Book #126 was Envy by Sandra Brown. The back of the book reads:
New York book editor Maris Matherly-Reed knows a bestseller when she sees one — even if it is a tantalizing partial manuscript submitted by a writer identified only as P.M.E., with the return address of an obscure island off the Georgia coast. Maris is intrigued enough to search for him.
Her trip to Georgia to meet the mysterious author takes her to an eerie, ruined cotton plantation, where Maris finds Parker Evans, a man confined to a wheelchair who carefully hides his past. Coaxing his novel from him chapter by chapter, Maris gets caught up in his tale of two friends who rent a boat with a young woman for a night of sex and drinking. Only one person will return from that trip.
Disturbed about her sexual attraction to Parker and worried about her marriage to author and her co-publisher Noah Reed, Maris returns to New York where the delivery of Parker’s newest chapters convince her they are more than fiction. She wonders how well she knows her husband and begins a harrowing search for a truth that ties back to a terrifying crime and a will use her, or anyone, to get his revenge.
Envy explores the way love and hatred shape lives in a breathtaking story of suspense.
This book really should have been called Vengeance. Regardless, it was fabulous. This is my first Sandra Brown book, and what a way to start! There’s so many twists and turns that I was afraid of getting whiplash. Brown’s characterizations paint vivid pictures of her characters in your mind, right down to the smallest mannerisms. By the end, I liked everyone in the book except Noah, even Nadia, and I didn’t suspect Mike’s involvement until right before it was revealed. Parker’s book is easily woven into the story. He drops a clue as to the true nature of his story fairly early on, and I’m not sure why Maris didn’t catch it, but the final draft ends up being much worse, and much more, than you expect. And if all of Brown’s sex scenes are so well done, I’m going to keep reading. My one complaint has to do with the audio version of the book I listened to — the southern accents are a bit overdone. I’ve heard some pretty thick accents, and I don’t know anyone who talks like Parker, Mike, Roarke, and Todd.
Page count: 480 | Approximate word count: 123,740