Published by Independently Published on December 10, 2018
Genres: romance, thriller
Also by this author: It Ends with Us
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
This book is very twisted, and difficult to read if you are affected by children being in peril. I actually questioned a couple of times whether or not I could finish it. But what Hoover does well here is create a narrative that you can’t trust, and invoke a whole lot of creepiness. Turns out, there’s a fine line between “these people have been through a lot of trauma, give them some space to be weird” and “holy crap, these people are messed up”. I think it’s a worthwhile read, but you’re gonna want to gird your loins for this one.
I read this for the following reading challenges:
- 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge — a book everyone seems to have read but you
- 52 Book Club 2021 Challenge — an ending that surprises you
- Year of Smut 2021 Challenge — a book “everyone” except you has read
- “The shocker will come at the very end of the story and yes, I didn’t see it coming. Also, I think that’s the morally grey point of the book. Where you question the characters actions and think back on the what’s right and what’s wrong. There is an HEA but it may feel like a questionable one for people that fall on one side of that moral spectrum than others.” — Under the Covers Book Blog
- “Was I creeped out and cringing? YES. But who am I kidding? I relish exploring lives through the eyes of the villain and/or the victim. What made this one so captivating was that I was never really sure WHO was the true bad guy. Or I should say… I suspected there was more to it, than the obvious ‘bad guy’.” — Maryse’s Book Blog
- “This book was disturbing in a way that is hard to put in words. Verity’s autobiography is brutally unsettling. And much to my dismay, enthralling. There is no question here, the story is hypnotising. ENGROSSING even if alarmingly disconcerting. For me, that was a strength as much as a weakness. The layers of fucked up that this book presents blew me away as much as they scandalised me. I spend more time confused about my emotions than enjoying the freaking book. And the cherry on top? The ending. That probably held the most savage plot twist I have encountered IN AGES.” — The Bibliotheque Blog