It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

Life…

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope you are enjoying a relaxed weekend. My family is not religious so for us the holiday is an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and spend time with family and friends.

So I’ve been working hard this week to catch up. I was shocked to log in to Netgalley and find I had 37 titles awaiting feedback, I really didn’t think the total would be so high. During the last two weeks, I’ve reduced that to under half, which is why you are seeing multiple posts a day right now, and will for a while.

And of course, since I was logged in already, I couldn’t help browsing and I added a few more titles to my schedule.

On a positive note, I discovered Netgalley has introduced some new badges, so I now have all these pretties to show off.

Unfortunately the tower of unsolicited print ARCs is still, well, towering. And there are still a couple of dozen or so titles in a pile which again, I read during my hiatus, for which I feel I still owe a review.

At the moment the task still feels insurmountable, but I’m going to keep working at it.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

 

The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by MA Orthofer

Those Other Women by Nicole Moriarty

Devil’s Bargain {Red Letter Days #1} by Rachel Caine

Devil’s Due {Red Letter Days #2} by Rachel Caine

Blood River by Tony Cavanaugh

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

 

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New Posts

 

Review: The Sparkle Pages by Meg Bignell ★★★★★

Review: The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham ★★★

Review: Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman ★★★

Review: Outback Sisters by Rachael Johns ★★★★

Review: Viral by Helen Fitzgerald ★★★

Review: Making it Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes ★★★

Review: The Complete Guide to Contemporary World Fiction by MA Orthofer ★★★★

Review: Dastardly Deeds by Isla Evans ★★★★

Review: Review: Fall {Archer & Bennett #3} by Candice Fox ★★★★★

Bookshelf Bounty

Review: The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan ★★★

(a better late than never) Review: The Near Miss by Fran Cusworth ★★

(a better late than never) Review: Smoke and Mirrors {Stephens and Mephisto #2} ★★★1/2

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What I’m Reading This Week

(book covers link to Goodreads)

 

Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.

He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?

++++++++

You live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses.

You’ve known your neighbours for years and you trust them. Implicitly.

You think your children are safe.

But are they really?

Midsummer night: a thirteen-year-old girl is found unconscious in a dark corner of the garden square. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

++++++++

May 1904. Coney Island’s newest amusement park, Dreamland, has just opened. Its many spectacles are expected to attract crowds by the thousands, paying back investors many times over.
Kitty Hayward and her mother arrive by steamer from South Africa. When Kitty’s mother takes ill, the hotel doctor sends Kitty to Manhattan to fetch some special medicine. But when she returns, Kitty’s mother has vanished. The desk clerk tells Kitty she is at the wrong hotel. The doctor says he’s never seen her although, she notices, he is unable to look her in the eye.
Alone in a strange country, Kitty meets the denizens of Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet. A relic of a darker, dirtier era, Magruder’s is home to a forlorn flea circus, a handful of disgruntled Unusuals, and a mad Uzbek scientist. Magruder’s Unusuals take Kitty under their wing and resolve to find out what happened to her mother.
But as a plague spreads, Coney Island is placed under quarantine. The gang at Magruder’s finds that a missing mother is the least of their problems, as the once-glamorous resort town is abandoned to the freaks, anarchists, and madmen.

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Rowland Sinclair is an artist and a gentleman. In Australia’s 1930s the Sinclair name is respectable and influential, yet Rowland has a talent for scandal.

Even with thousands of unemployed lining the streets, Rowland’s sheltered world is one of exorbitant wealth, culture and impeccable tailoring. He relies on the Sinclair fortune to indulge his artistic passions and friends … a poet, a painter and a brazen sculptress.

Mounting tensions fuelled by the Great Depression take Australia to the brink of revolution.

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‘The right people turn up in your life at the right time if you let them.’

Sienna Wilson is living her dream in the city – a rewarding obstetrics job in a leading hospital, an apartment with a view, and handsome Sergeant McCabe on call whenever she needs him. The last thing she wants is a posting to investigate a medical mystery in a remote outback town.

But on arrival in Spinifex, Sienna is brought to life in new and exciting ways. In a community riddled with secrets, she meets troubled young barmaid Maddy, and tough publican Alma, both with their secrets to hide.

As they draw strength from each other, new friendships, new loves and new babies are born, proving that when strong women join forces, they can overcome even the greatest odds.

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Thanks for stopping by!

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

 

Life…

Do you ever experience weird coincidences with your reading? Sometimes it’s something simple, like the same name used in two different novels, at other times an unexpected esoteric topic crops up in conversation with a friend, or in the news, which is the subject of the next book you pick up. Once, when visiting my mother, she showed me a tea towel she’d bought on a recent trip that listed unusually named towns that I’d never heard of, the next day I started a new book which mentioned two of those towns. In this instance, I unintentionally scheduled two books to read in the past week that both feature a synesthete teenage boy – one is a murder mystery, The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, the other a literary novel, The Book of Dreams, which gave no hint as to a synesthete character. In addition, my daughter casually mentioned that synesthesia was a topic in her biology class this week after I mentioned the coincidence to her. ( ♪♫♪ Insert Twilight Zone theme here ♪♫♪)

By the way, you may find I’m posting more frequently over the next few weeks. In an effort to tidy up things left undone (particularly my netgalley account) during my hiatus I’ve been writing posts for books I read but didn’t review at the time. I’ve also been attempting to update my Goodreads shelves (which are still glitching) and my LibraryThing account (feel free to add me as a friend on one, or both) Thankfully I at least kept my BookCollectorz app up to date during my absence.

Oh and it was my birthday yesterday.

🎂 Happy Birthday to me 🎂

It was a quiet day, I lounged and read. My kids bought me some new slippers for the fast approaching winter weather, and made me a cake 🙂

 

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

After the Party by Cassie Hamer

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kitty Flanagan

Fortune’s Son by Jennifer Scoullar

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan

 

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New Posts

Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella ★★

Review: The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence ★★★★1/2

Review: The Book of Dreams by Nina George ★★★

Review: Bridge Burning and Other Hobbies by Kitty Flanagan ★★★

Review: The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris ★★★1/2

Weekend Cooking: Slow Cooker Central 2 by Paulene Christie (and me!)

Review: After the Party by Cassie Hamer ★★★

(a better late than never) Review: Recipes of Love and Murder by Sally Andrew ★★★★1/2

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What I’m Reading This Week

 

‘Is marriage just a series of texts about where the children are and whether we need milk until one of you dies?’

Susannah Parks – wife, mother, cleaner of surfaces and runner of household – is a viola virtuoso. Except she hasn’t picked up a viola for over a decade. She has, however, picked up a lot of Lego, socks, wet towels and other exhibits of mundanity. She has also picked up on the possibility that her husband has lost interest in her. (And frankly, she’s not very interested in Susannah Parks either.) But this year, she has resolved to be very interesting. Also thoughtful, useful, cheerful, relevant, self-sufficient, stylish, alluring and intelligent.

In her highly confidential diary, Susannah documents the search for the elusive spark in her marriage, along with all the high and low notes of life with her four beloved children, with her free-spirited (and world famous) best friend Ria, and with Hugh, the man who fills her heart with burning passion and her washing pile with shirts.

And perhaps amid the chaos she might be brave enough to find the missing pieces of herself.

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Brisbane 1999. It’s hot. Stormy. Dangerous. The waters of the Brisbane River are rising.

The rains won’t stop. People’s nerves are on edge. And then…

A body is found.

And then another.

And another.

A string of seemingly ritualized but gruesome murders. All the victims are men. Affluent. Guys with nice houses, wives and kids at private schools. All have had their throats cut.

Tabloid headlines shout, THE VAMPIRE KILLER STRIKES AGAIN!

Detective Sergeant Lara Ocean knows the look. The ‘my-life-will-never-be-the-same-again look’. She’s seen it too many times on too many faces. Telling a wife her husband won’t be coming home. Ever again. Telling her the brutal way he was murdered. That’s a look you never get used to. Telling a mother you need her daughter to come to the station for questioning. That’s another look she doesn’t want to see again.

And looking into the eyes of a killer, yet doubting you’ve got it right. That’s the worst look of all – the one you see in the mirror. Get it right, you’re a hero and the city is a safer place. Get it wrong and you destroy a life. And a killer remains free. Twenty years down the track, Lara Ocean will know the truth.

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Rivalries and resentments between mums and non-mums spiral wildly out of control in the compelling new book by the bestselling author of The Fifth Letter

Poppy’s world has tipped sideways. The husband who never wanted children has changed his mind. The trusted childhood best friend has betrayed her. And the new friend from work, Annalise, insists she need to let loose.

At least Annalise is on Poppy’s side – she has no interest in having kids either. After they create a private Facebook group dedicated to women like themselves who don’t have or want kids, the memberships soar, and Poppy feels like she’s in control again. Then things take a nasty turn. They have a mole – someone in their group isn’t who she says she is.

But Poppy and Annalise aren’t the only ones who are fed up. Their colleague, Frankie, is tired of being judged at every turn: by colleagues when she leaves early to pick up her kids, by stay-at-home mums when she can’t volunteer at school, and by her own children for missing events. Her frustrations are complicated by a secret she’s keeping, and she doesn’t know how much longer she can pretend everything is fine.

As the online hostility between parents and non-parents spills out into the real world, things begin to slide disastrously, dangerously out of control, exposing carefully concealed secrets and lies that will have a devastating effect on these three women’s lives.

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Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass and Christine is happily pregnant. but one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders-and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced, with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?

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For more than a decade, the “Complete Review “has been an essential site for readers interested in learning about new books in translation and developments in global literature. Expanding upon the site’s content, this wide-ranging yet user-friendly resource is the perfect guide for English-language readers eager to explore fiction from around the world. Profiling hundreds of titles and authors from 1945 to today, with an emphasis on fiction published in the past two decades, this reference provides a fascinating portal into the styles, trends, and genres of the world’s literatures, from Scandinavian crime thrillers and cutting-edge works in China to Latin American narco-fiction and award-winning French novels.

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Thanks for stopping by!

I’m also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer


And the Sunday Salon @ ReaderBuzz

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

 

 

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at BookDate

Life…

Time seems to have got away from me a bit this week. It’s strange how even the smallest interruption to your routine can throw everything off for days.

Until my glasses arrive I’m also finding I can only read printed books in short bursts, so that’s slowing my down some. I really want to make a concerted effort to get through the books I received during my hiatus.

I’m also making an effort to rejoin some of the challenges and memes I used to take part in. Obviously I’m taking part in It’s Monday! and The Sunday Post. I’m also rejoining BethFishReads Weekend Cooking linkup on a monthly basis, and the Six Degrees of Separation meme hosted by Kate at Books are my favourite and Best. I’ve signed up for the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Got any other recommendations for me?

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted…

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence

Book of Dreams by Nina George

The Year of the Farmer by Rosalie Ham

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New Posts

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon ★★★★

Review: Force of Nature {Aaron Falk #2} by Jane Harper ★★★1/2

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang ★★★★

Review: Accidental Death? By Robin Bowles ★★★1/2

Review: Smoke and Iron {The Great Library #4} by Rachel Caine ★★★★

Stuff on Sunday: 2019 Hugo Award Finalists

 

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What I’m Reading This Week

 

An unexpected gift left at her daughter’s fifth birthday party in the form of a little girl pitches Sydney mum Lisa Wheeldon into events both hilarious and life-changing.

Liane Moriarty meets Marian Keyes with a touch of Christos Tsiolkas’s The Slap in this hilarious, touching and clever novel that asks what wouldn’t you do to save a child?

Be careful what you wish for…

Lisa Wheeldon has a lovely life. Wife to a gorgeous husband, Scott, and a devoted mother to two small daughters, the former accountant has everything she wants – except a third child. But the universe has a strange way of providing.

On the surface, Ava’s fifth birthday party seems the ideal opportunity for Lisa to meet her daughter’s new kindergarten friends – all 32 of them! But from beginning to end, the day is a complete nightmare, capped off by the discovery of a little girl hiding in the Wheeldon’s backyard. At first, Lisa reasons that Ellie’s mum is running late. But when they open a gift from the mysterious little girl, it becomes clear her mother has no intention of returning at all…

What sort of mother abandons her child? And why has she chosen the Wheeldons?

Together, Lisa and her sister Jamie launch their own efforts to find the missing mum, a journey that will force Lisa to face her past, Jamie to confront her future and see both embroiled with angry exes, pragmatic fortune-tellers, Russian mobsters and a hyena pack of yummy mummies.

A journey that will force Lisa to rethink all she knows about being a good mother.

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Whatever happens, don’t tell anyone what you did to Bee Larkham…

Jasper is not ordinary. In fact, he would say he is extraordinary…

Synaesthesia paints the sounds of his world in a kaleidoscope of colours that no one else can see. But on Friday, he discovered a new colour – the colour of murder.

He’s sure something has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham, but no-one else seems to be taking it as seriously as they should be. The knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head and he’s scared that he can’t quite remember anything clearly.

But where is Bee? Why hasn’t she come home yet? Jasper must uncover the truth about that night – including his own role in what happened…

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Heads you win. Tails you die …

Can one man’s revenge become his redemption?

Young Luke Tyler has everything going for him: brains, looks and a larrikin charm that turns heads. The future appears bright, until he defends his sister from the powerful Sir Henry Abbott. His reward is fifteen years hard labour on a prison farm in Tasmania’s remote highlands.

Luke escapes, finding sanctuary with a local philanthropist, Daniel Campbell, and starting a forbidden love affair with Daniel’s daughter, Belle. But when Luke is betrayed, he must flee or be hanged.

With all seeming lost, Luke sails to South Africa to start afresh. Yet he remains haunted by the past, and by Belle, the woman he can’t forget. When he returns to seek revenge and reclaim his life, his actions will have shattering consequences – for the innocent as well as the guilty.

Set against a backdrop of wild Tasmania, Australian Gold and African diamonds, Fortune’s Son is an epic saga of betrayal, undying love and one man’s struggle to triumph over adversity and find his way home.

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In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.

At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life.

Billy determines to make a difference in Michael’s memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention–his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.

Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.

Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Im also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer

 

SundaySalon

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Date

Life

Is anyone else experiencing the glitch at Goodreads? There are issues with the sort shelf functions, so that several of my shelves aren’t displaying correctly, which is a little irritating. I’ve reported on it, and in reply they say they are aware, and working on it.

It hasn’t been the best of week’s to be honest. 

Of least consequence, though still upsetting, I had an optometrist appointment and was told I need reading glasses. This is due primarily to my astigmatism (lazy eye), a condition I was born with. Apparently as you get older, and the eye muscles naturally weaken, the condition begins to reassert itself. While I’m grateful the recent double vision I’d been experiencing wasn’t related to a more serious issue, the proof of impending ‘old age’ is unwelcome.

Sadly my great aunt passed away from complications of Parkinson’s disease on Saturday, and though we’d been expecting if for months, it’s still a great loss. Despite being my great aunt, she was the same age of my mother and her five children are my contemporaries, I spent several long holidays with them when I was younger, and I’ll miss her.

This week our car also decided to blow a head gasket, which is going to be a very costly repair. Luckily my husband was able to borrow a van from work while we try to figure out how to swing that, but it makes things tricky since the van only has room for a one passenger (and there is six of us), and I, of course, can’t drive it.

Here’s hoping this week is less eventful.

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What I’ve Read Since I last Posted

 

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

The Dry by Jane Harper

The Cottage at Rosella Cove by Sandi Docker

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New Posts

 

Australian Indie Book Awards 2019

Review: Mr. Kiss and Tell (Veronica Mars) by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham

Review: I Can’t Remember the Title but the Cover is Blue by Elias Greig

Review: Wickedly Dangerous (Baba Yaga Trilogy) by Deborah Blake

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What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along a muddy track.

Only four come out on the other side. 

The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and encourage teamwork and resilience. At least, that’s what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker, Alice Russell. Because Alice knew secrets, about the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

The four returning women tell Falk a tale of fear, violence and fractured trust during their days in the remote Australian bushland. And as Falk delves into the disappearance of Alice, he begins to suspect some dangers ran far deeper than anyone knew.

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The irresistible new standalone from Sophie Kinsella is a story of love, empowerment and an IOU that changes everything . . .

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.

Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.

Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?

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A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

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What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

How far would you go to save someone you loved?

These are just two of the fateful choices a woman must face in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family’s past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.

This utterly original, gripping and mind-bending tale will stay with you long after the last page.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Im also linking to The Sunday Post @ Caffeinated Reviewer