Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer 2019 TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books On My Summer 2019 TBR.

Last week’s TTT was anticipated releases for the second half of 2019 (my list is here). Some of those books are on my reading list for the next couple of months, but I don’t want to duplicate the same list as last week. So, below are 10 books I plan to read this summer that are on my reading backlog list.

1. Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
Hannah Swensen series, #10

Carrot Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

Summertime has finally arrived in Lake Eden, Minnesota, and Hannah Swensen, owner of The Cookie Jar bakery, is looking forward to warm, lazy days, eating ice cream, and sharing picnics with friends. But when a family reunion takes a deadly turn, it’s up to Hannah to find a killer…

Between baking up a storm for The Cookie Jar and unraveling the mystery of her cat Moishe’s recent strange behavior, Hannah Swensen has a lot on her plate. But she’ll always make time for her business partner, Lisa, who’s in the midst of preparing for a big family reunion. Everyone is delighted when Lisa’s long-lost uncle makes a surprise appearance. No one has heard from Gus in twenty-five years–and his arrival has everyone buzzing with excitement.

Uncle Gus is immediately the hit of the reunion, telling tales of his great success and flashing money for all to see. He’s almost as popular as Hannah’s scrumptious carrot cake, which is also Gus’s favorite dessert. But the next morning, as the whole family gathers for the group photo, one person is missing. Hannah offers to track down Uncle Gus, but her search leads to a shocking find. Over by the bar at the pavilion, she spots two slices of her infamous carrot cake, frosting-side down on the floor–and Gus’s corpse with an ice pick jutting out of his chest!

A little snooping reveals that not everyone was celebrating Gus’s return. And when Hannah unearths more secrets from Gus’s past, she discovers even more people with an axe to grind. Now Hannah’s got to sift through a long list of suspects to find a killer–even if it could mean a recipe for her own demise…

2. Hook, Line, and Blinker by Jana Deleon
Miss Fortune Mystery series, #10

Hook, Line, and Blinker by Jana Deleon

Nobody knows speed like Ida Belle.

Behind the wheel of her hopped-up Blazer, she’s the queen of the back roads. But when someone tries to kill Hot Rod and steals only black SUVs from his shop, Fortune worries that excessive horsepower is the least of the trouble that comes along with her friend’s new ride. When it becomes clear that the car thieves didn’t get what they were looking for the first time around and Ida Belle’s vehicle becomes their next target, Fortune and Gertie are determined to protect their friend.

Ida Belle is determined to protect the Blazer.

3. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night, when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately lands on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

4. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
Millennium series, #4

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

A genius hacker who has always been an outsider. A journalist with a penchant for danger. She is Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo. He is Mikael Blomkvist, crusading editor of Millennium. One night, Blomkvist receives a call from a source who claims to have been given information vital to the United States by a young female hacker. Blomkvist, always on the lookout for a story, reaches out to Salander for help. She, as usual, has plans of her own. Together they are drawn into a ruthless underworld of spies, cybercriminals, and government operatives—some willing to kill to protect their secrets.

5. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire series, #2

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel… and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

6. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A captivating and glamorous tale of squandered talent that defined “The Lost Generation” of 1920s New York.

Anthony Patch and Gloria Gibson are the golden children of the Jazz Age. They marry and embark on a life of glittering parties, lavish expenditure and scandalous revelry. When the money dries up their marriage founders. In this wistful novel Fitzgerald portrays the decline of youthful promise with devastating clarity.

7. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. It was on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, and a woman was sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm, and she probably would have been hurt herself if she’d stopped. Not only that, her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing. Where she left the car; if she took her pills; even the alarm code.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

And the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

8. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Kindred by Octavia E. Butler

Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

9. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read…

My darling Cecilia,
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not only the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. And then imagine that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive…

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. But that letter is about to change everything—and not just for her. There are other women who barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they, too, are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

10. The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth series, #3

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah’s world stopped that day, and she’s been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn’t feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?

*Blurbs via Amazon.

Book Review: After the End by Clare Mackintosh

After the End by Clare Mackintosh

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: After the End
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publish Date: June 25, 2019
Genre: Contemporary
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 3.0 / Community 4.45

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

After the End by Clare Mackintosh
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MY REVIEW
A happily married couple are given the devastating news that their son has a brain tumor, and his prognosis is terminal. His doctors recommend end of life care only. His parents are split on what to do. One agrees with the doctors and the other wants to pursue other treatments. Since the parents cannot agree, the decision is left to the court system.

Told with alternating points of view – Pip (mother), Max (father), and Leila (doctor). The novel is also split between before and after. The “before” part tells the family’s story up until the court’s decision. The “after” story is using alternative scenarios – the court ruling with the mother and the court ruling with the father. Pip and Max both have valid reasons for their decisions, and both believe they are doing what is best for their child.

I have mixed emotions about this novel. I feel the topic is relevant and thought-provoking, but I was not a fan of how the story was told. I enjoyed the alternating POVs of Pip and Max, but Leila could have been dropped. Some aspects of her story were interesting, but, overall, the book could have worked without her POV. My main issue was the alternate scenarios. They were sometimes confusing, and just didn’t work for me.

This novel deals with a controversial topic. In After the End it’s interesting that the parents could not agree on a medical decision, so it was forced into the courts. I imagine this could be a great book club read. Though it may cause some uncomfortable conversations.

An emotional contemporary family saga. This is a difficult book to read, and not one that everyone will feel comfortable reading. Heartbreaking and tragic.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Dear Wife
Author: Kimberly Belle
Publisher: Park Row
Publish Date: June 25, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.24

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From the bestselling author of The Marriage Lie and Three Days Missing comes a riveting new novel of suspense about a woman who, in a fight for survival, must decide just how far she’ll go to escape the person she once loved

Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
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MY REVIEW
Alternating points of view (Beth, Jeffrey, and Marcus) tell an intriguing story of domestic suspense. Beth is on the run from her violent husband. She has been living in fear, and has carefully planned her escape. Jeffrey has returned home from a business trip to discover his wife, Sabine, is missing. As Jeffrey learns more about what was going on in his wife’s life, he also becomes the prime suspect in her disappearance. Marcus is the detective working Sabine’s case. He’s following all the leads to find the missing woman.

Strong, well-developed characters. All of the characters are smart, interesting, and secretive. I enjoy a good unreliable narrator story, and this one kept up the suspense.

A clever and absorbing psychological thriller. This is a page-turner that will keep you guessing. Dark, intense, and complex.

I received a free advance digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Weekly Wrap-Up (Jun 15 – Jun 21)

Weekly Wrap-Up

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.



BOOKS READ

• One print book – Sugar and Spice by Fern Michaels, Beverly Barton, Joanne Fluke, and Shirley Jump
• Two ebooks – The First Mistake by Sandie Jones and False Step by Victoria Helen Stone
• Three audiobooks – A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, When You Disappeared by John Marrs, and The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

Sugar and Spice by Fern Michaels, Beverly Barton, Joanne Fluke, and Shirley JumpThe First Mistake by Sandie JonesFalse Step by Victoria Helen Stone
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonWhen You Disappeared by John MarrsThe Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan 


BOOKS ACQUIRED

• Library books – I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney, Miracle Creek by Angie Kim, and I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
• eARCs – On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci, The Doll Factory by Elizabeth McNeil, Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge, and Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison

I Know Who You Are by Alice FeeneyMiracle Creek by Angie KimI Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina BocciThe Doll Factory by Elizabeth MacnealNow You See Me by Chris McGeorgeGood Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison


CURRENTLY READING

• one print book – I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
• one ebook – Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
• one audiobook – Her Last Move by John Marrs

I Owe You One by Sophie KinsellaDear Wife by Kimberly BelleHer Last Move by John Marrs


BLOG POSTS

MONDAY – Book Reviews: Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova & The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
TUESDAY – Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019
WEDNESDAY – Book Reviews: I Know You by Annabel Kantaria & The First Mistake by Sandie Jones
THURSDAY – Book Reviews: Finale by Stephanie Garber & False Step by Victoria Helen Stone
FRIDAY – Weekly Wrap-Up (Jun 15 – Jun 21)

Thanks for stopping by Nightcap Books. Happy Reading!

Book Review: False Step by Victoria Helen Stone

False Step by Victoria Helen Stone

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: False Step
Author: Victoria Helen Stone
Publisher: Lake Union
Publish Date: July 1, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.61

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.

For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.

In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.

But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.

False Step by Victoria Helen Stone
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MY REVIEW
Veronica is suddenly in the spotlight when her husband, Johnny, finds a missing toddler. Johnny is enjoying being a hero and all the media attention, but Veronica is afraid her secrets may be revealed. When Veronica learns there was more to the toddler’s disappearance, she realizes her secrets are the least of her worries.

A combination of family drama and suspense. Veronica is unhappy with her life, primarily with her marriage. When Johnny is the local hero and in all the news, Veronica feels even more overwhelmed. Add in the mystery surrounding the toddler’s disappearance, and Veronica life is completely turned upside down.

A fast-paced and entertaining domestic suspense. This is a fairly predictable story, especially for avid readers of thrillers. Still, I found it to be an enjoyable summer read. Dark, fun, and compelling.

This was my pick from Amazon’s First Reads in June 2019.

Book Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: Finale
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Caraval #3
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 4.30

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Finale by Stephanie Garber
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MY REVIEW
The third and final book in the Caraval series by Stephanie Garber. Caraval may be over, but there is more to Tella and Scarlett’s stories. Favorite characters are back, and new characters are introduced.

Told with the alternating points of view of Tella and Scarlett. They have individual storylines, but they are also part of the same larger story. Their individual stories mostly focus on their love lives. In the larger story, the Fates have been freed and are a tremendous threat to Valenda.

This is a series that must be read in order. I enjoyed my time in the world of Caraval and Valenda. The worldbuilding is creative and vivid. The characters are intriguing. While I enjoyed this final book in the series, I liked the first two books, Caraval and Legendary better. A fantastic young adult fantasy series. Magical and enchanting.

I borrowed this book from my local library.

Book Review: The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The First Mistake
Author: Sandie Jones
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publish Date: June 11, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.00 / Community 4.10

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .

The first mistake could be her last.

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones
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MY REVIEW
Alice lost her first husband in a sudden accident. She was devastated with the loss, but now has her life back on track. She’s got a successful business, a charming second husband, two good kids, and a best friend. Alice also suffers from anxiety and irrational fears. When she starts to suspect everything is not as wonderful as it seems, she isn’t sure who she can trust.

Alice is a successful woman in both her personal and professional lives. She has a lot going for her, but she also has some anxiety issues that hold her back. She enjoys her work, her family, and girl time with her bestie Beth. However, when she starts to look at things a little closer, she suspects her husband is up to something. She turns to Beth, but isn’t sure she can be trusted. It seems everyone has secrets to hide.

The First Mistake is divided into three parts. The first and last are present day, but the second part is set in the past. The first part lays the foundation for Alice’s story and where things are headed. The second part focuses on Beth’s story. The third part brings everything together in a dramatic and thrilling way.

This made for a fantastic summer read. It was fast-paced and exciting, making the time fly by. Great for fans of domestic thrillers. Intense and suspenseful.

I received a free advance digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: I Know You by Annabel Kantaria

I Know You by Annabel Kantaria

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: I Know You
Author: Annabel Kantaria
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publish Date: June 11, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.00 / Community 3.97

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
A twisted domestic thriller in the vein of B. A. Paris and Shari Lapena that asks: How well do you know your friends?

That picture you posted?
I’ve seen it.
That location you tagged?
I’ve been there.
I know everything about your life…
And I’m going to destroy it.

A recent transplant from sunny California, life in the London suburbs is not what Taylor Watson expected. Far from the West End shops and city lights she imagined, she finds herself pregnant and lonely, with a husband frequently away on business and only social media to keep her company. It’s only after Taylor joins a book club and a walking group, that she finally starts to make some real-life friends.
Before long, Taylor’s hanging out with Anna, Sarah, Simon, and Caroline but, as her pregnancy progresses and her friendships blossom, a sense of unease develops. Nothing’s ever quite as it seems on the surface, and it soon becomes clear that Taylor’s new friends have secrets. One appears to be after Taylor’s husband, another’s always putting her down, and then there’s the question of Simon. Could he have feelings for Taylor?
But far more worryingly, one of the group’s not being too careful what they post on social media—and another is watching all too closely. Who’s stalking who… and why?

I Know You by Annabel Kantaria
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MY REVIEW
Taylor and her husband recently moved to the London suburbs from California. Her husband is gone a lot for work, and Taylor finds herself lonely and wanting friends. To make new friends, she joins a local walking group and a neighborhood book club. She makes a few friends, but as time progresses, Taylor learns that everyone is keeping secrets.

Taylor is a young woman in a marriage that has had some ups and downs, and now she’s expecting her first child. When she and her husband move to London, she’s hoping for a fresh start. The downside is that she doesn’t have any friends in their new town. When she starts to make friends, it seems all is great. Then things start to go wrong, and it seems everyone is a suspect.

I enjoyed the social media aspect of the story. With most everyone having some involvement on social media, it’s scary how easily people can be watched. This novel did a good job of incorporating current trends into a suspenseful tale of a stalking. With so many secrets, this psychological thriller is a guessing game of who has done what. A quick and entertaining read.

I received a free advance digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.

I’ve been adding a lot of new books to my TBR this year. It looks like some good books will be released in the second half of 2019. Listed below are 10 books that I’m excited to read in the coming months.

1. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – July 2019

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story… until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

2. Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham – July 2019

Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham

A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—one that Evie Cormac, the girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth?

3. Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson – July 2019

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

In this game, even winning can be deadly…

Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.

Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.

When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.

To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

4. Someone We Know by Shari Lapena – July 2019

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did…

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much… My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide…

You never really know what people are capable of.

5. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – August 2019

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

6. The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre – August 2019

The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre

Some people just need killing.

Marlena Altizer Durst lives in her husband’s shadow. He controls her every move―what she wears, the food she eats, and the friends she’s allowed to make. If she disobeys, there are…consequences. And he has all the power.

To outsiders, it seems that she leads a fairy-tale life. But nobody ever wonders if Cinderella was happy after she married the prince. Marlena has traded freedom and safety for luxurious imprisonment, and most days, that seems like a bad bargain. Death may be the only exit she’s allowed. Just like his first wife. And his second. Unless she flips the script.

Some people just need killing.

7. The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan – August 2019

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

8. Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook – September 2019

Buried in the Stacks by Allison Brook

Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her–and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered–run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?

9. Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron – September 2019

Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Byron

Louisiana B&B owner Maggie Crozat kicks up her heels at a country music festival–but she’ll have one foot in the grave if she can’t bring the killer of a diva’s hanger-on to heel.

Grab your tickets for Cajun Country Live!, the pickers’ and crooners’ answer to the legendary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Maggie Crozat, proprietor of the Crozat Plantation B&B, plans to be in the cheering section when her friend Gaynell Bourgeois takes the stage with her band, Gaynell and the Gator Girls.

The festival’s headliner, native daughter Tammy Barker, rocketed to stardom on a TV singing competition. She has the voice of an angel…and the personality of a devilish diva. But Maggie learns that this tiny terror carries a grudge against Gaynell. She’s already sabotaged the Gator Girls’ JazzFest audition. When a member of Tammy’s entourage is murdered at the festival, Tammy makes sure Gaynell is number one on the suspect list.

Gaynell has plenty of company on that list–including every one of Tammy’s musicians. Posing as a groupie, Maggie infiltrates Tammy’s band and will have to hit all the right notes to clear her friend’s name.

10. The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – October 2019

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Gifted musician Clemency Thompson is playing for tourists on the streets of southern France when she receives an urgent text message. Her childhood friend, Lucy, is demanding her immediate return to London.

It’s happening, says the message. The baby is back.

Libby Jones was only six months old when she became an orphan. Now twenty-five, she’s astounded to learn of an inheritance that will change her life. A gorgeous, dilapidated townhouse in one of London’s poshest neighborhoods has been held in a trust for her all these years. Now it’s hers.

As Libby investigates the story of her birth parents and the dark legacy of her new home, Clemency and Lucy are headed her way to uncover, and possibly protect, secrets of their own. What really happened in that rambling Chelsea mansion when they were children? And are they still at risk?

*Listed in order of release date.
**Blurbs via Amazon.

Book Review: The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

BOOK INFO
Title: The Last House Guest
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Publish Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Series: n/a
Goodreads Ratings: Me 4.0 / Community 3.77

BOOK BLURB
from Amazon:
Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, whose summer homes line the coastline; and a simple harbor community for the year-round residents whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors.

Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl—but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and Littleport resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable—until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.

Another thrilling novel from the bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger, Megan Miranda’s The Last House Guest is a smart, twisty read with a strong female protagonist determined to make her own way in the world.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
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MY REVIEW
Avery and Sadie formed a friendship, despite them being from different social circles. Sadie’s family is wealthy and spends their summers vacationing in Maine. Avery is a townie. The young women have spent their summers together for years, and are best friends. When Sadie is found dead, Avery suspects her friend has been murdered, and she is determined to find the killer.

Told with multiple timelines, alternating between the summer Sadie died and the following summer. Avery works for Sadie’s family managing their rental properties. She and Sadie were close friends, but the other members of Sadie’s family never fully accepted Avery into their world. Furthermore, the townies feel like Avery is no longer part of their world, since she spends so much time with the wealthy summer people. In the year following Sadie’s death, Avery’s life is in a bit of turmoil, and she’s feeling lost and alone.

As Avery recalls the night Sadie died, she considers the suspects and reasons for her friend’s death. There are plenty of suspects, and Avery seems like a prime suspect herself. With secrets and twists, The Last House Guest is a mystery that kept my interest. An entertaining and easy read. Great for anyone looking for a quick summer thriller.

I received a free eARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.