Category Archives: Park Row Books

Review: The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf

Title: The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller
Length: 337 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A woman receives an unexpected visitor during a deadly snowstorm in this chilling thriller from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.

True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.

As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls—haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.


The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf is a mesmerizing mystery.

True crime writer Wylie Lark is working on her latest book at an isolated farmhouse in Burden, Iowa. She is prepared for an oncoming blizzard but she is surprised when she finds a young child in the front yard. Wylie finally gets the child to trust her but she cannot any information from him. Certain he is not alone, Wylie braves the white-out conditions and frigid temperature to find the boy’s parents. She finds the wrecked vehicle but where is the driver?

Wylie regrets how she left things with her son so she knows she needs to return to Oregon soon. She is enjoying this time by herself and she does not expect anything out of the ordinary to occur during her stay. That is until her unexpected visitor. She is frustrated by her brusqueness with the little boy, but she is very worried about him and his missing parent(s). When the electricity goes out, she begins to experience the first vestiges of fear. Wylie is committed to keeping the child safe until morning, but will she be able to keep her commitment?

In the summer of 2000, a shocking murder rocks the small farming community in Burden. Sheriff John Butler, Department of Criminal Investigations Agents Camila Santos and John Randolph work tireless in the oppressive heat and humidity to find the killer. Who would have reason to kill the well-liked family? They zero in on a suspect, but will find the evidence they need to make an arrest?

The Overnight Guest is a well-executed thriller with an atmospheric setting. The storyline is fast-paced with chapters that alternate between three different events. In the past, the murders are unsettling and the investigation is intriguing. In the present, the blizzard is claustrophobic and the tension is disquieting. The third perspective offers a haunting glimpse into an abusive and volatile relationship. With explosive plot-twists, Heather Gudenkauf brings this riveting mystery to an action-packed dénouement.

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Filed under Contemporary, Heather Gudenkauf, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, The Overnight Guest, Thriller

Review: My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle

Title: My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 331 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Bestselling author of DEAR WIFE and THE MARRIAGE LIE, Kimberly Belle returns with her most heart-pounding thriller to date, as a masked home invader reveals the cracks in a marriage.

Everyone is about to know what her husband isn’t telling her…

Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple with two adorable kids, a spacious home and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.

Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

With riveting twists and a breakneck pace, My Darling Husband is an utterly compelling thriller that once again showcases Kimberly Belle’s exceptional talent for domestic suspense.


My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle is a thrilling mystery that moves at a blistering pace.

Jade Lasky is a busy mom with two children, Beatrix and Baxter. Her husband, Cam, owns several successful restaurants that take up a lot of his time. While going about her daily errands, Jade has noticed a man who appears to be following her. Distracted by the kids after picking them up from school, she pulls into the garage and is immediately confronted by a masked intruder. He forces them inside their house at gunpoint and demands she call Cam with a deadline for a very specific ransom.  For the next several hours, Cam frantically attempts to gather the ransom as Jade protects her children from the gunman.

Cam is already stressed before he finds out about the hostage situation at home. He is absolutely frantic as he tries to find the cash to pay the ransom. Cam has been keeping their dire financial straits a secret from Jade and he is desperate to pull together the funds he needs to save his family.

Jade is determined to ensure her children’s safety but she does not count on Beatrix’s stubborn insistence on outwitting the gunman. Baxter is only six so he does not quite grasp the danger they are facing. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, the kidnapper reveals startling information that proves to be quite illuminating. It is not until the deadline for the ransom is almost upon them that Jade understands exactly how ruthless her husband can be.

My Darling Husband is a tension-filled mystery with a clever storyline. The characters are well-drawn with believable strengths and weaknesses. The narration seamlessly switches back and forth between three distinct perspectives. Intriguing snippets of Cam’s television interview provide tantalizing details about the home invasion. With unexpected twists and turns,  Kimberly Belle brings this edge-of-the-seat mystery to a pulse-pounding conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kimberly Belle, My Darling Husband, Mystery, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger

Title: Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger
Publisher: Park Row Books
Genre: Contemporary, Domestic Thriller
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Secrets, obsession and vengeance converge in this riveting thriller about an online dating match turned deadly cat-and-mouse game, from the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45

Think twice before you swipe.

She met him through a dating app. An intriguing picture on a screen, a date at a downtown bar. What she thought might be just a quick hookup quickly became much more. She fell for him—hard. It happens sometimes, a powerful connection with a perfect stranger takes you by surprise. Could it be love?

But then, just as things were getting real, he stood her up. Then he disappeared—profiles deleted, phone disconnected. She was ghosted.

Maybe it was her fault. She shared too much, too fast. But isn’t that always what women think—that they’re the ones to blame? Soon she learns there were others. Girls who thought they were in love. Girls who later went missing. She had been looking for a connection, but now she’s looking for answers. Chasing a digital trail into his dark past—and hers—she finds herself on a dangerous hunt. And she’s not sure whether she’s the predator—or the prey.


Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger is a twisted domestic thriller.

Wren Greenwood is an advice columnist and podcaster who in the midst of a long dating drought. At the encouragement of her best friend Jax, she joins dating app Torch and she is disappointed her dates have so far just been so-so. But her dating luck is about to change with her latest match, Adam Harper.  Wren is immediately drawn to his intensity and for the next few months, their relationship is absolutely perfect. Which is why Wren is heartbroken after he fails to show up for their date one evening. Realizing how few solid details she knows about him, she turns to his social media in hopes of learning why he stood her up. But he soon deletes all traces of himself from Torch and the internet. Wren grows even more alarmed once a private detective shows up asking questions about Adam. Questions that Wren cannot answer…

Wren is the perfect narrator for this thrilling mystery. She is a very complex woman who understands keeping secrets because she has a few of her own. Wren has confided some of these secrets to Jax, but there are some things she just cannot bring herself to share. But she finds it talk to Adam. During the dark of night, Wren reveals details about herself to him that very few people know. Do these revelations have anything to do with him ghosting her? Or did he perhaps ghost because of  what Wren learns about him from private investigator Bailey Kirk?

Last Girl Ghosted is a superb domestic thriller with a well-developed storyline that is very clever. Wren is an extremely personable young woman who has overcome a great deal in her life. She loves her career and she takes it very seriously. Wren and Jax are more than just friends; they consider themselves to be family. Adam is extremely enigmatic with a magnetic personality. Wren has to find out the truth about Adam but is truly prepared for what she is going to uncover? With cunning twists and unpredictable turns, Last Girl Ghosted brings this captivating thriller to an absolutely shocking conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Domestic Thriller, Last Girl Ghosted, Lisa Unger, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review

Review: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Title: Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Publisher: Park Row Books
Genre: Contemporary, Psychological Thriller
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


You should never trust a psychopath. But what if you had no choice?

It would be easy to underestimate Chloe Sevre… She’s a freshman honor student, a legging-wearing hot girl next door, who also happens to be a psychopath. She spends her time on yogalates, frat parties and plotting to kill Will Bachman, a childhood friend who grievously wronged her.

Chloe is one of seven students at her DC-based college who are part of an unusual clinical study of psychopaths—students like herself who lack empathy and can’t comprehend emotions like fear or guilt. The study, led by a renowned psychologist, requires them to wear smart watches that track their moods and movements.

When one of the students in the study is found murdered in the psychology building, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins, and Chloe goes from hunter to prey. As she races to identify the killer and put her own plan for revenge into action, she’ll be forced to decide if she can trust any of her fellow psychopaths—and everybody knows you should never trust a psychopath.


Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian is a mesmerizing psychological thriller with a truly unique storyline.

Chloe Sevre is a college freshman who is participating in a special program for psychopath. She also has a murderous agenda that nothing will stop her from carrying out. She is pretty and charming so Chloe finds it very easy to set her plan in motion. She is very intelligent but she is also occasionally impulsive. Reining in her darkest urges is not easy but she continues to stick to her schedule despite a few minor inconveniences like murder (not committed by her). Chloe has unexpectedly stumbled across other students who are in the same study.  But with trust issues running rampant between them, can they count on each other to stick to their investigation into who wants them dead?

Chloe has been plotting her murderous revenge for several years and she is not going to allow anything or anyone to get in her way. She has stalked, err studied, her target and she is armed with enough information to begin right away. Chloe befriends other students who are useful to her and she impatiently bides her time while carrying out her plans. After teaming up with the other psychopaths, she is somewhat indignant when they suspect of her being involved in the other murders. In between her plot to exact revenge and hunt for the other killer, Chloe is a typical college student who parties with her friends, attends classes and maintain her GPA.

Never Saw Me Coming is an entertaining thriller with surprisingly likable characters. The university setting is the perfect setting for Chloe to stalk her victim.  She is not as infallible as she believes and her reaction to this realization is absolutely priceless. The other students from the psychological study are well-developed and it is quite fun watching their interactions with each other. With unanticipated twists and cunning turns, Vera Kurian brings this ingenuous thriller to an edge of the seat conclusion.

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Filed under Contemporary, Never Saw Me Coming, Park Row Books, Psychological Thriller, Rated B+, Review, Vera Kurian

Review: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Title: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating:

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…


Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica is a stunning page-turner.

Eleven years ago, Shelby and Jason Tebow are new to the neighborhood and the parents of a newborn baby. One, evening, Shelby goes out late at night for a jog and fails to return home. Days later, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter Delilah inexplicably vanish.  Next door neighbors Kate and Bea rally around Josh Dickey as they join the search for his missing wife and daughter. Kate stumbles onto what she believes might be the answer to Meredith’s disappearance. Will her theory prove to be right?

In the present, a young woman escapes from the kidnappers who have kept her in their basement for years. After devising a plan to gain her freedom, she manages to flee from her captors. Although she has very few memories of her life before her kidnapping, she does know her name.

Josh and his now teenage son Leo have not moved in the years since Delilah vanished. Josh never gives up hope she will be found and he investigates every suspected sighting.  Always a quiet child, Leo continues to remain silent about what happens in his life. He is also very resentful about Josh’s neglect over the years. When the detective who has long worked on Delilah’s case calls him, Josh is afraid of what she is going to tell. He and Leo get the shock of their lives when it is good news. But Leo soon begins to have doubts about this latest development.

Weaving back and forth in time, Local Woman Missing is a compelling mystery that is told from varying perspectives. The storyline is gripping and the suburban neighborhood is the perfect setting for this suspenseful story.  The various characters are fully developed and some of them are hiding juicy secrets. With the tension rising with each chapter, Mary Kubica brings this riveting mystery to an unpredictable, jaw-dropping conclusion. I highly recommend this thrilling mystery to fans of the genre.


Filed under Contemporary, Local Woman Missing, Mary Kubica, Mystery, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

Title: Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
Publisher: Park Row Books
Genre: Contemporary, Lesbian, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Length: 241 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When becoming an adult means learning to love yourself first.

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her parent’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the constant questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.


Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers is a multi-layered novel with a fantastic cast of diverse characters.

Grace Porter should be on the top of the world. After years of hard work, she finally has her doctorate in astronomy. The next phase of her plan should be easy but as a Black woman working in a white man’s career field, Grace is struggling to secure a job. And then there’s the fact that on a girls’ trip to Vegas, Grace wakes up to find she is married a perfect stranger. Her new wife, Yuki Yamamoto, skipped out the morning after their impulsive wedding, but she left her contact info. As Grace tries to figure out her future, she decides to take a break and get to know her new wife. But can she compromise her life goals in order for her and Yuki to live happily ever after?

After her parents’ divorce, Grace and her military father leave her mother’s Florida orange grove to settle down in Portland. Her dad is strict with exacting standards and high expectations for his only daughter. In between working the orchard, Grace’s mom travels the world trying to find herself. Although Grace does not want to let either parent down, she does insist on choosing her career path.  In order to please her parents, she studies hard and excels in college. Now twenty-eight years old, Grace is a new graduate with an unexpected wife and trying to figure out how to make her career goals mesh with her new marriage.

Yuki has a cool radio show where she incorporates storytelling with her exploration of interesting urban myths. She is mostly comfortable with where she in life and she is delighted Grace wants to give their marriage a chance.  Yuki is not as driven as her wife and she prioritizes relationships over climbing the career ladder. When their different approaches to life clash, will Grace and Yuki find a compromise that works for them?

Both Yuki and Grace have strong support systems. Since Grace is the one who does not have a job, she travels to New York to get to know Yuki. She misses her friends but she is a good fit with Yuki’s friends. Despite being surrounded by people who care for her, Grace struggles to escape the loneliness and anxiety she feels while trying to cope with the stress of finding the perfect job. Grace cannot outrun her problems but will she slow down long enough to take the necessary steps to deal with her issues?

Honey Girl is a captivating novel with a realistic storyline and relatable characters. Despite her outward success, Grace is a hot mess once it is time to move on to the next stage in her life. Yuki is a delightful young woman with quirky interests and a steadying presence. The secondary cast of characters is quite colorful and extremely loyal to one another.  Morgan Rogers brings this charming debut to an uplifting conclusion that readers will love.

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Filed under Contemporary, Honey Girl, Lesbian, Morgan Rogers, Park Row Books, Rated B+, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction