worse, her college-aged daughter seems to be taking her father's side. Crestfallen, she turns to Aidan for comfort—but that comfort soon turns to revenge. The only problem is that their brief fling has left Aidan with a dangerous obsession with Caroline and her family. Meanwhile, Jason disappears and all eyes are on Caroline. Isn't it always the spouse?

Told from multiple points of view, Campbell confuses her reader (on purpose) by telling the same events from two very different perspectives. The dynamic is also interesting: Caroline is a wealthy, 43-year-old woman who is trying to keep up appearances to launch her career and social standing whereas Aidan is a 27-year-old bartender that served time for manslaughter. Both characters are unlikeable, untrustworthy, and unreliable.

There were a few plot holes that I ultimately struggled with, but I'll partially overlook given Campbell's strong writing and ability to deftly create suspense and tension. She pens some strong characters and used the unreliable narrator as the perfect mechanism to execute her effusive plot. There wasn't the startling revelation that I was hoping for in that I did figure it out, but again, her writing was intricate and compulsive.

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date #3) - Jasmine Guillory

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Maddie and Theo are Alexa's two best friends. Alexa (The Wedding Date) isn't the only thing they have in common: they have a mutual hatred for one another since the moment they met. Theo is too uptight and arrogant for Maddie's taste, and Maddie is too boisterous for Theo's taste.

After a night of passion—that was an agreed upon mistake—Maddie and Theo can't stop thinking about each other. Unfortunately, they both share wedding party responsibilities which means that they will be seeing a lot of more of one another. The tension that's building further ignites their intense attraction. An attraction that only seems to be quelled by secret trysts.

Maddie and Theo won't admit that they like each other, but they also don't want to stop sleeping together. So they come up with some rules: they will keep their arrangement a secret, it will end when all of the wedding festivities are over, and they won't fall in love.

With the wedding fast approaching, and the end of their agreement near, the enemies-turned-lovers are secretly disappointed. Their connection can't be more than physical, right? And aren't rules meant to be broken?

Guillory is back with her third Wedding Date installment which is an updated version of the classic opposites attract story. Her take is cheeky, wickedly smart, and hot.

This story takes place part way through Alexa and Drew's relationship—although the timelines and characters overlap, you do not need to read Guillory's other books (The Wedding Date/The Proposal) before reading this one. Maddie and Theo take turns with this narrative and get some help from some new supporting characters, and some that may be familiar to readers. What I love about her writing is that it is so effortless and endearing. Guillory pens characters that are interesting and engaging and puts them in realistic situations that her readers can relate to.

Jasmine Guillory you are a gem! Your writing is charming, flirty, and clever.

The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland

The Floating Feldmans - Elyssa Friedland

A special thank you to Penguin First to Read for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The matriarch of the family Annette Feldman decides she wants to do something for her milestone 70th birthday, so she organizes a cruise for her family.

But between sibling rivalries that keep rearing their ugly head, family secrets, and her teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking like it is going to capsize. Sailing on the open seas, the Feldmans are forced to face the truths they’ve been ignoring all while learning that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

I thought that the ship was an interesting vehicle for the story because it forced all of the characters to not only be in the same vicinity as one another, but it really pushed some of the family dynamics front and centre and created some interesting situations.

The exposition and build up were painfully long. Once Friedland's cast is finally assembled, I expected more by way of confrontations and satire. She did redeem herself with the ending, readers will be satisfied as they disembark.

All-in-all a fun read that's perfect for summer, or cruising. Told from multiple points of view, The Floating Feldmans really brings out the fun in dysfunctional.

Bunny by Mona Awad

Bunny - Mona Awad

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Viking for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Set at Warren, an Ivy League university in a bleak New England town, Bunny is told from the sardonic perspective of Samantha Heather Mackey—Smackie for short.

Smackie is a lonely scholarship student whose only friend is Ava, a nihilistic and captivating art school drop out. But everything changes when Samantha receives a glitter-covered invitation to the Bunnies' fabled "Smut Salon" and finds herself ditching Ava to attend. Despite her hostility towards the privileged, and to the overly affected, precious girls in her highly selective MFA program, Samantha is drawn into the world of the Bunnies—a clique of rich girls that function as one lip-glossed entangled hug.

Samantha participates in their ritualized off-campus "workshop" where they magically conjure boys from rabbits. The boys, aka the Drafts (or the Darlings), are as beautiful as soap opera actors, but invariably flawed. The worst Drafts, who manifest as vapid-and menacing-babblers, are literally axed by their ruthless creators.

Torn between Ava's protective anarchy and the toxic matter-of-fact magic of the Bunnies, Samantha conjures something unimaginable, something that will bring these opposing worlds into a wild and deadly collision.

Awad is an incredible writer and without a doubt, she crafts a gripping tale that seizes you, albeit almost to the point of claustrophobia. Bunny is an original take on girl cliques and also of the classic outsider-desperate-to-fit-in story. It is hypnotic and mesmerizing, yet sinister and dark.

This book wasn't quite for me and I can't figure out exactly why and what didn't work—I took a few days before writing this review and I am still stumped. As much as Awad's writing is clever, unique, and fresh, it is so manic that it is exhausting. I also don't think I fully understood what I was reading in that this book was completely bonkers at times, sometimes in a good way, and sometimes...not so much.

That being said, I read an interview that Awad did for the CBC about her debut 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and I'm intrigued. I mean, how could I not pick it up after learning that Depeche Mode was on her writing playlist. For those that follow me on social media/read my blog know that basically Depeche Mode is my religion and the soundtrack to my life, so yah...I'll definitely be reading it.

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor

The Hiding Place - C.J. Tudor A special thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The last thing that Joe Thorne wants is to return to his hometown. There's nothing there for him except regrets, painful memories, and tragedy. And he thought he would never go back, especially not after what happened to his sister, Annie, all those years ago. But Joe doesn't have a choice because it appears to be happening again and he needs to set things right. Joe is a bit of a mess—he's got a drinking problem and a gambling problem—and his former friends are not happy he's back, nor are his enemies. But the hardest part of returning home will be going back to the abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life was forever changed. For Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn't the day his sister went missing, it was the day she came back. I assume this is a homage to Stephen King, otherwise, her plot twist was too familiar to anyone that has read Pet Cemetery. That being said, there were parts that were extremely clever and tight, and then there were times where the narrative rambled and completely went off the rails. But what caught me the most off guard were the supernatural/horror elements in a book that I assumed was in the thriller/mystery/suspense genre. If you like horror, and you are a fan of Stephen King, than this book will totally be your bag.

Park Avenue Summer by Renée Rosen

Park Avenue Summer - Renee Rosen

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Single girl, Alice Weiss, leaves her small Midwestern town for the glitz and glamour of New York City. She lands a job with Cosmopolitan Magazine as the assistant to their bold and sassy new Editor-in-Chief, Helen Gurley Brown.

Editors and writers resigning on the spot. They are refusing to work for such a shocking woman (she wrote the scandalous bestseller Sex and the Single Girl) who dares to talk to women about taboo topics that should be off limits, not headlines on a magazine cover.

Alice's loyalty is tested when she is propositioned to sabotage her new boss. Instead, she remains steadfast and loyal, and becomes even more determined to help Helen succeed in her position at the helm. Alice is learning how to make her own way in New York City and that the modern Cosmopolitan woman can have it all.

When a book is pitched as Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada, you read it!

Rosen's writing was whip-smart and elegant. Alice was the perfect vehicle, not only was she the target audience of the magazine, but she was the perfect match to balance out Gurley Brown's impulsive and flighty whims. Both women have aspirations—Alice wants to be a photographer and Helen wants to make her mark in the male-dominated publishing industry—and Rosen shows how it is possible for women to support one another without sacrificing themselves.

Pour yourself a cosmopolitan and enjoy!

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women - Lisa See

A special thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster Canada, and Scribner for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Lisa See's newest novel is set on the small Korean island of Jeju and is about female friendship and family secrets.

Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends that are from vastly different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they become divers like the rest of the women in their seaside village. The all-female diving collective is led by Young-sook’s mother. Even though they are "baby divers," the girls realize that with this great responsibility comes great danger.

The novel spans several decades and is anchored with vignettes set in 2008. These vignettes that are dispersed throughout the story provide clues that move the reader forward, but at the same time, anchor them in the past. Beginning during the Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 40s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, and in the modern era which introduces the divers to wet suits and cell phones.

Jeju's residents are caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, forever marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will eventually inherit her mother’s position as their leader. The girls have shared more than just dives, they have shared life's milestones and all of their secrets. But when outside forces turn their world upside down, it become too much for their friendship to survive.

The second half of the novel chronicles the 4.3 Incident. Named for the date it began, which was April 3, 1948, three years after Japan surrendered occupation of Korea, tens of thousands of people were killed. See dramatizes the atrocities committed by the military during the Bukchon massacre in a harrowing scene in which Young-sook loses both the majority of her family and her friendship to Mi-ja.

See's novel is incredibly rich in culture and history, both of which are marred by grief and a monumental historic event. Her writing is intricate and moving, and innately female. She explores the relationships between women: mother-daughter, sister, coworker, and best friend. The best friend dynamic is a particular kind of intimacy that opens you up to betrayal because there are things that you would only tell your best friend. In her novels, it is rarely the men that bring these women any joy. Abuse of male power is also another popular theme whether it be fathers, brothers, husbands, lovers, or bosses.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Queenie - Candice Carty-Williams

A special thank you to NetGalley, BookishFirst, Gallery/Scout Press, and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Queenie Jenkins—a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman who is straddling two heritages and trying find her place. She has just been dumped by her long-time white boyfriend and is on notice at work where she is constantly comparing herself to her white middle class peers.

Needless to say, Queenie is not in a good frame of mind and she is making some pretty awful decisions concerning who she spends her free time with and with whom she is seeks comfort from.

Carty-Williams has written an honest account of one woman's struggle, which sadly many women can relate to, and at the same time, given us a character to root for. Unfortunately Queenie's story isn't unique, there are many women out there struggling with issues of sexism, racism, and self-acceptance. She is a modern woman trying to navigate her way through a messy break-up, figuring out where she fits in, and learning that her self-worth does not come in the form of toxic relationships.

Queenie is so much more than Bridget Jones, and I don't mean that as a slight to Helen Fielding's brilliant heroine, but there is no comparison. Bridget is a funny, awkward, and endearing character that journals her life in cheeky entries, whereas Queenie is a more serious character with incredible depth. There is also a heaviness about the book and again, this is another reason why a Bridget Jones comparison is doing this novel a disservice.

 

I adored her grandparents, especially her grandfather (and those of you who have read this book will know what scene I am referring to). What I didn't like was that the author uses Queenie's promiscuity as a symptom of her anxiety and I'm not sure that this is entirely accurate—I think that it is rather a symptom of her lack of self esteem.

What is also interesting is that Carty-Williams makes no apologies for Queenie, nor should she. She is a bold, brash, and flawed character who at times does some really unlikeable things. But we keep pulling for her.

Carty-Williams explores identity, racism, mental health and what its like to be a young woman in the dating scene in the age of technology. She tackles some daunting social issues and uses Queenie's humour and solid supporting cast of friends/grandparent to keep the story from getting too dark.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife - Samantha Downing

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

A charming couple living in the burbs with their two children—she's a real estate agent and he is a tennis pro—that seem to have it all, even good looks. They are the couple next door, members of your clubs, parents of your kid's friends, and the friends you have dinner parties with.

 

But forget about the seven-year itch, how about the fifteen-year one that brings with it the most interesting, yet gruesome way to keep a marriage alive.

 

Theirs is getting away with murder.

 

Samantha Downing, that was a crazy ride and I loved every second of it! The character development was incredible and the reader will have a love/hate relationship with them. Gah! This book was dark and twisty in the best possible way and I'm blown away that this seize-you-by-the-throat-thriller it is her debut.

 

Downing's writing was taught and tense and kept me on my toes. I literally had no idea what was going to happen and let me just say that the last sentence of the book literally made me gasp.