“The Swap”, by Robyn Harding

The Swap

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
I just finished “The Swap” by Robyn Harding. First let me just say as a Vancouver BC girl, I was delighted that the author set this story in the Pacific NorthWest and mentioned Vancouver by name. She also included an important message about the problem with illicit drugs in the city.
I read this book very quickly. It was to me, difficult to put down. The story could be called a “love triangle” involving three women but not in a sexual way. It quickly becomes obsessive, for the youngest of the three women, an awkward teenager named “Low” who allows herself to make some terrible choices in order to stay in the life of beautiful “Freya” who is controlling both Low and “Jamie”, the third woman in the book.
The “Swap” refers to a night when Freya and Jamie swap partners for some sexy fun, and then let’s just say that things get…complicated. It all ends when the truth comes out some characters are happy and some are…well…not.
I really enjoyed this story. The author developed the story and kept it interesting with the story passing through different narrators. The only character I wished received more focus was “Max”, Freya’s husband. He was the least-developed character, but I like that this story focussed on the women.
I found the characters rootable (well most of them at least) and the author moved the story along at a good pace. Definately worth the read. I have already bought Robyn Harding’s next book. I think she is one of my new favourite authors, AND we live in the same city.
Read “The Swap”, by Robyn Harding. You won’t be disappointed.
#theswap #femalecharacters #obsession #psychologicalthriller #robybharding #pageturner #unputdownable

Hostage, by Clare MacKintosh

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I just finished reading “Hostage” by Clare Mackintosh. I chose to read this book because the very first psychological thriller I ever read was “I Let You Go” by the same author and it BLEW me away. I never forgot that book and how it made me feel, so I was so excited to read another one of her books.
This book answers the question of how far would you go to save your own child. Would you risk the lives of all the passengers on an airplane to save your daughter’s life? In the case of the main character, Mina, the answer is yes, and so begins a story filled with suspense and drama. Intertwined with the drama on the plane, is the drama involving Mina’s beloved daughter, Sophia and her father, Adam. Adam is the one character I couldn’t quite figure out, and I still don’t know if I like him or not.
Overall, the premise of the story was a good one, and the author did an excellent job of explaining how innocent people are lured into taking drastic measures to protect their causes ( in this case hijacking a plane to bring attention to the problem of climate change).
My main problem with this book, and why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted is that there were SO MANY characters. I honestly got lost in who was who and whether they were good or bad.
In the end, when the true culprit of the whole hijacking was exposed, it didn’t resonate with me because I couldn’t keep track of who was who.
I also didn’t like how the main culprit was treated at the end. Without giving too much away, it was not a good ending…… that is all I can say.
Maybe those with better organizational memories will have a better way with this book than I did. Overall, it was alright, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Happy Reading Everyone. Talk Soon

#psychologicalthriller #ClareMacKintosh #hostage #nail-biter #suspensethriller

My Darling by Amanda Robson

My Darling by Amanda  Robson

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I just finished reading “My Darling” by Amanda Robson. The reason I decided to read it was the tagline which included the words “obsession” and “victim” and “darling”. While Ido agree that the story dealt with obsession and the results of obsession from the viewpoint of male and female characters, I had a hard time getting through it.
I enjoyed the set up of the four main characters and how they interacted. I enjoyed the absolute lunacy of Jade and her obsession with her husband Tomas. In enjoyed the development of the character of Emma, especially the flashback chapters. I enjoyed the result of Jade’s obsession with her husband’s so-called affairs, but towards the middle of the book, the story became too excessive and extreme, with some of the characters getting away with too much. I like to have a story with complicated characters but they need to be rootable and by the end of the story I just found them all to be quite despicable.
This book is a hard pass for me. I wish it had ended differently, with some sort of reformation or metamorphisis of the characters, but they all ended up getting away with too much which didn’t sit well for me. I guess one good thing that came out of this book was that TINDER is not a good way to find your mate.

#mydarling #psychologicalthriller #obsessivelove #amandarobsonbook #fiction

Happy Reading everyone. Talk Soon.

My Darling Husband, by Kimberly Belle

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
I just read the book "My Darling Husband", by Kimberly Belle.  I want to thank NetGalley for giving me a copy of the book in exchange for a review.
Let me just start by saying that I am a big fan of Kimberly Belle's work.  I LOVED her book "Dear Wife"  It was a page turner filled with suspense and intrigue and a wonderful mystery.  I was so excited to begin reading this book, and I was looking forward to  being wrapped up in one of her wonderful mysteries once again.  Sadly, I found myself putting this book down quite a bit.  It wasn't that it was uninteresting or didn't carry an intriguing mystery.  A woman and her two kids are held at gunpoint by a masked man who in turn demands that the husband, a seemingly rich restauranteur, round up an enormous amount of money in exchange for his family's freedom.  Who is the masked man?  What secrets is the husband hiding? Why is the masked man targeting this family?  All questions which are answered in the book.  Just not in the most exciting or thrilling way.
I did enjoy that the book was told through four different perspectives: The husband, the wife, the masked man, and a reporter.  That was interesting and kept me curious.  I also enjoyed the characters, especially the daughter.  I thought she was well written,.  I also liked the reasons why the masked man needed the money.
I liked the heroics of the main character, Jade, and how she was able to fight for her kids.
I guess I thought there would be a bit more of a kapow at the ending, with a more crazy reveal.  I kind of ended with a whimper instead of a bang, and I didn't feel like WOW when I was finished.
I suppose that is my major critique:  There was no WOW at the end or really at any point in the novel.  A steady stream of events that kept me interested enough to continue reading, but not enough to say WOW, You HAVE to read this book.

#thriller, #mydarlinghusband, #NetGalley, #daughterlove, #fiction, #mysterythriller

The Dilemma, by B.A. Paris

Knowing the truth will destroy her.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I just finished reading “The Dilemma” by B. A. Paris. It would be considered a thriller in a way because it is about a husband who has to make the impossible choice of keeping terrible news from his wife because it is her big birthday party. Even though I know I could never keep that information from anyone for that long, I empathized with the husband (his name is Adam) because I understand the feeling of wanting to hold on the belief that something terrible didn’t really happen, and not wanting to change the lives of the people I love forever.
However, I don’t really understand how the character could do it. And I don’t understand how the wife could not have known that something was off with her husband. But the wife (Livia) was harbouring a secret of her own that she didn’t want to share with her husband until after the party, because again, she knew just like her husband, that the news would change the lives of her family and friends forever.
When faced with the dilemma of change or maintaining peace, some of us would choose maintaining peace, but the news that Adam had for his wife was not something he should have withheld.
But this is a fictional story not real life, so it made for interesting and non-stop reading. I enjoyed this book, and it certainly launched many conversations of possible dilemmas in our lives and how we would resolve them.
A very good book, with interesting characters and a story that was thought-provoking and well-written. I enjoyed it and I think others will as well.
Happy Reading everyone..talk soon

#thedilemma #whatwouldyoudo? #readinonesitting #pageturner #BAParis #drama

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You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I just finished reading “You Will Remember Me” by Hannah Mary McKinnon. It is a psychological thriller which really tests the limits of believability.
The story revolves around three main characters: Lily and Maya and Jack or Ash. Jack (Lily’s boyfriend) goes missing one night and is nowhere to be found, leaving Lily frantic. Somehow he wakes up with amnesia and finds his way to his hometown where he reunites with his sister Maya.
Why did he change his name? What is the deal with all his ex-girlfriends, abd why is Maya so creepy?
All these questions, along with others are dealt with and answered in this well-written book. The author does an excellent job of moving the story forward at a good pace and providing the reader with a good background at the right times.
I enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting and all of them had secrets of their own. Maya was the most interesting character in the book as her craziness was slowly revealed until she became quite creepy and scary.
The ending was very surprising and unpredictable which was unexpected obviously. I thought it was quite clever how the author ended the story.
My only complaint was that some parts of the story were stretched a bit too long, and there were a few instances which if found to be too unbelievable even for a fiction story. But overall, all the plot points were relevant to the overall effectiveness of the story.
#youwillrememberme #psychologicalthriller #suspense #creepysister #siblinglove

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The New Home by Chris Merritt

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I just finished reading “The New Home”, by Chris Merritt. It is a psychological thriller about a young woman and her fiance who move into a new neighborhood. The main character, Freya, befriends her next door neighbor who promptly disappears along with her young daughter. The entire book is dedicated to finding out what happened to Emily and her daughter.
Along the way, there are several smaller mysteries like, has Freya’s husband met Emily before, what’s the deal with Emily’s husband Michael, and the older neighbur, who is always saying things to confuse Freya, and the reader as well.
While I liked the twists and turns, especially the mysterious excerpts from Emily’s stalker, quite often I felt like I was reading about things that weren’t important to the story. There were almost too many red herrings in the book, and after a while I found myself skimming the pages entirely. The author whould put an idea into the book and then completely turn it around or disregard it completely.
Another part I didn’t like was that the stalker’s motives were never really revealed, and when I found out who the stalker was, it made no sense to me. I couldn’t think of a reson why he/she was the stalker.
Without revealing too much, the ending was not as satisfying as I wanted it to be. I felt amost cheated by the way it was ended because it wasn’t plausible. All of a sudden everyone is happy and normal when throughout the book they are written to appear unstable and shady. I didn’t think it matched what happened throughout the story.
I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book.

Happy Reading Everyone! Until next time…

#psychologicalthriller #NetGalley #thenewhome #creepystalker #whodidit #psychopath

READING PROGRESS

July 20, 2021 – Started ReadingJuly 24, 2021 – ShelvedJuly 24, 2021 – Finished Reading

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Did I Say You Could Go? by Melanie Gideon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I just read “Did I Say you Could Go” by Melanie Gideon. I want to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. This was a fast read. I would definately call it a page turner. It is the story of obssessive friendship between two grown women and their daughters. The women are both single mothers with sad pasts, who are trying to navigate their young daughters through the perils of today’s society.

The book is written from the perspective of the four main characters: Ruth, Gemma, Marley and Bee. Each character is quite fascinating and certainly flawed. The character of Ruth is shown to become increasingly unraveled throughout the book as she wants to be the main person in Gemma’s life. The way she goes about this can only be described as “crazy”. Added to that element is the young girls who suffer their own trauma of being teenagers.

The story unfolds in a way that keeps the reader interested. Although some parts are a little slow and writing at times lacks creativity, there are enough points of intrigue to keep the reader guessing. And just when I thought I had it all figured out….BAM, crazy twist.

I liked this book. It was suspenseful, entertaining, and included a great twist at the end. My only complaint is that at times, I was underwhelmed by the writing. Not quite sure how else to explain it. But for a psychological thriller, it met all the marks, and I am quite sure people who enjoy this genre will like this book.

Happy Reading everyone…talk soon

#didisayyoucouldgo #psycologicalthriller #NetGalley #toxicfriendship #obssessivefriendship #unhingedthriller #quickread #pageturner

Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger

Rating: 5 out of 5.
I just finished reading "Last Girl Ghosted" by Lisa Unger.  I have read this author before and loved her novels.  This one did not dissapoint either.  I was enthralled by the main character and her many levels of pain.  I wanted her to heal and love and be loved, so I experienced every emotion she felt throughout the story.
The story revolves around a young  woman who meets someone on-line and is drawn to him in such a way that shows how deeply she wants to be loved.  You can feel that she is in pain and has suffered much trauma in her life.  Just when she is finally feeling happy, the man disappears...he has ghosted her.  Enter a detective who is looking for a missing girl, and that unfolds a greater mystery of who the "ghost" is and why Wren, the main character is still attracted to him.
Lisa Unger has a great ability to create layered characters who are tormented by their past and as a result, make some bad decisions.  But her ability to create these characters is what makes the book so hard to put down, because the reader cares about the character and what happens to them.
Around Wren, there are wonderful supporting characters which make the novel even more readable.  I honestly had a hard time putting this one down.
I want to that Net Galley for giving me an advance copy of this book to read, and am happy to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre.

Happy Reading everyone!

#lastgirlsghosted
#Netgalley
#suspense
#mysterythriller
#psycopath
#psychologicalthriller
#lisaunger