Rosepoint Reviews – August Recap—Woohoo, it’s September!

I mentioned last month the fun with new gardening possibilities and while the sauerkraut was a bust, the carrots did pretty well. The rest of the veggies in the gallon fermenter got too soft. Now, I have ripe cherry tomatoes coming out of my ears and already dried the first batch. A bit too much pepper on some, but otherwise, they are like little tomato-flavored candies.

Okay, admittedly, that has little to do with books, although an excellent reason I’m slow to read this month. Thank heaven for audiobooks and the CE!

us back in 62
We don’t have any wedding pics, but I think this is in 1962.

Speaking of the CE…we will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary on the 2nd (cue the horns!). Hoping to do a couple things; still there are issues with gas and Covid. Because I am writing this ahead of those last three review posts, the links will be to Amazon rather than my review which I will edit upon return to my computer. (Sadly, I don’t know how to get a link to a review scheduled, not yet posted. Yes, I know—don’t say it.)

Together we did read or listen to nineteen books in August, most from NetGalley as I’m still working on the 500 badge; as I’m writing this, now up to a count of 494. So close!

The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan Overkill by Sandra Brown Out of Patients by Sandra Cavello Miller Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart Bad Axe County by John Galligan Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin Lies She Told by Cate Holahan The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner The Double Agent by William Christie The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane

  1. The Wedding Plot by Paula Munier
  2. Holy Chow by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)
  3. The Last Sentinel by Simon Gervais (a CE review)
  4. The Final Hunt by Audrey J Cole (a CE review)
  5. Such a Beautiful Family by T R Ragan
  6. Lie Down with Dogs by Liz Milliron (a CE review)
  7. The Girl Who Escaped by Mark Nolan (a CE 5* review)
  8. Overkill by Sandra Brown (a CE review)
  9. Christmas Scarf Murder by Carlene O’Connor, Maddie Day, and Peggy Ehrhart
  10. Bad Axe County by John Gallagan (audiobook)
  11. Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller (a CE review)
  12. Dark Rivers to Cross by Lynne Reeves (a CE review)
  13. Murder at Black Oaks by Phillip Margolin (a CE review)
  14. Lies She Told by Cate Holahan (audiobook)
  15. Bernice Runs Away by Talya Tate Boerner (my 5*)
  16. The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks (a CE 5* review)
  17.  A Sliver of Darkness by C J Tudor (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  18. The Double Agent by William Christie (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)
  19. The Italian Daughter by Soraya Lane (scheduled—link to Amazon) (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—promises, promises, promises. Yes, I caught it up! Not once, but twice as I lost all my input the first time. My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. You can always check out the progress of my challenges, if you are so inclined, by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 73% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 132 and achieved my Audiobook Challenge of 30 and the Historical Reading Challenge of 25. I also achieved the yearly goal of 75 for Netgalley and Edelweiss, although of course, those books are all from NG.

Having to do over the Reading Challenges page taught me one thing: I’m not keeping up with it well. Not updating, nor reporting to the challenge hosts. My apologies. I think going forward I will undertake fewer challenges and not try to list individual entries to the challenge. Makes the page unwieldy and for what purpose? Tell me, honestly…have you ever looked at it?

Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—was excellent. Did you get a chance to view it? I’ll be doing a critical review discussing both shortly. I’d love to hear what you thought, too! Did you read the book?

We here in the upper Midwest had a beautiful August—I can’t complain—with pleasant temps during the day and cool in the evening perfect for sleeping. Did you get the kiddies off to school? We’ve been informed we are expecting our second great-grandchild. Too early to know boy or girl. In the meantime, the boy is trying to walk. He’s nine months. The fun begins…Happy old woman

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest.

©2022 V Williams

Granny graphic attribute: wdrfree.com

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap—The Dog Days of Summer

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - July Recap

Last month I mentioned new food possibilities from Amazon in addition to my veggie garden and sad to say, the mushroom block was a bust. Nothing happened. No mushrooms. I’ve been enjoying lots of spouts though, they add a tang to salads and sandwiches.

The cherry tomatoes are finally ripening, so slow this year. Contrary to most of the country, our temperatures have been temperate, almost comfortable, but tomatoes like it hot so they are slow. They are so sweet though—will be like candy when I get them dried. (See book graphic below)

Fermenting jarNow the new thing in July is “fermenting.” Got a couple lids and started on sauerkraut, but blew it by not exercising more patience. Then I got a gallon size glass bottle with a special fermenting lid (see that lid? It will exhaust but not allow oxygen back in) and trying that with carrots and cucumbers. Gotta be patient with this one and let it go at least thirty days. It’s been a week today…You can see why I might do more reading in the winter.

So of course I rely heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. He’s into the reading thing—now if I can just get him into the reviewing thing! We did read or listen to seventeen books in July, most from NetGalley as I’m working on the 500 badge, now up to a count of 482 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

Rosepoint Reviews-July Recap

The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin (CE review)
Dream Town by David Baldacci (audiobook)
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (audiobook)
Cold Justice by Nolon King (CE review)
The Faithful Dog by Terry Lee Caruthers (CE review)
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (audiobook)
The Iron Way by Tim Leach (CE review)
The Secret Keeper by Siobhan Curham (CE review)
Growing Wild in the Shade by Jean Grainger
Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (audiobook)
The Line by Helen Scott (CE review)
Canned Hunt by Kerry K Cox (CE review)
Still Waters by Sara Driscoll
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Do No Harm by Robert Pobi (CE review)
I Remember You by Brian Freeman (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—goodness, I just neglect them something awful. Okay—maybe winter? My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. When I get them updated, you can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 64% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 116.

Looking forward to catching Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—they finally released it—and not sure now it’s even still there. Did you get a chance to view it? Does it do justice to the book?

I’m experiencing a drought of books that really glue me to the Kindle app and now with audiobooks as well (after The Nightingale—well, how do you follow that?), having started several and dumped. I hesitate to keep going back to favorites, but not having a lot of success with throwing a dart and hoping it sticks. Any suggestions?

How was your July? The US is either frying, in severe drought, or flooding and it appears we’ll get a taste of the former next week. Fortunately, the winds off the Great Lakes shift and give us a retrieve after a few days.

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest. I hope August will be kind to you and yours wherever you live.

©2022 V Williams

A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane – #Audiobook Review – #domesticthrillers

A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane

A Slow Ruin by Pamela Crane

Book Blurb:

April 1910. Women’s rights activist Alvera Fields mysteriously vanishes from her home one night, leaving her newborn baby and husband behind, and the case is never solved. 

April 2021. On the anniversary of her great-great-grandmother’s disappearance, Alvera’s namesake, Vera Portman, vanishes in an eerily similar manner. Six months later, the police recover a girl’s body. While the family waits, afraid to find out it’s Vera, Felicity Portman clings to hope that her missing teenage daughter is still alive. Despite all odds, Felicity senses a link between the decades-apart cases — a mother feels such things in her bones. But all suspicion points to the last person who saw Vera alive: Felicity’s sister-in-law, Marin. 

Marin, with her troubled past. Marin, the poor woman who married into the rich family. Marin, the only one who knows Felicity’s darkest secret. As Felicity makes a shocking discovery in Vera’s journal, she questions who her daughter really is. The deeper she digs, the more she’s ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed their ancestor in a terribly slow ruin.

My Review:

Quite the domestic thriller that spans almost 100 years, from great-great-grandmother to great-great-granddaughter. What in the world could tie the two over the span of a century?

My first experience with the author; didn’t have any idea what to expect. However, this turned out to be twisty and emotional with several red herrings. First, women’s rights activist Alvera Fields mysteriously vanishes from her home one night—there is NO way she’d have left her husband, let alone her newborn baby.

Then her namesake, Vera Portman vanishes similarly. Her mother rabidly hopes that the body they find six months later is not Vera. The family is very wealthy, but it doesn’t appear to have been a matter of money.

A Slow Ruin by Pamela CraneWhen a journal is found written by Alvera, Felicity devours its contents hoping for some hint as to what might have happened to her daughter. SOOO much going on, family secrets, lies, deception, and the one that might include Marin—Felicity’s sister-in-law. The journal reveals much more than anyone could have expected.

I was glad to have the audiobook to help with the many characters, the inflections in dialogue, the hidden nuances. A family dynamic run amok with the circumstances, the suspicious character the reader doesn’t much like. Is the mother over the top? This IS her daughter after all…isn’t it?

I struggled with it, at times too much detail, minutia, slowing the pace, multiple threads. And the surprise in the conclusion, although at this point, was it really? It is a slow burn mystery, a tad too slow to keep my engagement at an edge of chair level.

I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts, but I’m sure there will be other readers who will be thoroughly entertained.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Psychological Fiction
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
ASIN: B09PQ6K6T2
Listening Length: 11 hrs 35 mins
Narrator(s): Angie KaneCaitlin CavannaughLesa LockfordCarolina Hoyos
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Slow Ruin [Amazon]

Add to Goodreads

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

 

Pamela Crane - authorThe Author: PAMELA CRANE is a USA TODAY bestselling author and professional juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, and a horse rescuer. She lives on the edge and writes on the edge…where her sanity resides. Her thrillers unravel flawed women who are villainous, which makes them interesting…and perfect for doing crazy things worth writing about. When she’s not cleaning horse stalls or cleaning up after her kids, she’s plotting her next murder. Join her newsletter to get a free book and updates about her new releases at http://www.pamelacrane.com.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint Publishing

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.

Add to Goodreads

 

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

The Forever Home by Sue Watson – #BookReview – #psychologicalfiction

Happy Release Day! 

Book Blurb:

The Forever Home - Sue WatsonCarly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…

Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so much of a safe haven.

Carly thinks forever should mean forever though: it’s her home and she’ll stay there. Even the dark family secrets it contains feel like they belong to her. But someone disagrees. And, as threats start to arrive at her front door, it becomes clear, someone will stop at nothing. Because someone wants to demolish every last thing that makes Carly feel safe. Forever.

My Review:

Mark chose the eve of their 25th wedding anniversary to announce he was seeing someone else—not that he had a choice. It was tell Carly or her best friend would. Okay, not a huge surprise, he’d been a womanizing the entire length of their marriage. A sham, really, because the brand they’d created together by redesigning and renovating houses would not allow for other than being a perfect family. Beautiful home, two gorgeous children, and finally enough money to live comfortably.

A lie.

Carly Anderson had tolerated…everything. They had secrets. Behind those closed doors, there were things not to be shared with the public. And Mark was crazy occupied with his public persona. This, too, would be spun. The public would get a version. Maybe not the truth, but a version.

A slow burn.

The Forever Home by Sue WatsonI had a problem getting into the family drama. The divorce back and forth turning ugly. Carly would keep the house. Her house. She’d inherited the one of a kind Cornish cliffside home from her mother, but his new girlfriend wanted it—had wanted it all her life. Carly had been the power behind the face that Mark put on for his adoring public. Now it was quietly being undermined. Would she lose the house to Mark and his pregnant girlfriend?

“…an interview in the Daily Mail with Gemma Hough, the lead groupie and yummy mummy who virtually accosted me at the hair salon.”

Lots of tell not show; stories from Carly regarding the characters surrounding she and the family, the building of the brand, the celebrity. Slow, with repetition of salient plot points. Mark is beyond narcissistic but I eventually got tired of Carly as well. Okay, okay. She’d worked just as hard. It was her house. She’d put up with him all those years. He held her secret, although threatening her with revealing it was getting old, and the secret easy to guess. She didn’t love him; hadn’t for a long time.

I’d have been happy with much of the repetition deleted, the chapters instead making progress toward the end reveal (which, btw, was also guessed well ahead of the conclusion), and Carly showing a little more of the gumption that it took to get both of them to the status. I needed more empathy in at least one of the characters and didn’t feel it for Carly.

The author has a large fan base and dedicated followers. While this may not have been my cup of tea, no doubt her fans will appreciate her new release. FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my unbiased opinions.

Rosepoint Rating: Three stars three stars

Add to Goodreads

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Psychological Thrillers
Publisher: Bookouture

  • ASIN : B08YDCN27S

Print Length: 391 pages
Publication Date: June 4, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

 Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Kobo 

Sue Watson - authorThe Author: Sue Watson was a TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

Now a USA Today bestselling author, Sue has written eighteen novels, many have been translated into several languages. Sue is now exploring the darker side of life with her thrillers OUR LITTLE LIES, THE WOMAN NEXT DOOR, THE EMPTY NEST, THE SISTER-IN-LAW, FIRST DATE and her latest, THE FOREVER HOME.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her family in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent writing – okay, procrastinating. Her hobby is eating cake, while watching diet and exercise programmes from the sofa, a skill she’s perfected after many years of practice.

more info visit Sue’s website; http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/

Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter

©2021 V Williams

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent – An #Audiobook Review – #psychologicalthriller – #readingirelandmonth21 – #TBT

Rosepoint Publishing:  Five Stars 5 stars

Reading Ireland Month 2021 (Amazon) Editors Pick – Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Book Blurb:

From the international best-selling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it*. 

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life – wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax. 

My Review:

OMG! This book is crazy twisted. The narrative is a psychological thriller-suspense but that doesn’t really classify a novel that reaches for and secures the devastingly dark, gasp-inducing hyperventilating novel this produces.

Doesn’t that line hook you in the blurb?* It did me and like a horror film you carefully sneak peaks through your fingers, you must…need to…finish. This is a family drama. No, not drama, noir, so dark it’s causing disbelieving, disturbing waves as you read it.

Lying in Wait by Liz NugentThe storyline is set in Dublin. A woman so narcissistic that no loved one is beyond sacrificing and it would appear that’s essentially what she does either directly or indirectly.

It’s beyond this normal reader’s fathom to wrap my head around the plot line—a woman who feels justified in pushing her husband to find a surrogate. She MUST have another baby. Her son, poor innocent Laurence, is growing up, getting older. She is a smother mother and there is a cruelly unhealthy connection between mother and son. But really, her husband Andrew, the judge, isn’t the first casualty. The surrogate, Annie Doyle (a prostitute and junkie now buried in their backyard) is not either. What extended family can look at this perverse situation and continue to make excuses?

There are few characters in the book and several have their own POV’s. My heart wept for Karen (sister of Annie), ached for Laurence, raged at Lydia Fitzsimmons. So easy to go from one POV to the other, filling in little voids, little thoughts or questions, mini-contradictions. The author smoothly develops her characters, adds the tension, gravitas, that the reader doesn’t realize how darkly and deeply ugly the plot has become. It’s sick. My heart was sinking and I kept waiting for that tiny spark, the pinpoint of light. Surely it was coming.

The well-plotted pace was full of twists and turns. The conclusion hurts—does nothing go the way you hoped or predicted? And then the final blow—the fatal punch to the gut. I woke my husband sleeping peacefully beside me with a plaintive cry—NOOOO! What did I just read?! I couldn’t believe it—it CAN’T end this way—but it did? No no no

I look at the author’s picture and think she looks so normal but from where in her mind did this come? And the narrator? Nailed it!

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Fiction, Psychological Thrillers, Crime Thrillers
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster Audio
ASIN: B07BHTQPXW
 Print Length:
Listening Length: 8 hrs 33 min
Narrator: Caoilfhionn DunneDavid McFetridgeLesley McGuire
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Lying in Wait [Amazon]

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Liz Nugent - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Liz Nugent worked as a stage manager in theatres in Ireland and toured internationally before writing extensively for radio and television drama.

Unravelling Oliver was published in 2014, hit the number 1 spot for several weeks and won Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.

Liz Nugent - author witth awardLying in Wait, published in 2016, went straight to number 1 and was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club. It won the Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards.

In October 2017, Liz won the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Award in Literature.

Skin Deep was published in 2018. It also went straight to number 1 in the bestsellers charts and scooped two awards at the An Post Irish Book Awards in Nov ’18: Crime Novel of the Year AND the Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Listener’s Choice Award. Catch her at her website or her Twitter account @lizzienugent.

The Narrator: Caoilfhionn Dunne is an actress, known for Love/Hate (2010), In View (2016) and Wrath of the Titans (2012). Born in Dublin, Ireland.

©2021 V Williams

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