The Guest Room

The Guest Room by Rona Halsall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You think you’re safe in your home, think again…

Steph’s life has hit a strick of bad luck. After her husband walked out on her after thirty years of marriage all she had left was their family home and memories. Steph began to hear strange noises, smell odd scents thought the house, but when unexplained occurrences had escalated to the point of break-ins and damaged property Steph began to worry. Are those just simple coincidences or does someone want her out of the house? And when Steph met a young man in need of a home, she makes an astonishing decision and takes him on as a lodger. But with a new tenant, she gains another load of uninvited troubles.

This book was amazing. I enjoyed all the twists the story had to offer. Thruout the read, the author throws multiple hints on the “villain” of the novel, and it is very easy to catch if you pay attention. The story began very slow, it was losing my attention when suddenly the plot picked up and the ending was phenomenal. Great set of characters that continued to surprise me thru the novel. Thank you, NetGalley for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The Captain’s Wife

The Captain’s Wife by Norma Curtis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A beautiful and heartbreaking story about lost love, forgiveness, and family secrets.

Al, a retired Navy Captain, came back to the valley that he left sixty-five years prior. At last, he was ready to face the truth and hear of the events that broke his heart so many years ago. As he turned the last bend, the reality shocked him to the gore. In the place of the village now stood a lake. And just like that his hopes were once again wiped away.

I can’t express the anger and heartbreak I felt while reading this novel. Al’s lack of patience made him jump to a conclusion that resulted in a terrible chain of events that felt over Erin. The dreams she once had were crashed. And she was left to pick up the broken pieces and built a different future. To be completely honest, I fully supported her decision in the end. The past should be left in the past.

This was a wonderful story, a great lesson. It touched my soul, and I will remember this story for a long time. Great writing and a welsh history presented in the novel made this a very enjoyable read. Thank you NetGalley and Bookoture for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The Amendment

The Amendment by Kiersten Modglin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, that has escalated quickly.

The marriage of Ainsley and Peter came to a crossroads. Do they go their separate ways or stay together and work on their problems. In the end, they choose love and family and come to an arrangement. Unfortunately one of them could not hold the end of their bargain and everything come crashing down in a ghastly and bloody manner.

How come am I discovering Kiersten Modglin’s writing so late in my reading game? This book is disturbing, yet so thrilling. I love the pace and baldness of the plot. Please excuse me while I am running to the shop for a fresh bottle of wine to help me cozy up with the first book of this amazing sequel.

Thank you NetGalley and Kiersten Modglin for a free and advanced copy of this astonishing book.

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The Dissent of Annie Lang

The Dissent of Annie Lang by Ros Franey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After losing her mother at a very young age, later suffering from step mother’s rough upbringing and despite the family’s very religious lifestyle – young Annie begins to lose her faith in God. With no one to turn to or help her understand the peculiar events she is witnessing, Annie turns to her diary. Fast forward six years, the grown Annie visits her brother in the hospital, and meets her Sunday school teacher who had disappeared years prior. With a little digging and an old diary, Annie uncovers a scandalous family secret.

I have enjoyed the ending of the novel, however, I was struggling with the first 3/4 of the story and was seriously debating if I should leave the novel unfinished. In my opinion, the story was stretched out, a lot of information provided could have been excluded in the first place making the story shorter and closer to the point the ending has revealed. The subject of the novel is unique, very rarely do I come across authors who speak up against the church and “behind the scene” unpleasant affairs. Especially coming from a child’s point of view. In spite of the length of the novel, I found the ending satisfying. Thank you NetGalley and Muswell Press publisher for a free copy of the novel.

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The Life She Wants

The Life She Wants by Mel Sherratt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Careful what you wish for – is a perfect summary of this unsettling story.

And here we go again, with another couple moving into a middle of a country and with the “new house – new life” idea and a new spacious home inheriting new eerie neighbors. From the very first meeting, Danny and Juliette get an uneasy feeling about their neighbor. If they only knew the life behind’s Richard and Sarah’s door… And very soon Juliette and the reader discover the chilling truth about the tenents of the house next door.

Loved the idea of the plot, but it lucked the thrill. Nevertheless, it was a good read. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture Publisher for a free copy of the novel.

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Hotel Portofino

Hotel Portofino by J.P. O’Connell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading this novel felt like I was watching the English tv series “Downton Abbey”. Although I was a fan of the TV show – I was not a big fan of the book. This novel contains everything needed for juicy drama – secret affairs, love triangles, unexpected friendships, blackmail, pricey robbery, and all of this is taking place during the roaring ’20s in the luxury hotel on the most beautiful Italian riviera.

The novel was entertaining but too romantically dramatic for my liking. And the characters – that was one fascinating set of people. And I did enjoy a little history behind the main scenes. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The People Next Door

The People Next Door by Keri Beevis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For the fans of the greatest king in suspense cinematography – Alfred Hitchcock – this book is up your alley.

Ellie and Ash’s new country home holds a dark secret. Besides being located on a large property in the middle of nowhere with only one neighbor is creepy enough. But when chilling threatening messages begin to appear all around the house and unexplained circumstances happen on repeat – the new owners begin to dig into the history of their new home. And what they find is beyond any scary story anyone can think of.

From the very first page, I was drawn to the story. Love love love short character list. And the plot is hands down spine-chilling. Reading this book was like watching one of Hitchcock’s movies. Ah, it is so hard to write a review without revealing the spiciest details. That’s why I would just tell you to get this book, close all doors and windows, get yourself a bottle of wine (yes, you will need the whole bottle), and enjoy this amazing petrify thriller. You will not regret it. Thank you NetGalley and Bloodhound Books for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The German Wife

The German Wife by Debbie Rix

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The German Wife” is a novel about a young german couple with dreams and hopes for the future of the great Germany. As Annaliese and Hans tied their knot and settled into a marriage routine the unexpected happened – Hans was assigned to work as an experiment doctor at the Dachau. The horrors of the camp took over Hans’ mind, heart, and soul. The brutality of the war and the NAZI party have changed Annaliese’s outlook on life and made her question her own marriage. Her despair for a child has thrown Annaliese to bite a forbidden fruit, giving her the greatest gift of all – a little boy. Unfortunately, the life she has envisioned for herself was not the life she’d lived and experienced. The abandonment, the heartbreak, and a small loving boy became Annaliese’s motivation for a better life on the new continent.

I have read close to a hundred novels about WWII, all from the view of people from different parts of the world. But this one was different. I often wondered, what germans thought of their fuhrer? Were they all the supporters of the Party? What ruled their hate towards non-Aryans? This novel sheds a great lite on the people who didn’t agree with Hitler’s political ideology and future plans for Germany. In Hans’ character, we meet germans who were afraid to stand up to the Party. Despite their true beliefs, they cause harm to innocent people in order to survive. This is a great novel to learn “the other side” of germans. And of course, there is a touch of romance in the novel as well. And I must admit – I loved the ending. True, rough, and real. If I could give this book six stars – I would. Thank you, NetGalley for a free copy of the novel.

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The Reunion

The Reunion by Kiersten Modglin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My first read by this author and it will not be the last.

Cait, Jamie, and Sam built their friendship since the very early years of school, during which they became victims of the popular kids’ squad. But when Jamie began to get noticed by the boy from the popular group, and eventually joined the “cool kids club”, their friendship took an unexpected turn. But the worst part took place during their senior prom.

Ten years later Cat arrives at Hotel Lilith. The place that holds the worst memory. It’s her high school reunion. And it’s time to face the truth of what has happened to her friend.

This book has so many twists and turns. The revenge is better served cold, isn’t that what people say? And this revenge is bone-chilling. In the beginning, a thought crossed my mind that Cat and Grant’s marriage was a part of vengeance. Later I began to suspect Sam, although my intuition was right nevertheless I loved the author’s version of the events, it was better than I expected it. As the novel has ended and I could not help myself but feel extremely saddened by Jamie’s story. The price she has paid for high school popularity caused her to lose the trust of her friends, in the end, it would have saved her life.

The last act of the novel was my favorite. I was on the edge of my seat! The spider web of the events was finally explained and it was stupendous. It has been a while since I was last impressed by an amusing thriller. Starting with a bewildering plot to phenomenal characters, this book has everything needed for an exciting dark thriller. Thank you NetGalley and Kiersten Modglin for a phenomenal read.

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The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party by Wendy Dranfield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got full-body chills while reading the book.

As Kathy drops Charlie at the Birthday Party, all she can see is joy on the little girl’s face. As she drives away – the main and only worry on her mind is her troubled marriage. If she only knew that a few hours after this moment – her world will change, and all the family secrets will come crashing down like a domino effect.

First of all, as a new mom – this novel hit me hard. I was crying alongside Kathy. Second – the cruelty of the mother towards her own child was simply despicable. I’ve enjoyed the fast pacing theme of this novel. The author throws the reader right in the middle of the rollercoaster. The dual timeline worked perfectly for this novel, explaining Kathy’s background. But most importantly I loved the way an author has connected all the pieces in this horrific puzzle at the end. This novel left me with confused feelings. It felt wrong to be happy for the family after such a horrific loss. Nevertheless, it was a thrilling read, the secrets and twists were well written into the story. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for an advanced and free copy of the novel.

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The Christie Affair

The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hi, my name is Alina and I am Hercule Poirot and Agatha Christie’s biggest fan. Throughout the years I have read many articles talking about Christie’s peculiar disappearance. And like many other people – I found the disappearance fascinating and quite intriguing. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed Nina de Gramont’s version of the events that took place over the mysterious eleven days.

The day Agatha has disappeared was a day when her beloved husband has informed her of his wish for the divorce. Shocked and hurt, Agatha packed her adored little car and went on her mysterious adventure. But this story is not about Agatha, this story is about Nan, the second Mrs. Christie.

At first, I disliked Nan’s character. Who wouldn’t? A promiscuous young woman who broke the marriage and family. But it takes two to tango, isn’t it? As the novel continued, I began to admire the girl. Her strong and bold character, patience, and her fierce love for her child gave me goosebumps. Her backstory was so tragic, I can’t imagine the heartbreak she went thru… alone. One question still remains unanswered. Did Agatha tell Nan the truth about the little girl? Or did she want to give Nan closure? Nevertheless, I admire both women and the bond they have shared for the rest of their lives.

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