Cover Image: Love in the Time of Serial Killers

Love in the Time of Serial Killers

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Member Reviews

Love in the Time of Serial Killers was a cute book, but lacked oomph.

I really loved Phoebe and her relationship with her brother. It was nice to see them bonding while she assisted him on his quest to propose to his girlfriend. I enjoyed Sam's character and their romance was sweet. The characters lacked depth to me. They all seemed fairly one note and I was hoping for more of a mystery to be weaved through the story.

While I enjoyed the book, I felt it lacked heart.

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I enjoyed this cute romance focused on our main character Phoebe, as she moves home to clear out her father’s house following his death. While back in town she reconnects with both her brother and former best friend and meets the cute neighbor next door. I would say this is more of a character driven romance and at times I found the story a tad slow and repetitive. Phoebe is really witty and sarcastic if not slightly self-deprecating at times and Sam, her love interest, is truly the sweetest! My favorite thematic elements of the book was the continuous references to true crime, including the main characters’s dissertation on true crime, which felt well researched and made my true crime loving self very excited! If you’re looking for a lighter romance with themes perfect for spooky season, then this is the book for you. I give this a 3.5 stars rounded up and want to thank Netgalley and Berkley for this gifted eARC!

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Phoebe is returning to her home town to help clean out her father's house since he has recently passed. Her brother still lives in town and will be assisting along with his girlfriend. Phoebe also needs to find time to finish her dissertation which is on True Crime as a genre. However, when she first meets her neighbor, she is sure he is giving off serial killer vibes. A series of strange occurrences and a strange feeling when he's around only cements her belief. However, could it be something else causing her to feel this way?
This was a cute, fun book. It dealt with a few heavy issues, but the true crime aspect was not dealt with seriously at all. Anyone who is interested in true crime and enjoys romance will find this book charming.

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This is a fun mashup of romance and suspense with lots of humor and banter between characters. I listened to it on audio, and it was fun to hear from the different characters perspectives. Our female main character is a walking dictionary of information about serial killers, which makes for an interesting plot once she moves back home to her father's house and meets the next door neighbor. Equal parts mysterious and intriguing to her, her handsome neighbor keeps her on her toes. A cute debut with a neat plot.

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📝 breezy, quick, sassy writing
👩🏻‍🏫 phoebe is a guarded & intense PhD student
🧔🏼 Sam is a kind, helpful & caring music teacher
🔪 serial killer vibes (but maybe not enough…)
🐈‍⬛ + a cat!
👩‍❤️‍👨 friends to lovers (4/5 steam level)
☀️ grumpy-sunshine
🖤 examines grief, loss, & betrayal
👭 + friendship
👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 + family & sibling dynamics
🦵 + body positivity
🌱 personal growth themes

⚠️ dm me for TW!
⚖️ romance was a bit unbalamced
🧞‍♀️ personally wanted more serial killer vibes
👎 Phoebe was unlikeable at times for me

VERDICT: a deeper friend-to-lovers rom-com with strong personal growth themes & exploration of complex family dynamics & grief but not as much serial killer energy as I wanted lol

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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

I loved this premise. I tend to gravitate towards wlw romance, but was incredibly intrigued by this story. It felt slightly more YA than new adult. It was definitely a cozy romance where I was expecting thriller.

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I loved the mc in this and how quirky and odd she was. I love when authors make imperfect yet delightful and relatable characters. A breath of fresh air. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

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This was definitely a fun little rom com read! The pacing was good, although it did tend to lag whenever the love interest or sibling wasn't involved. I would have liked more academia brought into the picture, but it just wasn't as big of a portion of the book as I'd thought it would be. However, the love interest? SWOON. Totally made up for anything I may have wanted to add.

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Phoebe has always been obsessed with true crime, even in her dissertation.

Told from her point of view, after her dad passed away, she moved back home to clean up the house for sale. But when she meets the neighbor, she's convinced he's a serial killer.

She's up at night peeping through the window to see what he's doing, but she still can't find evidence to prove her theory and always takes note of when he randomly goes out, which makes her think of him as a serial killer rather than a regular neighbor.

One day, Phoebe visits the library, but when it's time to leave, her car won't start. Fortunately, Sam, the supposed serial killer, is there, and she hesitantly asks for his help. In the process, she finds out about his random outing because of his profession as a lesson teacher at a music store. After staring blankly at her screen for a few days, Phoebe bakes a pie and takes half to Sam's. Unexpectedly, Sam asks her to come in while they share the half pie she brought over. For someone worried about serial killers, she's visited him unannounced thrice.

But this unannounced visit turned into the funniest investigation I've ever seen or read. This is where the fun begins... Along the way, the line where Sam's a serial killer gets blurry, and Phoebe's thoughts are now focused on maybe having a fling with him.

But does she want to have a fling or be in a relationship with him?

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I jumped into this book solely on the cover and the title. This is a tough book for me to rate and review because I think this was a me problem. I was hoping for this to have more of a podcast obsessed true-crime junky. And maybe she falls in love with a serial killer. Maybe I am broken by society because this sounds like a fun and twisted plot.

Anyways, I felt nothing for Phoebe and Sam. Phoebe has some seriously rooted issues that made her think her neighbor was a serial killer, again that would have been a cool plot. I was bored mostly because this felt like an academia book. It was too much thesis talk (most people don’t care) and I know she was a PhD student, but it overshadowed the story and made me lose interest.

I had high hopes for this one, but I just did not feel the chemistry between Phoebe and Sam. And all the time Phoebe though Sam was a serial seemed kind of immature to me. They will eventually break-up!

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3.5 Stars
Phoebe is back in Florida to clean out her estranged father’s house after his death. She also must finish her dissertation for her PhD with the subject of true crime, how the stories have been shaped based on reporting. Her studies and upbringing have taught her to be careful and suspicious of others, a view that isn’t a bad idea these days, IMO, but it’s also kept her from allowing anyone to get close. So, when her next-door neighbor, Sam, hot as he is, offers to help she immediately rebuffs him. However, after a bit of persistence on his part Phoebe gets to know him better, gets closer, and the mutual attraction they feel starts to grow.

I’m a Forensic Files/Dateline/true crime junkie as well so I appreciated all the references and I’m totally on board with being cautious. Phoebe had a lot of baggage from her parent’s ugly divorce, and the way her father treated her growing up. I did feel bad for Phoebe, but her prickliness got to me, and I had a hard time connecting to her. I adored Sam, he was a sweetheart and I wondered at times why he was interested. Phoebe’s brother, Connor, was a fun, nerdy, likeable character as well, and I was pleased how Phoebe was truly sweet to him. They had a great relationship despite the fact they were separated for a lot after the divorce.

Despite my issues with Phoebe and the fact I thought the story could’ve been edited down a bit, I did enjoy Love in the Time of Serial Killers overall. There was some fun, laugh-out-loud moments, and the romance was sweet and steamy.

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I was super excited to get an e-arc or this book and yet it has taken me months to finish because it was just so dull.

I really just didn’t care about phoebe and everything she thought was repetitive and annoying.

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Phoebe is an expert in true crime. Such an expert that her dissertation is on the relationship writers of true crime develop with the people involved and how those relationships might bias the writing. Just that as a backdrop to this story is really interesting. I am not a true crime reader, so a glimpse into the head of someone who is- and sees potential serial killers in everyday interactions- was enlightening.

Phoebe is home to help her brother clean out her dad's house before putting it on the market. It was not a place of happy memories for her. She's also trying to finish her dissertation and figure out her next steps. And she's prickly. So so defensive and prickly based on childhood experiences. And there's a cute neighbor who is both intriguing and intrigued by her. Watching Sam and Phoebe slowly engage as she lets down her guard was painfully good. 2 steps forward, one step back. There's also a former BFF and an adorable cat who also play a part of Phoebe's self-reflection and journey. This was interesting and fun to read. I was both annoyed by and rooting for Phoebe to get out of her own way all at the same time. And now I'm wondering if I have strong enough nerves to read and enjoy true crime.

Thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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The cover and title of this book suggests a mystery, or at least a murder, and some witty banter. That wasn't really what the book was about though instead its a rom-com. Not a bad one but not what I was expecting. That being said the writing was really good and I loved the chemistry in this one. There was a lot of quirkiness, which I appreciated,. Overall it was a pretty good read even if it wasn't what I was looking for.

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Rating 5/5
Plot 5/5
Spice 3/5
Character Development 5/5

[I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book]

“Love in the Time of Serial Killers” by Alicia Thompson tells the story of PhD student, Phoebe Walsh, and her new neighbour, Sam Dennings. Phoebe is a huge fan of true crime and decides to write her dissertation on the genre, however, she is having trouble finishing the report. Phoebe finds herself returning to her childhood home in Florida after her father suddenly passes away. Phoebe isn't thrilled to be back in her childhood home because she doesn’t have many good memories of her father, however during this time, Phoebe reconnects with her brother and her childhood best friend all while trying to complete her dissertation. Phoebe’s goal is to clean up the house, put it on the market and head back to North Carolina. Phoebe meets her neighbour, Sam, but isn’t quite convinced that he’s the nice guy everyone says he is. However, the more time Sam and Phoebe spend together, the more Phoebe falls for Sam. Although Phoebe may start to fall for Sam, she questions if this relationship will work because she’s leaving at the end of summer.

This book had such a unique plot and I loved every moment of it. The banter is amazing and the chemistry between Phoebe and Sam is off the charts. One thing I love from the book was how Phoebe rescues a cat (Lenore), but it’s more like the cat rescues her LOL. Overall this was a fun read and I love the cover!

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Phoebe Walsh, a PhD candidate, has an obsession with true crime that tends to interfere with her dating life. When she heads home to Florida to clean out her father's house, she becomes convinced that his neighbor is a serial killer. While I enjoyed the story (especially Phoebe's relationship with her brother and her rekindled friendship with the librarian), I felt like it could've used a bit more "is the neighbor a serial killer" intrigue. That was wrapped up pretty quickly.

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Y’all, this book was just not it for me. I was so pumped for a romcom mixed with serial killer references. Sadly, this just did not live up to my hopes and dreams.

Let’s start with the main character Phoebe. Phoebe was way too annoying for me to care about in any strongly positive way. I can empathize with her grief and grappling with her feelings after her father’s death, and I did enjoy seeing her relationship with her younger brother change. Overall, though, Phoebe really seemed to be the type of character who complained about things either happening or not happening without doing anything to change her situation. She complained about not being able to write but then did nothing to try to write. In fact, she seemed to actively seek out distractions. I get it, motivation can be really hard to find sometimes, but there’s only so much complaining I can take as a reader before I get annoyed with the repetitive nature.

Sam also seemed to be a character who, like Phoebe, just seemed to exist without actually doing much. Things happened around these two but they did little to influence their environments. He was objectively a good guy but I never felt any attachment to him or felt like his relationship with Phoebe was swoonworthy, or really any adjective other than “dull”.

I liked the writing style in terms of humorous one liners but overall felt like it was a boring plot with character development that came too little too late. I really enjoyed Phoebe’s paranoia (#relatable) and the many references to serial killers. I’m definitely into true crime and loved this aspect of the book.

Honestly, I can hardly remembered what happened in this book other than the feeling of wanting to be done reading it. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve read by any means and I feel like the book had a solid premise. If it had more likeable main characters, a more compelling romance, and more action throughout the story I think I really would have enjoyed it. I liked parts of it but not enough to recommend to others, unfortunately.

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This book was such a joy to read--and if you're a millennial who enjoys true crime, this will be right up your alley. I don't know how well this book will age or if anyone outside the aforementioned demographic will get all the references, but I did and I enjoyed it from beginning to end.

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I am surprised more people aren’t leery of meeting new men with all the crime and all the true crime podcasts out there. This was a cute premise for this book, the distrust just went in a little too long for my taste, but the story still worked well!

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Interesting premise but, this was not suited for me. I am not a romance reader and the characters were a little too young for my reading preference. The cover was definitely click bait but, it was not what I was expecting.

I will say that this novel has plethora of political commentary so if you're like me who prefers more neutral tones in light reading selections with might not be for you.

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