After Nightfall

After NightfallAfter Nightfall by A.J. Banner
Published by Lake Union Publishing on August 7th 2018
ISBN: 1503900819
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four-half-stars

Marissa Parlette appears to have it all in the beginning of this book. She is happy, has a good job and is in love. She and her fiancĂ©, Nathan are hosting a dinner party to celebrate their engagement. Among the guest are Marissa’s childhood best friend, Lauren and her husband, Jensen. Lauren betrayed Marissa years ago in college and recently has been attempting to reconcile with Marissa and rekindle their friendship. But if she wants to rekindle their relationship, they why is she so openly flirting with Marissa’s finance Nathan in front of Marissa and her own husband, Jensen? Plus, Nathan’s brother, Keith and his wife, Helga are also in attendance as is Anna, Nathan’s daughter from his first marriage.

The dinner should be a happy one but is uncomfortable due to Lauren’s flirting, Anna’s non-stop texting and the tension and tears from Helga. When Lauren must leave to pick up her teenage daughter. Marissa walks Lauren out and Lauren informs her she has something to tell her about Nathan but is very cryptic and leaves. Geezz thanks for that! The party comes to a halt and everyone calls it a night. Or do they? Marissa took a sleeping pill but woke to see Nathan leave in the middle of the night. Where did he go and who sent him a text message?

The next morning, Marissa decides to clear her head and goes down to the beach where she finds Lauren’s body. Did she jump from the cliffs above? Was she pushed? Was she drunk and walked too closely to the edge? Devastated, she calls the police and thus begins the investigation. Tensions are high are the characters are all uneasy.

Marissa soon learns that several characters in this book have been keeping secrets and some have been lying to her. As the learns that truths about those in her life the reader also learns the truth about Lauren’s heartbreaking betrayal and the reason for their friendship coming to a screeching halt.

I read this book in one day and gave it the star rating I did because I could not put this book down! I had to keep reading to find out the truth. I wanted to know which characters were telling the truth and the ones who were so obviously keeping secrets – I wanted to know why. I loved how most of the people in this book could be suspects- a lot of characters in this book had a reason to dislike Lauren. I found this book to be pure enjoyment and it was fun to try and figure out whodunit.

There is a twist at the end and some may find the twist to be shocking while others may not. I wasn’t necessarily wowed by it but I wasn’t let down by it either. It did not have the HOLY CRAP! I- didn’t-see-that-coming factor that a lot of books have, but I found that it worked and brought things to a conclusion.

This book is perfect for summer reading! It doesn’t require much thought and the pace is fast. I lost track of time while reading this as I was so absorbed in the story. This book was a nice blend of women’s fiction and mystery.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange or an honest review.

four-half-stars

The Twilight Wife

The Twilight WifeThe Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner
Published by Touchstone on December 27th 2016
Pages: 304
ISBN: 1501152114
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three-stars

Received from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Thirty four year old Marine Biologist, Kyra Winthrop remembers almost nothing after a diving accident. Her memory for marine biology comes back as she hears terms or words concerning marine biology. She also has flashes of memory around scents and when it concerns her husband, Jacob. Each day she wakes up not fully knowing who she is, she knows her name, details on her life, who her husband is, but all of those things are facts. She really doesn’t recall what it was like to be her or what her life was like before the accident. She is dependent on her husband to fill in the details.

Kyra and Jacob have moved to the island where Jacob grew up. She has met his friends and has flashes of memories while in their presence. Nothing too major, just minor glimpses into the past. A past life that she cannot remember. She also begins to meet other residents on the island who also, through conversation, give her little reminders of who she once was. She also has memories of others such as her friend Linny and Jacob’s friend Aiden. It soon becomes clear that not everything is as it seems in this book.

While reading this book, I couldn’t help but be reminded of “Before I go to Sleep” by S.J. Watson. Another book where a woman with amnesia has to rely on her husband to help her recall her past.

The Twilight Wife hints at various secret relationships. I find that there could have been more exploration into this in the books as some situations/scenarios were set up but then fell flat. I just wanted this book to be better. The premise is so good! A woman has suffered a head injury, her husband is helping her to recall her past, but not too fast, he doesn’t want to push her or upset her. This could have been a very good psychological thriller but for me it felt a little flat. As I mentioned this book immediately reminded me of “Before I go to Sleep” and that book, I’m afraid, is better.

This was good – not great. A very fast read. I just wanted more and there were little hints and signs along the way that the BIG reveal wasn’t such a big reveal in the end.

three-stars