Valentina by S. E. Lynes
My rating: 5 Stars
Shona and Mikey have moved to an idyllic but very isolated cottage in rural Scotland. Shona's isolation is made far worse due to Mikey's new job on an oil rig where he is away from home two weeks out of each month. Shona is a new mother and is starving for adult contact. When she meets Valentina, she finds the perfect best friend. Or so she thinks...
Valentina is quite effervescent and rather enigmatic and she pushes boundaries with Shona right from the very beginning. Shona accepts this dynamic because her fears and loneliness are now at bay. Unfortunately, and rather desperately for Shona, her life begins to fall apart, and those scary woods surrounding her isolated cottage are not the most nerve-wracking thing in her life.
This hair-raising story is told in first person, in three captivating parts, and gave me the chills right from the very beginning. It is told after the events occurred, which lent itself to an even more terrifying story. The book is utterly captivating and I literally read it from cover-to-cover in two sittings. At this point all I can say is Wow! Just Wow! There are secrets, lies, breakneck twists and turns driven fast to a shocking conclusion.
What breaks up the terror in this stunning story is the style of writing, as there is sharp humor in this retelling. I was quite pleased that Bookouture decided to reissue this book, as I was presented the opportunity to read it. To discover that this was a debut novel was quite the shock. It was written exceptionally well. S.E. Lynes has a book due out next month, The Proposal, which I am now extremely eager to read.
I received this ARC from Bookouture, and this is my honest opinion.