Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library


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The Playboy Prince and the Nanny by Donna Alward

After a car crash killing his sister-in-law leaves his niece and nephew motherless, Diego Navarro, the playboy Prince of the Mediterranean island of Marazur, returns home to attend to his family, even though his brother and father never trust him with the family business.

While his brother is knee deep in business and dealing with the loss of his wife, Diego hires an English nanny named Rose Walters to care for the children, to whom he is immediately drawn. They share a few tender moments, but Rose knows that crossing the line with Diego would cost her not only her job, but may also hurt the children in the process. And their lives are worlds apart: he is a Prince; she is the hired help.

When Diego capitalizes on an opportunity to prove his loyalty and save the family from scandal, Rose questions his intent and makes a sacrifice to help the family she has come to love, even if it means letting go of Diego.

In some ways reminiscent of a much lighter The Sound of Music, Alward (Somebody’s Baby) has crafted a fairy tale romance that doesn’t require gratuitous sex scenes to capture heartstrings.


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The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Teenage Zoe is a child prodigy and a gifted pianist, as is her stepbrother Lucas. In the middle of their recital, a man storms in screaming in anger. You see, Zoe was the driver in a car accident that killed three people, and now her secret is no longer safe. The enraged man is the father of one of the people killed in the accident who has just learned of the concert and where Zoe now lives.

After serving her sentence in a juvenile detention center, Zoe and her mom, Maria, moved to Bristol to start their “second chance life.” This is where Maria met Chris, her new husband and Zoe’s stepfather, and had baby Grace. Maria never told Chris about Zoe and her past. The outburst at the concert puts into place a chain of events that begins with murder.

The story is told from the perspectives of Zoe, Tess (Zoe’s aunt and Maria’s sister), and Sam (Zoe’s solicitor from the car accident trial). Sam and Tess are having an affair, which only complicates matters when Zoe reaches out to Sam after the murder. Tensions build as the perfect family is torn apart, and both Zoe and Maria learn that they aren’t the only ones keeping dark secrets.

Another winner in the psychological suspense genre to add to your bookshelf that is not for the faint of heart, especially in regards to domestic violence.


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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

In Bristol, England, five-year old Jacob is struck by a car and killed. The driver takes off without stopping to help. With very few witnesses or leads, DI Ray and his assistant Kate have very little to go on and the case eventually goes cold.

Jenna Gray has moved away to an isolated coastal Welsh village in hopes of a clean start. She has few material possessions and arrives by bus. She rents an old cottage from a farmer and tries to keep to herself but is befriended by the owner of the caravan park and the local vet, Patrick, who treats an abandoned dog she discovers on the side of the road. Jenna, a former sculptor, finds work by selling photographs of sand messages. Even though she harbors deep secrets, it seems as though her new life is finally coming together, that is, until the cops show up at her door.

Meanwhile, something is nagging at Kate and she can’t let the case go. Kate and Ray reopen the case, hoping for new leads or a stone left unturned to find justice for little Jacob.

My synopsis is intentionally vague because I don’t want to ruin any spoilers. The story goes back and forth in time and slowly unravels why Jenna is on the run. There is even a shocking revelation near that end that keep the pages moving. Mackintosh’s debut runs a close second to Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris and will appeal to readers of dark psychological thrillers who can stomach domestic violence stories.


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Then Came You by Jeannie Moon

The suicide of her sister leaves Mia DeAngelis with her ten-year old nephew, Ben, in her care, so she makes the move to Compass Cove, Long Island, the idyllic small town where Mia and her sister used to spend a few months every summer with their grandmother. A librarian at the local college, Mia believes it is the perfect place to raise Ben, even though he seems to have trouble fitting in. During an argument with Mia, he takes off to the football field where he meets the college’s coach, Adam Miller.

All curves and totally different from the type he usually dates, Mia is a knockout, and Adam offers to help her and Ben shop for a bike. The chemistry is undeniable from the start and with Mia, Adam sees he could have the family he never knew he wanted. When an issue with Mia’s adoption of Ben arises, Mia is torn between what is the right thing to do and what is best for Ben, and Adam’s stance could jeopardize their relationship.

Moon (Daring the Pilot) creates a strong sense of home and a convincing love story with moderate love scenes that will overcome even the most cynical of readers.


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The Child by Fiona Barton

Although not billed as a series, reporter Kate Waters from Barton’s debut, The Widowreturns as she begins to investigate when an infant’s bones are found on a construction site in London. A mother of two other children, Angela Irving’s baby, Alice, disappeared from the hospital in the 70’s and was never found. She is hoping that DNA samples will prove a match so that she knows what happened to her baby all those years ago. The police believe the body was buried sometime in the 80’s, which brings about more questions than answers.

Emma learns about the baby, whose remains were found in the garden of her old home, from Kate’s article in the paper. Although she was kicked out at sixteen, Emma harbors a dark secret from that neighborhood during the days she lived there with her selfish mother Jude and Jude’s boyfriend, Will.

Kate’s investigation has her confronting the major players in the neighborhood during that time period as she unravels what exactly happened to baby Alice.

A very well done dark suspense novel that is equal to, if not better, than Barton’s debut. There is a twist that this reader did not see coming that proves what a clever story Barton has weaved. If you are into the psychological suspense novels like me, this one is a sure bet.


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Royally Romanov by Teri Wilson

Lucky to be alive, an attack near Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral left Maxim Laurent with temporary memory loss. The only item he has in his possession is a leather journal that claims he is Maxim Romanov, descent of the Russian Imperial Romanov and grandson to Anastasia, who purportedly could have escaped execution and lived in exile.

He visits a local bookstore where author and assistant curator at the Louvre, Finley Abbot, is holding a book signing about her book on Romanov history. Finley agrees to help Maxim in his quest for answers. There’s chemistry between the two, even at first sight, but her interest in Maxim and in learning the truth causes a conflict of interest that might jeopardize her career.

As Maxim slowly begins to regain his memory, he discovers he might not be the person he claims and will have to hide the truth to protect the woman who has captured his heart.

A contemporary retelling of Anastasia chalk full of elegance in the most romantic city in the world is a delight in this second book in The Royals series. Wilson (Royally Roma) crafts love scenes that are sexy and passionate and align perfectly with the backdrop and absorbing plot that will have wide appeal.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | July 7, 2017


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Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

For appearance sake, Grace and Jack Angel seem to be the perfect couple. They live in the perfect house and Grace is the perfect host at their dinner party with neighbors and friends.

Grace first met her husband Jack at a local park when her sister Millie, who has downs syndrome, was dancing away. He offered Millie a dance and to take them both for tea. Handsome and successful, Jack is an attorney representing victims of domestic violence.  Not only does he seem to have fallen for Grace, he adores Millie, which means more to Grace than anything in the whole word.  You see, Grace will become Millie’s full time guardian once she turns eighteen and is not eligible to stay at her school any longer. Grace’s plan is to have Millie in her home, but now that she is with Jack, the two will welcome Millie and live as a happy family.

After six months of courtship, they marry and honeymoon in Thailand.  The night of their wedding, Jack leaves while she is napping and doesn’t return for several days. When he returns to pick her up, he has news for Grace. He is anything but the doting, loving husband he has pretended to be. He has carefully orchestrated a plan to make Grace a prisoner and he even has more sinister plans for Millie once she turns eighteen.

Readers will be hoping that Grace can prevail and find her way out of this unthinkable ordeal she has found herself in. This twisty, dark novel isn’t for the faint of heart, but is another recommended addition to the popular psychological suspense books as of late. If you liked Fiona Barton’s The Widow and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10then Behind Closed Doors is guaranteed to be right up your alley.