The Wife Who Knew Too Much by: Michele Campbell

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Description from the Description from Netgalley

From Michele Campbell, the bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband comes a new blockbuster thriller in The Wife Who Knew Too Much.

Tabitha Girard had her heart broken years ago by Connor Ford. He was preppy and handsome. She was a pool girl at his country club. Their affair should have been a summer fling. But it meant everything to Tabitha.

Years later, Connor comes back into Tabitha’s life—older, richer, and desperately unhappy. He married for money, a wealthy, neurotic, controlling woman whom he never loved. He has always loved Tabitha.

When Connor’s wife Nina takes her own life, he’s free. He can finally be with Tabitha. Nina’s home, Windswept, can be theirs. It seems to be a perfect ending to a fairy tale romance that began so many years ago. But then, Tabitha finds a diary. “I’m writing this to raise an alarm in the event of my untimely death,” it begins. “If I die unexpectedly, it was foul play, and Connor was behind it. Connor—and her.”

Who is Connor Ford? Why did he marry Nina? Is Tabitha his true love, or a convenient affair? As the police investigate Nina’s death, is she a convenient suspect?

As Tabitha is drawn deeper into the dark glamour of a life she is ill-prepared for, it becomes clear to her that what a wife knows can kill her.

My Review

I have read and reviewed Michele’s other books on this blog and they have ranged between 3 and 4 crowns. This latest book falls right into the same category for me. While it was not the best thriller that I’ve ever read, it wasn’t the worst either. It was a decent read with some small twists but the story itself wasn’t captivating.

I found Conner to be annoying and Tabitha to be a bit pathetic. I really wanted to love this book but I just didn’t.

I gave this book 3 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One to Watch by: Kate Stayman-London

Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Description from Goodreads

Real love…as seen on TV

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

My Review

I won this ARC from a Goodreads giveaway and decided to review it on my blog as well. This was such an entertaining read. Bea is a force to be reckoned with on the outside but on the inside she is insecure and hurt. Bea has lived her whole life in the body of a plus sized woman. She is used to the stares and nasty comments but she wants to find love.

When her remarks towards a reality show called Main Squeeze go viral, she is asked to join the show. This book read like a cross between episode transcripts of the Bachelorette and Bridget Jones’ Diary. I laughed out loud and my heart hurt for Bea. Her struggles with low self esteem and insecurity were very realistic.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

Hands Up by: Stephen Clark

Description from Goodreads

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

My Review:

Published in September of 2019, this book couldn’t be more relevant than it is today. After a young black man is killed by a white cop, the world tries to take matters into their own hands through protests and in some cases, violence. With alternating points of view between the white cop, the victim’s sister and his estranged ex- gang member father, this story visits the crime scene from all angles. The story is heartbreaking and the emotions are strongly felt.

I appreciated the fact the the victim’s parents stepped up before a protest turned violent and asked what the violence would prove. I feel the author, who is a black man, made the point that not all cops are bad and that it is the actions of a few that should not lead to the “punishment” of all. In today’s cultural unrest, this was a tough read but I found it to be something that was important. It is not a book that will take you a long time to get through as the story was written very well.

I urge you to pick this up. I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received an E-Book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Mall by: Megan McCafferty

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

My Review:

I read this book as a buddy read with my friend Sarah from the YouTube channel Sarah’s Nightstand https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBVf70DmzIEP4MCMz5MvJaQ

We both received this in exchange for an honest review and decided it would be fun to read together. Set in the stereotypical 1991 mall backdrop, Cassie is a young high school graduate about to set off to college with her boyfriend. They have a plan to work for the summer to pay for textbooks and living expenses but very quickly, Cassie’s life starts to unravel and those plans are about to self destruct.

This book was full of nostalgic references and allowed Sarah and I to talk about and relive the 90’s. That aspect of it was a ton of fun. Remembering the stores and layout of our local malls and the popular culture of that time allowed me to enjoy the book. However, Cassie, as a teenager was a bit immature and her actions were questionable for her age. She made some decisions that were thought out and some that were straight up hurtful. Yes, she was young but she should’ve been smarter than she was portrayed.

The other issue that both Sarah and I had was the intended audience for this book. It is a YA read that would not translate well for that audience. My daughter is 20 years old and she would not get any of the references or humor. If the YA genre is geared for 13- 18 year olds, this book would fall flat for them. I found that is was a “fun” read for me and I’m 40 years old.

For these reasons, I am giving this book 3.5 crowns.

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by: Abbi Waxman

Publication Date: June 16, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin

Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.

My Review

This is the story of a mother/ daughter relationship that invokes memories of Gilmore Girls and Golden Girls. The bond between mothers and daughters are a very unique thing. It is different for every person, of course, but when you think about the pop culture mother/ daughter relationships, you can now include Jessica and Emily.

As a girl mom myself, I related to this book in many ways. Teenage girls are a fickle bunch and can love you one minute and loathe you the next. Throw in a college tour road trip with a group of almost strangers and the chaos begins. How far is too far for a mother to push her daughter when it comes to college decision making? How does a daughter tell her mother, the only parent she has, that she isn’t even sure she wants to go to college? What happens when an old flame starts hitting on you in front of your daughter?

This was such an enjoyable read, as is anything by Abbi Waxman. I loved the dynamic between both Jessica and Emily and the other peers in this group.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E- ARC from the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Two Truths and A Lie by: Meg Mitchell More

Publication Date: June 16, 2020

Description from Goodreads

From the author of The Islanders comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer, in the vein of Liane Moriarty.

Truth: Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, have recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Rebecca Coleman, widely acknowledged former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad (having taken a step back since her husband’s shocking and tragic death eighteen months ago), has made a surprising effort to include these newcomers in typically closed-group activities. Rebecca’s teenage daughter Alexa has even been spotted babysitting Katie.

Truth: Alexa has time on her hands because of a recent falling-out with her longtime best friends for reasons no one knows—but everyone suspects have to do with Alexa’s highly popular and increasingly successful YouTube channel. Katie Griffin, who at age 11 probably doesn’t need a babysitter anymore, can’t be left alone because she has terrifying nightmares that don’t seem to jibe with the vague story Sherri has floated about the “bad divorce” she left behind in Ohio. Rebecca Coleman has been spending a lot of time with Sherri, it’s true, but she’s also been spending time with someone else she doesn’t want the Mom Squad to know about just yet.

Lie: Rebecca Coleman doesn’t have a new man in her life, and definitely not someone connected to the Mom Squad. Alexa is not seeing anyone new herself and is planning on shutting down her YouTube channel in advance of attending college in the fall. Sherri Griffin’s real name is Sherri Griffin, and a bad divorce is all she’s running from.

A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Two Truths and a Lie reminds us that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared, and the most precious things are the people we love. 

My Review:

I went into this book completely blind and I received the ARC unsolicited. I haven’t read from this author before but I did enjoy this book. It is told from multiple points of view and the “thriller” aspect of it was not intense. It read more like a episode or two of a Netflix domestic show. The characters were just the right amount of annoying to make me take sides in the story. I appreciated the book as a summer read with some drama and an air of a thrill.

I gave this book 3.5 crowns.

The Ingredients of You and Me (Hopeless Romantics #3) by: Nina Bocci

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…and an old love.

After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

My Review:

I didn’t realize that this was the third book in a series but since each book follows a different person, I didn’t feel as if I missed much. I loved the character of Parker. She is a successful business woman who had the opportunity to change her life and try to find what her true happiness is. As she struggles with romantic relationship turned sour and her disappearing ability to bake, she finds her strength and calling while helping a group of elderly woman.

The relationships that are described in this story bring the reader right into the lives of these characters. I was so invested in Parker’s situation and her ideas that I flew through this book.

I recommend this if you are looking for a lighthearted, enjoyable read that will make you crave some sweet treats while reading it.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received an E- ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Beach Read by: Emily Henry

OUT NOW!!!!!

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“Original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling…” -Sally Thorne, author of The Hating Game

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

My Review:

This is the perfect title for this book as you can take it with you as you relax on a beach while social distancing or by your own pool. In reality, it doesn’t matter where you read this book just as long as you do. If you are looking for a book that just takes your mind off of whatever it is on, this is it. It is a novel about writer’s block. It is a novel about finding your true self and forgiveness. It is a novel about friendships and exes; disappointments and enjoyments.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the few steamy plot points too. The characters were so real. It wasn’t a stereotypical contemporary story, these characters had real background stories that hit hard.

This was my first book from Emily Henry but I will be looking into her back catalog. I highly recommend that you pick this one up now.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E- ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Happy and You Know It by: Laura Hankin

Publication Date: May 19, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“It’s what would happen if the women from The Nanny Diaries met the women from Sex and the City in the social-media age. I devoured it in less than 48 hours.”—Jill Santopolo, author of The Light We Lost

A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….


After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for wealthy infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her flawless life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the stylish women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood – exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women – while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

My Review:

I was very intrigued by the premise of this book; women who are mothers that may have lost their own sense of identity trying to “compete” for a place in the world. The insane use of social media in order to fill in their self worth is an issue that is prevalent to not only mothers but to our younger generations as well. I really enjoyed the story line of this book. The characters were well written and the struggle could be felt among them.

It made me a bit nostalgic as my daughter and I participated in a Mommy and Me type class. I can remember sitting in a group with other young children and trying to relate to the parents. Parenthood is an interesting job that we are involved in, it can be all consuming and make us feel as if we would do anything to make sure that we were taking the best possible care of our child; but is there a line that can be crossed? How far is too far? What would you to get yourself back?

I gave this book 4 crowns.


I received this E- ARC from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What You’ve Done by: J.A. Schneider

Publication Date: April 16, 2020

Summary from Goodreads

A small town divorce lawyer (“I know people’s secrets”) blames herself when a client’s teen daughter is brutally murdered. She investigates and finds herself the killer’s next target.

Grieving the loss of her NYPD detective husband, former defense attorney Mia Peale moves to Grand Cove, Connecticut, desperate for a sense of community and hoping to rebuild her life. Now, starting a family law practice, she’s finally found friends and peace – until the teen daughter of one of her clients is brutally murdered, and the girl’s boyfriend stands accused.

Kelly Payne was an adored high school track star. Brian Hall is a poor boy in a rich town, and the community is outraged. But Mia has known Brian since her arrival and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite strong circumstantial evidence against him. As his defense turns lackluster, she asks Grand Cove police detective Jay Colter for help. Jay is also skeptical of the police and DA’s case and takes them on, especially when Mia’s friend from her former Manhattan law firm uncovers a frighteningly similar murder in the city. Secretly, Jay helps Mia investigate both murders, but his alarm grows as her life is threatened by a maniac hiding among them. 

My Review:

I was so excited to see that there was a new book about to be published by J.A. Schneider. I am so grateful that she sent it to me for review so that I can gush in advance of its’ release.

I adore her writing style and her story lines and this was no exception. I immediately feel in live with Mia and her inquisitive nature and caring spirit. Jay made for the perfect police detective. The story itself was of difficult subject matter as a young girl’s death happens at the peak of her high school track career. Well loved by many with secrets to hid, there is much more to Kelly’s life then anyone knew. This little town was rocked but this gruesome death and Mia is smack in the middle of it.

I loved this book and the characters so much. Pick this book up now!!

Thanks J.A. Schneider for the ARC but most importantly, for creating a very memorable group of characters.

I gave this book 5 crowns.