Before We Were Strangers

Before We Were Strangers

Brenda Novak / Jul 22, 2019

Before We Were Strangers 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

  • Title: Before We Were Strangers
  • Author: Brenda Novak
  • ISBN: 0778369943
  • Page: 482
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 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 nightit s what will remain of her family if she does Get A Copy Kindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Paperback, 400 pages Published December 4th 2018 by MIRA More Details ISBN 0778369943 ISBN13 9780778369943 Other Editions 9 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about Before We Were Strangers, please sign up Recent Questions I understand the title of the book How did you come up with this title, Brenda Novak like 29 days ago Add your answer See 1 question about Before We Were Strangers Lists with This Book Can t Wait to Read 63 books 3 voters More lists with this book Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Nov 20, 2018 Carrie rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves netgalley I have become a fan of Brenda Novak from reading several of her thrilling titles but with over fifty books in publication she has anything from the lighter contemporary romance to darker thrillers Before We Were Strangers is along the lines of a romantic suspense novel but with enough mystery to keep readers turning the pages and guessing along.In this story Sloane McBride had left home at eighteen and had not looked back for the last ten years Sloane had her reasons for escaping her I have become a fan of Brenda Novak from reading several of her thrilling titles but with over fifty books in publication she has anything from the lighter contemporary romance to darker thrillers Before We Were Strangers is along the lines of a romantic suspense novel but with enough mystery to keep readers turning the pages and guessing along.In this story Sloane McBride had left home at eighteen and had not looked back for the last ten years Sloane had her reasons for escaping her small town but they weren t the normal dreaming of something bigger or searching for , Sloane had wanted to escape her father who she suspected may have had something to do with her mother s disappearance when she was five.However, Sloane had not only left behind her father and brother but also her high school boyfriend and her best friend As much as Sloane loved them both she couldn t stay near her father for another day which made leaving tough but returning will be even tougher since the two had turned to each other after Sloane s absence Having married, had a child and divorced in the last ten years Sloane isn t sure how either will handle her return as she looks for clues from the past.Before We Were Strangers was another Brenda Novak novel that didn t take long at all to become completely engrossed in Sloane s memories of that night when she was five and her mother vanished have had her in fear that her father is a murderer In the years that have passed her father has also gained power in the small town making getting at the truth that much tough for Sloane but with a bit of help and determination the secrets slowly rise to the top.I will admit to being a little leery of the whole love triangle angle of the story since I m usually not a fan of dating a friend or family members ex, again with those boundaries, however this is the creepiest, most disturbing dynamic that made the book even compelling There s actually no cheating involved but instead this set up is even mind games to add to the suspenseful side of the story A great read from beginning to end that I d definitely recommend checking out.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For reviews please visit flag 60 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Dec 24, 2018 Debbie Oliphant rated it it was amazing review of another edition 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 terr 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 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 flag 56 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 26, 2018 Dri rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 2.5 STARS flag 46 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Oct 14, 2018 Erin rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves kindle, netgalley 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 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 squ 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 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 himFrom 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 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 flag 42 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Dec 22, 2018 Jonetta rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves mystery suspense, netgalley arc, 12800 in 2018, 5000 books Sloane McBride s mother, Clara, disappeared 23 years ago following a violent argument with her father, Ed Sloane was only five years old at the time but vividly recalls the details of what she saw and heard that night She left town suddenly and without warning when she was eighteen to escape her father s domination and emotional cruelty, leaving behind her boyfriend, Micah, and best friend, Paige Now she s returned home to Texas after having gained fame and success as a model to finally inves Sloane McBride s mother, Clara, disappeared 23 years ago following a violent argument with her father, Ed Sloane was only five years old at the time but vividly recalls the details of what she saw and heard that night She left town suddenly and without warning when she was eighteen to escape her father s domination and emotional cruelty, leaving behind her boyfriend, Micah, and best friend, Paige Now she s returned home to Texas after having gained fame and success as a model to finally investigate and solve the mystery of her mother s disappearance At the top of her suspect list Her father The story begins with the death of Sloane s beloved agent, mentor and benefactor who had encouraged her to go back home and reconnect with her family and friends I really felt how alone Sloane was with no real meaningful relationships to anchor her anywhere Even her return home was met with suspicion and hostility Every relationship was complicated, including her best friend and ex boyfriend who had married each other, share a son and are now divorced The reactions to her return felt real, even if some were harsh and unfair, consistent with small town dynamics The mystery was gnarly, taking twisty and uncertain paths, especially with unreliable witnesses who were swayed by Sloane s influential father, the town mayor I found Sloane pretty naive and too trusting at times, especially where it concerned Paige The romantic element was subtle, providing some relief to the tension I enjoyed this story for its unpredictability and mystery, thinking I had this thing figured out until a major curve ball was thrown There are a host of characters you won t like and everyone has their share of flaws That just made everything interesting I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review flag 41 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Dec 24, 2018 Corina BookTwinsReviews rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves romantic suspense, mystery, single parent, small town While I read Before We Were Strangers I realized again how much I enjoy romantic suspense Especially when the story feels like a real mystery that keeps me on my toes throughout the entire book.Besides the slow burn and second chance romance that wound its way through the novel, and made my romance reader heart happy, the exciting and suspenseful search for answers was the main attraction of this story.From the very beginning the author pretty much served the main suspect on a silver platter B While I read Before We Were Strangers I realized again how much I enjoy romantic suspense Especially when the story feels like a real mystery that keeps me on my toes throughout the entire book.Besides the slow burn and second chance romance that wound its way through the novel, and made my romance reader heart happy, the exciting and suspenseful search for answers was the main attraction of this story.From the very beginning the author pretty much served the main suspect on a silver platter But don t fear The author leads the reader on a fascinating quest to solve a cold murder With than enough twists and turns to keep me from getting bored Brenda Novak delivered a solid performance, and a truly thrilling story.The supporting cast was a kaleidoscope of interesting and flawed characters that gave the story a very realistic feel Everyone had an agenda, and the author did a wonderful job of weaving it all together.At this point all I can say is, if you love romantic suspense, a strong cast and a fascinating and thrilling plot give this book a try It felt to me like how a romantic suspense novel is supposed to be written A mystery that keeps the reader involved until the very END ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review If you want to chat with me about books, find me on Instagram For of my reviews My Blog Book Twins ReviewsFacebook Blog PageTwitterSubscribe to Blog flag 20 likesLike see review Dec 19, 2018 Adah Udechukwu rated it it was amazing review of another edition Before We Were Strangers is a great thriller It was totally worth my time flag 19 likesLike see review View 1 comment Nov 30, 2018 Chandra Claypool wherethereadergrows rated it really liked it Shelves arc Well hello there Brenda Novak My first book by her and I was a little hesitant because of the romance part while I do like my rom coms, I tend to not like romance mixed in with my thrillers but Novak has decidedly changed my mind on this with Before We Were Strangers While the romance is a bit heavy, the plot is as twisted as the characters and this book is a breeze to read I absolutely admire Sloane s tenacity and as I m rooting for her throughout this entire read, I was also like, Oh no Well hello there Brenda Novak My first book by her and I was a little hesitant because of the romance part while I do like my rom coms, I tend to not like romance mixed in with my thrillers but Novak has decidedly changed my mind on this with Before We Were Strangers While the romance is a bit heavy, the plot is as twisted as the characters and this book is a breeze to read I absolutely admire Sloane s tenacity and as I m rooting for her throughout this entire read, I was also like, Oh no girl, just WHAT are you doing Her character pulled me in right from the very first few pages and boy oh boy, in my last review I was discussing about how these books steer me clear of the desire to have ever grown up in a small town and this one also just proves my point though if I had Micah waiting for me well, hell There were a couple things that kind of stood out to me I was giggling through one of the sex scenes because WOW I don t think I ve ever seen so much dialogue happen in a sex scene before I didn t mind it, it just seemed a bit odd And then there was just one typo with the reference to the Menendez Brothers being written as Melendez and you bet your sweet ass I googled it to see if there were other killers that I somehow did NOT know about because I used to research the crap out of this topic Also, I m reading an uncorrected proof so I digress.What I especially love about this book is that I was going through all the ups and downs with Sloane and figuring things out WITH her rather than trying to piece mail everything together myself during my read Ya get me And I did let out a bit of a WTF gasp during the last few pages when something was discovered if you ve read the book then you know what I mean If you haven t then, well, GET ON IT.Don t let the romance part deter you from this read and keep an eye out for Novak I just found another author to pile on to my bookshelves.Thanks so much to Harlequin MIRA books and the author for this copy flag 17 likesLike see review Dec 22, 2018 Frank Phillips rated it really liked it review of another edition 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 gr 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 flag 15 likesLike see review Mar 01, 2018 Owl._ rated it it was amazing 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 flag 14 likesLike see review Jan 17, 2019 Myrna rated it liked it review of another edition I see Novak has written a plethora of novels but this is my first Before We Were Strangers is suspenseful and romantic It s also twisty with characters you both love and hate Unfortunately I wasn t a fan of the writing style in this novel so I m giving this 3.5 s flag 12 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 06, 2018 Madison Warner Fairbanks rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves hard copy, ecopy, mystery suspense, romantic suspense Before We Were Strangers by Brenda NovakSuspense Fast paced and gripping Wouldn t really call it romance There is a romance but the couple were high school sweethearts and kind of just fall back into that The story is fully focused on the investigation of a couple of cold cases of murder Murder of family that puts the suspicion directly in the immediate family Sloane s father, the Mayor, has so much power and has no principles when leveraging that power A very ugly person Sloane s former Before We Were Strangers by Brenda NovakSuspense Fast paced and gripping Wouldn t really call it romance There is a romance but the couple were high school sweethearts and kind of just fall back into that The story is fully focused on the investigation of a couple of cold cases of murder Murder of family that puts the suspicion directly in the immediate family Sloane s father, the Mayor, has so much power and has no principles when leveraging that power A very ugly person Sloane s former best friend has some serious confidence problems She really messes up both her life and others by the choices she makes I would love to see a follow up about Paige, but I don t think she can totally reverse from her base line me thinking Overall I liked the suspense and story telling flag 12 likesLike see review View 2 comments Nov 28, 2018 Janel rated it really liked it review of another edition Having read the Evelyn Talbot chronicles, I knew Novak could write a captivating series having now read Before We Were Strangers, it s clear Novak can write a captivating standalone novel too I read this book over the course of a day, it was so suspenseful, there was no way I could put it down part way through Let s look firstly at the mystery in this novel Sloane returns to her home town to find out what really happened to her mother Sloane was only five when her mother left, she had a dif Having read the Evelyn Talbot chronicles, I knew Novak could write a captivating series having now read Before We Were Strangers, it s clear Novak can write a captivating standalone novel too I read this book over the course of a day, it was so suspenseful, there was no way I could put it down part way through Let s look firstly at the mystery in this novel Sloane returns to her home town to find out what really happened to her mother Sloane was only five when her mother left, she had a difficult childhood growing up with her father, as the blurb states, she fears her father wasn t just difficult, but deadly Let s focus on that on that word, deadly, did her father kill her mother That s one hell of a mystery to solve, made all the difficult by the strained relationship she has with her father and brother.This mystery will have you back and forthing on Sloane s father s guilt, one minute, you re sure he s a murderer, the next minute you re supporting his innocence, but what never goes away is your dislike for him what a horrid man He was a great character, as was Sloane s brother, Randy, these two really gave you a focus for your dislike As much as you disliked them was as much as you liked Sloane, she s the kind of character who is instantly likeable, she may make a few unwise decisions, inadvertently putting herself in danger, but you root for her the whole time, and hope she can find her closure.This plot oozes tension, especially as it s set in a small town, so not only does everyone know everyone, but rumours spread like wildfire If you love the claustrophobia novels set in small towns bring, the dark, tense atmosphere, then you absolutely need to read this novel.Also, if you enjoy romantic suspense thrillers, you absolutely need to read this novel There is a strong romance element to this novel when I think romance books, I shy away from them, but when Novak writes romance in her plots, I find them addictive and thrilling there s always a threat hanging over the romance and that danger element makes it exciting If the plot s dark, the romance isn t fluffy, they re so cute romance, it s like ride or die romance, as in I m coming with you because you could die if you go alone The point I m making, don t let the word romantic scare you off Crime fiction, psychological thriller, women s fiction, whatever your preference, I still recommend this book Anyway, Sloane is super likeable, you go girl, go get your man, just don t die before you get your happily ever after The plot is twisted, you ll meet some twisted characters, rife with suspense and tension, you ll be gripped until the very last page The complex conflicts and the heightened emotions will ensure you stay hooked, family ties and friendships are pushed to breaking point In this small town, Sloane must fight through the betrayal and lies to find the truth about what happened to her mother My thanks to DaVaughn Smith Author Brenda Novak Representative for providing me with a digital copy of this novel flag 10 likesLike see review Oct 31, 2018 Jessica Hinton rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves netgalley review The plot of this book is quite strong a daughter returns to her home town after 10 years away, determined to face up to her buried suspicion that her father had something to do with the disappearance of her mother all those years ago It promised the unearthing of buried skeletons, a mystery being untangled and the conflicting emotions tied up with such a prodigal return.Unfortunately for me it failed to deliver on some of those promises One of the main frustrations I had was with the pace The plot of this book is quite strong a daughter returns to her home town after 10 years away, determined to face up to her buried suspicion that her father had something to do with the disappearance of her mother all those years ago It promised the unearthing of buried skeletons, a mystery being untangled and the conflicting emotions tied up with such a prodigal return.Unfortunately for me it failed to deliver on some of those promises One of the main frustrations I had was with the pace of the book, for the first two thirds it felt like hardly anything happened and then suddenly all of the action is crammed into the last third Also it promised a twist of an ending, which for me was not a surprise at all.But my main problem was with the cliched nature of some of the writing and the juxtaposition of the characters relationships with their conversations Hopefully this example will help illustrate my point Their affair for one His womanizing What he s said about his wife It doesn t have to mean they murdered her Or it could mean they did it together His hand slipped between her legs as he kissed her neck Sloane closed her eyes as his fingers evoked little darts of pleasure She didn t seem to be suffering from too much regret, she said, struggling to keep her mind on their conversation I don t know about you, but nothing is likely to turn me on than discussing the possible murder of my mother and the possibility that my father and his lover may have had something to do with it I mean, WHAT an opportune moment for some foreplay, huh There is a special place in my heart for books that have really bad sex scenes in them and I m afraid this has made its way into that category I think if a sex scene is genuine, it probably isn t supposed to make you laugh, and I m afraid this one made me snigger He ran his fingers down between her breasts, which weren t particularly large but they were perfectly formed But My friend wassick Clyde, right The one who died of cancer She nodded as he smoothed the hair out of her face Two things here what an unnecessary description of her breasts Secondly, AGAIN, I m not sure that talking about your friend that died of cancer is really setting the mood hereor is it just me It just felt like the author was so keen to ram home the rekindling relationship between Sloane and Micah, that all thought of how people actually behave together was lost Top this off with some of the cliched contrived plot devices of course the first time she is reunited with her ex, Micah, Sloane just had to be wearing nothing but a towele my eye roll and it become irritating.Apologies if this seems a harsh review, but unfortunately things like this took away from from what could have been quite a good story of intrigue, murder, family dynamics and redemption But the clunky writing detracted from all of that.Thanks to the Publisher and Netgalley for this preview copy in return for an honest review.Before We Were Strangers is published on 4th December 2018 by Harlequin MiraAll my reviews at hintonhitsthebooks.wixsite blog flag 10 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Oct 27, 2018 Deborah Blanchard rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves for review, early review books, fiction, mystery, romance, suspense Brenda Novak really knows how to weave a great story What would you do if you thought your Father had murdered your Mom Sloane won t stop until she finds out the truth of what happened on that night twenty three years ago This book is full of twists and kept me turning the pages well into the night It is full of mystery and suspense, but also a touch of romance Full of richly detailed characters that are true to life This book will definitely keep your interest throughout Just when you th Brenda Novak really knows how to weave a great story What would you do if you thought your Father had murdered your Mom Sloane won t stop until she finds out the truth of what happened on that night twenty three years ago This book is full of twists and kept me turning the pages well into the night It is full of mystery and suspense, but also a touch of romance Full of richly detailed characters that are true to life This book will definitely keep your interest throughout Just when you think you have it all figured out, bam, a new revelation emerges Incredible writing with believable dialogue I loved this book I highly recommend this one flag 10 likesLike see review View all 6 comments Dec 26, 2018 Jacquelines Reads rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 4 star books, audio, single parent 4.5 StarsThis is my first Brenda Novak novel and honestly the cover did me in I thought the the cover was really pretty I was sucked by the summary and I ve seen this author everywhere Had it not been the cover, I probably would have passed on this one.I did the audio version and I 100% think the narrator made the book for me I love listening to her voice I tend to like to listen to higher pitched voices and I could have listened to her all day This is my first book by Ann Marie Gideon and 4.5 StarsThis is my first Brenda Novak novel and honestly the cover did me in I thought the the cover was really pretty I was sucked by the summary and I ve seen this author everywhere Had it not been the cover, I probably would have passed on this one.I did the audio version and I 100% think the narrator made the book for me I love listening to her voice I tend to like to listen to higher pitched voices and I could have listened to her all day This is my first book by Ann Marie Gideon and it will not be the last I enjoyed her voice a lot She reads well, I love her voice transitions and it was just a pleasure listening to her read.This is a murder mystery book that will suck you in I will have to say that the book isn t really romance There is a romance story, but the steam level is pretty mild and the tension between the two is kind of the secondary storyline to the main one the entire book is focused on Usually if I read that in a review I would be turned off, but the book is written so well, I didn t mind.Sloane hasn t been back in town in ten years She never had a good childhood and once she turned 18 she was ready to leave The only thing is, she left her high school boyfriend A lot can happen in ten years Sloane was a model in New Year and is coming back to her roots She wants to figure out what happened to her mother and who killed her Micah made a life for himself He is now divorced and has a son Did I like that Micah hooked up with Sloane s best friend after Sloane left No, BUT it added great tension to the story The author knows how to write good tension I really liked the ex tension She was a villain I loved to listen too.Sloane believes her dad was somehow involved in her mother s disappearance and boy did I like trying to figure out what happened to her mother The narrator did such a wonder impression of the father that every time I listened to him I got goose bumps.Like I said, the best part of the book was the build up and tension The author knows how to write a pretty picture You have Sloane and Micah with unresolved issues You have the father causing trouble for Sloane and you have Micah s ex and Sloane s best friend causing grief There was plenty to read and plenty to suck you in.I think if you are interested in a crime novel with slight romance, this book is for you and you must do it in audio flag 9 likesLike see review View 1 comment Aug 17, 2018 Lisa Aiello rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves arcs tbr, womens fiction The storyline and characters just fell flat for me It was almost 300 pages into the book before anything really came to the boiling point with the storyline, and then things moved so quickly to the ending and the wrap up final twist The premise was a good one, but something made me not connect flag 9 likesLike see review Apr 15, 2018 Donna Hines rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves arc, netgalley When you want out of a lonely unfulfilled marriage you will do just about anything to get it even if you must be on the outside looking in.Absolute splendor Thrilling Mysterious Dark With suspense around every corner.I couldn t put this one down because it demands your attention from start to finish.Before We Were Strangers begins with a young daughter s recollections of family violence involving an awful fight between her parents.She recalls a loud noise and never seeing her mother ev When you want out of a lonely unfulfilled marriage you will do just about anything to get it even if you must be on the outside looking in.Absolute splendor Thrilling Mysterious Dark With suspense around every corner.I couldn t put this one down because it demands your attention from start to finish.Before We Were Strangers begins with a young daughter s recollections of family violence involving an awful fight between her parents.She recalls a loud noise and never seeing her mother ever againWhere on earth is she Could she truly have walked away leaving it all behind Would she have the gall to build a new life under an alias with a lover Is she sitting back sipping on tequila somewhere It s been too long to not have answers for this cold case and it s high time we get something to settle it all once and for all as the town is getting restless and the gossip mill is running rampant.As a child this was unbearable to process for Sloane but as an adult she couldn t wait to start a new life as a NY model and so she tries to better herself but never once did she forget.Fast forward many years later and it seems everyone has something to hide and something even disturbing to tell.Secrets are not simply hidden but with enough careful searching Deadly Daddy may finally be served the justice he deserves.Or does he Plot twists galore so hold the heck on as there s many slippery slopes in this one.As a scapegoat, blacksheep, and survivor of abuse in several forms I can tell you this resonated with me deeply.The lake was a place once reserved for peace, tranquility, but murder Well it truly depends on who you speak with and further who you believe.Ed the father holds a prominent position as mayor of Millcreek so whose to say they re not out for revenge as a political witch hunt ensues At least for Randy the son and brother of Sloane he refuses to acknowledge that his father is a psychopath sociopath and is capable of such a terrible crime.So many lies, so much betrayal, so many angles to digest.Good grief, Ed was never a loving honorable family man but a cold blooded killer Sure he had his faults as a womanizer serial cheater but nobody s perfectRight Sloane seems to rekindle a past flame with Micah her best friend s former husband and of course Paige the ex wife of Micah finds her own lil romp in the hay with someone you d never likely guess.Lord, my head is spinning, ok hold upDid I mention affairs Well let s just say plenty of bed scenes but be careful because you never know whose watching, darn sickos.Ok, well blackmail aside what if revenge was an answer what if the jilted lover is too jilted Never do anything you might regret and that includes picking those bed partnersI digress, when we pick up the pieces you ll be happy to know that, speaking from the grave can truly happen and thank god because slick rick thought he could get away with murder and got his ars handed to him.In the end, Brenda Novak has you questioning every character s , every action, every inaction, and then some.Was it the neighbor, was it the co worker, was it the family friend, the jilted lover, the ex lovers, who here is responsible Brenda you got this one wrapped up tight and I loved it all Every new twist added a new dynamic and this deserves than I can offer in just 5 stars.Don t walk, but run, out to get this one before it disappears off the shelf.Thank you Brenda, the publishers, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this fab e read copy flag 7 likesLike see review View 2 comments Feb 24, 2018 Julie rated it it was ok Thank you to Harlequin Mira and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a copy in advanced in exchange for this review.Something happened to Sloan s mom when she was 5 She woke up one morning to find her gone Sloane moves out of her Texas small town when she is 18 A new loss means that she is returning What will be in store for her as she seeks answers There was so much potential here for a great read A childhood mystery, so called friends , and questions surrounding a fatherHowever, I fo Thank you to Harlequin Mira and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a copy in advanced in exchange for this review.Something happened to Sloan s mom when she was 5 She woke up one morning to find her gone Sloane moves out of her Texas small town when she is 18 A new loss means that she is returning What will be in store for her as she seeks answers There was so much potential here for a great read A childhood mystery, so called friends , and questions surrounding a fatherHowever, I found myself rolling my eyes quite a few times during the story There s a lot of excessive detail that makes you go yeah, right The first time I rolled my eyes was with Sloane s modeling career and the loss that causes her to return to Texas Immediately, something just didn t feel right, especially as she ends up at an old friend s house I rolled my eyes again when the friend s ex husband, who also happens to be Sloane s ex boyfriend are you still with me arrives at the house where Sloane is staying, and she s in nothing but a towel His reaction is immediately to question why she left in the first place.ten years ago Maybe you should have moved on Somehow, I powered through the rest of the book, and it s amazing that my eyes did not get stuck in my head from rolling I think the book could have been better without some of the eye rolling details and getting straight to the point flag 7 likesLike see review View 2 comments May 26, 2018 Margaret rated it it was amazing This is a gripping suspense thriller from Brenda Novak about a young woman who returns to her hometown after 10 years away to figure out what happened to her mother who disappeared when she was only five years old She suspects her egotistical father has something to do with it The plot has a lot of twists and turns and really kept me reading Great characters with all the flaws and frailties to make this story so believable flag 7 likesLike see review Jan 25, 2019 Pamela AllHoney rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves library e lending, 2019 reading challedge, cops fbi dea cia etc, ebooks, family secrets, loc usa, suspense mystery thriller, entertainers model actor dancer etc When Sloane McBride was five years old she overheard her parents arguing and the next morning her mom was gone never to be heard from again Her father kept trying to convince her that her mother just left Then at eighteen Sloane leaves her hometown of Millcreek, Texas, leaving behind her best friend, Paige, and her boyfriend, Micah Evans Now ten years later she feels she can deal with the situation and finally find out what really happened all those years ago But she has to deal with si When Sloane McBride was five years old she overheard her parents arguing and the next morning her mom was gone never to be heard from again Her father kept trying to convince her that her mother just left Then at eighteen Sloane leaves her hometown of Millcreek, Texas, leaving behind her best friend, Paige, and her boyfriend, Micah Evans Now ten years later she feels she can deal with the situation and finally find out what really happened all those years ago But she has to deal with since her best friend and boyfriend got married and had a son Now they are divorced and Paige is trying to reconnect And Micah is now a member of the police force.I like the style of writing of this author There are enough twists and turns that kept me guessing and I enjoyed it flag 6 likesLike see review Dec 07, 2018 Stephanie earlgreyreads rated it really liked it review of another edition THIS BOOK I could not put this down It is so intriguing, suspenseful, romantic, surprising I could go on Sloane hasn t been back to her small hometown in Texas for ten years It s been ten years since she left her boyfriend after their graduation night, and ten years since she cut off all ties to him, her family, and everyone from her youth Sloane is now returning to investigate the details surrounding her mother s disappearance when she was five years old, and to attempt to find justice He THIS BOOK I could not put this down It is so intriguing, suspenseful, romantic, surprising I could go on Sloane hasn t been back to her small hometown in Texas for ten years It s been ten years since she left her boyfriend after their graduation night, and ten years since she cut off all ties to him, her family, and everyone from her youth Sloane is now returning to investigate the details surrounding her mother s disappearance when she was five years old, and to attempt to find justice Her memories of the fighting that night between her parents and her suspicion of her father was what lead her to skip town in the first place Now, as she returns, she must deal with her hostile and potentially dangerous father and brother, her best friend who had married and then divorced Sloane s high school boyfriend, and this boyfriend whom she never got over This is a great, entertaining read that kept me guessing the entire time The characters are complex and do things that had me routing for them at times and at other times screaming what are you doing internally There are surprising twists that kept me intrigued right up until the last pages This suspense novel is different from many I have read lately in that it is not all about the final twist It s also about Sloane trying to take back pieces of her childhood and come home.I received my copy from the author in exchange for an honest review flag 6 likesLike see review Sep 02, 2018 Jackie rated it it was amazing Shelves to read in 2018 Omg guys There were so many twists and turns you won t know the truth until the final chapter Best psychological thriller I ve read this year Enjoy Xx flag 6 likesLike see review Dec 05, 2018 Gloria rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves from brenda novak, from the author, psychological thriller, rated, read arc, reviewed Brenda Novak has written another thriller that kept me turning the pages and reading every chance that I could In her typical style, she has created realistic characters and a well thought out, interesting plot that pulled me in right away Sloane McBride left home right after graduation, leaving her father and brother along with her boyfriend Micah and best friend Paige Her father, Ed, is a domineering and controlling parent that Sloane has grown up believing had something to do with the disa Brenda Novak has written another thriller that kept me turning the pages and reading every chance that I could In her typical style, she has created realistic characters and a well thought out, interesting plot that pulled me in right away Sloane McBride left home right after graduation, leaving her father and brother along with her boyfriend Micah and best friend Paige Her father, Ed, is a domineering and controlling parent that Sloane has grown up believing had something to do with the disappearance of her mother When she was five years old, she and her parents were alone at home as her brother was spending the night with a friend She heard terrible fighting between her parents with shouting and thuds, then silence Her mother disappeared that night Her father claimed that she just left On foot Ten years later, Sloane is a successful, famous model When her manager mentor died, she decided to take a year off and return home to find out what happened to her mother She now feels strong enough to confront her father, who is now mayor and still a powerful man in the small town in Texas where she grew up But she won t have an easy time of it She has reconnected with Paige on social media But Paige, who was always in love with Micah, managed to marry him and have a child They are now divorced and he is a police officer What a tangled mess that she walks back into No one is really happy to see her Paige claims to be but is she Micah could not understand why she left without a word then or since Ed uses his power to block Sloane from finding a place to stay and from getting help from the police department After all, why should he make it easy for her to ruin his life Her brother Randy loves their father and is angry that she is back to pin their mother s supposed death on their father Micah finally offers to help her when he sees her situation This mystery takes us on a wild path with road blocks and surprises along the way People are not as they seem and the story is full of jealousy, greed, dishonesty, small town politics, twists and turns Sloane does find answers but not without encountering some danger along the way Just when we think we have an answer to the mystery, things take a different turn and are not as clear cut as expected But the story is edgy, suspenseful and has some romance that adds a positive touch I received a complimentary ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review The thoughts expressed are mine only flag 5 likesLike see review Dec 13, 2018 Agnes BeaderBubbe rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves author brenda novak, five stars I wish Brenda Novak would write faster than I readas her books keep getting better and better This one centers around Sloane who left home after her mom went missing She went on to NY where she became a famous model, but never forgot the little town she left behind or the sweetheart she left either She always thought something wasnt right moms do not just leave their childrensomething was wrong with this picture And so with the belief that her father had something to do with her moth I wish Brenda Novak would write faster than I readas her books keep getting better and better This one centers around Sloane who left home after her mom went missing She went on to NY where she became a famous model, but never forgot the little town she left behind or the sweetheart she left either She always thought something wasnt right moms do not just leave their childrensomething was wrong with this picture And so with the belief that her father had something to do with her mother s disappearance, she returns home only to find the she digs, the questions arise and how it will affect her family With the help of her former boyfriend, she pushes forward anyway.With a few surprises popping up and even questions, this book is a real page turner flag 5 likesLike see review View 1 comment Dec 06, 2018 Christy rated it really liked it review of another edition I can t believe how many times I gasped while reading this book I mean, I can, because Brenda Novak does not shy away from the thrills or romance This one was no exception Sloane is an unstoppable force, who has made it big after leaving her home town After losing her best friend, and with a passion to solve her mother s murder, Sloane returns to the same drama she left behind A father and brother who make you want to punch them, a former friend whose jealousy turned their friendship col I can t believe how many times I gasped while reading this book I mean, I can, because Brenda Novak does not shy away from the thrills or romance This one was no exception Sloane is an unstoppable force, who has made it big after leaving her home town After losing her best friend, and with a passion to solve her mother s murder, Sloane returns to the same drama she left behind A father and brother who make you want to punch them, a former friend whose jealousy turned their friendship cold, and the hot former flame of course.I loved that this book kept me guessing Sloane thinks her father killed her mother but did he Every stone unturned had me second guessing the unveiling is SO good Her complicated friendship with her former friend and how they navigate their rekindled relationship reminded me that sometimes we let things come between us that really shouldn t.And, speaking of rekindled, you know no one comes back to town without checking in on the one that got away I m a fan of the love triangle and watching Sloane navigate this one was a treat I can t lie I was cheering for them the whole time.If you want a little dark and a little light, add Before We Were Strangers to your holiday wishlist flag 5 likesLike see review Oct 27, 2018 Faouzia rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves netgalley 3,5 Stars10 years ago, Sloane McBride left her hometown, her family, friends, the boyfriend she was madly in love with and run away from the memories of her mother disappearance and the doubt that never left her about that night She was only 5 years old when her mother disappeared, or as her father always put it, when her mother walked away from all of them Yet, she heard things that do not fit with the official story.Now, after 10 years of running away, Sloane is determined to uncover the tru 3,5 Stars10 years ago, Sloane McBride left her hometown, her family, friends, the boyfriend she was madly in love with and run away from the memories of her mother disappearance and the doubt that never left her about that night She was only 5 years old when her mother disappeared, or as her father always put it, when her mother walked away from all of them Yet, she heard things that do not fit with the official story.Now, after 10 years of running away, Sloane is determined to uncover the truth of what happened to her mother, even if that meant facing a brother and a father who want to silence her, a jilted ex boyfriend who happens to be also the ex husband of her ex bestfriend.Too many complicated relationships, half truths, deceits and lies and it made the whole story interesting Sloane is the kind of character one can t help but sympathize with and get attached to However, it was not exactly an investigation of a cold case, of one final attempt of an abandoned daughter to finally find the answers she needed The truth turned out to be complicated than i expected and i enjoyed being surprised by the ending, part of it was easily guessed but another part was surprising overall, it was an enjoyable read.Thank you NetGalley, the Author and Publisher for this free copy in exchange of an honest review flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments Jun 13, 2018 Kimberly Belle rated it it was amazing review of another edition Secrets and family drama are at the heart of Brenda Novak s Before We Were Strangers, in which a woman returns to her small Texas hometown determined to uncover the truth about her mother s disappearance Novak s fans will devour this one, and the relentlessly twisty plot will win her some new fans, as well This is the kind of book best swallowed in one sitting suspenseful, surprising, and 100% addictive flag 5 likesLike see review Dec 09, 2018 Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2018 First time reading Novak, but not my last I thought I had this one figured out but the twist hit me up side the head I can t wait to get my hands on another one of Novak s books I hope the rest are as good as this one was flag 5 likesLike see review Jan 16, 2019 Michelle rated it liked it review of another edition Shelves net galley, january 2019, 2019 popsugar challenge Sloane McBride is an accomplished model who decides to return home after a 10 year absence She left without saying so much as a goodbye It was easier to run then to deal with her mother s disappearance Was her mother so callous that she could walk away without ever looking back at the children she left behind Was she murdered On that fateful night 23 years ago Sloane heard her parents quarreling She recalls a physical altercation but isn t sure if her mother fell or if her father hurt her Sloane McBride is an accomplished model who decides to return home after a 10 year absence She left without saying so much as a goodbye It was easier to run then to deal with her mother s disappearance Was her mother so callous that she could walk away without ever looking back at the children she left behind Was she murdered On that fateful night 23 years ago Sloane heard her parents quarreling She recalls a physical altercation but isn t sure if her mother fell or if her father hurt her Her heart is conflicted over her father s potential guilt He is the only parent she knows In the meantime, her father has gone from being the richest man in town to being the most powerful and politically connected No one wants to come against him nor rehash a 23 year old case on the word of a 5 year old After all, can Sloane s memory be trusted after so many years Despite her misgivings and clear indications that she is not wanted back, Sloane presses on in her search for the truth Before We Were Strangers was a quick read for me I read this a mystery romance in just about 1 day I would definitely recommend this book to mystery lovers despite the 3 star rating Although it was engaging I came across a few similarities with other books that I was reading at the time In the future I will give Brenda Novak another go I will just make sure to switch up my genres so I am not reading so many mysteries so close together Special thanks to NetGalley, Mira Books and Benda Novak for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. flag 5 likesLike see review previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book There are no discussion topics on this book yet Be the first to start one Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed Books by Brenda Novak More Trivia About Before We Were St No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now renderRatingGraph 569, 475, 277, 97, 23 if rating_details rating_detailssert top 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    Before We Were Yours A Novel Hardcover Before We Were Yours A Novel Lisa Wingate on FREE shipping on qualifying offers THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT A New York Times , USA Today, Wall Street Journal Annie Murphy Paul What we learn before we re born TED Talk Pop quiz When does learning begin Answer Before we are born Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb from the lilt of our native language to our soon to be favorite foods. Volume Issue view.flipdocs Powered by Flipdocs Powered by Flipdocs Opinion Will We Stop Trump Before It s Too Late The Apr , On April , years ago Italians hung the corpse of their former dictator Benito Mussolini upside down next to a gas station in Milan. Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans The Apr , And, if we re going back this far, we re not talking about human civilizations any Homo sapiens didn t make their appearance on the planet until Online Voter Registration As of October , a total of states plus the District of Columbia offer online registration, and another states have passed legislation to create online voter registration systems, but have not yet implemented them Visit this page for details. We X Rayed Some MLB Baseballs Here s What We Found Mar , On , occasions last season, a major leaguer walked to the plate and hammered a baseball over the outfield wall The season broke the home run record that was set Before I Fall Enhanced Edition Paperback With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today s foremost authors of young adult fiction Like Gayle Forman s If I Stay and Nicola Yoon s Everything, Everything, Before I Fall raises thought provoking questions about love, death, and how one person s life can affect others in unpredictable ways. Alto Arizona History of Racist U.S Laws Slavery in the United States existed in North America for than a century before the founding of the United States in , and continued in the South until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in . CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA Apostles NEW ADVENT Apostles Please help support the mission of New Advent and get the full contents of this website as an instant download Includes the Catholic Encyclopedia, Church

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      • Brenda Novak

        It was a shocking experience that jump started Brenda Novak s bestselling author career I caught my day care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away, Brenda says It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake In fact, Brenda swears she didn t have a It was a shocking experience that jump started Brenda Novak s bestselling author career I caught my day care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away, Brenda says It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake In fact, Brenda swears she didn t have a creative bone in her body In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book, Brenda admits I learned how to write by reading what others have written The best advice for any would be author read, read, read Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader s Choice, the Bookseller s Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children three girls and two boys She juggles her writing career with her children s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.When she s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research an on line auction held at her website May 1st May 31st Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking she rides an amazing 20 miles every day Brenda s Facebook page


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    1. I have become a fan of Brenda Novak from reading several of her thrilling titles but with over fifty books in publication she has anything from the lighter contemporary romance to darker thrillers Before We Were Strangers is along the lines of a romantic suspense novel but with enough mystery to keep readers turning the pages and guessing along.In this story Sloane McBride had left home at eighteen and had not looked back for the last ten years Sloane had her reasons for escaping her I have be [...]


    2. 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 terr What I [...]



    3. 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 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 squ Tha [...]


    4. Sloane McBride s mother, Clara, disappeared 23 years ago following a violent argument with her father, Ed Sloane was only five years old at the time but vividly recalls the details of what she saw and heard that night She left town suddenly and without warning when she was eighteen to escape her father s domination and emotional cruelty, leaving behind her boyfriend, Micah, and best friend, Paige Now she s returned home to Texas after having gained fame and success as a model to finally inves Sl [...]


    5. While I read Before We Were Strangers I realized again how much I enjoy romantic suspense Especially when the story feels like a real mystery that keeps me on my toes throughout the entire book.Besides the slow burn and second chance romance that wound its way through the novel, and made my romance reader heart happy, the exciting and suspenseful search for answers was the main attraction of this story.From the very beginning the author pretty much served the main suspect on a silver platter B W [...]



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