What I Read Lately

Hi guys! Who else can NOT believe that August is almost over?! We had a crazy busy summer but I managed to read a few books that I wanted to share, as it was a good lot this go!

Murder at Black Oaks

Synopsis: Defense Attorney Robin Lockwood is summoned by retired District Attorney Francis Melville to meet with him at Black Oaks, the manor he owns up in the Oregon mountains. The manor has an interesting history – originally built in 1628 in England, there’s a murderous legend and curse attached to the mansion. Melville, however, wants Lockwood’s help in a legal matter – righting a wrongful conviction from his days as a DA. A young man, Jose Alvarez, was convicted of murdering his girlfriend only for Melville, years later when in private practice, to have a client of his admit to the murder and to framing the man Melville convicted. Unable to reveal what he knew due to attorney client confidence, Melville now wants Lockwood’s help in getting that conviction overturned. Successful in their efforts, Melville invites Lockwood up to Black Oaks for a celebration. Lockwood finds herself among an odd group of invitees – including the bitter, newly released, Alvarez. When Melville is found murdered, with a knife connected to the original curse, Lockwood finds herself faced with a conundrum: how to find out who is the murder among them and how to stop them before there’s another victim.

Would I Recommend It: This was a very fun whoddunit a la Knives Out/Glass Onion and Murder Mystery. I really liked Robin’s character and, now knowing there’s a series around her, I may check out some others. This was a pretty quick read and kept the suspense up. The ending was satisfying and I think this would make a great movie!


Synopsis: Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway – until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally. Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Would I Recommend It: This was delightfully sweet and the epitome of a situation of convenience turning into romance. I love a good “fake marriage that turns real” trope, and this one delivered. I hadn’t read anything of hers yet but I have a feeling they’ll all be nice little palette cleansers in between thrillers.

The Dating Plan

Synopsis: Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. With her life all planned out, and no interest in love, the one thing she can’t give her family is the marriage they expect. Left with few options, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancé. Liam Murphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend’s little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy’s matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandfather’s will. If only he hadn’t broken her tender teenage heart nine years ago. Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize that very little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren’t about to follow the rules of this engagement.

Would I Recommend It: I did not intend to read back-to-back fake marriage books, but this was just as delightful, if not more, than Roomies. I really loved Daisy and Liam both individually and together. This would make a super sweet movie. It was fast-paced and had just enough conflict that made it interesting but not too complex. I will be reading more of her books.

Tell Me Lies

Synposis: Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother—whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating. Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart. Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined. Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City.

Would I Recommend It: Oof, this was a brutal one. TW of Eating Disorders, Murder, Narcissism, and Emotional Abuse. I hated both Lucy and Stephen, though elements of their relationship will probably be familiar to most people. I read this first knowing there was a show, but once I saw the casting of Stephen, I was out. He was this magical, handsome man in my mind that could charm literally anyone. I felt bad for Lucy, but also not. I was really conflicted the whole time reading this, especially because of the hype around it. I didn’t find anything super special about their relationships [lots of thrillers feature this type of dysfunctional relationship], and the ending felt like it was all for naught? Which I guess was the point? I don’t know. I didn’t hate this, but I didn’t think it was as incredible as some people say it was.

Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you’ve read anything good lately that I should add to my list!

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