The Two Lila Bennetts

Author: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  “One fateful decision. Two unexpected endings. A perfect summer read!” —Wendy Walker, bestselling author of The Night Before

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

Ope’s Opinion: I wish this book had been written as two stories – read the book one way for one Lila and read the other way for the other Lila.  Going back and forth between the two stories frustrated me.

I did not connect with Lila.  She was self centered and more concerned about her job, then her husband or mother.  This made it hard for me to care when she was captured.  I kept reading because I wanted to see how it ended.

The ending was very disappointing for me. I think there was a lesson to be learned here, but it didn’t come across as positive.  I can’t say more or it will ruin your reading, if you choose to read this.

Last Summer

Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: 
Claire/ Sarah at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  From the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Everything series comes a new novel of love, lies, and deceit.

Lifestyle journalist Ella Skye remembers every celebrity she interviewed, every politician she charmed between the sheets, and every socialite who eyed her with envy. The chance meeting with her husband, Damien; their rapid free fall into love; and their low-key, intimate wedding are all locked in her memory. But what she can’t remember is the tragic car accident that ripped her unborn child from her. Ella can’t even recall being pregnant.

Hoping to find the memories of a lost pregnancy that’s left her husband devastated and their home empty, Ella begins delving into her past when she’s assigned an exclusive story about Nathan Donovan, a retired celebrity adventurer who seems to know more about her than she does him. To unravel the mystery of her selective memory loss, Ella follows Nathan from the snow capped Sierra Nevada to the frozen slopes of southeast Alaska. There she discovers the people she trusts most aren’t the only ones keeping secrets from her—she’s hiding them from herself. Ella quickly learns that some truths are best left forgotten.

Ope’s Opinion:  You should know I am a Kerry Lonsdale fan,  but this is not my favorite of her books.  I like intense books and she writes them very well, this one just didn’t hit the mark for me.

This one was very intense, but the intensity drug on too long before there was any clue as to what Ella could not remember.  It was repeated that Damien knew something, but the reader was not clued in to what it was.  Then Ella went to see Nathan and he knew something, but did not reveal anything for a while.  It got frustrating and old after a while.

The ending was left open – not sure what Ella did, not sure who was being honest with her.  It left me wanting more – a little too abrupt for me  without answers.

False Step

Author: Victoria Helen Stone
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Thriller
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.

For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.

In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.

But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.

Ope’s Opinion: This story’s focus was not on the kidnapping of the child, but on the marriage of Johnny and Veronica.  I think I would actually have liked it better if I had gotten attached to Tanner ( the missing child ) before  it all started.  I wanted this story to be about the kidnapping, not secrets in a marriage. 

There were some twists, but I saw them coming before I got there.  This is my first book by Victoria Helen Stone.  Depending on the synopsis, I would try her again.

 

 

Emily, Gone

Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre:  Fiction
Source: Ashley at Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads:  A missing child sets the lives of three women on a collision course in this powerful and compelling novel by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.

1971.

When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival, but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.

When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

Ope’s Opinion: This was a very interesting perspective on a missing child story.  Most books are very intense because you don’t know where the child is or who did the kidnapping.  From the very beginning you see the birth mother’s perspective and the kidnappers perspective.  Throughout the book, I thought – this is an interesting story… then the last few chapters had me holding my breath.  I could not put it down and wanted to see where it went.

The ending was not what I expected.  It felt a little ( just a little ) too easy and perfect.  It is how you might hope life would go, but didn’t feel completely realistic ( which is okay – it is fiction! ).  I did enjoy this book.

Only Ever Her

Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

Ope’s Opinion: I thought this was going to be an intense read about a missing person.  Instead it was a slow moving story about a small town with characters I had a hard time caring about and it was not intense at all.   Some of these characters were really strange. 

My biggest frustration in mystery books is when I can’t figure out who the guilty party is because they are not in the book until  the end.  If the guilty person isn’t someone you care about or doesn’t effects the other characters, it makes it hard to care. The ending of this story was not very satisfying.

 

Out Now

Are you a fan of suspense?
Have you read Emily Bleeker?
This is out today!

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and Working Fire comes a gripping novel about a mother, her missing daughter, and the dark secrets that engulf them.

Ever since her husband’s death collided with the birth of her daughter, postpartum depression has taken hold of Veronica Shelton. She can’t sleep, can’t work, and can’t bear to touch her beautiful baby girl. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. Can it?

After all, the break-in at her house happened. The disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.

As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. Authorities aren’t helping. They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun.

Thank you Jackie at JKS Communications for sharing
another amazing Emily Bleeker book. 

You think you have read kidnapping books before?
This one is completely different.
Buy it today!

Goodreads:  Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma Townsend is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal—and when a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her, far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now she’s gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But her real mother is at home, waiting for her to return—and the longer the search for Emma continues, Amy is forced to question if she really wants her back.

Emotionally powerful and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Thank you Staci from St. Martin’s Press
for sharing this book this book with me.

The Waiting Room

Author: Emily Bleeker
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Suspense
Source: Jackie at JKS Communications

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and Working Fire comes a gripping novel about a mother, her missing daughter, and the dark secrets that engulf them.

Ever since her husband’s death collided with the birth of her daughter, postpartum depression has taken hold of Veronica Shelton. She can’t sleep, can’t work, and can’t bear to touch her beautiful baby girl. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. Can it?

After all, the break-in at her house happened. The disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.

As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. Authorities aren’t helping. They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun.

Ope’s Opinion: Let me just tell you I really like Emily Bleeker.  If this is your first book from her, it won’t be your last! 

When I started this book, I was lost, confused and a little frustrated that I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Veronica ( the main character ) has depression and her voice is unsure and she was all over the place.  But as I said previously, I like Bleeker, so I kept reading.  Thank goodness I did!!  This book was great!  Bleeker took me down a road I did not see coming.

It is worth your time to read this one.