Series: Quarry Road #1
Author: Megan Hart
Release date: 1 May 2017
Main characters: Alica Harrison, literally the girl next door. Ilya Stern, her ex-husband, Nikolai Stern, Ilya’s brother and Alicia’s frenemy since childhood.
Plot: Even though Alicia’s marriage to Ilya was doomed to failure, the pair have managed to stay on fairly good terms since their divorce. Which is just as well considering they live on the same street, in their same childhood houses and share a business together.
When Ilya’s grandmother becomes seriously ill, the family reunites under the same roof. Both Ilya’s mother and brother return. This dysfunctional family dynamic becomes even more complicated when it we learn that Alicia and Nikolai have unfinished business – she wants to know why he took such joy in hurting her in the past and she may be surprised by his reasons. Nothing in the Stern household is simple – their past, their present and their futures are inextricably linked, but will they be able to handle the fallout?
Why you should read it: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Megan Hart book – the last one was Beg For it. I’m always excited about a new Megan Hart release and I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. All of the characters are complex. They know each other so well, and yet not at all. They carry their baggage like armour and remember past conversations unreliably – and for me, that was very real. The good thing is that the characters actually talk to each other and go some way to straightening out some old issues. I thoroughly enjoyed the complicated relationship between the mother and her sons – it’s atypical and went some way to explaining how Ilya and Nikolai became who they are.
What you may not like: The story is a simple one, set in a small town with plenty of secrets. It’s focused on the same street and two families and it feels very claustrophobic at times. I think it’s deliberate and you can see why one character feels trapped there and another had to flee. I enjoyed the overarching love story that ran alongside the family secrets. The dialogue was good and sucked me in.
Rating: 4/5 for an intriguing family story. I will definitely be reading book 2, All The Secrets we Keep. I have my suspicions about what those secrets could be, but I’m looking forward to seeing whether I’m right or wrong! All The Secrets we Keep will be out on 13 June 2017.