Cover Image: The Secret Next Door

The Secret Next Door

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The Secret Next Door by Rebecca Taylor

Wow, I could not put this book down!  If only life didn’t get in the way I would have read it in one day!  This book gave me Desperate House Wives and The Hunting Wives by @MayCobb another favorite of mine this year, type of vibes!  Each chapter left me wanting more.  Taylor keeps the reader’s anticipation by deliberately revealing things at a measured pace.  But this book was not slow by any means!  The pacing was fast there was just so much drama going on!

Synopsis:

Alyson and Justin Tinsdalte relocate to Denver, Colorado and move to the exclusive Enclave.  Their house while modest compared to many in the neighborhood, is way beyond their means .Alyson has only one friend in the neighborhood, Gabby.  Gabby is a mother of four and makes it look effortless while Alyson struggles with her five year old son, Andrew.  Desperate for a night out Alyson invites herself to the neighborhood book club with Gabby.  That night marks a downward spiral in Alyson’s life and Bonnie Sloans.

Bonnie Sloan is the neighborhood queen bee.  Her family is rich and powerful in the community.  In fact Bonnie is running for a seat on the state senate.  Underneath the powerful fasade the Sloan family is about to hit rock bottom both financially and  emotionally after an unspeakable death.   Alyson makes a colossal mistake by getting on Bonnie’s bad side and falls victim to the Sloan’s  unyielding power in the community.


The book is told from both women’s perspectives.  However it’s not an even split and we hear more from Alyson.   Alyson is questioning her abilities as a mother, and if her marriage will be able to sustain the problems living in the Enclave has brought them. With a dead body found, the focus is more on the reaction of the neighbors and the ugly secrets they hide behind closed doors.

I thought his was a terrific book and I was right there with Alyson the whole time wondering what secrets she would uncover next!

On  a side note as a teacher, I did not approve of how Alyson and Justin handled hearing about their son’s problems at school.  It’s important that educators and parents are partners in order to find the best solution for a child.  By placing blame on others our children learn to never to take accountability for their actions.
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WOW, what A THRILLING ride of domestic suspense!! The majestic Colorado Rockies are the backdrop to THE ENCLAVE, -an exclusive suburban neighborhood where perfection, money, status, and wine flows 24/7. And of course, there is a downside of living within The Enclave; gossip, deception, drama, and yes, murder. 

The story is told from the perspectives of Alyson and Bonnie, two women, worlds apart different, but struggling all the same. 

Alyson Tinsdale wants to give her 5-year-old, Andrew, everything she never had; a stable family, beautiful home, safe neighborhood, great school, and in doing so, her and her husband have over-extended themselves. And fitting in isn’t as easy as Alyson thought. 

Bonnie Sloan is The Enclaves matriarch. She’s been playing house long enough, and now wants a Colorado senate seat. She bows out when her son is found at the nearby lake, his death ruled a homicide. Neighborhood tension is spilling over at this point. 

Delving beyond the main characters into the neighborhood families as a whole, I loved the insight into their lives, which gradually showed the truth behind The Enclave facade, -their lives being anything but put together. I was glued to my seat reading about their secrets and outer disguises (reminding me of my favorite tv show back in the day, Desperate Housewives.) I found myself highly anticipating what the author was going to throw at me next. This is very entertaining, turning into much more than your everyday drama. A page-turner for sure!


*Much thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Landmark via NetGalley for approving this arc in return for an honest review.
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This was a fun read about gossipy nosey neighbors. It was a mid to fast paced suspense read for me and the characters were developed well!  Read this if you love a domestic drama and may wonder what secrets your neighbors are keeping hidden from you!
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When Alyson, her husband Justin and their young son Andrew move into the exclusive neighborhood known as The Enclave, she thinks they have finally made it! Although a bit out of their price range, she finally convinced her skeptical husband that it would be well worth the cost. Andrew would be getting the best education in the safest neighborhood with wonderful friendly and affluent neighbors.

But as so many know, no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. The outside can sometimes be the facade needed to cover-up the inside strain and turmoil. Nearby residence can be jealous of what others have. Both monetarily, emotionally and physically.

Take Bonnie Sloan. She is running for political office. She has one son who will be going off to Yale, another son in middle school and a daughter in kindergarten. They are the family everyone looks up to. But quietly, behind closed doors their lives are falling apart. Her husband, who took over his family’s business has basically bankrupted them by making poor business decisions. Their two boys do not get along at all and have horrible physical altercations. And now the only hope for the Sloan family to financially survive is if a new development is built next to their beautiful neighborhood. This has divided residence.

So when Alyson gets invited to attend the exclusive neighborhood book club she jumps at the chance. Her new friend Gabby has been able to wrangle the invitation. Once there, as the women gossip about all the neighbors including her, she begins to drink too much. Alyson wakes up the next morning in her bathroom unable to recall anything from the previous night. Her husband who is under great pressure to figure out how to pay for this house they can’t afford has had enough. He begins to distance himself from his wife. That’s when Alyson’s life truly begins to fall apart.

That morning as Alyson is nursing a hangover, a neighborhood child was found on the road killed the night before. Her husband begins to sleep in his man cave which was her selling point to him when they bought the house. He also locks its door. Her son who she has perhaps pampered a bit too much suddenly has developed issues at school. He can’t keep up with the work in class and has been shown to anger easily.

As the neighborhood speculates on who killed the child, they begin to deliberate whether Alyson’s family is perhaps too unrefined for the beloved community. Alyson is grateful she has Gabby to lean on as her marriage begins to falls apart and her son is ostracized. She is sure once they figure out what happened to the dead child everything else will return to normal. But she is stunned at the contempt her neighbors suddenly have for her family.

But people with too many secrets, including her own husband, always try to find someone else worse than them, don’t they? What will normal ever look like? And the shocking ending will send ripples around the neighborhood with lives changed forever. Who will recover from their secrets?

Thank you #NetGalley #SourcebooksLandmark #RebeccaTaylor #TheSecretNextDoor for the advanced copy.
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The Secret Next Door is an incredible suspense novel based in a neighborhood of Denver. Alyson is new in town and just wants to make friends with her neighbors. Bonnie is the most popular mom in town and she commands respect. She’s got her family in a good spot so she’s running for state Senate. 

Everything is good in the ‘hood, until they find the body of a teen boy near the lake in the neighborhood. The community runs rampant with gossip on the community Facebook group. It’s fascinating to discover you really don’t know who your neighbors are. 

This was a delight of a book. I love neighbors with secrets and moms behaving badly. I also thought the Denver location was a nice change. I do wish a little more was focused on the body that was found than the financial issues. The Secret Next Door was a very quick read and I would absolutely recommend it!
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Rebecca Taylor's The Secret Next Door features a tragic mystery in a well-to-do community with secrets spilling out neighbors' front doors. More domestic tension than suspenseful, Alyson's crumbling marriage and anger-ridden 5-year-old son will leave any parent reader with their stomach in knots. Alyson's home life is in shambles; she has a husband who barely talks to her and sleeps in the basement and a son who is so angry for apparently no reason that he flies into a rage when he doesn't get his way, and she's struggling to keep everything together to create the life she always envisioned for herself. And while she thinks her neighbors are better off than she is, there are so many secrets in this community that finding a child dead near the lake and a family falling apart at the seams almost become minor plot points. I had expected more of a thriller but The Secret Next Door is more of a tense tale of "who's hiding what" and adults trudging through life with decisions that are weighing them down. The best intentions don't always lead us down the best path...
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This book was sent to me on Kindle by Netgalley for review.  I had problems with the language taking away from the story.  Others might not mind this but I did.
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This was kind of disappointing. I usually really enjoy domestic suspense books with unlikeable characters and lots of dark and twisty secrets but this story seemed to drag a lot and I wasn’t a fan of some of the misdirections or ways the characters behaved. Parts were certainly relatable (struggling to find the present your kid wants at Christmas, the hell of shopping in Costco, mom guilt, the pressures to get your kid in the best school, etc). Overall just an okay story and not a gripping or standout one. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my review copies!
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While this felt a little more like a drama than suspense/thriller, it still kept me very entertained. There were some suspenseful moments and the “mystery of the town” I did not guess in the end. I got sucked right into the gossip and figuring out who to trust. The multiple POV really kept the mystery going. I also liked how it ended, it wasn’t perfectly wrapped up but it didn’t leave me with questions.

Thank you @rebeccataylorbooks and @netgalley for the gifted copy
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A griping, thrilling novel full of deception, lies, betrayal, and half-truths. A fast-paced novel that will keep you on your toes as you flip through the pages of this novel. I enjoyed the many different characters in this novel and how they all have different personalities, and were constantly seeming to try to one-up each other. Are your secrets ever a secret for long? 

A great read that I recommend.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks for my gifted review copy. 

The Secret Next Door has neighbors behaving poorly and the premise of of not everything looking it first seemed when you pull back the curtains -which also happens to be one of my favorite sub-genres of suspense fiction!

This was the perfect mix of being a page turner while also have issues many of us can relate to in our own daily lives. Adult friendships, marriage and motherhood are all topics incorporated into this engaging plot line and I can't wait to read what author Rebecca Taylor writes next!
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Another domestic drama all about an affluent neighborhood, neighbors all hiding secrets, and one family trying to fit in above their means. While there was the murder of a young boy, it was not the main plot and it was heartbreaking to read about. Perhaps my state of mind having my own personal loss of a teenage family member this year colored my feelings about the story.
Alyson convinces her husband, Justin, to buy a new home in the prestigious Enclave development in Denver. They have a young son Andrew. Justin's character could have been better developed, not much revealed about him until the end. Andrew seemed to have undiagnosed and untreated behavioral issues.
The only redeeming quality for Alyson was her love for Andrew. Her mother-in-law described her as spineless. I agree, she was unlikable, weak, scared, and naive.
Bonnie Sloan was a veteran wealthy Enclave resident, married to Bennett with children George, Elijah, and Gracie. She is on the council and running for the Senate. This family dynamic was interesting and well described.
There is a backstory about an Extreme Golf project in the Enclave which has neighbors choosing sides. Carl Wayland is on social media expressing his furor. It will ruin his mountain views and destroy his property value. There is mystery in his past, but it was not particularly developed or explained either.
Alyson tries to fit in, she misses girlfriend relationships like her college days included. Gabby is one of the neighbors Alyson makes friends with. Her friendship may not be an asset. There's wine at the bookclub and at every gathering or social event. Alyson gets drunk often.
The story focus is about keeping up appearances, the value of real friends, the importance of family, not wealth. While I appreciated all of this, there was nothing strikingly new or interesting. I'm probably in a minority, but the mystery part could have played out more. It was almost anticlimactic.
Thanks to Netgalley, Rebecca Taylor, and Sourcebooks Landmark for the advance digital copy of The Secret Next Door. These are my thoughts and opinions given voluntarily.
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Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for gifting me a digital copy of the domestic thriller by Rebecca Taylor - 4.5 stars!

Alyson, her husband, Justin, and their 5-year-old son, Andrew, have just moved into the Enclave - an exclusive development in Boulder CO.  Their home is more of a starter home and doesn't compete with the multi-million dollar homes a street away.  Alyson is desperate to give her son the childhood she didn't have and to have a good group of girlfriends she can rely on.  Bonnie Sloan is the queen of the neighborhood in addition to running for Senate, with the nicest house, successful husband, the son headed to Yale.  But things aren't always as they seem to outsiders.  Progress is threatening to encroach on the wonderful neighbor views and tensions are escalating.  When a teenager is found dead, gossip and rumors erupt.

This was just a fun book to get lost in - easy reading, with relatable characters even when they made questionable decisions.  Alyson is so insecure and desperate to fit into her new world that she ignores what's going on inside her own home.  Meanwhile, Bonnie is desperate to hold onto her own crumbling world.  A good reminder not to judge others on outside appearances.  Definitely pick this one up!
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Sometimes getting what you think you need to be able to fit in, have friends, and live a childhood dream is precisely the wrong thing. This is a fast moving, excellently paced, family drama/mystery that kept me reading past bedtime.

Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC to read and review.
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Early buzz drew me to this book. It was the immediate draw from the first page that kept me quickly reading. I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on with several scenarios but none of my suspicions were confirmed, thankfully. I was pleasantly surprised which is what I embrace in a book. Being unpredictable. I loved Alison’s character from the start and enjoyed her throughout, even when my opinion on other characters changed.
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Wow…what a modern day Peyton Place!!! The Enclave Community is full of secrets & with secrets comes lots of drama. Alyson Tinsdale may have got more than she bargained for.
I found this to be a more of a drama/mystery but still quite enjoyable. The characters while I was not always fond of were relatable. This was an quick read that was well written.
I cannot wait to read more from this author!
Thank you #NetGalley, #RebeccaTaylor, #thesecretnextdoor & Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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A domestic mystery set in an exclusive neighborhood with secrets galore!  A good read with lots of goings on set in a place where you would think it perfect but it is so far from!  

Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for this ARC!
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The Secret Next Door was a pretty good domestic thriller!  There was a lot going on and you almost couldn't look away at the carnage!  Lies and secrets are everywhere and the ending will satisfy you!
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The Secret Next Door is full of well….secrets. In a well to do neighborhood each family has secrets.

I really liked the writing style. It is a multiple POV book and these are my favorite because you find out so much more about the characters in my opinion.  Well it was a very enjoyable read I had a hard time finishing the central plot. There are many sub-stories, an overarching plot, other than so many secrets, was low. Despite that I would still recommend this book as an enjoyable read.
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The Secret Next Door is a domestic drama story that’s easy to read and enjoyable. While the twist at the end wasn’t intense, it was still unexpected. Pacing is a bit slow. While the ending wrapped up nicely, I thought there could have been more character development along the way.
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