What I Read: May 2022

Katherine Faulkner: Greenwich Park

Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and a baby on the way —begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath of Greenwich Park.

Want a book that messes with your head? Look no further! I can’t believe this is a debut! It was a slow start, but once it picked up, it never stopped surprising me. All the twists and turns were great, the characters were well developed and the author left no unanswered questions. Most of the story is told through Helen’s eyes with interludes from Kate or Serena. There is also an unnamed point of view narrating scenes where the reader is unsure as to what is happening but is left with a vague feeling of threat. The storytelling left me uneasy, curious to figure out the truth, impatient to understand what exactly was going on. It is a true page-turner. I couldn’t put it down.


Christina lauren: Love and other words

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away. But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos – the first and only love of her life – the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world – growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother . . . only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Wow, what a book! One of my favourite romance books ever! It was so beautifully written, with the most lovely characters that you can’t help but root for! I loved when the stories flip between the timeline and this one really added to the character development. I liked how the author connected the dots together at the end. I thought there would be just another predictable romance ending but there was a twist that completely took me by surprise. I could go on and on, because there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like. This book actually deserves a thousand-word review but I’m just going to stop here! Highly recommend!


gillian mcallister: wrong place wrong time

It’s every parent’s nightmare.Your happy, funny, innocent son commits a terrible crime: murdering a complete stranger. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your teenage boy is in custody and his future lost. That night you fall asleep in despair. Until you wake . . . and it is yesterday. Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. Another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lie the answers, and you don’t have a choice but to find them . . .

This is a part crime novel, part domestic drama and part…supernatural! I Well this was certainly different! What a cleverly structured plot. I don’t even know how McAllister kept track and created this exceptionally difficult jigsaw puzzle, that all fit perfectly in the end. Right from the start the author pulls you into the storytelling with shock, horror, disbelief and tension being the tone set and maintained throughout. The concept of the novel is fantastic and very different from her previous novels, yet it’s also full of many clever twists and turns you don’t see coming which is one of her trademarks. By far, her best book!


ali hazelwood: The love hypothesis

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding… six-pack abs.

This book was so hyped all over social media that initially, I didn’t want to read it! And the cover was really putting me off. Did I enjoy it? Sure. I mean, it was fun and I guess it was kind of flirty at times? Did it live up to the hype? No! They were cute, and the setting was unique but they were not memorable romantic characters.  I loved the use of all the classic romance tropes – the fake dating, the whole acting like a couple thing, the falling for your fake boyfriend thing, the pretend relationship turning a little bit too real… I just didn’t feel all that strong of a connection to the characters. I think it might’ve been the POV that it was written in.  also thought the lack of communication was super frustrating, especially because those people were supposed to be super smart!  I’m glad I’ve finally read it but for me it was just ok.


simone st. James: The book of Cold cases

In 1977, Claire Lake, Oregon, was shaken by the Lady Killer Murders: Two men, seemingly randomly, were murdered with the same gun, with strange notes left behind. Beth Greer was the perfect suspect–a rich, eccentric twenty-three-year-old woman, seen fleeing one of the crimes. But she was acquitted, and she retreated to the isolation of her mansion.Oregon, 2017. Shea Collins is a receptionist, but by night, she runs a true crime website, the Book of Cold Cases. When she meets Beth by chance, Shea asks her for an interview. To Shea’s surprise, Beth says yes.They meet regularly at Beth’s mansion, though Shea is never comfortable there. Items move when she’s not looking, and she could swear she’s seen a girl outside the window. Shea senses something isn’t right. Is she making friends with a manipulative murderer, or are there other dangers lurking in the darkness of the Greer house?

I picked up this book after reading The Sun Down Motel which I loved! Now this one was also good but not as good as the first one. Just like St. James’ last novel, this is full of paranormal activity. The setting of the old Victorian house nestled on the edge of a cliff overlooking the coastal waters below gives an ominous and threatening feel to the story. Extremely interesting and well developed characters, two distinct timelines, long-held secrets, and family drama are skillfully blended together to create additional atmosphere and suspense within this story. First half of the book was a bit slower for my liking but I loved the ending so that made it up for me. Now, I’m not typically a ghost book type of reader but no one does the genre better than her!


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