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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Perfect Little Lives

Narrators: Sandra Okuboyejo, Allyson Ryan Harlequin Audio

ISBN: 9781525805059

Publisher: Graydon House

Publication Date: 12/05/2023

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 3.5 Stars (ARC)

"A dark and riveting page-turner with an intelligent twist." —Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man, on Someone Had to Do It


Simone’s mother was murdered when she was thirteen. When her father was convicted, everything changed. Overnight, Simone went from living in a wealthy white neighborhood to scraping by.

Ten years later, Simone has given up on her dreams and lives a quiet life, writing book reviews and getting serious with her boyfriend. But with a true crime documentarian hounding her for a scoop and a surprise encounter with her childhood next-door neighbor, Hunter, the past seems set on haunting her. And after Hunter reveals that his father and her mother had a years-long affair, Simone is determined to find out who really killed her mother.

Simone is convinced that all evidence points to Hunter’s father, a renowned judge who had everything to lose if his affair—and his nascent love child—came to light. Playing the game from all sides, Simone enlists Hunter’s help in her investigation into his family—whether he realizes it or not. But is she so desperate for closure that she'll risk imploding her carefully rebuilt life?

My Review

Amber and Danielle Brown return following their debut, Someone Had To Do It, with their latest, PERFECT LITTLE LIVES —the perfect tale of secrets, lies, and betrayal in this gripping domestic thriller.


Years ago Simone's mother was murdered when she was only thirteen and her father was convicted and in prison. Her dad wants her to forget Asher Lane, which means forgetting about her friend, Hunter.

Barely scraping by, now, ten years later, she reads and writes book reviews. She lives with her successful attorney (Goldstein & Wagner) boyfriend, Reggie. She has not told Reggie her dad is in prison.

She feels it is easier to pretend he is dead (hence her story of going to the cemetery) than to share all the ups and downs of retaining a lawyer and running out of money to keep them on board. She would love to ask for his advice. She did not want her dad's conviction to scare Reggie away initially and she knows her dad is innocent. But now it has been almost a year. She did not want this coming between them.

She had reached out to the Innocence Project but was turned down.

Then she runs into her old childhood neighbor, Hunter, and learns Hunter's father was having an affair with Simone's mother.

Hunter's father is a renowned judge with everything to lose. Simone does not believe her father murdered her mother, and if he is innocent, she needs to find out more about Hunter's father. She is determined to find out who killed her mother.

All she wants is for her father to be free from prison.

Simone enlists Hunter’s help in investigating his family—whether he realizes it or not. But is she so desperate for closure that she'll risk imploding her carefully rebuilt life?

I am not a romance fan, as I mentioned in another review today, and I skipped over all the sex scenes; however, this was my first book by the authors, and I enjoyed the mystery, crime, and suspense part.

PERFECT LITTLE LIVES is part mystery and part romance with twists, secrets, and lies from the past while fighting for a man's innocence. Character-driven, I enjoyed the discussion and commentary on race related to the criminal case, complexities, and how each is perceived. I also liked Simone's tenacious fight for her father to the end.

Thanks to Graydon House and NetGalley for a digital advanced reading copy for an honest opinion.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Pub Date: Dec 5, 2023


"The Browns deliver their trademark mix of steamy sex and social commentary in an easy-to-binge package. This is bound to please fans of Shonda Rhimes." —Publisher's Weekly on Perfect Little Lives

“Perfect Little Lives is a seductive thriller that tackles contemporary issues of racism and social justice with an engaging storyline. Excited to have these new voices in the genre.”

- L.S. Stratton, author of Not So Perfect Strangers

“What starts as a slow burn quickly heats up when a relentless heroine searches for the truth about her mother’s murder. Family loyalties are tested, and the roller coaster ride descends down a path of domestic secrets intertwined with the lies of the reality they want you to see. PERFECT LITTLE LIVES exposes the truths hidden behind the closed suburban doors in a suspense you won’t want to miss.”

—Jaime Lynn Hendricks, bestselling author of I Didn’t Do It

"Amber and Danielle Brown’s debut is a juicy, brilliant treat of a thriller that combines sexy fashion-world glamour with salient points about privilege, racism, and the corrosive effects of extreme wealth. Somehow, Someone Had to Do It manages to be both a scathing critique of our late-stage capitalist hellscape, and the perfect mental escape from it. I couldn’t put it down!"

— Layne Fargo, author of They Never Learn

"A disturbing peek into the world of privilege. Someone Had to Do It is a tense page-turner that had me yelling out loud at the characters."

—Lucinda Berry, bestselling author of The Best of Friends and The Perfect Child

"SOMEONE HAD TO DO IT has everything. A dark and riveting page turner that has the allure of pulling off the perfect crime with an intelligent twist."--Nadine Matheson, author of THE JIGSAW MAN and THE BINDING ROOM

About the Authors

We’re Amber + Danielle and we’re identical twins (best friends, soul mates, all that) who love writing sexy thrillers that blend suspense and cultural commentary.

We both graduated with Communication/PR degrees from Rider University where we wrote and sat on the editorial staff for the On Fire!! Literary Journal. We then pursued a career in fashion and spent five years in NYC working our way up from interns to assistants to managing our own popular fashion + lifestyle blog. Amber is also a screenwriter, so we currently live in Los Angeles, which works out perfectly so Danielle can spoil her 30 (and counting!) plant babies with copious amounts of sunshine. Our debut novel with Graydon House, SOMEONE HAD TO DO IT, is available now. You can follow Amber (@ambersharelle) and Danielle (@dani_nicbrown) on Twitter.



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