Deranged – T.J. Ragan (5*)

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Jessie Cole is a ‘kick-ass’ private investigator who manages her own business. Presently, she is attempting to assist a friend in regaining his memory by researching his past. Along with her office manager, the hyperactive Zee, she scratches out a living doing what she loves, occasionally accompanied by boyfriend Colin Grayson, a detective.

Ben Morrison, presently estranged from his wife, is using her office as a place to bed down as he searches for his elusive memories. Injured in a motor vehicle accident years ago, Ben struggles with amnesia, and still has no idea of the kind of person he was ten years ago. Together, he and Jessie have learned some disconcerting facts that suggest a highly dysfunctional home environment, with a parent in jail.

Meanwhile, a serial killer has come to town, and begins leaving victims in his wake – young women with dubious backgrounds – along with a telltale sign. As Jessie attempts to help Colin with this newest problem, a killer sets his sights on Jessie…

This was the first book I’ve read by TJ Ragan, but it will not be my last, and I cannot wait for the next one! This is the third in a series, and as it leaves some cliffhangers, I am going to presume that they should be read in order. Fabulous read, genuine in-depth characters, and more than enough intrigue to keep you reading well into the night!

She Lies In Wait – Gytha Lodge

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I was fortunate to receive this advance reader copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

On a sunny afternoon, a young girl is running through the woods to avoid her father and settles into a small hollowed area she finds near a tree. A stick digs into her side and as she goes to remove the offending object, she realizes it’s a skeletonized finger…

DCI Jonas Sheens is cycling when he receives the call for a homicide. As he listens to the details, he realizes that the remains may very well be those of Aurora Jackson, a young teenaged girl who disappeared after a party, over thirty years ago.

Assisted by DC Juliette Hanson, Jonas revisits the past and reopens a long cold investigation. When Aurora disappeared, she was in the woods, camping with her older sister, and several teenaged friends. As the interviews begin, those same teens, now adults, begin to tell subtly different stories, yet all of them continue to dent knowing what had happened to Aurora that night. A teacher with a fondness for his students was also in the area that night – could he be the suspect they’ve been seeking? Or is there a killer in the group of teens from 30 years ago? As Jonas and Juliette fight to bring Aurora’s killer to justice, a killer will do anything to keep his secret… Jonas learns the answer to a long-ago question of his own, as well…

I very much enjoyed this English mystery! Told from the past and present, you experience Aurora’s last night in increments, as Jonas and Juliette unravel the mystery here in the present. A great read, with many side plots that will keep you guessing until the end…

Due out in stores Jan 8, 2019!! Don’t miss it!!

Only Summer – Rachel Cullen

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

This is a sweet story about four women whose summer breaks end up happening far differently than they had each imagined.

Sabrina, newly engaged, is ambivalent about planning the wedding to her physician boyfriend and his wealthy family. While happy in her relationship, settling down makes her nervous – and then she re-connects with the boy who broke her heart in high school…

Heather, recovering after a bout of cancer and chemotherapy, is restless and wants to begin living again, while her doting husband wants her to rest and ‘take it easy’. While summering on Cape Cod, she meets a man who helps her recover her strength and her spirit, but at what cost to her marriage?

Molly has recently moved from Colorado to Rye, NY, and meets her first friend, Jeannie, on a local playground. It quickly becomes apparent that Jeannie and her friends come with wealth, and Molly tries hard to fit into that lifestyle. Will she risk everything to ‘keep up with the Joneses’?

Megan is a teenager who will soon be a senior in high school, and she’s looking forward to spending the summer with her boyfriend Ryan before he heads off to college in the fall. But at the last minute, Ryan is sent to London to work for his father’s company, leaving Megan with an empty summer stretching before her. With no plans in sight, Megan reluctantly accepts a summer job on Cape Cod as a companion to Heather and her family, and it will change her life.

This book gets off to a quick start, as each chapter spotlights one of the four women and it is a bit confusing, but once you have them sorted out, it rapidly becomes a great read, with characters you’ll start to love, and want to step right in and give advice to! A great, mellow read, perfect for vacation, or a day at the beach!

Publication date of 8 Nov 2018!

Malice – Jennifer Jaynes

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com and Thomas & Mercer as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Dr. Daniel Winters seems to have it all. A gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills, a beautiful new wife, and a part in a thriving pediatric medical practice that caters to the Hollywood elite. Fresh from a honeymoon to the Cayman Islands, he returns to work and learns of an astounding new medication that the practice has been supporting, called Respira. Respira is being touted as a wonder drug, expected to cure the common cold and boost children’s immune systems in the process. Dr. Winters is a bit reserved about the drug but is advised by his boss and mentor that it is safe.

Rachel Jacobs is a young single mother, whose daughter Suzie receives a dose of Respira, and has a seizure a few days later. But she recovers quickly, and her mother reluctantly consents to a second dose of the vaccine, with devastating results…

Mia Winters is Daniel’s new wife. Still enchanted by their fairy-tale courtship and wedding, she seems to be the perfect companion. But Daniel sees her texting someone, when she thinks he’s not watching. And he soon learns that she’s not at work when she tells him she will be. Plagued with self-doubt, Daniel assumes the worst, and a chasm develops between husband and wife. He hires a private investigator to follow her. And he begins to drink steadily as a result of his suspicions about Mia – and about Respira.

Attempts to discuss concerns about the new drug with his boss are met first with reassurance, then condescension, and finally outright anger, threats, and insistence that he continue to administer the drug. But Daniel fears for his patients and attends a clandestine meeting with a reporter – and soon finds that nothing is as it seems – and danger is everywhere…

Wow – this book grabs you by the hand right off the bat, takes you on a wild ride, and doesn’t let go until the very last page!! I LOVED it and I couldn’t put it down! A fortunately fictional (for the most part) novel about big pharma, money and greed, filled with non-stop action, crazy twists, and some surprises too. A great read!!

Forget You Know Me – Jessica Strawser

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Liza and Molly were best friends all through childhood, and well into adulthood. But marriage, children and a move all have a way of creating distance, so the girls have arranged a girl’s night out via computer. When Molly goes to check on a crying child, Liza, through her webcam, sees a masked assailant enter Molly’s home. Frightened, she yells at him to stop, and he closes the computer.

Liza, terrified for her friend’s safety, drives several hours to check on Molly personally. When she arrives at her home, she finds Molly, cold and aloof, and denying that anything took place. Hurt, and puzzled, Liza returns home only to find her apartment building has been destroyed by fire, throwing her into a mental debate about fate and chance.

This novel, told in the third person, chronicles the friendship of the girls, as well as the ups and downs of Molly’s marriage to her husband Daniel. As each relationship has grown apart, and each individual has developed what seem like insurmountable personal obstacles, they find hope and strength in the bonds of friendship and love to overcome, flourish, and re-discover the true meaning of love, commitment and second chances.

This is my second read by author Jessica Strawser, and it will not be my last. Filled with love, regrets, a touch of drama and second chances, this a book that women readers can take to heart. A sweet, heart-warming story!!

Due out Feb 5th, 2019

In Dog We Trust – Beth Kendrick

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Jocelyn Hillier is a year-round resident of Black Dog Bay, Delaware, and is out for a jog on Shoreline Rd (where the rich summer people come to stay) when she chances upon dogs in the road, in danger of being struck by a speeding car. Without thinking twice, she rushes the dogs to safety, and immediately receives a job offer to care for and exercise some prized black labs. Despite her polite protests, Mr. Allardyce won’t take no for an answer, and Jocelyn finds herself the caretaker of three purebred Labradors, one who’s due to deliver pups any day.

Liam Sheridan is Mr. Allardyce’s son but is estranged from his father. As he forces a meet at a restaurant, his father unexpectedly collapses and dies, and upon the reading of the will, he is stunned to learn that Mr. Allardyce has left the bulk of his estate to his dogs – with Jocelyn as caretaker and trustee. Determined to gain his fair share of the inheritance, he files a lawsuit challenging the will.

And so begins a sweet, funny novel about love, trust, forgiveness, family and, of course, dogs! With familiar places to Black Dog Bay readers like The Whinery, The Naked Finger and the Eat Your Heart Out Bakery, this book will have you laughing all through it’s pages! Another fabulous read by Beth Kendrick!!

Publication date: 8 Jan 2019

Just After Midnight – Catherine Ryan Hyde

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Faith has fled to her family’s California beach house in efforts to flee a controlling and borderline abusive marriage. Enjoying the solitude of the quiet shore, she is taking the time she needs to heal. Then she spots a young girl sitting on the beach in the dark in a lotus position – and an unusual friendship is born.

Sarah is a young teenaged girl who flees to her grandmother after her mother’s sudden death, and her father’s apparent betrayal – he sold Sarah’s prized horse without even telling her. Sarah also has a secret – a suspicion that her mother’s death didn’t quite happen they way she was told it did.

As Faith and Sarah bond over their unusual circumstances, Sarah’s Dad is discovered to be close by, prompting Faith and Sarah to flee, while her grandmother attempts to gain custody. Sarah requests that they head to Paso Robles – where Midnight is presently boarded. As they arrive and walk towards the ring where Midnight is being ridden, she throws her rider, jumps the fence, and runs to Sarah.

As Sarah bonds again with her horse and faces anew the probability of loss, she shares her suspicious about her father’s role in her mother’s death – and Faith comes to terms with her shattered marriage and her own uncertain future.

A sweet novel about love, loss, trust, pain, growth, self-determination and perseverance…just a beautiful story!!

Available on 4 December 2018