Until I Met Her by Natalie Barelli
Before Emma Fern meets Beatrice Hodgson-Greene, she is a sweet, happy, and easy going store owner in a reasonably happy marriage.
Enter Beatrice, a best-selling author of crime fiction, who comes to Emma with an offer: Beatrice needs someone to be ‘the author’ of her yet to be published novel, because it is of a different genre. Emma has unfulfilled literary ambitions, and finds the offer impossible to refuse.
As they begin their imbalanced and bumpy ‘friendship’, things take a turn for the worse, and you find yourself rooting for poor Emma, as she takes decision after self-destructive decision, in a journey of shocking discoveries and unexpected turns.
I enjoy a good psychological thriller, and Natalie Barelli’s Until I met Her didn’t fail to entertain. In fact, instead of going out for a jog, I found myself glued to the exercise bike at home, with the iPad in my hands, waiting for the next mind-boggling twist.
A fast paced, interesing read.
Clean Break by Abby Vegas
A Clean Break is, at its heart, a romance with elements of suspense. It is the story of a down-on-her-luck, used-to-be-rich girl Lane, who is trying to get a clean break and start over. She may have lost everything, but her greatest asset is her personality.
When she loses her deposit for an apartment in New York and must live in the basement of a suspicious Russian-mafia-type organization, she has no choice but to accept her fate. But Lane is such a spunky, strong, impulsive, loving young woman with a quirky sense of humor, that I fell in love with her character from the first page.
Viktor is everything Lane should avoid: devastatingly handsome, with a quaint accent and startling blue eyes, numerous tattoos, and a past he prefers to hide. But he keeps showing up when she needs him. He seems like a really good guy at heart. Hurting, just like her. But he also seems linked to the Russian mafia, and her only friend warns her not to get too close to him. But their attraction is irresistible.
What I like most about the book is Ms Vegas’s ‘voice’. For a debut novel, Ms Vegas has such a great voice, that it almost seems she’s talking from experience, about herself. In addition, her descriptions of places and people are vivid and enriching. The character arc is well built for all the characters, including Lane’s boss, eventually leading to a satisfying end.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was rooting for Lane all the way!
A Mother's Secret by Renita D'Silva
A Mother’s Secret is a sweeping saga that weaves the lives of three women seamlessly, drawing the reader into the story with breathtaking imagery. As we delve deeper into the secrets, deceit, and heartbreak, D’Silva reveals the story bit by tantalizing bit, and unfolds a tapestry of richly textured characters with flaws and strengths, and we find ourselves cheering for each in turn until the satisfying end.
The three main characters are Jaya, who is mourning the loss of her baby and her mother, Durga, who blames herself for her parents' accident, and Kali, who loses the love of her childhood sweetheart because of family drama.
But my favorite was Kali, whose deception has a childlike innocence, whose pride is fragile, and whose love for life is triumphant.
Another evocative book by Renita D’Silva. A must read!
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All opinions on the books listed here are my own.