Before We Were Strangersby Published 04 Dec 2018
|Before We Were Strangers.pdf|
Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she's determined to uncover her family's dark secrets, even if they bury her.
Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn't sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound--the ominous thump before all went quiet.
In the morning, her mother was gone.
The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn't sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn't just difficult--he was deadly.
Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend and a father and brother who'd rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn't whether she can uncover what really happened that night...it's what will remain of her family if she does?
"Before We Were Strangers" Reviews
Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected publication December 2018
Although I finished this book on the weekend, I needed to give myself some time to reflect before I reviewed. Before We Were Strangers attracted me for it's gorgeous cover-sure! But more importantly because I like the whole storyline of prodigal daughter(or son) returning and trying to bring the dark family secrets out into the open. Sloane McBride, this novel's protagonist squares off with her father, now her hometown 's mayor and her older brother over the disappearance of her beloved mother when she was only 5. Brenda Novak does a brilliant job at making Daddy McBride a total douchebag and I really despised him
From the very beginning , Sloane's father does every thing to make his daughter want to leave. He's also so horrible to many characters in the book. The snake in the Garden of Eden had more values than this guy. The parts in the novel that focus on the mystery are definitely a slow burn which pretty much escalates in the last number of chapters. But since Sloane doesn't have a lot of friends, her one outlet is the handsome high school boyfriend she left behind. Like many romance novels, Sloane was a hard act to follow because even though hottie married Sloane 's childhood best friend and had a child with her. Sloane was always at the forefront of his mind. Much of the novel is consumed with this love triangle.
And that's where this book falls into 3.0 territory for me. Because I am a you gotta own up to the decisions you make in life, don't go pointing fingers at others. That's where high school boyfriend falls into a very Nicholas Sparks type, Sloane who's facing some really intense shit( I mean she really feels her Dad killed her mother). But nope best friend and high school hottie got to talk about how Sloane was the third person in their marriage and the reason they ended up divorced. All I have to say is that is some messed up shit. You were all 18 years old and now you're parents of an eight year old. Grow the f----- up! I shall credit the author with invoking such a strong reaction from me, but this just wasn't my cup of joy!
Another great book by Brenda Novak! Once I started, I couldn't put it down. I was so completely invested in the characters and their story - I had to know how the story ended.
This was such a pleasant surprise of a read! I had never read one of Novak's novels prior to this one so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. As soon as I read the first chapter I knew this would be a fast paced, good time of a read and it did not let me down! I would give this 4.5 stars because it filled every single expectation I had for the specific genre it is categorized as and felt like every aspect of this novel was above average! I liked and really hated the characters, which is a great thing... I had absolutely no idea how this one would end, and kept going back and forth on what I thought would happen, and when it was finally revealed in the very last couple of pages I was completely satisfied! This had a big romance element to it which I normally would not enjoy but it was done in a way that I was able to definitely tolerate it if not appreciate it for the fact that sometimes love is a bumpy, winding road and things don't work out perfectly right away. the character development like previously stated was on point to where I absolutely hated a couple of the characters and found myself really rooting for some others. The one complaint I would have, if I had to make any complaint, was that at some points the reactions of the characters seemed a little less than realistic, but that was truly on a rare occasion... I would highly recommend anyone that likes Chevy Stevens novels to go out and try one of Novak's as I felt this one read a lot like most of hers, but really anyone that likes a good murder mystery / family drama / romance should pick up this book in particular!
Before We Were Strangers is a great thriller. It was totally worth my time.
What I love about reading is when you find that "gem" that keeps you thinking when you put the book down, or you can't put the book down because you are racing to the next page. A good book should make you "feel" and this did not disappoint.
Sloan is grieving over the loss of her friend who has been a father to her. She shared with him the reason she left her childhood home and he urged her to get answers. Sloan believes her father killed her mother when she was 5 years old and while she is terrified of him, feels that the answers will provide the closure she needs to move on with her life.
Her father is the mayor of the city she grew up in and is finding his power has a far reach. He does not want her to come home and blocks her attempts for a long stay as he is aware of the reasons for her return. He is up for re-election and believes her inquiries will thwart his efforts for another term. She is forced to stay with an old friend who married her childhood boyfriend. This is awkward to Sloan as she left abruptly after her high school graduation which broke her boyfriend, Micah's heart. Sloan's friend, Paige and Micah, are divorced, but there are lingering resentments as Paige feels Sloan is the reason for the breakup. This part of the storyline unfolds masterfully as the author is able to capture the pain that Paige feels as she cannot hide that she loves Micah too much, yet Micah does not love her enough. Sloan is in the middle as Paige feels guilty for marrying her best friends boyfriend, but is not willing to give him up. And the tension between Micah and Sloan is so palpable. Their feelings have not changed but they know if they act on their feelings that the consequences will be unforgiving.
Micah is also a police officer and he is aware of Sloan's intentions for her short stay. He is compelled to help her as he has concerns with her father's behavior and believes his power with the town needs to be reigned in. They learn that Sloan's mother had secrets that divided her family and as she starts to uncover the truth, she realizes her own life is in danger.
I won't give away any more as this story is a worthwhile read. I read it in one sitting and it just had that adrenaline that you want in a story. Another excellent reading experience from this author!!