“Sublimely creepy with a true Hoover pulse. I’ve been waiting on a thriller like this for years.” Tarryn Fisher, New York Times bestselling author
Verity, an all-new romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, is available now!
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity likely didn’t intend for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
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REVIEWED BY DONNA & SHARON THÉRÈSE AT KFF
The mere fact that Verity is written by one of our fave authors was enough for us to one-click. Hoover’s expanded her writing genre and delved into psychological thriller romance, and to say we were impressed by this change would be putting it mildly. We are both ardent women-driven readers of twisty, suspenseful-drama-love-stories novels, and although our reflections on the storyline were open-minded, we still had that critical eye on it. Consuming us from the very beginning, we couldn’t put this nail-biting read down. Hoover has woven the unimaginable, made it come to life and more importantly, built a solid and convincing narrative oozing with tension. Something else which caught our attention was how the author’s concentrated more on inner thoughts and much less on dialogue, making the protagonist’s internal conflicts feel incredibly realistic. Well, the other player’s recount of happenings simply left us aghast. To make things even better, clues given made us wait anxiously for the pieces to fall into place while in the interim, other developments threw us off-kilter. Punches are delivered right, left and centre so if you like being caught off balance, go in blind as we did. You won’t regret it.
Lowen’s a likeable character we found ourselves rooting for. Whether it was correct to do so remains to be seen as this story touches on an issue which might not be to everyone’s liking. A romance writer finding it difficult to make ends meet, she’d taken on a job to finish a project she really didn’t want for reasons we’d rather not disclose. What we can say is she’s lacking in self-confidence and lived a lonely life because of her inhibitions. Stumbling on secrets that should never have come to light, our concern for her increased with every page we turned. It was really a case of should or shouldn’t she confess, well-knowing her findings could destroy someone she’d started having feelings for. But how long can one go on when someone else’s secrets consume you night and day. What we learnt was nightmarish, making us wonder how on earth Lowen would be able to come out of the whole ghastly situation unscathed. It certainly felt unlikely most of the time.
Verity. She is the epitome of the perfectly perfect anti-heroine. Hoover’s created this woman’s character to a tee. You’re not supposed to like her, not even a teensy-weensy bit. We tried to feel sorry for her but reading on, all we saw was negativity in her persona and what she had done was so egotistically outrageous, we gasped in horror. She’s a nasty piece of work you’ll seriously want to alienate from the story, giving everyone around her some breathing space. But the question is, will she linger, making life even more insufferable than it already is?
You will fall head over heels with Jeremy. Man, how this gorgeous guy has survived so far is incomprehensible; no options to alleviate his damaged soul seem to exist. Or do they? Life goes on, his daily routine couldn’t appear more mundane until… Nope, we’re not letting on since it is for you to discover how he ticks and who would give him a glimmer of hope!
Told in present tense first-person from one of the character’s point of view, it’s difficult to differentiate between the two main protagonists. Both are essential for the story’s growth, and seeing as the other has plenty of words to convey, the book’s narrative structure is an interesting one. A suspense where nothing’s ever clear-cut, you think you’ve got it sussed only to find out you’re way off the mark. And even though towards the end a surprise and a half sneaked up on us, we thought what had been revealed a tad peculiar and for this reason, we’ve awarded Verity 4.5 stars. We felt certain goings on lacked development and could have given the ending even more impact than it already had. That being said, we found Hoover’s daring venture positive and we’re hoping to see more on these lines in the near future. Bravo!
© 2018 Colleen Hoover
All rights reserved.
“What are you wearing?” Corey is staring down at my shirt, perplexed, just now noticing it despite having spent the last fifteen minutes with me.
I look down at my oversized shirt. For a moment, I forgot how ridiculous I look. “I spilled coffee on my other shirt this morning and had to change.”
“Whose shirt is that?”
I shrug. “Probably yours. It was in my closet.”
“You left your house in that? There wasn’t something else you could have worn?”
“It doesn’t look high fashion?” I’m being sarcastic, but he doesn’t catch it.
He makes a face. “No. Is it supposed to?”
Such an ass. But he’s good in bed, like most assholes.
I’m actually relieved when the conference room door opens and a woman walks in. She’s followed, almost comically, by an older man walking so closely behind her, he bumps into the back of her when she stops.
“Goddammit, Barron,” I hear her mumble.
I almost smile at the idea of Goddammit Barron actually being his name.
Jeremy enters last. He gives me a small nod that goes unnoticed by everyone else.
The woman is dressed more appropriately than I am on my best day, with short black hair and lipstick so red, it’s a little jarring at nine thirty in the morning. She seems to be the one in charge as she reaches for Corey’s hand, and then mine, while Goddammit Barron looks on. “Amanda Thomas,” she says. “I’m an editor with Pantem Press. This is Barron Stephens, our lawyer, and Jeremy Crawford, our client.”
Jeremy and I shake hands, and he does a good job of pretending we didn’t share an extremely bizarre morning. He quietly takes the seat across from me. I try not to look at him, but it’s the only place my eyes seem to want to travel. I have no idea why I’m more curious about him than I am about this meeting.
Amanda pulls folders out of her briefcase and slides them in front of Corey and me.
“Thank you for meeting with us,” she says. “We don’t want to waste your time, so I’ll cut right to the chase. One of our authors is unable to fulfill a contract due to medical reasons, and we’re in search of a writer with experience in the same genre who may be interested in completing the three remaining books in her series.”
I glance at Jeremy, but his stoic expression doesn’t hint at his role in this meeting.
“Who is the author?” Corey asks.
“We’re happy to go over the details and terms with you, but we do ask that you sign the non-disclosure agreement. We would like to keep our author’s current situation out of the media.”
“Of course,” Corey says.
I acquiesce, but I say nothing as we both look over the forms and then sign them. Corey slides them back to Amanda.
“Her name is Verity Crawford,” she says. “I’m sure you’re familiar with her work.”
Corey stiffens as soon as they mention Verity’s name. Of course we’re familiar with her work. Everyone is. I hazard a glance in Jeremy’s direction. Is Verity his wife? They share a last name. He said downstairs that his wife is a writer. But why would he be in a meeting about her? A meeting she isn’t even here for?
“We’re familiar with the name,” Corey says, holding his cards close.
“Verity has a very successful series we would hate to see go unfinished,” Amanda continues. “Our goal is to bring in a writer who is willing to step in, finish the series, complete the book tours, press releases, and whatever else is normally required of Verity. We plan to put out a press release introducing the new co-writer while also preserving as much of Verity’s privacy as possible.”
Meet Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times and International bestselling author of thirteen novels and multiple novellas. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. She is the founder of The Bookworm Box, a non-profit book subscription service and bookstore in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
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