Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: May 8, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 15 – August 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.
Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.
The High Tide Club features Brooke Trappnell who is introduced in Save the Date. You do not need to have read Save the Date first, but I would recommend it as you will know Brooke’s backstory. Save the Date was the first Mary Kay Andrews’ (MKA) book I read and she has since become an author who I will read anything she writes! The High Tide Club has become my favorite of MKA’s that I have read!
The High Tide Club has a little bit of everything that keeps you reading: A little romance, a murder mystery that spans decades, a group of girlfriends, secrets and lies, making amends, and family: the biological one and the ones you choose.
There are two timelines that connect: One starts in the 1940s, and the other is in present day. I never lost interest in both timeline stories and I never figured the twists out. Everything fits and flows together well. Though it is a fun and intriguing read, there are also some serious situations that occur in the novel including rape and abandoned babies. MKA may be starting to turn a little ‘dark’ in her novels, but they are still enjoyable and definitely easy beach reads.
The High Tide Club is a longer novel, coming in at 470 pages, but I couldn’t really see any of it being discarded. I do have the book, but listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Kathleen McInerney. I have listened to most of MKA’s books on audiobook and McInerney narrates them all. Both of those ladies just go together like peas and carrots!
If you have not given MKA a try you really need to!
Authors: James Patterson and Brendan DuBois
Published: December 13, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 3-13, 2019
Novel: 4 stars
Audiobook: 2.5 stars
Average: 3 stars
“Sir, the First Lady … has gone rogue.”
President Tucker is caught up in a media firestorm. The scandal of his affair has sent shockwaves through his re-election campaign, and threatens to derail everything he has worked for. To win the vote, he needs the First Lady to stand by his side.
But Grace Tucker has a mind of her own.
After years of compromise, unfulfilled promises, deception and betrayal, Grace refuses to give in to her husband’s demands. Escaping the city and her Secret Service agents, she is officially off the radar.
But did the First Lady run away? Or is she in far greater danger than anyone could have imagined?
The First Lady is collaboration between James Patterson and Brendan DuBois and it was well done! Patterson’s collaborations can be hit or miss and other than multiple narrator pronunciation errors in the audiobook, this one was a hit for me.
Just weeks before the election, the president is caught in an affair, which could ruin his re-election. And to make things worse: the first lady goes missing and keeping that quiet is easier said than done.
We also meet Special Agent Sally Grissom who heads up the Presidential Protective Detail. She is determined to find the first lady. We also see into Grissom’s life with is far from perfect.
I never lost interest in the story and I had no idea what was going to happen. There is a twist ending that I enjoyed. If you like political thrillers, then you should read this one, but stay away from the audiobook version.
The audiobook is where the biggest negative is: Yes, I did like the narrator’s voice and narration but she continuously mispronounced multiple words every time the word was said. I wish I had kept track of all the errors. I remember at least four words being mispronounced. The Potomac River was butchered, and the name of Button Gwinnett was ruined. I am originally from Gwinnett County so that mispronunciation bothered me. I don’t know how these errors were not caught in the editing of the audiobook. Maybe no one cared? Due to the extremity of errors I had to give the audiobook 2.5 stars.
Overall, I enjoyed the novel, but stay away from the audiobook![Top]
Author: Shari Lapena
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 29- June 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up. It’s winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell’s Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing–maybe even romantic–weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love.
So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity–and all contact with the outside world–the guests settle in for the long haul. The power’s down but they’ve got candles, blankets, and wood–a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up–surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something–or someone–is picking off the guests one by one.
They can’t leave, and with no cell service, there’s no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it’s their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there’s nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.
I absolutely loved The Couple Next Door which was also written by Lapena. An Unwanted Guest had everything needed to pull me in: a very intriguing book description with a great location with complete isolation, and murder mysteries: “Help! There is a killer among us!” This was very much like Clue for me.
But that was where it stopped working for me. Maybe there were too many characters for me to keep up with (I listened to the audiobook version) or maybe it was just too slow moving. I am fine with character driven novels and the character development was superb, but this one just did not work for me. I was not invested with any of the characters. I did choose to finish the novel as I wanted to know the outcome and I was glad I did continue it. That ending was unexpected!! In a way that ending saved the novel for me as I would not have EVER seen that coming.
I will definitely be listening to Lapena’s other novel A Stranger in the House soon.[Top]