2019 Book 474: FOR BETTER AND WORSE by Margot Hunt

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778307907 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488088544 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205477 (audiobook)
ASIN: B077ZW32RW (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 11, 2018 
Publisher: MIRA 


On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?



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Nathalie and Will met in law school. Nathalie had specific goals, work for the public defender’s office before opening her own firm and Will just wanted to work in a law firm and never see a courtroom. Fast forward and Nathalie and Will are married and living in Florida. Nathalie has her own life firm and works as a criminal defense attorney. Will is working as a paper-pusher doing contract law. They have a good marriage (not a great one but decent), a nice home, a ten-year-old son that they both adore, and a dog. Life hasn’t exactly gone the way they planned, but it isn’t all bad until their son’s school principal is taken in for questioning regarding molesting a student. At first, both Nathalie and Will think this is much ado about nothing as the student in question is classified as a “troubled youth,” but then they learn that their son was also molested by this principal, a man they thought of as a friend. Nathalie refuses to report the instance with their son simply because she knows how traumatic the questioning and trial can be. Will feels that justice must be served and their son might be the voice needed to ensure this man doesn’t get off scot-free. Just when it seems like their lives have changed for the worse and it couldn’t possibly get any worse, Nathalie decides that the principal must die. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to protect her son and family, but can she count on Will especially after she learns he’s been keeping secrets from her? Secrets that just might tear their family apart more than her plans? How far is too far when it comes to protecting your children? How far is too far when it comes to keeping the wedding vows “for better or worse?”

I found For Better and Worse to be a fast-paced read. There is intrigue and, yes, murder, but the reader knows who the murderers are from the very beginning. The burning question becomes can they get away it and then should they be able to get away with it? Ms. Hunt presents this story in such a way that it was almost impossible to not feel empathetic towards Nathalie and Will no matter what they decide to do to protect their son. The bigger question that looms for Nathalie and Will (as well as for the reader) is if their choices are actually justifiable or not, morally and ethically. This is a not a black-and-white issue for Nathalie or Will, nor was it one for this reader. I can’t say if I agreed with their choices or condoned their actions, but I understood where they were coming from as parents. Nathalie comes across as a strong woman that is often rigid in her thinking. Will comes across as more laidback and flexible except when it comes to keeping his secrets. There were parts of the story that seemed a bit farfetched, but hey it’s fiction and therefore allowed. I enjoyed most of the characters and although I empathized with Nathalie throughout most of the story, by the end she was not my favorite person (read the book to learn why for yourself). If you enjoy reading fast-paced psychological thrillers, then you may want to grab a copy of For Better and Worse to read, just don’t let it give you any criminal ideas!


Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Read an excerpt from the book here.



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2018 Book 37: BEST FRIENDS FOREVER by Margot Hunt

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778331131 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488027970 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488203947 (audiobook)
ASIN: B06Y5RLJN9 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: January 23, 2018


How well do you really know your best friend?

Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.

Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.



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Alice Campbell and Katherine “Kat” Grant met three years ago at JFK airport on their way back to Florida after the holidays. A chance meeting due to a delayed flight became a life-line friendship for both women. Kat is unhappily married to Howard, a man that she admits routinely cheats on her, is reportedly an alcoholic, and has at times physically abused her but she refuses to divorce him because she has all the money and there was no prenuptial agreement. Kat also thinks she will be seen as the poor, battered divorcee in the wealthy circles she mixes in and she simply can’t have that be the image of her in people’s minds, so she stays unhappy. Alice is dealing with a different set of issues, namely monetary. Her family was uprooted from Miami and moved off of Palm Beach for her husband’s job, but the promised promotions never came nor did the raises. Things might not be so bad if their credit cards weren’t maxed out, if they weren’t behind on their mortgage payment, behind on their children’s private school tuition, and her husband hadn’t lost his job — their sole income. Alice has never seen Kat as a “cash cow” and has never asked her for money, but when she’s told her children will be expelled from their school if their tuition isn’t paid the next day she doesn’t know what to do. Thankfully, Kat offers to pay the tuition and doesn’t think twice about it. Or does she…because not soon after that she approaches Alice with a request that most people would consider horrifying? Soon after that Howard winds up dead, Kat is safely alibied by being out of the country, and Alice is arrested for his murder. Alice has clear logical answers for everything that happened but even she’s beginning to wonder if she really knew what was going on between Kat and Howard? Is it possible we can ever really know another person? Can we truly tell when we are being manipulated and lied to? Is Kat lying to and about Alice or is Alice lying to and about Kat?

Best Friends Forever is a taut psychological suspense thriller and one that I found to be a rather fast-paced read. I enjoyed the way Ms. Hunt presented the contemporary storyline and then went back in time to present the past building up to the present. That helped to build the tension between not only Alice and Kat, but between Alice and her husband Todd, and Kat and everyone else. By the time I was halfway through the story I began to realize neither Alice nor Kat were wholly reliable narrators and that provided this reader with a dilemma because the story is being told primarily from Alice’s perspective. Alice comes across as a somewhat disgruntled stay-at-home mom trying to do anything she can for her family (true to a certain extent). Kat comes across as somewhat manipulative and a needy (also true to a certain extent). As we learn more about each character the author provides little clues that help the reader fine-tune their presumptions about each person. Best Friends Forever is a story about friendship, but it is also a story about being realistic in that we can never truly know another person. We know people by what they say, what they reveal in their actions, and by our assumptions, but these can all be tainted and manipulated if the person is highly skilled. So in this story someone dies and yes, it’s revealed that is a murder. The questions become who did it and why. And no I will not be telling you the answers to either of those questions, read the book to find out for yourself! 

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Meet the Author




Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews. Best Friends Forever is her first psychological thriller.




Connect with Margot at her website, Facebook, and Twitter 



Giveaway

Enter to win one trade paperback copy of Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt. This giveaway begins at 12:01 AM ET on January 29, 2018, and will end at 11:59 PM ET on February 2, 2018. The winner announced by 10:00 AM ET on February 3, 2018. If the first winner has not responded within 48 hours after notification a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States only (sorry to all of my international followers). All non-US residents will be disqualified. Books will be sent out via TLC Book Tours at the conclusion of the blog tour. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. 

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Best Friends Forever

Book Showcase: BEST FRIENDS FOREVER by Margot Hunt

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778331131 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781488027970 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488203947 (audiobook)
ASIN: B06Y5RLJN9 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: January 23, 2018


How well do you really know your best friend?

Kat Grant and Alice Campbell have a friendship forged in shared confidences and long lunches lubricated by expensive wine. Though they’re very different women—the artsy socialite and the struggling suburbanite—they’re each other’s rocks. But even rocks crumble under pressure. Like when Kat’s financier husband, Howard, plunges to his death from the second-floor balcony of their South Florida mansion.

Howard was a jerk, a drunk, a bully and, police say, a murder victim. The questions begin piling up. Like why Kat has suddenly gone dark: no calls, no texts and no chance her wealthy family will let Alice see her. Why investigators are looking so hard in Alice’s direction. Who stands to get hurt next. And who is the cool liar—the masterful manipulator behind it all.



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Read an excerpt

“It’s probably one of the neighbors,” I said. “Maybe someone has a dead car battery and needs a jump.”

Todd nodded and went off to answer the door just as the toast popped up. Whoever was at the house, they were arriving just as breakfast was ready. I checked the toast and decided to drop it down for further browning.

I heard the low murmur of Todd as he spoke, but I didn’t recognize the voices that responded. One male, one female, I thought. I couldn’t hear what Todd said in reply, but something about his tone sounded off. The smell of burning bread filled my nose. I popped the toast up. It was now charred black. I swore softly, feeling another flash of irritation at the interruption to our morning routine.

“Are you okay, Mom?” Bridget asked, appearing in the kitchen.

“I’m fine.”

“Gross,” Bridget said. “Burned?” “Burned,” I confirmed.

“I’m not eating that,” Bridget said, pointing an accusatory finger.

“No one’s asking you to.” I plucked the bread out of the toaster and tossed it in the garbage can. “I’ll make some more.”

“Who are those people Daddy’s talking to?” “I’m not sure,” I said. “Why?”

“He looks worried,” Bridget said.

I inserted a few fresh slices of bread into the toaster and put a lid on the pan of eggs to keep them warm.

“I’ll find out what’s going on,” I said. “Are your hands clean? No? Go wash them. Breakfast is almost ready.”

I passed through the open-plan living room with its well-worn brown leather sofas and floral wool rug, all overdue for replacement, out to the front hall. Todd was standing slightly to one side of the open door, so I had a clear view of the man and woman on our front step. Both were dressed in suits that looked too warm for a sunny April Florida morning. The automatic sprinklers switched on then and began spraying water across the browning lawn with rat-a-tat-tat efficiency.

“Who is it?” I asked.

Todd turned to me. Bridget was right, he did look worried. “They’re police officers,” he said. “Detectives…” Todd’s voice trailed off as he turned back to look at our visitors.

“Sorry, I’ve forgotten your names.”

“I’m Detective Alex Demer.” The detective was tall and bulky and had dark, pockmarked skin and a closely cropped beard. “And this is Sergeant Sofia Oliver.”

“I’m Alice Campbell,” I replied. Neither of them offered a hand to shake, so I followed their lead.

Oliver was the younger of the two. She was petite and fine-boned, and her auburn hair was cut short in a pixie style. Her lips rounded down, and her eyes were flinty. My best friend, Kat, would call it a “resting bitch face.” In Oliver’s case, it was an accurate description.

“Th-they want to talk to you about Howard Grant,” Todd stammered.

Howard Grant. Kat’s husband. Or, to be more accurate, her late husband. Howard had died three days earlier. The shock of his death still hit me anew every time I thought of it.

“Oh, right. Of course. You’re with the Jupiter Island Police?” I guessed. Kat and Howard lived—or in Howard’s case, had lived—on tony Jupiter Island. While their home was close geographically to where we lived, in the Town of Jupiter, the island was its own separate and quite exclusive municipality. “The Jupiter Island Public Safety Department,” Sergeant Oliver corrected me, her tone needlessly officious.

“Actually, Sergeant Oliver is with the Jupiter Island Public Safety Department,” Detective Demer said. “I’m with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement based in Tallahassee. I’ve been temporarily assigned to look into Howard Grant’s death.”

“I thought Howard’s death was an accident,” I said. Detective Demer gazed down at me, his expression inscrutable. “That’s what we’re looking into. And that’s why we need to speak with you.”

Excerpt from Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt, to be released on 
January 23, 2018, by MIRA Books. Copyright © 2018 by Margot Hunt.




Meet the Author



Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus Reviews. Best Friends Forever is her first psychological thriller.


Connect with Margot at her website, Facebook, and Twitter





This excerpt and tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours 




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