Author: Jennifer Hillier
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: April 21, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 6-16, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Four hundred and eighty seconds. That’s how long it took for someone to steal Marin Machado’s four-year-old son.
Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken.
A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman.
Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student—Instagram famous—and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him—and that was never part of the plan.
Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.
This was a thriller that had promise but did not deliver. I hate to say this because you don’t ever want to blame the parent (especially if you do not have kids like me) but it was all Marin’s fault: She was in an extremely busy area with her young son and texting. Not only texting, but it wasn’t really important! She took her eyes off of her son at the height of Christmas shopping season! So basically I did not have empathy for Marin while listening to the audiobook.
Then, the direction the novel goes did not bring anything new to the thriller genre for me. It wasn’t really a thriller either; it was an average suspense novel. The direction it goes in is a bit far-fetched, but then when we ultimately find out whom the ‘villian’ is it isn’t surprising and neither is their motive.
This one just did not deliver, but I would give Hillier another chance to see if one of her other novels works for me. She may be another author that ‘isn’t for me’. The one saving grace for me with Little Secrets was the narrator Kirsten Potter. To me she has a voice similar to Diane Sawyer, and I was first introduced to her narration with The Couple Next Door. As with The Couple Next Door I felt like I was listening to an episode of a news show such as Prime Time Live. Potter was the reason I finished Little Secrets.
The New Husband
Author: D.J. Palmer
Published: April 14, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 19-27, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
What makes Simon Fitch so perfect?
-He knows all her favorite foods, music, and movies.
-Her son adores him. He was there when she needed him most.
-He anticipates her every need.
-He would never betray her like her first husband.
The perfect husband. He checks all the boxes.
The question is, why?
Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone―presumably drowned while fishing on his boat―she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart.
Now, a year and a half later, Nina has found love again and hopes she can put her shattered world back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the death of his first wife, thinks he has found his dream girl in Nina, and his charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, while her friends see a different side to him, and they aren’t afraid to use the word obsession.
Nina works hard to bridge the divide that’s come between her daughter and Simon. She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children are the lies people tell themselves.
Wow, oh wow! This is D.J. Palmer’s second novel and I will be reading his first as soon as I can! I want to compare between his first and second novels: Sometimes the second novel falls under a ‘curse’ of not being as good and failing to meet high expectations that come from a best-selling first novel.
Nina’s husband Glen disappeared unexpectedly and after the fact she learns things she never ever expected: He wasn’t the man she thought he was. Fast forward not quite two years and Glen is still gone and presumed dead Nina has met someone else: Simon Finch and he is perfect. He is also recovering from the loss of his first wife, and Nina’s son Connor accepts Simon. But Nina’s friends and daughter Maggie don’t accept him. To them, something just isn’t right about him….
Nina and Maggie are our two narrators and the chapters alternate between the two of them. We see both sides of the opinions of Simon. At first, I was thinking Simon wasn’t so bad and that the ‘problem’ was Maggie’s attitude. Which I 100% understand: She is a teenager and misses her dad. She had no closure with his disappearance and mom ‘moved on’ too quickly for Maggie’s liking. SO… for a while I was on ‘Simon’s side’ until the novel progressed some and then my opinion changed! How did I not see what was coming!! OMG, it made me wonder if I would I have fallen under Simon’s trap like Nina did?
**Suggestion: ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR FRIENDS!**
This was a novel that never let go of my attention and kept me wondering what was going to ultimately happen. I did not see the big twist coming but looking back I should have! WOW, this really was a good one and I can’t wait to see what else D.J. Palmer has up his sleeve!
If you enjoy thrillers this will be one for you!
**Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for granting me a copy to read and review**
The Girl Who was Supposed to Die
Author: April Henry
Published: June 17, 2014
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 13-15, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
“Take her out back and finish her off.”
She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.
And that she must run.
In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive.
I am about to give 100% honesty here (but it’s not like I ever give less than 100%, some reviews are harder or easier to write than others): I was not expecting much from this novel when I started listening to it. I had finished one audiobook and was waiting on another to arrive. The Girl Who was Supposed to Die is a short audiobook, just under 5.5 hours and I finished it within two days, which is similarly the time period of our story.
Cady is our narrator and she tells us her story, starting with waking up with zero memories and she hears a man ordering another to kill her. Needless to say she gets away and now we have a cat and mouse chase for the rest of the novel, or do we? With no memory, Cady could be an unreliable narrator. Is she actually mentally ill or is there a story going on here?
We do get an answer to this question by the time we get to the last act of the novel. It is a fast paced and gripping novel, yet it goes in a direction that is not very believable. But I found myself so engrossed in Cady’s story, I was able to let go of the lack of believability. I enjoy first person and being told the protagonist’s story directly from their lips.
I would suggest going into this one not knowing or expecting much about the book and you might be pleasantly surprised as I was.[Top]