My February 2024 reads

Another month, another great stack of books.

I started off the month in Britain, with two psychological thrillers. First I followed the lives of a financially struggling heart recipient and the wealthy family whose daughter’s death provide the needed heart. As the heart recipient and donor’s family grow closer, the twists and turns go hard and fast. Next I was in the Cotswalds, where a woman is planning her wedding, and trying to hinder her overprotective mother from taking over – and bumping the groom from the big day.

February 2024 Reads

Next I traveled across the pond and back in time, to wealthy and privileged Philadelphia of 1927 where a young debutatnte is trying to find her way and open her heart to love. And finally, I delved into a collection of short stories with a noir theme that combined love, cooking, betrayal, hauntings, curses … and cyanide.

Three of my four reads this month were NetGalley reads. All four were highly recommended reads.

Read my full reviews here below.


The PatientThe Patient cover

Teri Terry

This novel was a fast-paced, page-turning psychological thriller.

It’s told through the perspectives of two protagonists.

Saphy is a young woman in her late twenties, living in London. Saphy’s life hasn’t been easy. As a baby, she was adopted by a loving family. But her mother died when she was young, and her father recently died of Covid, the same Covid Saphy inadvertently passed on to him. The same disease that damaged her own heart, already weakened by congenital heart defects. Saphy’s only chance of survival is a heart transplant.

Fern is a young emergency room doctor. Introverted and working long hours in a high stress job, Fern suffers debilitating guilt for the younger sister she has just lost to a brutal murder. And, heightening the guilt, is the knowledge that the presumed murderer of her beautiful and glamorous sister, Flora, was a fellow doctor Fern introduced to her sister.

Saphy’s life is saved by a heart transplant, but as she begins to heal, she has strange visions and  feelings. When she learns the high-profile murder victim Flora is her heart donor, she becomes increasingly obsessed with the life of the glamorous young woman. Events come to a head when Saphy meets Fern’s family and it becomes evident that someone is targeting Flora’s organ donors.

I enjoyed this fast-paced tale, and the dual perspectives. In the last chapters, there were a few too many twists and turns for my personal preference, but I still enjoyed this page-turning tale.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy – all thoughts are my own.


Mother of the BrideMother of The Bride cover

Samantha Hayes

This was a fun, fast-paced read.

Lizzie has spent her adult life running from her unhappy childhood and controlling mother. It’s taken a while, but now Lizzie has met Owen, the love of her life and the man she plans to marry. Moreover, Lizzie and Owen are expecting their first child – something she was certain would never happen.

But unforeseen circumstances take Lizzie and Owen back to Lizzie’s childhood home, living under the same roof as her controlling mother. The same mother who takes over all aspects of Lizzie’s wedding planning. Is Lizzie’s mother truly helping, or is she simply trying to get Owen out of the picture?

This was a page-turning psychological thriller you may wish to put off if you’re in the midst of wedding planning. An enjoyable read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy – all thoughts are my own.


The Philadelphia HeiressThe Philadelphia Heiress cover

Anita Abriel

It’s 1927 and Helen Montgomery has been raised into a world of privilege on Philadelphia’s Main Line. As Helen is headed towards her debutante ball and her brilliant future as a sought-after young society woman, her father’s error jeopardizes her family’s place in good society and Helen is forced to marry well to salvage her family’s reputation – and fortune.

Although the situation is abhorrent to Helen, meeting Edgar Scott, the handsome and free-thinking son of a railroad magnate, improves her outlook on being forced into a premature marriage. Things are looking up – until external pressure sets in and threatens Helen and Edgar’s happiness.

This is my second Abriel novel, and I love her attention to detail, historical research and ability to immerse readers into the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the past. I could almost hear the strains of the Charleston and taste the fashionable pre-dinner cocktails. I also appreciated the currents of change flowing through early twentieth century society, especially for women. The weak point for me was Helen herself. As a reader, I don’t need only likeable characters if they’re interesting, but Helen was often hard to take: critical, unbending and judgmental, while readers were frequently reminded how “kind” she was. A more nuanced character would have allowed me to cheer on her transformation more. Regardless, this was still an enjoyable story, unfolding to the heady rhythms and glamor of the pre-crash roaring twenties.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy – all thoughts are my own.


Add Cyanide to TasteAdd Cyanide to Taste cover

Karmen Spiljak

I love short stories, and the idea of ‘culinary noir’ collection was intriguing. Glad to have snapped up my cyanide-free copy.

In Ljubljana’s old town, a mysterious pub appears to those in need of companionship. An inherited pastry shop comes attached with a curse. A heartbroken widow moves to a rural home with her young daughter, hoping to heal while rebuilding her finances, but a strange atmosphere permeates the house – one her daughter seems to sense best. A recent mother discovers her husband’s philandering, and invents a fitting penance. And a couple snags a table at a wildly sought-after restaurant, enjoying the best dishes of their life, until the bill arrives.

These are among the fourteen stories of this collection. All are engaging, witty, twisty and an absolute delight. I highly recommend this collection.

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