2018 Book #55 – Believe Me by JP Delaney

41bWssVS-9LTitle: Believe Me
Author: JP Delaney
Date finished: 7/1/18
Genre: Fiction, thriller, psychological suspense
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions.

The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap?

But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

My rating:  4.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had read The Girl Before by JP Delaney last year and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to get the chance to read his new release. And it did not disappoint! This was a really great book, it was dark and mysterious and honestly entrancing. I didn’t want to put it down. The reader really gets drawn into Claire’s character and mindset, and while she can be somewhat of an unreliable narrator, her character was fascinating. I also loved how the dark poet, Charles Baudelaire, played such a critical role in the plot of the book. Baudelaire was an actual French poet, and his most famous work, Les Fleurs de mal, is a dark exploration of sexuality and death. And so too, this book is a dark and twisted exploration of reality and relationships. We as the reader are dependent on Claire’s version of reality, which alternates between seemingly clear and downright delusional. I did not at all see the ending coming, this was one of the few gasp-worthy endings I can remember experiencing. This was really a great book and I would highly recommend giving it a read!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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2017 Book #43 – The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

51MUPopm41LTitle: The Perfect Stranger
Author: Megan Miranda
Date finished: 5/10/17
Genre: Fiction, suspense
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Pages in book: 353
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.
Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.
Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

My rating:  4.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Leah Stevens, a journalist who has recently relocated from Boston to rural western Pennsylvania to escape the mess she’s made of her life. Starting over with a teaching position, she hopes to leave her failure behind her. Leah moves in with a friend that she’s recently reconnected with, Emmy. She and Emmy lived together for a few months right after Leah graduated from college, when she became a new person and began to form the structure of her adult life. After not seeing Emmy for eight years, she suddenly reappears just when Leah seemingly needs her most. But then a dead body is found by the lake and this small rural town in western Pennsylvania starts to feel a little less safe. And as the bodies, and the secrets, start piling up, with Emmy missing and Leah left to connect the dots, the truth unravels and Leah learns that the danger really is everywhere.
AHH Overall, my gosh, I loved this book. I was addicted, on the edge of my seat, didn’t want to put it down. I found myself continually looking around trying to “find the danger” when I wasn’t reading. Leah as a character was great. She’s on the edge of losing it and she gets so deep into this that the reader even starts to question if Emmy is real or not. I loved the mind-games that this book plays with the reader, the danger really is everywhere and Leah is in much more trouble than she could have ever imagined. The way that the author presents the different relationships within this book I found to be really interesting too. Leah realizes later on in the book and its true but relationships are all about perspective. Your specific perspective of that person and what they present to your relationship could only be one facet of them as a person and of their lives, which I found to be a thought-provoking aspect to this story. This was a great and interesting book with great plot twists and a constant threat of danger. This is going to be a must read for this summer, I would definitely recommend!

The bottom line: I loved this book, I was on the edge of my seat and I just loved the twists and turns in the plot. This one is a must read for the summer, I would definitely recommend!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #19 – I Kissed a Rogue by Shana Galen

51HbYZ-dKUL._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Title: I Kissed a Rogue
Author: Shana Galen
Date finished: 3/8/16
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablance
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: #3 in the Covent Garden Cubs series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Once she spurned the man…
When the Duke of Lennox hires Sir Brook Derring, England’s best investigator, to find his daughter, Brook intends only to rescue the lady and return to his solitary life. He deals with London’s roughest criminals every day of the week; surely he should be able to endure seeing his first love again-the perfect girl who broke his heart…
Now her life depends on him
Lady Lillian-Anne Lennox has always done her best to live up to her father’s standards of perfection-at the cost of following her heart. When she’s kidnapped and her perfect life is shattered, Lila has another chance. Together, Lila and Brook navigate not only the dark and deadly side of London, but the chasm of pride and prejudice that divides them.

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Lady Lillian-Anne, known to her friends (few as they are at this point) as Lila. Apparently Lila was well.. kind of a bitch during her first couple Seasons and didn’t make many friends with her actions. She was forever manipulating both the other girls and the young men she wanted as suitors. One of these suitors was Brook Derring (later to become Sir Brook Derring when knighted by the king) who she treated abominably and basically crushed the crap out of his heart. When Lila is kidnapped though, it is Brook that her father turns to for help. And then a series of events fall into place that leads to a criminal hunting for Lila to murder her. Lila’s father basically forces Brook to protect Lila and (duh) they fall in love.
Overall I enjoyed this book but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites. The two main characters I just couldn’t really click with during the story and I found them a tad annoying in the beginning. I know people can change and what not but the descriptions of Lila’s actions from when she was younger seem pretty manipulative and I found it hard to believe that (even being affected by her mother’s death) she really could have changed that much. And some of the plot didn’t click with me too, obviously the bad guy gets to Lila in the end part – why wouldn’t he just kill her as soon as he got a hold of her? Anyways other than those couple small things it was a sweet story and what I would look for in a romance novel. Brook’s character was very charming in parts and the ending was romantic.

The bottom line: This was a good historical romance, I have enjoyed this series so far. The characters were a bit annoying for me at the beginning but other than that I enjoyed this one. Would recommend.

Link to author website

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2014 – Book #64 – Part 2

Little-LiesNEW-189x300

Little Lies is a prequel novella to Little Mercies, which was the sixty-fourth book I read in 2014 (see previous blog post). Since this novella was only 44 pages I decided to count it as a second part of #64 rather than its own book post. I finished this novella on 8/2/14. I rated it 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5. This novella tells the story of Ellen Moore as she and her friend Joe investigate a crime involving a young child. 

Since this was a pretty short story I don’t want to go into too much detail on the plot. This was a great prequel though and I would highly recommend reading it in connection with Little Mercies. 

Link to author website: http://www.heathergudenkauf.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Lies-Heather-Gudenkauf-ebook/dp/B00J1ZETMU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1407003329