Cover Image: Someone Had to Do It

Someone Had to Do It

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Member Reviews

This one was just ok for me. I do appreciate the way everything worked out lol - there some moments where I was like uh-oh. It just was kind of slow for me.
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Honestly, what a ride. 

I did struggle a bit getting into this book, but once I was in it, I was hooked. It was a fun, quick read. 

I was of course rooting for Brandi, even though some of the things she did annoyed me and frustrated me. She made some dumb decisions, but I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same in her shoes. 

Taylor was the perfect example of a spoiled rich girl that is used to getting her own way. And she was going to do whatever it took to get her own way this time. 

Parts of this book were definitely unrealistic, but it did not take away from my enjoyment. I’d recommend as a light read, but not something to be taken seriously and it was not a hardcore thriller. 

3.5 stars. Definitely an enjoyable read.
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the setup…
Brandi Maxwell is a student at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) and an intern at the Simon Van Doren fashion house. Even though she’s working like crazy, Brandi doesn’t look like the mold of the other girls and staff. She wants to be included in Simon’s upcoming Milan trip though and when her star football player and legacy boyfriend Nate Robinson volunteers to reach out to Simon’s it-girl model daughter Taylor for help, it makes a difference. She facilitates a meet with Simon who is impressed but Brandi later overhears Taylor and her friends plotting something sinister. Her life gets forever linked with Taylor’s and not in a good way.

the heart of the story…
I liked Brandi’s heart as she beat incredible odds to end up with that internship. She’s young, an orphan, beautiful and obviously talented but being Black in a world of highly privileged young White women presents unique challenges as well. I admired her relationship with Nate who is following in his famous football father’s legacy but is successful in his own right. Taylor, however, is pretty damaged but is infamous as an influencer, too. She feels entitled to a trust fund her father won’t release until she has a clean drug test, which is more difficult than it sounds given her lifestyle. Their relationship fractured when her mother died and she wants her money now. We see the depths of her depravity masked behind a beautiful veneer that she uses with the public, police and friends and against the unsuspecting Brandi, who is no match for Taylor…until she was.

the narration…
This wasn’t my first experience with both narrators so their stellar performances came as no surprise, one of the reasons I wanted this story on audio. Shayna Small made me believe her as Brandi and Brittany Pressley was delicious as Taylor. If you have a choice, listen to this book!

the bottom line…
This was no ordinary tale of duplicity as it took quite a few bends leading up to a surprise conclusion. I really thought Brandi was no match for Taylor and Nate’s wavering drove me mad. The authors finely portrayed the imbalance between the privileged powerful and those with less means and standing. That power leverage was often subtle but also included those less influenced by it, able to see it through clearer lenses. Brandi sometimes did things that were ill advised but that seemed realistic. One thing was for certain, I was always off balance because despite some predictable paths, that road would suddenly shift off that beaten path. This was one interesting ride and quite the page turner. I got more than I expected in this debut novel and highly recommend the audio version.
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I had really high hopes for this one — the plot sounded exactly like something I would pick up. I didn’t realize there would be so much sex in it, and it just felt odd and out of place in a thriller. Ultimately I started to dread picking it up — the writing was a bit juvenile — so I did not finish it.
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I hadn't heard of this book before I picked it up but it pulled me in right from the start. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time and I almost couldn't look away. This is a really fun read and I'm so glad I picked it up.
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Maya is recovering from a dependence on medication prescribed for her after her best friend suddenly dropped dead their senior year of high school. Upon reviewing a viral video of another woman dropping dead at a restaurant while speaking to the same man Maya was 'dating' in high school, she begins to question everything about the weeks leading up to her friends death, returning to the childhood home she tried to leave behind.

I figured out the big twist very early on, and I didn't love the ending. The story had great premise, but it fell a little flat for me as someone who reads a lot of thriller/vitamins. This would be a great introduction to the unreliable narrator in the psychological thriller genre,
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Thank you to the publisher for my copy - all opinions are my own.

I super enjoyed this slow burning psychological thriller that keeps you glued to the pages to find out just how far someone will go for money.

I was instantly rooting for Brandi as a character - and instantly wary of Taylor.  The plot of this one is built up perfectly, continuously raising the stakes and making the tension almost unbearable to deal with.  Amber Brown does not shy away from making her characters suffer and I absolutely love it.

Chapter by chapter I could not stop reading this one, as I had to know what would happen and how it would all ultimately play out, and the ending did not disappoint.  

This qualifies as really perfect escapism reading, and is a must for your 2023 reading list.
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We love a story about rich people behaving badly,and man oh man, do they behave badly in this one. Taylor is an "It" girl, and her dad is rich. Taylor is also addicted to drugs and hates her father. She blames him for her mother's suicide. Brandi has an unpaid internship  at her dad's company. She has fought and worked to overcome many struggles, and just when she is on the cusp of her dream coming true, her world is shattered by a startling accusation. The first part of this book is kind of slow and drawn out, but the pace does eventually pick up. The authors do a good job of making Taylor someone the reader loves to hate. There were times I kind of felt sorry for her, but overall, she is not a very likeable person, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to get her inheritance in the event of her father's death. The authors shine a light on the racism that pervades the world of high class and lots of money and the microaggressions successful Black people often face in that environment. I think this one ended up being an average read for me. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either. I thought it was a pretty solid debut, and definitely with some tweaking and perfecting the art of storytelling, this duo will be one to watch. Thank you to the publisher for giving me the chance to read an early digital copy of this book!
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High fashion. Drugs. Sex. Influencers. NYC. A possible murder?
Rich influencer girl meets girl with a rough childhood and past. It gave me gossip girl vibes but in a fast paced thriller. 
Great debut novel. It was a fun read and although parts of it was predictable I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin Trade Publishing and Graydon House for the ARC eBook in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a darkly funny, satirical, edge of your seat thriller with a snarky tone and a sexy mood.  I was immediately pulled into Brandi’s world, and my anxiety kept raising as the stakes for higher and higher.  If you love a twisty domestic thriller, add this to your list
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Took me a beat to get into this one, then I devoured it. Very much a "keep your nose out of other peoples' business... or else" type vibe as a young Black intern at a high fashion company gets pulled into the messy, messy drama of said fashion company's owner's daughter wanting to kill said fashion company owner.
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𝐓𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬💭:
I’ve never heard of this author duo but i was totally stunned by the cover and thought the synopsis was very intriguing! Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing and Netgalley for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

𝐁𝐥𝐮𝐫𝐛📝:
Brandi is living her dream as an intern in a NY fashion house, Simon Van Doren. Her boyfriend is friends with Simon’s daughter Taylor and decides to pull some strings to get Brandi in a better position in the company. But Taylor is fuming with his father. He is cutting her off from her inheritance unless she gets clean. During a party, Brandi overhears something she shouldn’t have and Taylor has got her eyes on her.

𝐑𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. This book was intriguing and scandalous! It reminded me of Gossip Girl that took a dark turn. While this book grasped my attention for the most part, some of it (mostly Taylor’s POV) felt very petty and manipulative. But i think that that was the authors intent in depicting the lifestyles of the rich and the famous. It also sets the tone between societal discrimination, which i thought was a great addition. I felt very frustrated with how things unraveled and found plot holes that left me with questions, but I still enjoyed the pacing and the ending left me satisfied. Give this book a try if you’re into high society scandals and murders. 

𝙍𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙞𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚: 𝘏𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘭𝘶𝘹𝘶𝘳𝘺 𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘴, 𝘴𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘭𝘴, 𝘎𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘱 𝘎𝘪𝘳𝘭, 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘵𝘺, 𝘥𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘗𝘖𝘝

⚠️ 𝙏𝙒𝙨: 𝙎𝙪𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙙𝙚, 𝙞𝙣𝙛𝙞𝙙𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙩𝙮
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This was a DNF for me. I did a spotlight for it. It was not that it wasn’t good. It just didn’t hold my attention. I think the writing that I did read was excellent. The subject matter was just not for me. 

Thank you #NetGalley for this ARC.
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Brandi has landed an internship at a well-known and prestigious fashion house.  She is hoping to climb the ladder and become more successful.  That is, until she gets involved in the mess known as Taylor.  Taylor is her boss's wayward daughter and little does Brandi know she is about to take the fall for something she had nothing to do with.  I was very impressed with this debut novel by Amber and Danielle Brown.  Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance e-galley.
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I'm here with a book review for Someone Had To Do It by Amber and Danielle Brown. Don't forget to check out the Spotify playlist for this book. I found it on the authors' website. Link below.


About The Book 📚
Title: Someone Had To Do It

Author: Amber and Danielle Brown

Publication Date: December 27, 2022

Publisher: Graydon House (Harlequin Trade Publishing)

Suggested Reader Age: Adult 18+ (sex, drugs)

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape, suicide, death of a parent, grief, depression, drug addiction, abuse

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

Pages: 352

Read a Sample: https://preview.aer.io/Someone_Had_to_Do_It-NDg0OTM4?social=1&retail=1&emailcap=0&imprint=harpercollinsca

The Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2IEPi6vNfxCpVapV0qBrDh

› I think it's really cool that identical twins wrote a book together. I'm currently listening to the playlist they created for Someone Had To Do It. It's putting me in the right mood to write a review (and giving me new songs to add to my favs).

The first paragraph of the prologue sucked me right into this story. I did not want to put it down. Someone Had To Do It is told from Brandi and Taylor's perspectives. Brandi has always wanted to have an internship at Van Doren. However, cleaning up puke wasn't how she pictured she'd be spending her days at work. Then there's a meeting where they tell her she's not "fitting in" to the "culture" at Van Doren. Yeah, by "culture" they mean white society. I'm not into fashion AT ALL, yet I still found myself riveted by Brandi and her goals. She's dating an NFL superstar who isn't the way you'd think he would be. Nate isn't into fame. He's gentle, kind, and compassionate. He comes from money, but it doesn't show. Their relationship is sexy, but not just because of the sensual sex scenes. It's how they love each other and how they trust each other. So, when that trust is broken, it broke my heart.

Taylor is a rich, white girl struggling with overwhelming stress, depression, and drug addiction. Taylor has been at rock bottom since she discovered her mother dead after dying by suicide. Her father makes her do a drug test every month. He gave her six months to get clean and if she fails then the $5 million he was going to give her will go to charity. She has 90 days left to get clean and mistakenly leans on her friends who are enablers.

Brandi wants to be picked to go to the special international fashion event at work. Nate says he used to know Taylor and he'll chat with her about putting in a good word with her father - Mr. Van Doren, who owns the fashion empire Brandi works for. They're invited to a ball at the Van Doren estate. At the party, Brandi overhears Taylor talking to her friends about killing her father. Brandi finds herself sucked into a dark and hopeless situation, struggling to stay connected to who she really is and what's most important.

› I use the CAWPILE method to rate books.
0-3 Really bad
4-6 Mediocre
7-9 Really good
10 Outstanding

› Characters: 9
Well-developed characters. I sometimes struggled to understand the motivation behind some of their actions. Brandi is a badass and I love that Nate is a big, strong guy who's not afraid to show emotion and communicate his feelings.

› Atmosphere: 6
I struggled to picture the settings and wanted a little more description and world-building. I didn't always feel the appropriate emotions.

› Writing Style: 10
The writing style is incredible. Beautiful and gritty. High readability, and authentic dialogue.

"They just don't like that I'm black. They don't like the way I wear my braids - long and unapologetic, grazing my hips like a Nubian mermaid. They don't like that I'm not the smile-and-nod type, willing to assimilate to their idea of what I should be, how I should act."

"...sometimes disappointment is the most searing kind of pain because you have to grieve what never became, like a stillbirth..."

› Plot: 10
This is a page-turner. I did not want to put it down. All of the scenes are moving the plot forward and there is real conflict and danger.

› Intrigue: 10
I did not want it to end and I'd love to read more about Brandi...or Nate...or Taylor. Actually, just give me all the prequels, please.

› Logic: 10
I never felt confused. All of the elements made sense. I don't remember any plot holes. Some of the scenes are a little wild, but hey, this is a thriller! Strap in, cause this is a wild ride.

› Enjoyment: 10

Average 9.3

1.1-2.2 = ★
2.3-4.5 = ★★
4.6-6.9 = ★★★
7-8.9 = ★★★★
9-10 = ★★★★★

My Rating ★★★★★

› Final Thoughts
• I can't believe Someone Had To Do It is a debut. This book blew me away. I don't understand how it has a small readership on Goodreads. Let's BLOW THIS BOOK UP. If you're looking for over-the-top, fast-paced, dark, sexy suspense this is the story for you. I will not forget about these characters anytime soon. I feel like I learned a lot about white privilege, racism, and microaggressions. One of the best books I read in 2022. I can't wait to read more by Amber and/or Danielle Brown!


Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.


*Quotes taken from an ARC copy and subject to change*
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Book Summary:

Two women with very different lives are about to find their futures twined together. Brandi Maxwell has worked hard to get to where she is, and by all appearances, she has "it all." This includes a dream job (cleaning up after models) in fashion (which is racist) and wishing for more.

Then there's Taylor Van Doren, a model, and influencer. She really does have it all – but she runs the risk of partying all away. More accurately, her father is about to cut her off should she fail to get her habits in order. His new (and very young) wife-to-be is probably not going to help her odds much, either.

My Review:

Yes! I love thrillers with multiple POVs, and Someone Had To Do It certainly does have that. It's also written by a sister duo, which is so cool! I'm so happy this debut came across my desk because it is worth the read!

Brandi and Taylor couldn't be more different if they tried. The only thing they have in common is their industry – and a secret that Brandi would do anything to unhear. But you know how it goes once it's out of the box...

That one overheard conversation throws both women headfirst into chaos and thrills. It's the perfect foundation for everything that follows. Read this book if you love high fashion, murder, mayhem, and more.

Highlights:
Sister authors
Debut author
Family Drama
Fashionable murders???

Trigger Warnings:
Drug abuse
Racism
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OKAY this one was something else! It started out a little slow and was hard to get into but it did end up hooking me toward the end! I was rushing to keep reading and figure out what would come next - so much so I read it in one sitting. Some characters were pretty one dimensional and fell flat, but the mystery kept me going. I wish I found the characters to be more compelling, but it was still a fun read!
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This one started out a little slow for me, but eventually I was hooked wondering who would win the cat and mouse game.  I read through this one in just a little over a day.  As the reader we always knew what was going on, except for the prologue, but that didn’t hinder my need to figure out how it would end.  And there was a room for a twist or two.

It seems I’m on a kick of fashion influencer plots and that normally isn’t my thing, but I did fall into this one, probably since it was more about the murder.  I do think some of the characters were slightly underdeveloped, but this was not bad for a debut and I would definitely read their next novel.  In addition to the cat and mouse play over who will take the fall for the murder, there is a hint of racism and privilege issues.

It is narrated by two strong women, but only one can come out on top.  It is a lot dark and at times a little unbelievable, but an entertaining wild ride.
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Someone Had to Do It - everything about this one grabbed my attention. The fabulous cover, the title, the blurb, it all pretty much screamed my name. And it delivered. It's not hard to figure out the gist of what's going on here, but that didn't matter to me. That didn't diminish my enjoyment of the story even a smidge. It's well-written and fast-paced, and the tension keeps the pages turning. I don't want to spill the book's secrets, so I'll just add that I'm impressed with Amber and Danielle Brown's debut, and I'll certainly be watching for whatever comes next. They've definitely set the bar high with this one.
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I will be withholding my review until Harper gives their Harper Collins union workers a fair contract. Thank you again for the copy.
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