Cover Image: The Invite

The Invite

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

'The Invite' is an enjoyable, if slower paced, contribution to the genre of psychological fiction. 

The story is that of Kaitlin, a young single mum, recently divorced, and now recently engaged to the mysterious Greg.  For Kaitlin's birthday party, best friend, Zoe, returns from working in Portugal.  Zoe has recently been humiliated by her cheating boyfriend, and returns to the UK feeling that her ex is stalking her.  At the party, Kaitin and Zoe have a very uncharacteristic falling out, Zoe seems put out by how quickly the relationship between Kaitlin and Greg is moving, and Greg and Zoe seem to clash.  Zoe rushes out of the party and shortly afterwards Greg goes out to search for her, both Kaitlin and Greg being concerned for Zoe's well being.  The search is unsuccessful, and when Zoe doesn't arrive home that night, Kaitlin becomes very concerned for her safety.

Throw into the mix that one of Kaitlin's close friends is a police officer, who ends up investigating the disappearance and this novel becomes elevated to the unique in this genre.  I enjoyed this book, through it took me a while to get into it.  I'd say it is a marriage between crime/police drama and psychological fiction.  A decent read and I would certainly read more from this author.

My thanks to Netgalley. author and publisher for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Sheryl Browne is fast becoming one of my go to authors. I have loved the previous books and I loved The Invite. It was a complete page turner, full of secrets, lies, twists and turns. I highly recommend The Invite and indeed any book by Sheryl Browne.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Sheryl Browne is a new author to me and I have heard good things about her books which is why I requested an advanced copy of The Invite from Netgalley.
I must admit to putting the book down after a few chapters because I just wasn't 'feeling it'. I found it a bit confusing with so many different characters and to-ing and fro-ing. I'm not one to give up easily though and gave it a second go which I am glad I did as the action picked up and things became clearer.
It is a book about relationships, jealousy, secrets and lies, with lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book. The best thing about the book was that so many people had secrets and you didn't know what was going to be relevant or not. Loved it as kept me on my toes.

I was given an advance copy by the publishers and netgalley but the review is entirely my own
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary copy from Bookouture and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

This is my first book by Sheryl Browne and boy did she hook me with this book. I absolutely enjoyed the character development and the plot. . How far will someone go when the love is unrequited? 

The book follows Kaitlin who is madly in deep like with her new boyfriend Greg who she is ready to settle down. Things go crazy when she invites her best friend Zoe over. Do Zoe and Greg know each other? Oh mayn. you have to read this book to find out
Was this review helpful?
★★★★★ 4.5 stars (rounded up)

I am excited to be taking part in the #BooksOnTour #BlogTour for Sheryl Browne's domestic thriller THE INVITE.

Betrayal and unrequited love can lead people to all sorts of madness.

I think this is the 8th book by Sheryl Browne I have read and reviewed and each of them are different and a little bit twisted in their own ways. Betrayal, jealousy, trust and obsession feature heavily this time round and ultimately that with each action comes a reaction...some very serious consequences. Filled with an intricate web of lies and multiple viewpoints throughout gave a multi-layered aspect to this twisted tale.

Kaitlin Chalmers finally has it all. The perfect love; the perfect life; the perfect fiance. After the marriage from hell to her abusive ex-husband Sean, Kaitlin met and fell in love with handsome and charming Greg Walker and after a whirlwind romance the couple moved in together and began planning a wedding. But tonight, it was Kaitlin's birthday party - organised single-handedly by her very attentive fiance.

And tonight after what seems so long, Kait will finally see her best friend Zoe who was flying in from Portugal especially for the event. Kait cannot wait for the two loves of her life to meet...but it doesn't go according to plan. Zoe, it seems, shocked to discover the state of play that has taken place in her absence and, particularly after how things turned out for her with Sean, believe the couple to be moving far too quickly. Added to that, something seems to be off about Greg though she can't put her finger on exactly what. When Zoe tries to warn her friend to be careful, Kaitlin takes offence and the friends argue spectacularly, after which Zoe storms out into the pouring rain.

Worried about her friend, Kaitlin calls her continually but her calls and text messages go unanswered. As the party drew to a close, Kaitlin and Greg make their way to Zoe's apartment in the hope she has arrived home safely...but when they get there, they discover she hasn't been home at all and there appears to be no sign of her. She wouldn't stay out in this filthy weather so where could she be? Remembering her recent break-up with her boyfriend Daniel, Zoe confided in her earlier that evening that Daniel had followed her back to the UK and had been calling and harassing her. Basically stalking her, were her words. Immediately worried, particularly in light of Daniel's sudden return as well as the unanswered messages, Kaitlin decides to call the police.

In the days following, Zoe remains missing despite searching the river path and footbridge and its surrounds. The only item recovered was Zoe's handbag on which appeared to be blood. Then things begin to get muddy regarding Greg but when questioned his answers are vague before cleverly changing the subject. What has Greg got to hide? He went after Zoe that night? Did he catch up with her? Did he see what happened to her? Or did he have something to do with her disappearance? Suddenly, Kaitlin isn't sure what to believe anymore as she begins her own quest for answers...with surprising results.

Meanwhile, readers meet Daniel in flashbacks through Zoe's narrative as well as the surprising discovery that lead to their break-up and her ultimate humiliation seeing her lose her job. With nothing to keep her in Portugal any longer, Zoe returned to the UK. But at what cost? Did her return lead to circumstances from which she could have escaped had she not flounced out of the party so soon? Was she simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or was there are more sinister reason behind her disappearance?

Almost every character had a voice in this thrill-ride of a story and the multiple perspectives initially made for a convoluted tale but believe me, it all comes together and makes a whole lot of sense in the end. The short snappy chapters (my favourite kind) keep the pace moving steadily through the alternating viewpoints and multiple characters. As the investigation into Zoe's disappearance continues, the doubts that her friend had raised leads Kait to wonder if there is something in what Zoe alluded to. And soon Kait wonders who can she trust at all.

Sheryl leads us through various avenues whilst handing us multiple suspects, leaving readers scratching their heads as to who is responsible for Zoe's disappearance. Whilst Kaitlin refused to believe her best friend was dead, so too did I, unless there was some tangible evidence that was irrefutable. And yet we are quick to believe there is something shady about Greg. Why is that?

Tensions mount as the story progresses as the reader is hand-fed plenty of suspects but wondering if it's all just a clever plot to hoodwink us. I started my investigation before the story really even began with my first thought that Greg and Daniel were one and the same...though I was barely 10 pages in at that stage, it was a wild stab in the dark that jumped to mind as I was reading. But Sheryl was much cleverer than that...still I was able to iron out some of those twists before their reveals although one did come out of nowhere despite my initial suspicions of a particular character. Overall, I wasn't fooled...I pretty had them worked out.

An enjoyable mystery, THE INVITE is a domestic thriller of unbelievable proportions. I certainly didn't want to put it down until I had all the answers, that's for sure. Something which Sheryl skillfully does with every book. The intensity was such that by the time the tension has built, the book is impossible to put down.

Secrets, lies and obsession make for a delicious domestic thriller and THE INVITE is no different. A cleverly woven tale that will keep you up all night.

I would like to thank #SherylBrowne, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #TheInvite in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture and Sheryl Browne for the opportunity to review it and give my honest opinion.


After reading the blurb I thought it was a tried and tested theme of a couple getting engaged, fiancée, acting weird and missing friend, but once you start reading it, you’ll find an intricate web of lies, deceit and jealousy. I was hooked from the start and every chapter left me wanting more, those twists were so intricate and left me thinking one direction but, in the end, went the other way!!

You need to pay attention to a few plots, but hang in there as it all comes to a great ending.

I felt for Kaitlin, how much can she take or anyone under those circumstances. The way the author describes the characters emotions and points of view draw you in. I loved the character's past stories, which ties in perfectly with the main story.

A roller coaster of emotions which I gladly give 5 * plus if I could.
Was this review helpful?
Wow what exceptional thriller. This was the best book this year. I read it in one day. It was unbelievable good. From the start of the book until the end will keep you turning the pages of this super thriller. You will wonder who was it all the way thru to the end.  Great story line and great author what a fantastic read.

Thank you net gallery.
Was this review helpful?
Another great read from Sheryl Browne!

After breaking free from a marriage filled with domestic abuse Kaitlin finally feels she and her little girl, Ruby, have found their happy ever after with the new man in their life, Greg, who is everything her ex-husband isn’t. Yes, the relationship has moved fast but when you have found someone as perfect as Greg why waste time?! When Greg throws Kaitlin a party for her birthday, she of course must invite her best friend, Zoe, who has been living and working in Portugal. But when Zoe shows up and starts to question some of the things Greg has done and said, Kaitlin argues with Zoe and Zoe leaves the party upset and in tears. Greg goes after her but doesn’t find her and suddenly Kaitlin finds herself in the middle of a missing persons enquiry for Zoe. Where is Zoe? And why did Greg come back to the party with blood on his shirt? You’ll have to read the book to find out 😉. 

I really enjoyed this read. I did find the beginning a little slow but of course it was setting the scene with the numerous characters and once the story got going events moved really rapidly and I definitely found this book a page turner. I did fall for the red herring over who I thought the bad guy was but at the same time I love it when this happens as then the twist gobsmacks me….. and this one certainly did! I really had no idea so was reading with my mouth gaping, excellent job Sheryl Browne!

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers. Sheryl Browne always pulls it out of the bag!!

Thank you to Netgalley, Sheryl Browne and Bookouture for my advanced reading copy. Due out 22nd February 2022.
Was this review helpful?
A amazing friendship. An amazing relationship. She truly felt that she has it all. Then her best friend disappears. And no one can find her. She is heartbroken. And won’t give up on finding her. Honestly this book was so predictable and hard to follow at multiple points. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
I always look out for Sheryl Browne novels, having been a fan for navy years. The invite was a gripping and exciting read. When Zoe goes missing from Kaitlin’s party after some heated words, all the evidence points at Kaitlin’s boyfriend/fiancée Greg! Told over many POV I did find myself getting a bit lost at times and can only describe the book as a little busy for my liking. Also a bit unbelievable at times! That being said, I did enjoy it and will eagerly anticipate her next book.
Was this review helpful?
Kaitlyn and her friend Zoe get in a fight about Kaitlyn's new fiance. Zoe goes missing. A few people could be to blame. It's a guessing game.

This book was good. Some of the twists were genius and some fell flat. The pacing was a bit off. Some things dragged while others were rushed. The ending needed much more explanation. I'm good with different perspectives as well but this book had too many. It got confusing. I would read another book by this author but this one was just okay. You may very well love it though!

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and Bookouture for the ARC!
Was this review helpful?
Kaitlin cannot wait for the two loves of her life to meet - her fiancé Greg and her best friend Zoe. Just engaged one day it is now her birthday pary and Zoe is in town, visiting from Portugal. In fact, Greg wants to plan a destination wedding in Portugal. However, as soon as Zoe hears Kaitlyn's news, her demeanor changes. Zoe takes one look at Greg and distrusts him on sight.

Kaitlyn had a rough marriage to Sean, and they have a five-year-old daughter. After everything Kaitlyn experienced, Zoe feels she is rushing things with Greg. In fact, Kaitlyn and Zoe have a screaming match and Zoe rushes off - never to be seen again. Zoe has her own baggage, and whether or not that comes into play with regard to her sudden disappearance remains to be seen.

More than that, Greg is the perfect guy - except no one is perfect, and stressed out by Zoe's disappearance, Kaitlyn slowly removes the rose-colored glasses she had been wearing around him. As it turns out that Greg had been hiding things, he indeed becomes a suspect in Zoe's disappearance. More than that, Zoe had experienced a recent breakup, so there is yet another suspect as to her disappearance.

Twists. Turns. Surprises. Shocks. It is all here in this thrilling book by Sheryl Browne. This book was a page-turner, an impossible to put down one-sitting read! Kudos to Ms. Browne for writing compelling, intriguing and drama-filled stories. The ending was a true shocker, thus earning this book a well-deserved five stars.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Kaitlin thinks she's met the man of her dreams. Greg is good-looking, caring, supportive, and most importantly, loves her five-year-old daughter like she's his own. He's even organized a lavish birthday party for her. Kaitlin couldn't be more thrilled because her best friend Zoe is also returning to the UK for her birthday and she is eager to finally introduce the two to each other. But when the big moment finally arrives, Zoe instantly takes a dislike to Greg and warns Kaitlin that something is seriously off about him. The two women get into a heated argument and Zoe storms off - not to be seen again. With her best friend missing and the police convinced that Greg is responsible, Kaitlin's life quickly starts to unravel.

A well-paced thriller with themes of love, obsession, and jealousy. There is a lot going on in this book, with multiple perspectives and subplots. Normally, I'm not the biggest fan of too many POV's but I thought it worked really well here. It keeps you guessing as to how everything is connected and what role our characters had in the events taking place in the story. As for the twist, it didn't come as a shock to me. There was a red herring dropped about that particular character in the beginning and it had stuck with me so I wasn't surprised by the reveal.
Overall, I thought this was a solid thriller. Not very memorable if I'm being honest but I enjoyed it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Complex thriller full of twists and some big surprises.. Multi layered characters,perhaps overly so,who all need a good therapist. An ok read.
Was this review helpful?
I'm not sure the title goes with the story, but despite that I really enjoyed this. It had a great twist at the end which I didn't see coming at all. It was a very easy read and quite believable. Can't wait for another from this author
Was this review helpful?
Whodunnit 🤔 

Kaitlin's due to get married to Greg, on first meeting with her best friend Zoe, their initial introduction does not go as Kaitlin had hoped.  Before Kaitlin and Zoe get a chance to patch things up after their heated discussion, Zoe's gone missing... and so it begins...

A bit of a slow burner, but overall great read.
Was this review helpful?
Everything is perfect. 

Kaitlin is standing at her party wearing her perfect new engagement ring, from her perfect new fiancé Greg, who is finally going to meet her best friend after their sudden whirlwind romance. He is everything she could have ever wanted, he's a true gentleman, who dotes on her daughter with her ex and has started to heal the wounds left by that last bitter relationship … he even planned their elopement to surprise her. 

So when he starts acting weird around her best friend Zoe, she doesn't think much of it. And when Zoe disapproves right away, she knows her mind will change. Then the two of them seem to get into a tense argument at the party too, and something seems weird. But she loves him, so she's sure there's an explanation.

But then Zoe disappears. She's missing, and the police have no leads and Kaitlin starts to see things that weren't there before. Or maybe they were, and she just couldn't see them through her rose-tinted glasses. Either way, she needs to figure out who the man she's invited into her life is before it's too late. 

"unrequited love can lead people to all sorts of madness."

Sheryl Brownes' style of thriller is over-the-top, dramatic and a little bit cheesy - and I always end up devouring it because they are ridiculously fun to read. With the twists and turns of a Hollywood blockbuster, this moved a mile-a-minute, jumping between characters and times to leave the reader just out of the loop enough that they need to get to the next chapter and figure out what on earth is going on. 

Kaitlin was rather naïve and made some very stupid choices. She sometimes reminded me of that one girl in the horror movie who runs into the basement to get away from the killer.  Honestly, her dating history makes me want to scream at her and snap her out of it, and whilst part of me wants to say she is so vapid it's unrealistic, she really isn't, I've met plenty of people like Kaitlin and while she irritated me, there was still some level of connection there. 

This tale weaves together a fast-paced psychological thriller, with dramatic fiction and a cautionary tale about the domino effect that our history can play with our future.
Was this review helpful?
Another very good book by one of my favourite authors. ☺
The story centres on Kaitlin, a woman whose best friend goes missing and whose fiancé is one of the prime suspects, but is told in multiple points of view (alternating in short chapters) that create a fascinating patchwork full of secrets, lies and, of course, twists. Even if you guess something along the way, chances are you'll still be surprised by a new development later. I greatly enjoyed watching each piece getting fitted into place until everything became clear.
Was this review helpful?
This book had a brilliant start and build up to the climax.  The very beginning is Kaitlin’s beloved and beautifully described little daughter Ruby being taken by an unknown but obviously unhinged male, who she seemingly knows and trusts.  Would that be Greg, the father figure she loves or perhaps her controlling, coercive biological father who is determined to play a part in Ruby’s life?

Go back a few weeks and Kaitlin is in love with the man of her dreams, Greg.  The perfect fiancé.  Or is he?  Her best friend Zoe doesn’t thinks so but Zoe is fighting her own demons having fallen in love with an, unknown to her, married man with a very possessive wife.  Zoe flees from her wonderful life in Portugal back to England and is shocked to discover that Kaitlin has not only found true love in her absence but is planning marriage.  The two have words at Kaitlin’s extravagant birthday party and Zoe storms off into the night and disappears.  We are left wondering if Zoe is alive or dead.  Everything points to her being dead but Kaitlin cannot believe that.  If she is dead who is responsible?  Greg, the perfect boyfriend, who went after her at Kaitlin’s request and comes home with blood on his shirt?  Daniel, the married lover, who has followed her from Portugal or someone else?

The tension builds as Kaitlin’s perfect life unravels and she discovers more and more about the man she thought she knew and loved.  The climax, when it comes, is a real twist and for me a step too far.
Was this review helpful?