BOOK REVIEW – Just a Regular Boy by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Expected publication: May 2nd 2023 by Lake Union Publishing

A deeply moving and satisfying novel from Catherine Ryan Hyde!

Storytelling at its best!

“Out there is chaos, the collapse of society, and so much to be afraid of. All that matters is freedom.”

These are just some of the things five year old, Remy Blake’s survivalist father preaches to him. Now he’s being raised off the grid by his father in the middle of nowhere.

The story is told from Remy as well as another character, Anne’s point of view. Anne is a nurturing mother of two who is dealing with the recent loss of a foster child her family loved who is no longer in their care. Anne also has some childhood issues she hasn’t yet dealt with.

Just a Regular Boy was a heartwarming and at times heart wrenching read. Catherine Ryan Hyde is skilled at getting readers to empathize, sympathize, and understand her characters. She writes with such emotional honesty and appears to have a great understanding of people. She creates characters you can’t help but cheer for. Many I wish I knew in real life. Her animal characters always brighten my day too.

I picked this up with the intention of just reading a few pages. About 10 pages in I realized I didn’t want to stop reading as I really wanted to see how things worked out.

This moving story takes place during the height of the Covid pandemic and deals with relevant issues in a sensitive way.

A story about grief, loss, love, friendship, and the different kinds of family. A hopeful and inspiring read.

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than forty books. It has been a while since I’ve read one of her novels. I read quite a few of them a few years ago and loved them all. Many of the stories have stayed with me.

After thoroughly enjoying this novel, I can’t wait to catch up on any that I may have missed!

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

BOOK REVIEW – The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth


Expected publication: April 5th 2022 by St. Martin’s Press 

Another fantastic novel by Sally Hepworth!

I have loved ALL of this author’s previous novels. Her last novel THE GOOD SISTER is one of my all time favorites. Needless to say, I was very excited to read this book.

As I read, there were times I thought about slowing down because I knew once it was over, I would likely have to wait quite a while for the author’s next release. But I couldn’t stop reading. I had an inkling about something and I HAD to find out if I was right. So I continued reading long (lonnng) into the night.

Tully and Rachel Aston are not happy that their father, Steven is about to be married again. One of their issues is that he is still married to their mother, Pamela. Pamela suffers from dementia and has been living in an assisted living facility. The other issue is that their father’s fiancée, Heather is a much younger woman.

Heather has secrets…

But she’s not the only one.

Soo many secrets!!

This was another winning domestic suspense novel from Sally Hepworth! A terrific storyline with wonderful well-developed characters. SH’s characters are always so interesting. Love ’em or hate ’em….they all make the story better. I really enjoyed the multiple points of view.

This novel was the perfect escape from reality that I needed. It kept me guessing and thoroughly entertained until the very last page.

Can’t wait to see what’s next from Sally Hepworth!!

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

BOOK REVIEW – The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding

Expected publication: August 10th 2021 by Gallery Books

I’ve really enjoyed Robyn Harding’s previous novels and was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this novel too.

Happily married for twenty-two years, Thomas and Viv Adler. appear to have it all. They are attractive and successful. They have a beautiful home. To top it all off, they have well adjusted and wonderful children. Their loving family is happy and healthy.

At least that’s how it appears to be.

But the family isn’t so perfect. Apparently, the Adler’s have done some very bad things. They are all keeping secrets. Even from each other.

Other people don’t know the things the Adler’s have done and the secrets they are keeping. At least not yet.

The pranks start out relatively benign. Annoying but harmless. Eggs on their porch etc. Random attacks that they don’t take personally. But the pranks quickly escalate, becoming more aggressive and violent. The Adler’s wonder if they are being targeted. When they try to get the police involved, it isn’t taken seriously. They are told it’s probably just local kids.

Now someone is happily watching this “perfect” family falling apart. Someone who thinks the world would be a much better place WITHOUT them.
Who is doing these things? Why?

The family is afraid and their fear grows with each attack. And if their secrets become public…it might destroy them all.

Appearances can REALLY be deceiving!!

A thought-provoking and entertaining read!!

I love how Robyn Harding tells a story. Everything was revealed in a way that held my attention and had me saying just one more chapter again and again. While I may not have loved all the characters, they were well-written and I was invested in seeing how things would turn out for them all.

Another very satisfying psychological suspense novel by Robyn Harding!!

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

BOOK REVIEW – Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Dark Roads

Expected publication: August 3rd 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

This was an exciting, thrilling, and unputdownable read!!

June 2018- Seventeen-year-old, Hailey McBride recently lost her father in a tragic car accident. Hailey was very close to her father. He taught her survival skills, and how to hunt and fish. Now Hailey’s moved in with her Aunt Lana, her six-year-old cousin, Cash, and her aunt’s husband, Vaughn. Her aunt is kind but Vaughn makes Hailey nervous. Vaughn is a Police Sergeant many call “The Iceman”. He loves to write tickets and he’s especially hard on young people, harassing them and busting them for the smallest infractions.

Hailey has a friend named Jonny. They have been best friends since she was eight years old. They fix their dirt bikes together and she loves watching him race. She even thinks he could go pro. Vaughn seems to have it out for Jonny and warns Hailey to stay away from him. Vaughn won’t let her get a job and his rules are becoming unbearable. Hailey knows he just wants to keep an eye on her.

 “Someone like you, a pretty girl without a dad, you have to be even more careful.”

When Hailey makes a horrifying discovery, she realizes she can’t live like this any longer. So she comes up with a plan.

Everyone who lived in Cold Creek knew about the dangerous highway. Parents warned their children about it and you couldn’t miss the billboard warning women not to hitchhike. You also couldn’t ignore the posters of the “victims with their sweet, hopeful smiles”. With no public transportation, these warnings still couldn’t stop those young women who were determined to run away or find a place to hang out with friends. Some went missing from the highway, some from local communities who were last seen at a party or walking home alone.

Cold Creek is one of the towns were several women had last been seen. The town is the last stop for gas and supplies for many miles. People had started to relax a little after several years had gone by without any murders.

That was a big mistake.

Now more photos are being added to the posters. It’s started again.

Who is the highway killer? Will they ever be caught?

I loved this book!

Chevy Stevens is a fantastic storyteller, and in my opinion, this was a terrific read. Well-paced and intense with many engaging characters. One of my favorite characters was a wonderful dog named Wolf. The author’s descriptions made it easy to picture this super-smart dog with his different colored eyes. A well-written story filled with plenty of action and suspense, I was gripped from start to finish.

Dark Roads is a captivating and twisted tale of murder and suspense. Don’t miss it!!!

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.