Tag Archive | betrayal

Before I Knew by Jamie Beck- Review

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Don’t Miss Jamie Beck’s Newest Release, Coming 8/22/17!

Before I Knew is an Emotionally Raw, Compelling, and Touching Novel. 

 

Before I Knew, is an amazing story about, starting over, second chances and honesty. I was immediately caught up in the story’s plot and drawn into Alec and Colby’s lives. This is the third novel that I have read by Jamie Beck, and I loved it. It’s compelling, well-written and emotionally raw. I didn’t want to put it down.

Alec Morgan has loved Colby Cabot-Baxter since childhood. His brother, Joe, the athletic one, however, was the brother who won Colby’s friendship. The Morgan’s and the Cabot family have been friends for years, but that all changed, when Joe died. Joe had acted on a foolish dare, which ended his life; Mark Baxter’s dare. Alec’s family blamed Colby’s husband, Mark Baxter, but Alec knew it wasn’t entirely Mark’s fault. Not by a long shot. Three months after Joe’s death, Mark committed suicide. Both Colby and Alec were riddled with guilt. They both were hiding secrets and lies of omission. Colby had never told her family and friends about Mark’s secret. If she had, would Mark still be alive? Possibly.

Secrets of omission can be just as damaging as outright lies. Alec wanted to come clean with Colby, but he just couldn’t spit the words out. He has loved Colby for forever, and now that he had her in his arms he didn’t want to crush his chance of making her, his. Alec just knew that their relationship would end if Colby discovered what he was hiding. But, secrets and lies of omission have a way of unearthing themselves, and the fall-out is never pretty. Can Colby and Alec’s relationship survive, when the inevitable happens?

Before I knew, is a brilliant beginning to The Cabots Series. I’m looking forward to reading more by this talented author.

Thank you, Montlake Romance and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 stars~ Review by Peg Glover

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*The Forgotten Woman* by Angela Marsons

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The Forgotten Woman is a riveting story, about two women, broken, from the backlash of abuse and alcoholism. They formed a close bond and assisted one another in rebuilding their lives. Although Kit Mason and Frances Thornton came from completely different backgrounds, they became the best of friends.

Kim Mason is an ex-prostitute with a violent and abusive past. Frances Thornton is a successful lawyer who was abandoned and abused. Kim Mason landed in a safe-house after being beaten and stabbed by her pimp. Frances Thornton is recovering from an embarrassing, career altering mishap. She collapsed into a drunkard stupor while representing her client, in the middle of the courtroom.

The author does a wonderful job developing these two characters and bringing them to life for the reader. Their dialogue is realistic and witty and their circumstances compelling but tragic. Although, Kim and Frances had come from different worlds; their battles, especially regarding trust, love, and addiction, were the same. The book would have had more of a realistic feel to it, though, if there had been more detail written about the women’s struggle with addiction and the role that Alcoholics Anonymous had played in their recovery.

I enjoyed the book immensely, though, and rooted for the characters, right from the start. The story flowed smoothly from one character’s life to the other. It’s not a fluffy tale; it’s raw, but it’s well-written. I loved the book and recommend giving it a read.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

~4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Drowned Phoenician Sailor* by Lesley Hayes*5-Shining Stars

The drowned Phoenician Sailor

The Drowned Phoenician Sailor is a beautifully written, character-driven novel, which quickly draws the reader into the heart and mind of the main character, Fynn. Fynn is a strong-willed, feisty, independent woman with a good sense of humor and a caring spirit. But, because she is being bothered by two ghosts on a regular basis, she fears for her sanity. One of the ghosts is her twin sister, and the other is Paul, her psychotherapist; the same psychotherapist who she was seeing because of her ghost visitations in the first place. Unfortunately for Fynn, when Paul dies, he ends up popping in and out of Fynn’s life, just like her dead sister.

Although Fynn was afraid that she might be insane, she was still the most responsible person in her family and the only one who cared for her eccentric, childlike mother whose grip on reality was quite slippery. It was on one of her visits to her mother’s house that Fynn met Jack, a mysterious man whom her mother found washed up on the beach and brought home, much like she would a stray puppy. Jack would become a special person to Fynn, though, someone who would touch her soul.

The author does an exceptional job writing about the issues that are often found in dysfunctional families; such as; abuse, abandonment, deceit, depression, and mistrust. Ms. Hayes explores many of the puzzle pieces that make up positive and negative relationships and crafts them into a beautiful story. There is a lot of humor, wisdom, and inspiration that is sprinkled throughout this book.

The characters are unique, developed and utterly fascinating; even the cat has a quirky hysterical personality. The Drowned Phoenician Sailor is written with elegance, so much so, that I often stopped to reread a sentence, just to admire the beauty of the author’s word choices. Every sentence is carefully crafted, to tug at the reader’s heart, make them laugh or move the story forward.

This is a quality book with oodles of insights and wisdom. I highly recommend giving it a read.

~5 out of 5 shining stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Everything We Keep*by Kerry Lonsdale

Everything We Keep

Everything We Keep is an intriguing and entertaining romantic suspense novel.

Aimee thought that she had the perfect life. And she did; until the news of her fiancee’s death had reached her ears. Aimee was devastated, of course, but, to add to her distress, her fiancee’s mother insisted on having James’s funeral on the same day that they were supposed to have been married.

Aimee did her best to move on; she opened her dream restaurant, met new people; she even developed a close friendship with another man. But her heart was still stuck in the past. Aimee couldn’t help bouncing a crazy psychic’s words around in her head. “James is alive. He’s living in Mexico.”

Aimee’s friends tried to convince her that the psychic was a phony and only after her money. Aimee was not so sure about that. She never did see James’s body and things weren’t quite adding up. Against everyone’s advice, Aimee boarded a plane. What she found in Mexico, though, shocked her to the core, not to mention all of the lies and secrets that she unearthed while she was there. Aimee didn’t know who to trust anymore.

Kerry Lonsdale proves herself to be a talented storyteller. Everything We Keep is a captivating novel, crafted with a unique storyline, and a mixture of mystery and romance. The book could benefit, though, with a quick edit to remove unnecessary repetitions. All in all, I found Everything We Keep, an enjoyable read.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Three Sisters* by Susan Mallery*5-Shining Stars

Three Sisters

Three Sisters is a brilliantly crafted, touching, character-driven novel. Each page captured my attention and hijacked my heart. The author brings the reader deeply into the lives and hearts of three women who are emotionally broken and in the middle of a personal crisis.

After being left at the altar, Dr. Andi Gordan decided to abandon her life in Seattle and move to Blackberry Island. She bought a severely neglected, Queen Anne home to renovate. It would serve as her home, her healing and her pediatric office.

Boston King’s marriage is crumbling. Her heart died months ago, right along with her baby. Although Boston’s artistic skills are in demand, she hasn’t been able to draw anything but pictures of her dead son. She’s a shell of the person that she used to be.

Deanna Phillips feels desperate. Her husband wants to end their marriage; her oldest daughter hates her, and her younger daughters are afraid of her. Deanna thought that being perfect was a good thing, now she knows it’s not. Her OCD and rigidity are out of control as well as her self-harming behaviors.

Susan Mallery captures the essence of her flawed characters, perfectly. Every page is brought to life for the reader with razor sharp details and raw emotion. Although I felt each woman’s heart-wrenching pain, I also felt their love, hope, and joy. I rejoiced with each character as they began to heal and become whole once again. Truly, this is one of the best books that I have read this year. It’s touching, powerful, and immensely satisfying. Don’t miss it.

5 out of 5 shining stars~Review by Peg Glover

*Swearing Allegiance*by Jana Petken*5-Shining Stars

Swearing Aligience

Swearing Allegiance, book one of The Carmody Saga, takes place in Dublin, Ireland in 1916, during the Irish Rebellion, and the first part of the Great War.

Jana Petken is a master storyteller and a magnificent writer. I’ve read every one of her books and have never been disappointed. They have all been five-star reads, and Swearing Allegiance is no different. Once I started reading this book, I couldn’t stop. From the very first page, I was swept up into the author’s world; A world ravaged by war, loss and betrayal.

The book follows the Carmody’s, a realistic Irish family, fractured by violence, betrayal, and injustice, but bonded together by love. The once wealthy family was jolted from their life of privilege in Ireland and forced to relocate to the poor section of London, England. Each member of the family faced their own personal crisis. Every scene in the book is crafted with sharp, authentic details. I found that the main characters were fully developed and that their dialogue was natural and realistic. The book comes alive with raw emotion right from the start, transporting the reader into the dark, violent alleys of Ireland, the bloody battlefields in France, prisoner of war camps and the streets of London, under attack by German Zeppelins. By the end of this riveting book, I was exhausted, happy and wanting more. Now, I can’t wait for book two in the series to be released.

I loved Swearing Allegiance, and highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a story, well-told.

5 out of 5 shining stars~Review by Peg Glover

*The Stepmother* by Claire Seeber

The Stepmother

The Stepmother is a very intense, fast-paced psychological thriller.

Jeanie Randall didn’t realize when she married Matthew King, just how hard it was going to be, to make their blended family work. Frankie, her son, had come to blows with her husband more than once, and Matthew’s daughter Scarlett, was taking every opportunity it seemed, to be rude and hurtful to Jeanie. Luke, Mathew’s quiet son, however, seemed to care for his new step-family and was civil and kind to Jeanie. But there was more that tore at Jeanie’s heart, unfortunately, much, much more. And, she felt as if there was no one she could truly turn to.

Jeanie should have told Matthew about her shameful secret before she married him, but she didn’t. Someone, though, found out about her secret and was trying to ruin her reputation and her marriage. Jeanie began to feel as if she was going insane. She couldn’t sleep; heard the walls whispering to her, saw ghosts and was receiving frightening threats pinned onto dead birds.

There are several key players in this book and throughout the novel, I kept changing my feelings about them. I didn’t know who to trust. The Stepmother had me glued to the seat, flipping one compelling page after another. The only thing that took me out of the story was the subplot about Marlena’s journalist work. But all in all, I loved the book, and would recommend giving it a read.

I received this ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover