The Favorite Sister – Jessica Knoll

Summary: When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates. Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story. And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off. (From Goodreads)

I’m going to be completely honest with you: I did not like Knoll’s first book. Probably because, and I know I’ve complained about this before, it was billed as the “next Gone Girl.” And it really wasn’t. In fact, it wasn’t even really suspense novel.

However, it wasn’t a bad book. So, when I got this book on NetGalley, I wasn’t hesitant. I wanted to see if Knoll could write a suspense thriller.

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Hat Trick – Maria Luis

Summary: The NHL’s most charming player is ready to score a hat trick on and off the ice…

As the star forward for the Boston Blades, I’ve earned a reputation for no-strings attached hookups and a mean slapshot that has all the ladies purring — but it’s never been the one woman I want to see all fired up and ready to score. Boston’s own Ice Queen Gwen James has had my emotions all tangled up for years. I’ve played the games. I’ve sat on the sidelines.

No matter her reasons, I’m done being benched. 

When she approaches me for a second chance, I accept on one condition: she’s got to prove she’s all in. No kissing. No sex. It just might kill me to keep my hands to myself, but it’s time Gwen knows what it’s like to beg. 

At the end of the day, I play to win, and I want what no other man has ever had…her heart. (From Goodreads)

If you’re a hockey fan and a romance fan and you haven’t picked up this series yet, I really don’t know what to tell you. Wait, yes I do. Put this series on your TBR pile.

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If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio

Summary: On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it.

Ten years ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extra. But in their fourth and final year, the balance of power begins to shift, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students’ world of make believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent. (From Goodreads)

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for books about performing arts (see: my review for Noteworthy.) This book was clearly written with someone who harbors that same love. This isn’t so much a story based around Shakespeare as it is a love letter to Shakespearian tragedies. The characters are so immersed in the playwright’s world that they straight up quote his lines at each other. AS IF IT’S A NORMAL PART OF CONVERSATION. But you know what? I knew kids like this (theatre kids are weird. I should know.)

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Newport Jane – Katie Bieksa

Summary: From the outside, Ellen has it all: a glamorous new life in a sun-soaked city more like a movie set than the small Northern town where she grew up, and her very own McDreamy. But being married to a gorgeous, brilliant cardiac surgeon also means standing in his shadow, putting aside her dreams to follow his—and having way too much time home alone to think about how much she’s given up to follow him to California. 

While Ellen loses touch with herself and the people she loves, she’s welcomed by sophisticated women who approach life and marriage in ways that make her question her small-town values. When she learns shattering information about her husband—and then meets an irresistible, dangerously attentive man—the questions she asks herself become more urgent. 

Who are we without our work, home, family and friends? What is happy? (From Goodreads)

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Rich People Problems – Kevin Kwan

Summary: When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls. With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan’s gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia’s most privileged families. (Summary from Goodreads)

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Power Play – Maria Luis

Summary: He (was) the hottest player on the ice.

She’s a (struggling) sports journalist looking for her big break.

Charlie Denton has been handed the most impossible assignment from her stick-in-the-mud boss: get an exclusive interview with the NHL’s golden boy, Duke Harrison.

The catch? She’s got eight days or she’ll be demoted. Fired. Kicked to the curb – No way is she letting her future rest on the broad shoulders of a goalie who is at least three seasons past his prime.

She has eight days to convince Duke that the loyal fans of The Cambridge Tribune (annual circulation: 1,000) are dying to know about his life, on and off the ice. Eight days to stand toe to toe with a man who is pure sex on a stick. Eight days to remember that every mind-blowing kiss is nothing but a power play. (From Goodreads)

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