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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Monday, December 10, 2018

2019 Book 474: FOR BETTER AND WORSE by Margot Hunt

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778307907 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488088544 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205477 (audiobook)
ASIN: B077ZW32RW (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 11, 2018 
Publisher: MIRA 


On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they'll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.
Shocked to discover Nat's taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He's just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat's always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?


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Nathalie and Will met in law school. Nathalie had specific goals, work for the public defender's office before opening her own firm and Will just wanted to work in a law firm and never see a courtroom. Fast forward and Nathalie and Will are married and living in Florida. Nathalie has her own life firm and works as a criminal defense attorney. Will is working as a paper-pusher doing contract law. They have a good marriage (not a great one but decent), a nice home, a ten-year-old son that they both adore, and a dog. Life hasn't exactly gone the way they planned, but it isn't all bad until their son's school principal is taken in for questioning regarding molesting a student. At first, both Nathalie and Will think this is much ado about nothing as the student in question is classified as a "troubled youth," but then they learn that their son was also molested by this principal, a man they thought of as a friend. Nathalie refuses to report the instance with their son simply because she knows how traumatic the questioning and trial can be. Will feels that justice must be served and their son might be the voice needed to ensure this man doesn't get off scot-free. Just when it seems like their lives have changed for the worse and it couldn't possibly get any worse, Nathalie decides that the principal must die. She's willing to do whatever it takes to protect her son and family, but can she count on Will especially after she learns he's been keeping secrets from her? Secrets that just might tear their family apart more than her plans? How far is too far when it comes to protecting your children? How far is too far when it comes to keeping the wedding vows "for better or worse?"

I found For Better and Worse to be a fast-paced read. There is intrigue and, yes, murder, but the reader knows who the murderers are from the very beginning. The burning question becomes can they get away it and then should they be able to get away with it? Ms. Hunt presents this story in such a way that it was almost impossible to not feel empathetic towards Nathalie and Will no matter what they decide to do to protect their son. The bigger question that looms for Nathalie and Will (as well as for the reader) is if their choices are actually justifiable or not, morally and ethically. This is a not a black-and-white issue for Nathalie or Will, nor was it one for this reader. I can't say if I agreed with their choices or condoned their actions, but I understood where they were coming from as parents. Nathalie comes across as a strong woman that is often rigid in her thinking. Will comes across as more laidback and flexible except when it comes to keeping his secrets. There were parts of the story that seemed a bit farfetched, but hey it's fiction and therefore allowed. I enjoyed most of the characters and although I empathized with Nathalie throughout most of the story, by the end she was not my favorite person (read the book to learn why for yourself). If you enjoy reading fast-paced psychological thrillers, then you may want to grab a copy of For Better and Worse to read, just don't let it give you any criminal ideas!

Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Read an excerpt from the book here.



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