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NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – JULY 16, 2019

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!
As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


RAGE OF DRAGONS by Evan Winter is Gladiator meets GAME OF THRONES and if that isn’t a hook, what is? This is a series opener that promises so much more to come and I’m excited to see where it goes! Look for Hollis’ review tomorrow.

THE WEDDING PARTY by Jasmine Guillory is an interesting proposition of a best friend in the middle of two other friends who hate one another. The kind of hate that turns into a mistaken one night. The two frenemies, Maddie and Theo, have to get ready for their mutual best friend’s wedding and it sounds like shennanigans ensue. I might give this one a go.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

HE’S A BRUTE by Chloe Liese

One dark and handsome control-freak sports star meets one smarty pants bioengineer with hair to match her fiery temper. It’s an experiment straight out of sexual thermodynamics.

Every good scientist knows the second law of thermodynamics: the universe’s disorder, entropy, is always increasing. Professionally and personally speaking, Nairne’s familiar with the principle. After a streak of costly fame, now she’s set on saving the world, microscope in hand, and there’s no time for romance. Problem is, when a rude, despicably sexy Adonis shows up to run their board meeting, chemistry and its ensuing chaos become more than a formula—now they’re a burning hot reality.

Mafia prince. Professional footballer. Bad boy demeanor and a reputation for being as talented between the sheets as he is on the pitch. Rumors are the man’s an absolute brute. And he turns out to be just as demanding, controlling and vicious in person as he is on paper. The Law of Attraction’s proven true, as Nairne finds herself accepting Zed’s proposal: rough, wild stress release, more orgasms than she can count, and most importantly—no falling in love.

Agreement in place. End date secured. No attachments. No forever.What could possibly go wrong?


Title : He’s a Brute
Author: Chloe Liese
Series : Tough Love #1
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 263
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Indie
Release Date : May 6, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Micky’s 3 star review

HE’S A BRUTE was a cover love, blurb appealing arc click. There’s a lot going on in this contemporary romance with a slice of the erotic. It’s a tale of two very strong MC’s who were multi-talented. Zed is a background mafia boss-second, professional footballer (soccer, you American guys!) and lead of an ethically sound organisation; he was something of a contradiction to himself. Nairne was an ex-pro footballer, a scientist and she battling some pretty heavy baggage. I felt like there was almost a bit too much going on with these characters.

The two clashed with strong personalities and there was a tangible attraction between them but despite this, I didn’t always feel their connection. What ensues between these two was a contract, some dominance and submission which really isn’t my bag, but it was fairly mild. I didn’t always buy Nairne’s ability to submit to Zeb. I found Zeb’s desire to care of Nairne controlling despite his arguments to Nairne about this actual issue and so I didn’t feel that attached to them as a couple.

This book has the most amazing disability rep, truly fabulous. I loved the way the sexuality of this character was written with this in mind. Their sexual relationship wasn’t hindered by the disability but it was totally interwoven into what they did and how they did it. Total kudos to the author for this. This aspect of the book is part of why I am still interested in reading more from this series.

I didn’t always love the writing style of this book and I found the intimate scenes weren’t that interesting. HE’S A BRUTE was a debut and the story of Zeb and Nairne will continue across two more books. This isn’t an abrupt end but I do find I want to know more about these two and I will probably read on with these characters. Book two is out now, with book three to come.

Thank you to netgalley and the author this review copy.

A TRAGIC KIND OF WONDEFUL by Eric Lindstrom

The heart-rending and inspiring novel from the critically acclaimed author of NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST.

How can you have a future if you can’t accept your past?
Mel Hannigan doesn’t have it easy. Mourning the death of her firework of a brother, trying to fit back into a school she’s been conspicuously absent from and struggling to deal with the loss of three friendships that used to mean everything. Struggling to deal with a condition that not even her closest friends know about.

So Mel tries to lock away her heart, to numb the highs and lows, to live quietly without hope – but also without pain. Until someone new shows her that it can be worth taking a risk, that opening up to life is what can make it glorious…

And that maybe, Mel can discover a tragic kind of wonderful of her very own.


Title : A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Author : Eric Lindstrom
Format : Hardback
Page Count : 346
Genre : YA contemporary
Publisher : Harper Collins
Release Date : December 29, 2016

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I’m trying to stow my gush a little but it is not easy. This book was a stunning and memorable read, delivering on a contemporary YA story with the best mental health representation I’ve read in a long time.

Mel has been through stuff, bigger stuff than most teens her age (16-17) have been through, losses, divorce and relocation. Oh yes, and getting to grips with diagnosis of a significant mental illness. Mel was a self-aware and strong teen, at least on the surface. She was endearing in her flaws and had a unique way to track her illness and moods. Each chapter begun with an mind-body-heart-overall update and it was so well thought out.

“I’m a different kind of mixed. Miserable and serene. Heaven and hell are the same place.”

Over this book I felt like I really got to know Mel, I wandered not only into her world but also into her mind and with that I felt sadness, frustration and compassion. The story isn’t all heavy-heavy, there’s plenty of lightness, especially in the first half. Friendships were a key factor in Mel’s mental compass and well-being, when they were right, she did okay but when things went wrong, life got more complex to navigate. Friendships from the past and those from the present had a direct impact on Mel’s life and I really enjoyed the slow unpeeling of where and how things with Annie, Zumi and Connor unravelled. I simply felt everything; it was very raw in the last third.

Another strength of this book was the family context. HJ, her mum, her brother and to a lesser extent, her dad brought such depth to Mel’s character and life. David was a friend to Mel and there was a low-level romance in this book that has the back-seat but is quite beautiful.

I don’t know why I hadn’t read this book before considering my love for his previous book NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST. Therefore, it’s no surprise to me that this book blew me away. Eric Lindstrom dealt with this particular mental disorder with thorough research. He addressed labelling, disclosure of diagnosis and I am in awe of the way he depicted life through Mel’s lens.

“You’re not [disorder name], Mel. You have [disorder name]. You also have vibrant blue eyes, a wonderful personality, a tendency to undervalue yourself, and many, many other things. None of those things are you.”

Thank you Amazon vine and the publisher for this gifted title.

SHE SAID, SHE SAID… #1 OPPOSITES

For today’s blogchat, we thought it would be fun to give you a fuller flavour of when our differences in books have been stark; so much so, it’s been so funny it hurts. We like the same books often, we love the same books sometimes, but when we are opposites on books we have the most interesting conversations. We have never been annoyed that the other doesn’t enjoy a beloved book; there may be a moment’s disappointment but we usually have a fun discussion.

WARNING, NO FEELINGS WERE HURT IN THE MAKING OF THIS BLOG POST.

This is a post for the readers and not authors. Not a moment’s disrespect meant to any author mentioned in this post. Because isn’t it just part of life that we don’t like the same things? If a book isn’t for me, that’s not to say it’s not a good book or not written well — maybe it’s just not my kind of thing. Both of us have a Goodreads shelf for this – baa baa black sheep!


THE GREAT ALONE by Kristin Hannah — Micky gave it 5 stars | Hollis couldn’t deal, left it unrated
FOOLISH HEARTS by Emma Mills — Hollis (5 star) loved this | Micky gave it a shrug emoji (2 star)
AYESHA AT LAST by Uzma Jallaluddin — Micky (5 star) loved this | Hollis (2 star) tolerated
REAL by Katy Evans — Micky 5 starred (and reread!) this one | Hollis gave it a generous 2
ALEX, APPROXIMATELY by Jenn Bennett — Hollis shouted her 5 from the rooftops | Micky 3 star didn’t hate it
SERIOUS MOONLIGHT by Jenn Bennett — Micky (4 stars) thought it super cute | Hollis (3 stars) wanted more
THE PERFECT FIND by Tia Williams — Micky (4 stars) laughed her way through | Hollis tapped out at 9% (unrated)
THE OPPOSITE OF ALWAYS by Justin A Reynolds — Hollis (4 stars) loved how this was told | Micky (2 stars) thought it was too repetitive
MISTER WESTON (formerly TURBULENCE) by Whitney G — Micky (5 star) was absorbed af | Hollis (1 star) couldn’t even finish
ACHE FOR YOU by JT Geissinger — Micky (5 star) lost herself in this read | Hollis (2 stars) rounded up
WHITNEY, MY LOVE by Judith McNaught — Hollis gave 4 stars for the great parts that were great | Micky has some PTSD for this 2 star read
BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman — Hollis (5 star) was enthralled by this complex story | Micky (1 star) couldn’t understand why
A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN by Sarah J Maas — Micky (4 stars) can’t wait for more | Hollis (2 stars) was just glad it was over
THE BOY AND HIS RIBBON by Pepper Winters — Micky (4 star) found it addictive despite some of the plot elements | Hollis (1 star) barely clung to her sanity
THE TAKEOVER EFFECT by Nisha Sharma — Micky‘s 4 star hopes were realized | Hollis hopes were 1.5 star unrealized


So here we are in our opposites glory, our ratings bared for your perusal. Does this resonate with you? Do you find it uncomfortable to be in opposition rating-wise with your book buddies?

There is a sequel post to come. Watch out for SHE SAID, SHE SAID… #2 MAGNETS where we show our glowy similarities.

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL by Abbi Waxman – double review!

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.


Title : The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Author : Abbi Waxman
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : women’s fiction, contemporary
Publisher : Berkley
Release Date : July 9, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3 star review

As Neil Gaiman once memorably said, “books were safer than other people, anyway.”

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL has an adorable cover, a ridiculously appealing plot, and overall seemed to cater directly to my interests and needs. I mean, it’s about a bookish woman who likes being alone, has a cat, and works in a bookstore (to which I say #goals), so, I mean, this was ringing all my bells and checking all my boxes.

In public Nina was a quiet, reserved person; in private she was an all-singing, all-dancing cavalcade of light and motion. Unless she was a quivering ball of anxiety, because that was also a frequently selected option.

And for the first 50%, I was convinced this would be a strong, even high, four star read. Nina is quirky and organized, anxious and intelligent, sassy and shy, also a total snob (which I can’t say I loved but it felt authentic), and just.. relatable. I could see myself in her, the good and the bad, and yet it wasn’t the painful kind of self-reflection, or too campy and therefore cheesy or caricature-like. The narration was witty and fun and was constantly throwing random trivia and stream-of-consciousness tangents at you and I was having a great time.

It’s hard to be human sometimes, with the pressure to be civilized lying only very thinly over a brain of a nervous little mammal.

Nina had a maybe hate-crush on a member of an opposing trivia team, she voiced her cat, Phil’s, thoughts, and suddenly, after being a single-parent child her whole life, a lawyer pops out of nowhere and drops a dead dad on her. In the sense that she’s inherited a family and possibly something else, too, but she’ll need to go to the will reading to find out.

“Do you young people actually date anymore, or do you run algorithms to see if it’s going to work?”

And so begins this really strange and charming discovery of this huge extended family, people so like her and also different, and reconciling this found-yet-related mass of people into her world view after thirty-plus years of living and being on her own. Throw in a love interest and it’s all sorts of emotions.

Life can throw you major curveballs, but it’s rare you can do much more than duck.

Most of which were good and fun to work through. Even the confusing ones felt natural. I just think that eventually we did cross a line into a sorta campy OTT strange drama where warring businesses threw ice cream at each other in the streets and some of Nina’s charm kind of wore off and overall, with maybe one or two exceptions, I just wasn’t as fond of the second half as the rest of the book. Some of it felt cliche, after having otherwise felt very fresh and different, and the ending in particular just didn’t land for me. 

Do lesbians do this?”
Send dick pics? Only if we’re breaking up with someone and want to make sure they block our number forever.

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL has a lot of great moments — tons of one liners and hilarious observations and I highlighted many many a passage. This book will definitely hook you from the start. I just wish I had loved it the same amount by the end.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 3.5 star review

This book was full of appeal for any booklover and Nina was a relatable protagonist in terms of her love for books. Nina was quirky, nerdy, anxiety-ridden, something of a loner but she was actually much better with people than she perceived.

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL had depth and complexity but this was offset by humour, quips and banter. Nina’s inner monologue was insightful into her psyche but also pretty funny at times.

Nina tried to pull herself together. She’d been irritable all week. Either her period was coming or she had a brain tumor, and at that moment the tumor felt more appealing, which probably meant it was her period.

The story was overwhelmingly about finding family and for Nina this was a first. Her evolving relationships with Archie and Peter were my favourities but I also appreciated Millie and Lydia. The family were almost farciscal in their make up and they were rather fun to watch interact.

There is a lowish-level romance in this book with Tom from a rival quiz team, it made for cute reading but I really did want more from this aspect of the story. I felt somewhat disconnected from their own connection.

There were some pacing issues in this read for me, slow parts leading to more faster-moving scenes. I would have preferred a more active pace throughout the book.

Overall, this was a good read and I think this could be categorised as women’s fiction or romance but again, it was less on the romantic front for that genre.

I voluntarily read an early copy of this book, thank you netgalley and the publisher.


WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


Title : Wilder Girls
Author : Rory Power
Format : ARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : YA LGBTQ+ dystopian horror
Publisher : Delacorte Press
Release Date : July 9, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3.5 star review

WILDER GIRLS has left me with oh so many questions. I want so much more from this world. So there better be a second book on the horizon.. and, because I’m not sure there is, that’s why I’m hesitant to round this up to a full four. Because if this is just the end? Part of me is going to be maaaaad.

But on to the story.

There is such a stark, almost hopeless, beauty to this world. A casual kind of horror. A strange, uncertain, weirdness that you just can’t look away from. Oh, and, if any kind of unnatural physical deformations trigger or weird you out, you may not want to read this one.

WILDER GIRLS is a story about this school full of girls quarantined for their own safety — or maybe the safety of the rest of the world, more accurately. It’s been two years since the outbreak and no one has answers. They are barely surviving on the delivery of food they receive and the girls continue to die from Tox flare ups which seem to happen seasonally. But they continue on, they endure. Until Hetty’s best friend disappears.

I knew going into this that the story would have a sapphic romance and I both love and hated it; I loved it because it was complicated and a little messy and I hated it because there wasn’t enough of it because it was complicated and kind of messy. But it was beautiful, too. I wish we had had a bit more character development in Hetty; she was our main POV and I felt I understood her the least, in some ways. But I think, too, we maybe aren’t supposed to know too much about these characters. Not for who they are, but maybe for what they represent?

This is a weird world that feels only half formed, which makes sense because we know so little, but the bits we do discover by the end were really interesting. I just need more because.. where do we go from here? What happens to Hetty and Reese and Byatt? What happens to the world around them? 

And then I wonder.. should we just take this story as something more allegorical and focus less on the specifics, and wanting more, and instead just appreciate what this author wants us to take from the story? I suppose that’s up for interpretation, like all things. But I choose to do both. Look at the bigger picture and still want more.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – JULY 9, 2019

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!
As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


WILDER GIRLS by Rory Power is sapphic dystopian horror that intrigued me from the plot and I was sold on after the cover reveal (because do you SEE that cover!!). If you’re looking for a book that checks your LGBTQIA+ boxes as well as creeps you out? Look no further. Hollis’ three star review will be up tomorrow.

THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL by Abby Waxman is a women’s fiction book about a woman who works in a bookstore, plays trivia, has a cat named Phil, and did I mention she works in a bookstore? Look for Hollis’ and Micky’s three star reviews later this week.

SPIN THE DAWN by Elizabeth Lim is Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. Need we even say more?

THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVE & HATE by Sandy Hall is pitched as a YA comtemporary romance but the blurb indicates this is a NA college setting. Nevertheless, I’m still interested in this reemerging of an old middle-school enemy in college who sparks hatred and chemistry.

ONLY EVER YOU by C.D. Reiss seems to be a sweeter contemporary romance than Reiss’ normal releases. This story has all the promise of a strong friends to something more trope and I can get on board with that. Life seems to have gone pear-shaped for the 30-year old heroine and the nerd and friend across the street seems to be the love interest; I’m intrigued.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

MOST ANTICIPATED READS IN 2019 — MID-YEAR EDITION

Even with half the year behind us, and so many books already read, there are still so many books still to come for 2019!

We would like to preface this with a note that these release dates are, of course, subject to change. Just in the week between drafting and preparing to post this we had quite a few titles to rearrange. Also you’ll note in some cases we have indicated a specific country next to a title. This might mean it’s lagged release, ie, already out in the US but now released in the UK, or available everywhere but the US, and doesn’t make the release date wrong. However we did not duplicate titles to indicate multiple release dates. Just something to keep in mind!

Topping our lists of Most Anticipated Reads in 2019 — Mid-Year Edition (in order of publication) are :

July
THE PLUS ONE by Sarah Archer (2nd)
DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Mhairi McFarlane (2nd in CAN)
THE MARRIAGE CLOCK by Zara Raheem (23rd)
THE MERCIFUL CROW by Margaret Owen (30th)
BRAZEN AND THE BEAST by Sarah MacLean (30th)
A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR by Laura Trentham (30th)

August
SARONG PARTY GIRLS by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (1st in the UK)
DISCRETION by Karina Halle (6th)
ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane (8th in the UK)
TO BE TAUGHT, IF FORTUNATE by Becky Chambers (8th)
THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare (13th)
THE YEAR I LEFT by Christine Brae (20th)
SAPPHIRE FLAMES by Ilona Andrews (27th)
ALL THE BAD APPLES by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (27th)
HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS by Kerrigan Byrne (27th)

September
AMERICAN ROYALS by Katharine McGee (3rd)
HARP OF KINGS by Juliet Marillier (3rd)
BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE by Evie Dunmore (3rd)
THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS by Katy Rose Pool (3rd)
THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK by Adrienne Young (3rd)
GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir (10th)
BEARD WITH ME by Penny Reid (16th)
WAYWARD SON by Rainbow Rowell (24th)
HUSBAND MATERIAL by Emily Belden (24th in the UK)

October
WAR OF HEARTS by S Young (1st)
REBEL by Marie Lu (1st)
CRIER’S WAR by Nina Varela (1st)
BEARD NECESSITIES by Penny Reid (7th)
NINTH HOUSE by Leigh Bardugo
THE GRACE YEAR by Kim Liggett (8th)
INTO THE CROOKED PLACE by Alexandra Christo (8th)
THE BEAUTIFUL by Renee Ahdieh (8th)
TWICE IN A BLUE MOON by Christina Lauren (22nd)

November
THE BROMANCE BOOKCLUB by Lyssa Kay Adams (5th)
CALL DOWN THE HAWK by Maggie Stiefvater (5th)
GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW by Natasha Ngan (5th)
THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by Holly Black (19th)

December
REGRETTING YOU by Colleen Hoover (10th)
DRAGON UNLEASHED by Grace Draven (10th)
THE WIVES by Tarryn Fisher (30th)


What titles are topping your list for most anticipated for the later half of 2019? Let us know!

THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER by Lena Kaaberbol

Up on the blog today is Micky’s review of The Shamer’s Daughter, a MG-YA fantasy

Dina has unwillingly inherited her mother’s gift: the ability to elicit shamed confessions simply by looking into someone’s eyes. To Dina, however, these powers are not a gift but a curse. Surrounded by fear and hostility, she longs for simple friendship.

But when her mother is called to Dunark Castle to uncover the truth about a bloody triple murder, Dina must come to terms with her power–or let her mother fall prey to the vicious and revolting dragons of Dunark. 


Title : The Shamer’s Daughter
Author :  Lena Kaaberbol
Series : The Shamer Chronicles
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 202
Genre : MG/YA
Publisher : Pushkin Press
Release Date : July 4, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER leans more towards middle grade reading than YA but it is an engaging story with an unusual special-power characteristic that I’ve not come across before in fantasy literature.

Dina was the daughter of a shamer and in this fantastical kingdom, shamers were used to get a confession for heinous crimes. So while people were frightened of shamers, they were also respected from a distance. Dina had inherited her mother’s gift.

What started off as 11 year old Dina making sense of her young life and altered friendships since her gift had manifested, quickly merged into an intruiging tale that put her family at risk. There were dragons, prisons, friendships and deceit. Dina’s gift was put to the test and she showed a tenacious ability to problem-solve and survive.

This is a fast-paced read, quite exciting and definitely appealing to a younger YA market and middle grade readers. This is a series starter that is likely to leave readers ready to jump into the next books. With books 2&3 being published imminently and book 4 on it’s way, there won’t be a long wait for the story to evolve. THE SHAMER’S DAUGHTER has a visually catching cover that has a theme caught by the following books.

Thank you Puskin Press for the finished copy to review.

THE AU PAIR by Emma Rous

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.


Title : The Au Pair
Author : Emma Rous
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 360 pages
Genre : Suspense
Publisher : Piatkus, Little Brown Book UK
Release Date : 11 July 2019

Reviewer :  Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

They say lies make for a tangled web but I don’t think I was prepared for the knotted mess that this story played out to be. This tale was carefullly plotted out with a cluster of circumstances that were crazy good reading.

Told in past and present and through two main POVs of Laura and Seraphine who narrated the story. In the past, the story focused on Ruth and Dominic, a married couple, their friend Alex, their au pair, their son, Ruth’s mother….I could go on. The tale in the present focused on Ruth and Dominic’s children, trying to find the truth behind events 25 years ago. It was everything intruiging and the author cleverly drip fed information on a need to know basis.

From early on in the story, I was guessing, this and that. In the long run, I made some good guesses, some that I went on to disregard turned out to be founded in some truth. The story built and built with dramatic but believable turns, culminating in the past and present clashing in a revealing way.

THE AU PAIR was a well-written suspense, leading the reader on in semi-darkness but making it almost impossible to put the book down. I felt satisfied in the culmination and I would definitely read Emma Rous again. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Piatkus and Little Brown Books UK for the review copy.

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