Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell


Oh, David Bell…I am forever in debt to your amazing writing. So excited to be reading another book of yours this month!

Thank you Berkley for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: After years of struggling to write following the deaths of his wife and son, English professor Connor Nye publishes his first novel, a thriller about the murder of a young woman. There’s just one problem: Connor didn’t write the book. His missing student did. And then she appears on his doorstep, alive and well, threatening to expose him. Connor’s problems escalate when the police insist details in the novel implicate him in an unsolved murder from two years ago. Soon Connor discovers the crime is part of a disturbing scandal on campus and faces an impossible dilemma–admit he didn’t write the book and lose his job or keep up the lie and risk everything. When another murder occurs, Connor must clear his name by unraveling the horrifying secrets buried in his student’s manuscript.

Another phenomenal book by David. Honestly, he is definitely one of my top five favorite authors of all-time. He never ceases to fail! His stories always grip you right from page one. This book is no exception. If you are a fan of mysteries or suspense novels, don’t even hesitate on this read – pick it up ASAP! I can’t wait for his next thrilling tale!

5/5 Stars

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

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I grew up 30 minutes away from the Chesapeake Bay, so any book that takes place in the same area is an automatic must-read for me!

Thank you Berkley for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Piper Parrish’s life on Frick Island—a tiny, remote town smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay—is nearly perfect. Well, aside from one pesky detail: Her darling husband, Tom, is dead. When Tom’s crab boat capsized and his body wasn’t recovered, Piper, rocked to the core, did a most peculiar thing: carried on as if her husband was not only still alive, but right there beside her, cooking him breakfast, walking him to the docks each morning, meeting him for their standard Friday night dinner date at the One-Eyed Crab. And what were the townspeople to do but go along with their beloved widowed Piper? Anders Caldwell’s career is not going well. A young ambitious journalist, he’d rather hoped he’d be a national award-winning podcaster by now, rather than writing fluff pieces for a small town newspaper. But when he gets an assignment to travel to the remote Frick Island and cover their boring annual Cake Walk fundraiser, he stumbles upon a much more fascinating tale: an entire town pretending to see and interact with a man who does not actually exist. Determined it’s the career-making story he’s been needing for his podcast, Anders returns to the island to begin covert research and spend more time with the enigmatic Piper—but he has no idea out of all the lives he’s about to upend, it’s his that will change the most.

Don’t look any further for the perfect beach read. This book is charming, emotional, and enchanting! You’ll cry tears of sadness and joy all in the same breath. A beautiful story of love and friendships. A beautiful story of humanity at it’s best. And to all my friends and family back home reading this review, it’s based off of Smith Island, so you just have to pick it up this summer and read it! 🙂

5/5 Stars

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell


I was in the mood for something light, upbeat, and flirty – so I decided to dive into this one!

Thank you Berkley Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. She finds herself compelled to put every detail down on canvas. What she doesn’t know is that she’s painting the infamous Duke of Weston, and that her life will never be the same. A second son, Anthony Philby thought he could flee his brutal family legacy and become his own man. Forced back to London by his brother’s death, he inherits a fortune… with strings attached. One scandal will sink his bid for independence. It’s in his best interest to burn Lucy Coover’s shocking painting and pretend he never met the bewitching young artist. Instead, he finds himself offering a devil’s bargain. He’ll save her aunt’s dressmaking shop from ruin, if she’ll seek out his missing sister, Effie. As they work together, an unexpected passion ignites between them. But the hunt for Effie leads to unexpected danger, and soon they find themselves risking everything… for a love that might destroy them both. 

This is definitely light, upbeat, and very flirty! This is the start of a new series, and I have a feeling that those who love this book will be really happy about that! First of all, I absolutely love the cover! It’s stunning! Secondly, if you are a fan of the Bridgerton series as of lately, I think this will be right up your alley! It was a little cheesy for me, but then again…I’m all for intense emotions whether good or bad. I just felt like this had a lot going on (alcohol, PTSD, emotional abuse, etc.) just to say that it included it. I’m probably not the best reader for this novel, but I can see where a lot of people are really going to love this one!

3/5 Stars

The Minders by John Marrs


John Marrs is one of my favorite authors. I’m super excited to be able to read his latest novel!

Thank you Berkley Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into – so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders – the latest weapon in thwarting cyber-terrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country’s most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads. Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they’re given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew. But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they’ll do anything to protect.

And there he does it again! Another fantastic book I couldn’t put down once I picked it up to read! This is such a relevant story, especially with today’s news of hacking happening minute by minute. The characters and plot are complex in the best way possible. There are a lot of different point of views, but that’s what makes this story completely put-together. If you haven’t read his previous books, I recommend doing so because it definitely ties characters into this book, but is not necessarily required to read this one. A Highly recommended read!

5/5 Stars

If I Disappear by Eliza Jane Brazier


If you love true crime podcasts, this book may just be for you!

Thank you Berkley for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Sera loves true crime podcasts. They make her feel empowered in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She’s sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it’s time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts. Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel’s small hometown to begin her search. She’s convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won’t be the last…Rachel did try to warn her.

Okay, I cannot go on any further without mentioning, HOW AWESOME IS THIS COVER?! Literally, so stunning! Now to the book…here is your fair warning (just like Rachel gave *wink wink*). It’s a tad WEIRD. Like mind-twisting, what the heck are they thinking/doing, what did I read type of weird. Not too much so that you wouldn’t enjoy reading it, but just be prepared for a mind-bending experience. The story is told in the second person which is different than most which leave elements of suspense, but it also left me with plot holes and confusion. The concept is so unique and it truly has suspense all throughout, so I really did enjoy the read but may not find myself picking it up ever again.

3/5 Stars

Always The Last To Know by Kristan Higgins


If you’ve been apart of the literary world for awhile, you should be familiar with Kristan and her wonderful work!

I’m so excited to join Berkley’s Blog Tour in introducing her latest novel, Always The Last to Know!

Sometimes you have to break a family to fix it.

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins, a new novel examining a family at the breaking point in all its messy, difficult, wonderful complexity.

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other…who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters– Barb’s favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John’s darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn’t be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.

Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad–and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she’s spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.

And now Barb and John will finally have to face what’s been going on in their marriage all along.

From the author of Good Luck with That and Life and Other Inconveniences comes a new novel of heartbreaking truths and hilarious honesty about what family really means. 

It’s a feel-good emotional read that you won’t want to miss out on! Such a wonderful, heartfelt story. Now available!

The Closer You Get by Mary Torjussen

Hey, any book that has a quote and great review from one of your favorite authors (Shari Lapena), you just have to read it!

Thank you Berkley for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Coworkers Ruby and Harry are in love–but they’re married to other people. They decide to tell their spouses that their marriages are over and to start their new lives together. Ruby, who has wanted to leave her controlling husband for a while, tells him she’s leaving him and waits at the hotel where she and Harry are to meet. But Harry never shows up. Suddenly, Ruby’s life has fallen apart, and she’s lost everything. Harry won’t answer her calls, and she’s fired from her job. She finds a cheap apartment in a run-down part of town, all the while wondering what happened to Harry. Just as Ruby thinks she’s hit rock bottom, strange and menacing things start to happen–someone is sneaking into her apartment, and someone is following her home late at night–and she is going to have to fight for her survival.

This may have been written similarly to other domestic thrillers, but the writing and differing point of views was enjoyable to read! I’m not much for multiple points of view, but it flowed really well in this book. It was a fun, easy read that kept me on the edge of my seat even if it seemed like a familiar story. It read even better than watching a good Hallmark Movie Mystery. It had just the right amount of mystery with some good twists in-between. It’s a perfect weekend binge read.

4/5 Stars

Master Class by Christina Dalcher

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I read and really enjoyed Christina’s first novel Vox (you can read my review on this blog), and was excited to hear about her latest novel!

Thank you Berkley for my gifted e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Every child’s potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it’s off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy. Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena’s perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back. And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen. 

As a teacher and a mother, this book hit me on all kinds of levels. I have so many thoughts on the education system and honestly, this book brings about a great conversation on a lot of them! A world where test scores define you? Are we there yet even? The suspense! This book is all too real in my opinion, which makes it all the greater to read! I loved it and would really love to hear your thoughts on it as well!

5/5 Stars

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

A lot of people raved about Kimmery’s first book “The Queen of Hearts”, so I was quite excited to get my hands on her newest book!

Thank you Berkley for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.
Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers. 

I’m not quite sure if it was Kimmery’s first book that brought me to want to read this one or the fact that it focuses around the profession in the urology field. My aunt is a nurse for a urologist (hello if you are reading this <3) and I’ve always found it so fascinating! It could be the biologist in me if I do say so myself. It could’ve also been because this is such a relevant case that’s happening in hospitals today. It’s an important conversation to have and I appreciate Kimmery’s approach on the topic of transgender patients. It’s an eye-opening and compelling story that I think all who read it would really appreciate. Also, Charleston South Carolina for the setting? Yes please!

4/5 Stars

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

This book arrived at a perfect time for all the drama surrounding members of Hollywood buying their way into school. I just had to read this!

Thank you Berkley for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Isobel Johnson knows helicopter parents like Julia Abbott–a stage mom whose world revolves around interfering in her children’s lives–come with the territory. Julia resents teachers like Isobel, who effortlessly bond with students, including Julia’s own teenagers, who have started pulling further away from her. Isobel has spent her teaching career in Liston Heights side-stepping the community’s high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a “blatant liberal agenda,” she realizes she’s squarely in the fray. Rather than cowering, Isobel doubles down on her social-justice ideals. Meanwhile, Julia, obsessed with the casting of the high school’s winter musical, inadvertently shoves the female student lead after sneaking onto the school campus. The damning video footage goes viral and has far-reaching consequences for Julia and her entire family. With nothing to unite them beyond the sting of humiliation from public meltdowns, Isobel and Julia will find common ground where they least expect it, confronting a secret Facebook gossip site that’s stirring up more trouble for this tumultuous, fractured school community.

I think reading this as a high school teacher myself, I had a whole new perspective on this novel. I’ve seen all kinds of parents and teachers, but this takes the cake! It’s an easy read with lots of drama which makes for a fun afternoon binge. I’m not one for stories told in multiple perspectives, but this story really needed to be said this way. The author really painted a great picture of all the drama surrounding parents, teachers, and students in a high school setting with all the aspects of social media and the arts. A fun read!

4/5 Stars