#ReadingChallenge, Amazon First Reads, Just for Fun, Reading Challenge

Amazon First Reads May 2021

Did you chosen your Amazon First Reads book for May? I only got around to choosing my Amazon First Reads book a few days ago. So her were last months choices and you can find out which book I chose.

Suspense

The Secrets of Us by Lucinda Berry, Pages: 271, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: Dangerously addictive, The Secrets of Us is a pulse-pounding exploration of a disturbed psyche and the bond between two sisters desperate to escape a troubled past.

Foster sisters Krystal and Nichole have always been there for each other, so when Nichole is committed to a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill her husband, Krystal drops everything to defend her.

Scarred by a hard upbringing, Nichole and Krystal managed to construct comfortable lives for themselves. Krystal became a respected lawyer, and Nichole was happily married to an architect—until Nichole starts raving that her husband isn’t her husband, believing that he’s an imposter.

Driven by fierce loyalty, Krystal starts asking questions, but she’s not sure she can bear the answers. Her investigation leads to the sisters’ dark shared past…to a horrible tragedy and a well-guarded lie that cemented their sisterly bond.

But that lie can’t kill the truth—the battered, gasping, clawing truth that’s coming for them both. Now Krystal and Nichole must both fight for the lives they’ve built before they’re consumed by the one they left behind.

Historical Fiction

The Girls in the Attic by Marius Gabriel, Pages: 351, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: The bestselling author of The Designer presents a sweeping story of blind faith, family allegiance and how love makes one man question everything he thought he knew.

Max Wolff is a committed soldier of the Reich. So when he is sent home wounded, only to discover that his mother is sheltering two young Jewish women in their home, he is outraged.

His mother’s act of mercy is a gross betrayal of everything Max stands for. He has dedicated his life to Nazism, fighting to atone for the shame of his anti-Hitler father’s imprisonment. It’s his duty to turn the sisters over to the Gestapo. But he hesitates, and the longer Max fails to do his duty, the harder it becomes.

When Allied bombers fill the skies of Germany, Max is forced to abandon all dogma and face the brutality of war in order to defend precious lives. But what will it cost him?

Mystery

Beneath Devil’s Bridge by Loreth Ann White, Pages: 344, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: A true crime podcast yields new revelations about a shocking murder in a riveting novel of suspense by Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author Loreth Anne White.

True crime podcaster Trinity Scott is chasing breakout success, and her brand-new serial may get her there. Her subject is Clayton Jay Pelley. More than two decades ago, the respected family man and guidance counsellor confessed to the brutal murder of teenage student Leena Rai. But why he killed her has always been a mystery.

In a series of exclusive interviews from prison, Clayton discloses to Trinity the truth about what happened that night beneath Devil’s Bridge. It’s not what anyone in the Pacific Northwest town of Twin Falls expects. Clayton says he didn’t do it. Was he lying then? Or now?

As her listeners increase and ratings skyrocket, Trinity is missing a key player in the story: Rachel Walczak, the retired detective who exposed Pelley’s twisted urges and put him behind bars. She’s not interested in playing Clayton’s game—until Trinity digs deeper and the podcast’s reverb widens. Then Rachel begins to question everything she thinks she knows about the past.

With each of Clayton’s teasing reveals, one thing is clear: he’s not the only one in Twin Falls with a secret.

Contemporary Fiction

These Tangled Vines by Julianne MacLean, Pages: 302, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: From the USA Today bestselling author of A Curve in the Road comes a sweeping and captivating tale of one woman’s journey to the lush vineyards of Tuscany—and into the mysteries of a tragic family secret.

If Fiona has learned anything in life, it’s how to keep a secret—even from the father who raised her. She is the only person who knows about her late mother’s affair in Tuscany thirty years earlier, and she intends to keep it that way…until a lawyer calls with shocking news: her biological father has died and left her an incredible inheritance—along with two half siblings.

Fiona travels to Italy, where the family is shocked to learn of her existence and desperate to contest her share of the will. While the mystery of her mother’s affair is slowly unravelled, Fiona must navigate through tricky family relationships and tense sibling rivalries. Fiona both fears and embraces her new destiny as she searches for the truth about the fateful summer her mother spent in Italy and the father she never knew.

Spilling over with the sumptuous flavours and romance of Tuscany, These Tangled Vines takes readers on a breath taking journey of love, secrets, sacrifice, courage—and most importantly, the true meaning of family.

Domestic Thriller

The Darkest Flower by Kristin Wright, Pages: 296, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: You’ll never believe the terrible things being said about the perfect president of the PTA.

Attempted murder? Inexplicable accident? Either way, a PTA mom struggled for her life in an elementary school cafeteria, poisoned by a wolfsbane-laced smoothie at the fifth-grade graduation party. Now all eyes are on the accused, the victim, and a woman hired to look deeper.

Ambitious defence attorney and single mother Allison Barton is anxious to escape the shadow of the low-down dog of a marquee partner carrying their renowned Virginia law firm. A win for her high-profile new client will give Allison the career she deserves. And PTA president Kira Grant certainly appears innocent—except for the toxic bloom in her backyard and perhaps a bit of a malicious streak. But no one said the innocent had to be likable—or entirely honest. Besides, with an image as carefully cultivated as her garden, Kira would be insane to risk everything on something as outrageous as the attempted murder of one of her closest friends.

What about those in Kira’s orbit, a sunny suburb of moms behaving badly? What do they really know about Kira? What does Kira know about them? For Allison, the answers are getting darker every day.

Family Drama

Like Wind Against Rock by Nancy Kim, Pages: 217, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: A novel of explosive family secrets, regret, and all the little decisions that shape our lives and make us who we are.

At the age of thirty-nine, Alice Chang suddenly finds herself living in the last place she expected: her mother’s house. But in the face of divorce, eviction, and the recent death of her father, she doesn’t have a choice.

Watching as her mother thrives in a new job and meets younger men at the local gym, Alice struggles, reflecting on her parents’ marriage, her relationship with each of them, as she adjusts to being single again for the first time in twenty years. Then she finds her father’s old journal…and uncovers a shocking family secret that forces her to question everything she thought she knew about love, regret, family, and her own path forward.

As Alice comes to terms with the man her father really was, she must finally decide who she wants to be and what it will take to get there.

Contemporary Romance

The Checklist by Addie Woolridge, Pages: 347, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: In an energetic debut novel about personal and professional chaos, author Addie Woolridge introduces a multicultural cast whose exploits are redefining the modern rom-com.

Killing it at work? Check. Gorgeous boyfriend? Check. Ambitions derailed by an insecure boss? Sigh—check.

Things were going a little too well for Dylan Delacroix. After upstaging her boss on a big account, she gets dispatched to the last place she wants to be: her hometown, Seattle. There, she must use her superstar corporate-consulting skills to curb the worst impulses of an impossibly eccentric tech CEO—if she doesn’t, she’s fired.

The fun doesn’t stop there: Dylan must also negotiate a ceasefire in the endless war between her bohemian parents and the straitlaced neighbours’. Adding to the chaos is a wilting relationship with her boyfriend and a blossoming attraction to the neighbours’ smoking-hot son.

Suddenly Dylan has a million checklists, each a mile long. As personal and professional pressures mount, she finds it harder and harder to stay on track. Having always relied on her ability to manage the world around her, Dylan’s going to need a new plan. She may be down, but she’s definitely not out.

Fantasy

Bacchanal by Veronica G Henry, Pages: 347, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: Evil lives in a traveling carnival roaming the Depression-era South. But the carnival’s newest act, a peculiar young woman with latent magical powers, may hold the key to defeating it. Her time has come.

Abandoned by her family, alone on the wrong side of the colour line with little to call her own, Eliza Meeks is coming to terms with what she does have. It’s a gift for communicating with animals. To some, she’s a magical tender. To others, a she-devil. To a talent prospector, she’s a crowd-drawing oddity. And the Bacchanal Carnival is Eliza’s ticket out of the swamp trap of Baton Rouge.

Among fortune-tellers, carnies, barkers, and folks even stranger than herself, Eliza finds a new home. But the Bacchanal is no ordinary carnival. An ancient demon has a home there too. She hides behind an iridescent disguise. She feeds on innocent souls. And she’s met her match in Eliza, who’s only beginning to understand the purpose of her own burgeoning powers.

Only then can Eliza save her friends, find her family, and fight the sway of a primordial demon preying upon the human world. Rolling across a consuming dust bowl landscape, Eliza may have found her destiny.

Memoir

The Puma Years by Laura Coleman, Pages: 298, Publication Date: 1 June 2021

Synopsis: In this rapturous memoir, writer and activist Laura Coleman shares the story of her liberating journey in the Amazon jungle, where she fell in love with a magnificent cat who changed her life.

Laura was in her early twenties and directionless when she quit her job to backpack in Bolivia. Fate landed her at a wildlife sanctuary on the edge of the Amazon jungle where she was assigned to a beautiful and complex puma named Wayra. Wide-eyed, inexperienced, and comically terrified, Laura made the scrappy, make-do camp her home. And in Wayra, she made a friend for life.

They weren’t alone, not with over a hundred quirky animals to care for, each lost and hurt in their own way: a pair of suicidal, bra-stealing monkeys, a frustrated parrot desperate to fly, and a pig with a wicked sense of humour. The humans too were cause for laughter and tears. There were animal whisperers, committed staff, wildly devoted volunteers, handsome heartbreakers, and a machete-wielding prom queen who carried Laura through. Most of all, there was the jungle—lyrical and alive—and there was Wayra, who would ultimately teach Laura so much about love, healing, and the person she was capable of becoming.

Set against a turbulent and poignant backdrop of deforestation, the illegal pet trade, and forest fires, The Puma Years explores what happens when two desperate creatures in need of rescue find one another.

So my choice for May was: The Girls in the Attic.

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