The Next Wife – Kaira Rouda

Thank you MB Communications and Thomas & Mercer for sending me this ARC! This book comes out May 1, 2021 and you NEED to pre-order this NOW!! If you are looking for a book that will keep you up at night with suspense, then this is the book for you.

Goodreads Summary:

There is no limit to the lies, suspicion, and secrets that can poison the perfect marriage in this twisting novel of suspense by USA Today bestselling author Kaira Rouda.

Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded with her husband, John; a happy marriage; and a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She’s cultivated a friendship with Ashlyn. Tish believes she’s won.

She’s wrong.

Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, and a new husband. But the truth is, there’s a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife—and suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that’s how she got John. Maybe it’s time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her.

She thinks.

But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there’s no telling what a woman will do in the name of love—and revenge.

I give this book 5 stars but it is really off the charts good. The Next Wife takes “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” to a whole other level! Holy Heck! This book has 3 very strong women and then there is John…. lol.. poor, poor John. He might be part of the success of his business but this poor guy is an idiot!

Loved this book and will definitely be picking up some of Kaira Rouda’s other books.

Nightmare – Chad Nicholas

If I had to review this book with one word it would be WOW! This is the debut novel for Chad Nicholas but you could never tell it. This is a twisty thriller with a little crime, a little horror and a whole lot of CREEPY. My favorite genres are Horror and Thrillers and this fit both perfectly.

Goodreads Summary:

Had it come back? No, it couldn’t have. He had buried it for good. Or at least that’s what Scott told himself. But what if it had? Was that why the scarecrow now watched him?

But the more Scott tries to ignore it, the more the evidence begins to pile up. So do the bodies. Because sometimes, the dead don’t stay buried. Sometimes the monster survives.

As the bodies mount, and the secrets of his past grow more haunting, Scott must do whatever it takes to save his family. But what if by doing so, they find out what happened all those years ago? What if they realize what he did?

Scott learns that there is no escape from his own past, or the crows that have crawled out of it. He can only watch, as his life is turned into a living nightmare.

Thank you Chad Nicholas for giving me the opportunity to read this debut and trusting in my honest review. I can’t wait to read all your future books!

The Drowning Kind – Jennifer McMahon

So I am kinda a HUGE fan of Jennifer McMahon’s. I have read ALL of her books, except for 3 and they are on my TBR list. She has a way with the creepy that only a handful can do well. The Drowning Kind definitely does NOT disappoint! This is scheduled for publishing April 6, 2021 so go ahead and pre-order this one!!!

Goodreads Summary:

Be careful what you wish for.

When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.

In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.

A haunting, twisty, and compulsively readable thrill ride from the author who Chris Bohjalian has dubbed the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson,” The Drowning Kind is a modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us.

This book is the equivalent of a rollercoaster and hang on because those dips and dives are big ones! If you have read my previous Jennifer McMahon reviews you will not be surprised that I give this:

The Kingdom – Jo Nesbo

Going to try to get back to my book reviews. 2020 has thrown me for a loop. I, however, have not stopped reading just taken a break on book blogging. So now I have a LOT of catching up to do. 🙂

Just finished The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo. Thanks NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing for allowing me to read this ARC. The publication date is November 11, 2020 so mark your calendars!

I have been slow to board the Nesbo train. This is only my second book I have read him. The first one I read was The Bat and I LOVED it!! The Kingdom was a little slow at first but definitely picked up.

Goodreads Summary:

Roy and Carl have spent their whole lives running from the darkness in their past, but when Carl finally returns to make peace with it, the two brothers are inexorably drawn into a reckoning with their own demons.

Roy has never left the quiet mountain town he grew up in, unlike his little brother Carl who couldn’t wait to get out and escape his troubled past. Just like everyone else in town, Roy believed Carl was gone for good. But Carl has big plans for his hometown. And when he returns with a mysterious new wife and a business opportunity that seems too good to be true, simmering tensions begin to surface and unexplained deaths in the town’s past come under new scrutiny. Soon powerful players set their sights on taking the brothers down by exposing their role in the town’s sordid history.

But Roy and Carl are survivors, and no strangers to violence. Roy has always protected his younger brother. As the body count rises, though, Roy’s loyalty to family is tested. And then Roy finds himself inextricably drawn to Carl’s wife, Shannon, an attraction that will have devastating consequences. Roy’s world is coming apart and soon there will be no turning back. He’ll be forced to choose between his own flesh and blood and a future he had never dared to believe possible.

This story has lots of twist and turns and ups and downs with these two brothers. They justify a lot of bad ideas but one thing that remains is they always have each others backs. This book is definitely worth putting on your TBR list.

The Invited – Jennifer McMahon

InvitedThank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.

I am an avid Jennifer McMahon fan and have read many of her books. All different, all suspenseful. The Invited is one that incorporates a haunting, building a new home and a touch of You might think it is a strange combination, but you will be surprisingly mistaken.

Goodreads Summary:

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times bestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.

5 stars

This book has many twist and turns, which if you have read any of my reviews in the past, you KNOW I LOVE!

Please, do yourself a favor and read The Invited. It might be your first Jennifer McMahon, but it definitely won’t be your last!

Marooned – James Schannep

MaroonedWhen author James Schannep reached out to me to read his newest release, Marooned.  (Program note:  He reached out to me October 2018 and I have been so back logged I am just now getting to it.  sigh.. sorry James).  I was really excited.  This is a throwback to the Choose Your Own Adventure books I loved as a kid.  The book was masterfully done.  Everything flowed well no matter which choice you made.


Now for my big BUT…


This is a case of “It’s me, not you”.  I was not really a fan of the subject.  It was a little too Johnny Tremain meets Treasure Island for me.  I am, however, giving this book 4/5 stars because it is so well done.


Thank you James Schannep for allowing me to read your book in return for an honest review.  Keep up the good work!

What am I reading??

Happy 2020!!  My Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2019 was 45 books and I read 47.  So this year I upped my game to 50.  I am, unfortunately, a slow reader so this will be somewhat of a challenge.  Probably doesn’t help that I read 4 books at the same time.  Why do I do this???  I have no idea.  I just love to read so in my feeble mind reading that many at a time makes me feel productive.  I know… I know… I could read 1 book at a time much faster if I just read one book at a time.  But what fun is that???  I usually read one Netgalley ARC, one Indie ARC, and 2 books that are on my TBR.

So let’s get to what I am reading right now:

  1. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski:  Have any of you read this one??  It always pops up as one of the scariest books which is why I had to read it.  But this book it taking me forever to read.  There are a couple of stories being told at the same time in this book.  Sometimes it drags, sometimes it reads fast.  I am halfway through this book so you will have to wait a little while longer for a full review.  Right now I have mixed feeling on this one.  Did I mention the pages are very creatively done??  Never read anything like it.
  2. Hidden Bodies (You, #2) by Caroline Kepnes:  Yes, I am reading this AND watching the second season of You on Netflix at the same time.  I read You AFTER I watched the first season.  I really enjoyed the book and reading more into Joe’s whacky thoughts.  This one seems just as good.  I am halfway through this one too.  Quite a few differences in the book and series, but both are good.
  3. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt:  So this one has been on my TBR FOREVER!!  I know, I am really REALLY late to this party.  I am probably about 1/4 through this book and really love reading about all the difference characters.  So far my favorite, of course, is Chablis.
  4. His Name Was Zach by Peter Martuneac:  This one I received as an ARC from the author in return for an honest review.  Not finished with this one yet, BUT…. it is a gripping book!  It is another zombie apocalypse book but it dives more into the relationship between a former Marine and a 14 year old girl who he “adopts” as his daughter.  So far this is a touching story with plenty of excitement thrown in.  Stay tuned for this review.  I have a feeling it will be a good one.

I would love to hear what all of you are reading and/or what is on your TBR for 2020.  I may need to add some to my ever growing list!  lol


The Other People – C.J. Tudor

The other peopleThe Other People is C.J. Tudor’s 3rd book.  I have read all 3 and am quite the “fan girl”.  C. J. Tudor is a talent that needs to be a household name like Stephen King.  Her work is thorough, original and gripping.

GoodReads Summary:

She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

5 stars

In The Other People you get lots of twists and turns but in the end all twists come together for an amazing Ah Ha moment.  Do you self a favor and read The Other People and then pick up The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place too.  You will thank me later!

The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs – Katherine Howe

DaughtersI am sooooo behind on my reviews!!  I am still reading tons, just finding time to write reviews has been few and far between.  And because I am still reading 4 books at a time, I seem to be digging a bigger black hole of reviews.  So, thanks to all for your patience.

This book is the sequel to The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, which I have not read….. Yet. 🙂  But

I was totally engrossed in this book.  I loved the historical tie in to the Salem Witch Trials and all the “witchiness” this book offers.


Katherine Howe does a fantastic job in really letting you feel what each character is feeling.  The story line is intriguing and not a dull spot anywhere in the book.  I look forward to reading more from Howe.

5 stars

Thanks LibraryThing for the advanced copy in return for an honest review.

Monarch Manor – Maureen Leurck

img_0424Two Augusts ago I read a first novel of an up and coming author.  Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck.  It was fantastic and read like she had been writing for years.  The story was well written and flowed magically.  So when Maureen’s second book, Monarch Manor, was published you can bet I jumped at the chance to read it!


And Maureen did NOT disappoint.  She weaves a tale of two generations, 70 years apart but so similar in their struggles.  It starts with an old photograph that the main character, Erin, finds in her grandmother’s things.  This photo prompts Erin to want to know more about the people in the photo and her connection with them.  What Erin learns are the similarities of her life and the mysterious life of the people in the photo.

Nothing can come between the bond of a mother and a child.

Please do yourself a favor and pick up Monarch Manor and while you are at your local bookstore you might as well pick up Cicada Summer too!!  You do not have to read them in a certain order but I did love the reference of the character in Cicada Summer in Monarch Manor!

5 stars

Can’t wait to see what Maureen Leurck writes next!!


Fangirl BookHermitt 🙂