IT WAS ALWAYS YOU by Sarah K. Stephens

Love hurts, but the truth can kill.

bloodhound books


Morgan isn’t sure about her new boyfriend, Justin. Considering the childhood trauma she encountered, Morgan wants to be grateful for the relationship. But a fight with Justin leaves her feeling shaken.

Before the couple go on a romantic weekend trip, Morgan attends an appointment with her neurologist, Dr. Koftura, who has monitored her since an accident she had when she was seven years old. Morgan has a history of sabotaging her romantic relationships and the Doctor is concerned that she is following the same patterns with Justin.

On the day of their trip Justin’s behavior becomes erratic and he runs the car off the road into a tree, killing himself and hurting Morgan.

When she awakens in the hospital to find that Justin is dead, Morgan has little time to grapple with this loss before detectives arrive to question her about the crash.

As it becomes clear that the detectives believe Morgan is responsible for Justin’s death, Morgan must unlock the secrets of her past in order to prove her innocence.

But can she really trust her own mind?


I received a copy of this book from the author following a conversation on twitter. I had not heard of the author before but the book cover and synopsis really caught my attention. Sarah K. Stephens appears to be such a lovely lady on twitter but this book is so twisted her mind must be a scary scary place!

The synopsis gives away a lot of the plot (too much IMHO) but there is still so much more to this story. I felt I was reading on the edge of a cliff rather than cuddled up on my sofa. The author gives us surprising twists, dead ends and you just don’t know who to trust. The author cleverly adds a comment here and there to give clues but are they real or do they distract you…. read and see!

I will be highly recommending this book to many people. Its a different type of thriller and one that I am very glad I managed to read this week. I will be reading Sarah’s other books as soon as I can get my hands on them.

My sincere thanks to Sarah K. Stephens and Bloodhound Books for the advanced readers copy of ‘It Was Always You’ by Sarah K. Stephens. 
All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.


  • TITLE: It Was Always You
  • AUTHOR: Sarah K. Stephens
  • PUBLISHER: Bloodhound Books
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 28 November 2019
  • PRINT LENGTH: 277 pages
  • Link to purchase on Amazon UK



image of Sarah K. Stephens
Sarah K. Stephens

Sarah K. Stephens  is a developmental psychologist who serves as an Associate Teaching Professor at Penn State University. Her courses examine a variety of topics, including the processes of risk and resilience in childhood, the influence of online media on social and behavioral development, and evidence-based interventions for individuals on the autism spectrum. Although Fall and Spring find her in the classroom, she remains a writer year-round.

Her writing has appeared in LitHub, The Writer’s Chronicle, Hazlitt, The Millions, and The Indianola Review.

Her debut novel, A Flash of Red (read Chapter 1 here), was released in December 2016 by Pandamoon Publishing.

Her newest thriller, It Was Always You, will be released from Bloodhound Books in November 2019.

Sarah enjoys attending Book Clubs and other literary events.  E-mail with your inquiries.



AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

From Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, the authors of the top ten bestseller The Wife Between Us, comes An Anonymous Girl – an electrifying novel about doubt, passion and deadly obsession . . .


Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money and leave.

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive, and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr Shields may know what she’s thinking . . . and what she’s hiding.

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what is real in her life, and what is one of Dr Shields’s manipulative experiments.

Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.


Excellent writing by two authors who clearly know how to write a psychological thriller that is sure to keep readers addicted right to the final pages.

It was an interesting concept to use psychological studies which made it impossible to know who to trust. I did not find the story predictable at all which was a nice change after reading so many thrillers I tend to work out the ending beforehand – I didn’t here!

There are some questions within the book which I found thought-provoking and had me considering what my answer would have been. I loved it!

My sincere thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for an advanced readers copy of ‘An Anonymous Girl’ by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.


  • PUBLISHER: Pan Macmillan
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 7 February 2019
  • LENGTH: 384 pages
  • ASIN: B07GNKK1R4
  • ISBN-10: 1529010713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1529010718
January 2019 Indie Next Selection
January 2019 Library Reads selection



Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are coauthors of the internationally-bestselling THE WIFE BETWEEN US and AN ANONYMOUS GIRL. 

THE WIFE BETWEEN US – an instant New York Times bestseller – is a twisty psychological tale that has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment. Sarah and Greer are penning the screenplay for Amblin.

AN ANONMYOUS GIRL is currently in production as a television series by eOne,with Sarah and Greer serving as executive producers.

Greer Hendricks: co-author of the New York Times bestseller, The Wife Between Us and the forthcoming An Anonymous Girl.

Prior to becoming a novelist, Greer Hendricks spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

Sarah Pekkanen: #1 New York Times bestselling author who loves my kids, my dog, chocolate, and climbing mountains. Usually in that order.

Sarah is the mother of three boys, which explains why she wrote part of her debut novel at Chuck E. Cheese. Seriously. Sarah penned her first book, Miscellaneous Tales and Poems, at the age of 10. When publishers failed to jump upon this literary masterpiece (hey, all the poems rhymed!) Sarah followed up by sending them a sternly-worded letter on Raggedy Ann stationery. Sarah still has that letter, and carries it to New York every time she has meetings with her publisher, as a reminder that dreams do come true. Sarah Pekkanen is also the author of eight solo novels.


Violet by SJI Holliday

When two strangers end up sharing a cabin on the Trans-Siberian Express, an intense friendship develops, one that can only have one ending … a nerve-shattering psychological thriller from bestselling author SJI Holliday


Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.

Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is also desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.

When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.

Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

A tense and twisted psychological thriller about obsession, manipulation and toxic friendships, Violet also reminds us that there’s a reason why mother told us not to talk to strangers…


I have read a number of Susi Holliday’s books and therefore I knew I was in for a great read!

I couldn’t wait to get started and the opening prologue grabbed my attention immediately and that was me settled in for the evening, all other plans cancelled.

The author has given us a fascinating twisted tale. Perplexing characters who in turn presents the reader with an unnerved expectation about both the characters the stories they share with each other.

I especially enjoyed the way that the various locations, including the Trans Siberian Express, were described by the author. I could almost feel as if I were there watching from across the room.

You just never know what the next pages will bring. Is Carrie in danger? Is Violet in danger? What is the truth? You will need to read the book to find out – you know I never give away any plot details in my reviews.

I am excited to be attending the Train Noir – Edinburgh event on 25th November. SJI Holliday’s Violet takes us on a trip on the Trans-Siberian Express, but one of the passengers is not who they claim to be. Meanwhile, MJ Cross begins What She Saw Last Night with a death on the Caledonian Sleeper and a mystery to unravel.




S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017.

She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December.

Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts.

She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.


Deadly Harm by Owen Mullen

I was more than a little excited to receive a copy of Owen Mullen’s latest release to read and review here on my blog.

I have read EVERY Owen Mullin book published to date and again highly recommend this extremely talented author who has a fascinating way of leading you deep into the story within the first few pages.


It’s been five years since Mackenzie Darroch was abducted and held captive in a derelict house.

She thought she’d found her way out of the darkness.

She was wrong.

When she witnesses a car crash and saves the driver’s life, it sets in motion a chain of events that will alter both their futures.

The two women get involved in a high profile police case and draw the attention of a ruthless reporter.

Gina Calvi is convinced Mackenzie is not what she appears and is prepared to do anything to prove it.

Meanwhile, across the city, Kirsty McBride, a young single mother, is persuaded to leave a violent relationship. Her partner, Malkie Boyle a Glasgow hardman, is due to be released from prison. Once back on the street and bent on revenge, Boyle is determined to find the people responsible for stealing his family from him.

Can Mackenzie save them or will Boyle get his revenge?


MOMO’s REVIEW                   

Owen Mullen has done it again!  

The author has very cleverly given us a fancinating story which can be read as a standalone novel. However for those who have read other books from Owen Mullen you will enjoy the name drops and woven links to the Charlie Cameron series!

Deadly Harm picks up Mackenzie’s story around five years after her horrendous abduction which was the thriller released a year ago,  In Harm’s Way.  Mackenzie’s way of moving on is to dedicate her life, and home, to support women who have suffered domestic abuse however her safe refuge is in for a bit of turbulance as a chance encounter brings a new resident and once again the house is full of women supporting other women.  This is all good until someone else needs help but Mackenzie feels unable to help and must turn away due to the house being full.  However this then leads to a very quick downward spiral of events which leave Mackenzie broken vowing to help whatever the circumstances!

Deadly Harm is a gripping tale packed full of action, twists and a dash of the unexpected all perfectly paced to keep you hooked page after page.

Thank you to Owen Mullen for the opportunity to read and review this awesome five star intriguing read.


  • TITLE: Deadly Harm
  • AUTHOR: Owen Mullen
  • PUBLISHER: Bloodhound Books
  • PUBLICATION DATE:  8 October 2019
  • LENGTH: 362 pages
  • ASIN: B07YX5PGC4
  • ISBN-10: 191298671X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1912986712


GoodReads, Amazon, Waterstones


Owen Mullen is a McIlvanney Crime Book Of The Year long-listed novelist.
And So It Began earned a coveted Sunday Times Crime Club Star Pick.
Owen graduated from Strathclyde University, moved to London and worked as a rock musician, session singer and songwriter, and had a hit record in Japan with a band he refuses to name; he still loves to perform on occasion. His passion for travel has taken him on many adventures from the Amazon and Africa to the colourful continent of India and Nepal. A gregarious recluse, he and his wife, Christine, split their time between Glasgow, and their home in the Greek Islands where both the Charlie Cameron and Delaney series’ were created. His latest novel In Harm’s Way is a  psychological thriller set in Scotland. 

Owen Mullen


The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne


She made her bed. You’ll lie in it.

Rebecca only wanted to help out – to be kind. Richard seemed so alone after his wife, Nicole, died, and Rebecca wanted to make sure he knew he had someone to rely on.

But now she’s in Nicole’s immaculate house. Drinking from her favourite crystal wine glass. Keeping shoes in her orderly closet. Comforting her sweet and grieving step-daughter. It feels like Rebecca is living another woman’s life.

And as she gets to know the neighbours, Rebecca hears stories that make her wonder: was free-spirited Nicole happy in this perfect life, or did she feel trapped? Did she feel, as Rebecca is beginning to, that something wasn’t quite right?


MOMO’s REVIEW                   

Breath-takingly brilliant as we have become to expect from the amazingly talented Sheryl Browne.

This is an author who has the ability to ensure that once you begin reading you will be held captive in the fast moving plot until the final page. This is an unusual story with many twists which had me completely gripped.

Sheryl Browne has a remarkable talent for twisting the story whilst keeping it completely believeable.  I experienced a wide range of emotions whilst reading.  Absolutely brilliant Sheryl… can’t wait for your next release!!


  • TITLE: The Second Wife
  • AUTHOR: Sheryl Browne
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE:  29 January 2019
  • LENGTH: 338 pages
  • ASIN: B07KD6YS3R
  • ISBN-10: 1786816555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786816559


NetGalley, GoodReads, Amazon, Waterstones, Kobo


Hi, I’m Sheryl Browne writing psychological thriller and contemporary fiction. My latest psychological thriller THE SECOND WIFE is published by fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, I have several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where I completed my MA in Creative Writing. I live in Worcestershire with my partner and a variety of disabled dogs. According to readers of my thrillers, I also apparently make an excellent psychopath. 😉
Sheryl Browne online : Sheryl Browne website; Twitter; FacebookGoodReads
Bookouture online: Facebook; Twitter; Website


The Text by Claire Douglas

A short story

A single text changed her life. Did it end his?

Emily Latimer is furious. Her boss Andrew is being so unreasonable, as always. She fires off a text to her boyfriend, only in her haste she sends it to her whole office group.

In it she says Andrew’s being difficult about letting her have time off work. That she is angry. That she hopes he dies. The next day her face burns in the office. No one believes her when she says it was a typo, she meant to say does. She hopes he does.

It’s a nightmare. But it gets worse – Andrew doesn’t turn up for work. And then the police come knocking. Because Andrew Burton has been murdered . . .


I have not managed to read anything by Claire Douglas as yet so grabbed this short story and I am so glad I did.  It was a brilliant introduction to this very talented author.

This was a very thrilling twenty minutes full of suspense, twists and turns.  My only complaint was that the story ended way too quickly.

I have now borrowed Do Not Disturb from my local library and already started it!


  • TITLE: The Text: A Short Story
  • AUTHOR: Claire Douglas
  • PUBLISHER: Penguin
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 31 August 2017
  • ASIN: B073XY41QH
  • FORMAT: ebook
  • LENGTH: 40 pages



GoodReads, Amazon


Claire Douglas always wanted to write novels and, after many years of trying to get published, her dream came true when she won the Marie Claire Debut Novel Award in 2013 with THE SISTERS. Her subsequent novels LOCAL GIRL MISSING and LAST SEEN ALIVE both reached the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers list and are published in over fifteen countries. Her fourth thriller, DO NOT DISTURB was released in August 2018.

You can find Claire Douglas on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and Instagram






Rapid Falls by Amber Cowie

Forgive and forget? The past and present collide for two sisters who survived a tragedy—and must now survive the truth behind it.

It’s been twenty years since Cara’s boyfriend died in a horrible accident and her sister, Anna, went to prison. The tragedy has become a local legend, but Cara has moved past her grief to have a successful career and a happy family. Pity about Anna. Recently released from incarceration, she’s struggling with addiction, guilt, and shame—a shattered life. Cara’s forgiveness seems to be the only thing that helps her pick up the pieces.

But as Anna pulls herself together, her memories of that night on the bridge start to come into focus. And few of them match her sister’s.

As past secrets unfold and nothing is what it seems anymore, Anna desperately searches for the truth. But what if Cara doesn’t want her to find it?


I chose this suspense novel from the November selection of Amazon First Reads.

Rapid Falls is a seductive, hypnotic and twisted thriller about two sisters in the aftermath of a tragedy. This is a wonderful piece of writing where the author tells the story from the current time and twenty years previously.  Whilst it is somewhat predictable you never really know if it will go the way you expect it to go – and NO I am not giving any spoilers.

Amber Cowie has produced a very promising debut novel. I look forward to the next book!


  • TITLE: Rapid Falls
  • AUTHOR: Amber Cowie
  • PUBLISHER: Lake Union Publishing
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 1 December 2018
  • ISBN: 978-1503903869
  • FORMAT: ebook
  • LENGTH: 256 pages


GoodReads, Amazon


Amber Cowie is a graduate of the University of Victoria and was short-listed for the 2017 Whistler Book Award. She is a mother of two, wife of one, and a debut novelist who enjoys skiing, running, and creating stories that make her browser search history highly suspicious. Amber lives in the mountains in a small West Coast town.

You can interact with Amber Cowie on her website –,  and on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and Amazon






Too Close by Natalie Daniels

For fans of THE GIRLFRIEND and THE WIFE BETWEEN US, TOO CLOSE is a twisting tale of friendship and betrayal.

How close is too close?

Connie and Ness met in the park while their children played. As they talked, they realised they were neighbours. Perhaps it was only natural that they and their families would become entirely inseparable.

But when Ness’s marriage ends in a bitter divorce, she is suddenly at Connie’s house all the time. Connie doesn’t have a moment to herself, no time alone with her husband, not a second to chat to her kids.

It’s all too much. Something has to give.

Connie has woken up in a psychiatric hospital. They say she committed a terrible crime but she says she can’t remember a thing.


I was looking forward to reading this debut novel from Natalie Daniels as soon as I read the blurb.  Oh! I was fascinated! Too Close is a tense psychological family drama which had me gripped throughout.

Overall, I found the book to be quite dark and uncomfortable as the author weaves a shocker of a story that was very emotionally disturbing at times. It tells a story of friendship, betrayal, deceit and is a very tense read.

The scenes are very well written and you can imagine yourself there. The characters are very believable. I really felt for Connie and the situation she found herself in. The author has impressively developed each character incredibly well, and the similarities shown between Connie and Emma’s lives was fascinating. This is the feeling I love to get from a new author.

This story was magnificent and I just couldn’t put it down – one more twist, one more turn… I look forward to reading more from this new author. Brilliant debut!

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK and Natalie Daniels for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication.


  • TITLE: Too Close
  • AUTHOR: Natalie Daniels
  • PUBLISHER: Random House UK, Transworld Publishers Transworld Digital
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 24 November 2018
  • ISBN: 9781473563872
  • FORMAT: ebook


NetGalley, GoodReads, WaterstonesAmazon and Kobo


You can interact with Natalie Daniels on website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon






Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer

(Detective Natalie Ward #2)

Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?

When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood.

As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.

Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’ scrawled on the wall next to her. 

All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.

When a young woman and her baby disappear, a member of Natalie’s own team is put in terrible danger. Can Natalie stop this twisted serial killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will send shivers down your spine. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.


Awesome!! OMG!! Compelling reading once again from Carol Wyer!

The first book, The Birthday, is a fabulous read – click on the link to read my review published on my blog during October.  In this second book, Last Lullaby, we see the return of Detective Natalie Ward and her team who are thrown into another intriguing and engaging investigation which pulls you in all directions at once.

This book can be read as a stand alone. However, Carol Wyer is such a brilliant author that you will not want to miss this series – or, in fact, anything else with her name on it!  

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Carol Wyer for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication.  

Last Lullaby is released on 7th December and available for preorder at Amazon now:


  • TITLE: Last Lullaby
  • SERIES: Detective Natalie Ward #2
  • AUTHOR: Carol Wyer
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 7 December 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786816962
  • FORMAT: ebook
  • LENGTH: 361 pages



NetGalley, GoodReads

(and on publication these sites will also have this review)
Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, BookBridgr


Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.

The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.
You can interact with Carol Wyer on her websiteTwitterFacebook and Goodreads






The Diary by Vikki Patis

Best friends. Better liars.  

A completely addictive psychological thriller

‘I know all your secrets, Lauren.’

Lauren has spent years running away from her home town, her childhood and the memories of her best friend, Hannah.

Until the tenth anniversary of Hannah’s death forces her to return home and to the group of friends she abandoned there. It should be a quick visit, just so Lauren can pay her respects.

At home, Lauren finds Hannah’s old diary. A diary full of secrets. The terrible things Lauren did, the lies she’s told, the reason she ran away. And she receives a message:

‘I don’t know why you’re back, but I know why you left.’

But no-one else has seen the diary, and Hannah’s dead, isn’t she?

A suspenseful psychological thriller full of twists and turns – you won’t be able to stop turning the pages of The Diary. Perfect for fans of The Sister, The Girl on the Train and We Were Liars.


OMG I can’t believe this is a debut novel…. It is phenomenal. As the cover says it is a completely addictive psychological thriller!

The events may take place over a few days and much of that time is also spent remembering school days and the teenage issues the characters had to deal with but OMG I couldn’t put it down – I read it in a single day!

The author writes such a gripping story that I found myself reading so fast with one eye on the percentage at the bottom of my ereader so that I knew I still had lots to uncover. There is nothing worse than getting into a gripping thriller to find the author wraps up the ending too quickly….. Vikki Patis does not do this.

Vikki has paced this book perfectly and keeps you guessing with many twists and turns throughout the book.  There are so many secrets uncovered – but are they all true? and what secrets are yet to be uncovered?  who knows enough about everyone to be sending them messages……

Unmissable read!

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Vikki Patis for the opportunity to read and review this novel prior to publication.


  • TITLE: The Diary
  • AUTHOR: Vikki Patis
  • PUBLISHER: Bookouture
  • PUBLICATION DATE: 26 November 2018
  • ISBN: 9781786815637
  • FORMAT: ebook
  • LENGTH: 299 pages


NetGalleyGoodReadsWaterstonesAmazon , Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, GooglePlay


Vikki Patis is an author and blogger, as well as an avid reader and book reviewer. When she isn’t working as a Regulatory Affairs Manager, she can usually be found drinking tea, baking cakes, or taking walks in the Hertfordshire countryside. She lives with her partner and two cats.

You can interact with Vikki Patis on websiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads, Instagram and Amazon