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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins


Narrator: Brittany Pressley

ISBN: 9781666651294

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Publication Date: 12/05/2023

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 4 Stars(ARC)

Thirteen years ago, Maggie Ellis left her small town and vowed to never return. In her rearview mirror were two men she loved and an ominous secret that would forever haunt her.

Now, tragedy has brought her back, and she’s determined to forget that fateful night. But in a town like Myers, with familiar faces and chilling memories lurking around every corner, moving on is easier said than done.

Before the ink can dry on the closing documents for her new residence, Maggie begins to feel unsettled. In every room, there’s the unmistakable sensation she’s being watched. The strange sounds, odd smells, and bizarre occurrences only add to her paranoia.

There’s something sinister about her new home…

When she discovers the devastating truth about the house and its grim history, Maggie’s worst fears are realized. In order to survive, she must unearth the secrets she’d always planned to keep buried.

After all, they say that home is where the heart is, but as Maggie knows, home is also where the skeletons lie.

Seamlessly blurring the edges between psychological thriller and romantic suspense, million-copy bestselling author Kiersten Modglin brings us a dark and twisted romantic thriller that's perfect for fans of Verity, Tell Me Lies, The Ghost Writer, and You.

My Review

Kiersten Modglin returns with her 40th novel, HEMLOCK —a chilling suspense of a woman who returns to her hometown, buys a new home that seems to be haunted, and comes face to face with the two men she thought she left behind.

OK, most of you know I dislike romance novels (nor do I read them). However, I thought this was a psychological thriller, and of course, one of my favorites was narrating the audiobook, Brittany Pressley, so I got through it. As always, Brittany delivers an outstanding performance.

Meet our protagonist, Maggie Ellis, who left her small town, Myers, thirteen years ago and never wanted to return. After she inherited money from her mom's death and broke up with her boyfriend, she purchased an old house on Hemlock Street. She thought it looked cozy and was ready to settle down. But there are so many things that need repairing.

Soon after moving in, strange things began happening. She does not want to be scared off. She is independent and wants to love it.

We meet two men who were a part of her past and, like the hemlock plant, toxic! Things happened years ago and there was a lot of miscommunication, someone interfered, and changed the course of her life.

Clayton (disliked) has been her best friend for years but left her years ago to chase his dreams in Nashville. He did not ask her to go.

Then there was Tucker (liked), the bartender who helped her fake date to make Clayton jealous when Clayton returned with a new fiancée.

A love triangle: We get parts with both guys, past and present, and the house, which is creepy. Tucker lives next door and is now a contractor and owns his own business so he can come to her rescue.

Clayton is not trustworthy, whinny and his music career did not go as planned. He did not want her, but now he does not want her with anyone else. Maggie cannot see it even though he is manipulative.

From past to present, we soon learn why these strange things are happening, which wraps up in this romantic suspense meets haunted house mystery.

I thought it was long and drawn out and felt Maggie must be blind not to see what was going on.

fake dating

love triangle

creepy house with a sinister history

dark secrets

past & present timelines

suspense & mystery


Thanks to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for an ALC review copy for an honest opinion.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: Dec 5, 2023

Audio: 5 Stars (performance)

Story: 3 Stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Prepare to meet your new favorite romantic thriller:

  • fake dating

  • love triangle

  • creepy house with a sinister history

  • fast-paced and addictive

  • packed with dark and terrifying secrets

  • forced proximity

  • past & present timelines

  • suspense to keep you gasping, spice to keep you swooning

About the Author

KIERSTEN MODGLIN is an Amazon Top 10 bestselling author of psychological thrillers. Her books have sold over a million copies and been translated into multiple languages. Kiersten is a member of International Thriller Writers, Novelists, Inc., and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She is a KDP Select All-Star and a recipient of ThrillerFix's Best Psychological Thriller Award, Suspense Magazine's Best Book of 2021 Award, a 2022 Silver Falchion for Best Suspense, and a 2022 Silver Falchion for Best Overall Book of 2021. Kiersten grew up in rural western Kentucky and later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where she now lives with her family. Kiersten's readers across the world lovingly refer to her as "KMod." A binge-watching expert, psychology fanatic, and indoor enthusiast, Kiersten enjoys rainy days spent with her favorite people and evenings with her nose in a book. WEBSITE







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