Here is What I Read in September 2020


Ghosts of Harvard

by Francesca Serritella


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: A Harvard freshman becomes obsessed with her schizophrenic brother’s suicide. Then she starts hearing voices.


Cadence Archer arrives on Harvard’s campus desperate to understand why her brother, Eric, a genius who developed paranoid schizophrenia took his own life there the year before. Losing Eric has left a black hole in Cady’s life, and while her decision to follow in her brother’s footsteps threatens to break her family apart, she is haunted by questions of what she might have missed. And there’s only one place to find answers.


As Cady struggles under the enormous pressure at Harvard, she investigates her brother’s final year, armed only with a blue notebook of Eric’s cryptic scribblings. She knew he had been struggling with paranoia, delusions, and illusory enemies—but what tipped him over the edge? With her suspicions mounting, Cady herself begins to hear voices, seemingly belonging to three ghosts who walked the university’s hallowed halls—or huddled in its slave quarters. Among them is a person whose name has been buried for centuries, and another whose name mankind will never forget.


Does she share Eric’s illness, or is she tapping into something else? Cady doesn’t know how or why these ghosts are contacting her, but as she is drawn deeper into their worlds, she believes they’re moving her closer to the truth about Eric, even as keeping them secret isolates her further. Will listening to these voices lead her to the one voice she craves—her brother’s—or will she follow them down a path to her own destruction?


The Ancestor

by Danielle Trussoni


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: It feels like a fairy tale when Alberta ”Bert” Monte receives a letter addressed to “Countess Alberta Montebianco” at her Hudson Valley, New York, home that claims she’s inherited a noble title, money, and a castle in Italy. While Bert is more than a little skeptical, the mystery of her aristocratic family’s past, and the chance to escape her stressful life for a luxury holiday in Italy, is too good to pass up.


At first, her inheritance seems like a dream come true: a champagne-drenched trip on a private jet to Turin, Italy; lawyers with lists of artwork and jewels bequeathed to Bert; a helicopter ride to an ancestral castle nestled in the Italian Alps below Mont Blanc; a portrait gallery of ancestors Bert never knew existed; and a cellar of expensive vintage wine for Bert to drink.


But her ancestry has a dark side, and Bert soon learns that her family history is particularly complicated. As Bert begins to unravel the Montebianco secrets, she begins to realize her true inheritance lies not in a legacy of ancestral treasures, but in her very genes.


Two Days Gone

by Randall Silvis


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

What could cause a man, when all the stars of fortune are shining upon him, to suddenly snap and destroy everything he has built? This is the question that haunts Sergeant Ryan DeMarco after the wife and children of beloved college professor and bestselling author Thomas Huston are found slaughtered in their home. Huston himself has disappeared and so is immediately cast as the prime suspect.

DeMarco knows—or thinks he knows—that Huston couldn't have been capable of murdering his family. But if Huston is innocent, why is he on the run? And does the half-finished manuscript he left behind contain clues to the mystery of his family's killer?

A masterful new thriller by acclaimed author Randall Silvis, Two Days Gone is a taut, suspenseful story that will break your heart as much as it will haunt your dreams.


Beneath the Ashes

by Dea Poirier


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: A troubled detective learns that the fires of the past are still burning in this haunting, emotional thriller.


When detective Claire Calderwood is called to a grisly murder scene, she’s haunted by memories of her murdered sister. The victim is tied to a motel bed, her head covered in plastic and her body sprinkled with ashes. Claire’s dealt with vile crime scenes before, but this one strikes close to home.


Claire’s boyfriend, reporter Noah Washington, once helped find her sister’s killer, but now he’s a distraction to this new investigation. She wants to help him resolve the mysteries of his past, but Noah has been distant, and Claire knows he’s keeping something from her.


When another girl is murdered like the first, Claire suspects the work of a serial killer. As the case heats up and evidence mounts, she finds herself in profound danger. Claire’s been burned before; now she must decide if she can trust Noah to help her solve the case and uncover the truth that lies beneath the ashes.


Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix's efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.







You Are Not Alone

by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.


Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better. Shay would die for them to like her. She may have to.




Take A Hint Dani Brown

by Talia Hibbert


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.


When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?


Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his... um, thighs.


Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?


In Five Years

by Rebecca Serle


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: Where do you see yourself in five years?


When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend's marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.


But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.


After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.


That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.


Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.


The Dilemma

by B.A. Paris


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.


But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?


Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.


Playing Nice

by JP Delaney


My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Book Description: What if you found out that your family isn't yours at all? How far would you go to protect them? A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before. . . .


Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent's worst nightmare. On his doorstep is Miles Lambert, a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete's son, Theo, isn't actually his son--he is the Lamberts', switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife, Lucy. For Pete, his partner Maddie, and the little boy they've been raising for the past two years, life will never be the same again.


The two families, reeling from the shock, take comfort in shared good intentions, eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family. But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing questions about the night their children were switched. How much can they trust the other parents--or even each other? What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts' glossy front door? Stretched to the breaking point, Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe.


They are done playing nice.


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