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  • By a Thread

    9/10

    By a Thread

    Rec from @beachreadsandbubbly and maybe one of the better BRADS (Beach Reads After Dark) I’ve read this year. Medium spice, but mostly because it’s a slow burn. And bonus points for a non humiliating cover.

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  • It Starts With Us

    7/10

    It Starts With Us

    In the acknowledgements Colleen said she never wanted to write this book and I get that. It’s a fast and easy read, but it’s a bit of a nothing burger. Especially compared to It Ends With Us. I don’t regret the purchase, but just know it’s really more of a fleshed out epilogue.

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  • The Best of Friends

    8/10

    The Best of Friends

    Whoa. I liked the last Lucinda Berry book so much I steamrolled right into another one even though the description seemed pretty dark. And now I am fully traumatized. She’s an incredible writer – especially complicated female characters, which made this story absolutely gut wrenching. TW – everything but sexual assault. I don’t even know how to rate this because it’s an original story and very well written, but I am HAUNTED by it and not sure if I want to wish that on anyone. All I can say is if you start it – you need to finish it.

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  • When She Returned

    9/10

    When She Returned

    This was really good. A woman disappears and reappears 10 years later. Story is told by the missing woman leading up to her disappearance and by the new wife and the missing woman’s teenage daughter. I could tell by reading it, it was written by a woman. The characters are so nuanced and believable. Cult stuff, but no major triggers.

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  • The House Across the Lake

    8/10

    The House Across the Lake

    I don’t like reviews that give too much away. I read this book in less than a week (pretty fast for me) so I would say it was gripping and entertaining. However. It is so ridiculous it veers into lazy storytelling. So is it good? That depends. If you base it on pure entertainment – yes. If you base it on a good story – no. No major triggers.

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  • Revenge

    9/10

    Revenge

    This is as unhinged as The Cut article. It’s a giant tabloid – so just know that going into it. But the author is an old British man and his accent and ability to convey the author’s extreme pettiness is exquisite. Great book to listen to while you fall asleep because there’s not really a plot – it’s just juicy gossip. I think like 15% of it is actually true.

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  • Nora Goes Off Script

    9/10

    Nora Goes Off Script

    I devoured this book in a few days. It may be one of the first pure romance (zero spice) books that I have read, but it was just so endearing. Such a comfort read. I didn’t want it to end. A @beachreadsandbubbly rec.

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  • The Lies I Tell

    6/10

    The Lies I Tell

    Between a fundamental misunderstanding of financial crimes and a truly dim main character – this book was not it for me. I love a con artist novel, but even the self referential idea of a female con artist feels sexist here. Like a person who does crimes AND is a woman? GASP! Anyone who knows more than 20 women knows at least one talented grifter.

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  • The End of Normal

    6/10

    The End of Normal

    I’m not sure what I was hoping to get out of this book. If I am being honest with myself probably some juicy family gossip. And Jesus did it deliver on that. She literally throws everyone except her stepfather under the bus in a big way. Every person (including Stephanie) except for the stepfather is so incredibly unlikeable. She is publishing exact texts, letters and emails from everywhere around her, both dead and alive. She puts her 18 year old stepson on blast for asking for his father’s car after he passes. This is the kind of stuff the book is full of. It was juicy, sure, but I felt like a vulture reading it.

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  • Things We Do in the Dark

    9/10

    Things We Do in the Dark

    I really like this author and was frankly nervous to read this most recent book. I loved Little Secrets so much it’s always hard to follow up such a hit. Plus I would feel bad if I had to give an author I liked a poor review. I decided ahead of time if I didn’t like it – I just wouldn’t talk about it.

    Luckily this wasn’t an issue at all. I really enjoyed this. She writes books that assume the reader is much smarter than a lot of other thrillers. Some thrillers beat you over the head with AND NOW A TWIST!!!! rather than allow your own logic and reasoning to move the story forward. I really like that. The characters aren’t stupid or helpless. I devoured this in two days. It kept me on my toes and was a very satisfying read.

    Does deal with child abuse and sexual assault, but it is referenced rather than described which I was fine with. These mostly drive the story abstractly. I have read MUCH darker books that did make me uneasy, but I was fine with this.

    Also! Great job with the cover. I maintain Little Secrets never got the love it deserved because it didn’t ‘look’ like a thriller.

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  • The Hotel Nantucket

    10/10

    The Hotel Nantucket

    I think possibly the most enjoyable book so far this year. The luxurious details were just a delight. This book brought me peace and joy and my god if that isn’t getting expensive these days. Plus I obviously loved the anonymous influencer character.

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  • Twice in a Blue Moon

    8/10

    Twice in a Blue Moon

    This was cute. Not great, but I didn’t feel like I wasted my time. Ending was a little limp.

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  • The Lion’s Den

    5/10

    The Lion’s Den

    I disliked the narrator so much I have no idea if the book was any good. I used an Audible credit (the audio quality is so much better than Libby, so I still use it for all my audio books) so I felt committed even though I should have returned it. I hate listened to all the bad accents. Don’t be like me. Read it or skip it.

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  • Float Plan

    6/10

    Float Plan

    Didn’t care for this one though. It was kind of a bummer – she’s mourning her boyfriend who died by suicide and not very steamy…so…yeah. I came for lighthearted smut. I imagine a teenager who loves to be in their feelings would like this though and it’s not too raunchy.

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  • The Soulmate Equation

    9/10

    The Soulmate Equation

    Read this to take a break from all murders. It’s basically if The One was a romantic comedy. And honestly since they hardly even make romcom movies anymore – reading them has almost felt nostalgic. Light and easy – recommend!

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  • Then She Was Gone

    8/10

    Then She Was Gone

    Not a thriller – more suspense, but I really enjoyed. Great character development and was very engaging. I blew threw it. Skip if PPD is a trigger. While it doesn’t have to do with young children it really hit that ‘am I being a good mom’ nerve for me because it was so poignant.

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  • Local Woman Missing

    8/10

    Local Woman Missing

    Listened on audible – should have read instead. Otherwise this was a good one! I like that it has a lot of different stories going on. Solid character development.

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  • Never Saw Me Coming

    9/10

    Never Saw Me Coming

    Loved. An original story for sure. Incredibly gripping and entertaining. I guessed the ending towards the end, but it didn’t make it any less interesting.

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  • Golden Girl

    8/10

    Golden Girl

    Loving this. Engaging but relaxing.

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  • Project Hail Mary

    9/10

    Project Hail Mary

    Fear not people who also struggled through Rocks for Jocks in college – this is still funny and absolutely engrossing. I think this is the second sci-fi book I’ve ever read, and the bar is set WAY too high. Worth the hype. Don’t care if they make it into a movie because I already know it could never compare. Yes, I will go back and read The Martian.

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  • In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

    8/10

    In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

    I liked this! It’s a little Scooby Doo in the way any college reunion whodunnit is bound to be, but it was entertaining and a thriller without being too dark or heavy. Not making any top 5s for me, but I enjoyed reading it.

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