REVIEW: I INVITED HER IN, BY ADELE PARKS

 

Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.

This is worse.

When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.

But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel’s help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It’s the least Mel can do.

After all, friends look out for each other, don’t they?

My Thoughts: I Invited Her In opened to cozy scenes in the home of Ben and Melanie Harrison. They have settled into a suburb an hour from London, with Liam, Melanie’s 17-year-old son, and Imogene and Lily, their children together. Melanie loves her life, but when she gets the email from her university friend Abigail Curtiz, she is curious and intrigued.

Abigail arrives on the scene full of chatter and delicious treats, and the two women catch up on the years they were apart. Abi’s broken marriage has brought her to a sad place but remembering the good times will help…so she insists.

But soon Ben is anxious for the interloper to go. He misses his cozy times with Mel and the kids, and he doesn’t have a good feeling about Abi’s intentions.

Melanie is still eager for the party to continue…but then things begin to happen that are disturbing and uncomfortable. Soon she sees her old friend for who she truly is.

What secrets from the past will reveal more about Abi’s intentions, and how will Melanie find peace and family time again?

A stunning surprise at the end changed the tone of the story, but even with that snippet, I couldn’t help but really hate Abigail and her plots and evil plans, while rooting for Mel’s happy ending. A 5 star read.

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REVIEW: VERITY, BY COLLEEN HOOVER

 

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

My Thoughts: Verity began with a stunning accident on a Manhattan street, which Lowen witnesses and is almost caught up in. Covered with blood, she is assisted by a kind man, who helps her sort herself out, even lending her his shirt.

Cleaned up and headed to her scheduled meeting across the street, Lowen finds herself once again in the presence of the kind man, who turns out to be a part of her meeting. Thus begins a serendipitous leap into her new writing job which takes her to Vermont to stay with that same man and his family. For he is Verity’s husband.

Jeremy Crawford and his son become part of Lowen’s new world, but as she sorts through Verity’s office and tries to organize her thoughts to write the next books in the series, the manuscript Lowen finds and can’t resist reading—just to get into Verity’s head space—changes her perspective, her life, and everything afterwards.

Can we say “bumps in the night”? Is she imagining the very strange happenings in the gorgeous house, or is something very frightening going on? Just when Lowen begins to put together the pieces of her new life, she is also finding herself drawn more and more to Jeremy. At the same time, she is terrified of Verity. Narrated in Lowen’s first person perspective, we are thrust into her head and feeling the moments with her.

What disturbing secrets will be revealed? Is someone a Master Manipulator? Is the truth a flip of a coin that on one side, tells a truth, but on the other, shows a different truth? My head was spinning by the end.

A book I couldn’t put down, I finished it in one day…and then wanted to reread it. 5 brilliant stars.

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