I’ve been on SUCH a reading kick lately!! The last few books I read were really good, but there’s one coming out next January that you can definitely pass on 😬 — keep reading my early summer reading list to see which one!!
The Sun Down Motel
So this isn’t a newer book, but The Sun Down Motel has been on my Books I Want to Read list for quite some time. I suggested it as a book club book, and I am SO glad I did!!
The Sun Down Motel was a page turner – I nearly read it all in one sitting, because I couldn’t get enough.
The plot switches between 1982 and 2017. In 1982, Viv ends up (accidentally) in Fell. She needs a place to stay and ends up on the night shift at a shady motel called The Sun Down Motel. Strange things begin to happen at night, and she vanishes in November. Her body was never found. In 2017, her niece Carly heads to Fell for some answers and closure, after her mother (Viv’s sister) passes away. Carly soon ends up working at the motel, on the same night shift Viv worked.
Carly goes all true-crime and begins solving the puzzle (it kind of reminded me of The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series). Meanwhile, in 82, we learn Viv did the same thing.
All signs lead to this being a dangerous search for Carly — will she end up making the same deadly mistakes as Viv? (I can’t spoil it, but let me just say: 😬😬😬😬😬😬)
The Sun Down Motel has everything. Some love-interests, stalking, ghosts, a serial killer, and one major plot twist! Five solid stars for this, and it needs to be at the top of your early summer reading list!!
The Perfect Marriage
I recently read One of Us is Dead, and freaking LOVED it. The Perfect Marriage is by the same author, Jeneva Rose. I actually connected with her on Instagram, and have to mention she is super sweet!! She also has a new book coming out in 2023, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Ok – onto The Perfect Marriage!! Sarah and Adam are married. Sarah is a very successful lawyer (she’s a named partner at her firm) and Adam had some brief success as a writer… but has kind of plateaued. Which leads him straight into bed with a waitress named Kelly. Until Kelly is found dead in his bed. Sarah takes the case and works to keep Adam from facing the death penalty.
I read 75% of The Perfect Marriage in one sitting. I literally could not put it down. However, once Adam nonchalantly walks out of the police department, it lost a bit of believability to me. (Kind of like What Happened to the Bennett’s, when Jason is a martyr and a saint – blah!) BUT THAT FEELING WAS SHORT LIVED!!!!!
I like to “predict” books as I read them, and I’ll blurt out how I think a story will end to my husband. I almost completely called this one. I called Anne’s involvement, the Bob thing, who the third DNA was, and the murderer. Despite all that, I did enjoy the ending. It was extremely satisfying, and unlike any other book I’ve read! The Perfect Marriage got 4 stars from me!!
Tell No One
If you asked me to name favorite authors, I would definitely have forgotten Harlan Coben. 1 chapter into Tell No One, and I remembered how much I enjoy his writing style! (The Boy From The Woods was also VERY good!)
I borrowed Tell No One from a friend, and while it did take me a while to read, the story really sucks you in! I think what took me long to read was all the characters. Before their paths cross, it is a lot to keep straight!
Beck and his wife, Elizabeth, are high school sweethearts. They’re 25, and celebrating their anniversary in the beginning of the book… when Elizabeth is taken, Beck is assaulted and early dies, Elizabeth’s body is found days later. Presumed to be the work of a serial killer. And that’s just the first chapter!
We, then, jump 8 years to present day. Beck is now a doctor, and the past starts to creep in when he receives a mysterious email. Newfound evidence (and a few bodies) make Beck a prime suspect of his wife’s murder.
There were A LOT of characters in this book, and that made the beginning hard to follow, but once paths started to cross, I couldn’t stop turning pages. It took me 3 days to get to page 100, and then I finished the rest of the book in one sitting!
Tell No One had everything. Lies, betrayal, family drama, hit men, love – and one heck of a plot twist at the end! A solid 4.5!!
I read The Resort in one day! The plot was absolutely fascinating, and I couldn’t put it down.
We follow 3 couples at a luxurious resort on a remote island. Each has their fair share of drama; from cancer, to lies, to stillborn births, and everything in between. It doesn’t take long before the body of a beautiful hotel employee is found.
Every single husband is a prime suspect – they all had a motive, and everyone was lying to everyone. I absolutely LOVED not knowing who did it.
Now, the whole midnight swim drama was rather predictable – but I loved how it all played out. This was one of the times I looked at my husband and made my prediction… and I was SPOT ON (golf claps for me!)
The epilogue parts were very well done. But like I said, I had Becky’s epilogue nailed down. It was a little too predictable with a big red bow on it. That said, I was caught completely off guard by Sam’s epilogue!! Well done, Sue Watson!!! 👏🏻
The Resort is available June 24, and this is an absolute MUST HAVE on your early summer reading list! *Thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for the early copy!!
We Knew All Along
I received an ARC of We Knew All Along via NetGalley, and breezed through it in 2 sittings. I actually wasn’t impressed at the beginning, to be honest. I thought the plot was a little shallow, and I didn’t love any of the characters. Until I did – AND WOW!!!! It quickly became one of those books that was hard to walk away from.
We Knew All Along begins with Jewelann at her high school reunion, she’s dressed to kill and is there alone (despite being married). She is planning on confronting (and winning over) the boy from high school who broke her heart. She succeeds and leaves C.C. naked and wanting more in his hotel room.
When he starts texting her, and seemingly befriends her husband and son, then moves into their guest house, tensions rise. We learn Jewel has a bit of a shopping problem, and despite how they look on the surface, her family is in trouble. (Did you know you can find Louboutins at estate sales? Same with crystal drinking glasses)
Her marriage isn’t happy, and she assumes her husband is cheating on her. She’s not really that upset about it, though. Her son is unhappy, and un-adjusted. That’s credited to his friend disappearing when he was 6. But things aren’t always as they seem 😬😬😬 There are LOTS of secrets to be spilled here. Some are shallow, and some are very, VERY dark.
When I got to the end of We Knew All Along, I made an audible gasp, and read and re-read the twist. IT.WAS.SO.WELL.DONE. And then there was another twist. And it was just as well done! 👏🏻👏🏻
We Knew All Along is a 4.8 for me!! It releases December 6 of this year, and you need to preorder it now!
I received an ARC of At Sea for review via Net Galley! It releases in March of 2023, you can preorder it here!
At Sea tells the story of a fresh college grad named Cara. She is heading to an island to spend the summer before heading to NYC to try to make it as an artist. She will be staying with her aunt and uncle, in a home filled so many memories of her late mother. Once a place where they loved and vacationed, Cara, her brother, and her father (who is now remarried) have not gone back since her mother passed. Cara intends to spend the summer painting, sketching, and building her portfolio.
That plan gets derailed when she meets a gorgeous boy named Brenden very early on in the summer. He’s in the special forces, and tells Cara they’ve done experiments on him, and he has the ability to breathe under water – that he has gills. Things quickly get serious between them, and Cara winds up pregnant.
The timeline bounces between 2009, when Cara and Brenden meet, and 2014, when Cara is remarried, and trying to pick up the pieces of her life. One night, Brenden vanishes with Cara’s infant son. It’s been 5 years, and Cara still holds onto hope that they’ll return. She’s also holding onto hope that Brenden isn’t crazy.
At Sea was a page turner. Originally, I was worried this wasn’t going to be a thriller, but more of a sci-fi story — like a dramatic retelling of Aquaman. Thankfully, it was not.
I was torn between wanting to believe Brenden, and also wanting to shake Cara and ask her how she could believe him?!
And the last page left everything up to the reader. It was well-done, but I would have LOVED an epilogue. I don’t consider At Sea a “must read” but it was a quick read, perfect for a beach day! A solid 3.5!
I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of The Hunter via Net Galley for review, as it releases early in 2023. I was really excited, mostly because the cover had be intrigued…. but I was about halfway though The Hunter, when I realized nothing had happened yet.
It was described as “dark” and “atmospheric”… but it was really just wordy and drawn out. I think my biggest issue was not connecting to the characters at all.
We learn Leigh, the main character, is placed on leave from her NYPD Detective job… and her husband was the chief that made the call. They’re now separated and have a daughter that makes things complicated. Throughout the story, Leigh has flashbacks and near-hallucinations about holding her husbands hand and I just felt those took away from any drama or tension I was reading. (Again, I think it’s because Leigh wasn’t super likable.) The character development was meant (I think) to make her mysterious… but it just seemed underdeveloped.
That said. Dr Aliche was my absolute favorite part of the book. He’s a secondary (possibly even tertiary) character, but I found myself wishing we were back in the morgue so there would be more exchanges with him! (And that should tell you everything you need to know about The Hunter 😬)
If the biggest “twist” is twin drama and someone coming out of the closet… I don’t think it qualifies as a thriller.
I finished this only because it was my first ever ARC from Net Galley, and I didn’t want to be a quitter, but I was forcing myself through this chapter by chapter, and skipping several overly-descriptive paragraphs about rocks in a cave. This is a 1.5 rounded up to 2. I wouldn’t be rushing to put The Hunter on any reading list.
What are you reading lately? Up next for me is At Sea, another early 2023 release!