The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller and Kill A Spy by Samantha Lee Howe #BookReview #Thriller #Mystery #20booksofsummer21

Meet the trophy wives of Presidio Terrace, San Francisco’s most exclusive—and most deadly—neighborhood in this shrewd, darkly compelling novel from the New York Times bestselling author of In Her Shadow.

Mystery writer Brooke Davies is the new wife on the block. Her tech-billionaire husband, Jack, twenty-two years her senior, whisked her to the Bay Area via private jet and purchased a modest mansion on the same day. He demands perfection, and before now, Brooke has had no problem playing the role of a doting housewife. But as she befriends other wives on the street and spends considerable time away from Jack, he worries if he doesn’t control Brooke’s every move, she will reveal the truth behind their “perfect” marriage.

Erin King, famed news anchor and chair of the community board, is no stranger to maintaining an image—though being married to a plastic surgeon helps. But the skyrocketing success of her career has worn her love life thin, and her professional ambitions have pushed Mason away. Quitting her job is a Hail Mary attempt at keeping him interested, to steer him away from finding a young trophy wife. But is it enough, and is Mason truly the man she thought he was?

Georgia St. Claire allegedly cashed in on the deaths of her first two husbands, earning her the nickname “Black Widow”—and the stares and whispers of her curious neighbors. Rumored to have murdered both men for their fortunes, she claims to have found true love in her third marriage, yet her mysterious, captivating allure keeps everyone guessing. Then a tragic accident forces the residents of Presidio Terrace to ask: Has Georgia struck again? And what is she really capable of doing to protect her secrets?

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller is simply scrumptious with its perfect blend of deceit, lies, deaths, and beauty.

I loved the trio of trophy wives narrating this story – Brooke Davies, Erin King, and Georgia St. Claire. They reside in the prestigious gated community of Presidio Terrace, San Francisco, where the grass is never over two inches tall, garage doors are always closed, and cars are kept in the garages when not being driven. With HOA rules like that, who has time to worry about anything other than not breaking any rules?

Brooke is my favorite character and one of the three narrators. She is a mystery writer, married to tech entrepreneur Jack, and is the new, young trophy wife on the block. She shows surprising support for her two new friends – the Black Widow, Georgia, and the head of the HOA, Erin – but the mystery writer that she is, she cannot wait to discover all the dirty little secrets the neighborhood is sure to be hiding behind their well-manicured lawns.

Georgia earned the moniker Black Widow five years ago because her previous two husbands died under suspicious circumstances. With all eyes on her husband-to-be, Robert, speculations abound that his life may be in danger. After all, two times can be a coincidence, but three times is a pattern.

Erin, the third narrator, is a well-known anchor on a local news program and married to her college sweetheart, Mason. All her bravado and confidence are masking a dark secret – she is aging, and it is beginning to seep through the cracks in her veneer. When younger and seemingly perfect, Brooke moves into the neighborhood, Erin cannot keep her insecurities under control anymore, but what she will do next is anybody’s guess.

You can imagine that when these three become involved in something, the readers get the pleasure of a complex and tantalizing story, the likes of which the Desperate Housewives could not even have imagined. All of the residents of Presidio Terrace have motivations and secrets, which sprinkle the story with just the right number of red herrings, enticing you to follow the breadcrumbs to the delectably surprising end.

I cannot think of a better summer read when you are in the mood for some outrageously devious fun.

Killing Eve meets Jason Bourne in the third thrilling addition to your new favorite spy series…

The house of killers always had one objective: to train a class of warriors that would elevate the Network from the national to the international – the amateur to the elite. It was the perfect poison… Radicalisation by virtue of not knowing any different.

They never expected their most notorious child to claw his way back to the beating heart of MI5. Consumed by hurt and rage, Michael Kensington has his own objective: Neva.

But as the body count rises like a tide that will sweep them all into oblivion, Neva will stop at nothing to make him understand that everything is at stake.

Because there’s only one way to push back against the tide… Together.

Kill a Spy is the third jaw-dropping instalment in The House of Killers series, a captivating spy thriller perfect for fans of Caroline Kepnes and Alex Gerlis.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Kill A Spy by Samantha Lee Howe is the explosive ending to the House of Killers trilogy that left me disappointed to end my time with Neva and Michael but very intrigued about their future.

For a character who has been trained at a young age to be devoid of emotion and detached from any human bond, Neva is surprisingly relatable and complex. I started the trilogy fascinated by this perfect assassin, and my adoration never changed or wavered. She can be anyone, find anyone, and kill anyone without being discovered. She is a shadow. But a shadow with a complex history that has come back to haunt her in more ways than one.

The ending surprised and shocked me, but it is the ending that must be. I always love when I am surprised by a story, and Kill a Spy delivered that and then some. The history of the House of Killers, Neva’s training ground, has been kept vague until now, and I loved all the backstories found in this story. They did not explain everything, but they explained enough that I felt satisfied that any gaps in the plot were filled and how the ending could be a viable way to conclude the story.

There is more violence than in the two previous books, which is not surprising since it is about an assassin. Still, this time around, not only is Neva doing what only she can do, but there is a serial killer on the loose, and all the victims have one disturbing thing in common. It becomes increasingly crucial for Neva to remember the past and discover who is behind all the recent murders.

There is also more of a romance in this story that even though I wanted it to ring natural, the fact that Neva is who she is makes it never quite seem genuine. Yet, this did not impact my enjoyment of the story overall.

I am sad to see this series conclude, but it is a fun and thrilling journey to get to the end that I can highly recommend to everyone.

22 Replies to “The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller and Kill A Spy by Samantha Lee Howe #BookReview #Thriller #Mystery #20booksofsummer21”

  1. Another two great books you have reviewed. Probably not the genre I would normally read, but sometimes you have to read out of your comfort zone. I’ve finally finished Sweet Entanglement, so now I’m going to read Emma’s Tapestry. Your review intrigued me, and it is a genre I would normally read. My husband says I have too many books, but you can’t have too many books can you.

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  2. To Kill a Spy sounds like a great read and compelling ending to the trilogy. Your review’s surprise but “must be” ending is a great hook. Thanks for introducing me to the House of Killers books, Tessa. I’m intrigued. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They sound excellent, Tessa! I’m adding them both. Lovely reviews as always. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I got to say that The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives, really appeals to me! The title grabs me and your review convinces me. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Both new authors to me Tessa, but they both sound interesting. Will have to see if my library has any of the Samantha Lee Howe series.


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