Favorite Books of 2022 – eBooks and Audiobooks

It is always a challenge to pick out our favorite reads of the year and 2022 had many. I’ve narrowed it down to twelve once again, one in each month. 

As always, these are a mix of Indie authors, favorite authors, as well as bestselling authors and cover a good range of genres including domestic drama, historical fiction, suspense, and thrillers. And I do so love audiobooks as well as eBooks.

Listed by month, thinking next year I’m going to note my No. 1 pick in the monthly recaps, hopefully to make a year-end wrap-up easier. Links on titles are my full review and pics are links to Amazon (US).

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene WeckerJan – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Yes! An audiobook narrated by George Guidall (one of my favorite narrators). It’s an immersive fantasy brought to life with characters that create an enchanting tale of the ancient arts and magic. It’s way outside my normal reads as #HistoricalFantasy published in April, 2013. So why did I fail to give it my coveted five stars? I disliked what happened to one of the main characters. Ya gotta listen to it—or read it—your choice. My 4.5 stars

The Lincoln Highway audiobook coverFeb – The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. No. 5 on the Amazon Charts the week I reviewed—yes—another audiobook! I adored this book! Right up until the end. Another sabotage with my happy ending. This #ComingofAge – #HistoricalFiction was released on October 5, 2021 and got a lot of attention. It should have. Right up to the end (sob). Still, it’s one you shouldn’t miss. My 4.5 stars

Poison PenMar – Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe. (Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mysteries Book 1). The CE gave this one five stars in March, Reading Ireland Month, and I included it here as I read a number of Irish authors, all of whom were good. A #domesticthriller released on February 22, 2021, the CE noted it was a fascinating study of handwriting analysis—a unique plot device. His 4.5 stars

The LosstApr – The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton. A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery. I had to include one of my favorite doggy stories and this is a sweet one. Vira is a cadaver dog almost on a paranormal level with her handler, Mace Reid. It’s a fast-paced and well-plotted #animalfiction released on June 28, 2022. My 4.5 stars

The Physicists' DaughterMay – The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans. A big reading month and this #historicalmysteries captured the CEs attention and kept it. He noted it was well written and he could not put it down. (I believe it—he burned through it.) His 4.5 stars

Before We Were YoursJun – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. OMG, this Goodreads Choice Award Winner also got five full stars from me. Loved it! Authentic, emotional (I listened to the audiobook), and as my heart rose and sank throughout this unputdownable narrative could find no reason to shave a half-star. Published in June 2017, a #fictionsagas #literaryfiction, it is indeed a beautiful #historicalfiction. 5 stars!

Lessons in ChemistryJul – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Another audiobook takes the month as a #HumorousLiteraryFiction.This NY Times bestseller and a book club pick is a cerebral argument for the ability of women to expand beyond the “big three” for women (teacher, nurse, secretary—now called Adminstrative Assistant—no additional pay). It attains that lofty five star peak, also showing as No. 20 on the Amazon Charts the week I reviewed. In the early 60s, this brainiac woman wants to be a chemist (gasp!). The author does it up right, although it definitely garnered a lot of criticism. My 5 stars

The Lindberg NannyAug – The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks. The CE was very impressed with this #HistoricalBiographicalFiction and gave it five stars. So many tidbits included that he notes is very well written and “has some literary license” to support the final court decision. A very well known and tragic case in our history that led to the creation of the Lindbergh (kidnapping) Law. His 5 stars

The Dutch HouseSept – The Dutch House by Ann Patchett an Amazon Editors’ pick for Best Literature & Fiction. Another audiobook and I’d be willing to bestow an honorary Audie for Tom Hanks’ narration. Heavy family dynamics, abandonment, love, loss, redemption. A #literaryfiction and my 5 stars. But, also vying for that 5 star mention are Painting with Fire by Amanda Hughes and The Quarryman’s Girl by Melanie Forde both by favorite authors of mine and whose works continue to be top drawer. You can’t go wrong with any of these September reads. All my 5 stars (Unusual, huh?)

Her Deadly GameOct – Her Deadly Game by Robert Dugoni. A CE review, his turn for a Robert Dugoni book and how can you go wrong with that? You can’t and he gave it 5 stars. He says the novel contains a myriad of legal wrangling and is engaging and entertaining. Dugoni books are consistently fresh and well-crafted with relatable, well-developed characters. #legalthrillers His 5 stars

Hang the Moon by Jeannette WallsNov – Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls. A unique look at the 20s and Prohibition whose main character is a woman—and a strong, savvy, and smart one at that. Loved the atmospheric narrative with themes of religious passion, bootlegging, and gang wars. (Guess nothing changes, huh?) #biographicalhistoricalfiction My 4 stars. (Loved the book, wasn’t keen on the ending, but can still recommend.)

Swamp StoryDec – Swamp Story by Dave Barry. This is a case of an ugly cover but winning the month for the content of the book. Perhaps the cover is meant to convey this is not going to be a serious book. It’s the epitomy of #darkhumor and it’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek rapid fire snark, twists, unique atmospherics, and an outrageously imaginative plot. That’s Dave Barry for you. So funny I had the CE read it. We both agreed. It’s a solid 5 stars and heartily recommended.

Obviously, not all the monthly favorites were five stars but still impressed us. So, in looking over this list, a strong pattern is becoming obvious. We are definitely leaning to #historicalfiction and #audiobooks. It’s another argument for just how many sub-genres fall under the general historical fiction category.

Reads by Genre

Do any of the above grab your interest? Read it already? Disagree with our reviews? I’d love to know and always welcome your comments!

©2023 V Williams

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

The New Neighbor by Karen Cleveland – #Audiobook Review – #DomesticThriller @RandomHouseAudio

The New Neighbor by Karen Cleveland

Book Blurb:

Idyllic neighborhood, perfect family, meaningful career. CIA analyst Beth Bradford has it all—

Until she doesn’t.

Now, facing an empty nest and a broken marriage, Beth is moving from the cul-de-sac she’s long called home, and the CIA is removing her from the case that’s long been hers: tracking an elusive Iranian intelligence agent known as The Neighbor.

Madeline Sterling moves into Beth’s old house. She has what Beth once had: an adoring husband, three beautiful young children, and the close-knit group of neighbors on the block. Now she has it all. And Beth—who can’t stop watching the woman stepping in to her old life—thinks the new neighbor has something else too: ties to Iranian intelligence.

Is Beth just jealous? Paranoid? Or is something more at play?

After all, most of the families on the cul-de-sac have some tie to the CIA. They’re all keeping secrets. And they all know more about their neighbors than they should. It would be the perfect place to insert a spy—unless one was there all along. 

My Review:

I love me a good thriller, although not usually of the espionage variety. Still, I was caught by the blurb, the recent release already in my well-stocked library which is no stranger to the author.

I’m not sure what to think of a CIA agent on the hunt for seventeen years of an Iranian intelligence agent who is now coded as “The New Neighbor.” Beth Bradford is married with children, the last of three now about to leave the nest of a lovely home in a neighborhood they’ve lived in almost the entirety of the children’s lives. They know and love their neighbors but as their circumstances are changing, think it’s time they scaled down.

That is, right up until the time Beth’s husband allows as to how they’ve both been hanging on until the kids leave. He wants to leave too, but into his own quarters with a new squeeze. They sold their home to Madeline and somehow Beth immediately suspects Madeline isn’t who she says she is.

The New Neighbor by Karen ClevelandMadeline is making friends in the hood (her friends) and keeps an odd schedule. Beth raises the question to her boss who immediately shuts her down and cautions that perhaps she’s experiencing overload with losing her kids, her husband, her home, and now after seventeen years taken off the hunt for The New Neighbor as well. The proximity to their headquarters is too coincidental, along with other points she can tick off. Can you spell neurotic?  J-e-a-l-o-u-s?

Must she lose everything? NO! She will not lose that too and determined to ferret out The New Neighbor finds ways to short cut her new assignment in order to watch Madeline.

Okay, seventeen years is a long time to work on one assignment, especially if it lacks success, why wasn’t she reassigned years ago? Has the woman just gone off the deep end? Is this all really too much for her?

The character definitely can be annoying, ramping into paranoia quickly. She’s jumping all over the place with theories forcing the reader to consider another possible neighbor when really suspicion rose early as to who it might have been and was borne out in conclusion. 

Having to concede it was an entertaining narrative, well-plotted if not redundant, it did pose several thought-provoking questions. I didn’t care for her character nor most of those in her neighborhood—her best friend also failing support for her as well.

Engaging, bordering on annoying. I read Need to Know back in 2018 and enjoyed it, noting a continuation between the family life and this one—that conflicted tension with family and her CIA position in counterintelligence searching for Russian sleeper cells in the US that she is (or was) apparently still working.

I received a copy of this audiobook from my locally well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B09MVDNPNF
Listening Length: 8 hrs 10 mins
Narrator: Lisa Flanagan
Publication Date: July 26, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link:  [Amazon]
 

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

 

Karen Cleveland - authorThe Author: Karen Cleveland is a former CIA counterterrorism analyst and the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know and Keep You Close. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. Cleveland lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.

 

 

 

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Enjoy your day

 

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest: A Mystery by Charlotte Whitney – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Rural Michigan, 1934.

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte WhitneyWhen her new husband Sam perishes in a bizarre farm accident, would-be milliner Polly soon becomes the prime suspect in his murder. As she digs for evidence to clear her name, Polly falls into a sinister web implicating her in a nefarious crime ring being investigated by White House Police. Polly’s life and those of her family are at stake.

Narrated by Polly, her self-righteous older sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s well-meaning, but flawed husband Wesley, a Methodist minister, the story follows several twists through the landscape of the rural Midwest. During the throes of the Great Depression Polly marries for money. After her husband Sam dies in a freak farm accident, new bride Polly assumes she is financially set to pursue her dream of opening a hat-making business. Instead, she becomes the prime suspect in Sam’s murder. Secrets abound and even Polly’s family can’t figure out the truth. [BookBub]

My Review:

Told in the POVs of three persons, Polly Forrest, her sister Sarah, and her brother-in-law, the Reverend Wesley Johnson, the tale is woven through the perilous, deprived times of the depression in 1934, Michigan.

The Unveiling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte WhitneyPolly’s husband Sam is killed in a farm accident and it isn’t long before she becomes a suspect. Her sister, who lives up the hill on the adjacent property with the reverend is also implicated. Sarah is the typical depression era housewife and mother of two young boys and a baby daughter. The oldest of the two sisters, she was fundamentally responsible for raising her much young sister, Polly, who had been spoiled before their mother passed.

Polly remains immature, making bad decisions and one was her marriage to Sam who appeared to have money but turns out to be abusive. Polly tries to hide injuries and she denies any problem, but Sarah suspects the truth, so she quietly wonders if Polly had had enough and “helped” her husband to his death by bull.

Living on boiled potatoes and bean soup, thoroughly patched and repatched clothing, most are living hungry with the threat of losing their farms and a roof over their heads. The reverend is losing his congregation. Polly, now desperate, is beginning to discover secrets around Sam’s farm she hadn’t known about which might make a small difference in her financial recovery. But there are others who might also have interest in those as well.

I wasn’t able to really engage in either sister or the reverend. Polly feels more like Petulant Polly and Sarah as an overworked and underappreciated workmate who had put up with her sister until she could no longer—no love lost. There were themes of domestic abuse, friendship, secrets, and felonious crimes. All characters are flawed.

Chapters alternate on each perspective while events begin to occur that gradually change the demeanor of Polly. This is often illustrated by naming Polly as Patient Polly, Impetuous Polly, or Pretty Polly allowing for a slight bit of humor in a dark theme. There is a gradual softening of Sarah as she begins to see the strength and maturing in Polly.

A rather slow start, the plot picks up speed as it hurdles into an interesting conclusion. In the meantime, however, I noted a few contradictions and slightly awkward descriptions.

I received a complimentary review ARC of this book from the author and publisher through NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mysteries, Mystery, Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Lake William Press
ISBN: 979-8-9851601-0-9
Publication Date: March 15, 2020
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Google Books  |  BookBub

Charlotte Whitney-authorThe Author: Charlotte Whitney‘s latest book, THE UNVEILING OF POLLY FORREST is a historical mystery set on a Midwestern farm in 1934. It follows her successful novel, THREADS A DEPRESSION-ERA TALE. The author grew up on a Michigan farm and heard her aunts and grandmother tell stories of “hard times,” and was surprised to hear that even farmers went to bed hungry. That served as the impetus for the settings for her most recent novels. She worked at the University of Michigan as the associate director of Lloyd Scholars for Writing and the Arts before leaving to write full-time. Currently, she lives in Arizona with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers. She loves hiking, bicycling, and yoga.

To learn more about the author’s upcoming books and subscribe to her free newsletter go to: http://www.charlottewhitney.com

©V Williams – V Williams

Have a great week!

My Twelve Favorite Books of 2021 – Month by Month

My Twelve Book Picks of 2021

So many great books this year, always a major challenge to whittle them down to ten. 

Therefore, I thought I’d try for one favorite per month. The CE tends to be generous, so I schooled him again on his favs.

Many five-star rated books and new authors competing with favorites. As always, a wide range of genres covers fiction in categories from action adventures and cozy mysteries to family drama, historical, suspense, and thrillers as well as several non-fiction biographical books in both ebooks and audiobooks.

Listed by month this time, thinking next year I’m going to note my No. 1 pick in the monthly recaps, hopefully making a year-end wrap-up easier. Links on titles and pics are to my full review that will also provide sale info.

Dead Cat, Run by Annabelle LewisJanDead Cat, Run by Annabelle Lewis – Such a pleasant surprise, this book. Mythology, yes, but still the ancient oft-repeated story of good versus evil. Each of the characters are powerful, engaging, emotive. “I’ll see you again, my friend, in the next life. And then, heed my words, dead cat. Run.”

The Wise Ass by Tom McCaffreytFebThe Wise Ass by Tom McCaffreyThis tale covers all the bases: humor, family, love, suspense, thriller, and the supernatural—somehow interwoven in a natural, almost believable way. Well-plotted, well-paced, and highly entertaining. The pulse-pounding climax alone is worth the price of the book, but don’t skip the rest, it’s just way too much fun. “Sorry, Sir! The Irish are fighting amongst themselves and the Lions refuse to come out.”

Search for Her by Rick MofinaMarSearch for Her by Rick Mofina – Rick Mofina begins a tale of a frantic search and a number of plot twists. As you read his tale you feel fairly certain that you know who the culprit is. This narrative would be a very good read for anyone studying criminal justice. [A CE review.]

Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle CosimanoAprFinlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano – [Audiobook] Is a mystery, contract killer supposed to be funny? Yes! This one’s a hoot! I really liked Nick and Julian—great, possible romantic interests—and Vero is a keeper…Loved the backfires of the plans, the twists, the dialogue, and the way the narrator delivered the well-paced plot.

Key West Dead by Mark NolanMayKey West Dead by Mark Nolan – Mark Nolan builds a great deal of tension in this narrative. Note: This is Book 6 of the Jake Wolfe series and how many have we read? ALL OF THEM. The duo of Jake and Cody are engaging, intelligent, fast, cunning, and capable, but tender and hot at the same time! [A CE review.]

Dog Eat Dog by David RosenfeltJunDog Eat Dog by David Rosenfelt – Rosenfelt has created an attorney who, having the benefit of a substantial inheritance, has quit, or tried to several times. (He runs a dog rescue called the Tara Foundation. He loves dogs.) Andy’s self-deprecating sense [of humor] bounces between that and confirmation of his brilliance. I always love it when they get to the courtroom—there are teachable moments, intelligent and full of fancy footwork, maneuvering, not to mention some memorable acting scenes.

The Perfect Ending by Rob KaufmanJulThe Perfect Ending by Rob Kaufman – This storyline fires the imagination from the get-go. It’s dark, delightfully deceiving, and emotionally wringing. The author tweaks his main character with just a slight amount of humor and moral justification. It’s so wrong. Twisted mystery, suspense. I released more than one audible groan…omg. This one is a must read!

The Harp and the Rose by Jean GraingerAugThe Harp and the Rose by Jean Grainger – Amazing how the author develops characters sure to mirror those of the time, fleshing them out, making them real, sympathetic. The stories are heart felt, she is passionate about her Irish history and the love of her home in Cork shines through the prose. The novel is compelling, strongly engaging, and hard to put down as the pace never waivers.

Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael ReisigSepGamblers, Fools, and Fate by Michael Reisig – I’ve read most of Reisig’s novels and enjoyed each and every one. The characters are richly drawn, infused with charm and wit while the dialogue is fresh and natural in the wild adventures you’ve come to expect in a Reisig novel. As always, a delightful escapade, one that fills my head with sights and sounds, heart-pounding exploits, the intelligence of animals, and the themes of love and life.

Daughter of the Morning Star by Craig JohnsonOctDaughter of the Morning Star by Craig Johnson – Okay, a couple things: In most Longmire novels, there is a lot of Native American involvement, the Bear usually featured prominently, and the author tends to include a lot of info about reservation life as well as supernatural or mystical stories handed down through the families by the separate tribes as to their beliefs, spiritually driven. And this one is no different. [Audiobook]

Under Pressure by Sara DriscollNovUnder Pressure by Sara Driscoll – There is more than one theme here, the bond between the handler and their canine, the amazing intelligence of a service K9, and that a family can be comprised not just of blood relatives but those closely bonded by circumstance. The novel is an easy one to fly through—you don’t want to put it down!

The Last House on the Street by Diane ChamberlainDecThe Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain – The 1965 accounts are electric, pervasive, and lead the frank, mind-blowing plot. The descriptions of the window-dominated house clashes wildly with the dark, invasive moss-covered forest surrounding it. Gradually, the two main characters stories merge, peeling away minute reveals, building tension, heartbreak, fear. The storytelling is immersive, impactful, tragic. It’s a tough read…“I wasn’t just moving from one town to another. I was moving from one world to another…”

No, not all the monthly favorites were five stars but still resonated and many five-star reads didn’t make the list—though as with every bookblogger—I tend to read my favorite authors and demure making them favorites all the time. Just know that in addition to those listed above, you can’t go wrong with an Amanda Hughes (Bold Women Series), Margaret Mizushima (Timber Creek K-9 Series), or Nevada Barr  (Anna Pigeon Series) or standalones.

Do any of these grab your interest? Read it already? Disagree with my review? I’d love to know and welcome your comments.

©2021 V Williams

Christmas bough

The Girl You Killed by Leslie Wolfe – #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

#1 New Release in Conspiracy Thrillers

The Girl You Killed by Leslie Wolfe

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for The Girl You Killed by Leslie Wolfe on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.

Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

 

Book Details

Psychological Thriller, Domestic, Legal
Stand-Alone Novel
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Italics Publishing (October 5, 2021)
Number of Pages – 302
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CN54114

Book Blurb

Andrea Brafford’s life is nearly perfect. A passionate marine biologist, happily married to Craig, the man she loves, recently moved into a home commensurate with their success to enjoy a life many others only dream about, in one of Houston’s most desirable suburbs. But only a few months later, a trial that dramatically polarizes their town names Craig Brafford as a defendant in the murder of his young wife, shattering the serenity of the peaceful community.

Andi’s name is on everyone’s lips, her relationships exposed and torn to shreds in a highly publicized case that has everyone’s eyes glued to the internet. Andrea’s life remains a mystery that investigators and public opinion equally fail to solve. Was she the happy, devoted wife she’d made everyone believe she was?

Only she can answer that question.

The best-selling author of Dawn Girl is back with a suspenseful, gripping psychological thriller. Fans of Celeste Ng, Alex Michaelides, and Liane Moriarty will enjoy The Girl You Killed, an addictive psychological thriller that will keep readers enthralled until the last page.

My Review

Andrea Brafford is a graduate marine biologist working on a doctorate. She is married to Craig, has a gorgeous home in a desirable area of Houston, and just interviewed for the job of her dreams—sure she nailed it. And? She just discovered she is pregnant.

The Girl You Killed by Leslie WolfeShe is over the moon with excitement about the baby—but not so sure hubby Craig will be. He’s deep in high end real estate, working feverishly to include in his client list the “whales” of the area bringing in exclusive clients with the big bucks. He has repeatedly groomed her in hosting elite dinner parties with the select invitee list (providing eye candy), subbing as chef, staging, and general go-fer duties.

Unfortunately, she did not get that coveted job at her alma mater, nor any of the ensuing positions sought. Why not?

The author skillfully builds the tension, developing Andi as a very sympathic character and Craig as a rapidly declining supportive husband. Andi is passionate about the ocean and much as she’s trying to support Craig, would love nothing more than to work as she’s been trained.

The well-plotted psychological thriller weaves forward motion into the drama with each chapter, the storyline never sags, and the way she concludes chapters with portions of court testimony builds the suspense. This doesn’t look like it will end well!

There were times I questioned Andi’s decisions—how in the face of info she’s gleaned—could she still create plausible excuses. How could that end well? Is she blind?

Stop with the Stepford thing already! Blinded by love, maybe, but not wholly stupid, nor justifying actions with all her faculties.

The pace continues to speed up, keeping the reader glued to the pages and flipping. Shocking twists, compelling, and unique. Greatly enjoyed the intelligent writing style. Loved that final twist at the conclusion–wondered when that would happen!

My first novel by this author. I’ll be looking for more.

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Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card on this  Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Leslie Wolfe - authorAbout The Author: Leslie Wolfe is a bestselling author whose novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. She creates unforgettable, brilliant, strong women heroes who deliver fast-paced, satisfying suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology.

Leslie released the first novel, Executive, in October 2011. Since then, she has written many more, continuing to break down barriers of traditional thrillers. Her style of fast-paced suspense, backed up by extensive background research in technology and psychology, has made Leslie one of the most read authors in the genre and she has created an array of unforgettable, brilliant and strong women heroes along the way.

A recently released standalone and an addictive, heart-stopping psychological thriller, The Girl You Killed will appeal to fans of The UndoingThe Silent Patient, or Little Fires Everywhere. Reminiscent of the television drama Criminal Minds, her series of books featuring the fierce and relentless FBI Agent Tess Winnett would be of great interest to readers of James Patterson, Melinda Leigh, and David Baldacci crime thrillers. Fans of Kendra Elliot and Robert Dugoni suspenseful mysteries would love the Las Vegas Crime series, featuring the tension-filled relationship between Baxter and Holt. Finally, her Alex Hoffmann series of political and espionage action adventure will enthrall readers of Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and Lee Child.

Leslie has received much acclaim for her work, including inquiries from Hollywood, and her books offer something that is different and tangible, with readers becoming invested in not only the main characters and plot but also with the ruthless minds of the killers she creates.

A complete list of Leslie’s titles is available at LeslieWolfe.com/books.

Leslie enjoys engaging with readers every day and would love to hear from you. Become an insider: gain early access to previews of Leslie’s new novels.

Purchase Link – Amazon 

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

October 27 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW,
October 27 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
October 28 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
October 29 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
October 30 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
October 31 – off
November 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 2 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 3 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – GUEST POST
November 3 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
November 5 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT
November 6 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
November 8 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHTNovember 9 – fundinmental – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2021 V Williams

V Williams

Always Remember by Cathryn Grant –#BookReview – #psychologicalsuspense

Book Blurb:

Louise loves her family. To death.

Always Remember by Cathryn GrantKelly is married with two kids, enjoying an ordinary peaceful life – until she finds her father-in-law Frank dead in her backyard sauna.

Now, Frank’s grieving widow, Louise, has installed herself in Kelly’s house and shows no signs of leaving. Ever.

In fact, she seems determined to take over Kelly’s role as mother and wife, inserting herself between Kelly and her twin boys, lavishing attention on Kelly’s husband Wyatt.

Kelly tries to be understanding – Louise has had a huge shock, after all, losing her beloved husband of so many years.

But Louise knows exactly what she’s doing, and as her horrifying agenda slowly becomes clear, Kelly realises she has to fight. For her children, her marriage – and her life.

My Review:

Don’t you just hate it when you paint yourself into a corner and then have nowhere to go? I suspect this is what happened with this story.

Always Remember by Cathryn GrantKelly and her hubby invited his parents to stay with them while Frank was recuperating from multiple bi-pass surgery. They have twin boys and it was thought Louise, her mother-in-law might be of some help with the three-year olds. Kelly took on the post-surgical care of her father-in-law and discovered him deceased in the backyard sauna, definitely against doctor’s orders, but that wasn’t all.

The grieving widow makes herself to home, caring for the children, cooking meals, light cleaning, even prompting Kelly to return to work which she missed and was happy to do. But Louise begins to make decisions around the household not wholly welcome, including encouraging Wyatt (her son) to take a leave of absence from his job to concentrate on his music and redesigning the former office.

POVs shift from Kelly to Louise to Wyatt each giving their perspective of the household atmosphere which gradually goes from softly benign to cancerous. Kelly becomes increasingly aware something is terribly wrong, Wyatt refuses to acknowledge there could be a problem with his mother, and Louise is playing the self-serving widow.

As the suspense escalates, questions are answered and become shocking, all three on eggshells dealing with the other, Kelly finding no support from Wyatt against his mother. The conclusion is dreadful, but the resolution of the situation appalling, and I had a real problem believing this is how it might play out. The secret this couple would share, untenable. Really? This is how it ends?

The narrative begins rather slowly, setting the scene, getting the reader engaged and involved with the characters. Wyatt would back his mother until you wanted to hit him over the head. Kelly kept pounding at problems, Louise kept conniving—not a person to celebrate on Mother’s Day. All three left me a bit cold. I hated what happened to Jason. Okay until then but I was not a fan of the ending of this novel.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley and these are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Thriller
Publisher: Inkubator Books
ASIN: B09J1C87RF
Print Length: 313 pages
Publication Date:  October 17, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
 Title Link: Always Remember [Amazon]

Cathryn Grant - authorThe Author: Cathryn is the bestselling author of twelve psychological thrillers, including THE OTHER COUPLE and THE GUEST, published by Inkubator Books. She is also the author of the ALEXANDRA MALLORY series, featuring a sociopath you can’t help but love.

View the complete list at her website: cathryngrant.com

Cathryn Grant’s fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines, The Shroud Quarterly Journal, and been anthologized in The Best of Every Day Fiction and You, Me & A Bit of We. Her short story, “I Was Young Once”, received an honorable mention in the 2007 Zoetrope All-story Short Fiction contest.

Her psychological suspense fiction reveals the motives and desires that lead to suburban crime. She’s obsessed with the “why” behind human behavior. In real crime, too many times, the why is left unanswered. Cathryn’s fiction tells the stories of ordinary people driven to commit crimes, especially homicide.

Cathryn also writes ghost stories—The Haunted Ship Trilogy and the Madison Keith series of novellas.

When she’s not writing, she’s usually reading fiction, walking on the beach, or playing golf, trying desperately to avoid hitting her ball in the sand or the water. She lives on the Central California Coast with her husband and two cats.

Sign up for Cathryn’s mailing list to find out when new books are released and receive a free short story about Alexandra Mallory, or contact Cathryn directly at cathryngrant.com/contact

©2021 V Williams V Williams

September Rosepoint Reviews Recap—Hello October!

Yes, the house closed the third week of September and they are moved and into their new home still crammed with boxes. I haven’t seen it yet but we are due to see it this weekend. She is loving it and very excited to start her new adventure and create memories in that lovely area of Illinois.

Frosty Dancer our Bichon Frise In the meantime, the tension and stress apparently hit the CE with more stress than he shows and was attacked with a horrendous case of shingles. In pain for days and no help from the local doc, we finally resorted to the emergency room who diagnosed him. However, with Covid19 still rampant in all it’s forms, have we had one call back from our doctor despite numerous calls for pain relief? Nope. Nada. Zip. We’re talking nerve pain which is not easily quelled and after three weeks, he’s still down. Even Frosty, our Bichon, got sick. I think that’s taking canine-human sympathy too far, and she’s been back and forth to her doctor. At least she is doing better.

Still resorting to shortcuts, not doing as much social media, and difficulty reading, but still managed fourteen book reviews for September. As usual from NetGalley and author requests, as well as audiobooks from my library. (My review links listed below.)

Regardless of the Consequences by L D Lauritzen The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula Darnell Crossing Lines by Adrienne Giordano False Witness by Karin Slaughter Keep Me Close by Jane Holland Traveller Probo by Rob Shackleford Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark Look Twice by Eva Hudson Mind Trap by Matt Cost The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (audiobook)
Regardless of the Consequences by L D Lauritzen (a CE review)
Hemlock for the Holidays by Paula Darnell
Crossing Lines by Adrienne Giordano (a CE review)
False Witness by Karin Slaughter (audiobook)
Keep Me Close by Jane Holland (a CE review)
Gamblers Fools and Fate by Michael Reisig
The Silent Witness by Carolyn Arnold (a CE review)
Fatal Solutions by Becky Clark
Traveller Probo by Rob Shackleford (three parts)
Look Twice by Ingrid Skyberg (a CE review)
Mind Trap by Matt Cost (a CE review)
The Cure for What Ales You by Ellie Alexander
The Guest List by Lucy Foley (audiobook)

Eventually I expect to catch up my reading challenges! You can check out my challenges progress (however far behind it is) by clicking on my Reading Challenges page. However, I have achieved my Reading Challenge goal for Historical Reading Fiction (10) and the Audiobook challenge (30). I feel I have also achieved the NetGalley challenge (75), but I’ll have to catch it up to confirm. And, I’m on track for hitting the Goodreads challenge of 175 at 140. Now, I’m looking at setting up a goal next year for the 500 reviews badge on NetGalley.

I’m still struggling with the widgets and the update of the most dynamic of them, finally getting an answer from one of the engineers that steered me right into doing a block widget. Seems there is no way I can continue to do classic widgets and if the widgets look like a fifth grader did it, perhaps you’ll understand. Wait! A fifth grader would probably have done better. But at least I’ve made a little progress and no, I still don’t like the block editor.

Apologies for the erratic postings, the possible edit errors I’ve missed. September has been difficult. Still, I do so appreciate my new followers and thank you again to all my active followers. I hope you and yours are doing well!

©2021 V Williams – Happy and safe autumn!

Autumn at Rosepoint Pub

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