“Behind Her Eyes”–Review

61gp9iiebal-_sx329_bo1204203200_David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling?

Louise is a single mom who has been in a rut since her divorce. One evening, at a bar, however, she meets an attractive man and they both hit it off. Even though they’d spent that evening only kissing, it was the first in a long time since Louise felt good about having someone touch her.

At the start of a new week, Louise begins her new secretary position at a psychiatrist’s office. And that’s when she meets her new boss, David: the man from the bar, who also happens to be married. Although they agree that their kiss was a mistake, neither one can stop thinking about the other.

When she least expects it, Louise bumps into Adele—David’s wife. Adele insists she’s new in town and seeking a friend. While guilt-ridden, Louise doesn’t feel right about accepting sweet Adele’s friendship.  However, the more time she spends with Adele, the more suspicious Louise becomes of Adele and David’s marriage. Adele doesn’t work.  She often appears anxious at certain hours when she’s expecting David’s phone calls. And her everyday routine is as if she has a curfew. And why is it that David never speaks of his marriage? And is David abusive, according to Adele?

While Louise struggles with her decision to tell David about her friendship with Adele, more strange behavior and secrets accumulate, putting the three of them at risk.  Because Louise constantly hears two sides to the stories, she realizes something isn’t right in this marriage and there seem to be more questions than answers. Although she’s advised to back off, Louise risks her life to get the answers she needs.

I think the storyline, itself, was pretty good. Each chapter speaks from Adele’s and Louise’s points of view, with the occasional chapters from Adele and David’s past. As for the ending, it did surprise me. To be honest, though, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole story. I didn’t love it, yet I didn’t hate it. I became curious about Adele’s plans and David’s reasons for his own behavior. Every chapter made me wonder whose side I should take. Even though there’s been a lot of hype about the ending, it just didn’t move me. But don’t let that discourage you from checking it out. You may enjoy it, perhaps.

Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

Behind Her Eyes will be released on January 31, 2017.

About the author: Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed adult and YA author based in London. Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development. Her next novel, Behind Her Eyes, coming for HarperFiction in the UK and Flatiron in the US (January 2017) has sold in over 20 territories worldwide and is a dark thriller about relationships with a kicker of a twist. Follow her on Twitter. You also can check out her page here.

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“Behind Closed Doors”–Review

51JkXh+jrWL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The perfect marriage?  Or the perfect lie?

Jack and Grace Angel are the ideal married couple, living in a beautiful home in England.  Jack is a successful lawyer.  Grace is beautiful and charming.  She also prepares amazing meals and always manages to stay slim.  Others want to get to know Grace more, but how can it happen with Jack always at her side?  Although Grace doesn’t work, she never seems to have time to meet friends for coffee, or anything else, for that matter.  In fact, she never answers her phone.  And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

Once they’re alone, Grace goes from loving, patient wife, to a life as Jack’s prisoner.  While he remains polite and charming toward others, Jack preys on Grace’s fears.  Although there isn’t a lot of physical abuse, Jack uses verbal abuse and threats to control Grace in their home and in public.  No matter how hard Grace plots her escape, Jack is always one step ahead of her.

I won’t give away too much, but I must say this story is as suspenseful as it is scary.  Grace thought she’d married the man of her dreams, only to soon discover her husband is a psychopath.  The thought that real people who are in these kind of situations is terrible.  The abuse in the story is awful, but I had to keep reading.  In fact, I’m still thinking about the conflict.  This book may not be for those who are emotionally sensitive to this genre, but I also won’t discourage anyone from reading it.

Behind Closed Doors will be available on August 9, 2016.  As always, feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: B.A. Paris grew up in England, but has spent most of her adult life in France.  She has worked both in finance and as a teacher.  She has five daughters.  Behind Closed Doors is her first novel.

“Percolate”–A Review

Is there a voice inside of you that’s urging you to make changes and seek a richer, more fulfilling life?  Do you feel like you’ve been searching for something more meaningful, even if you don’t know exactly what it is?  Have no fear–“Percolate” will show you how to let your best self filter through and thrive!

I can honestly say that I did enjoy reading Percolate, by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino.  I like how the author uses coffee as a metaphor for when it comes to making changes in your life; for example, chapters that are entitled Allow for Change to Brew, Choose a Bolder Brew, Create Your Own Best Blend, etc.

For anyone who is looking to make a change or two in life—major or minor—I’d recommend this book, especially if you’re a fan of coffee.  Throughout the book, the author talks about events in her life that caused her to make positive—albeit difficult—changes that made her the person that she is now.  Also, she talks about everyday topics and issues that we all go through and what we can do about it, including solutions to achieve happiness.

There was a particular passage in one of the chapters that caught my attention, where the author says: “When people tell me they’d be happier if they had more money or a nicer house or a multitude of explanations, I can’t help but think it’s all a disguise.  No one thing or person can make you happy; happiness is a choice from within.  These are merely excuses to not be happy in the present moment.”

I’m happy to have had the opportunity to read this book.  Check this book out and feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

FTC Disclosure: I received this free copy from Hay House in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions are my own and based on my own experience.

“Mother, Mother”–A Review

9780385347259_p0_v1_s260x420Meet Josephine Hurst, a mother of two beautiful daughters, an intelligent son, and her tech-guru husband, Douglas. As long as everything is under her control, Josephine’s family is picture perfect in their historical landmark home. The Hurst family couldn’t be anything below that. Keeping the entire family intact, however, isn’t an easy task for Josephine. Her controlling ways take a toll on the rest of the family when Josephine’s oldest daughter, Rose, runs away with a mysterious boyfriend. The Hurst home becomes a prison as the remaining family members continue to ask about Rose.
Tension continues to build as the youngest daughter, Violet—a Buddhist who has turned to Eastern philosophy—winds up in a psychiatric ward for her abusing hallucinogenic drugs. Violet’s brother, Will, has been diagnosed with Asperger’s. He also is homeschooled and in a world of self-doubt. The more time that he spends with his mother, the more he is unable to break free of the spell she has him under. Josephine’s husband, Douglas, is not only distant from the family, he is escaping his reality with alcohol.
Josephine does her best to keep the family struggles in the dark; however, when she receives a visit from Child Protective Services due to a violent incident, she works harder to make sure that the law is always on her side—no matter what the cost.
“Mother, Mother”—by Koren Zailckas—is a haunting story of family and a mother’s love that goes too far.
This story definitely was a nail-biter. Josephine’s character was convincing. I’d say that she’s the kind of person a reader could love to hate. She’s conniving, manipulative, and verbally abusive. Although the story didn’t end the way I’d hoped, I liked that it wasn’t too predictable. I was hoping for a little more; however, I think that it was worth reading. It was disturbing and I think that this is a great read for fans of psychological thrillers. Feel free to post your thoughts.
Happy reading!

FTC Disclosure: I received this free copy from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. The opinions are based on my own experience.