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My pic this week is A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards.  I’m sure I’ve read some of Emilie’s books but for some reason do not have them recorded anywhere.  Either way this one sounds like a really good story to curl up with on my reading bench outside this summer!  It releases on June 25 of this year so be sure to add it to your reading list as well!

Book Description (from Goodreads)

Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies?All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice.Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder–and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused.While Wendy lies low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger?Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar–or worse?

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Descriptive, powerful, and beautiful is how I would describe Jessica Goody’s collection of poems. These poems cover a wide variety of subjects from nature, animals, and people to the normal everyday.

The main theme is transformation. Overcoming pain and trauma – showing the resilience of the human spirit through verse. Most who know me here on the blog or Facebook know that I lost my mom recently. So many of Jessica’s poems touched me deeply. Of course we know I’m not an expert in anything poetry but I feel if you read poetry and it has in some way affected you then you’ve read a beautiful piece.

There were many poems that I really liked but a few touched me on a deeper level. The one I’d like to share with you I think likely refers to a couple separating but for me it reminded me so much of my mom…

Reverie

Everything is as you left it.
The stack of books on your
nightstand, the photographs
lining the bureau, your shoes

lined up beneath the bed.
A crossword lies by your
place at the table, eternally
unfinished, a pencil guarding

the half-filled squares.
Your favourite mug sits empty:
Every crevice holds your spoor.
A strand of your hair still clings

to the cool whiteness of the pillow,
your scent like perfume in the air.

(From Phoenix: Transformation Poems by Jessica Goody)

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Source: Review copy received from the author for a blog tour with Poetic Book Tours. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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Book Thoughts

This is surprisingly the debut novel from Samantha Downing and what a winner it is!  Millicent and her husband (we never learn his real name) have been married for fifteen years. They certainly look normal. They have jobs and children but they lead quite the interesting life between the two of them. Lies, secrets, deceit, and let’s not forget murder help to keep the marriage of these two alive. Or does it?

Audio Thoughts

This was a fantastic audio. The novel itself is told from the husband’s viewpoint and the narrator, David Pittu does an absolutely awesome job of portraying him! He is the perfect narrator for this story and I enjoyed every minute of this 10 hour audio.

Final Thoughts

Yes, yes and yes! I really enjoyed this one. It hooked me from the very beginning and never let go. It is full of twists and turns and most definitely kept this listener listening! Fabulous debut!

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Source: Personal copy
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Book Thoughts

Helen and Nate are ready to simplify their lives. They’re leaving the hustle and bustle of city life for a sprawling forty-four acres of land in Vermont. They are going to build their dream home. As they get started they learn that the property has quite the past. A past with a dark and violent history. And a parcel of land with ghosts of its own. Helen, being a history teacher, is fascinated with the history of the land and sets out to learn all she can. Is the past best left in the past though? And what happens when you start digging up things best left buried?

Audio Thoughts

I enjoyed this audio. It is narrated by Amanda Carlin and Justine Eyre, both of whom are new narrators to me. I thought both of them have great voices for narration and they really brought this story to life. The audio comes in at 11 hours and 50 minutes.

Final Thoughts

Ive read or listened to many of Jennifer McMahon’s books and have loved quite a few of them. While I did enjoy this book it is in the middle for me. I found it really slow to start and it just didn’t have the same intensiveness to it as, let’s say, The Winter People. It’s still very good but moves at a slower pace. Still I love Jennifer McMahon’s writing and her stories and I did find this one a fast and easy listen that I did enjoy and I’ll be anxiously awaiting her next novel!

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Source: Review copy received from the publisher. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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Book Thoughts

Years ago, as teenagers, a group of friends get together to hang out. This time though they have a newcomer. A new boy has come to town and the teens decide to play a prank on him. He has to go through a sort of initiation in order to be a part of their little group. Imagine the scene – hormonal teenagers, alcohol, and a gun. The actions and consequences of that night change these kids for the rest of their lives.

Audio Thoughts

This was a good audio to listen to. Had I been reading the book I may not have made it through. However the two narrators of this book were really good and I enjoyed listening to them. Ari Fliakos is new to me and I liked his smooth voice. Brittany Pressley was also new to me and I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to her again. She has a great tone to her voice that makes listening to her very enjoyable. This audio comes in at 11 hours and 42 minutes.

Final Thoughts

I’ve listened to many of Lisa Scottoline’s books and really loved them. This one I’m sorry to say not so much. It has many glowing reviews as well as some not so glowing. Mine is in the middle. I found the story slow to get anywhere and even when it did I didn’t find it as engaging as many of her others. Still I was curious to see where the story would go and it ended up being an okay listen for me.

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Source: Review copy received from the publisher. No compensation was received and all opinions are my own.
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This week my pic for Wednesday Book Love is Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle.  I read this author’s book Three Days Missing and I loved it (review once again to follow one of these days).  Needless to say I’m really looking forward to getting to this one which releases June 25 of this year!

Book Description (from Goodreads)

From the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie and Three Days Missing comes a riveting new novel of suspense about a woman who, in a fight for survival, must decide just how far she’ll go to escape the person she once loved

Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning–one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

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Book Thoughts

Joe Lynch is on his way home with his son William when he notices his wife’s car in traffic. Of course they want to say hello so they follow her into a carpark. He is surprised to find her arguing with her best friend’s husband. Before he can say anything though his wife leaves and he decides to confront the husband Ben instead. That turns out to be a very bad decision on his part. Ben goes missing. All of a sudden Joe’s life is turned upside down via social media. Joe is a suspect. Even more he is left wondering if he ever really knew his wife at all..

Audio Thoughts

This was a very good audio. It is narrated by Leighton Pugh. Yet another male narrator and I really enjoyed listening to him. He has a great tone and is easy to listen to. This audio comes in at 10 hrs and 45 minutes and I can tell you it went by really quickly for this girl!

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed me from the first few lines and didn’t let go. For fans of psychological thrillers this is another one to add to your spring reading list. Well worth a read or a listen!

Source: Library copy
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I really enjoyed The Other Woman by Sandie Jones (review to come one of these days) so when I saw she had this new one out I knew I’d be adding it to my reading list.  It releases June 11 of this year and it’s yet another of my books that I’m anxious to start!

Book Description (from Goodreads)

From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .

Her first mistake could be her last.

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Book Thoughts

Another great psychological thriller! Marianne apparently has all anyone could want. Perfect husband, children, and home. We must remember that appearances can be deceiving though. Marianne’s husband is a cardiac surgeon and his only demand of her is that she be the ‘perfect wife’ and sadly nothing she does is ever good enough. To top it off Marianne has had her share of mental issues as well. So when the name Caroline falls off his tongue in a tone that Marianne doesn’t like at all she becomes obsessed with this woman she feels certain her husband is having an affair with. As I flew through the book I constantly wondered what was real and what wasn’t. Was Marianne in fact a nut job or did someone want her to think she was?

Audio Thoughts

I really enjoyed the audio version of this book. It is narrated by Katie Villa. I’ve never listened to her before but she has a nice voice for audio so I wouldn’t hesitate to listen to another by her. This audio was a hard one to stop listening to and 10 hours literally flew by for me!

Final Thoughts

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers give this one a go in audio or print. I really enjoyed it!

Source: Personal copy
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Book Thoughts

Jessica is working with a client when she overhears talk of a study which offers to pay the participant. The study is on ethics and morality. The participant is to be paid generously. Jess, needing the money, figures this is the ideal situation for her. Little did she know that the mysterious Dr. Shields would leave her questioning her own reality and literally turn her life upside down.

Audio Thoughts

This was a fantastic audio narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Julia Whelan. They do such a great job of bringing this story alive. I’ve not listened to anything by Barrie Kreinik before but I really like the tone of her voice and well Julia Whelan is one of my favourite narrators. I flew through this audio that runs 11 hours and 40 minutes. It was one of those that I just couldn’t stop listening to until the final words were uttered.

Final Thoughts

If you love psychological thrillers I highly recommend this one. It’s one of my favourites so far!

Source: Personal copy

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