You Don’t Know Me by Sara Foster @Legend_Times_ @tamushamu #bookreview @lovebooksgroup

Lizzie Burdett was eighteen when she vanished. Noah Carruso has never forgotten her: she was his first crush; his unrequited love. She was also his brother’s girlfriend.

Tom Carruso hasn’t been home in over a decade. He left soon after Lizzie disappeared, under a darkening cloud of suspicion. Now he’s coming home for the inquest into Lizzie’s death, intent on telling his side of the story for the first time.

As the inquest looms, Noah meets Alice Pryce while on holiday in Thailand. They fall in love fast and hard, but Noah can’t bear to tell Alice his deepest fears. And Alice is equally stricken, for she carries a terrible secret of her own.

He’s guarding a dark secret, but so is she.

Reader friends, if you are looking for a page-turning romantic suspense mystery/crime summer read, this is definitely the book for you. From the moment I started the first page, I was hooked. The storytelling is interesting, the pacing is faster than an ostrich (have you seen how fast those critters run?), and the mystery and the romance drive the narrative.

Everything seems to revolve around Lizzie Burdett, who was eighteen when she disappeared. Lizzie was Noah Carruso’s first crush as well as his older brother’s girlfriend. Last seen at the Carruso’s house having an argument with Tom, the mystery behind her demise still haunts the community.

Over ten years later, though never charged with a crime, Tom returns home to tell his side of the story and prove his innocence. Noah, however, is not feeling the love for his brother. He’s certain his brother has held back crucial information. Information Noah also kept secret. And because of this, how could Tom not be the killer?

Before the date of the inquest into Lizzie’s disappearance, Noah takes a much-needed vacation to Thailand and meets Alice Pryce. A young woman with looks uncannily similar to his memories of Lizzie. 

Yes, Alice and Noah have an instant attraction. And yes, they are both holding back secrets of their past. While, the romance is fast, the insta-chemistry is believable. When Alice and Noah must return to Australia and face their demons, layers are peeled away and my original assumptions of what happened are shot to dust. Every time I think I figure something out, I’m pretty much wrong. Which is why this is such a page-turner for me.

Eventually all the dirty laundry is gathered and tossed into the washing machine. Though for me—and this might be the only major critique that stands out—the reveal happens almost too fast. I’m grateful we get a full reveal, though it seems to come out of nowhere where I’m trying to recall foreshadowing? Though to be fair, I’m sure Ms. Foster does this intentionally. To whisk us into a maze of deceit and curiosity.

But after the shock of the truth, I’m happy to say the very ending redeems my faith in relationships, providing more than a glimmer of hope. 

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