Audiobook, Blog Tour, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Blog Tour: My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle @KimberlySBelle @AudiobookSeth #CharlieKevin @HarlequinBooks


Cam and Jade Lasky are the picture of success. He’s a celebrity chef and owner of five restaurants in Atlanta, known as the steak king, and she’s the beautiful stay at home mom to daughter Beatrix and son Baxter (the Bees). They live in a beautiful home in an affluent neighborhood so what could be wrong? Life for them changes when Jade comes home with the kids and is confronted by an armed, masked intruder.

This story gave me some serious heartburn! I kept shutting off my headphones because I couldn’t stand the suspense but then turning them back on as I had to see how the next scene turned out. The points of view are provided by Cam, Jade and the intruder (Sebastian) who I came to loathe. What makes things even more intriguing is Cam’s narrative being delivered through an interview with a reporter who’s not going easy on him. It’s obvious he’s doing the interview in the aftermath but there’s not one single clue about the outcome until the end.

I’m deliberately omitting more details because you should read/hear them firsthand. Sebastian was chilling and I took his threats seriously, as did Jade, which made things more ominous given the two children involved. And speaking of the children…I came to adore Beatrix, the true hero of this story. I think you will, too. Thank goodness multiple narrators were used for the audio version as it was important to give the main characters their own distinctive styles and voices. It mattered and they were outstanding. There are twisty turns and bends throughout and the ending felt right, leaving some things to my own imagination. This turned out to be much more than I anticipated (a good thing) but I’m glad it’s over! Put on your adult pants because this is an uneasy ride.

Book Info

  • Release Date: December 28, 2021
  • Narrators: Natalie Duke, Seth Podowitz & Charlie Kevin
  • Audio Length: 10 hours, 8 minutes
  • Publisher: Harlequin Audio

 

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Libro.fm

 

Excerpt

Jade
3:18 pmI see the black figure in the shadows, and my first thought is of the kids, an immediate, full-throttle alarm that comes on like a freight train. This is parenthood in a nutshell: utter terror for your children’s welfare, always. It’s something Cam and I never thought about back when we were trying to get pregnant—the overwhelming insecurity when the doctor settled our babies into our arms, the unrelenting worry whenever they’re not near. I spot movement and I reach for them at the same time—instant and instinctual. My brain identifies a person, a male-sized form that does not belong here, and I shove their little bodies behind mine.A man, looming in my garage. Breathing the same air.I don’t move. I can’t. No fight. No flight. I just stand here, transfixed, dumbstruck, stock-still.I think of my phone, buried under the mail and trash in my bag. I think of the panic button on the alarm pad in the house, on the other end of a breezeway and tucked safely behind a locked door. I think of my keys, next to my phone. Even if I managed to get us out of this garage, where would we go? I’d never make it inside the house, and the backyard is fenced, the gates either electronic or secured with a complicated, child-safe latch. There’s nowhere to escape.

“Don’t move. Stay quiet and I won’t hurt you.”

The voice is so frighteningly close. Hoarse, rattling in air hot with my sticky fear, and I don’t believe a single word. Especially not when he steps closer, and I get a better look. The man is wearing a mask. He’s holding a gun, a stubby black thing in a fist. Head-to-toe black, every bit of him covered, even his hands. His fingertips.

Run. I scream the word in my head, urging myself on. Grab the children and run.
Now.

A chill races down my spine. The hairs soldier on my skin.

This man is here to hurt me. To hurt us.

And still I can’t move.

So this is it, then. This is how my body responds when faced with sudden fright, with this hot, sluggish horror—like when your fingers brush over a strange lump under your armpit and you realize your life has veered sideways. Some people run. Others scream. Me, I just stand here, paralyzed by the mounting terror.

The kids, too. They stare at him with big, frightened eyes. A little hand grabs my pants leg.
“Please,” I somehow manage to squeak, but I can’t finish. Please don’t touch the children. Please don’t shoot us. The words are too horrifying to say out loud.

He moves closer, his gait smooth but there’s something sinister in the way he’s walking across the concrete floor. He’s like an animal on the hunt, joints loose, ready to pounce. All dangerous, coiled energy lurking just below the surface.

“Take my car.” I hold out my bag, a stupidly expensive designer thing from a couple years ago. “The keys are in here somewhere, and so’s my wallet. I—”

“I don’t want your purse. Don’t want your car, either.” His voice is deep and scratchy, the kind that sounds filled with cigarette smoke.

My stomach spirals, and I search his face for more, but the parts of him I can see—his lips, his eyes—are closed off. I search for something recognizable, something human I can appeal to, but there’s nothing. It’s like searching for meaning on a covered canvas.

Still, I take in every detail I can see and commit them to memory. Just under six foot, medium build, broad shouldered. Caucasian. I know this from his eyes, olive green and flecked with amber, the pink patch of skin around his mouth. His teeth are white and straight, the kind of straight that comes from braces.

“Do you want money? I don’t have cash, but take my card. My pin is 4-3-0-8.”

“Jade. Shh.”

My name on his tongue tightens a knot of panic in my gut, and I scurry—finally—backwards, putting some distance between me and this man, pushing the kids behind me and towards the door.

Stay calm.

Don’t panic.

Whatever happens, do not let the gunman in the house. That’s how people get killed. That’s how entire families end up in a pool of blood. As soon as you let the gunman into the house, you’re already dead.

Excerpted from My Darling Husband @ 2021 by Kimberly S. Belle Books, LLC, used with permission by Park Row Books.

 

 

Q & A with Kimberly Belle

Q: Your cover really draws you in. Are you involved with the cover process? What do you hope this cover tells potential readers?
A: Thank you! And I agree; the designers at Park Row really nailed this one. Typically, I don’t have a lot of involvement with the cover until it’s nearly finished, which means it’s already gotten approval from my editorial team as well as the folks in sales and marketing before I get to see it. That moment when the email lands in my inbox – A sneak peek at your cover! – is always so exciting.
In my mind, what makes the My Darling Husband cover so strong is that it gives us a view of Jade’s face but none of her husband Cam’s, only a slice of his shoulder. For me, this makes Cam feel somewhat elusive, and it hopefully puts the reader on alert that things with him may not be what they seem. Especially in combination with the title, the image lets the reader know that the husband in this story may not be so darling after all.

Q: What research did you need to conduct for this book and how did you do it?
A: I did a lot of research around a couple of plot points that if I mentioned them here, would give a big chunk of the story away. What I can mention is my research around raising a child prodigy and the kinds of stresses that degree of talent can put on both the family and the child. Beatrix is nine and has played violin since she was a toddler, when she picked up one in the toy aisle at Target. As amazing as her talent is, it’s also a daily hurdle. Lessons, practice time, the drive to succeed, the pressure to not “waste” your talent by frittering away your time with normal childhood pursuits – it can all feel very isolating. She’s a brilliant, brave kid who is much more mature than she should be, as illustrated with this line: “Most parents want their children to grow up. Cam and I should have spent more time coaxing Beatrix to grow down.”

Q: What is your elevator pitch for My Darling Husband?
A: My Darling Husband is the story of a mother held captive with her two children in their own home while her husband scrambles for the ransom, and the masked invader who’s about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

Q: Which came first, the story or the title?
A: I turned this book in as “Book #7” so definitely the story came first. Seven books in, and not one of my titles has ever stuck, so I’ve stopped worrying about what the story will be called when I’m writing it. My publisher has a fabulous team of experts who are so much more versed in the process than I am. While I’m only thinking of the story, they’re looking at big-picture items like comparable stories, market trends, which words are hitting a collective chord (remember all the books with “girl” in the title?). All this goes to say, they know what they’re doing, and I am happy to let them work their magic!

Q: What is your favorite season and why?
A: My favorite season has always been fall. I never mind the shorter days and cooler air, all the more reason to light a fire and wrap myself up in an oversized sweater. For me, fall has all the bests–the best fashion and the best food (soup season!) and the best festivities, ones that are centered around family. That’s hands-down my favorite part of fall, when all my people are gathered under one roof.

 


About the Author

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of seven novels, including her latest, My Darling Husband (December 2021). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

(Thanks to Harlequin Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

18 thoughts on “Blog Tour: My Darling Husband by Kimberly Belle @KimberlySBelle @AudiobookSeth #CharlieKevin @HarlequinBooks”

Comment anyone?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s