DO NO HARM by Christina McDonald

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Behind Every Lie and The Night Olivia Fell comes an unforgettable and heart-wrenching novel about the lengths one woman will go to save her son.

Emma loves her life. She’s the mother of a precocious kindergartener, married to her soulmate—a loyal and loving police detective—and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital.

But everything comes crashing down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch up to her before she can save Josh?

A timely and moving exploration of a town gripped by the opioid epidemic, and featuring Christina McDonald’s signature “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) prose, Do No Harm examines whether the ends ever justify the means…even for a desperate mother.

My thoughts:This book is another WOW from Christina McDonald. How she can take a book and make it hit you deep in your chest. Right in the heart. Make you feel like you are right there. Like you are that main character. It’s what makes a book great and this book is great.
I don’t know why but this line is my very favorite one out of this book. It just seemed to sum up the love that I felt between Nate and Emma. “AN I KNEW. NO MATTER WHAT I HAD DONE, NATE HAD LOVED ME. ETERNALLY. “That line just touched my heart and to be honest it made me weep huge big ugly tears.
What would you do to save your child? Emma and Nate are happy. They have a great life and a beautiful son, Josh. But when things go wrong and they are faced with the possibility of losing Josh what will they do. What will a mother do? You might be surprised what this mother is willing to sacrifice for her little boy’s life. As a mother I am not shocked. I believe with all my heart that I would do the same. It’s unconditional love between a mother and her child. 
This book is just so good. It did make me laugh a couple of times but for the most part I cried. I had some pretty big tears streaming down my face. How do you deal with what this family is facing. Being a doctor made it even harder for Emma. She took an oath to save lives and yet felt so terribly helpless that she couldn’t help her son. Be warned, this is a very emotional story. It has lots of ups and downs. Lots of raw emotion. Lots of thrills to keep you on the edge too. 
Nate is a cop. He’s sworn to protect people no matter what. He loves his wife and son with ever fiber of his being. What is he willing to do to save their son? He’s a good man. He wants to do the right thing. I loved Nate. He was so easy to love. 
This book is about the opioid crises that this nation still faces. About the good and the bad of drugs. Not that there is really anything good about them but if you are honestly in chronic pain and need help it’s hard because of the many addicts and dealers who abused the system. While this book deals with this a lot it also makes you understand why and how some people do get addicted to drugs. Not always because they are bad people. Not always because of doctors. It’s a very hard thing to think about and this country really needs to get some kind of help for addicts. Help while they are still young enough to be helped.
This is a very good book. It will make you think about some pretty deep things. You will have feelings that maybe you haven’t seen in a while. Compassion is sometimes a great thing to have. Actually, it’s great thing to always have. Be compassionate to others before you judge them without knowing their story.
Thank you to #NetGalley, #ChristinaMcDonald, #Simon&Schuster, #GalleryBooks for this ARC. These are my own true feelings about this story.
5/5 HUGE stars and a very high recommendation. A must read.

ONE PERFECT GRAVE by Stacy Green

She didn’t see the patch of black ice until it was too late. The car started to spin, and as it veered off into the deep ditch and the mounds of snow beside the road, she saw him. The little boy frozen in the ice.

When the remains of two bodies are found in an open grave along a desolate highway in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt knows exactly who they are. The bright blue jacket lying on the frozen earth belongs to Kellan Rhodes, the missing boy she’s desperately been trying to find for the last two days. The other body is his mother Dana, who had been Nikki’s lead suspect.

Although the wounds on Dana’s body suggest she murdered her son and took her own life, Nikki finds evidence that suggests she was a victim too. Dana was desperately trying to regain custody of Kellan, and Nikki finds boot prints at the scene that belong to someone else.

When another child is reported missing, local journalist Caitlin Newport claims the cases are linked: Zach Reeves was taken away from his own mother in a custody battle, just like Kellan was.

Caitlin once helped Nikki find out the truth about her own parents’ murders, but her desire for a story nearly cost Nikki her life. Now, Nikki must decide if she can trust Caitlin again, before time runs out to find the killer and bring Zach home alive…

An unputdownable thriller that will make your heart pound until its final, shocking conclusion. Perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner and readers who want to binge read into the night.

My thoughts:Another breathtaking read. The second in the Nikki Hunt series by Stacy Green. It’s fantastic!
Kikki Hunt is back on the case in another heart stopping case. This time a young boy and his mother are both dead. Who could do such a horrible thing and can Nikki and her team find out and stop a killer in his tracks. 
This book takes you on a pulse pounding ride that will have you holding your breath until the very end. This book is edge of your seat thrills. From the very beginning I was hooked. I couldn’t read fast enough. I have to admit that I did figure out who the bad guy was but that in no way took from this story. It’s just that good. 
This story had me on the edge of my seat rooting for Nikki to find things. It’s a great read.  What would you do if your child was in danger and you was the only one who could save him? Or if no one believed you when you said things were not as they appeared? You would definitely want the best of the best on the job. Most of the characters from the first book are back and things are pretty intense when another child goes missing. I felt so bad for some of the characters in this story and hated a few also. There were some that you wanted bad things to happen too. At least I did. But I also rooted for the parents and grandparents in this story. 
This is the second book in the Nikki Hunt series. I can’t wait for the third. I know it will be another edge of your seat ride also. Stacy Green certainly knows how to tell a story that will keep you up late, turning pages, and crying your eyes out too. It’s honestly that good. 
Thank you to #NetGalley, #StacyGreen, #Bookouture for this ARC. This is my own true feelings about this book.
5/5 stars and another high recommendation.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I hope you had a great reading week.

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOKDATE
Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.

What I read: 1:PRETTY LITTLE WIFE by Darby KaneReviewed  2/21

What I’m reading now:
2: ONE PERFECT GRAVE by Stacy Green

What I will be reading: 3: DO NO HARM by Christina McDonald 4:THE CHILDREN’S TRAIN by Viola Ardone

5: THE FAMILY SHIP by Sonja Yoerg.

6:THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED FROM AUSCHWITZ by Ellie Midwood 7: THE GIRLS ARE ALL SO NICE HERE by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

8: RUNAWAY JUSTICE by Chad Zunker

9: EVERYWHERE TO HIDE by Siri Mitchell

10: THE CHILDREN’S BLIZZARD by Melanie Benjamin

11: THE SPEED OF LIGHT by Elissa Grossell Dickey

12: EVERY LAST FEAR by Alex Finlay

13: THE STILLS by Jess Montgomery

14: ETERNAL by Lisa Scottoline

15: A MILLION REASONS WHY by Jessica Strawser

16: THE LAST ONE HOME by Victoria Helen Stone

17: THE SOUND BETWEEN THE NOTES by Barbara Linn Probst

I didn’t read near as much as usual. ONE BOOK! My great grandson was born Monday February 15th and was put in the NICU right away. He is three weeks early. He’s doing great but was not breathing as well as they wanted. My granddaughter and her husband had to leave the hospital without him Wednesday but of course are there every chance they get. He should be able to go home Monday.My husband had to have surgery Wednesday February 17th. He had a blockage in his neck. It was a very long day, actually two days, because I could not be there. This Covid is stopping anyone from being able to be with loved ones when they need us. He’s doing ok now. He feels awful and looks like someone beat the crap out of him, but he’s home and healing. It was just a horrible yet joyful week! I was not able to relax and read.  Everyone please stay safe and wear the mask when out around others. It’s the right thing to do so we can get this virus under control.

Mailbox Monday!

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!!Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday

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Here’s a shout out to the administrators:
Leslie @ Under My Apple Tree 
Serena @ Savvy Verse And Wit
Martha @ Reviews By Martha’s Bookshelf 

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                THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive. 

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I hope you had a good mailbox.
I had a great mailbox!

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Received February 17th: 1: THE NOTE THROUGH THE WIRE by Doug Gold Courtesy of William Morrow from NetGalley

2: WHAT’S LEFT UNSAID by Emily BleekerCourtesy of Lake Union from NetGalley

3: ONE YEAR GONE by Avery BishopCourtesy of Lake Union from NetGalley

Received February 18th: 1: THE PASSING STORM by Christine NolfiCourtesy of Lake Union from NetGalley

2: THE FAMILY PLOT by Megan CollinsCourtesy of Atria from NetGalley

3: WHERE THE TRUTH LIES by Anna BaileyCourtesy of Atria from NetGalley

PRETTY LITTLE WIFE by Darby Kane

#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

Named a recommended read by Huffington Post, PopSugar, Refinery29, Goodreads, The Skimm, Book Page, Style Caster, and a New York Post Best Book of the Week

Debut author Darby Kane thrills with this twisty domestic suspense novel that asks one central question: shouldn’t a dead husband stay dead?
Lila Ridgefield lives in an idyllic college town, but not everything is what it seems. Lila isn’t what she seems.
A student vanished months ago. Now, Lila’s husband, Aaron, is also missing. At first these cases are treated as horrible coincidences until it’s discovered the student is really the third of three unexplained disappearances over the last few years. The police are desperate to find the connection, if there even is one. Little do they know they might be stumbling over only part of the truth….

With the small town in an uproar, everyone is worried about the whereabouts of their beloved high school teacher. Everyone except Lila, his wife. She’s definitely confused about her missing husband but only because she was the last person to see his body, and now it’s gone.

My thoughts: This is one twisted story. It’s full of ups and downs. Ins and outs. It has so much going on and was so much fun to read. It really was. 
This is the story of Lila. Lila is married too Aaron. Aaron is the high school teacher that everyone loves. He is missing and it seems he went missing twice. You will know from the start who did something to Aaron, but not the why or what exactly. There are lots of things happening. Several missing people. Mostly young women but the the main person that is looked for here is Aaron. The beloved high school teacher and girls field hockey coach.
Lila came from a horrible childhood as did Aaron. Seems like they were made for each other. But as in most books, looks, feelings, thoughts, actions, marriages, can be deceiving. Aaron’s brother, Jared, plays a huge role in this story also. He wants to know what happened to his brother. He stands by Lila when the police detective starts questioning her. Ginny is a smart detective and has a theory as to what happened but can’t quite prove it. Yet!
This book has so much going on that if you are not careful you can get lost. Most likely if you love a good thriller you will find it easy to follow though. There is just so much. Between the husband, wife, brother-in-law, best friend, school principle, college professor, everyone involved looks guilty of something in one way or the other. 
While I did figure out who did what in one way I still absolutely loved and enjoyed this book. All the things that led up to the big showdown were great. It was well written and the imagery was done in such a way as to make you feel you was there. I didn’t really like any of the characters until close to the ending. Then I did like Lila. I rooted for her throughout the book but didn’t really like her until the end. I felt bad for her from the start almost. I like Ginny somewhat as she was very good at her job. But she still lacked something. I just haven’t yet figured out what. 
You will enjoy trying to figure this one out. I promise.
Thank you to #NetGalley, #DarbyKane, #HarperCollinsPublishers & #WilliamMorrowPaperbacks for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.
I gave it a big 5/5 stars and a high recommendation. 

Bragging rights!!

 Meet Jaxon Hayes Smith. My great grandson. 6lbs 2ozs 181/2 inches long. Born Monday February 15th. He is three weeks early and had some breathing problems so was taking immediately to the NICU. He is doing great now though. Breathing pretty much on his own. Now if he can eat good for 24 hours they can take him home.  Isn’t he just beautiful. Perfect. Sweet. Cuddly. I can’t wait to hold him and spoil him rotten. I’m so proud of my granddaughter and her husband. They have done so good.

Mailbox Monday! 2/15 – 2/22

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week.Warning:

Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists!!Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia @ A Girl and Her Books, has a permanent home now at Mailbox Monday

************
Here’s a shout out to the administrators:
Leslie @ Under My Apple Tree 
Serena @ Savvy Verse And Wit
Martha @ Reviews By Martha’s Bookshelf 

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                THANKS to everyone for keeping Mailbox Monday alive. 

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I hope you had a good mailbox.
I had a great mailbox!

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Received February 9th: 1: THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED FROM AUSCHWITZ by Ellie Midwood Courtesy of NetGalley & Bookouture 

Received February 10th: 2: THE HIVE by Gregg Olsen Courtesy of NetGalley & Thomas & Mercer.

Received February 11th: 3: THE BOOKSELLER’S SECRET by Michelle Gable Courtesy of NetGalley & Harlequin Graydon House

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 2/15 – 2/22

I hope you had a great reading week.

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This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOKDATE
Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.

What I read/reviewed last week: 1:THE INVISIBLE WOMAN by Erika Robuck  Review and spotlight posted February 9th! 

2: WAITING FOR THE NIGHT SONG by Julie Carrick Dalton. Reviewed 2/10

3: UNTIL WE ARE LOST by Leslie Archer. Reviewed 2/12 

4: HADLEY & GRACE by Suzanne Redfearn  Reviewed 2/14

What I will be reading: 1:PRETTY LITTLE WIFE by Darby Kane

2: ONE PERFECT GRAVE by Stacy Green  

3: DO NO HARM by Christina McDonald

4:THE CHILDREN’S TRAIN by Viola Ardone

5: THE FAMILY SHIP by Sonja Yoerg

6:THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED FROM AUSCHWITZ by Ellie Midwood

7: THE GIRLS ARE ALL SO NICE HERE by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

8: RUNAWAY JUSTICE by Chad Zunker

9: EVERYWHERE TO HIDE by Siri Mitchell

10: THE CHILDREN’S BLIZZARD by Melanie Benjamin

11: THE SPEED OF LIGHT by Elissa Grossell Dickey

12: EVERY LAST FEAR by Alex Finlay

13: THE STILLS by Jess Montgomery

14: ETERNAL by Lisa Scottoline

 15: A MILLION REASONS WHY by Jessica Strawser 

16: THE LAST ONE HOME by Victoria Helen Stone

17: THE SOUND BETWEEN THE NOTES by Barbara Linn Probst

HADLEY & GRACE by Suzanne Redfearn

The author of In an Instant delivers a heart-pounding and emotional roller-coaster ride of self-discovery in the tradition of Thelma and Louise.

Needing to escape her abusive marriage, Hadley flees with her two kids, knowing it might be her only chance. A woman who can’t even kill a spider, Hadley soon finds herself pushed to the limits as she fights to protect her family.

Grace, new mother of baby Miles, desperately wants to put her rough past behind her for good, but she finds it impossible when her path crosses with Hadley’s, and her quest for a new start quickly spirals out of control and turns into a terrifying flight for survival.

Stronger together than apart, the two find their fates inextricably entwined, and as the danger closes in, each must decide how much she is willing to risk for the other.

A powerful story of self-discovery, Hadley and Grace is the heart-racing tale of two women facing insurmountable odds, racing to stay one step ahead of the trouble that is chasing them, and discovering new kinds of love and family along the way.

MY THOUGHTS: 

The first book I read by this author was In An Instant and it was wonderful. I loved it. Now I’ve read this one and thought I was going to be disappointed. I thought it’s too much like Thelma and Louise. I almost stopped reading it when that tie in hit me. I was not in the mood for a story based on that. But… this is a great story. It’s a pager turner and in parts a real tearjerker. It made me laugh in a few places and get very angry in some. So lots of emotions. Yes, it’s very good. A tense yet sweet story.

Hadley is in a horrible marriage and wants out. She wants better for their daughter and the nephew she’s been raising for four years. He’s a special needs child and so full of love. He also loves baseball and uses that in many ways. Hadley gets a chance finally to escape her abusive marriage when her sister decides she wants her child back. 

Grace is married and has a new baby. Her husband is a soldier with a horrible gambling addiction. When she finds they are completely broke again she can’t take it anymore and packs up the baby and leaves. She loves her husband but does not want this kind of life any longer. Not for herself or the baby.

When Hadley and Grace cross paths things start to go crazy. They have to team up and from then on things are never the same for either. With their children in tow they hit the road. One to escape her abuser and the other to escape a gambler. Little do they know what all they are going to have to go through and do to get the life they so richly deserve.

This book takes you on a road trip that you won’t soon forget. While it’s really a beautiful story it’s also a sad one. Things that happen will make you wonder at times if it is worth it. They meet some pretty nice people and some not so nice. This book does NOT have a lot of vulgar language in it as I read in another review. It does not contain explicit sex scenes and it’s really just an all around good story. It’s a heartfelt story about two women who want what’s best for their families. There is also a FBI agent I really liked. Actually two of them. But that you’ll have to read about for yourself.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #SuzanneRedfearn, #lakeunionpublisher for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts about this book.

5/5 stars and I do recommend you read this one. It’s very good!

UNTIL WE ARE LOST by Leslie Archer

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl at the Border comes a haunting thriller about one woman’s journey into the painful truths threatening to destroy her.

When Tara Peary’s twin sister Sophie goes missing, Tara dives into New York’s underbelly to find her. Sophie is the one person who’s ever truly understood her, and Tara knows her sister isn’t the only one who needs help.

Tara is also on the run emotionally from her complicated childhood. Her memories are threatening to overwhelm her emotions and derail the hunt for Sophie. A psychotherapist keeps her afloat, but when Tara begins dating her therapist’s young tech-millionaire neighbor, she risks losing the only lifelines she has left.

The more Tara uncovers about her sister’s disappearance and the dark side of the rich elite, the less certain of the truth she becomes. As Tara reaches the center of the mystery, spanning from her childhood home in Georgia to a Southern California beach, she has to decide whether the truth is a price she’s willing to pay. MY THOUGHTS:

First let me say that this is my first book by this author. I read at the very end that she’s the bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels yet I could only find one more. It sounds like it may be a good one. This one was a bit disappointing to me. It certainly had great potential though. I don’t know what happened but it sure fell short. 

Tara/Sophie are twins. Tara can’t find Sophie. I figured out what happened to Sophie very quickly. Or who she was. It is told in the first part of this story so not a spoiler. The things that go on in this book are just a mess. From abuse, almost raped, possibly raped, molested by a parent, being used by the other parent, there is just way too much going on. It fell short for sure. If it would have been possibly two books/sequels, it may have been easier to read. Not that I had a hard time keeping up but that it was just too much. For one child, teen, adult, it was too much. No wonder she had issues.

I could not connect with the characters in this book at all. The fact that Tara was asked to do “whatever it takes” to get info from a man who almost raped her was unbelievable. That would not have happened. No way. She would have said no even if Sophie did have her back. I did not find that believable at all. There were many things in this book that were great but the ones that weren’t was way bad. I’m sorry but it was beyond my capacity to believe parts. 

This book did have such potential. I hate that it was just not that good. Others may love it. You may think it’s one of the best ever. For me it was just ok. I’m shocked too. I wanted so bad to love this book. There was just nothing to hold me to it and I found myself skimming past some parts. I should have just chalked it up as a DNF but I felt the obligation to read the rest. The first part was slow but I really enjoyed the second part and the last two parts. They were all full of thrills and chills. A lot going on that will keep you on the edge in many ways. But the rest was not so great.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #LeslieArcher, #LakeUnionPublisers for this ARC. This is my own true thoughts of this book.

2.5-3/5 stars and I will say read for yourself and decide if you like it or not. We each see things differently and what is not so good for me may be great for you.

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