I have to admit that I had written Colleen Hoover off as a romance writer. Being the mood reader I am, her books never seemed to make it to my “to-read” pile. I had seen the hype her 2018 release received on multiple social media platforms, thinking naively it was just another of her bestselling romance novels that maybe one day I’d feel like reading. I hadn’t even read the synopsis when I came across a used copy at Powell’s and I was certainly not prepared for the psychological warfare Verity would put me through. If you read one book this year, let it be this unputdownable romantic thriller by Colleen Hoover.

Lowen Ashleigh is inches away from rock bottom. She is emotionally and financially depleted having spent the last year caring for her mother who has just succumbed to her fight with cancer. She hasn’t left her Manhattan apartment in days and the eviction notices on the door are a harsh reminder of yet another thing she is about to lose. An unexpected call from her agent lures her out of her apartment, the prospect of an advance for a new book is the only good news she’s had in months. The morning of the meeting quickly turns into a nightmare until she meets Jeremy Crawford, the husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford. Lowen is offered what seems to be the opportunity of a lifetime – half a million dollars to finish the fan-favorite series for the illusive Mrs. Crawford who is reported to be recovering from a terrible accident. Facing her imminent eviction, she hastily accepts the offer as well as the request to stay in the Crawford’s remote home to comb through years of outlines and notes to finish the series.

Upon her arrival, Lowen quickly learns of the Crawford’s tragedy-ridden past and the devastating realty that there is no recovery for Verity Crawford. Her initial horror is only intensified when she finds an unfinished autobiography in the chaotic office filled with gut-wrenching admission after admission that Verity never intended for anyone to read. Lowen can’t help but make the decision to keep the manuscript hidden knowing the contents will destroy the man she is falling in love with, Verity’s husband.

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