Be sure to follow check out the rest of the stops on 'The New Girlfriend' blog tour! Thank you Bookouture and Sheryl Browne for including me in this tour! Purchase links below!
Wow.. 'The New Girlfriend' by Sheryl Browne is a wild ride. The kind where you need a scorecard just to keep up with all the moves being made and the lies being told.
Opening with a bang.. or in this case.. practically the screech of metal and the weight of shock and disbelief, Cassie's only son is killed. Just a few short months later, a stranger appears on her doorstep.. claiming to be his girlfriend and bearing a baby in her arms that is clearly her grandchild.
In the wake of her loss, Cassie is struggling to cope with the changes that have come at her full speed ahead. The idea that her neurosis drove her son out of the house.. leaving her somehow at fault for his death.. paired with what appears to be a serious relationship he never shared with her or his stepdad, Adam.. has her reeling.
Attempting to do what she can for her grandson and his mother, she begins to get cryptic texts in threatening tones referring to a big secret she's been keeping. Someone knows what she's been hiding, a potentially life altering act that she'd do anything to protect.
Honestly, this story throws a lot at you. Many of the characters are embroiled in their own nest of secrets, each with something big to lose. While Josh, Cassie's son, actually seems like a basically good guy.. he's far from perfect himself and the result is a handful of people who all might have reason to be involved at least peripherally in anything bad that might have befallen him.
I really only found one of the characters to draw any investment from me.. any concern for their well-being, and that was Adam. He's a kind, genuine man.. who seems to try to do his best for pretty much anyone who enters his sphere of existence, even if they aren't entirely kind to him. And I'm pretty sure the author intended it to be that way.
It definitely feels as if the other characters are meant to have somewhat ambiguous moral codes to begin with. Most of them seem to make their decisions from a selfish place with little regard to the collateral damage they might cause. I don't think Browne means for us to feel sorry for them, even if the things they deal with are a bit soul-crushing at times.
The author did a great job at keeping the ball moving.. so your eyes never lingered too long on any one possibility. Though in the end.. the answers are compounded. I was vindicated in my beliefs to a point, but surprised by the addition of some other parts to the puzzle. There was one plot point that felt out of place, unnecessary.. as if it was thrown in simply for a 'gotcha' moment, but the story as a whole is a solid read if you enjoy a good mystery.
Sheryl Browne writes psychological thriller and edgy contemporary fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
To find out more about Sheryl and her novels or follow her, use the links below.