Review: Every Single Secret by Emily Carpenter

synopsis:

Emotionally guarded Daphne Amos always believed she’d found a kindred spirit in her fiancé, Heath. Both very private people, they’ve kept their pasts hidden from the world, and each other, until Heath’s escalating nightmares begin to put an

undeniable strain on their relationship. Determined to give their impending marriage the best chance of succeeding, Heath insists that Daphne join him on a seven-day retreat with Dr. Matthew Cerny, a psychologist celebrated for getting to the root of repressed memories. Daphne reluctantly agrees—even though the past is the last place she wants to go.

The retreat’s isolated and forbidding location increases her unease, as do the doctor’s rules: they must relinquish their keys and phones, they’ll be monitored at all hours by hidden cameras, and they’re never to socialize with the other guests.

One sleepless night, Daphne decides to leave her room…and only then does she realize that the institute is not at all what it seems—and that whatever’s crying out from Heath’s past isn’t meant to be heard. It’s meant to be silenced.

review:

Phew!

This one was a Traveling Sisters read and pretty much all of us had the same response of “I need a moment to process what I just read” whether we liked it or not. That was INTENSE to say the least!

This one read more like horror to me than a thriller – not an overly ton of gore, just enough to make me feel like this stepped a bit outside the thriller genre.

I absolutely loved that the twist was in the middle of the book (and it was one that I absolutely did NOT see coming) that left for a second half of wild and crazy suspense.

This is a tricky one for me to review because on one hand, I ate this one up in one day, on the other hand I’m not sure I enjoyed it – it was like a movie where you’re hiding behind the pillows because you don’t want to look but you keep peeking because you need to know what happens.

This was a GREAT discussion with my fellow Traveling Sisters who gave me so many different perspectives and theories that I never would have had on my own. So fortunate to be apart of this great group of readers!

Thank you to Lake Union for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars

Review: Lost For Words by Stephanie Butland

synopsis:

You can trust a book to keep your secret . . .

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look closely, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are things she’ll never show you.

Fifteen years ago Loveday lost all she knew and loved in one unspeakable night. Now, she finds refuge in the unique little York bookshop where she works.

Everything is about to change for Loveday. Someone knows about her past. Someone is trying to send her a message. And she can’t hide any longer.

review:

Do you ever open up a book and connect with it right away? That’s what happened to me with this one. The writing, the characters, the dialogue – it all hooked me from the get go and didn’t let go.

The beautiful cover is a little misleading – I thought this was going to be a light-hearted read based around a bookshop but it ended up being so much more. This is a very deep, detailed look at a woman who has gone through an unimaginable amount of pain in her life and how it affects all of her decisions and personality going forward.

This is a book for book people. The main character, Loveday (what a cool name!), has worked in a bookshop since she was fifteen years old, enjoys books more than people, and even has her favorite quotes tattooed on her body.

I absolutely loved the character of Archie (and not just because my son’s name is Archer!) he was such a charming, lovely character who always had Loveday’s best interests at heart.

This is a slow moving, highly developed story that will tug at your heart strings and give you a whole new cast of characters to love. Recommend to all bibliophiles!

4 stars

Thank you to St. Martin’s press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: The Date by Louise Jensen

synopsis:

Something bad has happened to Alison Taylor.

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future.

By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her. She can’t recognise her friends and family. And she can’t recognise the person who is trying to destroy her…

review:

Well, I said somebody stump me and she did👏👏👏

Louise Jensen can write a thriller, man. She can write and she can write well. I love her use of descriptive language and building of suspense. I will forever read everything she writes.

This one requires a hefty, massive dose of suspension of disbelief right off the bat. It took me a few chapters, but once you get into the swing of things and accept it, it becomes a fast-paced, well-developed story. And the thing I really love about Jensen’s writing is how all the tiny, little pieces click into place seamlessly at the end.

At the end of the day, this is a complex story about love. But everything that is weaved around it will have your heart pounding and flipping the pages. And I was finally stumped, thank you Louise Jensen for putting my inner detective in her place!!!

A massive thank you to Bookouture and Louise Jensen for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars

Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

synopsis:

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet.

But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

review:

4.5 stars – buddy read with Holly B!

I would just like to state for the record that I officially read too many psychological thrillers and my inner detective will not go away – once again I had it figured out early on so I have to say, I can’t rate thrillers anymore based on the twist. I am unfortunately bound to figure it out😩 (someone please stump me!!). So based on this one, I have to say it was crazy well done (emphasis on the crazy!) in general.

I love love loved to hate these characters – they are nutty in the best way possible. They were truly driving Holly and myself bananas the whole read, and that is the best kind of character for me. If you can create a vivid response from me, whether positive or negative, then job well done!

This one had lightning speed pacing which was FANTASTIC and kept the pages turning. The problem when this happens is that you only scratch the surface with character development, but I didn’t even care and it worked really well here.

A super well done psychological thriller! Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

synopsis:

This is a love story. Mike’s love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.

It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue…

review:

This is a brilliantly done character study on par with Joe Goldberg from You, and Paul Strom from Best Day Ever. If you’re expecting a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller you’ll be disappointed, but if you’re looking for a highly developed, character driven story of a disturbed individual, pick this one up.

The author has taken “a mad spurt of anger at the continued injustices perpetrated against women in our so-called civilized society” (quote from the Acknowledgements) and developed it into a story that could really truly be any woman’s nightmare come to fruition. It also absolutely exemplifies the double standards in our world which are still in existence to this day.

This is yet another novel that I had to keep putting it down which is my gauge these days – if it’s making me uncomfortable I know the writing is strong, and this one pushed me to the brink of comfort. A truly in depth, disturbing look into the life of a highly traumatized individual.

Thank you to Netgalley, Araminta Hall and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

4 stars