My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

my lovely wife

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Thriller

Goodreads Summary

Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting…

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

Review

As someone who has read my fair share of thrillers, they can start to blend together and lose their excitement. For this reason, I always try to read a different genre in between any thrillers and mysteries. However, My Lovely Wife was different—in all the best ways—from most of the thrillers I’ve read. I have never seen Dexter or Mr. and Mrs. Smith but, if they are similar to this book, I’m thinking I would probably love them!

I loved the super short chapters that made this so easy to keep reading! I also loved that the content was so engaging and gripping that I could basically read it anywhere and with anyone around and had no problem focusing on the story! The story is, surprisingly, solely told from the husband’s point of view, which I wasn’t expecting. However, I feel like it really worked well! With all the twists you could want in a thriller, My Lovely Wife is surely a memorable one! I would love to see this made into a movie.

Pick this one up ASAP because the hype is legit!

Have you read My Lovely Wife? Let me know what you thought!

Author Samantha Downing’s website

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

the unhoneymooners

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Romance

Goodreads Summary

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

Review

I have been highly anticipating this new release from the dynamic writing duo Christina Lauren. Their 2018 novel Love and Other Words basically swept me off my feet and made me an immediate fan of theirs.

Well, The Unhoneymooners delivered all I was hoping for and more! I absolutely adored this book! I think this would make the perfect beach read as a majority of it takes place in Hawaii and gives off all sorts of summery vibes. I loved that the rest of the book took place in my native state, Minnesota. It’s always fun to read about areas that you are familiar with and can picture in your mind easily.

So, what did I love? Basically everything. Olive was such a quirky, insecure, and relatable character. Her body image issues were well balanced with her humor. Ethan seemed like your typical scumbag guy until you got to know him and realized that he is sweet, thoughtful, and committed. Reading about these two trying to vacation together, while despising each other, was nothing short of hysterical. I was laughing out loud more times than I could count!

An interesting conflict at the end kept me on my toes and questioning the direction I thought this book was going. I don’t want to give anything away so I’m going to leave it at that.

Read this book ASAP! It was so amazing and I’ll be talking about it for a long time, I’m sure!

Available May 14th!

Thank you to Gallery Books for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Christina Lauren’s website

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

the night before

Rating
4.5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Thriller

Goodreads Summary

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date. 

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

Review

This book is all sorts of crazy! I was sucked in immediately, trying to figure out what in the world was going on!

Have you ever read a book and throughout it you’re thinking am I missing something?! Well, this book did that but in a perfectly cunning way that forces you to keep reading to make sure you aren’t losing your mind. If there had been more, I probably would have stopped reading and if there had been less, I would have been bored. It was quite brilliantly done! From chapter to chapter, the author continues to build on the suspense, revealing just a little bit more to keep you thinking you may possibly be able to make sense of all of this.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a fast-paced thriller! I have no doubt it will keep you interested and on the edge of your seat.

Have you read any of Wendy Walker’s other books? If so, let me know what you thought!

Available May 14th!

Thank you to Wendy Walker & St. Martin’s Press for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Wendy Walker’s website

Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

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Rating
4/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Thriller/Mystery

Goodreads Summary

No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?

Review

I have had Everything You Want Me to Be on my TBR list for way too long and was so excited when my book club decided to read it in April. The author, Mindy Mejia, is a fellow Minnesotan so I was thrilled to find a local author. The book is also set in Minnesota—not far from where I live—which made it even more exciting for me.

It took me a little bit to get into this one. However, once I did, I was pretty hooked! The story is told from three points of view—Hattie, Peter, and Del. We get to know each character well, including bits and pieces of their pasts. This kind of character development helps me to connect with the characters so much more.

Our book club was lucky enough to Skype with Mindy to discuss this book and ask questions. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing how she came up with the idea for this book (the setting was inspired by her grandparents’ farm in rural Minnesota), which perspective she enjoyed writing from the most (Del), and how she researched the different aspects of police procedural and murder cases (she is part of a crime group specifically for women authors).

I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend it. I cannot wait to pick up Mindy’s most recent book, Leave No Trace. She also has a new book in the works! 🙂

Author Mindy Mejia’s website

Pub Day Books – 5/7/19

Happy Pub Day Tuesday!

Today is a big one! There are so many amazing titles out today! I hope you find something that piques your interest.

the last time i saw you

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrishfollows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

In The Last Time I Saw You, Liv Constantine takes the lightning pace of The Last Mrs. Parrish and raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

You can find my review here.

such a perfect wife

Such a Perfect Wife by Kate White

Must be blonde, beautiful, and a good Catholic girl…

On a sunny morning in late September, Shannon Blaine, a blonde, green-eyed 34-year old wife and mother of two, sets off on a jog along the rural roads near her home in Lake George, New York.  It’s her usual a.m. routine, her “me time” after dropping the kids off at school…except on this day she never returns. The residents in the idyllic lakeside town—which is popular with summer tourists—are stunned. Would Shannon have just taken off, overwhelmed with the pressures of being the perfect wife and mother? Did a stranger snatch her? Or could her husband be responsible for her disappearance?

The hot new online magazine Crime Beat wants to cover the case and they hand the assignment to noted true crime writer Bailey Weggins. It doesn’t take long for Bailey to see that the story has fars more facets than she initially realized:  a bitter sister, an unfaithful brother-in-law, an evasive deacon, and a creepy motel owner who watched Shannon run every morning. When an anonymous caller reaches out to Bailey and gives her the cryptic clue that Shannon was a “good Catholic girl,” the tip eventually leads Bailey to the grisly discovery of Shannon’s body. And suddenly, based on what else Bailey finds, everything about the case shifts, suggesting that Shannon’s murder isn’t an isolated incident but rather the work of a serial killer with a very specific calling card. Bailey sets out to expose the killer before another woman has to die, including herself.

You can find my review here.

this is not a love scene

This Is Not a Love Scene by S.C. Megale

Lights, camera—all Maeve needs is action. But at eighteen, a rare form of muscular dystrophy usually stands in the way of romance. She’s got her friends, her humor, and a passion for filmmaking to keep her focus off consistent rejection…and the hot older guy starring in her senior film project.

Tall, bearded, and always swaying, Cole Stone is everything Maeve can’t be. And she likes it. Between takes, their chemistry is shockingly electric.

Suddenly Maeve gets a taste of typical teenage dating life, but girls in wheelchairs don’t get the hot guy—right? Cole’s attention challenges everything she once believed about her self-image and hopes for love. But figuring this out, both emotionally and physically, won’t be easy for either of them. Maeve must choose between what she needs and what she wants, while Cole has a tendency to avoid decisions altogether. And her failing lungs might not wait for either.

You can find my review here.

the little teashop on main

The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas

Blonde, curly-haired Zoe is openhearted, kind and free-spirited, and dreams of becoming a famous actor in New York City. Shy Emily struggles with mental health but has the heart and soul of a writer. And Shannon—tall, athletic, strong—has a deep sense of loyalty that will serve her well when she heads off to military college.

As Zoe, Emily and Shannon grow into women—forging careers, following dreams and finding love—they’ll learn that life doesn’t always unfold the way they want it to, but through it all, the one constant is each other, and their regular tea parties. And when the unthinkable happens, the girls must come together to face the greatest test of all.

A deeply moving novel about the family that raises us, the hearts that nurture us and the great friendships that define our lives.

the bride test

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

the farm

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.

Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

with the fire on high

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

sunset beach

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews’ signature wit, heart, and charm.

the east end

The East End by Jason Allen

The East End follows two families-the wealthy, elite Sheffields and the working-class Halperns-who live in the rarified seaside community of the Hamptons. Corey Halpern, a local high schooler from a troubled home, is desperate to leave the Hamptons and start a new life somewhere else. His last summer before college, he settles for the escapism he finds in breaking into the neighboring mansions.

One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks into the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate, where he and his mother, Gina, work. Under the cover of darkness, Leo Sheffield-billionaire CEO, patriarch and owner of the vast lakeside manor-arrives unexpectedly with his lover. After a shocking poolside accident, everything depends on Leo burying the truth before his family and friends arrive for the holiday weekend. Unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened, as did other eyes in the shadows.

Told through multiple points of view, The East End highlights the socioeconomic divide in the Hamptons, but also how the basic human need for connection and trust can transcend class. Secrecy, obsession and desperation dictate each character’s path. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina and Leo approach a common breaking point. With an ending as explosive as the Memorial Day fireworks on the island, this spectacular debut welcomes a bright new voice in fiction.

the guest book

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

The Guest Book follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world”.

And when the novel begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies.

In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend Reg Pauling has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine.

An island that, at the dawn of the 21st century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

An ambitious novel that weaves the American past with its present, The Guest Book looks at the racism and power that has been systemically embedded in the US for generations. Brimming with gorgeous writing and bitterly accurate social criticism, it is a literary tour de force.

things my son needs to know about the world

Things My Son Needs to Know about the World by Fredrik Backman

Things My Son Needs to Know About the World collects the personal dispatches from the front lines of one of the most daunting experiences any man can experience: fatherhood.

As he conveys his profound awe at experiencing all the “firsts” that fill him with wonder and catch him completely unprepared, Fredrik Backman doesn’t shy away from revealing his own false steps and fatherly flaws, tackling issues both great and small, from masculinity and mid-life crises to practical jokes and poop.

In between the sleep-deprived lows and wonderful highs, Backman takes a step back to share the true story of falling in love with a woman who is his complete opposite, and learning to live a life that revolves around the people you care about unconditionally. Alternating between humorous side notes and longer essays offering his son advice as he grows up and ventures out into the world, Backman relays the big and small lessons in life, including:

-How to find the team you belong to
-Why airports explain everything about religion and war
-The reason starting a band is crucial to cultivating and keeping friendships
-How to beat Monkey Island 3
-Why, sometimes, a dad might hold onto his son’s hand just a little too tight

This is an irresistible and insightful collection, perfect for new parents and fans of Backman’s “unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness). As he eloquently reminds us, “You can be whatever you want to be, but that’s nowhere near as important as knowing that you can be exactly who you are.”


Have a great day!

♥ The Oxford Comma Momma

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

how to walk away

“When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else.”

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Contemporary

Goodreads Summary

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment. 

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect. 

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.

“But I knew one thing for sure: The greater our capacity for sorrow becomes, the greater our capacity for joy.”

Review

How to Walk Away has been on my list of books to read for so long! I’ve heard people just rave about how wonderful it is so I kind of knew I would love it.

I started this book without even reading the synopsis so I went in completely blind and it was refreshing to do that. I don’t know what I thought the book would be about but it definitely didn’t end up as I expected in any way. This book evokes basically every emotion you can think of! I felt so much sadness and heartbreak, but I also laughed, felt hopeful, and was inspired.

Just know this story is not a light, fluffy read but deals with some super heavy content. I put myself in Margaret’s shoes and really felt for what she was going through. I love a book that can make me think and feel in such a powerful way.

Katherine Center is a clearly talented writer! After reading this amazing novel, I am highly anticipating her upcoming novel Things You Save in a Fire, which will be available August 13th.

Author Katherine Center’s website

Pub Day Books – 4/30/19

Happy Pub Day to the following books!

park avenue summer

Park Avenue Summer by Renée Rosen

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief–Helen Gurley Brown–shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits…

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female Editor-in-Chief of a then failing Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. While confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands, someone tries to pull Alice into this scheme to sabotage her boss. But Alice remains loyal and becomes all the more determined to help Helen succeed. As pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown’s world, a woman can demand to have it all.

the invited

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.

little darlings

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Such a Perfect Wife by Kate White

such a perfect wife

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Mystery

Goodreads Summary

Must be blonde, beautiful, and a good Catholic girl…

On a sunny morning in late September, Shannon Blaine, a blonde, green-eyed 34-year old wife and mother of two, sets off on a jog along the rural roads near her home in Lake George, New York.  It’s her usual a.m. routine, her “me time” after dropping the kids off at school…except on this day she never returns. The residents in the idyllic lakeside town—which is popular with summer tourists—are stunned. Would Shannon have just taken off, overwhelmed with the pressures of being the perfect wife and mother? Did a stranger snatch her? Or could her husband be responsible for her disappearance?

The hot new online magazine Crime Beat wants to cover the case and they hand the assignment to noted true crime writer Bailey Weggins. It doesn’t take long for Bailey to see that the story has far more facets than she initially realized:  a bitter sister, an unfaithful brother-in-law, an evasive deacon, and a creepy motel owner who watched Shannon run every morning. When an anonymous caller reaches out to Bailey and gives her the cryptic clue that Shannon was a “good Catholic girl,” the tip eventually leads Bailey to the grisly discovery of Shannon’s body. And suddenly, based on what else Bailey finds, everything about the case shifts, suggesting that Shannon’s murder isn’t an isolated incident but rather the work of a serial killer with a very specific calling card. Bailey sets out to expose the killer before another woman has to die, including herself.

Review

I have only read one Kate White book before and that was probably a good five, or more, years ago. I remember loving it and had completely forgotten about this author until winning an early copy of her newest book Such a Perfect Wife.

This book had me hooked from the onset! I haven’t read a mystery like this in so long and was quickly reminded of how much I love them. The story begins with the immediate disappearance of a beautiful and seemingly happy wife and mom. The unfolding of the story is filled with questionable characters and many different possibilities as to what happened to her.

Kate White’s writing was exceptional! One thing I really loved was how she told the story in just enough detail without going overboard. I enjoyed that it was an “easy” read—nothing too overly complicated or theories that were completely out of leftfield. Every chapter left me hanging and immediately moving on to the next to see what was going to happen!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! It was a little scary and creepy, but no more than any other book of this genre, in my opinion. Get this one on your TBR list and let me know what you think once you’ve read it!


Side note: Kate White has many books involving the character Bailey Weggins. You do not need to have read any of the others in order to read Such a Perfect Wife, as it can be read as a stand alone.

Available May 7th!

Thank you to Kate White & Harper Books for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Kate White’s website

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

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Rating
4.5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Romance

Goodreads Summary

Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen–especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

Review

Okay, I’m going to give you all a little background first. I heard about this book from the lovely Kailey (@kmc_reads on Instagram) and thought it sounded really cute. She raved about how much she loved it so I decided I obviously needed to get my hands on it ASAP! I reached out to the author about getting an Advance Reader Copy only to discover that she is the owner of my absolute favorite cupcake bakery in Minnesota! What a small world! This definitely amped up my excitement for this book even more. Now onto the book itself!

I was totally expecting The Friend Zone to be a fluffy, cute romance, which I have absolutely no problem with. However, I was in for way more than I bargained! This book has it all, honestly. I’m talking feisty main girl character, adorably charming main guy character, sarcasm, humor, love, loss, family dynamics, and SO much more. I absolutely loved this book!

I was invested in these characters big time. My heart broke a few times throughout the story and was pieced back together in some ways. I don’t want to give anything away so I’m just going to leave it at: READ THIS! It deserves all the hype it’s been getting, and Abby Jimenez has proven that she’s not only a baker but also an incredibly talented writer.

Trigger warning (as mentioned in synopsis): infertility

Available June 11th!

Thank you to Abby Jimenez & Forever Romance for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Abby Jimenez’s website

Pub Day Books – 4/23/19

Happy Pub Day Tuesday! 

the mother-in-law

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

Read my review here.

Enter to win a copy of The Mother-in-Law here.


i know who you are

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

I Know Who You Are is the brilliant tale of two stories. One is about Aimee Sinclair—well-known actress on the verge of being full-on famous. If you saw her, you’d think you knew her. One day towards the near-end of her shoot on her latest film, Aimee comes home from filming to find her husband’s cell phone and wallet on the dining room table. He never goes anywhere without them. But he’s nowhere to be found. She’s not too concerned—they had a huge fight the night before. They both said things they didn’t mean. He might have done things he didn’t mean, things she can’t forget. Even though she has a history of supposedly forgetting. After all, she’s a very good actress.

The next morning she goes for her morning run and then goes to her favorite coffee shop. But her card is denied. When she calls the bank they say her account has been emptied of $10,000. She immediately suspects her husband. But they say no, it was Aimee herself who closed out the account. And thus begins a bizarre rabbit hole into which Aimee finds herself falling where nothing is at it seems.

Alternating with Aimee’s story is that of a little girl who wandered away from home. We always tell our kids not to talk to strangers or bad things will happen. Well, bad things happen.

In I Know Who You Are, Alice Feeney proves that she is a master at brilliantly complicated plots and twists after twists.

Read my review here.


the missing years

The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.


stone mothers

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

You can’t keep the secret.
You can’t tell the truth.
You can’t escape the past

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, thirty years later, forced to return to in order to help care for her sick mother, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving in the first place, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built, the husband and daughter who must never know what happened all those years ago. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy for help… But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.


fumbled

Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.  

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.


Have a great day!

♥ The Oxford Comma Momma