‘The Unhoneymooners’ – Christina Lauren

This really was a story to take me by surprise. While the end result was obvious, it was such good fun to watch things unfold you’d have to have a heart of stone to not be sucked in.

Olive has always been used to feeling less than her composed sister, Ami. But when Ami and her entire wedding party get sick on the day of the wedding it ends up with Olive and best man, Ethan, taking up the honeymoon.

They hate each other, so it’s obvious they’ll end up together, but this was done naturally and in a way that had me both laughing out loud and swooning.

Great fun, though all quite obvious. A perfect summer read.

‘The Perfect Mother’ – Aimee Molloy

Mothers’ groups can be a great source of companionship, but they also result often in a strange form of one-up man-ship as those involved strive to maintain the facade of ‘perfect mother’. This book takes what’s become quite a common thing and plays up to every fear you might have about the people you’re suddenly sharing intimate details with.

The May Mothers…a group of women (and a token male) who bond over the fact they each gave birth in May. Keen to support, but it’s very easy to see that these people know very little about each other.

On a night out when their children are young, the unthinkable happens and one of the children is abducted. What follows is a curious mix of establishing what happened to Baby Midas and unearthing the many secrets held by each of the group members.

We get multiple POVs which made it seem quite slow. Everyone had a secret and we just had to wait and see how these linked to the story.

I can see why this has been optioned for a movie, and I imagine it will be a book on many group lists. Unfortunately, the ending fell a little flat for me and I felt things were increasingly rushed in an attempt to resolve the many strands.

‘Nerve’ – Jeanne Ryan

Whatever your personal views of the characters, there’s no denying this is a tense read.

NERVE is a game that seems perfect for these media-obsessed times. People can pay to watch, or you can dare to play – taking part in challenges that test your resolve in the hope of winning big.

Vee is one of those characters used to hiding in the background. She does, however, have a steeliness to her character that stands her in good stead for what’s coming. Fed up with being on the sidelines she decides to try something different. Unfortunately, this gets her caught up in a very dangerous game.

I’m curious to see how this transferred to screen, but I’m uneasy about what it reveals of human nature. While Vee and Ian come out of this pretty well, others don’t.

‘Lock Every Door’ – Riley Sagar

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Those words, spoken by Jules’s best friend, come back to haunt us as we work out exactly what’s going on.
There’s an interesting time frame to this story that allows us glimpses of the key events, while also showing the build-up to them. Jules has, by any standards, had a tough life. Her sister went missing years ago and her parents died in a house fire. When she loses her job she returns home to find her boyfriend having sex with someone else. So, putting all those things together it’s hardly surprising that she’s keen to respond to the advert she sees.

When Jules sees the advert requesting a house sitter for an apartment she thinks it’s the answer to her prayers. When she hears how much she’ll be paid, she is determined to see it out although the rules that are in place seem draconian.
From the moment Jules moves into The Bartholomew she’s fed crazy stories from her concerned friends, and her own paranoia starts to prey on her mind. She tries to avoid thinking too much about her concerns but as another of the house-sitters disappears, Jules can’t help but try to work out what’s going on.

The truth is far more terrifying than anything she could have imagined.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the other novels by Riley Sager, I am – again – grateful to NetGalley for allowing me to read this prior to publication in exchange for my honest thoughts.