The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

tmp_dn4FWX_4947357a06bbc6fa_TheSunDownMotel_UPDATEDThe Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Publishing February 18, 2020

This is one of the best mystery books I have read in a long time! I normally don’t read books with supernatural elements, but this one was done so well that I would read it again and again! Fans of Stranger Things would love this book! Atmospheric, creepy, suspenseful, and so hard to put down! The story unfolds in dual narratives between Viv in 1982, and her niece Carly in 2017, who have very similar lifestyle choices, despite the age gap of 35 years and that Carly wasn’t even born when Viv disappeared. This is the story of the doomed Sun Down Motel, the strangely compelling town of Fell, New York, and a string of murdered girls with unsolved cases and unfinished business.

1982: Viv doesn’t get along with her mother. She takes off on her own, ending up in Fell, New York where she accepts a night shift position at the Sun Down Motel, a place full of secrets and not much business. She finds a roommate, Jenny, who isn’t really around much, so she spends most all of her time alone. The Sun Down Motel is rumored to be haunted, and it doesn’t take long for Viv to become intrigued, and spooked by its mystery. A young boy died in the pool a few years back, which is now closed down and deserted. Even more disturbing is the string of young women who have been murdered in the small town as of late. Viv is so bothered by the unsolved cases that she begins to retrace the final days of each victim, becoming totally consumed by her amateur, but surprisingly valid findings. She makes a friend with a local police woman, Alma, who doesn’t believe Viv. She thinks Viv spends too much time at the Sun Down and tries to get her to seek therapy. Viv is brave and tenacious, continuing to investigate even when she starts to feel real danger. The killer is still walking free in Fell, and Viv is determined to stop him at all costs.

2017: After losing her mother to cancer, Carly is sort of over college, so she leaves Illinois and makes her way to upstate New York, to the town of Fell, where her aunt Viv spent her last days before she died. It pains Carly to know that her mother died grieving her only sister, believing her to be dead, and never knowing the truth about what really happened to her. Carly lucks out and finds Heather, who turns out to be a great roommate and friend. When she arrives at the rundown, eerie Sun Down Motel to retrace the steps of her aunt Viv, Carly ends up with a night shift job, the very job that her aunt Viv had 35 years prior. What could possibly go wrong? It will give her time to investigate and try to figure out what happened to Viv. Buckle up, Carly, because the Sun Down Motel is ready for you. The question is…is Carly prepared for it?

I absolutely loved this book with the strong female characters. Original, well-written, and unputdownable! It gave me chills at many points along the way. Now I’m off to read more of Simone St. James’s books.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an early copy of this title.

Unexpectedly Yours by Rebecca Shea

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Librarian Laura’s Review of Unexpectedly Yours

48704644._SY475_I got some major Pretty Woman vibes from this book. Well, minus the whole hooker angle. Highly successful, stupid rich, ridiculously gorgeous man falls for beautiful woman who lives frugally with a fierce determination to handle any and all problems without the assistance of others. Neither Drew or Gracie are the type to go home with someone they meet in a bar, but that’s what happens the night they meet. They plan to never see one another again, but fate proves them wrong. Andrew McPherson who lives in San Fransisco, is in town for business, having just acquired a large advertising and public relations firm in New York. It was the perfect time to get out of town, having caught his own brother in bed with his fiancé a few months back. Needless to say, Drew is not looking to start a relationship with anyone. Grace Morgan has worked very hard to get where she is today – a talented advertising agent. Sadly, most anything she makes goes toward her mounting debt from her mother’s medical bills. Gracie is the type of person who puts others before herself, even if it means living in a not-so-safe run-down apartment in Red Hook and spending little to no money on herself. She doesn’t have time for a relationship, choosing to spend her time working and hanging out with her loyal, fun-loving best friend, Jamie.

After an incredible night with Drew, and hardly believing it happened to someone like her, Gracie shows up at work on Monday to find out that Drew is now her new boss, having acquired her company to merge it with his family-owned company based in San Fransisco. Mic drop. How is Gracie supposed to focus on her work and giving it her best when Drew eyes are studying her during meetings and he insists that they start dating. She knows she shouldn’t get involved with her boss, but her heart won’t just won’t listen. This book is definitely steamy, people. If you are hoping for a clean romance, better keep looking. This story will guarantee readers a happily ever after, even if it’s totally not what either main character had in mind for an ending. I won’t give away much more of the plot, because I would encourage you to read it yourself.

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Summary

Intense. Sexy. Unforgettable.

They promised they would never see each other again, but fate had other plans.

Andrew’s entire life has been spent working toward one goal—to own the top advertising and public relations company in the world. He’s driven, ruthless when it comes to business, never letting anything stand in his way . . . until Grace.

Grace has worked hard to build her advertising career. She’s fiercely talented and dedicated to her clients. Grace has no interest in getting involved with a man when she knows her focus should be on her career and paying off her mounting debt.

Andrew knows better than to get involved with a woman who is completely off limits, but he never backs down from what he wants, and he won’t stop until Grace is his . . . only this might cost him more than he’s willing to give.

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Rebecca Shea Profile PicAbout Rebecca Shea

Rebecca Shea is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Unbreakable series (Unbreakable, Undone, and Unforgiven), the Bound & Broken series (Broken by Lies and Bound by Lies) and two stand alone novels, Dare Me and Fault Lines. She has also co-written two books with her friend, A.L. Jackson, The Hollywood Chronicles: One Wild Night and One Wild Ride.

​She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. From the time Rebecca could read she has had a passion for books. Rebecca spends her days working full-time and her nights writing, bringing stories to life. Born and raised in Minnesota, Rebecca moved to Arizona in 1999 to escape the bitter winters.

When not working or writing, she can be found on the sidelines of her son’s football games, or watching her daughter at ballet class. Rebecca is fueled by insane amounts of coffee, margaritas, Laffy Taffy (except the banana ones), and happily ever afters.

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The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff

9780778330271_56037Originally published in Library Journal, January 2019.

Jenoff seamlessly weaves together the stories of three remarkable women and the impact of WWII on their lives. In the New York train station, Grace Healy, a newly widowed legal secretary, stumbles upon a suitcase with the name Trigg, containing a dozen photos of women with only first names and no other way to identify them.  Eleanor Trigg, an outsider with a painful past, is the leader of a group of secret female agents. Her girls are sent into occupied Europe as radio operators, charged with the task of sabotaging the Germans and arming the citizens. Grace feels a connection to Eleanor and the girls, yearning to discover why they never made it home, creating an element of mystery to the story. Marie, a young single mother, takes a job with Eleanor’s unit of the Special Operations Executive in London, posing as a French woman. Marie is sent to Paris to serve in the Vesper circuit under the direction of roguishly-handsome Julian. The City of Lights will bring great passion and heartache for brave patriot, Marie. VERDICT: Recommended for fans of Lilac Girls and The Alice Network, Jenoff’s fast-paced historical fiction boasts an intriguing plot and strong female characters.