Book Review: Woman on the Edge

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Review:

This psychological thriller by Samantha M Bailey was a fun, page turning book that definitely kept me on the edge.
The story alternates between Morgan in the present, who has just had a baby thrust at her by a stranger in the subway station who then proceeds to jump, or was it pushed?, into on oncoming train and is killed. The woman implores Morgan to take care of and love her baby. Morgan, who has struggles of her own, wants nothing more than a baby and is instantly bonded to this one, determined to protect it.
The alternating story is Nicole in the past. She is the woman in the subway with the baby. We follow her descent into paranoia and learn why she made such a desperate decision.
However, along the way, there are many unexpected twists and turns. I loved how the characters developed and found Nicole’s postpartum struggles well done. Occasionally, I found Morgan a bit predictable and frustrating, but also liked how he wasn’t going to leave her fate up to anyone else.
The author did a great job weaving together past and present to bring the characters together on the train platform on that fateful day. Definitely a thriller that kept me guessing.
Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the review copy of this book.

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Book Review: Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

(The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things—perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang.

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review:
I loved reading Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I do not often read romance but this one caught my eye — namely because it involves the types of characters that are often underrepresented in books.
The main character is Chloe Brown, who has an invisible disability and is in constant pain. She struggles to do things that most people would find easy or normal. After being in a situation where she could have been killed, Chloe decides to get a life and makes a list of things she wants to do.
I love Chloe and feel that her character was really well done. Her illness felt authentically portrayed and I loved her strange tenacity, for example climbing a tree to save a cat when it really was the last thing she should have done. It is interesting to watch her grow as she tries to get out of her comfort zone and do things that many people take for granted.
Red, the handyman at the apartment building she lives in, is also an engaging character with a past of his own. He is elusive about himself, and with good reason as he is suffering from a trauma of a different sort.
Even though there are some big issues being dealt with, the book is told in a romantic comedy type of way full of traditional tropes and sexual tension. In fact, the book is quite steamy.
This is an interesting take on traditional romance and I would highly recommend it if you like explicit sexual romance that is both light and inclusive. It is difficult to balance humour and big issues and inclusiveness, but Hibbert does a great job.
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a review copy of this book.
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Book Review: Conversations With the Fat Girl

Coversations With the Fat Girl bookConversations With the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives except Maggie. At 26, she’s still serving coffee at The Beanery Coffee House, while her friends are getting married, having babies, and having real careers. Even Olivia, Maggie’s best friend from childhood, is getting married to the doctor with whom she lives. Maggie’s roommate? Her dog Solo (his name says it all). The man in Maggie’s life? Well there isn’t one, except the guy she has a crush on, Domenic, who works with her at the coffee shop as a bus boy.
Review:
I really enjoyed Conversations With the Fat Girl and found myself quite invested in Maggie, the 26 year old woman who’s been overweight her whole life and works at a coffee shop despite her education. This book touches on a range of issues that effect many people — weight, self esteem, the pursuit of happiness, childhood bullying, changing friendships, family dynamics…
I found the book dealt with all of these issues well and with some humour, which is something I love. The story was a bit predictable, but that was fine because there were so many touching moments and sparkles of self realization. It was a cozy read with someone who is learning about themselves and deciding what she wants for herself — and I loved watching Maggie figure it out. So many of us can probably relate on some level.
Maggie’s friendship with Olivia, her best friend from childhood who has had gastric bypass and is now engaged presented the perfect foil for the themes of the book. And the other employees at the coffee shop were fantastic in their supporting roles.
Overall, a nice, light, feel good read that has many relatable moments and lovely, engaging writing.
Thank you to Netgalley and Warner Books for the review copy.
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Book Review: There You Are

There You Are ereader on the beachThere You Are by Mathea Morais

Octavian Munroe is haunted by the life and death of his older brother in one of the most racially segregated cities in the country. Mina Rose has never quite fit in and wishes she was anything but white. Once lovers, now estranged, they both left St. Louis for fresh starts in the wake of grief and heartbreak.

In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death and the awakening of the Black Lives Matter movement, Octavian and Mina travel homeward. The record shop where they fell in love as teenagers in the 1990s is closing for good, sparking a desire for closure of their own.

This raw, powerful story of love and loss reckons with how where you come from shapes even the most fleeting collisions between friends, neighbors, and strangers.

Review:
I loved this book and tore right through it. I love how the story used the record store as its touchstone for the book and the chapters were based around a mixed tape.
This is a powerful story of now and the past, of the characters as they are and as they look back on those formative teenaged years from where they are now. The book explores the characters figuring out what they want, what they like, what it means to be African American in a racially segregated neighbourhood.
There is the love story between Octavian and Mina Rose, there are friendships built around music and experience. The characters are wonderful, flawed, and are trying to find their place in the world and I was totally engaged with them. On its surface, the book is a coming of age story, but the looking back from their adult years makes the book so much more than that. There are wonderful friendships and bonding at the record store where the owner seems to know just what everyone needs.
The author does a fantastic job of captivating the reader and I highly recommend this book.
Thank you to Netgalley and Amberjack publishing for the review copy.
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