Cover Image: The Invite

The Invite

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Another terrific book by Sheryl Browne. If you read the blurb then you know that Zoe, Kaitin’s best friend goes missing after they have words at a party regarding Kaitlin’s new fiancé. The only negative aspect in this book was that there were so many suspects it was hard to keep track of them. But the twists and turns keep on coming. The culprit or culprits definitely was a major twist. I enjoyed the book a lot. It was a fast and enjoyable rollercoaster of a ride. I want to thank net galley and the publisher for the ARC I received for an honest review.
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The Invite by Sheryl Browne

Published: February 22, 2022
Pages: 331
Genre: Psychological Thriller
KKECReads Rating: 5/5
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily. 

Sheryl Browne writes taut, twisty psychological thrillers. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she also has short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing. Sheryl has obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Forensic Science, and – according to readers – she makes an excellent psychopath. Sheryl lives in Worcestershire, UK, with her husband and her rescue dogs, Brie and Pablo.

“I’m a survivor.”

Kaitlin is a devoted mother trying to recover from her previous marriage. Her current fiancée seems perfect. Greg is caring, kind, and loyal. He is pushing for a wedding very soon, but Kaitlin wants to see the positive. Zöe is coming home with her tail between her legs and a secret. It would seem she isn’t the only one.

This was a twisted ride from start to finish. Just when I thought I knew who had done it, another wrench was thrown into the mix.

The characters were great, and the personalities were all bold. I enjoyed the themes throughout this novel, and the way the story was told was incredibly clever.

I love the bond between Kaitlin and Zöe was beautiful. Women taking care of women. The sisterhood was strong between them. I enjoyed their connection, history, and dynamic.

There were several plot twists I did not see coming. And they were delivered beautifully. The twists were so well planned, and the execution was seamless.

The pacing was perfect, and the intensity was spot on. The last half of this book makes it impossible to put down. I found myself captivated and had to finish reading to know what had happened. 

Secrets, lies, and devious desires are dangerous.
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I’ve read a few books by this author and enjoyed each one. I love her writing style, she takes the plot of what you think is going on, tips it on its side and throws in some completely unexpected, crazy twist that I never see coming! I always look for books by her because I know I will love them!
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Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this this ARC.  I am leaving this review voluntarily.  This was a taut thriller with more twists and turns than a roller coaster!  Kaitlin has recently gotten out of a toxic marriage.  She has a beautiful daughter, Ruby, which is the only good thing to come out of her marriage.  She meets Greg, and he is everything that Sean was not to her - a perfect gentleman, a good father, a caretaker, etc.  You get the picture.  He loves her so much that he has planned an extravagant birthday party for her.  She is excited to see her friend, Zoe, who has been away from a long time.  Zoe, unlike Kaitlin, is not a happy woman at this stage in her life.  She was in what she thought was a fantastic relationship with Daniel, that is until she found out he was married.  She arrives at the party and she is immediately suspicious of Greg which causes a fight between Kaitlin and Zoe.  She storms out of the party and disappears.   No one knows if she is dead or alive.  The mind games start at this point in the story.  There are lies and more lies, as well as betrayal, but who has betrayed who.... you will be wondering.  There is a fear that is well played and the intensity of the story is well controlled.  However, I was still hanging on by a thread dreading what each new chapter would show.  The author does a great job of setting up EVERYONE in the book as a suspect.  I was fully engrossed and absorbed into this book until the satisfying and haunting conclusion!  I literally could not put it down.  I read this book in one evening!  If you like a great psychological thriller/mystery, you will not be disappointed!
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This story was a little slow in my opinion. I struggled with wanting to keep going and pushing through. I'm overall thankful I did as the ending was great, however since it was such a process to get into it, I cannot give it more than a 3.
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This is a great psychological thriller. 
Kaitlin is happy with Greg and is looking forward to her Birthday party that he has arranged for her. 
She’s also excited to see her best friend, Zoe who has been working in Portugal. 
When Zoe meets Greg she’s suspicious of him and questions Kaitlin’s hastiness in agreeing to marry him. 
Zoe goes out for some fresh air but doesn’t return and Kaitlin is sure something has happened to her. 
With more than one character hiding things from those around them, this is a gripping thriller which builds to a nail biting conclusion. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Thank you NetGalley for this advanced copy. I find I have a love/hate relationship with Sheryl's books. Either they keep me on my toes the whole way through, or I stop reading because there is nothing good to them. This one was in the middle. I feel like parts of it were predictable. overall, I feel like there was a lot going on and a lot of characters, but that the writing was rather choppy. The title doesn't really fit the book either. I don't know. It was enough for me to skim to the end, but not enough to keep my attention where I had to read word for word.
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Thank you for NetGalley for providing me with this book for review.
This is an amazing book, the plot is very fun paced, it will keep you quessing right up to the end.
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I hugely enjoyed this twisty, well written story and finished it within two days.

It’s about Kaitlin, who along with her small daughter, Ruby, has finally found love again with Greg. He seems perfect in every way and is brilliant with Ruby. He’s just what Kaitlin needs to forget her troubled past. However, when Kaitlin’s best friend, Zoe, comes back from Portugal in time for Kaitlin’s birthday party, this sets off a sinister, ever more shocking turn of events that mean their lives will never be the same again. 

I raced through this book, as the plot was so good and the characters so believable, I didn’t want to put it down. There are a number of red herrings and just as you start to think you’ve figured things out, the author throws in another twist and curveball! 

I hugely empathised with Kaitlin’s character and also loved the way her parents were portrayed, especially her father. 

Throughout the book, there is an underlying sense of uneasiness, I love books like this and highly recommend this one.

Thanks to author, Sheryl Browne, publishers Bookouture and Net Galley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I have read and enjoyed quite a few of Sheryl Browne’s books and this latest one didn’t disappoint.

It’s Kaitlin’s party and all her friends are invited, including her best friend Zoe, who is flying in from Portugal.  This will be the first time that Zoe has met Greg, Kaitlin’s fiancé.  Although she hasn’t known Greg long she is absolutely certain that he is the perfect man for her.  But will her best friend think the same ?

This is a great psychological thriller with plenty of twists in the tale to keep you on your toes.  The story is told from various perspectives, which I really enjoy in a book as I feel you get to know more of the story that way.  If you love this genre you will not be disappointed with this book !!

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book.
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Wow, wow , wow !!!!!!  Another great book from Sheryl Browne. There were so many twists that I had no idea where the story was going. Gripping from the start and well worth more than five stars. Highly recommended .
Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and ARC
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A brilliant read. Very fast pace. A lot of concentration needed to  keep up with the characters.  A real whodunnit of a won’t
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Everything is going pretty well for Kaitlyn after she decided to leave her abusive husband. Since then, she's achieved her dream to be an occupational psychologist, been living her best life with her daughter, Ruby and most of all, she's found love, again, in Gregory Walker. 

Greg is an affectionate lover to Kaitlyn. He helped build what her ex tore down. He dotes on both Kaitlyn and Ruby. He's the perfect man, as the saying goes.

Zoe has been through hell in Portugal and now she's back for good. She couldn't wait to see Kaitlyn, they may have drifted apart, buy they were bestfriends and Kaitlyn was the closest she has to a family.

On the night of Kaitlyn's birthday bash, personalities clashed, tempers were lost, and choice words were said. It ended with Zoe walking out on Kaitlyn; never to be seen again.

The story is narrated from the points of view of the various characters. I usually don't like different povs because it gets either boring or confusing. In some cases, it even looks like a delaying tactic. 
With this story, though, it fit perfectly. It was like having sips of the tea and bites of the beef. 
By now, I should mention that this book's themes are abuse, obsessive love and jealousy.
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I did enjoy this book, but it really was a bit much, with so many people driven by obsessive jealousy. It is also rather predictable, but it is written well, and the characterisation is ok, although I never really got emotionally involved with any of them. I think Sheryl Browne just tried a little too hard to make it unpredictable. However, I was gripped towards the end to see how it panned out. 

In addition, which I did not include in my Goodreads review, I'm becoming wary of books that tell me there is a twist on the cover. When you expect something, it's no longer an unexpected twist, and unfortunately, I'm finding more and more covers of psychological thrillers expounding twists. I'm also not sure about the title - the plot had absolutely nothing to do with any invitation, apart from Zoe coming to Kaitlin's birthday party.
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The theme of this book revolves around the opening event, a very lavish birthday party given to Kaitlin by her fairly new boyfriend and secret fiancee Greg.

At the party we meet several characters including Kaitlin's best friend Zoe who leaves the party in anger and disappears. Witnesses say that Zoe was angry with Kaitlin or perhaps jealous of her boyfriend. The police begin an investigation and nothing is what it originally seemed.

If you suspend belief this is a quick and enjoyable little tale. I didn't dislike it, but I prefer  more believable twists and turns in my thrillers. If you like a quick thriller, enjoy the domestic drama genre that includes the fiancee may be hiding something, then this is a book for you! #Bookouture #NetGalley #TheInvite
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I found this a little difficult to get into with the opening few chapters a little repetitive. Once it gets going, it is an interesting read that keeps you guessing, the character of Greg particularly fascinating. I did find that it lost pace on occasions and I was hoping for a clearer explanation at the end.  Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for providing me with an Advance Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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<b>Note:</b> I received an advanced copy of this book from Bookouture via NetGalley.

The invites went out weeks ago, and tonight, at a lavish manor house surrounded by friends and family, Kaitlin couldn’t be happier. But as the champagne corks pop, her dream party becomes her worst nightmare… Staring at the stunning diamond solitaire on her finger, Kaitlin is finally getting the chance to introduce her best friend Zoe to her perfect fiancé. She hasn’t known Greg long, but he looks after her, and he loves playing dad to her young daughter. How could she say no when he’s already planned their elopement?  As guests arrive, why is Greg acting so shifty? And is that a flicker of recognition on Zoe’s face? And why does she look terrified every time her phone rings? 
 Kaitlin watches as Zoe knocks back her white wine and makes a beeline for Greg. After a heated conversation, Zoe stumbles towards the door and flees the party without looking back.

Days later, the police knock at Kaitlin’s door – Zoe is missing.  Kaitlin wants to believe her loving fiancé is not to blame, but she knows what she saw the night of the party. And when he lies to the police, can she trust the man she’s marrying? Could Kaitlin and her precious daughter’s life now be in danger too?

Overall, this book was an enjoyable easy read, however, I found some of the parts involving Greg to be rather confusing and not on point.  There were definitely some disconnects throughout.
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