A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, April 30, 2021

FLASHBACK FRIDAY -Verity by Colleen Hoover - Feature and Review


Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.



VerityVerity by Colleen Hoover

Verity by Colleen Hoover is a 2018 publication.
Unlike so many rabid fans of this author, I have not read, to my knowledge, a single book by Colleen Hoover. (Although I did find one of her books languishing on my Kindle recently)

I see so many rave reviews for her novels, and some of them seem like books I would probably like, but for some reason I continue to associate her with YA books, which is not my favorite genre. But, when I saw this book on Kindle Unlimited and read the synopsis, I was instantly intrigued. If the book had been written by anyone else, I probably would have given it a pass, while congratulating myself on using my iron willpower to stick to my strict- no exceptions- psychological thriller diet.

But, because I knew this book was a departure for this wildly popular writer, my curiosity won out. So much for my iron willpower...

The setup is interesting-

Author, Lowen Ashleigh’s financial status is as dismal as her book sales. Her mother recently died after a lengthy illness and she’s fending off eviction notifications, when out of the blue she is given the incredible and lucrative opportunity of co- authoring a series with, or rather, for, the famous writer, Verity Crawford. Verity was in a horrible car crash and is no longer able to continue writing. Lowen doesn’t have to think too hard about accepting the job, especially when she sees the amount of money involved.

Verity’s devoted husband, Jeremy, allows Lowen to live in their home while she goes through Verity’s notes on the series and acclimates herself with the tasks she’s been hired to perform. But when she stumbles across a Verity’s autobiography amongst her other work materials. Lowen rationalizes the need to read the manuscript, convincing herself it will help her better understand Verity. What she learns about the esteemed author will blow your mind!!

Meanwhile, as Lowen immerses herself deeper and deeper into Verity’s memoir, a bond develops between Jeremy and Lowen. The attraction deepens as they spend more time together, until it becomes palpable and undeniable. However, Lowen has begun to irrationally fear Verity.

Are her fears overwrought? Is her imagination playing tricks on her?

For long time fans of this author, this book could be a little like culture shock. But, for the seasoned readers of psychological thrillers, all this twisty darkness, and diabolical characterizations are par for the course.

However, I must say that this one is more than just a departure for this author, it is a bit of a departure for the standard psychological thriller, as well. Many of you may not remember the surge in popularity of psychological thrillers back in the nineties, not just in books, but in movies, as well.

Back then, it was almost a requirement for a PT to be as sexually steamy, as it was edgy and suspenseful. I thought this book had that same feel, as it contained a lot more sexually explicit content than most standard PT’s written today. It should also be noted that many people have shelved this book in the romance category. However, in my opinion, this is not a romance, nor does it fall into the romantic suspense category, although there is a romantic element, if you wish to view it as such. It’s a pure psychological thriller, through and through. That’s just my take on it.

As far as PT’s go, this one is unique, very atmospheric and creepy, and even I, Miss jaded and burned out on PT’s, nearly jumped out of my skin on one occasion. The author thankfully keeps the story on an even keel, with no wild, unnecessary, or over the top twists. In fact, the twists are very well timed, and the suspense builds at a steady and effective pace.

Although the story is far from predictable, I did figure some things out in advance, and many seasoned PT readers will probably have a good inkling where everything is headed, as well. It’s an unavoidable ‘occupational hazard’ I think. Still, the final turn of the screw was very well done, and the book ended on a perfect note. I loved it!

I am impressed by Ms. Hoover’s courage to step outside her comfort zone, taking a risk by writing outside of her usual genre. That she pulled this off, shouldn’t really be a surprise, though. Reading her bio, I see that she is a number one New York Times bestselling author. Ms. Hoover is a seasoned, professional writer and has been for some time. Let’s give her a little credit here.

I hope her success with this book will widen her reading audience and I hope she will try her hand at this genre again someday. Meanwhile, I think it’s about time I checked out some of her romance and contemporary fiction novels.





International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA and Women's Fiction.

Still doesn't know the difference between affect/effect, further/farther, or if the oxford comma is in or out. 

If you want to follow me, my username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is colleenhooverbooks@gmail.com

Founder of www.thebookwormbox.com charity. We've donated over one million dollars to various charities. Give us your money so we can donate even more. 

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