What It Seems

Author: Emily Bleeker
Publisher: Lake Union Publications
Genre: Suspense
Source: Ellen at JK Communications

 

Goodreads:  A page-turning novel of suspense about the perfect family, and the perfect lies, by the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and The Waiting Room.

Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s online videos. They’re an affectionate vlogging quintet and an internet sensation. Most important, they are Tara’s mental refuge. Then the opportunity arises for them to be something more. When Tara accepts an internship with the close-knit clan, they’re her escape.

Daring to run away, and defying Mother’s rules, Tara is welcomed into the loving fold. But the more Tara gets to know them, the more she realizes that not everything is as it seems. As secrets slowly surface, the image of the perfect family begins to crack. For Tara, it’s another trap.

To claim a life of her own, she’ll need a new escape plan. Because as the show’s popularity explodes, reaching even more fascinated viewers, Tara can’t shake the feeling that Mother is among their ranks. She’s watching. She’s waiting. She’ll never let her go.

Ope’s Opinion:  This story was not as good as  Emily Bleeker’s other books.  Reading about abuse was tense, not the good intense of suspense.  It did read fast, which kept me reading. 

The Mother had no redeeming characteristics that would help me understand why she was doing what she did, so I did not connect with her ( not even enough to dislike her ). I felt sorry for Tara / Angela, she was so awkward with the Feely family – which you would expect since she was so isolated for most of life.  

The ending was a bit rushed, but helped to save the book for me.   

In the Mailbox

I found

Publication Date: March 17, 2020
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads:  A page-turning novel of suspense about the perfect family, and the perfect lies, by the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and The Waiting Room.

Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s online videos. They’re an affectionate vlogging quintet and an internet sensation. Most important, they are Tara’s mental refuge. Then the opportunity arises for them to be something more. When Tara accepts an internship with the close-knit clan, they’re her escape.

Daring to run away, and defying Mother’s rules, Tara is welcomed into the loving fold. But the more Tara gets to know them, the more she realizes that not everything is as it seems. As secrets slowly surface, the image of the perfect family begins to crack. For Tara, it’s another trap.

To claim a life of her own, she’ll need a new escape plan. Because as the show’s popularity explodes, reaching even more fascinated viewers, Tara can’t shake the feeling that Mother is among their ranks. She’s watching. She’s waiting. She’ll never let her go.

Thank you Ellen at JKS Communications
for sending this book my way!
Can’t wait to read it.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In March I hope to read….

Publication Date: March 17, 2020
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads: A page-turning novel of suspense about the perfect family, and the perfect lies, by the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and The Waiting Room.

Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s online videos. They’re an affectionate vlogging quintet and an internet sensation. Most important, they are Tara’s mental refuge. Then the opportunity arises for them to be something more. When Tara accepts an internship with the close-knit clan, they’re her escape.

Daring to run away, and defying Mother’s rules, Tara is welcomed into the loving fold. But the more Tara gets to know them, the more she realizes that not everything is as it seems. As secrets slowly surface, the image of the perfect family begins to crack. For Tara, it’s another trap.

To claim a life of her own, she’ll need a new escape plan. Because as the show’s popularity explodes, reaching even more fascinated viewers, Tara can’t shake the feeling that Mother is among their ranks. She’s watching. She’s waiting. She’ll never let her go.

 

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

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.