The Wife Who Knew Too Much – Michele Campbell

Thirteen years ago, young Tabitha Girard chanced to meet Connor Ford – she, a ‘pool girl’ working at the local country club, and his family were members of the same club. Being worlds apart economically, they had nothing in common, but young love was not to be denied, and they carried on a whirlwind summer romance until Connor’s grandmother caught them together and angrily sent Tabitha on her way. 

Now, Connor is making headlines as the husband of the infamous Nina Levitt, so Tabitha is stunned to see him walk into the Baldwin Grill where she’s a waitress – even more so when the hostess seats him in her section.  Shocked and seemingly elated to see her again, Connor asks Tabitha is she’ll meet after work to catch up on things. Turns out he’s in town investigating a potential business venture and is staying at the home of a friend – a night of talking reveals that being the husband of a famous woman isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Tabitha and Connor start their relationship once more.

As Tabitha waits impatiently on the sidelines, Connor desperately searches for a way out of his marriage without forfeiting all of the money that he’s married into – until the fateful night after a 4th of July party finds Nina floating in her pool, a presumptive victim of suicide…leaving Connor free to be with Tabitha. But an evolving set of circumstances lead police to re-open the investigation…with the suspicion that Nina was murdered. 

As Tabitha – now Tabitha Ford – tries to adjust to the jet setting life Connor leads, he is equally determined to remain above suspicion. But then Nina’s diary turns up – and its’ words leave Tabitha speechless – and turn her world upside down. Now she must discover if anyone in the household can be trusted – or if her whole world has become a well-orchestrated lie…

This is one of those books that hooks you right from page one and keeps you frantically turning pages just to find out if you’re right (or in my case wrong!) about the roles of each character you meet inside the cover. This one kept me up well into the night (yes, I know, many of my books do) because it was just that good!!  Highly recommend!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

A Bad Day for Sunshine – Darynda Jones

I have to preface this review by saying that this book was amazing! I initially received it as an advanced read offering from the publisher and downloaded it without a second thought and promptly forgot about it– hence my super late review.  As I cruised through the pages today, completely unable to put it down, I could only shake my head in disbelief that it had gotten by me for so long…I laughed, I cried, turned pages as fast as I could, and when finished, I immediately hit up Amazon, hoping desperately that the second book had already been released – but alas, I have a few more months to wait! Darn it!! 

Sunshine Vicram has returned to her hometown to begin her new job as elected Sheriff of Del Sol, New Mexico. Interestingly enough, she never applied for such a job, and has no idea how her parents not only engineered her application for the position and ran her campaign,  let alone ensuring her victory. But none-the-less, she has returned to her roots, with her 14-year-old daughter Aurora, in tow and is preparing for her first day on the job. 

Del Sol is a quirky little town, with an elderly flasher named Doug, an ongoing feud over a rooster named Puff Daddy and a woman who bakes muffins that foretell calamity and inspire dread whenever a fresh batch appears at the station.  But Del Sol hasn’t always been this calm… Years ago, as a teenager, Sunshine was the victim of a kidnapping for ransom, and was inexplicably dropped off injured (and unbeknownst at the time pregnant), with no recollection of her ordeal, or the weeks preceding it and no clues as to her abductor.  

Del Sol is also home to the Ravinders’, a bootlegging, moonshine making family that have been the bane of Sunshine’s existence since Hailey Ravinder tried to stab her with a pencil when she was three and stole her bicycle years later. Levi, Hailey’s brother, has always been a source of trepidation for Sunshine as well, even as she still can’t quite shake her teenaged crush on him.

Summer’s first day at the office starts off with a big batch of muffins, an accident, and the reports of a missing teen, which immediately brings Sunshine back into the cloudy memories of her abduction. Shortly thereafter, she receives a letter from the missing teen herself, thanking Sunshine for her daughters’ friendship if she’s killed –which details a premonition that she’s had as a child of her abduction. Determined to find her alive, and to learn the circumstances of her own fate all those years ago, Sunshine and her deputies begin to investigate. 

Meanwhile Auri’s first day of school has been anything but mundane. Her new friend Sybil seems to have blown her off after promising to show her the ropes, and a recent party with a confiscated keg, has earned Auri the nickname ‘narc’, even though she didn’t say a word. Added to that, she’s earned the ire of a classmate, who seems out to get her. To make things worse, she’s assigned a project with the quietest kid in class, Cruz, whom she can’t quite figure out. 

And so begins the adventures of Sunshine and Aurora and as they settle into their lives in Del Sol, New Mexico, where nothing is quite as it seems and yet the danger is quite real – and closer to them than they could possibly realize..

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

Deep Into The Dark – P.J. Tracy

Sam Easton is a former soldier, who still struggles with PTSD from his last tour in Afghanistan, where his entire team was wiped out by an IED. Miraculously (or not) he survived, but with extensive injuries to one side of his face, that remain, along with the frequent nightmares. He sees his therapist weekly and works as a barback in one of many of L.A.’s establishments. His wife finally left three months ago, and Sam is still trying to put his life back together.  He works with a young woman, Melody Traeger, who battles her own demons. A former band member of Poke, with the stage name ‘RoxyCodone’, she has put her past and her drug addiction behind her as she struggles to gain a sense of normalcy. When Melody is assaulted by her boyfriend, Sam looks out for her and offers her a place to stay. 

Margaret “Maggie” Nolan is one of LAPD’s Homicide Detectives, and she and partner Al Crawford have just caught a case – a young woman who has been brutally killed and left for dead in a hotel room, a suspected victim of the ‘Miracle Mile Killer’.  A task force has been formed; headed by fellow Detective Remy Beaudreau, who is determined to catch the killer, despite very few leads thus far. Maggie’s brother was also a war casualty, and she still struggles with his loss. 

When Melody returns to her apartment, she finds someone has left her roses after climbing through a window – she assumes it’s Ryan trying to make amends, but he denies being the sender.  Mel also notices a Jeep out in the street – she’s fairly certain she’s seen that Jeep before and wonders if she’s being followed. Fearful of the possibility of an unknown visitor, she looks to Sam for assistance. Then, her boyfriend Ryan is found dead, with another murder soon following in its wake, and Sam quickly comes under suspicion. 

As Maggie and her team hunt for a killer, Sam and Mel take refuge, as they try to protect themselves from an unseen, yet relentless enemy. But he may be even closer than they think, as Sam also learns that some nightmares do come true…

I have long been a fan of P. J. Tracy’s Monkeewrench series, so I was super excited to see that a new series was in the works! Initially a mother daughter writing team, Tracy Lambrecht has taken a firm grip on the reins after her mother’s death, writing a gripping, page-turning, action packed thriller – with a true-to-life exploration of PTSD through Sam’s eyes – amidst murder and mayhem in the seedy background of the City of Angels. I can’t say enough! A great read, with all the promise of a fabulous series to come! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!

Big Lies In A Small Town – Diane Chamberlain

It’s 2018, and Morgan Christopher is currently incarcerated in the North Carolina Prison System. She had been a third-year art student when she was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left another young woman paralyzed. A year into her sentence, she is still struggling with the truth of her situation, when a guard summons her to a visitation room.  Upon entering the room, she finds two women waiting for her, one of whom is a lawyer, and they have an amazing proposition for her. 

Morgan has somehow caught the eye of a famous artist who has recently died. While she is well acquainted with his work, she cannot fathom how he could possibly have known her, nor how he would have chosen her for the project she’s being offered – the opportunity to be paroled and to restore an old mural that was originally planned to hang in the Edenton, NC Post Office.  However, the offer comes with a catch. The work on the mural must be completed in two months’ time.  Desperate to be free, Morgan accepts the offer.

In 1939, a young Anna Dale receives a letter from the US Treasury, indicating that she has won a contest; she is the artist selected to create a mural for the Edenton, NC Post Office. Having recently lost her ailing mother, Anna opts to take a short trip to explore the small waterfront town of Edenton, to gain a flavor for the town, and gain ideas for the painting. A young woman living in New Jersey, she’s aware of the divisions that still exist between races south of the Mason Dixon line and hopes to design a mural to honor all of the residents of this small southern town. Embraced by the townspeople, she opts to remain in Edenton until completion of the mural.   

As Morgan gets herself settled in her benefactor’s home in Edenton, she’s appalled by the shape that the mural is in when she finally lays eyes on it – mildew, scratches and abraded areas of paint adorn the canvas, and with no experience in restoring old works, she’s realizing there’s likely no way she’ll be able to complete this project to its specifications. As she slowly works to uncover the images, she becomes very intrigued by the painter Anna Dale, who seemingly disappeared after the mural was painted. And why was the mural hidden away and never installed in its place of honor? 

Told from both Anna’s time and Morgan’s present, this story will immerse you into a past southern culture, where the color of your skin dictated your very freedom, as it very quickly draws you in, captures your heart, and has you frantically flipping pages as you’re cheering Morgan on, and yearning to know what became of young Anna.  I originally chose this book because of its NC setting, and my visits to the town of Edenton, and I’m so glad I did – this story is totally enchanting!!  An absolute gem!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.  Do you love to read?? Visit netgalley.com and start reviewing books today!!