Ghosted by Rosie Walsh

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
Pub. Date: July 24, 2018
Source: ARC via publisher (Thank you, Pamela Dorman Books!)
Summary: When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth.
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery

Having returned home for the anniversary of a day she’d rather forget ever happened, Sarah meets Eddie. Unexpectedly (and much to their mutual delight) the pair instantly hit it off and spend the next seven days together. Eddie nearly calls off his already-booked holiday in Spain in order to spend just a few days more with Sarah, but she urges him to go; she’ll be right there waiting when he returns. After all, she’s fallen in love and is certain he feels the same way about her.

Although Eddie promised to call the moment his plane lands, a hour goes by without word. Sarah’s content to brush it off, he just landed and was surely busy unpacking. Then hours turn into days and soon weeks go by without any word. Despite her friends’ protests, Sarah insists something isn’t right. Those seven days were life-changing, he wouldn’t – couldn’t – act like they didn’t mean anything! She’s convinced there’s an explanation for why he hasn’t called…or texted…or emailed, and she’s not going to stop until she gets answers.

Just two chapters into this one, I mentioned in my IG stories that it was going to be a one-sitting read. I was wildly impressed from the start, but little did I know what was in store! Some might be a bit turned off by the premise: a woman nearing 40 who can’t let it go that a guy she’s known for a week won’t call back, but oh. em. gee. This one was good. Crazy good. Forget-to-eat-dinner-and-stay-up-too-late-reading good.

Rosie’s friends are the voice of reason. Of course she should let it go. Sarah spent a fantastic week with Eddie, but he’s clearly not interested. Sarah refuses to accept his rejection though and her hunt for the truth had me glued to the page. As her search progresses, so does her descent – not into madness, but this frantic, compulsive need and I was absolutely hooked.

Woven throughout the novel is a good bit of backstory (namely Sarah’s reason for returning home) and her history with her two closest friends, the business she runs with her ex-husband, and an employee who’s struggling to come to terms with her infertility. There are some seriously heavy topics in Ghosted, but not once did I feel weighed down. Instead, every plot, every character, spurned the story on at a breakneck pace!

On a slightly unrelated note, I totally related to the immediate connection Sarah and Eddie had. Four years ago I shared my own instalove story: just a week after we met Matt and I started dating and one short month later we moved in together! Seven years later and I’m so grateful I make an impromptu stop that night. Admittedly, we were in our mid-20s, not 40, but still! Instalove must run in my family: a mere nine days after meeting, my aunt and uncle married! That was 40 years ago. Team instalove over here!

Ghosted was a fun, intense read that made the jump to a fantastic read after a twist I truly didn’t see coming. The twists aren’t anything alike, but one of my favorite reads of 2017 also started out as a good read that became great because of a tiny reveal. Ghosted‘s completely changed the story for me and I knew then and there I wasn’t going to stop until I reached the end.

It’s hard to discuss specifics and details of Ghosted without spoiling anything. Already electrifying, Ghosted turned into an un-putdownable read during one reveal and I was completely captivated. This was a one-sitting read that’s stayed with me long after turning the final pages and I can’t believe this is a debut! Rosie Walsh is off to a phenomenal start and I’m so excited to see where she goes next.


weekly wrap-up 7/22

• Anyone else need a second weekend? Tomorrow is going to be a day and I’m not looking forward to it at all. That said, this weekend has been great! Cars & Coffee was cut short after a drop or two of rain had everyone panicking about their cars haha! Everyone knows how much I love thunderstorms, so I was more than a little disappointed when the forecast turned out to be completely wrong: apart from that minute or two of drizzle, it was totally sunny. Boo. I’m hoping for some storms today!

• Do you have a designated cleaning day? For me, that’s Sunday. Before 10, the dogs and I had already been on our walk, I cleaned the kitchen – including the stove (which is a project on its own!), vacuumed the whole house, and got a good head start on the laundry. Let’s hope I’m able to stay motivated the rest of the day!


• Give me all of your too-ripe banana recipes! Matt and I got a little carried away recently and now we have a bunch of bananas that need to be used now. I made some delicious banana pecan pancakes this morning and will probably end up using the rest in banana bread.

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? I shared what’s making me happy this week (Hemingway! Sassy brooches!) and shared my Top Reads from the first half of the year!

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
Was totally surprised by this one! I’ve only read one of his novels and ugly cried something fierce (one guess which book is was!)…I really hope this won’t break my heart. This super slim novel is about a pod of whales who attack a ship and might be a Moby Dick retelling?? I’ll admit, I’m curious! Thank you, HarperTeen!

Summer on the River by Marcia Willett
Summerscall Evie’s family home to their beloved house on the river. This summer, however, Evie uncovers a secret that could tear them apart. For Charlie, summers mean a visit to see his stepmother – and a chance to take a break from his unhappy marriage in London. Charlie never expected to meet a woman by the river and, worse, fall in love. Thank you, Thomas Dunne Books!

Bad by Chloe Esposito
I’ve been looking forward to this one from the moment I finished Mad, the first in the trilogy. Twins who swap identities, a husband in the mafia, stolen art. It’s completely wackadoo but absolutely PERFECT for a day on the beach or at the pool! It seems like Bad jumps right into the action and I can’t wait to dive in! Thank you, Dutton Books!

Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen
There was MAJOR shrieking when I opened this one! I had just finished the first book, A Duke in the Night when the sequel arrived and I was so, so tempted to dive back into this world. Eli Dawes, Earl of Rivers, was presumed dead after Waterloo but he’s very much alive, though a bit worse for wear. Wanting to hide his scars from society, he returns to his country home…only to discover someone already in his bed. Rose already has a poor impression of Eli (he was, after all, the man who helped her late fiance betray her) and discovering him sneaking through a girls’ school – at night – certainly doesn’t help. I loved the first one so much and can’t wait to sink into this one!! Thank you, Forever!

what’s making me happy this week 7/21

New feature alert! Inspired by an old feature of mine (the saturday six) and What’s Making Us Happy This Week, a segment on Pop Culture Happy Hour where they share anything making them happy from comedy specials to youtube videos, every Saturday I’ll be sharing a few things that’s making ME happy. Feel free to share what made you smile this week!

Happy Hemingday! From last year, here are 20 Hemingway quotes on life.

• Also, his advice on writing, revising, and his list of essential books.

• The Queen throwing shade at Trump with her brooches is amazing.

• I started my Friday with happy tears: a little girl went right up to a boy with autism and wanted to play because of a Muppet on Sesame Street. Representation matters ♥

• There’s nothing like cozying up in a warm hoodie and a style I’m loving is majorly on sale right now! I miiiight have just stocked up on a TON.

Leah’s Top Reads of 2018: Part 1!

HOW is it time for this post already?! I am so not ready for shorter days and negative temperatures. They’re creeping up – and fast. Until then, let’s take a look back on the first half of 2018 and see what books caught my attention!

Final Girls by Riley Sager | July 11, 2017
Unfortunately I didn’t listen to all the buzz (including super high praise from Stephen King) when this one first came out. It wasn’t until earlier this year that the publicist reached out to me with a softcover copy. I’m totally a mood reader and there’s no better time for a murder mystery than a snowy day. Three different attacks, three sole survivors the media branded the Final Girls. When one suddenly commits suicide, the remaining two are brought together, determined to find out exactly why Lisa took her own life – and why she emailed Quincy just before doing so.

Although the twists and turns weren’t completely shocking (to me, someone who doesn’t typically read a lot of mysteries would be more wowed), sinking into this one with a literal blizzard going on outside my window made Final Girls a perfect way to kick off the new year.

The English Wife by Lauren Willig | January 9, 2018
Forbidden romance, secret identities, a murder that occurs as a Shakespeare-inspired ball. The English Wife practically screamed my name! (I’ll be honest, I was initially drawn to it because the main character was named Bayard, Bay for short, and one of my pup’s is named Bay…well imagine my surprise when it’s Bay who gets murdered.) You know a family who rubs shoulders with Vanderbilts and Astors will have a capital s Story, and I was utterly captivated with this one.

In my review back in January I knew then and there it would make a return on my Top Reads list. I’m a total Lauren Willig newbie and was slightly intimidated by her Pink Carnations series. This standalone couldn’t have been a better introduction and before I had even finished the book I was already recommending it to friends! This one is in the running for AT LEAST my top 3 of 2018. It’s that good and just thinking about it makes me want to read it all over again!

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner | February 6, 2018
I fell hard for last year’s A Bridge Across the Ocean, and couldn’t wait for Susan’s follow-up. This 400-page book was a single-sitting read and my first 5-star read of the year. Does anything more really need to be said?

There was a LOT going on within these pages, a good portion of which made me cry. And not pretty little Disney Princess tears. No, I was in full on ugly cry mode. A family moves to Philadelphia to help run an uncle’s funeral business. Just as they unpack, the Spanish Flu touches down and soon there’s not enough room for bodies. The Great War is taking young men by the thousands. A baby is discovered along in a house, its parents having succumbed to the flu. So many layers, so many emotions. As Bright As Heaven definitely isn’t a happy, cheerful read, but oh was it incredible. It’s the kind of book that stays with you long after finishing the final pages.

The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen | February 20, 2018
Much like with Lauren Willig, Rhys Bowen has an incredibly lengthy series (rather, a few incredibly lengthy series). I did read a Christmas novel last year and enjoyed it enough to where I immediately leapt at the chance to review a standalone. The Tuscan Child features one of my favorite storytelling methods: the dual narrative. A young woman in the 70s returns home to clear out her father’s things after his passing and uncovers some curious items, particularly a letter – written in Italian – and the mention of ‘our boy.’ Did her father have an affair during the war? Does she have a half-brother she never knew about? Her father’s story is also played out, telling of his time in the 40s when his plane is shot down over Italy.

I was wildly impressed with this one and now I seriously want to take that stab of Rhys’s mind-boggling backlist! (Also, foodies, take note! This book is for you.)

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James | March 20, 2018
Bouncing between 2014 and 1950, The Broken Girls tells the story of an old boarding school and a journalist looking for answers to her sister’s murder. There’s an urban legend of a young woman who lost her baby and has been wandering the grounds for centuries. After years of sitting in disrepair, Idlewild Hall has been bought and renovations have begun…revealing a decades-old body stuffed in a well. Clearly this was a book written for me.

While March might not seem like the best time of the year for a spooky, horror novel, I was completely swept away by this one. The girls at the boarding school felt so real, from their friendship to the demons each one battles. The modern day mystery and the sister who wants answers. Fun fact: although I love ghost stories and general spookiness, I’m a huge baby when it comes to reading them alone. I’m a light-on-in-the-middle-of-the-day kind of horror reader, and Matt was out of the state the weekend I spent with this one. …I couldn’t stop reading and read WELL into the night!

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff | March 31, 2018
I never got around to reviewing this one and honestly don’t plan on doing so. This one made my Top Reads list for more of a sentimental reason than anything: back in October we lost our sweet Myra. I would always house-sit for my grandparents while they spent Thanksgiving with my uncle and aunt in Denver and uninterrupted reading time means a huge stack of books. Some great books have been read over Thanksgiving and the past few years involved Illuminae (which I admittedly wasn’t a huge fan of) and Gemina (second chances, y’all). That series makes me think of Myra and when Obsidio came out, it was with a heavy heart that I sat down to read. The book itself was fun, if a bit long, but it earns a spot on my list for the memories.

Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Pénélope Bagieu | March 6, 2018 and Bygone Badass Broads: 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World by Mackenzi Lee | February 27, 2018
I’m lumping these two together (just as I did in my initial review, hence only one link) because they’re essentially the same: fantastic books about phenomenal women. Brazen offers up its bios in a graphic novel format, while Bygone features one full-page illustration for each woman. My absolute favorite part was the selection. Some of the names I had heard of, but SO many were totally new to me; these ladies weren’t your usual “great ladies” picks! Also, both books were 5-star reads for me!

Birdnote: Chirps, Quirks, and Stories of 100 Birds from the Popular Public Radio Show by Birdnote | March 20, 2018
Another 5-star read! Back in 2016 I shared 4 of my favorite podcasts and have discovered so many more since then (an updated list is in the works!) One of those new discoveries? Birdnote, a daily bird podcast with episodes maxing out around 2 minutes. This book presents 100 of those essays in a teensy bite-sized format – a handful of paragraphs for each one – along with a GORGEOUS illustration. The art alone is worth 5 stars!

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell | April 24, 2018
Ellie was the baby of the family, still doted on at 15 with her sweet demeanor and halo of blonde hair. One day she walked out of the house with a stern threat to her older sister to not touch that last piece of lasagna and headed to the library. Only Ellie never made it to the library. A decade later Laurel is finally beginning to move on from her daughter’s disappearance: moved out of the house, separated from her husband. She recently met an absolutely charming man and Floyd seems smitten with her too. Their relationship seems to be too good to be true – and when Laurel meets Floyd’s little girl, she can’t help but instantly think of her own daughter. Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie. Why? How?

Believe the hype. Then She Was Gone was GOOD and it should say something that this thriller left me sobbing. Take it from me, you’re going to want a box of tissue with you for those last pages. So, so good.

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli | May 8, 2018
One of two school shooting novels I read back-to-back. Both books have stuck with me, especially this one. Heidi wrote one of my favorite reads of 2017 and I couldn’t wait to see where she would go next. The Hidden Side weaves the story of two women, born centuries apart, who are connected by an old diary. In 1776, Mercy Howard learns her beloved Nathan has been arrested and will be executed. Devastated, she vows revenge, and what better way to avenge her fiance’s death than to join the legendary spy ring he had been a part of? In 2016, Natalie Abbott is a popular morning show host. She knows just what to say to heal callers, yet she’s in dire need of some comfort of her own. News of a school shooting is any parent’s nightmare, but then she learns her son is the shooter.

Guilt, anger, confusion, shame, these characters go through it all and I was with them every step of the way. Heidi can write, this is a difficult read, but such a powerful one and after just two novels, I will read anything this woman releases.

Lady Elizabeth’s Comet by Sheila Simonson | April 1, 1985
One of the only books featured here that wasn’t released this year – and by far the oldest. If you followed me anywhere online in May, you’ve probably heard me mention this one. Or twice. Or a million times. I came across this book years ago and impulse borrowed it from the library. Best decision of the year.

This sweet historical features Lady Elizabeth, 28-years-old and considered far past her prime. That’s perfectly fine with her however, she has no time for men and would much rather devote her time to discovering comets, thank you very much. Girl, same. Then a curmudgeonly cousin inherits the Clanross title and descends upon the estate. Lady Elizabeth’s Comet was lovely and charming and an absolute delight.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson | June 5, 2018
With the exception of the two Middle Grade nonfic picks, YA and kids’ titles are missing from this list! Save the Date is a hulking behemoth of a read – and by the end I admit I was getting a little antsy for it to be over – but I’m thrilled to say I’ve finally read a Morgan Matson novel! And I’m kind of kicking myself for waiting so long!!

A big family comprised of even bigger personalities. A nationally beloved comic strip coming to an end. A wedding where nothing goes right. I was there for every bit of it, from the excellent sibling dynamics to the dry cleaner mix-up that left the groom with a bright purple suit. I had a blast with this one and would love to be a part of this family in real life.

weekly wrap-up 7/15

• We did it. Matt and I finally finished Cheers yesterday! It was a first watch for both of us (I’m a massive Frasier fan and was curious to see where it all started and Matt had only ever watched an episode or two in re-runs) and I’m honestly surprised by 1, how much we loved it and 2, how fast we got through all 11 seasons! We only started earlier in the year! WHAT ARE YOU WATCHING RIGHT NOW?

• Are Saturdays perfect ‘stay-inside-and-watch-movies’ kind of days or what? We didn’t get a chance to see A Quiet Place while it was in theaters so Matt grabbed it from Redbox. Wow. Wow.

• I’m loving my current read, but I’m struggling to actually, you know, read it. I either have been too exhausted or haven’t found the time or, when I have found time, I only manage to sneak in a chapter (if that!) before x, y, z needs done ugh.

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? In this week’s What’s Making Me Happy This Week, a spin-off of an old feature, I discussed a Netflix mini-series I loved, shared an adorable farmers market tote, mentioned Stephen King, and more!

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
The Wife Before Us was super buzzy when it came out and I expect this one will be too! Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. A woman signs up for a psychological study, expecting to do nothing more than answer some questions and collect her money as she walks out the door. Then the questions become more invasive, meetings become more frequent. Eventually Dr. Shields dictates how Jessica will act and what she’ll wear. Eventually Jessica’s paranoia causes her to be unsure of what’s real and what isn’t. I haven’t heard too much about this one yet (it comes out next year), but I am definitely here for psychological experiments gone wrong. Thank you, St. Martin’s Press!

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh
Sarah and Eddie instantly hit it off and quickly fell in love. At least, that’s what Sarah thought. When Eddie goes on a long-awaited vacation, Sarah’s not the least bit concerned; she has ever bit of faith he’ll call from the airport just as he promised. Only, Eddie doesn’t call. Soon days turn into weeks and, while Sarah’s friends are convinced Eddie is intentionally avoiding contact, Sarah feels there’s another reason he hasn’t called and she needs an explanation. Thank you, Pamela Dorman Books!

The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller
Nora owns a diner and is perfectly content with her life. She knows what to expect as she rises each day and she wouldn’t change a single thing. Then she receives news that she and her sister have inherited a house and land from the town’s resident cake lady. As a broke aspiring filmmaker, Kit is more than willing to sell the land off to a developer. Nora, however, has been charmed by the farmhouse and the surrounding orchards. The town itself is also divided and the sisters are faced with a decision. A decision that needs to be made – and fast. Thank you, Pamela Dorman books!

With You Always by Rena Olsen
I really enjoyed Rena’s 2016 debut, The Girl Before, and had no idea she was coming out with a new book! Definitely the surprise of my week! Julia is left feeling lost after a painful breakup. When Bryce appears, suddenly Julia’s life seems a little brighter. He soon become her anchor and his strong principles and faith only help to strengthen their blossoming relationship. Then Julia begins to realize their picture-perfect love isn’t so perfect after all…and she needs to find a wait out. This sounds a bit Behind Closed Doors-ish, which I LOVED. Thank you, Putnam!

what’s making me happy this week 7/14

New feature alert! Inspired by an old feature of mine (the saturday six) and What’s Making Us Happy This Week, a segment on Pop Culture Happy Hour where they share anything making them happy from comedy specials to youtube videos, every Saturday I’ll be sharing a few things that’s making ME happy. Feel free to share what made you smile this week!

Lords and Ladles. Oh my gosh, this show. Unfortunately it’s only 6 episodes (total?? so far??) but I watched them all this week. Featuring three chefs, each episode brings them to a different castle/estate in Ireland where they cook an authentic dinner that had been served at one point in history. The amount of food they cook for one meal is unreal, as is the amount of butter!! Hahaha, one dish requires two pounds. It’s also pretty hilarious watching chefs get squeamish over the ingredients: entire pigs’ heads, eyeballs, testicles. I highly recommend checking this out!

• How darling is this support your local farmer tote?

• This is certainly an oldie (2009!) but I thought it was pretty interesting: Stephen King on his 10 longest novels.

• I recently fell into the deep dark hole that is The Jeopardy Fan. From recaps of each show to an entire section just for statistics (including a list of contestants who have given 300 correct responses to games that had no winner to contestants who were invited to return) and a #ThrowBackThursday section, this site is a dream for any Jeopardy fan!!

The Changing Face of Romance Novels.

weekly wrap-up 7/8

• This will be a quick wrap-up: no bookmail this week other than library grabs. Head over to my IG stories to help me decide where to start!

• Was it just me or was this week ten times longer than a normal week? With the holiday I only worked 3 days, yet it felt like Friday would never arrive! Speaking of the 4th of July, did you do anything fun? Cookouts? Fireworks? We did the celebrating last Sunday and ended up spending Wednesday inside – Nacho doesn’t care too much about fireworks, but Bay is not a fan!

• Yesterday was a beautiful day for Cars & Coffee! It was a bit quieter than usual, there was another car event happening in town, but the cars that did show up were fantastic.

MISSED SOMETHING THIS WEEK? I shared my June recap and brought back an updated version of an old feature: what’s making me happy this week!