The Second Husband by Kate White

What could have caused the police to re-open the cold murder case of Emma’s husband?  She was cleared as a suspect back then.

Did she marry again too soon afterward his passing?

Emma knows she had wished something would happen to her mostly abusive husband, but no one must know that.  She did a pretty good job of faking her sorrow when he died.

Now that she was married to a successful man and a success herself, what could possibly have made them re-open the case? 

Does Emma know something she doesn’t want the investigators to know?  Or does someone else know something that she isn’t aware of?

Who can she trust to know her true feelings?

But is there really anything else to tell?

Who is the person behind the murder?  There are many characters it could be.

Those are the questions that make readers of THE SECOND HUSBAND curious and turning the pages.

Ms. White keeps you guessing and wondering who the murderer is in this marvelous, twisty, hard-to-put-down gem.

I do think my ARC copy had pages missing at the end, though, and the ending sentences were repeated from previous scenes.

Even so, I really enjoyed this book. 5/5

This book was given to me as a PDF by Wunderkind-PR for an honest review.

The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

Three women, three timelines, one house, family secrets that were to be hidden forever, and individual secrets.

We meet Andie in 2019 who is doing a makeover show in only three permitted rooms at the Sprague Mansion.

We meet Lucky in 1958 who still lives in the Sprague mansion.

We meet Ellen the music teacher in 1899 who is to make a singer out of poor Maybelle so she can be married off to an Italian Prince.

Andie is in need of money and can’t lose this job. 

Lucky whose real name is Lucia and who came from Italy never fit in with the wealthy folks, but stays just to be comfortable. 

Ellen worries she will be fired if someone finds out about her past.

The book seamlessly moves from time frame to time frame as we find out about all three women and learn of their secrets, their woes, and connections.

Fans of the three W’s will not be disappointed as they weave another marvelous tale with the house being the center of the story and a house that sounds amazing.

Loved the characters and the story line.

THE LOST SUMMERS OF NEWPORT is an enjoyable summer read for the fans of these authors.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.

The Last Dress From Paris by Jade Beer

A search for Dior Dresses from the 1950’s – how fun would that be?

Louise makes a trip to Paris on her grandmother’s request to find a certain dress, but it turns into a trip to search for eight other dresses.

What she finds is someone to help her, personal notes that accompany the dresses, secrets her Grandmother Sylvie kept all these years, and of course, the gorgeous, interesting dresses that have stories of their own.

We then go back in time and meet Alice Ainsley in 1952 who is the ambassador’s wife and who also has gorgeous Dior dresses and a wonderful confidante for a maid, and a husband who is not who he appeared to be.  He is cold, and she is lonely.

The loneliness leads to her visiting with a young man named Antoine.

Louise’s chase to find the dresses leads to finding her grandmother’s secrets, a love interest for her, and a longer stay and return to Paris.

Those readers who love Paris, who love fashion, the 1950’s, and visiting with characters with complicated relationships will want to read this book.

A very enjoyable read with a bit of a mystery as grandmother’s life is unraveled. 5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.

The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark

Meg definitely knew how to lie and to con people.

She knew how to con because of her rough childhood and having to live in a car after her mother’s boyfriend conned them out of their house. 

She made it her goal to ruin him.

In the meantime, Meg would research someone in the news that had troubles, but she also made sure they had a nice place to live and money that she could make disappear into her own account. 

She always made sure her past was covered up and no one could really find out who she was.

But Kat did find her and did know her and made it her goal to ruin Meg’s life the way Meg ruined Kat’s life ten years ago.  She wants to expose Meg by writing a book about her cons. 

Can Kat do it?  Or does Meg have a plan of her own for Kat?  Meg is pretty cunning.

We follow Kat as she makes friends with Meg, as Meg investigates Kat because she doesn’t believe the story Kat tells her, as Meg keeps conning, and as they both try to seek revenge on who they want to ruin.

Will they both do what they sought to do?

My money was on Meg. She really was a major con artist with cons that were ones difficult to believe people would fall for.

Kat seemed too naive to trip up Meg.

THE LIES I TELL is a psychological thriller that will keep you guessing, have you shaking your head, and one that you won’t want to put down.  5/5

This book was given to me for an honest review.

Local Gone Missing by Fiona Barton

Where could Charlie be, what is Charlie’s real name, and what is his past? 

Did he disappear on purpose because of the massive debt he had accumulated?

Since they found his wallet at the controversial festival, was he harmed or kidnapped?

We find out where he is and what happened to him as we also find out that this small town has many secrets being kept.

We meet quite a few characters who have shady pasts and shady current situations.

The character that becomes the main focus is Elise King who is a policewoman on sick leave and the one who takes on the investigation of where Charlie really is and who he really is. 

It is good for Elise since she has been bored.  Her friend and neighbor, Ronnie, also gets in on the investigation.

Will she find out what happened to Charlie…is it a local person, a person he owed money to, or just a random act of violence.

It actually took a while to connect to the story line and to the characters, and the multiple number of characters did become confusing. 

The intensity of Elise’s investigation and her determination did make the book more interesting as we learned about police procedure.

I was a bit disappointed about the beginning of the book because I always enjoy Ms. Barton’s books…it was confusing, but it did get wrapped up in the end. 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Tell Us No Secrets by Siena Sterling

We meet seniors Cassidy Thomas, Abby Madison, Karen Mullens, and  Zoey Spalding at an exclusive all-girls boarding school.

They have been switching loyalties to each other over the past three years, and it has continued into their senior year along with a murder.

Each is jealous of the other for some reason, and it escalates during their last year.

We get the backgrounds of each girl during the year 1970 and then meet an unidentified narrator in 2018. 

Cassidy is beautiful, Abby is athletic, Karen is studious, and Zoey likes to cause trouble.

Something is definitely brewing with all four of these girls, but what can you expect with all different personalities, all different home lives, different thoughts about boys, and different thoughts about studying.

TELL US NO SECRETS was a bit too drawn out with the detailing of these girls’ lives, but it was necessary for the story line.

I actually kept getting the characters mixed up and with keeping with who was friends with what person and who was jealous of which person. 

There was a bit too much teenage drama for me, but it played out well with a delicious ending. I wish it had been delicious sooner.

Just remember that you never know when your actions are going to come back to haunt you, but if you meet these girls, you should be ok.

They know how to take care of things. 🙂 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Is it real or a fake?

With Winnie you couldn’t tell, but beware it IS a fake.

Winnie and Ava had met in college and hadn’t seen each other for twenty years.  Why did Winnie contact Ava after all of these years?

Ava found out what Winnie wanted, and she couldn’t resist.  She could use this extra money to help her son with his delayed speech and tantrums.

What Winnie reconnected with Ava for was to help her run a high-end purse scam. 

We meet Ava as she is telling the story to a detective since they were caught. Well…Ava was caught…Winnie took off.

COUNTERFEIT made me a bit nervous, and I felt nervous for Ava since she was a lawyer.

If you are in the mood for something different and also in the mood for a book that will make you wonder if the purse you have is real or fake, you will enjoy this book.

The ending has a big surprise, but it was just an ok read for me. 3/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan

Three women connected by love, war, family, and sewing.

We meet Cressida who owns a fashion design house but has to go back to her family home since her shop was bombed, Violet who is her niece and who was conscripted, and Grace who is engaged to a vicar.

We follow the lives of these three women.

All three join a wartime sewing circle.  Grace is in need of someone to help her repair her mother’s wedding dress and is thrilled to hopefully have someone to help.

Since clothing rations are limited to what types of cloth they can use for clothing, Cressida agrees to fix Grace’s dress since she loves doing that and has the talent with any fabric.  All the women join in and start a “share your wedding dress with others” campaign.

So enjoyed learning about this…the “sharing” did happen during the war.

THE WEDDING DRESS SEWING CIRCLE is as cozy as the cover and has characters that you will love and characters that will show you how to have compassion, how to not give up on what you want, and how women gather together for support and to help one another and others.

A lovely read and another historical fact I was not aware of…enjoy!!  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.

The Favor by Nora Murphy

I have seen that woman before, but where?

That is the question McKenna asked herself when she saw Leah shoot her husband.

Why would she do that? She did say she is the same as me, but what did that mean?

What it meant is that she was an abused wife too and was happy one of them was safe now, but how did Leah know McKenna was abused?

Leah just knew by the few times she passed her home and from what she saw.  That still didn’t explain why she would shoot a stranger.

McKenna was actually relieved and was most likely the prime suspect…the spouse always is.

Then something happens that brings these two women who didn’t know each other together again. What could that be?

Ms. Murphy did an amazing job of keeping you guessing and writing a fantastic thriller.  I couldn’t put the book down.

THE FAVOR vividly pictures domestic abuse that these two women are going through and the difficulties of staying in the marriage and the difficulties of leaving no matter what your social status was.  

It also addresses to what extremes an abused wife would go to escape, but still keep what really goes on a secret.

Fantastic debut…this is a book thriller fans won’t want to miss.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay

What actually happened to Brie Mason?

Was she really seen at her old home, in the hospital parking lot, and in her mother’s hospital room after her disappearance six years ago and after being declared dead?

No one knows for sure because the photos they captured on security cameras are too blurry, she was too far away when she was recognized, and her dying mother wasn’t the best person to believe she had talked to Brie.

These sightings brought the pain and questions back for the police and especially Andrew.

How could this be happening?  He has a new life, a new name, a new girlfriend, and a baby on the way.

The police still considered Andrew the prime suspect, but there was no evidence to prove he was guilty.

There definitely are many characters who could be suspects, but Mr. Barclay keeps us guessing and in the dark as he leaves his thoughts hanging at the end of the chapters and leaves us thinking it seemingly could be anyone one who killed Brie or kept her away for those six years.

Then we meet another shady character…then more twists happen….then it gets tense…then your jaw will drop.

TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY won’t disappoint Mr. Barclay’s fans.

Do you think you will be able to figure out what happened?

Let everyone know if you do.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher for an honest review.