• ARC's,  Book Reviews

    Sister Dear: excerpt & review

    Book Details

    Author: Hannah Mary McKinnon

    Publisher: MIRA (Harper Collins imprint)

    Pages: 368

    Publish date: 5/26/2020

    Genre: Psychological/domestic thriller

    Buy Links: 

    Harlequin 

    Barnes & Noble

    Amazon

    Books-A-Million

    Powell’s

    Synopsis

    In Hannah Mary McKinnon’s psychological thriller, SISTER DEAR (MIRA Trade; May 26, 2020; $17.99), the obsession of Single White Female meets the insidiousness of You, in a twisted fable about the ease of letting in those who wish us harm, and that mistake’s dire consequences.

    The day he dies, Eleanor Hardwicke discovers her father – the only person who has ever loved her – is not her father. Instead, her biological father is a wealthy Portland businessman who wants nothing to do with her and to continue his life as if she doesn’t exist. That isn’t going to work for Eleanor.

    Eleanor decides to settle the score. So, she befriends his daughter Victoria, her perfect, beautiful, carefree half-sister who has gotten all of life’s advantages while Eleanor has gotten none.

    As she grows closer to Victoria, Eleanor’s obsession begins to deepen. Maybe she can have the life she wants, Victoria’s life, if only she can get close enough. 

    Excerpt

    Chapter 1

    The police didn’t believe me.

    A jury wouldn’t have, either, if I’d gone on trial, and most definitely not the judge. My attorney had more than a few reservations about my story. Ms. Allerton hadn’t said as much. She didn’t need to. I saw it in her eyes, could tell by the way she shuffled and reshuffled her papers, as if doing so might shake my lies clean off the pages, leaving only the truth behind in her inky, royal blue swirls.

    After our first meeting I’d concluded she must’ve known early on—before she shook my hand with her icy fingers—that I was a liar. Before she’d walked into the room in shiny, four-inch heels, she’d no doubt decided she’d heard my excuses, or a variation thereof, from countless clients already. I was yet another person claiming to be innocent. Another criminal who’d remained adamant they’d done nothing wrong, it wasn’t their fault, honest, despite the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, a wall of impending doom surrounding me.

    And still, at the time I’d believed the only reason Ms. Allerton had taken on my case pro-bono was because of the amount of publicity it gave her firm. Reducing my sentence—for there would be one—would amplify her legacy as a hot-shot lawyer. I’d accepted her help. There was no other option. I needed her knowledge, her expertise, saw her as my final hope. I now know her motivations were something else I’d miscalculated. All hope extinguished. Game over.

    If I’m being fair, the judgements Ms. Allerton and other people had made about me weren’t completely wrong. I had told lies, some, anyway. While that stripped away part of my claim to innocence, it didn’t mean I was entirely guilty. Not of the things everybody said I’d done. Things I’d had no choice but to confess to, despite that being my biggest lie of all.

    But I’ll tell you the truth. The whole truth and nothing but. I’ll start at the beginning, and share everything that happened. Every last detail leading up to one fateful night. The night someone died because of me. The night I lost you, too.

    I won’t expect your forgiveness. Our relationship—or lack thereof—will have gone way beyond that point. No. All I can hope for, is that my side of the story will one day help you understand why I did the things I did.

    And why I have to do the things I’ve not yet done.

    Excerpted from Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon, Copyright © 2020 by Hannah McKinnon. 

    Published by MIRA Books

    Review

    3.5/5 ✂️’s

    The blurb had me at Single White Female meets Joe of You.

    This book was a page-turner! It’s always tough to give full reviews of books with twists and turns without spoilers. But I will say that I typically enjoy family psychological thrillers and this was no exception. One secret was revealed early on which I’m a fan of – it moved the story forward instead of letting the reader guess about everything.

    The writing was done well and very atmospheric with interesting characters. You could feel the desperation in Eleanor’s life and while she certainly had her faults, she was still a character to empathize with at times. Characters that I can connect with are important to me and this story gave plenty of opportunity for that.

    My one issue was that this was narrated in the first person by Eleanor and that is not my favorite narration style – strictly personal preference though. I was thoroughly captivated and while this was my first book by Hannah Mary McKinnon, it will not be my last.

    Thank you to MIRA Books and NetGalley for a gifted copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and promotion.

    About the author

    Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing, and is now the author of The Neighbors and Her Secret Son. She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons, and is delighted by her twenty-second commute.

    Twitter: @HannahMMcKinnon

    Instagram: @hannahmarymckinnon

    Facebook: @HannahMaryMcKinnon

     

  • ARC's,  Book Reviews,  Recommendations

    Dali Summer: review & blog tour

    About Dali Summer

    • Paperback: 344 pages
    • Publisher: Tule Publishing Group, LLC (May 5, 2020)

    Her wild and vivid visions inspire an icon…

    Synopsis

    Nothing is more important to prim, colorblind Dolors Posa than family and living down the shame of her illegitimate birth, but when the sudden onset of fantastical visions threaten her sterling reputation, she must search for answers before the inhabitants of the tiny village of Cadaqués brand her as demente– crazy like her mother. In a quest to stop her hallucinations, she befriends a beautiful, intoxicating fortune teller and her handsome anarchist brother, as well as becoming a reluctant muse for thirteen-year-old Salvador Dali. In a summer that changes everything, Dolors must choose between her family’s reputation and a life filled with adventure, friendship, rapturous color and the possibility of love.

    Set against the political upheaval of 1917 Spain, Dali Summer captures the fierce spirit of Catalonia, the generosity and stubbornness of its people and the blossoming promise of a woman who thought life was bland and empty and had long ago had passed her by.

    Review

    What a fascinating premise – a colorblind girl and the world she sees portrayed through her eyes. Then the contrast of the vivid color from new friends, including Salvador Dali, and even love. I am a huge fan of books that incorporate art into their storylines so I was hooked from the beginning.

    The characters were just as easily imagined as the colors in this book. They were well developed and easy to identify with. The writing was excellent and I plan to read more by this author.

    My one issue: there were a lot of moving parts to this story. It almost felt as if it needed to decide between being a historical fiction novel and a character-driven story. It certainly was not a deal breaker for me but I was torn between the characters and wanting to learn more about the history of the time period.

    If you enjoyed Where The Crawdads Sing or Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, you will most likely enjoy this book as well

    ✂️✂️✂️✂️/5

    Purchase Links

    Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

    About T. J. Brown

    Well behaved women rarely make history. Teri Brown lived that quote way before she ever even heard it. The two things she is most proud of, (besides her children), is that she jumped out of an airplane once and she beat the original Legend of Zelda video game. She is a novel writer, head banger, pet keeper, math hater, cocktail drinker, booty shaker, book reader, city slicker, food fixer, French kisser, rule breaker, wine sipper and word scribbler. She loves her husband, kitties and chocolate.

    Find out more about Teri at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

    Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for the gifted copy in exchange for my unbiased review.

     

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