Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Truths I Never Told You: A Novel by [Rimmer, Kelly]

5 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House Books (US & Graydon), Graydon House

Date of Publication: April 14th, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Where you can find Truths I Never Told You: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say comes a poignant novel about the fault in memories and the lies that can bond a family together—or tear it apart.

With her father recently moved to a care facility for his worsening dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.

As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker. Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.

Exploring the expectations society places on women of every generation, Kelly Rimmer explores the profound struggles two women unwittingly share across the decades set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.


First Line:

I am alone in a crowded family these days, and that’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced.

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

My Review:

I am not going to lie. Truths I Never Told You is a book that you need to read with a box of Kleenex nearby. That was something I wish I knew before I started reading it.

Truths I Never Told You is split into three povs. Grace, Beth, and Maryanne. Grace’s POV was hard to read. Her mental anguish was clear to see. It hurt me to see her not able to take care of her children or herself. When she did try to get help, she was told to suck it up. The decision she made in the middle of the book was a necessary one. Beth’s POV was just as hard to read as Grace’s was. Her anguish at not connecting with Noah and having to put her father in hospice was palpable. Maryanne, on the other hand, was this vibrant, over the top woman who breathed new light into the book. Her POV helped highlight how little rights women had back in the ’50s and ’60s. It also showed that a mother isn’t necessarily the one who birthed you.

The author did a fantastic job of highlighting what women’s rights were like back in the ’50s and ’60s. I had no issue imagining a woman with severe postpartum depression being forced into electroshock therapy or, as Grace was told, to snap out of it. I was horrified at how little help she had. I understood why Grace did in the middle of the book and why she contacted Maryanne to help her.

Beth’s experiences in the late 1990s were much better than Grace’s. But the stigma of having a mental illness hung over her head kept her from seeking help. Unfortunately, that still is the case these days. But, I was glad to see that Beth had a support system. She had siblings, a husband, and a mother in law who cared about her mental health.

Maryanne was the real MVP in this book. She didn’t get her own POV until the last half of the book. The author did a fantastic job of showing how she did what she thought was right and the fallout of that. Her scenes with Beth at the end of the book was poignant and heartbreaking.

The mystery angle of the story was well written. It was written around Beth’s father’s dementia and illness. That meant that I had a kernel of doubt about what happened until Beth unearthed the trunk. That scene blew it out of the book for me. The ring, the death certificate, the picture were all explained. And that meant even more tears on my end.

The end of Truths I Never Told You was well written. The author brought all the storylines (Beth, Grace, and Maryanne) together. I loved seeing everyone and how they healed from Patrick’s death and what was uncovered in Beth’s investigation.


I would give Truths I Never Told You an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Truths I Never Told You. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

The Wives: A Novel by [Fisher, Tarryn]

5 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: December 30th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Wives: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book Synopsis:

Imagine that your husband has two other wives.

You’ve never met the other wives. None of you know each other, and because of this unconventional arrangement, you can see your husband only one day a week. But you love him so much you don’t care. Or at least that’s what you’ve told yourself.

But one day, while you’re doing laundry, you find a scrap of paper in his pocket—an appointment reminder for a woman named Hannah, and you just know it’s another of the wives.

You thought you were fine with your arrangement, but you can’t help yourself: you track her down, and, under false pretenses, you strike up a friendship. Hannah has no idea who you really are. Then Hannah starts showing up to your coffee dates with telltale bruises, and you realize she’s being abused by her husband. Who, of course, is also your husband. But you’ve never known him to be violent, ever.

Who exactly is your husband, and how far would you go to find the truth? Would you risk your own life?

And who is his mysterious third wife?


First Line:

He comes over on Thursday of every week.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

My Review:

My expectations of The Wives wasn’t high. I thought it was going to be a typical psychological thriller. I should have known from the blurb that wasn’t the case. I loved the twisted journey that this book took me on!!

The plotline of The Wives was full of twists and turns. What I loved about this book was how the author cast doubt on all the main characters. I also liked how she did lightning-fast shifts in the plotline. It was amazing to read and kept my attention to the stories.

I loved Thursday, but I didn’t understand why she would stay in a relationship where she saw her husband once a week. I am not well versed in polygamous/polyamorous relationships, but that scream something was off to me. I loved her slow descent into insanity. There were scenes where I wanted to scream, “No, don’t!!

I didn’t like Seth. He was responsible for what happened. But, at the same time, I felt terrible for him. He had a hellacious childhood and was scarred by that. He did try to help, but it was too little too late.

Regina was a mystery for the entire book. I couldn’t quite get a handle on her. She had an agenda and was going to carry it out. I do think that she got what she deserved in the end. How she got it, though, I didn’t agree with.

The mystery/thriller/suspense angle of the book was well written. I will say that this book played major mind games with me for the entire book!! Which, again, kept me glued to it. I needed to see what happened.

The end of the book was insane. I couldn’t believe the twists in the plot that were revealed. The major one shocked the heck out me. The other twist that involved Regina shocked me. Mainly because of what happened.


I would give The Wives an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Wives. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

3 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin-Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: March 26th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find The Perfect Girlfriend: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Synopsis:

Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…


My review

Juliette is in love with Nate. Does it matter that they had broken up six months earlier and Nate wants nothing to do with her? No. Because Juliette has a plan to win over Nate. And she will do anything to stick to the project and get Nate. Anything.


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When I started reading The Perfect Girlfriend, I wasn’t expecting the main character to be crazy. I mean it, she was mad. I loved it!! This is the first book I have read that is told from the protagonist’s side. Again, loved it!! Juliette was the perfect antihero.

I will admit, I did feel bad for her. Juliette didn’t have the best life growing up. She was responsible for her 4-year-old brother at ten years old. When he fell into the pond and drowned, she was blamed. She became an outcast at school, with kids teasing her or ignoring her. Boarding school was no better. Bella and her friends bullied Juliette. Then, she was used by a mystery boy at the one party she went too. All those incidents helped shape her into a stalker. I thought to myself, at different points in the book, what if she got help when she was younger. What if she didn’t go to boarding school. Would she have turned out differently?

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Nate bothered me. I couldn’t see what Juliette saw in Nate. There was zero personality. I didn’t see the appeal. He didn’t even treat her nice when they were dating. At the risk of repeating myself, what on earth did she see in him? Of course, it was revealed at the end of the book exactly what the appeal was.

Same goes with Bella. I didn’t understand why Juliette was stalking both Nate and Bella. Then it was mentioned that they were brother and sister. I then had a “Gotcha moment.” I still didn’t get the whole obsession with Bella until the end of the book. Then I was like “OOOOOO, makes sense now.

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I loved watching Juliette’s stalking escalate. She started small, breaking into Nate’s apartment/logging into his Facebook/getting a job where he worked. She went bigger, putting a spyware app on his phone and computer/showing up at events where Bella would be/bringing friends over to Nate’s apartment. When she went huge, she went huge. I’m not going to say what, but I was amazed that she was able to pull off what she did.

I was not thrilled with the end of the book. The book was excellent up to the last few chapters. Then it seemed like everything was rushed. I wasn’t expecting it to end the way it did. Saying that I was underwhelmed was an understatement. It was the ending that lowered my review from 4 stars to 3 stars.

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I would give The Perfect Girlfriend an Adult rating. There are sex and mentions of sexual situations (nothing graphic). There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be bullying, stalking, the death of a sibling, and the death of a parent. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Perfect Girlfriend. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Perfect Girlfriend.

All opinions stated in this review of The Perfect Girlfriend are mine.

This review contains Amazon Associates links. If you click and buy, I receive a small commission.

The Woman in the Lake by Nicola Cornick

The Woman in the Lake by [Cornick, Nicola]

4 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House (U.S. & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: February 26th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, Thriller

Where you can find The Woman in the Lake: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Bookbub

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of House of Shadows and The Phantom Tree comes a spellbinding tale of jealousy, greed, plotting and revenge—part history, part mystery—for fans of Kate Morton, Susanna Kearsley, and Barbara Erskine

London, 1765

Lady Isabella Gerard, a respectable member of Georgian society, orders her maid to take her new golden gown and destroy it, its shimmering beauty tainted by the actions of her brutal husband the night before.

Three months later, Lord Gerard stands at the shoreline of the lake, looking down at a woman wearing the golden gown. As the body slowly rolls over to reveal her face, it’s clear this was not his intended victim…

250 Years Later…

When a gown she stole from a historic home as a child is mysteriously returned to Fenella Brightwell, it begins to possess her in exactly the same way that it did as a girl. Soon the fragile new life Fen has created for herself away from her abusive ex-husband is threatened at its foundations by the gown’s power over her until she can’t tell what is real and what is imaginary.

As Fen uncovers more about the gown and Isabella’s story, she begins to see the parallels with her own life. When each piece of history is revealed, the gown—and it’s past—seems to possess her more and more, culminating in a dramatic revelation set to destroy her sanity.


My review:

I have mentioned in past posts that I am a fan of historical fiction. I don’t read it often because I am afraid of getting burnt out. I am also a mystery/thriller fan. I like reading a mystery/thriller and trying to guess what is going on. So, when there are those two genres thrown together, I will pick it up. That’s what happened with The Woman in the Lake. I saw it, read the blurb and got it.

The Woman in the Lake was a bit different than some of the other mystery/thriller books that I have read in the past. Those differences actually made me like the book more.

The first difference is that the book went back and forth between 1st person and 3rd person. I usually dislike it when a book does that. The storyline gets lost between the constant back and forth. Not in this book. The author makes it clear when the POV changes. It made that part of reading the book pleasurable for me.

The second difference is that there are 3 separate storylines. Again, something that would drive me nuts. Like the POV changes, the author handled the 3 storylines wonderfully. Lady Gerard and Constance’s storyline was intertwined. The author was able to keep them separate until the pivotal scene towards the end of the book. It was wonderfully written.

I loved the characters. There were layers to them. I loved that when one layer was peeled back, another was revealed. This kept up until the end.

The historical fiction angle of the book was wonderfully written as well. It was set in Gregorian England. The author did a fantastic job of describing everyday life in that era. She also did a fantastic job of portraying how women were treated. Lady Gerard was beaten by Lord Gerard. Everyone turned a blind eye to it. Constance was sold to Lord Gerard and forced to be Lady Gerard’s maid. She was treated like she was invisible. Which was all part of being part of a servant and catering to the nobility.

The mystery/thriller angle had me guessing also. The author did a fantastic job of keeping me on my toes with Fenella’s storyline. Was she going insane? Was she suffering a psychotic breakdown? How come she kept seeing Jake? What was she going to find out about the gown? I couldn’t get enough.

The ending was fantastic. The author did a great job at bringing all 3 storylines together, merging them and ending the book. I was surprised at the twist that the author threw in at the end of the book. I didn’t see that coming!


I would give The Lady in the Lake an Adult rating. There are somewhat graphic sex scenes. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Lady in the Lake. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review TheAll opinions stated in this review of The Lady in the Lake are mine.


Have you read The Lady in the Lake?

Did you like it?

Do you like it when there are 3 POVs/storylines?

Let me know!!

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The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick

The Phantom Tree

4 Stars

Publisher: Harlequin-Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada), Graydon House

Date of publication: August 21st, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery

Where you can find The Phantom Tree: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“My name is Mary Seymour and I am the daughter of one queen and the niece of another.”

Browsing antiques shops in Wiltshire, Alison Bannister stumbles across a delicate old portrait – supposedly of Anne Boleyn. Except Alison knows better… The woman is Mary Seymour, the daughter of Katherine Parr who was taken to Wolf Hall in 1557 as an unwanted orphan and presumed dead after going missing as a child.

The painting is more than just a beautiful object from Alison’s past – it holds the key to her future, unlocking the mystery surrounding Mary’s disappearance, and the enigma of Alison’s son.

But Alison’s quest soon takes a dark and foreboding turn, as a meeting place called the Phantom Tree harbors secrets in its shadows…

Trigger Warning: Infanticide

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House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

House of Shadows

Title: House of Shadows

Author: Nicola Cornick

Publisher: Harlequin, Graydon House

Date of publication: October 17th, 2017 (original publication date: December 5th, 2015)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 464

POV: 3rd person (Elizabeth and Holly) and 1st person (Lavinia’s journal entry)

Where you can find House of Shadows: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

The wooded hills of Oxfordshire conceal the remains of the aptly named Ashdown House—a wasted pile of cinders and regret. Once home to the daughter of a king, Ashdown and its secrets will unite three women across four centuries in a tangle of romance, deceit, and destiny…

In the winter of 1662, Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen, is on her deathbed. She entrusts an ancient pearl, rumored to have magic power, to her faithful cavalier William Craven for safe keeping. In his grief, William orders the construction of Ashdown Estate in her memory and places the pearl at its center.

One hundred and fifty years later, notorious courtesan Lavinia Flyte hears the maids at Ashdown House whisper of a hidden treasure, and bears witness as her protector Lord Evershot—desperate to find it—burns the building to the ground.

Now, a battered mirror and the diary of a Regency courtesan are the only clues Holly Ansell has to find her brother, who has gone missing researching the mystery of Elizabeth Stuart and her alleged affair with Lord Craven. As she retraces his footsteps, Holly’s quest will soon reveal the truth about Lavinia and compel her to confront the stunning revelation about the legacy of the Winter Queen.

Trigger Warning: Domestic violence (Lavinia)

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Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever: A Riveting Psychological Thriller about the Perfect Marriage by [Rouda, Kaira]

Title: Best Day Ever

Author: Kaira Rouda

Publisher: Harlequin, Graydon House

Date of publication: September 19th, 2017

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 352

POV: 1st person

Where you can find Best Day Ever: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…”

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really? 

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence

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Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Something Like Happy: A Novel by [Woods, Eva]

Title: Something Like Happy

Author: Eva Woods

Publisher: Harlequin, Graydon House

Date of publication: September 5th, 2017

Genre: Health, Mind & Body, Women’s Fiction

Number of pages: 432

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find Something Like Happy: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment.

“It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re doing one right now…”

Annie Hebden is stuck. Stuck in her boring job, with her irritating roommate, in a life, no thirty-five-year-old would want. But deep down, Annie is still mourning the terrible loss that tore a hole through the perfect existence she’d once taken for granted—and hiding away is safer than remembering what used to be. Until she meets the eccentric Polly Leonard.

Bright, bubbly, intrusive Polly is everything Annie doesn’t want in a friend. But Polly is determined to finally wake Annie up to life. Because if recent events have taught Polly anything, it’s that your time is too short to waste a single day—which is why she wants Annie to join her on a mission…

One hundred days. One hundred new ways to be happy. Annie’s convinced it’s impossible, but so is saying no to Polly. And on an unforgettable journey that will force her to open herself to new experiences—and perhaps even new love with the unlikeliest of men—Annie will slowly begin to realize that maybe, just maybe, there’s still joy to be found in the world. But then it becomes clear that Polly’s about to need her new friend more than ever…and Annie will have to decide once and for all whether letting others in is a risk worth taking.

“A special book that will make you laugh through your tears with its heartfelt take on happiness and friendship.”—Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake

Trigger Warning: None

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