A stand alone psychological thriller.
** NOT A ROMANCE **
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?
In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, seventeen-year-old Jennifer Thomas disappears without a trace.
The second girl in nine years.
Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, stuffed in a well beside the creek that feeds the town's water supply.
The killer was never found.
As the small town mobilizes and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?
For Jennifer's friend Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer's disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.
Oh my God, where to even start??
This story was amazing! A dark, psychological thriller that will have you guessing which way you will be jerked next; right, left, up, down! At one point, I thought there isn't one character I even remotely like! It starts out dark and keeps getting darker as Leo's life is less than ideal, living with his drug addicted mother. He has his own place on her property just to get away from her and provide a place for Cassie and him to be.
I still loved him. I always loved him. But Leo Bentley was never the same sweet boy after he came out of that well.
I don't want to give much details into the direction this story goes because I couldn't do it without spoilers. There are so many things you just don't see coming and the way this ended, never in a million years would I have seen that coming! This author's writing is exceptionally visual, sometimes almost hard to read. It is a dark and disturbing story and when I finished, I wondered how the author even comes up with such a twisted story with such messed up characters.
She is a welcome distraction from my sins, and I am a makeshift alter for her to lay her sins upon.
This is the first of Lili St. Germain's that I read but it won't be the last. I haven't read a book that captivated me like this in a long, long time. If you like dark, dark stories, I highly recommend this!
This is not a fairy tale and there is no happy ending, no Prince to ride in on his horse and save me. It's just me and my monster, just us in our house built out of bones and lies.
"You're not gun shy, are you?"
ATMOSPHERIC. UNPUTDOWNABLE. MIND BLOWING. DEFINITE MUST READ.
Holy mother of God what an absolute rollercoaster of a read!
Lili St Germain has an absolutely phenomenal craft. Her words reeled me in like a fish caught on a hook and held me captive throughout. She had me letting out the breath I didn't know I'd been holding until I'd finished the last word. I was completely consumed and even now I still can't get over how utterly brilliant it was.
'This is not a fairy tale and there is no happy ending, no Prince to ride in on his horse and save me. It's just me and my monster, just us in our house built out of bones and lies."
The story was cleverly constructed, packed with twists and turns that you will not see coming. It was deliciously dark and twisted yet heart breaking, brutal and so darkly fascinating that I literally could not bear to put it down! The atmospheric, chilling visuals given played out in my mind were nothing short of utter brilliance. The layers created left me angsty and excited with anticipation. I was edge of my seat throughout.
The character's were complex, intriguing, all 50 kinds of messed up and worked perfectly with a flawless plot! I think at some point I felt sorry for each and every one of them.
By far the best book I've read this year! I cannot recommend it enough!
I can't wait to read more from this author!!
**Arc provided courtesy of the Author for an honest review for Words Turn Me On Book Blog**
Wow! Not very descriptive, however, this book left me feeling that way. A psychological thriller of the finest kind. The story runs a ten-year view into the lives of Cassie and Leo. Cassie and Leo are teen lovers. He is the big brother and caretaker of his siblings and addicted mother. He's also the football hero. Until a grizzly find changes him. Nine years later, he gets an early release from prison.
Cassie has been doing her own caretaking while he is gone. Is there any chance they will find each other again?
The author slowly leads us through the horror of the lives of this couple. There are missing girls, injured family members, those taken advantage of when they are unable to take care of themselves. Small town politics are a part of this evil story.
When you turn the last page it will not be the end of the story. Your mind will wonder about -- "The Rest of the Story." Oh, it will be the end of the book, but your mind will wonder. The author shows an unbelievable talent. Did I like the book? I'm not sure you can say that about such a story. I enjoyed the talent, worried a little about a mind that goes there, and would read anything this author writes.
Reviewed for Words Turn Me on
Gun Creek Nevada is a small, dying town. It has seen its share of tragedy as well. One dead girl, one bad accident and one missing girl all in less than a decade. If only that was the worse of what was going on in this quiet small town.
OMG!! OMG!! OMG!!! This book is F@#@ed up. I’m not sure the Epilogue was necessary but other than that the book is marvelous, dark, twisted and addictive. 5 dark, f@#@ed stars!!
I visit Jennifer every evening at the diner; she seems to like the attention, and I could use the distraction. I make sure to turn up just before her shift ends, and she gives me a ride home every night. The first night she came over we ended up talking for hours. My mouth hurt by the end, every sense on high alert. I was a gentleman. I didn’t lay a hand on her again, not after she started to talk. She’s in trouble. A lot of trouble. I think it eased her mind to be able to confess to somebody who pretty much wrote the book on trouble in this town.
I mean, there’s not a thing I can do to help the girl. Not unless she tells me who got her into this mess in the first place. “That’s the problem with men,” she said to me when I urged her to give me the name of the guy blackmailing her. “They always jump straight to problem-solving. Men always want to fix everybody.”
“You don’t want to be fixed?” I’d asked her.
“I can fix myself,” she’d replied. “I just need somebody to understand.”
I don’t understand. Her predicament is something I’ve never experienced. But I can listen. I listen to her talk as she drives me home in her shiny new car every night, and it makes me feel less of a fuck-up. I mean, she hasn’t killed anyone. But she’s planning to. And that’s why we’ve found each other. I am a killer and she is ready to spill blood. She is a welcome distraction from my sins, and I am a makeshift altar for her to lay her own sins upon. Because when I’m with Jennifer, I don’t think about Cassie Carlino. I don’t think of Karen Brainard. And, most especially, I don’t think of Teresa King and the way she burned beside me in that car.
* * *
The night Jennifer Thomas disappears is like all the rest. I go to the diner. Order nachos and a Coke. I’m surprised Jennifer is working. It’s Thanksgiving, and the place is deserted. Even Amanda is nowhere to be seen.
“Working on Thanksgiving?” I ask Jennifer, as she slides my food in front of me. She shrugs, that glitter lipgloss catching the light as she moves. “It’s just another day, isn’t it?”
“Besides,” she says, “It pisses my dad off. I asked for this shift.”
At ten, I help her to turn out all the lights. I wait beside her as she locks the front doors of the diner, feeling vaguely worried about the fact that somebody left a sixteen year old cheerleader alone to lock up this late at night. I note the lack of video surveillance, the remote location, the fact that everyone is tucked safely inside their houses while Jennifer is alone with a convicted criminal in the dead of night.
Jennifer offers me a ride home, which I accept. Except, instead of driving me straight home like she has done for the past six nights in a row, Jennifer pulls her Range Rover off the road into an uncleared section of pine trees that tower over us. The track is narrow and winding and she doesn’t answer me when I ask her where she’s taking us.
She stops in a small clearing and cuts the lights. The engine is still running. Bits of snow fall outside, slow and bloated in their trajectory toward the ground. Jennifer’s hands are small as they grip the steering wheel; her eyes lit up by the red illumination of the dashboard, making her look almost demonic.
“What are we doing here?” I ask her again.
“I don’t want to go home,” she says staring straight ahead.
“Fair enough,” I reply. I watch her as she struggles to find words. She squirms in her heated leather seat, her nails shiny and perfect, her shoulders sagging under the weight of something I cannot see.
“Do you think I’m pretty?” she asks me in a tiny voice, and she sounds so mouse-like and weak that I almost laugh.
“Do I think you’re pretty?” I echo, feeling a smirk cut its way across my face. “Jennifer, you’re so pretty I could die just from looking at you.”
She rolls her eyes. “You think I’m stupid. You’re just here because you feel sorry for me, Leo.”
I shake my head. “I don’t think you’re stupid. And I’m not here because I feel sorry for you.”
She swallows thickly; I can see the pulse beat nervously in her throat. “Then why are you here?”
“Well, I guess I’m here right now because you just drove us off the road and into the woods.”
“You know what I mean.”
Do, I, though? I sigh. “Because you’re the only person in this town worth talking to who will even look at me.”
She bites her lip and I have the sudden, piercing urge inside my skull to wrap my hands around her throat and drag her onto my lap. That’s some messed up shit. She’s sixteen. Six. TEEN. I’m repeating the number in my head over and over, willing my dick to settle down. I can feel the throb of wanting her in my cock, in the thunderous rush of blood that makes my heart hit my ribcage like the firing of a gun, bang, bang, bang. My need eclipses my rationality. So what if she’s sixteen? She drove into this fucking clearing and licked her lips and asked me if I thought she was pretty.
“Why have you been back to the diner every single night, just as I’m about to get off shift?”
“Umm,” I try. “It’s the only decent place in town?”
She narrows her eyes at me and there’s a fire inside her pupils; it might be below freezing outside, but it’s a billion degrees in here. We’re already fogging up the windows with our breath, and I haven’t even laid a finger on her.
“Liar,” she says. “I want the real reason.”
You’re about to get the real reason, sweetheart. I grip the armrest. I grip it so hard my fingernails ache.
“I’m here because I’m a bad guy, Jennifer.”
“Because you’re so pretty I can’t think about anybody else. Because I want to do things to you… that would probably frighten you. Things that might hurt you.”
Her cheeks are flush; her breathing quickens. I haven’t even touched her, and she’s already excited. Or scared. Or both. I want to reach between her thighs and see if it’s lust I’m reading on her face.
“What kinds of things?” she asks.
I cover my face with my hands.
“What kinds of things?” she repeats, a hand on my shoulder. I let my hands fall into my lap and fix my stare on this girl who should be home with her family, not out here in the dark in the woods and snow with a criminal. I watch in awe as she slides her seat back and reaches her hands up underneath her skirt, tugging a pair of panties down her legs and unhooking them from her heels. She can’t look at me as she hands me a pair of baby blue silk panties with a bow on the front. I grip the underwear in my fist so tight I could tear it to shreds with a single pull, but I don’t rip it. I find the damp spot of arousal in the center of the material and bring it up to my face. I close my eyes. I breathe Jennifer in.
I shouldn’t be here. Not with her. Not like this. I will get out of the car, I decide. I will walk home. I will not touch this girl.
But then, “I promise I won’t tell anyone,” she whispers.
I grab her. I drown her shock out with my mouth. I squeeze her slender neck with my prison-rough palms. I keep my promise and I hurt Jennifer Thomas until I’m sated.
It’s only after when I’m looking at the blank expression on her face, the odd tilt of her neck, the bruises blossoming on her spread thighs, that I understand what I have done.
By then, it’s too late.
The night Jennifer Thomas disappears is like all the rest.
Apart from the way it ends.
Lili writes dark, delicious romance full of love, lust and revenge. Her USA Today Bestselling Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the young woman who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a trilogy that explores the beginnings of the club, published through HarperCollins.
Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, excellent coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Instagram.
She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.