Tag: 2 stars

Book Review: After Happily Ever After by Leslie A Rasmussen

After Happily Ever After
Author: Leslie A Rasmussen      

Published: April 6, 2021
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 24-27, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Maggie Dolan finds herself at forty-five at a crossroads in her life. Once a high-level executive, she’s chosen to be a stay-at-home mom for the last seventeen years. But now with her daughter, Gia, soon leaving for college, and her husband, disconnected and with secrets he hasn’t shared, Maggie decides it’s time to figure out what she wants for the rest of her life. As she begins her journey, she has to deal with a narcissistic mother, a brother who doesn’t like her and most damaging of all, the news that her father, her rock, has medical issues that may take him from her. Overwhelmed by all these issues, she’s led in a direction that could destroy what she’s built and make her question the choices she’s made. She’s torn between the life she’s always known and something more exciting that she never expected.

Jessica’s Review:

This is one I was interested in, as I am close in age to the protagonist Maggie, but it just didn’t deliver.  Maggie is at a crossroads in her life with her daughter getting closer to leaving the nest for college and issues with her parents and brother. Maggie has a sort of mid life crisis with the ‘hot guy’ from the gym she befriends.  This is where I had all my issues: OMG stop it! You are having an affair! It may not be a physical one, but it was definitely a mental affair.  What made it worse is that she knew it, but just kept going on with it. 

Her husband isn’t really around for her and her daughter is having her own issues with school life. Maggie also has mom issues and loves her dad, but is slowly losing him to dementia.  The dementia story line is what kept me going with this novel. There is a twist that happens that you are not expecting. 

The audiobook was almost 8 hours long and I also had some issues with the narrator.  She didn’t change her voice any when the narrated pov switched characters: So if you are not paying close attention at the beginning of the chapter you could get confused as to which character was narrating. This could also get complicated since one character has dementia. 

After Happily Ever After has been out for just over a year and was just recently released in audiobook form, which I was given a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.  Many thanks for the copy, I just wish I had enjoyed it more.

I can’t recommend this novel, but would give the author another try in a future novel.   

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Marriage by K.L. Slater

The Marriage
Author:
K.L. Slater

Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 5-11, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Ten years ago he killed my son. Today I married him.

Ten years ago my darling son Jesse was murdered and our perfect family was destroyed. My strong, handsome boy, so full of life, became a memory, a photo I carried with me everywhere.

But today I’m finally close to finding happiness again. My ash-blonde hair has been curled into ringlets. Carefully placed white flowers frame my delicate features. The small, drab chapel has been prettied up with white satin, and there are tiny red hearts scattered on the small table where I will soon sign the register with my new husband.

The man who killed my son.

My friends and family can’t understand it. My neighbours whisper in the street whenever I walk past. How can I love a man like Tom?

They don’t really know me at all…

Jessica’s Review:

The first line of the book description of The Marriage had me just having to read it! I was anticipating a thriller, and the book is even described as one, but for me it was more contemporary, and not a thriller.  The book is just unbelievable, how could a mother marry the man who killed her son?  And the killer was even Jesse’s best friend growing up… So this makes the killer, Tom, the same age as Jesse. How can you marry a man who would be the same age as your son?

There was just so much implausibility that I had to suspend reality as I listened to the audiobook.  And everyone has secrets in this novel and a lot is not what it seems.  It seems like every character had ulterior motives.  The author tried to go with a big twist, but it was also unbelievable for me and came off as a grab for the reader’s attention. 

Overall, this one was a disappointment. I would try another of Slater’s novels to see if it is a better read for me.  But I won’t be in a hurry to read another of hers. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Audiobook Review: Don’t Look Back by Ben Cheetham

Don’t Look Back
Series:
Fenton House #1
Author: Ben Cheetham

Narrator: Ralph Lister
Published:  March 29, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 21-25, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

After the tragic death of their eleven-year-old son, Adam and Ella are fighting to keep their family from falling apart. Then comes an opportunity that seems too good to be true. They win a competition to live for free in a breathtakingly beautiful mansion on the Cornish Lizard Peninsula. There’s just one catch – the house is supposedly haunted.

Mystery has always swirled around Fenton House. In 1920 the house’s original owner, reclusive industrialist Walter Lewarne, hanged himself from its highest turret. In 1996, the then inhabitants, George Trehearne, his wife Sofia and their young daughter Heloise disappeared without a trace. Neither mystery was ever solved.

Adam is not the type to believe in ghosts. As far as he’s concerned, ghosts are simply memories. Everywhere he looks in their cramped London home he sees his dead son. Despite misgivings, the chance to start afresh is too tempting to pass up. Adam, Ella and their surviving son Henry move into Fenton House. At first, the change of scenery gives them all a new lease of life. But as the house starts to reveal its secrets, they come to suspect that they may not be alone after all…

Jessica’s Review:

A tragic start to a haunted house novel that just didn’t deliver.  The start had some promise with the death of one of Adam and Ella’s boys, and a contest to live in a supposed haunted house!?!? The novel dragged on and one for me and it took way to long for the family to get inside the house. And once inside… It just wasn’t scary.  It kept dragging, but towards the ending it did pick up some.  Just not enough to save this novel.  There is a second novel where the Piper family returns, but I really have no interest in reading where the story goes from here. 

Sadly, I was highly disappointed in this ‘haunted house’ novel. It just was not for me.  The narrator, Ralph Lister did a good job with his narration, but it still could not save Don’t Look Back for me.

Don’t Look Back has been published since December 3, 2018. But has just been released on audio.  Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy via NetGalley to listen to and review. I just wish it could have been favorable. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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