2018 Status Update: June


June was the best. Well, the later part of the month was anyways. The first weekend was quilting retreat where I did get some good reading done. The following couple weeks I was crazy busy at work so I didn’t get any work done. But then! I went away to my family’s house in Maine for a week and I read non-stop and it was the best! I need to find a way to better balance my work and personal life so that I can fit in more reading time. Anyways, here are some highlights from June for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 12
# pages read this month: 3,818
# books read year-to-date: 54
# pages read year-to-date: 17,668

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware – 4.5 stars
The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands – 4.25 stars

Other Posts this month:

Quilting Retreat 2018
Paperback Release – The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Next Month TBR List:

Next month I only have a good number titles scheduled:

-90’s Bitch by Allison Yarrow
-Warrior of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood
-Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

Short list for July but I’m hoping to use the extra time to get through some of the other 2018 scheduled reviews that I’ve missed so far this year.  Hopefully July will be a productive month! Happy reading everyone!

2018 Book #55 – Believe Me by JP Delaney

41bWssVS-9LTitle: Believe Me
Author: JP Delaney
Date finished: 7/1/18
Genre: Fiction, thriller, psychological suspense
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions.

The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap?

But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

My rating:  4.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had read The Girl Before by JP Delaney last year and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to get the chance to read his new release. And it did not disappoint! This was a really great book, it was dark and mysterious and honestly entrancing. I didn’t want to put it down. The reader really gets drawn into Claire’s character and mindset, and while she can be somewhat of an unreliable narrator, her character was fascinating. I also loved how the dark poet, Charles Baudelaire, played such a critical role in the plot of the book. Baudelaire was an actual French poet, and his most famous work, Les Fleurs de mal, is a dark exploration of sexuality and death. And so too, this book is a dark and twisted exploration of reality and relationships. We as the reader are dependent on Claire’s version of reality, which alternates between seemingly clear and downright delusional. I did not at all see the ending coming, this was one of the few gasp-worthy endings I can remember experiencing. This was really a great book and I would highly recommend giving it a read!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page