REVIEW : The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Escape Room

Published July 30, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

I’ve always been curious about “Escape Rooms”. This sounded like such an interesting read and I couldn’t wait to get started!

The book opens as a security guard calls 911 after hearing a scream and what sounded like gunshots in what should be an empty building. The police arrive and everything is silent. Then they hear the sound of an elevator descending…

The police stand with their guns drawn as they wait for the elevator doors to open…

Then all hell breaks loose.

Thirty-four hours earlier:

Four top employees of Stanhope and Sons have been called to attend a last-minute meeting. These four employees have spent more time with each other than anyone else in the last several years. In some cases, they know each other better than they know themselves.

Sylvie is a previous model whose career ended after a horrific accident. She’s supposed to be leaving for Paris that evening.

Sam was supposed to be leaving for a trip to Antigua with his family. His wife, Kim, is furious that he has to attend this last-minute meeting.

Jules has been struggling lately and is trying to disguise the alcohol on his breath.

Vincent is their boss and was the last to arrive.  Though he sent the email about this meeting, in many ways he’s just as in the dark as they are.

Sylvie, Sam, and Jules ask Vincent why they are there and he tells them they will be doing an Escape Room challenge. The group is angry that they have to do this “team-building” activity. However, they know that the firm has been talking about layoffs lately. It is in their best interest to play along.

They step into the elevator…

The doors immediately shut behind them and the lights turn off, plunging them into darkness. The small TV screen in the corner shows a message:

“WELCOME TO THE ESCAPE ROOM, YOUR GOAL IS SIMPLE. GET OUT ALIVE.”

Wow!

This was a gripping read with no shortage of drama and suspense. I finished it in no time!

The story was filled with intense situations and had many complex characters. We hear from Vincent, Sylvie, Jules, and Sam in The Elevator chapters. The alternating chapters are from another character’s point of view, the “dead but not forgotten”, Sara Hall.

“The Escape Room” was an engrossing read about money, greed, power, and betrayal.

I look forward to reading more from Megan Goldin!

 

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

Advertisements

My Mom’s Take on The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman (Guest Review)

Image result for cute owls reading

 

I definitely got my love of reading from my mother. I remember sitting on my bed as she read the “Little House on the Prairie” series to me. As I got older, I would practice my reading by reading out loud to her. Over the years she had other projects she worked on and didn’t read as much. But lately, she’s been reading a lot more. I often talk about books I’m reading, and there have been a few books she decided to read too. I asked if she would like to write a guest review for my blog now and then, and she said yes.

This is the third guest review my mother has written,  and we are both enjoying it.

 

My Mom’s Take on The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

(click on book image if you would like to read book description on Goodreads page)

The Wartime Sisters

Published: January 22, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

My Mom’s Thoughts:

 

The Wartime Sisters is a perfect book for anyone who remembers or is interested in some of the history of World War II.

Two sisters, Ruth and Millie; very different in looks and personality are born three years apart in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. As they grow their sibling rivalry grows as well. The author shows how life experiences and people’s attitudes affect both of these characters.

Ruth the older sister has a lot of resentment towards her sister, Millie so she pulls away from her. It’s only after a family tragedy that they are forced to begin facing some of these feelings they have towards each other.

The story takes place from 1932 to 1943 in Brooklyn, New York, and Springfield, Massachusetts. Millie works in the armory helping assemble rifles; Ruth works in the payroll office. It’s a time when women worked to help relieve labor shortages during the war.

I really liked the cover of this book.  I used to wear those nylon stockings with seams and I remember having to constantly check and see if the seams were straight on my lower legs.

This was an enjoyable read that took me back in time. It reminded me of my own life and had me remembering things that I haven’t thought about in years.

 

REVIEW – The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

The Arrangement

Published July 30, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press

 

I’ve always been really intrigued by the Sugar lifestyle (Daddy, Momma, and Baby). As soon as I read the description for “The Arrangement”, I knew I had to get my hands on this book.

Twenty-one year old, Natalie (Nat) is on the phone with her father. This is the first time they have spoken in years. Unfortunately, she has no one else she can turn to.  Nat tells her father that she’s been arrested.

A few months earlier:

Nat hasn’t been in New York very long but she loves it. She’s a young art student with big plans.

After a night out, Nat wakes up hung-over and has to deal with her angry roommates. They are always upset with her about something and since her name isn’t on the lease, they have the power to kick her out at any time.

Nat knows it’s not supposed to be easy, especially for an artist. But money is getting very tight. Her classmate, Ava sure doesn’t seem to have the same financial issues that Nat does. She doesn’t understand how Ava can afford to live in such a fancy apartment and wear such fancy clothing.

Ava tells her about a website that matches young women with rich older men. Men who will happily pay for fancy dinners and beautiful gifts.  They will even help with bills and rent. The website is called “The Sugar Bowl“. Nat had heard of sugar babies but she didn’t think it was that common. She had no idea Ava was a Sugar Baby. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement for both parties. Ava tells her that all she has to do is look pretty. When Nat asks about sex, Ava tells her that sexual favors are optional.

One night, Nat is completely overwhelmed with the fact that her rent and tuition are coming due and she doesn’t have the money to pay them.  She recalls her conversation with Ava and sends her a text…

“I want in“

Before she knows it she has a Sugar Baby profile.  Ava warns her that the lifestyle is addictive, but Nat decides she’s just going to go out on a couple of dates or “pay per meets”.

It’s not long before she meets fifty-five-year-old Gabe Turnmill. Gabe is a good looking corporate finance attorney. He is the perfect sugar daddy.

With Gabe, Nat feels safe and protected. She knows this isn’t a real relationship because Gabe is paying her, but her feelings for him are growing stronger. At the same time, Nat worries that someone will find out about her “arrangement” with Gabe. She starts feeling like someone is watching her.

Things are becoming VERY complicated.

What happens if the arrangement isn’t working out anymore?

Things take a very dark turn…

Wow! What a thought-provoking and entertaining read!

I’ve watched a couple of documentaries about this lifestyle and how common it is becoming. There was so much I’d never even heard of ( like Salt or SPLENDA daddies!). It’s easy to see that Robyn Harding has done her research.

I liked reading Gabe’s perspective too. Learning more about his life and why he became involved with “The Sugar Bowl”.  Not everything was completely realistic but it wasn’t a big deal for me. I suspended my disbelief and really enjoyed this intriguing story.

I thought this was a wicked domestic suspense novel filled with sex, obsession, envy, revenge and more!

Another thrilling read for this summer!!

 

I’d like to thank the publisher and Gallery/Scout Press and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

REVIEW – Those People by Louise Candlish

Those People

Published June 11, 2019 by Berkley Books

 

Having had my fair share of horrible neighbors, I was looking forward to reading this novel.  As I’m writing this, I’m pretty sure my upstairs neighbors are all jumping up and down at the same time.  I used to have a neighbor who complained that we made a lot of noise, but the times she said it was noisy we weren’t even home. On top of that, SHE would play the same Sarah Mclachlan song over and over until four A.M.  Also had people that lived next door who “wrestled” loudly every night.

On to the book…

Lowland Way is a place with beautiful homes and friendly people.  They even have “Play Out Sunday” where everyone moves their cars so the children can play outside freely and safely.

The book opens as police are interviewing everyone because of a recent death in the neighborhood.

Eight weeks earlier:

Ralph and Naomi Morgan live right next door to Ralph’s brother, Finn and his wife, Tess.  They’ve lived side by side on Lowland Way for the last twelve years. Naomi works and Tess is a stay at home mother. Therefore, Tess often helps out with the children, family pets, etc. Everyone is happy with this situation.  Or are they?

House number one on has been empty since the owner passed away a year ago. But it’s not empty anymore. The new residents, Darren and Jodie Booth are not very friendly, far from it. Darren is blunt and sarcastic and Jodie isn’t much better.

Right from the start the Booth’s loud renovations, blaring music, and numerous cars parked all over the place cause problems for the rest of their neighbors.

The Booth’s house is attached to Anthony (Ant) and Em Kendall’s house. Their shared wall almost constantly vibrates from either drilling and/or loud rock music. The noise keeps their baby and everyone else up until all hours.

Sissy Watkins lives in number two. She lives alone but runs a lovely bed and breakfast. Sissy’s B&B got great ratings…until the Booth’s moved in.

The Booth’s have destroyed the comfortable way of life on Lowland Way. Everyone is at each other’s throats. Something has to give.

In the midst of all the craziness, someone dies.  Was it an accident or the result of foul play?

And the madness doesn’t stop there…

I really enjoyed Louise Candlish’s previous novel, “Our House”.  While I thought the plot for this novel was intriguing, I found it a bit over the top at times. I usually enjoy multiple points of view, but it took me a while to get everyone straight.

While this novel didn’t grip me as much as “Our House” did, I still thought it was a decent read with a kicker of an ending that I didn’t see coming.

I look forward to seeing what this author comes up with next.

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