REVIEW – The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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Expected publication: January 9th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

 

All the stars!!

It was the cover that first caught my eye. I loved it. And after reading the description for this novel, I couldn’t wait to read it.

As the book opens, a woman is unaware that someone is watching her.  That someone is out to ruin her.

“She is oblivious to what I have done to her”

NELLIE can’t talk about the night that began with drinks and laughter, but ended with police and despair.

But now Nellie feels safe with Richard. He helps to keep the nightmares at bay. Richard is loving, caring, and protective. He has impeccable manners and seems to fit in anywhere and with anyone. Her friends and her mother wonder if he’s too good to be true….

“Her mother didn’t get it. Richard fixed everything. She’d be safe with him no matter where they lived”

But lately Nellie has been getting strange phone calls and sometimes it seems like she’s being followed. Richard tells her not to worry, but it’s starting to make her anxious.

Nellie had come to New York to escape.

She loves her job at The Learning Ladder. It’s where she met her best friend, Samantha. She enjoys working with preschoolers, although it can be hard dealing with their insufferable parents. They love to ask personal questions, like where she’s from. But Nellie is careful not to reveal too much about her past.

What happened to make her leave Florida? What is Nellie hiding?

Nellie doesn’t know very much about Richard’s ex. Just that they split up before he met Nellie. Richard really is the best thing that ever happened to Nellie.

“She’d always regret certain decisions in her life, but choosing Richard would never be one of them”

VANESSA is living at her aunt’s house. Morning is the worst time of the day because for a moment she can forget, but then reality comes crashing down around her. She imagines Richard and her replacement and what they are doing at that moment. Her aunt believes that Vanessa is the victim in all of this. But Vanessa wonders what her aunt would think if she knew the truth…if she knew what Vanessa had done.

She wonders if she’ll ever have peace….

“My regret is an open wound”

Vanessa now works as a sales associate at Saks. She waits on the wealthy women that she used to lunch with. Richard got the house, the cars, the money…everything. It’s like he wants to erase their relationship, to pretend like she never existed.

“I entered the marriage with nothing. I hadn’t worked. I hadn’t borne him children. I’d been deceitful. I hadn’t been a good wife”

It’s so easy to make assumptions. I was positive I knew what was going on but I was so wrong.

Like the book says…

Assume nothing”

Who is telling the truth? Who can be trusted?

At first I found the beginning a little slow, but then I realized that the authors were trying to set the scene by giving some background. It wasn’t long before I was pulled into the story and the lives of these characters.  I was so sure I knew where things were headed. I was in shock at the first twist, confused and thinking I read something wrong or missed a page.   It was so unexpected ….but I loved it. I really appreciate when a story is able to blindside me like that.

“The Wife Between Us” is a twisted and complex psychological suspense novel.  A story about marriage, friendship, betrayal, manipulation, obsession and more.  A fast-paced and addictive novel that held my interest from start to finish. This story kept me on my toes guessing right up until the very end. I honestly can’t wait to read more from Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: After Anna by Alex Lake

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Published November 19th 2015 by Harper Collins

 

 

Every parent’s worst nightmare…

If only…

If only you weren’t running late at work. If only you had remembered to charge your phone. If only the school was paying attention. These are the things that Julia is thinking when she arrives at her daughter’s school and realizes 5-year-old Anna is not there. The search is on but Anna is nowhere to be found. She’s vanished without a trace. No one saw anything.

But a week later Anna is returned safe and sound. Everyone is desperate to know what happened. Anna remembers nothing about when she was taken or where she was the time she was gone.

Right from the beginning I had a very hard time putting this book down. I found it quite different from other missing children books. I was really able to get into the abductors head as part of the story is told from their point of view….a very twisted and psychotic point of view. At first I was a little put off by Julia. However, as the story progressed I started to warm to her. Her strong love for her daughter showed in her thoughts and actions. All of the characters were intriguing. The fast pace of the book kept me interested… I thought I had it figured out at one point but I was only partly right. Even so I was still very invested in the story and how it would all play out.

As a parent it was absolutely terrifying to imagine how this would feel if it happened to me.  The story had me gripped and I really wanted to know who took Anna and why.

A well written and exciting read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

4 Stars!!

Throwback Thursday: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

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Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is:  Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley

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Published March 19, 2013 by Katherine Tegen Books

 

Goodreads Description:

 

Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back–a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

Liz Coley’s alarming and fascinating psychological mystery is a disturbing—and ultimately empowering—page turner about accepting our whole selves, and the healing power of courage, hope, and love.

 

My thoughts:

I read this book about four years ago but it’s stuck with me all this time. A tough and emotional read due to the themes it entails, but I was extremely impressed by the writing and delivery.  I could tell that Liz Coley had really done her research. I recall being so engrossed in the story that I didn’t even realize it was past 3am.

A great read that I highly recommend.

 

REVIEW : Just Between Us by Rebecca Drake

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Expected publication: January 9th 2018 by St. Martin’s Griffin

5 Stars!!!

 

This is the second book from Rebecca Drake that I have read. Last year I read “Only Ever You” which I thought was a great read. So I was pretty excited to get my hands on this new novel.

“Just Between Us” is about four good friends – Alison, Julie, Sarah and Heather who seem to have it all. They all seem happy, healthy, and financially stable with great families. But we should never assume to know what goes on in a person’s mind or their marriage and especially behind closed doors.

The story is told from each of the four characters point of view, beginning with Alison. Alison is thinking back and playing the “what-if” game. What if they hadn’t moved to Sewickley? What if they had purchased a house in a different neighborhood? What if she had never met Julie at preschool drop-off?

“This is the way of fate – all of these pieces that must slot into place, one leading to the other, a progression toward a conclusion that seems inevitable only after the fact”

If all of that hadn’t happened, then the four women would likely never have met. And if they hadn’t met then they wouldn’t have been together that Friday afternoon at Crazy Mocha’s and Alison would never have asked the question that set everything in motion…..

“How did you get such a nasty bruise?”

Heather is married to a very successful plastic surgeon, Victor Lysenko. They seem to have a wonderful marriage. But Alison is positive that Heather is being abused. The other women aren’t so sure. Julie thinks that Alison is making assumptions and feels that Heather would have confided in them if Victor was hurting her. However, when things escalate, all of the women fear that something horrible is going to happen to Heather. They are almost expecting the call when it comes.

But nothing could have prepared them for what happens next.

How far would you go to protect one of your closest friends?

But things aren’t always what they seem and Heather isn’t the only one with secrets. All of the women have secrets that they don’t want known. As more information comes to light, doubt begins to creep in. Suspicious and paranoid, soon they are all looking over their shoulder, anxious about what could happen next.

“What had seemed like a good decision in the middle of the night looked like a horrible decision in the light of day, and I wished there were some magic morning-after do-over pill that could reverse everything”

I was really impressed with this novel. At first it was a little hard to keep track of whose point of view I was reading, but as I got to know each character it became easier. I really liked that at the top of each page near the page number it said the character’s name. So if I was unsure I just had to look up.

This is a story that explores friendship and the things that we will do for our friends. However, it also shows us there is much we may not know about those we care about, those we love. The author writes about friendships in a very realistic way. Although these women are very close, they don’t always get along. Sometimes they make snarky comments or talk about each other behind their backs. But they are always there for each other when it really counts.

The author builds the tension and heightens the suspense, making it very difficult to put the book down. With great characters and an interesting plot, I became thoroughly absorbed in this novel and had to know what was going to happen next. And just when I thought I had things figured out? A monkey wrench was thrown in and almost everything I thought I knew was wrong.

Rebecca Drake has done it again. I was thrilled with her last novel and “Just Between Us” was another winner for me. I will be anxiously awaiting more from this very talented author.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin and Rebecca Drake for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.