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review 2019-06-18 23:30
The Rumor
The Rumor - Lesley Kara

The Rumor ended up being a middle of the road read for me. There were things I liked and others, well, not so much. I think part of my meh feeling can be chalked up to the fact that I went into this one expecting a thriller, and to say it fell short would be an understatement. It is a tension filled story, and I suppose if you don't figure out who Sally is, there's suspense. I did figure that part out, as well as what I assume is supposed to be a big twist at the end, and despite a few red herrings and way too many disposable characters, my 'guess' didn't waver. I did enjoy the tense atmosphere of the story, and the idea behind this one is spectacular, which is what drew me to the book in the first place. So, while I wouldn't consider this one a thriller, I think it fits nicely into the women's fiction genre as well as small town drama. The author does have a compelling writing style, and I'll be interested to see her growth in future books. 

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review 2019-06-10 17:04
The Irreversable Nature of Gossip
The Rumor - Lesley Kara

Lies travel faster than the truth and once released can rarely be contained. Joanna Critchley learns how harmful unsubstantiated gossip can be in Lesley Kara’s debut novel, The Rumor. Jo returns to her old hometown of Flintstead to be closer to her mother, but she has been away long enough to feel like she is starting over since most of her old friends have moved away. As a Real Estate agent, she wants to make some new connections in town and wants to ensure that her young son Alfie is accepted by his peers at school. She fears that her unmarried status and casual relationship with Alfie’s father combined with their son’s mixed race may affect his acceptance in the small town. Her mother suggests she join a Book Club to meet some new people and gain friends. Jo overhears a woman talking about the possibility that a famous child murderer from 30 years ago might have moved to Flintstead under an assumed name. In order to diffuse an emerging conflict, Jo relates the news at a club meeting. Later, when she feels rebuffed by the other mothers at Alfie’s school, she repeats it again-attracting attention and receiving entry into the babysitting exchange and invitations to playdates and parties. Unfortunately, the rumor begins to take on a life of its own, and a local shop owner becomes the target of outraged locals who suspect her of being the released killer. Things become increasing complicated when Alfie’s father, a tenacious reporter, decides he wants to move to town to write about the story. Jo tries to remedy her mistake, but it is too late to reverse the damage. She also feels compelled to find out the truth, and in doing so comes to suspect various residents of being the real perpetrator. The reader is taken along many twists and turns as Jo works through her list of potential suspects. Interspersed are chapters narrated by the anonymous target as Jo gets closer and closer to discovering her identity. The novel has some too-convenient connections and stretches credulity when Jo occasionally seems more naïve than her character would indicate. Still, The Rumor has some wonderful characterizations and manages to also introduce some incisive topics like prejudice and vigilantism imbedded in its nicely paced plot. For her debut, Lesley Kara has provided a solid suspense thriller that will entertain summer readers and attract a fan base that will eagerly await her next effort.


For fans of Liane Moriarty, Nora Roberts and Laura Lippman.


Thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for an ARC of this book in exchange for an objective review.

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review 2019-06-03 15:49
Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks
The Rumor - Lesley Kara

Please note that I received this book for free via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.


So I liked the general idea on how a rumor can catch fire and burn innocent people. However, I think Kara didn't go far enough with it. Also some of the book read as repetitive after a while with Joanna thinking everyone was the child killer Sally McGowan in hiding. And then we have the reveal (which was ridiculous by the way) and the book went downhill from there. I was disappointed since the first parts of the book were very well done.


"The Rumor" follows single mother Joanna Critchley. Joanna has returned to her hometown of Flintstead to raise her five year old son Alfie. Alfie was bullied in his previous school and Joanna is hoping that with her mother nearby that she will have more time for him. Joanna though feels like an outsider and starts gossiping in her book club meeting about a rumor she heard that day in order to feel closer to the other women. Apparently, someone believes that Sally McGowan, who killed Robbie Harris in 1969 is living in the town of Flinstead under a new identity. Sally McGowan was only 10 years old when she killed Harris, and it sounds like her childhood was the stuff of nightmares. Many people in the town of Flinstead are horrified that a killer could be living among them. Too soon suspicions turn to those around them with one woman bearing the fallout of being accused. Joanna feels guilty because she spread the first rumor and from there it grew. Soon after it seems a mysterious person is stalking Joanna, hell-bent on teaching her how much harm rumors can have.


I felt ambivalent and then disliked Joanna. She was hysterical through most of the book and I thought that her explanation for why she spread the rumor was lame. Also why she becomes obsessed with unmasking Sally McGowan felt odd. Joanna is also still into the father of her child, Michael and goes round and round about that. Frankly, Joanna's mother was the only one with common sense about spreading mixed signals to her son when she lets Michael stay over. Either you are together or not, don't mess with kids. Michael through luck (or plot) also happens to be an investigative journalist who wants to find McGowan in order to tell her story. So Joanna weirdly feels like she should be helping with his case though feels resentful that is the only reason why he seems to want to get back together to her. Joanna barely seems to be at work and runs around thinking every neighbor or woman she knows could be McGowan who she believes wants to hurt her for spreading the rumor. 


The other women in this book are barely developed beyond Joanna's mother. Every kind of blended together and I think it's because every couple of pages Joanna believed someone else was secretly McGowan. It got old. 


Frankly in that situation I would have minded my own business. McGowan was a ten year old girl being physically and sexually abused by her father. She says it was an accident that she stabbed Robbie Harris. She was locked up until she turned 18 and slipped away to make a new life. Why everyone in the town is suddenly wanting to find her and burn her at the stake definitely showed that people had zero sympathy for the character. 


The writing read as flat to me after a while. I think Kara can definitely set a mood though. Some of my favorite scenes were when the author describes a house, a mood, a place that Joanna was at. I thought this would be a perfect Halloween read at times due to Joanna feeling claustrophobic and scared after she feels threatened. Also things get very repetitive with Joanna practically having a breakdown every five minutes.


The flow was initially very good, and we get hints in between about Sally McGowan written in another voice. However, that voice felt wrong after we get to the reveal so I don't know what that was even about in the end. 


The setting of Flinstead made me think of Salem during the Salem Witch Trials. We have everyone under the sun being accused. I think it would have worked better to get the whole town in a panic and have more and more people accused. Just keeping it to this small circle of women didn't really work. And one wonders why McGowan would even be concerned since it seemed a very small chance she would be discovered. I thought it was lame how Kara tied up everything up. Talk about coincidence after coincidence. 


The ending was a letdown. There's a small twist thrown in the last line of the novel, but at that point I didn't care at all about it.  



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review 2019-04-05 20:31
Rumor Has It
Rumor Has It - Jill Shalvis

Animal Magnetism, Book 4

I Picked Up This Book Because: Continue the series.

The Characters:

Griffin Reid:
Kate Evans:

The Story:

So this story was a bit overloaded. I loved the best friends brother trope but there was a wedding, a missing child, a possible stalker, teacher woes, health issues, daddy issues, a battle to reclaim one's life all rolled up into 281 pages. Or 9 hours and 18 minutes since I listened to this. And actually saying 9 hours doesn’t make it feel as overloaded as I felt listening to it.

Anyway I enjoyed this story and it’s many many facets. Griffin and Kate are so good for each other and I’m so glad I have a little more time in Sunshine to see how they grow…. Hopefully.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


3.5 Stars

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review 2018-05-20 14:10
Rumor Has It - Jessica Lemmon

This is book #4, in the Real Love series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend this series be read in order.


Barrett has to "pretend" date another reporter, so they can make ratings magic.  Not a stranger to the publicity stunt genre - he decides to go for it.  Then he meets the elusive Catarina.  


Catalina has never been so insulted.  She already has a boyfriend - why must her boss play this game?  Barrett is no prize.  Ratings is the key here.  Only the attraction she is feeling seems to be mutual.....


This book was sparks galore from almost word one.  The very sexy characters banter well.  The book has a great pace, and lots of heat to keep one turning the page.  This is a great addition to the series.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This book was provided by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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