Friday, August 19, 2022

Book Review for Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

 Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier 

Genre:  Mystery Thriller

Hardcover, 352 pages

Published July 19th 2022 by Minotaur Books

 


Taken from Goodreads:
  When Paris Peralta is arrested in her own bathroom—covered in blood, holding a straight razor, her celebrity husband dead in the bathtub behind her—she knows she'll be charged with murder. But as bad as this looks, it's not what worries her the most. With the unwanted media attention now surrounding her, it's only a matter of time before someone from her long hidden past recognizes her and destroys the new life she's worked so hard to build, along with any chance of a future.

Twenty-five years earlier, Ruby Reyes, known as the Ice Queen, was convicted of a similar murder in a trial that riveted Canada in the early nineties. Reyes knows who Paris really is, and when she's unexpectedly released from prison, she threatens to expose all of Paris's secrets. Left with no other choice, Paris must finally confront the dark past she escaped, once and for all.

Because the only thing worse than a murder charge are two murder charges.

Things We Do in the Dark is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.

My Thoughts:  Amazing!   I love this thriller.  Paris is charged with the murder of her husband.  While this is where the story starts it is by no means where it continues.   Things We Do in the Dark is full of twists and turns that kept me turning pages, reading the words, and trying to put it all together.   I did not find this book hard to figure out.   As the story continued, I was able to figure out what Paris’ secrets are and why she would like them to stay in the past.  But… I did not see the big twist at the end.   LOVED IT!   

Paris is a great character, her story is unique.  The fact that she was able to come from a twisted background but has not let that take her down.   She has worked hard to keep her past in the past and has become an accomplished yoga instructor with her own studio. I love stories like this, stories where a person with a tough childhood/young adult comes through and makes herself successful.   There is so much to her story and she had some great friends to stand next to her while she fought the murder arrest. 

Jennifer Hillier is a great thriller, mystery author.  I am excited to see what other books she has out there.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves twists and turns and surprise endings.

 

Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble



About Jennifer Hillier (taken from her website):  Hi there, I’m Jennifer Hillier. I imagine the worst about people, and then write about it.

I’m the USA Today bestselling author of seven psychological thrillers, including the national bestseller Little Secrets, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Anthony Award, and Jar of Hearts, which won the ITW Thriller Award and was shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards. My latest thriller is Things We Do in the Dark. My earlier novels—which I hope you’ll also check out—are CreepFreakThe Butcher, and Wonderland. My novels have been published in twenty-three languages so far.

I’m Filipino-Canadian, born and raised in Toronto, but I spent eight amazing years in Seattle, which is where I first became a published writer. I’m a Seahawks fan but I married a Packers guy. We have a young son who looks most like me when he’s crying. I’m afraid of the dark and can’t sleep unless I’ve checked the locks on the doors several times. I love writing when it’s raining, sleeping when it’s sunny, and reading after everyone else has gone to bed. I cherish my family (those who read, and those who don’t), and my friends (those who write, and those who don’t). I’m a cat person without a cat, which makes me sad. But I’m now back in the Toronto area permanently with my family, which makes me happy.

I also have a newsletter, which I mostly forget to write and send out, but when I do, I think it’s pretty good. You can sign up here. I promise I don’t spam, and sometimes I give stuff away.

You can also find me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, but hopefully not every day. My newest novel, Things We Do in the Dark, will be coming July 19, 2022. I’m excited for you to read it, and I hope you’ll consider pre-ordering it now. It’s so great for the author when you do!

 

Thursday, August 18, 2022

New Release from Gia Stevens, Author of Flirting with the Playboy

 

Title: Flirting With the Playboy
Series: Harbor Highlands Series
Author: Gia Stevens
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: August 14, 2022


Flirting with the sexy stranger on a dating app was easy.
Finding out the sexy stranger is also the office playboy…
I wasn't expecting that.

They don't call Bennett Pierce the office playboy for nothing. The parade of women through his doorway makes me want to dry-heave. Sure, he looks like he strolled off the page of a male fashion magazine, but his personality is anything but desirable.

But after catching my ex cheating on a dating app and Bennett witnessing my very public break up, his offer of margaritas is too hard to pass up. Tequila didn't make my clothes fall off, but it did lead to one scorching hot kiss.

Instantly, I regret it but an unexpected message on the dating app distracts me from too much self-loathing. And when the friendly banter quickly turns into steamy flirting, Bennett Pierce is one swipe right forgotten.

And when we finally meet, I realize…
I've been flirting with the playboy.







 





Gia Stevens resides in the up north of Minnesota. She lives for the warm, sunny days of summer and dreads the bitter cold of winter. A romantic comedy junkie at heart, she knew she wanted her own stories to encompass those same feelings.

When she’s not busy writing your next book boyfriend, Gia can be found playing in her vegetable garden, watching reruns of The OC and Gossip Girl, or curled up with a good book.




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Book Blitz for Accidentally Perfect by Marissa Clarke with a GIVEAWAY

 

Accidentally Perfect
Marissa Clarke
(Hideaway Harbor, #1)
Published by: Entangled: Amara
Publication date: March 1st 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Workaholic Lillian Mahoney has given everything to her job. The hugely popular lifestyle show she helped create monopolizes her time, energy, creativity, and anything remotely resembling a life. But all it takes is the show’s womanizing, egomaniac star throwing a massive hissy on live TV to utterly implode Lillian’s career in a New York minute.

Now Lillian’s hiding out in the gorgeous and completely unknown seaside village of Blink, Maine. Out of gas. A stolen wallet. A broken heel. And worse, she’s somehow managed to completely piss off the town’s resident hunk, Caleb Wright. She’ll show that hot, grumpy single father exactly what she’s made of.

But Blink isn’t quite what Lillian expects—and neither is Caleb…or his feisty teen daughter she can’t help but love. And while her entire life and career are in shreds, Lillian might just discover what happens when she gives her bad first impression a second chance.

Each book in the Hideaway Harbor series is STANDALONE:
* Accidentally Perfect
* Accidentally Famous

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Only 99¢ for a limited time!

EXCERPT:

“Good morning,” Caleb said, taking a step closer to her.

Lillian smiled and brushed some hair back off her forehead. “Good morning. This place is really nice. You built it?”

It was pretty basic. Nothing fancy, but it was well-built and clean. “I had a lot of help, and the residents of Blink raised the funds, but yes. I did a good part of the work,” he said.

She looked him up and down. “And here I thought you were just eye candy.”

“Only if you have a sweet tooth.” He hadn’t known what to expect after the kiss on her porch, but he and his rapidly heating body loved her teasing.

She put her hands on her hips. “Why, Grumpy Caleb. If I didn’t know better, I’d think you had a sense of humor.”

“I have a lot of things. Wanna see?”

Blush flushed from her neck all the way to where her hairline began. He loved this side of her. All-business Lillian liked a good flirt. He was happy to oblige. “Grumpy Caleb?”

“That shoe seems to fit,” she said as she strode toward the kitchen with a grin. He followed.

Author Bio:

Marissa Clarke is a multi-award-winning, RITA nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her ever-patient husband, two cantankerous Cairn Terriers, and an abundance of bossy chickens.
She loves to hear from readers, so please reach out through social media or on the contact form on her website, http://www.marissaclarke.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest


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Book Blitz for A Heartbeat Away from You by Ann M. Miller with a GIVEAWAY

 

A Heartbeat Away from You
Ann M. Miller
Publication date: August 16th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Young Adult

After a daredevil play on the baseball field leads to a four-minute long cardiac arrest, seventeen-year-old Ali Benton is lucky to be alive. Now she wants to make the most of her second chance-and she’s not going to let a pesky little pacemaker, or her helicopter dad, slow her down.

Between chairing multiple school clubs and working two jobs to help his single mother pay the bills, Max Delaney has got every second of every day planned. His childhood nemesis, Ali, doesn’t figure into any of them. But when her overprotective father offers him cash to keep an eye on her and steer her away from baseball, his plans change.

Ali can’t figure out why Max, the condescending know-it-all, is sticking to her side like Krazy Glue, and Max can barely tolerate headstrong Ali. But opposites attract, and before long, fighting turns to kissing. Even as sparks fly, the secrets they’ve been keeping threaten to tear them apart. When Max learns Ali’s been putting herself in harm’s way and playing ball in secret, he struggles with how to tell her father. If he tattles, he’ll lose her trust. If he doesn’t, he may lose her heart…in more ways than one.

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EXCERPT:

The tears spilled down my heated cheeks as I stumbled down the steps to the lawn. Fabulous. Now I was crying like a little kid. I needed something to kick or throw or—

Thud.

I crashed into someone. The top of my head whacked into what felt like a chin. Grunting, I stumbled backward. Two hands gripped my arms, steadying me. “Whoa. Slow down.”

A broad chest hovered just inches from mine, clad in a grass-stained T-shirt. Dazed, I lifted my head—and found myself staring into a pair of gorgeous eyes. We’re talking deep chocolate brown with little flecks of gold and framed by sexy dark eyelashes. Those eyes peered down at me, laced with a mixture of surprise and concern. His hair—a shade darker than his eyes—fell in a tousled wave across his forehead. Stubble dusted his strong jawline, and his tanned skin practically glowed in the afternoon sun.

He stuck his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his heels. His shirt was too small for him, fitting snugly across his chest. Tingles danced along my skin as I scanned his well-defined torso and arms. Who was this hot stranger in my backyard?

“You okay?”

“Huh?” I tore my eyes from his abs and forced myself to focus on his face. His amazing face.

“You hit your head pretty hard. Are you okay?”

Oh. My. Freaking. God. I swiped my hands across my tear-stained cheeks and took a step back. I knew that voice. This was no stranger.

My eyes widened. “Max?”

A faint blush tinged his cheeks. He flashed me a sheepish smile, wide enough to display a row of perfectly straight teeth. “Hi, Ali.”

Shock radiated through my body, keeping me rooted to the spot. This couldn’t be Max. Max had poufy hair and a mouth full of metal. He was stick thin with an acne-covered face and thick-rimmed nerd glasses. And his eyes… his eyes had never looked so bold and brilliant.

“I got contacts,” he said, as if reading my mind.

“Oh.”

His gaze tracked the length of my body. “I didn’t expect you to look so… well, so different.” His mouth tipped up on one side. “This is a good look for you.” Nothing sheepish about his smile now. It was mocking. Arrogant. And there was his critical tone, the one that made me want to slap him across the face.

The strange tingly feeling completely evaporated, and my body tensed. His looks might have changed, but his personality hadn’t.

“What are you doing in our backyard?” I asked in a terse voice.

“Your dad pays me to mow the lawn.”

My enemy doing my yard work? Not when I was around. Contrary to what Dad thought, I was perfectly capable of physical activity. My heart may have been slow, but the pacemaker brought it up to a rhythm that was just as normal as Max’s. “You can stop,” I said. “I can do it now that I’m here.”

“I don’t think so.”

“You don’t think so?” I let out a harsh laugh. “Oh, excuse me, I didn’t realize you had a say in my family affairs.”

He whistled. “Wow, still the same hotheaded Ali.” He stepped away and grabbed the lawnmower from where it stood in front of the shed. “This is my job. I get paid to do it, and as far as I can tell, Mr. B. wants to keep it that way.”

Oh, I bet he does.

“Besides,” he continued, “this is newly sodded grass, and there’s a bit of an art to mowing it.” He raised his eyebrows at me. “I doubt you’re familiar with the method.”

Anger burned in my veins. “Still the same condescending Max.”

I jabbed my forefinger at the observatory next door. Sun glinted off its walls, blinding me. “Look, why don’t you go help your own father? I’m sure he’s got…” I trailed off, but I’d realized my mistake too late. Between my dad and Max, I’d been so riled up that I’d completely forgotten about what had happened to Mr. Delaney.

I quickly dropped my hand, my cheeks hot. When I opened my mouth to do damage control, nothing came out.

Max turned his own gaze to the observatory and curled his fingers over the lawnmower’s handle. A shadow crossed his face and something that looked like pain flashed in his eyes. But when he refocused on me, it was as if he’d flipped a switch. His expression was void of emotion, his stunning eyes vacant.

“Yeah, that might be a little difficult,” he said in a cool, detached voice, “since my father’s dead.”


Author Bio:

Ann M. Miller writes young adult fiction about first loves and complex family dynamics. Her debut novel Captured in Paint was published in 2021, followed by the sequel, Illusions in Paint, in 2022. Her forthcoming YA contemporary romance A Heartbeat Away from You will be released in August 2022.

The youngest of six children, Ann grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, where the local bookmobile fed her addiction to Nancy Drew mysteries, Sweet Valley High books, and Stephen King horror. After graduating from the University of King’s College, she moved to Newfoundland, an island that makes up for its unforgiving climate with beautiful coastlines and majestic icebergs.

When not reading or writing, Ann can be found spending time with her husband and son or binge-watching her favorite TV shows while curled up with the four-legged members of her family.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Book Blitz for Hiding from the Truth by A.B. Medley with a GIVEAWAY

 

Hiding from the Truth
AB Medley
(Finding the Truth Series, #2)
Publication date: August 16th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

Secrets don’t keep.
Lucy’s are life-changing and dangerous.
Her darkest one is an abusive ex who will stop at nothing to control her, leaving only a smoking ember of who she used to be.
She thinks she’s alone in the battle to get her life back.
Then she meets Tate.
The one man who seems to tear down every defense she’s built around her heart.
The problem is…he doesn’t want a relationship and she wants it all.

Tate’s no stranger to secrets, but he’s content until he meets her.
At first sight, he’s enamored by Lucy.
But the more he discovers, the deadlier her truth becomes.
Now he’s determined to keep her safe whether she wants his help or not.
Suddenly—the ice around his heart is melting, leaving him helpless to fight his feelings for her.

Can they overcome their pasts and the real danger they face to give love a fighting chance, or will they keep hiding from the truth?

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EXCERPT:

He steps toward me and hesitates. “Call me if you need me…or anything at all. I’m not
sure I want to leave you after the night you’ve had.” His blue eyes bore into mine, searching for the truth. A truth I’m not willing to tell just yet. “We’re still going to talk. You need to tell me what happened.” His features harden as if he’s masking anger.

“Tate—” I start but he cuts me off by closing the space between us and brushes the back of his hand over my cheek.

“Don’t overthink it, Lucy. You’re safe here with me. You can trust me.” I swallow against the burning in my throat as I try to stifle the urge to cry. This man is out of his mind if he thinks I can trust him. I trust he won’t physically hurt me, but emotionally is a different matter altogether. Not to mention, he doesn’t need to get in the middle of my mess. He barely knows me.
He drops his hand and walks away. I stay still, my feet planted firmly on the hardwood. Rocky jumps down and sits at my feet, as if sensing my pain.

I lower to my knees, and he licks my cheek. “Thanks, Rocky. I can trust you can’t I, buddy?” I scratch him behind the ears again. His tail thumps the hardwood as I hear my phone beep. I check it and almost drop it. My dad, well Steve. Why is he texting me? I quickly check the message.

Dad: Hey Lucy. I just talked to your mom. Can I call you?
Me: Sure.

Almost immediately, my phone rings. “Hello?”

“Hey, honey. Your mom told me what happened. Are you okay?” He sounds like he did before he left. Why does he care now? I don’t get it. I’m getting whiplash from all the men in my life.

“I’ve been better, but I’ll be fine…always am. You taught me I had to be,” I say hoping he’ll feel even the slightest bit of remorse for how he left me.

“I’m sorry, Lucy, truly. I’m coming home to see your mom—and you, if you’ll let me.” I reach for the bed to make sure it’s there to catch my weight. When I drop onto it, I can’t stop the angry tear sliding down my cheek. I won’t let him hurt me again, and facing him, especially now, is not something I’m sure I can do. I swallow and compose myself enough to answer.

“I don’t know. I’m trying to process literally everything in my life right now. You walked out on me and didn’t look back. What do you want? I don’t understand why you want to see us.”

The line goes silent for a few seconds. “Lucy, we need to talk. All of us.”

“Whatever. I have to go.” I hang up before he can say anything else, lying back on the bed, staring at the ceiling in shock for a few minutes before deciding to shower and call it a night. I get everything in the bathroom ready and take a quick shower. When I get out, I wipe the steam from the mirror and see the fading bruises on my arms and even my inner thighs. I have one on my ribs too.

I lean in closer and examine my face. When I look myself in the eye, I don’t recognize the woman staring back at me. She’s weak. She’s haunted, beaten, and battered as much on the inside as the out. She doesn’t know who she can trust. She’s lost her spark.

Who am I now? Am I Steve McCree’s daughter, the one who wasn’t enough for her dad? Am I Rhett Davis’s daughter, the one claimed to be cherished but kept secret? Am I Phoebe McCree’s daughter, the woman who stepped out on her husband and got pregnant? The woman who lied to keep her family together, but lost it anyway?
Am I the girl Taylor tore down piece by piece and left broken? My whole life is full of secrets and lies and broken dreams. Where do I go from here? I don’t know any of the answers, but I do know—hiding the truth is killing me.


Author Bio:

A.B. Medley lives in Tennessee with the love of her life and two sons. Her husband stole her heart when she was sixteen and their relationship is one of those meant to be love stories you find in magazines and novels.

She is a dental hygienist who loves to read and has always dabbled in writing. When she's not making people's smiles shine, she enjoys belting out songs with her boys, dancing, raspberries, baseball, and anything vintage. Like any proper Tennessean, Sundrop is her drink of choice.

She loves her family and friends fiercely and believes in always chasing your dreams.

Deception in the Truth is her debut novel—but now she's hooked, and there's more to come!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / TikTok / Bookbub


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Book Review for The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

 The Blame Game by Sandie Jones 

Genre:  Mystery Thriller, Psychological Thriller

Hardcover, 256 pages

Publication: August 16th 2022 by Minotaur Books

 


In the vein of the Reese's Book Club  Hello Sunshine Book Club pick The Other Woman, Sandie Jones’s heart-pounding new novel The Blame Game will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Games can be dangerous. But blame can be deadly.


As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients’ lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she’s taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish. . . .

But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi’s own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it’s not just her clients who are in danger.

My Thoughts:  I almost passed this book up.   Not because I did not want to read it but because I had read so many thrillers this month that I thought I wanted to read something different.  I was wrong, I wanted to read The Blame Game.  I picked it up, started reading it, and could not stop.  I was invested in where this story was going to go.   I love Naomi and how much she invests in her patients. 

I had so many ideas on where I was going to be led by Sandie Jones.  I thought I had a good idea of who-dun-it.  I had no clue, well honestly I had it partially figured out at one point and then doubted myself enough to change my own mind.  I love the twists and turns.  I love the ups and downs.   I do believe that this book pushes the boundaries with the twists and turns, they push the boundaries of believable but I wanted a book that was fiction, that was not real, that would entertain me and The Blame Game did just that. 

Sandie Jones wrote a great book.  I will recommend it to other thriller readers.

Thank you Minotaur Books for a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Add to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


Meet Sandie Jones (Taken from her website):  I’ve always enjoyed writing - in fact, English was pretty much the only exam (in my whole life!) that I passed with flying colours. However it took ten years for me to realise that I might actually be able to make a living from doing what I loved.

So for the next two decades I worked as a journalist, (articles below), interviewing celebrities from George Clooney to Justin Timberlake and Ozzy Osbourne to Dame Maggie Smith.

But it wasn’t until 2017, that I decided to try my hand at writing fiction – not with the intention of writing a book that would get published, but just to prove to myself that I had the dedication and willpower needed. Yet once I started, I couldn’t stop!

The result was my debut The Other Woman, which was a 2018 New York Times Bestseller and a Reese Witherspoon Pick. It also sold in fourteen other languages, and to say I’m still reeling from the shock of it all, is something of an understatement!

My second novel The First Mistake was published in 2019, and The Half Sister, which is available to pre-order now, is out in June.

I’m currently writing my fourth, as yet untitled novel, in London, where I live with my husband and three children.

I love hearing from readers so please reach out via one of the social media platforms below.