Tag Archives: Netgalley

Mother May I: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson – My Review

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Title: Mother May I: A Novel

Author: Joshilyn Jackson

Release Date: April 6th 2021

Genre: Domestic Thrillers

The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Never Have I Ever returns with an even more addictive novel of domestic suspense in which a mother must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her child and the life she loves—an unforgettable tale of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make, ones that transform our lives in unforeseen ways.

Revenge doesn’t wait for permission.

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of.

Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

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I have mixed feelings about this book. Some parts were good and twisted, which made my little black heart happy. Then on the other hand, some parts were just…not that good. I could see where the author wanted to go with it. There were some pretty good twists in there. One I didn’t see coming! Which had me saying OMG! Despite having one of twists that were really good, the rest sort of fell flat for me. I wanted to like this story more than I did. 

This is my first Joshlyn Jackson book and putting my feelings for this book aside, I will check out other works by her. Her writing is good and I enjoyed the story. I give this 3 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Darkest Glare: A True Story of Murder, Blackmail, and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles by Chip Jacobs – My Review

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Title: The Darkest Glare: A True Story of Murder, Blackmail, and Real Estate Greed in 1979 Los Angeles

Author: Chip Jacobs

Release Date: March 9th 2021

Genre: True Crime

Late-seventies Los Angeles was rampant with killers and shady characters, but all the go-getters at Space Matters saw was possibility. Richard Kasparov was handsome and charismatic; his younger associate, Jerry Schneiderman, brilliant and nerdy. When the pair hired a veteran contractor to oversee construction, the space planning firm they operated out of a hip mansion in LA’s Miracle Mile district appeared poised to transform the boundless skyline into their jackpot.

After the promising team imploded, however, the orderly lines on their blueprints succumbed to treachery and secrets. To get even, one of the ex-partners launched a murder-for-profit corporation using, among other peculiar sorts, a bantam-sized epileptic with a deadeye shot and a cross-dressing sidekick. The hapless criminals required a comical number of attempts to execute their first target. Once they did, on a rainy night in the San Fernando Valley, the surviving founder of Space Matters was thrown into a pressure cooker existence out of a Coen Brothers movie. Threatened for money he didn’t have, he donned a disguise, survived a heart-pounding encounter at the La Brea Tar Pits, and relied on an ex-Israeli mercenary for protection. In the end, he had to outfox a glowering murderer, while asking if you can ever really know anyone in a town where dirty deals send men to their graves.

In The Darkest Glare, Chip Jacobs recounts a spectacular, noir-ish, true-crime saga from one of the deadliest eras in American history. You’ll never gaze out windows into the dark again.

Included as a bonus is an original true crime short from the same unhinged era. In “Paul & Chuck,” a flashy, crusading attorney wages war against the messianic leader of a bloodthirsty cult determined to teach the world to stay away.

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I love me some true crime. Love it! I was excited to read The Darkest Glare. I hadn’t heard of this case before and was very interested in learning more. The story read like a script. A script for a like television series. I kept seeing episodes in my head. The author has a different story telling style and it took me awhile to get used to it. A lot of information and people are thrown at you. At times I had trouble keeping track of who was who. I admit, the level of evilness that went into everything that occurred is disturbing. I appreciate the author’s attention to detail. I felt transported to a different time and era. 

The crimes committed were both senseless and disturbing. The author takes you from beginning to the very end. All those twists and turns made for a pretty good read. I give this 3 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon – My Review

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Title: The Drowning Kind

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Release Date: April 6th 2021

Genre: Ghost Fiction

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim.

Be careful what you wish for.

When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.

In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.

A haunting, twisty, and compulsively readable thrill ride from the author who Chris Bohjalian has dubbed the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson,” The Drowning Kind is a modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us.

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Wow! This book was full of surprises. It had me guessing at every turn. This story is both heartbreaking and mysterious. The mystery and unexplained wonders of the springs was one of my favorite parts. I loved the relationship between Jax and Lexie. No siblings are perfect but they truly did balance each other out. Some scenes gave me the chills and there’s plenty of twists you don’t see coming. That ending had me heading towards book hangover town. 

This is a new to me author. I really enjoyed her story telling style. The book is well written and full of descriptive scenes that really brought the story to life. I will be checking out her other books! If you’re looking for a read with a little mystery that gives you the chills, this book is for you! I highly recommend this book! I give it 5 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


The Imposter by Marin Montgomery – My Review

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Title: The Imposter

Author: Marin Montgomery

Release Date: March 9th 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

From the Amazon bestselling author of What We Forgot to Bury comes a twisted psychological tale of a mother and daughter’s mind-bending descent into the truth.

From the outside looking in, Sibley Sawyer has a perfect life. As a successful attorney, she’s worked hard to get to the top of her game—but when her personal and professional lives implode, Sibley looks for a way to turn the page.

Unable to shake the tragic circumstances that caused her to flee her rural Midwestern hometown, Sibley wants nothing more than to reunite with her estranged mother, Deborah, and bury their past tensions.

But as she reenters the life she left behind, she realizes her mother isn’t the same person she remembers, and she’s not the same daughter either.

As both women struggle to piece together a tangled web of deceit and lies, and the shocking circumstances that caused Sibley to leave in the first place, it becomes clear there are secrets rooted deeper than either mother or daughter could ever have imagined.

Can you really deceive your past and those around you?

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The blurb hooked me. Deceit, lies AND a painful past? Sign me up!

The story started off good. There was enough unexplained things happening that had me invested into the story. Oh Sibley…how I wanted to like you. I tried but you made it so hard. Deborah on the other hand, I just felt bad for her. Neither one were very likable. At times it felt like the story wasn’t going anywhere. Just rambling and wandering around. Then it found its way towards the end. Sort of. The ending was ok but I was expecting much more from this story that I felt let down. 

I felt like this story was missing something. It was an ok read and like I stated above, I expected more. Despite my feelings about this particular book, I will check out others by this author. I give this 3 stars. 


Are We There Yet? by Kathleen West – My Review

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Title: Are We There Yet?

Author: Kathleen West

Release Date: March 16th 2021

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Among fake Instagram pages, long-buried family secrets, and the horrors of middle school, one suburban mom searches to find herself in a heartfelt and thought-provoking novel from the author of Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes.

Alice Sullivan feels like she’s finally found her groove in middle age, but it only takes one moment for her perfectly curated life to unravel. On the same day she learns her daughter is struggling in second grade, a call from her son’s school accusing him of bullying throws Alice into a tailspin.

When it comes to light that the incident is part of a new behavior pattern for her son, one complete with fake social media profiles with a lot of questionable content, Alice’s social standing is quickly eroded to one of “those moms” who can’t control her kids. Soon she’s facing the very judgement she was all too happy to dole out when she thought no one was looking (or when she thought her house wasn’t made of glass).

Then her mother unloads a family secret she’s kept for more than thirty years, and Alice’s entire perception of herself is shattered.

As her son’s new reputation polarizes her friendships and her family buzzes with the ramification of her mother’s choices, Alice realizes that she’s been too focused on measuring her success and happiness by everyone else’s standards. Now, with all her shortcomings laid bare, she’ll have to figure out to whom to turn for help and decide who she really wants to be.

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This story was like a train wreck. I couldn’t stop reading and in some parts it kept getting worse. I kept going because I wanted to see where this wreck would crash. It felt like a TV show of some sort. Most of the characters were not very likable. I’m sure that’s the point. Too many adults acting like children and being way too selfish, while others felt they were better than everyone else. The teens and children acted like how I expected they would and in social situations. In our age of technology and apps, where do you draw the line on trust and monitoring your child? Some part were entertaining. 

As a whole, this is an ok read. I wanted to like. I truly did but I couldn’t get past my issues. While I could relate to most of the situations, I couldn’t get past the behaviors of the adults. The writing is good and the cover is cool. This book wasn’t for me but I’m sure others would enjoy it. I invite you to check it out for yourself. I give 3 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Amelia Unabridged: A Novel by Ashley Schumacher – My Review

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Title: Amelia Unabridged: A Novel

Author: Ashley Schumacher

Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Young Adult

Sparks fly between two teens as they grapple with grief, love, and the future in this unforgettable debut novel sure to entice fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer E. Smith

Eighteen-year-old Amelia Griffin is obsessed with the famous Orman Chronicles, written by the young and reclusive prodigy N. E. Endsley. They’re the books that brought her and her best friend Jenna together after Amelia’s father left and her family imploded. So when Amelia and Jenna get the opportunity to attend a book festival with Endsley in attendance, Amelia is ecstatic. It’s the perfect way to start off their last summer before college.

In a heartbeat, everything goes horribly wrong. When Jenna gets a chance to meet the author and Amelia doesn’t, the two have a blowout fight like they’ve never experienced. And before Amelia has a chance to mend things, Jenna is killed in a freak car accident. Grief-stricken, and without her best friend to guide her, Amelia questions everything she had planned for the future.

When a mysterious, rare edition of the Orman Chronicles arrives, Amelia is convinced that it somehow came from Jenna. Tracking the book to an obscure but enchanting bookstore in Michigan, Amelia is shocked to find herself face-to-face with the enigmatic and handsome N. E. Endsley himself, the reason for Amelia’s and Jenna’s fight and perhaps the clue to what Jenna wanted to tell her all along.

Ashley Schumacher’s devastating and beautiful debut, Amelia Unabridged, is about finding hope and strength within yourself, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love while you do it.

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This is a touching story about two people dealing with their grief and finding the calm after the storm. Amelia is dealing with the loss of her best friend. They had plans. Their futures planned and it’s all gone in an instant. A mysterious package is delivered to Amelia and she sets off to find out the reason for it and finds more than she bargained for. 

This was an emotional story. Losing a loved one isn’t easy. There are many feelings and emotions to process. I loved the story telling style and the story is very well written. I found myself wanting to take a trip and find this amazing bookstore! The characters were great and really made the story pop. My heart went out to Amelia and N.E. This book got me right in my feels! 

This is a wonderful read. A fabulous debut for this author! I enjoyed both the story and her writing. I can’t wait to read more from her. I highly recommend this book! Add it your TBR today! I give this 4 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Dark Horses: A Novel by Susan Mihalic – My Review

Title: Dark Horses: A Novel

Author: Susan Mihalic

Release Date: February 16th 2021

Genre: Psychological

A darkly gripping debut novel about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father.

Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan’s relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision.

At the intersection of a commercial page-turner and urgent survivor story, Dark Horses takes the searing themes of abuse and resilience in Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling and applies the compelling exploration of female strength in Room by Emma Donoghue. In much the same way that V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic transfixed a generation of readers, Susan Mihalic’s debut is set to a steady beat that will keep you turning the pages.

Dark Horse is one of the reads that feels like a punch to your gut but in a good way. There’s a lot of emotions being felt. They range from sorrow to anger and it sort of just stays there. I felt for Roan. That sense of hopelessness she was feeling, transferred over to me and I wanted to jump into the book and save her. I wanted more for her. This may be a hard read for some readers. It has triggers and I say proceed with caution. Roan’s story a hauntingly beautiful. The characters were well written. Some I loved and some I wanted to choke. A twist and an ending I didn’t see coming. I was not disappointed.

This is an emotional and dark read. It deals with abusive and that is not something that’s easy to read about. The author did a wonderful job on the story telling. Her writing is brilliant and I look forward to reading more books by her. I give this 5 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: If I Disappear

Author: Eliza Jane Brazier

Release Date: January 26th 2021

Genre: Psychological Thrillers

“Blending the true crime compulsion of Michelle McNamara’s I’ll Be Gone in the Dark with the immersive creepy-craziness of Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects, Brazier creates a heady, pitch-dark cocktail all her own.”
Publishers Weekly

“This twisted and riveting thriller is one that will keep you up late at night with suspense.”
—CNN

A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by CNN • E! Online • Buzzfeed • New York Post • Popsugar • Crime Reads • Hello Giggles

When her favorite true crime podcast host goes missing, an adrift young woman sets out to investigate and plunges headfirst into the wild backcountry of Northern California and her own dangerous obsession.

Sera loves true crime podcasts. They give her a sense of control in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She’s sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it’s time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts.

Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel’s small hometown to begin her search. She’s convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won’t be the last…

Rachel did try to warn her.

I love me a good psychological thriller. The twisty, the better.

Right off the bat, this books gave me some dark haunting vibes. Excellent. It also felt like I was jumping into a story that had already started. No matter, on we go. Sera is on a mission. Her favorite true crime podcaster Rachel has disappeared. Sera knows she’s the only one who can find her. What happened to Rachel?

Ah I had such high hopes for this book. It started out pretty good. Some questionable characters. Check. The haunting vibe. Check. Trust no one vibe. Check. The pacing is slow. I started to feel like the story was going no where. By the time the ending came, I really didn’t care who did what. I struggled to connect with Sera. The twists fell flat as did the ending. 

All in all, this was an okay read. It wasn’t for me but others may enjoy it and I encourage you to read it and make up your own mind. Despite my issues with the book, I will not let it deter me from checking out the author’s next book. I give this 2 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Pretty Little Wife: A Novel by Darby Kane – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: Pretty Little Wife: A Novel

Author: Darby Kane

Release Date: December 29th 2020

Genre: Domestic Thrillers 

Debut author Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?

Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.
A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

Fasten your seatbelt because this book is one crazy ride!

Is it possible to read a story where none of the characters are likable and yet you still enjoyed the story? Yes. Yes it is. This story has suspense and mystery. Secrets and lies and I was there for it. Most if not all the characters didn’t do it for me but I found Lila interesting. She gave nothing away and did not apologize for anything. I respected that. There’s a lot of twists and turns. Some I saw coming and others surprised me. As the story progressed, I found myself more and more invested and was rapidly page turning because I knew the ending would blow my mind. It sure did! Wow…..

I highly enjoyed this book! I really liked the dark vibe it gave off and the many twists the author threw in there. It made my little black heart happy. Darby Kane is a new to me author. Her storytelling and writing is really good. I can’t wait to read more by this author! Add this to your TBR if you love suspense with a dark vibe. I give this 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


She Lied She Died by Carissa Ann Lynch – My Review

NEW RELEASE

Title: She Lied She Died

Author: Carissa Ann Lynch

Release Date: December 4th 2020

Genre: Domestic Thrillers

A gripping new page-turning thriller from the USA Today bestseller!

Best friend. Teenager. Murderer.

A young girl found dead in a neighbor’s field.

A fourteen-year-old who confesses.

Just a child herself, could Chrissy Cornwall really be a cold-blooded killer?

Years later, the murderer is getting out and Natalie Bryers, unable to forget the night of Jenny’s murder, still has questions.

Did Chrissy lie then or is she lying now?  Did she really kill Jenny?  And if so, will she kill again?

I did not expect this book to pull me in the way it did. I didn’t put it down. It consumed me. There was a sense of urgency to get to the end. The pacing of the story is great. I was engaged the whole way through. It’s very well written. The characters were interesting and a bit sinister. I really liked Chrissy. I probably wasn’t supposed to but I hardly follow the rules. There is way more to her than people know. That ending….mind blown! I did not see that coming. 

This is a highly enjoyable read and also the kind that will consume you. It’ll grab a hold of you and won’t let go even after you’ve finished. I enjoy this authors writing style and look forward to her next book! I give this 5 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*