Before We Were Strangers

Before We Were Strangers

by Brenda Novak


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778368755
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Edition description: Original
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.29(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.31(d)

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

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Before We Were Strangers 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
grandmareads102 2 hours ago
When Sloane McBride returns to her hometown, she has a specific purpose. She wants to find what happened to her mother who disappeared twenty-three years ago after a fight with domineering husband. Sloan thinks that her father might have killed her? Now she's going to find the truth and find peace. Sloane can't escape the memories of that night. I sympathized with her. It would be terrible to be haunted by the past. I was impressed by her determination. She won't be stopped by the pressure from her father. To add to her stress she must deal with her first love, Micah. He's bitter. Sloane may have left him without warning, but she still cares for him. Can they put the past behind them? I liked Micah. He's willing to help her even though it puts his career at risk. I was impressed with his character. Even though he suffered when Sloane left. He's helping her. Their chemistry is amazing. Brenda Novak has written an powerful story. The plot is filled with so many unexpected twists that I was stunned. Her characters come alive with their powerful dialogue. I cared for Sloane and Micah. I wanted them to be successful. I just wasn't sure that they could get through the lies and deceit. Before We Were Strangers is a keeper. I bought this as an audiobook. I felt that the narration increased the tension.
Horsebranchjess 2 hours ago
Before We Were Strangers carries a promising premise, a small town girl makes it big and decides she can finally face the truth about her mother's disappearance. The story takes a little while to warm up to. When she first comes home, Sloan gets sucked into a love triangle that I felt was unnecessary. Most of the characters in this book got on my last nerve, Sloane and Micah grew on me by the end. Paige is the character you love to hate. The last quarter of this book makes up for any ambiguous feeling I had in the beginning as the action picks up and plot really begins to move forward. I found some elements of the story to be highly predictable but still enjoyable never the less. Brenda Novak is still one of my favorite authors even when the book isn't. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
GwenL 5 hours ago
Speechless — that’s what I was when I finished BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS! Brenda Novak has long been a favorite author. I’ve always admired her richly drawn characters. BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS exceeds everything I’ve read of hers before. Our heroine Sloane has been haunted for 20-plus years about what she heard one night when she was 5. It haunted her so much that she ran away from her hometown, leaving behind both her one true love and her best friend. Now, she’s ready to go back home and face the memory of her 5-year-old self. But going home is never easy. Just as we readers know that when you return home for holidays, it’s so easy to fall back into old patterns with our parents and siblings, Sloane struggles to remain her strong adult self as she interacts with her father, brother, ex-lover and best friend. The mystery in this book takes center stage, always present even as we see Sloane build new relationships with those from her past. I’d call this book romantic suspense because the mystery is so captivating with a great second-chance romance (with lots of impediments) thrown in. Novak left her breadcrumbs throughout the book, and I really thought I’d solved the mystery. Color me shocked at the ending! If you’ve never read Brenda Novak, this is a great book to start — no related books to read to catch up with characters. And you’ll dive right in and read it straight through.
MugsyMae 1 days ago
This is a gripping suspense/thriller from Brenda Novak about a young woman who returns to her hometown after 10 years away to figure out what happened to her mother who disappeared when she was only five years old. She suspects her egotistical father has something to do with it. The plot has a lot of twists and turns and really kept me reading. Great characters with all the flaws and frailties to make this story so believable.
Boohimdanno 1 days ago
Fans of Brenda Novak and Romantic Suspense this is a Must Read! Before We Were strangers is one the best Romantic Suspense with the dynamic characters that will keep readers up all night. Everything from greed, angry, self doubt, and affairs that will twist readers until they are not sure who slept with whom. Brenda Novak is able to create well paced story with a little too many characters but since the whole town seems to be hiding secrets it only makes since that everyone is a suspect. There are times readers will roll their eyes with the cheesy one liners but at the same times they will be biting their nails as the action starts and the mystery only seems to pull families apart. Curl up because you are not going to put this book down until you have read ever last word. Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for the advance copy of Brenda Novak Before We were Strangers.
ILuvBooks25 2 days ago
This is the newest Brenda Novak book most recently released. After reading quite a few of her books I think she does a great job of setting the scenes as well as giving you well developed characters. I really felt like by the end of this particular book I really knew each of the characters in the book. In addition, to the character development and scenery what really impressed me about this book was the storyline. Having read many of her books before I really felt like this was something very different then what she had done before. She really thought out side the box on this story and made you the reader solve the mystery of who dunnit or did Sloane's mother just run away? In addition, I think that it was something different than just some simple romance storyline that you see on the t.v. I really enjoyed this book, couldn't put it down and can't wait to read more of her books in the future like this. I recommend this book to readers who like a little bit of romance but a whole lot more of murder mystery or mystery in general.
perriknows 2 days ago
Sloane McBride left her home, her family, her boyfriend, and her life at age 18. Running from what? An argument she overheard as a very young child keeps her wondering…did her mother really walk away or was there something more sinister? Who had a reason to hurt her mother? Why would anyone want to hurt her? Did her father do it? Does her brother know more than he lets on? In a small town it seems like everyone knows what’s going on, but why doesn’t anyone know or admit they know anything about her mother’s disappearance? After her mentor dies, she decides to go back to her small Texas hometown to look for clues regarding her mother’s death. Going home also means reconnecting with her high school boyfriend and her best friend. How has time treated all of them? I enjoyed this novel. I really didn’t have many clues as to the culprit or the reason Sloane’s mother was gone until the end of the book. Very satisfying and suspenseful.
sbart84 2 days ago
Fantastic!! This book drew me in immediately and didn't let me go until the last page. With so many twists and turns throughout this romantic suspense it will keep you guessing. Sloane has returned home after being gone for ten years to determine and uncover the murder of her mother when she was five years old. She soon reconnects with her one true love, Micah. Loved this book,full of romance and suspense. Strong likable characters. Loved Micah!! I highly recommend this book!!
KahlanMercy 3 days ago
Standalone Novel After hearing an argument between her parents, Sloane McBride's mother disappears. Now that she has grown up, Sloane is determined to find out what happened that night. She is convinced that her father must have killed her and covered it up, but he's the mayor and no one will go against him. Micah Evans, Sloane's former boyfriend, has been divorced for a year and is shocked to find Sloane in Paige's house. Even after all these years, the two have chemistry. Micah begins to help Sloane with her investigation, but the mayor is set on destroying anyone who gets in his way. If you're looking for a story where every character is suspect, this is the book for you!
KerryACroucier 3 days ago
Another winner for Brenda Novak! With Strong characters and an intriguing story line, this one kept me hooked from the beginning. The twists kept me guessing, and just when you think you have it figured it out, Novak deftly turns you around again. With this novel, Novak again solidifies her place on my author “must-read” list. #BeforeWeWereStrangers #BrendaNovak
faerea1968 3 days ago
This is a great book! Mystery, romance, betrayal, true love... this book has it all. Sloane left home at 18 to get away from the questions and the doubts. Now she is going back for answers. She needs to know what happened to her mother all those years ago, if her father was involved, and why she can't get the memories out of her head. She will face the friends and family that she left behind, the hurt feelings, broken hearts, and the trust she needs to uncover. This book kept me enthralled, I had a hard time putting it down!
green____ 4 days ago
A 2nd Chance Romantic Suspense! What a gripping story... it had me glued to my seat! I enjoyed the twists and turns it takes you on! Definitely kept me on my toes!!! Could not put it down! A well written tale full of suspense and romance... took me on an intense journey... a book I will remember!
sheri2417 4 days ago
This book has it all! The story follows famous model Sloane who returns to her hometown to find out what happened to her mother when Sloane was five. Her mother hasn’t been seen or heard of since then. The past has haunted Sloane and she has finally decided it is time to face it to uncover the truth. She is met with resistance from the townspeople who would prefer that she let sleeping dogs lie, especially when she begins to suspect her father, the town icon, has something to do with it. Sloane is determined, though, and faces her battle head on. Along the way she enlists the help of her ex-boyfriend, Micah, who just so happens to be a police officer in the town. Together they discover what really happened and, of course, fall in love along the way. Before We Were Strangers is definitely a page turner and very hard to put down. The only minor disappointment for me, a big fan of dramatic endings, was when the killer was unveiled as almost a postscript. I would have loved to see a big showdown between Sloane and the killer.
Mommalj8 5 days ago
You want to but don't hold your breath until you get to the next twist in this consuming intense thriller by Brenda Novak. Her characters are real and face true-to-life situations. I truly enjoy her romance novels that bring small towns and their citizens to life, but Brenda's suspense and romantic suspense novels are my first choice. They are sit-on-the-edge of your seat, unable to put down, character rich, and so realistic you experience along with the characters each event as it happens and you wonder at the creative mind that saw this plot and developed it. Truly another MUST read if you love suspense novels.
Robbiebee 5 days ago
Sloane was just five years old when her mother disappeared. Everyone said she had just taken off, but Sloane wasn't so sure. Left with an autocratic, controlling father. After graduating high school, Sloane took off leaving everyone and everything behind. Now she's come home, looking for answers to the questions she still has surrounding her mother's disappearance. But, there are some people who would rather those questions remain unanswered. Brenda Novak has created a masterful story of suspense that pulls the reader in from page one and refuses to let them go. Rather, she takes them on a wild ride that leaves the reader breathless and guessing right up until the very end. This is another no miss read from a great author. I received an ARC of this book and have voluntarily offered this review.
ganderson523 6 days ago
Brenda Novak has written another thriller that kept me turning the pages and reading every chance that I could. In her typical style, she has created realistic characters and a well thought out, interesting plot that pulled me in right away. Sloane McBride left home right after graduation, leaving her father and brother along with her boyfriend Micah and best friend Paige. Her father, Ed, is a domineering and controlling parent that Sloane has grown up believing had something to do with the disappearance of her mother. When she was five years old, she and her parents were alone at home as her brother was spending the night with a friend. She heard terrible fighting between her parents with shouting and thuds, then silence. Her mother disappeared that night. Her father claimed that she just left. On foot. Ten years later, Sloane is a successful, famous model. When her manager/mentor died, she decided to take a year off and return home to find out what happened to her mother. She now feels strong enough to confront her father, who is now mayor and still a powerful man in the small town in Texas where she grew up. But she won't have an easy time of it. She has reconnected with Paige on social media. But Paige, who was always in love with Micah, managed to marry him and have a child. They are now divorced and he is a police officer. What a tangled mess that she walks back into. No one is really happy to see her. Paige claims to be but is she? Micah could not understand why she left without a word-then or since. Ed uses his power to block Sloane from finding a place to stay and from getting help from the police department. After all, why should he make it easy for her to ruin his life? Her brother Randy loves their father and is angry that she is back to pin their mother's supposed death on their father. Micah finally offers to help her when he sees her situation. This mystery takes us on a wild path with road blocks and surprises along the way. People are not as they seem and the story is full of jealousy, greed, dishonesty, small town politics, twists and turns. Sloane does find answers but not without encountering some danger along the way. Just when we think we have an answer to the mystery, things take a different turn and are not as clear cut as expected. But the story is edgy, suspenseful and has some romance that adds a positive touch. I received a complimentary ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts expressed are mine only.
bp124 6 days ago
Brenda Novak certainly knows how to write an amazing mystery that will keep you guessing right up until the very end. Before We Were Strangers has so many twists and turns in the story, I couldn't put it down because I was so anxious to find out who did it. It just amazes me that someone who writes such beautiful romance stories can come up with such wonderful ideas to keep you in suspense. The author still manages to squeeze in some romance to keep everyone happy though. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to truly be entertained and kept on their toes. You won't be sorry!
Cheryl-S 6 days ago
WOW! Just WOW! What a ride this book has been. This amazing romantic suspense grabbed a hold of me and didn’t let go until the last page. The story features Sloan’s and Mica. 10 years apart and their love was as strong as it ever was. I did feel sorry for Paige though. She kind of asked for the life she got with Mika and should have known better. That’s what you get for coveting your best friend’s man. She needs therapy! This story line was so fantastic! The characters were great and the progression of the story line was perfectly paced. I love a good plot twist and this book had an unexpectedly awesome plot twist. I always look forward to whatever this author comes out with next.
gamom56 6 days ago
SUSPENSE AT IT'S BEST! Wow, what an awesome story! This is one of those novels that makes me feel like I’m holding my breath, trying to stop time, so that nothing comes between me and the pages of the story. It’s full of twists and turns and just when I thought I had it figured out, BAM! In my humble opinion, this is Brenda Novak’s best work yet! I highly recommend it.
Carolefort 7 days ago
This is the first time a Brenda Novak book has been on my TBR list because I assumed she wrote mostly romance novels, which is not one of my favorite genres. However, Before We Were Strangers has been a most pleasant surprise: it is a contemporary mystery thriller that captures the reader's attention from the first page. Sloane McBride, at age 5, overheard her parents having a violent argument. The next morning, her mother had disappeared, never to be seen again. This abandonment stayed with the child into adulthood. She left her hometown in Texas as soon as she was 18, leaving behind her best friend and her boyfriend Micah. She returned 10 years later because she was convinced that her rich and powerful father was responsible for whatever happened to her mother. With Micah's help, they proceed to dig up the past in order to solve her mother's probable murder, in spite of her father's and brother's obstruction of their investigation. This is a whodunit that will stay with the reader, long after the last page. I look forward to more novels by Brenda Novak. Thank you to Mira Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
cgarr 7 days ago
This story had a different feel than other Brenda Novak stories. The writing is great and the story keeps you wondering until the end. Sloane left home when she finished High School and went on to make her own way in the world. Now years later she is ready to return home to face her father and her fear that he may have killed her mother. The story give you the chance to see how many people were impacted by Sloane's decision to leave all those years. It was an interesting read. I received an advance copy for an honest review.
tsmb02 7 days ago
Sloane McBride was 5 years old when she woke up and heard her parents arguing again. Then she heard a loud thump. The next morning her mom was gone. All her life Sloane thought her dad may have killed her mom. When she turned 18 she high tailed it out of town, leaving her family, her boyfriend, Micah, and her best friend, Paige to get away from it all. During her time away, Micah ended up marrying Paige and they had a son. Now they have been divorced for 2 years because Micah was still in love with Sloane. Sloane went on to become a highly successful model and is very well off. It's been ten years since Sloane left Millcreek, TX but now she is determined to find out what happened to her mom. As Sloane starts digging into the truth, weird, interesting facts come to life. Since Sloane's dad is the mayor of Millcreek, she is not getting much help from local people...they are all too afraid of her father. Imagine her surprise when Micah steps forward and offers to help her. As they spend more time together, their feelings for each other are even stronger. Together they finally unravel everything that had happened to her mom. Sloane is in for a big surprise when she finally ends up learning the truth. Throughout the way, she starts to realize that people that seem like friends, really are not and that people she thought were enemies were actual friends. This is one of those stories that has wonderful characters, is beautifully written and keeps you in such suspense that you cannot put this book down. Just when I would think the story was going in one direction, it changed directions into something else. After all is said and done, Sloane and Micah will get their very deserved happy ending!
gdsnv 7 days ago
Saying anything about this story would give away spoilers AND I could never weave something so intricate, as Ms. Novak has done. Ultimately, BWWS is about Sloane McBride and her horrific childhood memories of losing her mother…and thinking her father killed her. Truly a simplistic overview. What I CAN tell you is that if you love mysteries delicately woven through families and old friends and old flames, this story is for you. Sloane comes back home after years away and she meets up with her former best friend…who married Micah, Sloane’s old boyfriend…and the fun begins. Sloane has to deal with still having feelings for Micah. She has to deal with her friend Paige’s very odd reaction to (Sloane) her being back in town. Whenever she meets up with someone from her past, even her own brother, you start wondering if they are truly saying what they mean, acting out a part, and what will happen next. And don’t get me started on her father – Dad of the Year he is NOT. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Highly recommend Before We Were Strangers, especially if you want a read that will keep you guessing. Or if you like gasping every time you read a page or two. Seriously!
Emma6ES 7 days ago
BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS by Brenda Novak Something happened to her mother that night. Something no one wants to talk about. But she’s determined to uncover her family’s dark secrets, even if they bury her. Five-year-old Sloane McBride couldn’t sleep that night. Her parents were arguing again, their harsh words heating the cool autumn air. And then there was that other sound—the ominous thump before all went quiet. In the morning, her mother was gone. The official story was that she left. Her loving, devoted mother! That hadn’t sat any better at the time than it did when Sloane moved out at eighteen, anxious to leave her small Texas hometown in search of anywhere else. But not even a fresh start working as a model in New York could keep the nightmares at bay. Or her fears that the domineering father she grew up with wasn’t just difficult—he was deadly. Now another traumatic loss forces Sloane to realize she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, even if it means returning to a small town full of secrets and lies, a jilted ex-boyfriend, and a father and brother who’d rather see her silenced. But as Sloane starts digging into the past, the question isn’t whether she can uncover what really happened that night…it’s what will remain of her family if she does? this is Sloane McBride's story. Daddy McBride Sloane McBride Randy McBride brother of Sloane. Micah Sloane's ex-boyfriend. Paige Patterson Evans her closest friend from high school. Trevor Evans Paige's son. And who could say? Maybe Sloane’s instincts had been wrong all along. Maybe she owed it to her father and brother to find the truth, too, and dispel all suspicion. Her phone rang as she climbed into her Jaguar. Caller ID revealed a Texas area code.She frowned as she stared down at it. It had to be her new landlord. Other than Paige Patterson—Paige Evans now—her closest friend from high school who’d reconnected with her last year on social media, her landlord was the only person who knew she was returning to town. And who could say? Maybe Sloane’s instincts had been wrong all along. Maybe she owed it to her father and brother to find the truth, too, and dispel all suspicion. Her phone rang as she climbed into her Jaguar. Caller ID revealed a Texas area code.She frowned as she stared down at it. It had to be her new landlord. Other than Paige Patterson—Paige Evans now—her closest friend from high school who’d reconnected with her last year on social media, her landlord was the only person who knew she was returning to town. I highly recommend reading. "I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book." BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS by Brenda Novak is a wonderful well written 5 star book. I am looking forward to reading more books by Brenda Novak. On a Snowy Christmas Before We Were Strangers Face Off (Evelyn Talbot, book 3) Silver Springs Collection Volume 1 (Silver Springs) Unforgettable You (Silver Springs, book 5) Falling For You (Dundee, Idaho) Evelyn Talbot 0.5. Hanover House 1. Her Darkest Nightmare 2. Hello Again 3. Face Off Silver Springs 1. Finding Our Forever 2. No One but You 3. Until You Loved Me 4. Right Where We Belong 5. Unforgettable You
MaryJoMI 7 days ago
Intense second chance romance with a great mystery. Sloane left her home and everyone she loved behind, building a successful career as a model. When a major part of that world dies, she realizes she needs to face the old demons she walked away from and returns home to find out what really happened to her mother when she was 5 years old. Being embraced by her old best friend Paige is unexpected. Paige married Micah, the man Sloane loved and left behind, but they are divorced. Seeing Micah again brings back all the old memories & feelings but Sloane works to keep her distance knowing she won’t stay. Micah is blown away when he sees Sloane again. He wants to hate her but can’t, that love never died, just laid dormant. Sloane’s task of solving her mother’s disappearance puts her in direct contention with her father and brother. This won’t be an easy road to unravel the mystery given that her father wields a lot of power in town. The complexity of the relationships adds another dimension to the mystery. I love that parts of the story are told from different characters letting us know each one’s true motivations. I got completely drawn into this story constantly wondering what really happened while wondering if love would really get a second chance.