New Release Review: Before We Were Strangers by Brenda Novak
When I’m in the mood for romance and thrills, there’s one author I turn to – Brenda Novak. I was introduced to Brenda last year, when I moderated a panel she was on. I’m thrilled we were asked to review her latest book, Before We Were Strangers, which in no way impacted by thoughts here.
Before We Were Strangersby Brenda Novak
Published by: Mira Books
on December 4, 2018
Genres: Adult, Thriller
Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she's determined to uncover her family's dark secrets, even if they bury her.
Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn't sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound--the ominous thump before all went quiet.
In the morning, her mother was gone. The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn't sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn't just difficult--he was deadly.
Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend and a father and brother who'd rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn't whether she can uncover what really happened that night...it's what will remain of her family if she does?
I can’t believe how many times I gasped while reading this book! I mean, I can, because Brenda Novak does not shy away from the thrills (or romance). This one was no exception!
Sloane is an unstoppable force, who has made it big after leaving her home town. After losing her best friend, and with a passion to solve her mother’s murder, Sloane returns to the same drama she left behind. A father and brother who make you want to punch them, a (former) friend whose jealousy turned their friendship cold, and the hot former flame (of course).
I loved that this book kept me guessing. Sloane thinks her father killed her mother – but did he? Every stone unturned had me second guessing (the unveiling is SO good). Her complicated friendship with her former friend and how they navigate their rekindled relationship reminded me that sometimes we let things come between us that really shouldn’t.
And, speaking of rekindled, you know no one comes back to town without checking in on the one that got away. I’m a fan of the love triangle and watching Sloane navigate this one was a treat. I can’t lie – I was cheering for them the whole time.
If you want a little dark and a little light, add Before We Were Strangers to your holiday wishlist!