December and Early January Books to Start off 2024!

I was hooked on this book, not wanting to stop reading until the last page.  The chapters were short and told from the perspective of two characters which kept me engaged. There is Meg, a patient and Cara who is the manager of the clinic.

Meg is there to find out what happened to her sister. The official story is suicide, but Meg knows this cannot be true and she is determined to get answers.

Here is the synopsis:

Meg works for a casino in LA, catching cheaters and popping a few too many pain pills to cope, following a far different path than her sister Haley, a famous actress. But suddenly reports surface of Haley dying at the remote rehab facility where she had been forced to go to get her addictions under control.

There are whispers of suicide, but Meg can’t believe it. She decides that the best way to find out what happened to her sister is to check in herself – to investigate what really happened from the inside.

Battling her own addictions and figuring out the truth will be much more difficult than she imagined, far away from friends, family – and anyone who could help her.

If you are a fan of suspense books, you will want to get this one when it comes out on January 23.



Margot Hunt is one of my favorite authors so when I saw The Guests, I knew  I had to read it.

It didn’t take me long to get into the story and get completely enveloped in the plot. I am a big fan of locked-room mysteries if they are done right, and this one was! I liked the idea of the family being locked inside because of the hurricane however the bigger danger isn’t outside, it’s in the house which is way more frightening.


When a Category 5 hurricane is poised to hit their coastal Florida town, the Davies family takes refuge in their waterfront manse. Marlowe, Lee, and their teenage twins invite their close friends to wait out the storm in comfort and style.

Uninvited are the three strangers who dock on the family’s shore right before the storm descends. Brothers Jason and Bo—and Bo’s girlfriend, Darcy—are a charming, helpful trio in need of a safe haven that the family is only too happy to provide.

But as the storm outside grows more threatening, so does the tension in the house.

Soon, the lines between family, friends, and strangers blur. Danger mounts with every pointed finger and broken confidence, and long-held secrets are revealed one after another until only one truth remains: not everyone is going to make it out alive.


Due out on January 9.


I loved this book and highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy books like Catherine Steadman’s The Family Game. The Weekend Retreat by Tara Laskowski centers around Lauren, a journalist dating the super-wealthy heir to the Van Ness fortune, Zach. She goes with him for a birthday celebration weekend at the family’s estate where she meets the rest of the family who are not exactly welcoming. It seems like everyone has a secret, but what are they each hiding and why? The setting of this grand Gothic estate was perfect. You can almost feel the draft coming from the dark corridors and secret hallways.



Every year, the illustrious Van Ness siblings, heirs to a copper fortune, gather at their secluded winery estate for a joint birthday celebration. It’s a tradition they’ve followed nearly all their lives, and now they are back with their significant others for a much-needed weekend of rest, away from the public spotlight.

With lavish comforts, gorgeous scenery, and indulgent drinking, the trip should be the perfect escape. But it soon becomes clear that even a remote idyllic getaway can’t keep out the problems simmering in each of their lives. As old tensions are reignited, the three couples are pushed to the edge. Will their secrets destroy them, or will they destroy each other first? And who’s been watching them from beyond the vineyard gates?

When a torrential rainstorm hits, plunging them into darkness, the answers prove all too deadly…

I loved every page of this fantastic thriller. Coming out on December 26.


I’m glad Shalini Boland writes as much as she does because I love her books. Her latest, The School Reunion, didn’t let me down. Imagine you’re down on your luck and feeling depressed and then you get an invite to a class reunion. As depressing as that might be, for Chloe it could be a second chance. Most of all, she’s excited to see Nathan, a former flame.


The invitation to her school reunion couldn’t have come at a better time for Chloe Flynn. Divorced, broke and bored at work, she’s living a life her teenage self would hate. Turning the clock back fifteen years might be just what she needs to wipe the slate clean and start again. And then there’s the chance she’ll bump into Nathan Blake, the one she still regrets letting get away…

Back at her elite private school, Chloe sparkles as she reunites with old friends and long-forgotten love interests. And then, just as she’d hoped, there’s Nathan, more handsome than ever before. Even better, he’s single too, and seems to be just as keen to make up for lost time…

But as the evening progresses, Chloe can’t help feeling that something’s not quite right—that she’s not the only one who’s come here for more than just a party. When the secrets of the past start to emerge and the reunion takes a sinister turn, it’s clear that nothing is what it seems—and nothing will be the same again.

Coming out on January 16.



Okay, I almost gave up on The Woman on the Ledge by Ruth Mancini. I thought I had it all figured out within the first few chapters and I don’t like it when a book lets me down because I think I know what’s going to play out.

But I was wrong.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up because this book was totally unexpected and the plot was so well-crafted that I ended up loving this story.

When Tate is brought into the police station for questions about a woman’s death, it’s hard to imagine that she isn’t guilty. After all, she’s having an affair with the woman’s husband and was at the scene of the crime. What other possible explanation can there be? The way Tate explains everything, it’s almost guaranteed that she’s guilty of something. But what? And more importantly, why?


Obsession. Intrigue. Revenge. Whose secrets are you keeping? And why?

A woman falls to her death from a London bank’s twenty-fifth-floor roof terrace. You’re arrested for her murder. You tell the police that you had only met the victim the previous night at your office party. She was threatening to jump down from the roof, but you had talked her down.

You’ve got nothing to do with this tragedy. You’re clearly being framed. So why do the police keep picking holes in your story? Even your lawyer doesn’t seem to believe you.

It soon becomes obvious that you’re keeping secrets. But who are you trying to protect? And why? Obsession. Intrigue. Revenge.

Get ready for one of the most twisty-turny novels you will read this year.

Really great book! I would love to see this as a movie or a series. Coming out on January 16.



I hit a dry spell with books and then suddenly- and thankfully- I read several excellent novels in a row including this one, Make Her Pay by Miranda Rijks. This plot is a case of revenge and the twists and turns within the pages will keep you reading.

Everything is going well in Leonie’s life. She is haunted by a hit-and-run many years prior and carries the guilt with her everywhere. Her powerful father insisted she put it behind her and tell no one, so she has done just that. But the guilt is eating her up and she is reaching a breaking point especially when everything in her life begins to fall apart.

What is happening and more to the point, who is behind it all?


Leonie is living her best life. Still in her twenties, she’s beautiful, and successful and has just met Markus, the man of her dreams.

But Leonie has a secret. Ten years ago, she was involved in an accident in which another driver died. Leonie shouldn’t have been behind the wheel that night – no license, no insurance – so she fled the scene. And ever since, she’s been struggling to deal with the terrible guilt.

Now, as her wedding to Markus draws near, it seems someone is out to get her. It’s little things at first – botched work appointments, a cancelled bridal dress – but it soon escalates into a terrifying campaign which threatens her business, her family and even her life.

Leonie, caught up in a relentless nightmare, has no idea why anyone would set out to destroy her. Until she realizes there’s a link to the accident that happened all those years ago.

Someone knows what she did. Someone is determined to make her pay.

Out now!



Perfect Little Lives by Amber and Danielle Brown is a mix of romantic-drama-suspense.  I liked the authors’ writing style and I always like an unlikable main character.


Simone’s mother was murdered when she was thirteen. When her father was convicted, everything changed. Overnight, Simone went from living in a wealthy white neighborhood to scraping by.

Ten years later, Simone has given up on her dreams and lives a quiet life, writing book reviews and getting serious with her boyfriend. But with a true crime documentarian hounding her for a scoop and a surprise encounter with her childhood next-door neighbor, Hunter, the past seems set on haunting her. And after Hunter reveals that his father and her mother had a years-long affair, Simone is determined to find out who really killed her mother.

Simone is convinced that all evidence points to Hunter’s father, a renowned judge who had everything to lose if his affair—and his nascent love child—came to light. Playing the game from all sides, Simone enlists Hunter’s help in her investigation into his family—whether he realizes it or not. But is she so desperate for closure that she’ll risk imploding her carefully rebuilt life?

Out now!

I am a big fan of Gregg Olsen’s true crime and was excited to read The Amish Wife. It’s more personal than his other books because it’s focused on him trying to chase down the reason for a murder back in the 70s. The Amish community covered up this crime but Gregg knows that it was not an accident. There is more to the story, and I would highly recommend reading the first book, Abandoned Prayer, about the murder before picking up this one. I didn’t know much about the case and was a little lost.

Gregg does explain everything however, the full backstory would benefit the reader.


In 1977, in an Ohio Amish community, pregnant wife and mother Ida Stutzman perished during a barn fire. The coroner’s report: natural causes. Ida’s husband, Eli, was never considered a suspect. But when he eventually rejected the faith and took his son, Danny, with him, murder followed.

What really happened to Ida? The dubious circumstances of the tragic blaze were willfully ignored and Eli’s shifting narratives disregarded. Could Eli’s subsequent cross-country journey of death—including that of his own son—have been prevented if just one person came forward with what they knew about the real Eli Stutzman?

The questions haunted Gregg Olsen and Ida’s brother Daniel Gingerich for decades. At Daniel’s urging, Olsen now returns to Amish Country and to Eli’s crimes first exposed in Olsen’s Abandoned Prayers, one of which has remained a mystery until now. With the help of aging witnesses and shocking long-buried letters, Olsen finally uncovers the disturbing truth—about Ida’s murder and the conspiracy of silence and secrets that kept it hidden for forty-five years.

Out on January 1!


I started reading Two Dead Wives by Adele Parks and would have sworn I had already read it- but this is the continuation of her novel, Woman Last Seen. Don’t worry, you can read this as a standalone and be completely fine, you won’t be confused.

I like Adele’s writing and thought this was a really good book, thanks to her excellent writing style. I’m not a huge fan of series, especially procedurals but I will probably read anything the author writes because every single book has been excellent.

The plot centers on a missing woman who has not one, but two husbands.  Well, that is something we don’t see every day, is it?


It’s a case that has gripped a nation: A woman with a shocking secret is missing, and presumed dead. And her two husbands are suspects in her murder.

DCI Clements knows the dark side of human nature and that love can make people do treacherous things. You can’t presume anything when it comes to crimes of the heart. Until a body is found, this scandalous and sad case remains wide open.

Stacie Jones lives a quiet life in a small village, nursed by her father as she recovers from illness, and shielded from any news of the outside world. But their reclusive life is about to be shattered.

How are these families linked, and can any of them ever rebuild their lives in the wake of tragedy?

This explosive thriller from international bestseller Adele Parks examines what it is to be a family and the dangerous lengths that people will go to for those they love.

Out on December 26.



I loved the setting of The Vacation by John Marrs. Having been to  Venice Beach, Los Angeles, I could completely envision the area. The story was a little different than what he usually writes, it was published back on April 29, 2015. Perhaps it was one of his first books, it didn’t feel like the books he usually writes but I digress!

This book involves eight people at a rundown hostel, each running from something and harboring secrets. Their stories go from the present day to the past so we can get a full glimpse of each person and their history, gaining perspective and understanding for each.


Venice Beach, Los Angeles. A paradise on earth. Tourists flock to the golden coast and the promise of Hollywood. But for eight strangers at a beach-front hostel, there is far more on their minds than an extended vacation. All of them are running from something. And they all have secrets they’d kill to keep…

I liked the short chapters and even though there was a large cast of characters to follow, it wasn’t confusing because they had their own story and personality. A good, solid read.



If I Go Missing by Leslie Wolfe was a good story, and I was intrigued by how it was all going to play out. I would not hesitate to recommend it to those who enjoy true crime.

The title refers to a binder that people are encouraged to keep with all important emails, passwords, and pertinent details in case a person does go missing. Having everything in one place makes it easier for police to search for important information.

I have never heard of this before, even though I am into true crime podcasts and this story reminded me of one. The book combines past circumstances with secrets, and lies, and stirs them up with emotions as we see our main character, Alana, get put through the wringer when her former best friend moves in next door. But of course, all is not as it seems and the reader questions if they can even trust Alana, or is it the people around her that we cant trust?


I close the binder I’ve been writing in, and walk into the living room. As I stare out of the window at your house next door, I think about all the things I stand to lose if someone comes for me. My handsome, loving husband, who has no idea what I’ve done. My family, who have supported me no matter what. This beautiful home near the ocean, where I thought I would be safe.

Everyone says that I’m paranoid, but I just think I’m prepared. My secrets have placed me in terrible danger.

So if the worst happens, this binder contains everything you’ll need to find me, hidden in a place only you could guess. You’ve always known me best of everyone, ever since we were girls. You’ll be able to put the pieces together and uncover the truth.

Only you can find me. But you’ll need to do it fast.

Because if you don’t, all your lies will come to light too…


Out on January 2.



The Heiress by Rachel Hawkins was a five-star read! I just loved it. With twists and turns and a plot that moves quickly, I cannot imagine anyone not loving this.  The story is told through three different perspectives. Jealousy and secrets lurk behind every door in the great Ashby House and I was excited to go along for the ride.


When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

But in the aftermath of her death, her adopted son, Camden, wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, his uncle’s death pulls Cam and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but the legacy of Ruby is inescapable.

And as Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.

Out on January 9.