Friday, March 17, 2023

5 stars for The Nature of Secrets (Finley O'Sullivan #2) by Debra Webb

 

From USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb comes a thrilling installment in the Finley O’Sullivan series about a well-connected woman who stands accused of her husband’s murder. She’s innocent—unless Finley proves otherwise.

Legal investigator Finley O’Sullivan has had a difficult year in the wake of her husband’s murder. But in her line of work, there’s no time to grieve. Her job is to protect the firm’s clients and defend their innocence through grueling investigative work.

Ellen Winthrop is a force to be reckoned with in the financial world. In a male-dominated industry, she shattered the glass ceiling by empowering and promoting women. But now her husband is dead, killed in the Winthrop family home—and she stands accused of his murder.

Finley, as the investigator at the firm Ellen Winthrop hired to defend her, has a clear objective: prove that Ellen didn’t do it. But the deeper Finley digs into the Winthrops’ marriage, the more she starts to doubt Ellen’s story. The uncomfortable truth is that Ellen Winthrop may in fact have killed her husband.

And he might not have been the first.

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What I thought about The Nature of Secrets

Wow!  I've been glued to this book for the past two days, not able to put it down.  This is the second book in the Finley O'Sullivan series and it can be read as a standalone. 

Finley is recovering from a devastating tragedy that upended her life in many ways.  She's working as an investigator for a defense attorney while attempting to find out who murdered her husband.  Currently working on a case involving the murder of a man with a dubious background, she's also involved with off-the-books activities in her own investigation. She's compelled to follow a certain course of action with regard to her past, and struggles with it at the same time.  But she can't stop.  I really liked this part of her character. She's driven by her demons and knows it's going to get her in trouble (or dead) and she does it anyway.

The murder mystery is thoughtfully crafted and presented.  I liked how the details were revealed a little at a time as Finley investigates.  There were a few times I held my breath as things became serious as a result of Finley's actions.

I loved everything about this book.  The characters are interesting and easy to connect with, even the slightly-creepy Ellen Winthrop. There's plenty of emotional content here too -- it's not just all investigation.  Finley's struggles in her professional and private life are moving and thought provoking.  And I wanted more of the cast of supporting characters.

Overall, I liked the characters and their journey, the well-crafted murder mystery, and the page-turning pace of this story.  Left me wanting more of Finley O'Sullivan.


About the Author

(from debrawebb.com)

DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency and the Shades of Death series. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm and spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go. Visit Debra at www.debrawebb.com.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: I Love It When You Lie by Kristen Bird




I Love It When You Lie

Author:
Kristen Bird
Publication Date:
March 14, 2023
ISBN:
9780778333432
Paperback Original

Publisher:
MIRA
Price
$18.99

Book Summary:

The Williams women don’t just keep secrets…

They bury them.

The three Williams girls are as close as sisters can be, and they also share one special trait in common: each of them has a man in her life that she could do without.

Tara, the pastor’s wife, has been stealing money from the church and would prefer that her husband stay out of it. Then there’s June, who would do anything to have a baby of her own, even if her husband is dead set against it. Clementine, the youngest, is entangled in an affair with her professor, a man whose behavior she's starting to seriously question. Their sister-in-law Stephanie, an outsider, knows all the family dirt and is watching the three of them—and the men in their lives—closely.

When the woman who raised them, their beloved Gran, dies on the eve of her eightieth birthday, the Williams sisters return home to the Appalachian foothills to bury her. But their grandmother won’t be the only one they’ll put in a grave this weekend…because now someone has gone missing in the dark Appalachian woods.

And if Gran has taught them anything, it’s how to get rid of a good-for-nothin’ man.

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"Exceptional.... This tale of sisterhood is un-put-downable."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A wicked blend of family secrets, sibling resentment and small-town ways. Wondering how to get away with murder? The Williams sisters know.”
—Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

 "Irresistible and compulsive, this book is packed full of surprises."
—Samantha Downing, internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Release Day Review: Rogue (A Prep Novel) by Elle Kennedy

Available Now! 


Rogue

A Prep Novel

From New York Times bestselling author Elle Kennedy comes the return to Sandover Prep, where secrets lurk in the dark and no one is safe when they come into the light.

It’s been a long time since Casey Tresscott has felt like her life was her own. After the car accident that nearly cost her everything, she’s used to her family’s coddling and the relentless whispers at school, no matter how much they sting. After all, she’s found a safe harbor in her budding relationship with Sandover’s golden boy, Fenn Bishop…or so she thinks.

Beneath Fenn’s pretty, party-boy surface is a dangerous truth about the night Casey almost died. He thought lying to her was the right thing to do, but when the secret shakes loose, he just might lose her for good.

Because Casey is done being taken advantage of.

Grasping for the control she’s been missing, Casey finally snaps—telling off her bullies, gallivanting with rebels and playboys, and shirking her headmaster father’s strict curfews, despite the consequences. A desperate Fenn must ally with his stepbrother RJ and the other Sandover delinquents to uncover the full story of Casey’s accident and the ones responsible if he hopes to win her back.

But what happens if Casey is no longer the same girl he first fell for? Is there any hope for their future if she’s gone rogue for good?

Get the eBook:

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Get the Paperback:

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Chapters Indigo | IndieBound | The Book Depository

 

 What I thought about Rogue

Ah, the lifestyles of the young, rich and delinquent are front and center in Rogue, the second book in the Prep series. The headmaster's daughter Casey Trescott still doesn't remember what happened to her on prom night and Fenn is there to hold her hand (and more) when she needs someone. They develop a very sweet friendship that is just about to go to the next step when Casey finds out a secret that devastates her relationship with Fenn.

Eager to break out of the mold she thinks she's trapped in, she starts standing up for herself. I really liked this Casey, just as much as her softer side. She takes changes and takes care of her enemies, and in the process attracts Lawson, the school drug addict bad boy. I kinda liked them together.

The story is told from multiple points of view and I felt like I got to know all of the characters better. At first I was skeptical because there are more than two pov's, but it did keep the pace of the story moving forward and also helped with the preview of what may be going down with Lawson in the future. Can't wait to see what's going to happen there.

I'm a sucker for a good parent-child moment and Fenn and his father are a terrific part of the story. I really loved what happened there between them. I don't want to say more than that, but Fenn and his father are some of my most favorite moments in Rogue. I still have reservations about Casey and Fenn, and I could see some future bumps in the road for them. There are uncovered details from the prom accident that aren't accounted for and I'm hoping we find out more about Gabe's cryptic message and what really happened to Casey that night.

I enjoyed Rogue enough to read the ending twice, and the story left me thinking about these characters after I'd finished the story, which is what great stories do for me. However, I thought the first half of the story lacked something that I can't totally identify easily. The second half offered lots of drama and some deeply felt emotions from the Sandover guys that made it easy to connect with them, even at my way-past-high-school age.

So overall, I liked Rogue and the entire cast of characters. Casey's rebellious period and Fenn's anguish made for good drama, and some of the secondary characters like Lawson and Silas are getting interesting. There's still loose ends to wrap up so I'm looking forward to a bit more Sandover Prep.

4. 5 stars 


 
About Elle

New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Follow Elle Online: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 

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