July ranks right up there for one of my top reading months this year! I checked five books off my list, and genuinely liked (almost) all of them!
More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez
“In 1985, Dolores “Lore” Rivera marries Andres Russo in Mexico City, even though she is already married to Fabian Rivera in Laredo, Texas, and they share twin sons. Through her career as an international banker, Lore splits her time between two countries and two families—until the truth is revealed and one husband is arrested for murdering the other.
In 2017, while trawling the internet for the latest, most sensational news reports, struggling true-crime writer Cassie Bowman encounters an article detailing that tragic final act.
Cassie is immediately enticed by what is not explored: Why would a woman—a mother—risk everything for a secret double marriage? Cassie sees an opportunity—she’ll track Lore down and capture the full picture, the choices, the deceptions that led to disaster. But the more time she spends with Lore, the more Cassie questions the facts surrounding the murder itself. Soon, her determination to uncover the truth could threaten to derail Lore’s now quiet life—and expose the many secrets both women are hiding.”
I was so skeptical about this book at first. I saw it posted all over social media but to be honest, it didn’t sound like the type of book I’m usually drawn to. But.. because I’m easily influenced (thank you, #bookstagram), I decided to give it a shot.
I am SO glad I did. This is honestly one of the best books I’ve read this year. Talk about an impressing debut novel! I think that officially makes two knock-out debuts for 2022 (the other one being A Flicker in the Dark).
I went back and forth on what to rate this and ultimately decided it lands in the 4.5 star range. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez
“Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live. And this will change her life.”
This was a book that had been in my TBR for a LONG TIME. I finally pulled it out one day when I didn’t “have anything else” to read. Sorry, but true.
It was fast paced and held my attention. I found myself second guessing all my sleuthing decisions; finding myself right about some, wrong about others.
It was entertaining and I enjoyed it. A solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars) from me.
The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
“Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.
Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.
When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.”
Another quick read, I usually always enjoy books by Hendricks and Pekkanen when they team up together. Again, this was the perfect thriller/mystery that kept me guessing, and I’m pretty proud that I guessed a big part of it fairly quickly. The rest had just the right amount of surprise elements to still keep things fun and keep me guessing.
Another solid ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3 stars) read.
The Perfect Marriage by Jeneva Rose
“Sarah Morgan is a successful and powerful defense attorney in Washington D.C. At 33 years old, she is a named partner at her firm and life is going exactly how she planned.
The same cannot be said for her husband, Adam. He is a struggling writer who has had little success in his career. He begins to tire of his and Sarah’s relationship as she is constantly working.
Out in the secluded woods, at Adam and Sarah’s second home, Adam engages in a passionate affair with Kelly Summers.
Then, one morning everything changes. Adam is arrested for Kelly’s murder. She had been found stabbed to death in Adam and Sarah’s second home.
Sarah soon finds herself playing the defender for her own husband, a man accused of murdering his mistress.”
Okay listen. People love this book. But I didn’t. So I don’t want my negative opinion impact yours. I gave it ⭐️⭐️. But you? You could possibly love it. So let’s just leave it at that.
Every Summer After by Carely Fortune
“They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.
Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.
For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.
When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.
Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that mark us forever.”
I loved this book. This is another favorite of the year for me. There were a couple spicy scenes that honestly weren’t necessary (story was still good without them), and I probably would have gone in a slightly different direction with the ending (once a critic, always a critic), but I LOVED this book. I cried throughout, and it filled me with all sorts of young-love-summertime-nostalgia. A hot ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from me!