#ReadingChallenge, Just for Fun, Reading Challenge

Amazon First Reads for December

Well December is finally here and it’s time to choose my Amazon First Read from the 8 books that will be published in January 2020. Wow it seems so strange saying 2020.

It didn’t take me long to decide which book I’d choose. I didn’t even need to read any of the synopsis’s this month because as soon as I saw “The Emerald Affair” by Janet MacLeod Trotter I knew that would be this months choice. As I’ve read the Indian Tea Saga series and just loved them, so it was a no-brainer I just knew I had to have it.

Psychological Thriller

I Choose You by Gayle Curtis, Pages: 262, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: When a killer chooses you, what choice do you have?

Thirty years ago, Elise and Nathaniel shared a horrific trauma that united them in grief. Now, grown up and married with a young family, they feel their worst nightmares are behind them. Until the day their daughter is abducted and murdered.

Both Elise and Nathaniel lost their mothers to a notorious killer who manipulated innocent victims into taking their own lives. Could it be that ‘the Watcher’ has returned for another round of the same sadistic game? Why now? And why are Elise and Nathaniel being targeted again?

When Elise’s family falls under suspicion, her world crashes down around her. Is there anyone she can trust, or is her whole life built on lies?

Only one thing is clear: someone left their cruel game unfinished all those years ago. This time the Watcher intends to win – once and for all.

Suspense

Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey, Pages: 296, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: Inspired by a terrifying true story from the author’s hometown, a heart-pounding novel of suspense about a small Minnesota community where nothing is as quiet—or as safe—as it seems.

Cassie McDowell’s life in 1980s Minnesota seems perfectly wholesome. She lives on a farm, loves school, and has a crush on the nicest boy in class. Yes, there are her parents’ strange parties and their parade of deviant guests, but she’s grown accustomed to them.

All that changes when someone comes hunting in Lilydale.

One by one, local boys go missing. One by one, they return changed—violent, moody, and withdrawn. What happened to them becomes the stuff of shocking rumors. The accusations of who’s responsible grow just as wild, and dangerous town secrets start to surface. Then Cassie’s own sister undergoes the dark change. If she is to survive, Cassie must find her way in an adult world where every sin is justified, and only the truth is unforgivable.

Psychological Suspense

Can You See Me? by Lynne Lee, Pages: 346, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: Would you know if someone was watching you?

In the dark days since the sudden death of her surgeon husband, Julia’s main worry has always been Tash. Her student daughter was broken—she worshipped her father. But six months on, Julia thinks the light is returning. She is about to find out that she’s wrong.

When she saves the life of a boy who’s been hanging around her beach cottage, the questions start. All she has to go on is the butterfly tattoo on his wrist, but who is he? What was he doing there? And why was her late husband’s watch in his bag? Julia wants to believe it’s a casual theft, but an ominous arrival in the post confirms her suspicion that there is more to it than meets the eye.

As Tash remembers a string of strange incidents she had previously brushed off, Julia realises they are both being watched. Someone’s been toying with them, trying to frighten them, but why?

Determined to protect her daughter, Julia races to discover the boy’s identity. But what she doesn’t realise is that the truth is right in front of her. Will she see it before it’s too late?

Historical Fiction

The Emerald Affair by Janet MacLeod Trotter, Pages: 551, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: In this evocative tale of life in India between the wars, friendships will be tested and loyalties torn. But can love win the day?

In Scotland in the aftermath of the First World War, nurse Esmie McBride meets handsome Captain Tom Lomax at her best friend Lydia’s home. Esmie is at first concerned for Tom’s shell shock, then captivated by his charm, but it’s effervescent Lydia he marries, and the pair begin a new adventure together in India.

When marriage to Tom’s doctor friend Harold offers Esmie the chance to work in India, the two sets of newlyweds find themselves living wildly different lives on the subcontinent. Esmie, heartbroken but resolved, is nursing at a mission hospital on the North West Frontier. Lydia, meanwhile, is the glamorous mistress of the Raj Hotel, where Tom hopes his sociable new wife will dazzle international guests.

As Esmie struggles with her true feelings for Tom and the daily dangers of her work, Lydia realises the Raj is not the centre of high society she had dreamed of. And when crisis strikes both couples, Esmie faces a shattering choice: should she stay the constant friend she’s always been, or risk everything and follow her heart?

Family Drama

This Is Not How it Ends by Rochelle B Weinstein, Pages: 342, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: From USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein comes a moving novel of hearts lost and found, and of one woman torn between two love stories.

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.

Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.

As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.

This Is Not How It Ends is a tender, moving story of heartbreak and healing that asks the question: Which takes more courage—holding on or letting go?

Historical Fiction

Toward The Midnight Sun by Eoin Dempsey, Pages: 266, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of White Rose, Black Forest comes a page-turning epic of adventure, suspense, and romance set against the rich and ruthless backdrop of the Klondike gold rush.

Seattle, 1897. Anna Denton is not like the other prospectors traveling to the Yukon on the promise of riches. It’s duty—not profit—that calls her into the wild unknown. With her family nearing financial ruin, Anna has agreed to marry Henry Bradwell, the wealthy King of the Klondike.

She meets Will and Silas, childhood friends, on the steamer north. After the ship docks in a lawless Alaska town, Anna’s chaperones run afoul of local criminals, leaving her stranded. Will and Silas agree to escort her the hundreds of treacherous miles to Dawson City—the gateway to the goldfields—and her betrothed, a man she doesn’t know.

Upon their arrival, Bradwell warmly welcomes them all. But as a brutal winter sets in, relations sour, and Anna is caught between the promise her family made to the power-hungry Bradwell and her feelings for Will. Anna and her companions soon find themselves in a deadly game where few can be trusted and where the greatest danger in the frozen wilderness of the Klondike is man himself.

Crime Fiction

Lost Hills by Lee Goldberg, Pages: 237, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: “Lost Hills is Lee Goldberg at his best. Inspired by the real-world grit and glitz of LA County crime, this book takes no prisoners. And neither does Eve Ronin. Take a ride with her and you’ll find yourself with a heroine for the ages. And you’ll be left hoping for more.” —Michael Connelly, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Thrills and chills! Lost Hills is the perfect combination of action and suspense, not to mention Eve Ronin is one of the best new female characters in ages. You will race through the pages!” —Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

A video of Deputy Eve Ronin’s off-duty arrest of an abusive movie star goes viral, turning her into a popular hero at a time when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is plagued by scandal. The sheriff, desperate for more positive press, makes Eve the youngest female homicide detective in the department’s history.

Now Eve, with a lot to learn and resented by her colleagues, has to justify her new badge. Her chance comes when she and her burned-out, soon-to-retire partner are called to the blood-splattered home of a missing single mother and her two kids. The horrific carnage screams multiple murder—but there are no corpses.

Eve has to rely on her instincts and tenacity to find the bodies and capture the vicious killer, all while battling her own insecurities and mounting pressure from the media, her bosses, and the bereaved family. It’s a deadly ordeal that will either prove her skills…or totally destroy her.

Contemporary Fiction

A Beginner’s Guide to Free Fall by Andy Abramowitz, Pages: 392, Publication Date: 1 January 2020

Synopsis: Husbands and wives. Brothers and sisters. Mothers and daughters. Okay, everybody. Hold on tight.

Davis Winger has it all. A respected engineer who designs roller coasters in theme parks across the country, he is deeply in love with his wife and has a beautiful young daughter and a happy home. Until an accident strikes on one of his rides. Nothing fatal—except to his career. And to his marriage, when a betrayal from his past inadvertently comes to light. In one cosmically bad day, Davis loses it all.

His sister, Molly, is at a crossroads herself. She’s coasting through a dire relationship with an incompatible man-child. And she’s a journalist whose deeply personal columns about mothers and daughters are forcing her to confront the truth about her own mother, who abandoned Molly and Davis years ago and disappeared.

For these two siblings, it’s just a matter of bracing themselves for one turbulent summer in this redemptive and painfully funny family drama about making the best of the sharp turns in life—those we choose to take and those beyond our control.

*** Which book will you choose? Let me know if you’ve also chosen The Emerald Affair. ***

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