Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

My Thoughts

An addictive, suspenseful page turner.

3.5 – 4 stars.

  • The Girl on the Train: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Synopsis

the girl on train coverA debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

My Review

The blurb above notes that this book is ‘compulsively readable’ and I think that statement best sums up how I felt about this novel. I just couldn’t put the book down despite some issues that affected my overall reading experience. I wanted to know what happened, how the mystery would unravel, how secrets would tumble out. Author Paula Hawkins did a good job of keeping me on edge as the novel unwound in an almost cinematic fashion. The story was always in motion with shifting timelines and questionable stories recounted by untrustworthy characters. Imagination and reality dueled as I sought the truth to the events that led to the disappearance of one of our three female protagonists.

“I am not the girl I used to be. I am no longer desirable, I’m off-putting in some way. It’s not just that I’ve put on weight, or that my face is puffy from the drinking and the lack of sleep; it’s as if people can see the damage written all over me, can see it in my face, the way I hold myself, the way I move.”

We first meet Rachel—the girl on the train—who has lost her job, lost her husband and exists most regularly in a drunken stupor. To escape her sad reality, she revels in a fantasy where two people live an idyllic life. Two strangers whom she sees every day as she glimpses out of her window on the train. But one day, everything changes and she finds herself caught up in a chilling mystery where her past, present and fantasy worlds collide.

“I have lost control over everything, even the places in my head.”

We also meet Megan, half of the happy duo Rachel sees from her faraway perspective on the train. Megan is happily married to Scott, or at least that’s what Rachel surmises. But in reality, Megan’s life is not what it seems, and chapter by chapter, we learn just how much her facade hides. Down the street from Megan, live Rachel’s ex husband Tom and his wife, Anna. And it is on this street, behind the walls of these homes, that the story takes flight, connecting the lives of these five people in the most twisted, unexpected ways.

“There’s nothing so painful, so corrosive, as suspicion.”

The crux of the story revolves around the disappearance of Megan Hipwell, and what happened on the night she disappeared. The same night Rachel was so drunk that she stumbled home bleeding, her memories swiped clean.

What happened? Who was responsible? What role, if any, did Rachel play?

To me, the novel had many strengths. It was absolutely impressive as a debut novel. The plot was strong, hinting at a myriad of possible scenarios. Hawkins is masterful at delivering three point of views, giving us just enough to confuse us and entice us… keep us on edge. I loved how she explored the fallibility of memory and the power of imagination and suggestion.  Each of the characters in the story is at best unreliable and deceptive, and at worst, a murderer hiding in plain sight.

The first half of the story felt slower to me, perhaps lingering too much on certain aspects, but the second half of the book moved much more quickly. The biggest issues I had were with the female characters… they frustrated me, particularly Rachel. I’m not saying the characterization was not done well, it’s just that these women were often irritating. Rachel especially made horrible decisions, pushing herself into situations she had no business being in and on top of that, she was drunk most of the novel. I completely understand that was likely the intent, evidencing the unreliability of her persona, but it unfortunately curbed my reading enjoyment. In fact, her story felt very tragic and sad, and I couldn’t help but feel the very thing she detested most… pity.

Overall, the novel is definitely well written, richly imagined and masterfully twisted, despite the frustrating choices of our heroines. The end was fabulously executed and I was really happy with the conclusion. I listened to the story on Audible, which was particularly great for discerning between the various POVs. If you’re a fan of suspense, this is definitely a story worth reading.

“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.”

series goodreads 2

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

follow vbb 3

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe by Email

VBB Weekly – 04.06.2015

VBB WEEKLY BANNER

Highlights
Recommended Series

I know there are a gazillion Kristen Ashley fans out there, and if you haven’t read this series, or have been scared to because it’s classified as fantasy, you really really really MUST READ them!!! Every single book in this series is fantastic. Each story features a woman who unexpectedly finds herself in a parallel universe, falling in love for a man that isn’t the easiest person to love. The books are classic KA but with an edge, and a fabulous fantastical twist that makes them all the better. They are super sexy but also epically romantic and angsty. The Golden Dynasty, in particular, is an unbelievable 6-star read for me. There is one more book planned in the series, but each can be read as a standalone. I recommend you read them in order, however, to get the full experience.

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Currently Re-Reading

broken juliet cover

Currently Listening To

the girl on train cover

Up Next

Apr-28

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Release Recap

(Click cover to order)

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Releasing This Week

Elements of Chemistry Part 1: Attraction (#1 Hypothesis Series) by Penny Reid (Available Now) – 99¢
★ VBB Recommendation ★

Apr-09

One week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

This is the first part of a romantic comedy serial.

Reading Order: Attraction | Heat | Capture

Read my review.

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Predestined Hearts by Kelly Elliott and Kristin Mayer (Available Now)

predestined hearts coverLove has existed since the beginning of time. For Ashlin Thomas, love was an illusion that she desperately wanted to make a reality.

Returning home to Savannah, after her aunt’s death, Ashlin must deal with the harsh realities life has dealt her.

As Ashlin begins sorting through her aunt’s personal effects, she stumbles upon a journal. Not just any journal, but the words of her great great great grandmother, Sophia.

Two love stories intertwine with each other as Ashlin reads the beautiful words, written over a hundred years ago.

The intense connection Ashlin feels with Sophia begins to allow her to find herself. Never thinking love was possible for her, Ashlin now sees it is within her grasp.

But, life is never perfect. Life is never fair.

When faced with the decision that could change Ashlin’s future … will she sacrifice one love for another, or will her predestined heart lead her home?

Standalone dual contemporary/historical romance.

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Contrite by Kathy Coopmans (Available Now)

contrite coverClove Calloway knows within an hour of picking up her husband Turner from the airport that something is different, yet she can’t pinpoint what. Together since college, they know everything about each other… so why has she spent the last few days watching everything he does, hoping for a clue? What could have happened within the week he was gone?

One way or another, she’s going to find out.

When Clove enlists the help of her brother Zach, a police detective, she’s afraid her suspicions of infidelity will be confirmed. Terrified that such news will crush her heart, she sets about preparing for the worst, only to find it’s much more than she could have imagined- there is no other woman.
Clove’s life is about to descend into a web of deceit, lies, and betrayal.

Appearances can be deceiving…and only the Master Manipulator will be left standing.

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

When I’m Gone (#10, Rosemary Beach) by Abbi Glines (Apr 07)
★ VBB Recommended Series ★

Apr-07

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines comes the next new adult novel in the Rosemary Beach series, in which we meet Mase, a Texas heartthrob first introduced in Take a Chance who comes to Rosemary Beach to stir things up.

I had an urge to fix all her problems. Which was stupid. She was doing fine without me. But something about those big eyes…

Mase Colt-Manning has always preferred his humble life as a Texas rancher to his birthright as the son of a legendary rock star. In fact, he rarely visits his father’s rarefied world in Rosemary Beach, especially if it means bunking at his vile half-sister Nan’s house—until one visit leads to a chance encounter with a young, gorgeous house maid who awakens him with her off-key but spirited imitation of a country music star…

Reese Ellis finally has her freedom. After escaping a lifetime of abuse from her parents and classmates for an undiagnosed learning disorder, she seizes the opportunity to be a house maid to some of the richest families in Rosemary Beach. But her job is in jeopardy when she causes an accident at the home of her most important client, Nan Dillon. When a hot, half-naked stranger with a cowboy’s swagger comes to her rescue, she’s intrigued—then afraid once he shows his own interest. Reese has never met a trustworthy man in her life. Will Mase be any different?

Reading OrderReading Order: Fallen Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review) | Never Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review) | Twisted Perfection (Wood + Della) (Review) | Forever Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review) | Rush Too Far (Rush + Blaire) (Review)| Simple Perfection (Woods + Della) (Review) | Take A Chance (Grant + Harlow) (Review) | One More Chance (Grant + Harlow) (Review) | You Were Mine (Tripp + Bethy ) | Kiro’s Emily (Kiro + Emily) | When I’m Gone (Mase + Reese) | When You’re Back (Mase + Reese)

The Traveling Woman (#2, Traveling Duet) by Jane Harvey-Berrick (Apr 07)

traveling woman coverHow many times do you gamble on love? When love has knocked you down, should you give it another chance? When does optimism become stupidity?

And what happens when the man you’re in love with is never still, always moving, always traveling? Do you say goodbye, or do you leave behind everything that you’ve worked for, everything that you’ve ever known? Can a traveling carnival be my home?

Oh. You thought I had the answers. No, sorry. No answers, just a lot of questions—and a heart that wants to rule my head.

Can one person be my home?

The conclusion of Aimee and Kestrel’s story that began in The Traveling Man

Reading Order: The Traveling Man 99¢ | The Traveling Woman

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Come to Me Recklessly by A.L. Jackson (Apr 07)
★ VBB Recommendation ★

come to me recklesslyFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Come to Me Softly, another irresistible new adult romance in the Closer to You Series.

His heart was turned off…
Until she turned him on….

Christopher Moore gave up on the idea of love years ago. Now, his life is an endless string of parties and an even longer string of girls. Enjoying the physical perks with none of the emotional mess, he’s convinced everyone that he’s satisfied—everyone but himself.

Samantha Schultz has moved on with her life. Finishing her student teaching and living with her boyfriend, she’s deluded herself into believing she’s content. But there is one boy she never forgot—her first love—and she keeps the memory of him locked up tight. She will never allow any man to break her the way Christopher did.

When Christopher’s sister and her family move into a new neighborhood, Christopher is completely unprepared to find Samantha living at the end of the street. Memories and unspent desires put them on collision course of sex, lies, and lust. But when guilt and fear send Samantha running, Christopher will have to fight for what has always been his.

Third book in the Closer to You series, but can be read as a standalone.

Reading Order:  Come to Me Quietly | Come to Me Softly | Come to Me Recklessly

Read my review.

Awakening by Shannon Duffy (Apr 07)

awakening coverDesiree Six (because she was born on a Friday) believes in everything the Protectorate stands for. She likes the safety and security of having her entire life planned out–her career, her mate, even the date of her death. She doesn’t even think to question when Darian, her childhood friend and neighbor, is convicted of murdering his parents. They had seemed like such a loving family. But if he was convicted, then he must have done it.

Then Darian shows up in her room late one night. He has escaped the Terrorscape–a nightmare machine used to punish all Noncompliants–and he needs Desiree’s help. What he tells her rocks her world to its core and makes her doubt everything she’s ever been told. With this new information, will Desiree and Darian be able to escape the Protectorate before it’s too late?

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre (Apr 07)

queen of bright and shiny things coverSage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine . . . until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again. . . .

New YA standalone.

A Taste of Bliss by Adrian R. Hale  (Apr 07)

taste of bliss coverAll Bliss Kaufman wanted was a sandwich and a nap after a grueling day beautifying this week’s bridal party. So when a bartender with a panty-melting grin offers her dinner and a ride on his motorcycle, Bliss swerves from her plans for one unexpected night with Talan McGregor. Just one. It was never supposed to go further. But once isn’t enough for Talan who returns demanding more–and his timing couldn’t be worse.

A life-changing diagnosis forces Bliss to abandon her carefully crafted plans. Even though she can make anyone beautiful with enough makeup and hair product, she can’t fix everything with her 50-pound bag of beauty tricks. Bliss is starting to think she might need Talan after all, but letting him in means cracking open her heart and embracing a life without a safety net.

After all, love is life’s greatest complication, and might just be worth the risk.

The Enticement by Tara Sue Me (Apr 07)

Apr-07

New York Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me returns to the story of Abby and Nathaniel to explore the passion after the ‘Happily-Ever-After’…

Limits were made to be pushed.

Abby West has everything she wanted: a family, a skyrocketing new career, and a sexy, Dominant husband who fulfills her every need. Only, as her life outside the bedroom becomes hectic, her Master’s sexual requirements inside become more extreme. Abby doesn’t understand Nathaniel’s increased need for control, but she can’t deny the delicious way her body reacts to his tantalizing demands…

Between Abby’s reluctance and Nathaniel’s unyielding commands, the delicate balance of power between the Dominant and his submissive threatens to shift. And as the underlying tension and desire between them heats up, so does the struggle to keep everything they value from falling apart …

Fourth book in the erotic romance series, The Submissive.

Reading Order: The Submissive | The Dominant | The Training | The Chalet (novella) | The Enticement

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Silver Bastard (#1, Silver Valley) by Joanna Wylde (Apr 07)

Apr-07

First in the new Silver Valley series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reapers Motorcycle Club Novels 

Fourteen months. For fourteen months, Puck Redhouse sat in a cell and kept his mouth shut, protecting the Silver Bastards MC from their enemies. Then he was free and it was time for his reward–full membership in the club, along with a party to celebrate. That’s when he saw Becca Jones for the first time and set everything in motion. Before the night ended he’d violated his parole and stolen her away from everything she knew.

Five years. It was five years ago that Puck destroyed Becca and saved her all in one night. She’s been terrified of him ever since, but she’s even more terrified of the monsters he still protects her from… But Becca refuses to let fear control her. She’s living her life and moving forward, until she gets a phone call from the past she can’t ignore. She has to go back, and there’s only one man she can trust to go with her–the ex-con biker who rescued her once before.

Puck will help her again, but this time it’ll be on his terms. No more lies, no more tears, and no more holding back what he really wants…

First in a series.

Below the Belt by Jeanette Murray  (Apr 07)

below the belt coverThere’s more than one way to win in the debut of the First to Fight series…

Athletic trainer Marianne Cook is ready to do whatever it takes to turn the men of the Marine Corps boxing team into fighting machines. After all, her ultimate goal is to land a job training professional athletes. But when she notices a certain hard-bodied marine trying to hide an injury, Marianne realizes that she’ll have to use covert tactics to get him talking.

First Lieutenant Brad Costa has waited years for the chance to fight for a spot on the Marine Corps boxing team, knowing he has to push twice as hard to get half as far as his younger counterparts. Brad tries to downplay his injuries to the attractive trainer who has his dreams in her hands, but Marianne isn’t buying it. Maybe it’s time to deploy some targeted flattery.

As Brad and Marianne’s attraction turns red-hot, there’s more than one person having a hard time keeping their eyes on the prize…

First in a new series.

Still the One (#6, Animal Magnetism) by Jill Shelves  (Apr 07)

still the one cvoerLove is a dare in the sexy new romance by the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of the Animal Magnetism novels and the Lucky Harbor series… 

Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

Part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

New Reviews
Current Giveaway

TEEN DAY

Pre-Orders

(Click images to buy or for more info)

★ Visit THIS PAGE for the full list of releases! ★

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

BOOK SALES BANNER REV

Current sales list for Amazon U.S. Click on image to purchase; click here to search my reviews.

follow vbb 3

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe by Email

✦✦✦✦✦✦✦✦

Ongoing Recommendations

2015 favorite singles 2015 favorites six star books BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
Happy Reading!!! ♥
postdivider

Related Reads:

Review: Elements of Chemistry – Attraction (Part 1, Hypothesis) by Penny Reid

My Thoughts

Funny, swoony, sexy and super addictive.
What’s not to love?! One of my favorites this year!

5stars

Synopsis

elements of chemistry attractionOne week.
Private beach.
Invisible girl.
Jerk-faced bully.
What’s the worst that could happen?

Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.

Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.

When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?

My Review

Penny Reid’s style is singular. I’ve not read anyone quite like her before. Her writing is smart, funny, heartfelt and intrinsically fun to devour. I LOVED Elements of Chemistry: Attraction—the first part in the Hypothesis series. LOVED. It had me laughing out loud, giggling, swooning and completely enraptured. It was geeky in the best possible way… or at least in the perfect way that it fit my own personality.

The story revolves around a nerdy, reclusive girl—Kaitlyn Parker—who is used to being invisible. She takes comfort in her love of science and books. Her lab partner, Martin Sandeke, is the most beautiful man she’s ever seen, but he’s a wealthy playboy she can’t even look in the eye.

“Martin Sandeke, the six foot three, modern day physical manifestation of Hercules and captain of our University’s rowing team.

Martin Sandeke, unrepentant man-whore extraordinaire and kind of a jerkfaced bully.

Martin Sandeke, my year-long chemistry lab partner and all around most unobtainable person in the universe.”

But when Kaitlyn discovers a plot against her hunky lab partner, her conscience leads her into some very unexpected situations that have her realizing she’s anything but invisible to Martin. Especially when he whisks her away to a private island during Spring Break.

Suddenly, sparks are flying, chemistry is explosive, and nothing is quite like she imagined. Or is it?

If you’re looking to have a wonderful time with a story that will have you laughing as you furiously flip the pages, this book is it! The entire series is AMAZING. An absolute favorite read of the year!

series goodreads 2

Reading Order and Links

 

 

Connect with Penny

Facebook | Twitter | Website

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

follow vbb 3

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe by Email

Related Reads:

Review: Come To Me Recklessly (#3, Closer to You) by A.L. Jackson

My Thoughts

A gripping, emotional, beautifully written second chance romance.

5stars

Synopsis

come to me recklesslyHis heart was turned off…

Until she turned him on…

Christopher Moore gave up on the idea of love years ago. Now, his life is an endless string of parties and an even longer string of girls. Enjoying the physical perks with none of the emotional mess, hes convinced everyone that hes satisfied—everyone but himself.

Samantha Schultz has moved on with her life. Finishing her student teaching and living with her boyfriend, shes deluded herself into believing shes content. But there is one boy she never forgot—her first love—and she keeps the memory of him locked up tight. She will never allow any man to break her the way Christopher did.

When Christopher’s sister and her family move into a new neighborhood, Christopher is completely unprepared to find Samantha living at the end of the street. Memories and unspent desires send them on collision course of sex, lies, and lust. But when guilt and fear send Samantha running, Christopher will have to fight for what has always been his.

My Review

“What does it take to delete the past? A thousand apologies?
A million regrets?
A litany of prayers?
If I shouted them, would you hear? If I whispered them, would you believe? If I fell at your feet, would you forgive? If I asked, would you start again?”

A.L. Jackson concludes the emotional Closer to You series with Christopher’s story… a story which is rife with regret, misunderstandings, pain and an almost unbearable, aching, soul-deep desire. It’s a moving second chance romance about two people who loved each other deeply, but whose love shattered in the aftermath of tragedy. As always, I love A.L. Jackson’s lyrical style, her heartfelt words, the emotion she evokes. Her romances seem larger than life, but in her trademark approach, she first breaks our heart before she can repair it beautifully.

“From the moment we met, he always had the power to bring me to my knees. I should have known his control over me would never diminish or dim. I should have known it would only intensify. Maybe I should have run. But somewhere inside, I knew he’d never let me get far.”

Christopher and Samantha had made promises to each other that were supposed to last a lifetime. As teenagers, whispered words of love and forever had painted a bright and happy future. Christopher was there for her during a time when she felt caged by her family, during a time when her younger brother fought for his own life. But when Jared Holt’s life spun out of control, his best friend Christopher felt lost as a result. His entire world turned upside down as his emotions raged between sadness and anger, pushing him to make mistakes he could never take back… Unfortunately Sam was there to witness and experience those mistakes. They cut her deeply. As a result, hearts lay broken in the wake of the chaos.

“Ashes. That’s what had remained after he was finished with me the first time. After he’d promised me forever.”

Years passed and destiny made a play bringing Sam back into Christopher’s life. Anger resurfaces and feelings feel raw and fresh all over again. Everything is different, yet familiar emotions surge as both struggle to suppress the inescapable longing they feel for each other.

“Fire and light. Heaven and hell. The most exquisite kind of torture. And I couldn’t see. Could only feel.”

Their story is all about finding their way back together, but only if they can face their pasts and figure out what—and whom—truly makes them happy. I love that we get to see Aly and Jared all over again, seeing their happy lives continue. The novel is deeply emotional, sexy and heart wrenching. And if you love A.L. Jackson’s work, you’ll undoubtedly be again swept up in her words that deliver all the feels.

series goodreads 2

Reading Order and Links

Come To Me Recklessly can be read as a standalone.

 

About A.L. Jackson

IMG_0618TUA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

follow vbb 3

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe by Email

Related Reads:

Jasinda Wilder/Berkley Books Announcement + Interview

Exciting News from Berkley and Bestselling author Jasinda Wilder
(as first seen on USA Today HEA blog)

jasindaUSA TODAY and New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder joins HEA today to talk about the deal she has signed with Berkley Books, her first with a traditional publisher. Jasinda, a trailblazer in the self-publishing industry, says she has found the right opportunity with Berkley for a story that’s been percolating for some time. The new contemporary romance trilogy, called Madame X, “is a dark, sexy and atmospheric modern-day fairy tale about a mysterious woman drawn to two very different men,” according to Berkley’s press release about the deal.

Madame X, the first book in the series, will come out Nov. 3, followed by the other two books in 2016.

✦ Pre-order Madame X ✦
Please note the Amazon price listed is $9.99, but the correct price is $7.99.  Amazon will adjust the price automatically for you when the price is corrected, if you pre-order.

Press Release

Berkley Books Acquires New Contemporary Romance Trilogy from New York Times Bestselling Self-Published Author Jasinda Wilder

Madame X, the first book in the trilogy, comes out on November 3

New York, NY: April 6, 2015 – Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Random House, will release New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling self-published author Jasinda Wilder’s first traditionally published series it was announced today by Berkley President and Publisher Leslie Gelbman.  Cindy Hwang, Vice President and Executive Editor, acquired World English rights in print and e-book to the contemporary romance trilogy in a 7-figure deal with Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.  Madame X, the first book in the trilogy of the same name, will be published as a trade paperback original on November 3.

Jasinda Wilder is one of the most successful self-published authors writing today.  She has written more than 40 novels and novellas and sold more than two million e-books.  Wilder and her novels have been featured in PEOPLE, New York Daily News, Publishers Weekly, “CBS This Morning,” and Sirius XM, among other national and international media outlets.

“Jasinda Wilder has been one of the trailblazing authors in self-publishing.  I’m excited she is now partnering with Berkley to release an incredible new series that will thrill her many dedicated fans while also appealing to new readers,” Hwang said.

“I have been sitting on this Madame X story for a while now, waiting for the perfect moment. It’s a special story, with drama, intensity and very sexy characters. Fans have asked for years when they’ll be able to buy a book of mine in stores. This trilogy is my response. It was the perfect opportunity to partner with a traditional publisher to reach the broadest audience,” Jasinda Wilder said.

The Madame X trilogy is a dark, sexy and atmospheric modern-day fairytale about a mysterious woman drawn to two very different men.

The second and third books in Wilder’s trilogy are planned for publication in early 2016.

Interview

Jasinda, you’ve been a strong advocate, and example, for self-published authors for nearly 3 years. What made this particular opportunity exciting enough to seize?

Make no mistake, I am still a strong advocate for—and hope to continue to be a strong example of—self-publishing. But I was never AGAINST traditional publishing. This was kind of a perfect storm for me, though. It feels like the right time for me, in terms of my career momentum and in terms of what I see in the market, both traditional and indie. It’s also a matter of the right editor, too. Cindy Hwang was always the perfect editor for this project. She’s done some amazing work, and I’m excited for the opportunity to partner with her and Berkley.

Since you have been a vocal defender of self-publishing, do you anticipate any negative feedback on the announcement? Have your thoughts changed at all on the ongoing discussion related to traditionally versus self-published books?

I will always be a vocal defender of self-publishing. It has changed my life and it has also revolutionized the publishing industry, revolutionized the world for writers, and for readers. That has not changed and it will not. But I have never been anti-traditional publishing. I think there was a lot that needed change, and the indie revolution has sparked those changes, has become a catalyst for change within the industry. For the better, I should add.

Okay, off the soapbox and back to the question. Will there be negative feedback? Maybe? There will be those that will call me a sell out. I anticipate that. But again, being pro-indie does not make me anti-trad. I have always been talking with publishers and looking for an opportunity to partner if and when I had the right project, team, and contract.

For the last part, short answer…no. My thoughts regarding trad vs. indie have not changed. I have always said to do what makes the most sense for you. If that’s indie, yay, go for it. But be smart, do your research on the industry and the market and best-practices. If that’s trad, same applies. I think at this point Jack and I know enough about both the indie side and the trad side to be able to make an intelligent, informed, rational decision, and we believe we’ve done so in inking this deal with Berkley.

As you mentioned, your readers have been clamoring to see your books lined up at their favorite store, ready to be picked up, devoured and even shared with friends. Have you thought about what that will be like for you?

Right now, I’m trying to focus on writing the most amazing book I possibly can. If you think about that kind of stuff too much, it can cloud your thinking and honestly create little panic. It will be crazy, I’m sure, and I’ll probably be overwhelmed and I might cry. My readers are everything to me, so I really hope they embrace this project, and I hope to get out and see them on the road with this release. It is so rewarding for me to see them, hug them, and sign their books. Nothing in the world is better than that.

You’re well known for being able to write stories successfully across multiple genres. Can you tell us just a little bit more about the Madame X trilogy? What should readers expect?

Expect the unexpected. I mean, duh! That’s sort of the basic mantra for reading a Wilder novel, I hope. But with this series, it really applies. It will still fit within the sphere of style I’ve come to be known for but…more so. It’s high-concept, which means I’m playing around with some classic tropes, cherry-picking elements from the oldest schools—Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast, the basic love triangle—and pulling them apart, turning them upside down and inside out, and weaving it all together. Familiar, yet totally new. And the whole will liberally spiced with angst and steam. That’s the plan, anyway.

What are you hoping this deal will achieve?

I’m hoping to reach new readers. There are still a LOT of people who only read in print, and I’m hoping to find some of them. I’m hoping to expand the circle of people who enjoy my books. Most of all I hope to make my readers happy. That is always my number one goal.

Will you continue self-publishing? What else is coming in the next year? I know that your release calendar is always packed!

YES! In negotiating this deal—big shout out to my agent Kristin Nelson for being the tenacious bulldog she is!—we refused to relent when it came to my publishing schedule. You can expect Big Love Abroad really soon, like within April. Omega is coming too, to complete the ALPHA trilogy. And there’s a spinoff of that series I’m contemplating, but I’m going to withhold details on that as it’s still very much in the idea phase. I’ve got some really amazing stuff in the works for a spinoff of the recently-completed Falling series. I would really, really love to tell Brayden’s story, and maybe the rest of that band, so that’s in the works, too. Everything else is too nebulous at this point to really say much about, but short answer? Yes, I have so many ideas in various stages of completion that I could write 24/7 for a calendar year and still wouldn’t get it all done.

Expect a busy, eventful, fun year of Wilder books!

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

About Jasinda

New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. Her bestselling titles include Alpha, Stripped, Wounded, and the #1 Amazon and international bestseller Falling Into You. You can find her on her farm in Northern Michigan with her husband, author Jack Wilder, her five children and menagerie of animals.

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House is the world’s most global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin, with the parent companies owning 53% and 47%, respectively.  Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, and Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and Brazil; DK worldwide; and Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial’s Spanish-language companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦

follow vbb 3

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe by Email