Tuesday, January 11, 2022

My Darling Husband

My Darling Husband
  My Darling Husband
Author:  Kimberly Belle
Publication Information:  Park Row. 2022. 336 pages.
ISBN:  0778312119 / 978-0778312116

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley and the HTP BOOK Fall 2021 Mystery & Thriller tour free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "Juanita Moore:  Mr. Lasky, thank you for speaking with me today and sharing your story with Channel 7 Action News."

Favorite Quote:  "What's that old saying? The higher your star, the farther it is to fall. That's not an excuse, but I hope it's an explanation."

***** BLOG TOUR *****


The "darling" husband is Cam Lasky - chef, restaurant owner, entrepreneur, husband, father, and perhaps much more and perhaps, as the author's interview states, "not so darling after all." The loving wife is Jade - designer, wife, mother, and someone who put her own dreams and ambitions aside to support those of her husband. The children are nine year Beatrix and four year old Baxter. Nine year old Beatrix is stubborn, mature for her age, and a violin prodigy. Baxter is a precocious four.

The Lasky family lives in a mansion, drives expensive cars, and Jade is dripping in diamonds. Cam Lasky is a celebrity as Atlanta's Steak King, with his five restaurants and perhaps a sixth on the way. They are definitely one of Atlanta's power couples - loving marriage, children, success, and wealth visible to the world. However, perhaps all that glitters is not gold. Debt and a whole litany of disgruntled former employees plague Cam. Does Jade know?

The book begins with two dramatic events. Jade feels as if she is being followed. Cam is dealing with a major, destructive fire at his flagship restaurant. Then, it gets worse. Jade arrives home, only to be overtaken by an intruder. Now, Jade and the kids are locked in the house with a kidnapper. With Cam making enemies of so many people, there are many candidates for who might be responsible for the fire and who the kidnapper is.

The book becomes an entertaining fiction as the layers of Cam and Jade's life are peeled back to reveal their secrets and the people who have grudges against them. The book adds to the layers with multiple perspectives - Cam's, Jade's, and the invader's. Cam's perspective is portrayed through an after-the-fact interview with a reporter; it is about memory, regrets, and 20/20 hindsight. Jade's perspective is that of a mother's nightmare - captured in a house with her children and a masked invader; it is about fear, courage, and survival. The invader's perspective is the most mysterious for his identity and motive are unknown at the beginning; his is the story of anger, revenge, and desperation.

The story itself is slow moving for it is more about revelation than action. The crux of the story is the why? Why does this happen to Cam and Jade, and what role do they each play in the events that lead to this? What makes the story works is that all three characters - Cam, Jade, and the invader - are believable. All are driven by a sense of desperation. While, as a reader, there are decisions the characters make that should never be made, the sense of fear and even love that drives the choices is understandable. The children are perhaps a little too precocious, but it is what it is.

If you want to look at a broader point in a domestic thriller, this book highlights disparity in wealth and the decisions that leads to. It also speaks to decisions of business owners that sometimes come at the expense of their employees and the need to find that balance between profit and people. That conversation too is an important one.

So, enjoy the thriller or look for the bigger meaning or both in this entertaining book.

About the Book

Bestselling author of DEAR WIFE and THE MARRIAGE LIE, Kimberly Belle returns with her most heart-pounding thriller to date, as a masked home invader reveals the cracks in a marriage.

Everyone is about to know what her husband isn’t telling her…

Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple with two adorable kids, a spacious home and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.

Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

With riveting twists and a breakneck pace, My Darling Husband is an utterly compelling thriller that once again showcases Kimberly Belle's exceptional talent for domestic suspense.

About the Author

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of seven novels, including her latest, My Darling Husband (December 2021). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Q&A with Kimberly Belle

Q: Your cover really draws you in. Are you involved with the cover process? What do you hope this cover tells potential readers?
A: Thank you! And I agree; the designers at Park Row really nailed this one. Typically, I don’t have a lot of involvement with the cover until it’s nearly finished, which means it’s already gotten approval from my editorial team as well as the folks in sales and marketing before I get to see it. That moment when the email lands in my inbox – A sneak peek at your cover! – is always so exciting.

In my mind, what makes the My Darling Husband cover so strong is that it gives us a view of Jade’s face but none of her husband Cam’s, only a slice of his shoulder. For me, this makes Cam feel somewhat elusive, and it hopefully puts the reader on alert that things with him may not be what they seem. Especially in combination with the title, the image lets the reader know that the husband in this story may not be so darling after all.

Q: What research did you need to conduct for this book and how did you do it?
A: I did a lot of research around a couple of plot points that if I mentioned them here, would give a big chunk of the story away. What I can mention is my research around raising a child prodigy and the kinds of stresses that degree of talent can put on both the family and the child. Beatrix is nine and has played violin since she was a toddler, when she picked up one in the toy aisle at Target. As amazing as her talent is, it’s also a daily hurdle. Lessons, practice time, the drive to succeed, the pressure to not “waste” your talent by frittering away your time with normal childhood pursuits – it can all feel very isolating. She’s a brilliant, brave kid who is much more mature than she should be, as illustrated with this line: “Most parents want their children to grow up. Cam and I should have spent more time coaxing Beatrix to grow down.”

Q: What is your elevator pitch for My Darling Husband?
A: My Darling Husband is the story of a mother held captive with her two children in their own home while her husband scrambles for the ransom, and the masked invader who’s about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

Q: Which came first, the story or the title?
A: I turned this book in as “Book #7” so definitely the story came first. Seven books in, and not one of my titles has ever stuck, so I’ve stopped worrying about what the story will be called when I’m writing it. My publisher has a fabulous team of experts who are so much more versed in the process than I am. While I’m only thinking of the story, they’re looking at big-picture items like comparable stories, market trends, which words are hitting a collective chord (remember all the books with “girl” in the title?). All this goes to say, they know what they’re doing, and I am happy to let them work their magic!

Q: What is your favorite season and why?
A: My favorite season has always been fall. I never mind the shorter days and cooler air, all the more reason to light a fire and wrap myself up in an oversized sweater. For me, fall has all the bests–the best fashion and the best food (soup season!) and the best festivities, ones that are centered around family. That’s hands-down my favorite part of fall, when all my people are gathered under one roof.

Social Links

Author website: https://www.kimberlybellebooks.com/
Facebook: @KimberlyBelleBooks
Twitter: @KimberlySBelle
Instagram: @kimberlysbelle
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimberlybelle

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/My-Darling-Husband-Kimberly-Belle/dp/0778311562/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-darling-husband-kimberly-belle/1138090011?ean=9780778311560
Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/my-darling-husband-9780778312116/9780778312116
IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778312116
Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/My-Darling-Husband/Kimberly-Belle/9780778311560?id=8388215054600
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/my-darling-husband
AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/my-darling-husband/id1539274871
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kimberly_Belle_My_Darling_Husband?id=6JMHEAAAQBAJ
Libro.FM: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781488212611-my-darling-husband
Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/my-darling-husband-a-novel/9780778333135-item.html

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