"From the moment I started reading Pretty Guilty Women, I was completely immersed in the gripping, twisty, diffuser-filled world of a posh spa wedding, where four college friends reunite, each with old baggage and new. Sparkling with insight, wine, humor, and a drop of blood, the women in this book leapt off the page and straight into my heart. Pretty Guilty Women is a must read!" - Susan Crawford, bestselling author of The Pocket Wife and The Other Widow
"Love the strong female characters and the dark underlying themes a perfect summer read." - Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange
"An easy, breezy beach read with a clever twist." - Kirkus Reviews
"LaManna's women are flawed and relatable, and oodles of drama keep the pages turning all the way to a genuinely surprising final twist. This is the perfect summer beach read. " - Publishers Weekly
"Pretty Guilty Women will draw in suspense readers. " - Booklist
"Pretty Guilty Women is a joy to read! Lamanna's writing style is so engaging... and indeed difficult to put the book down. Lamanna does a superb job." - New York Journal of Books
"This smart, layered story built around relationships and public perceptions slowly reveals past and present conflicts from fertility to financial struggles to domestic abuse. More than one twist will shroud the truth of the man's death in mystery until almost the very end...Readers searching for their next binge read or book club selection will want to seek out this title." - Library Journal
"LaManna deftly unpacks her characters' baggage in this twisty tale." - People
Four women confess to the murder of one man during a wild wedding weekend at a swanky California resort.
The DeBleu-Banks weekend wedding extravaganza is underway at the Serenity Spa & Resort, and three college friends of the bride are about to be reunited after nearly two decades. Gorgeous and successful lawyer Kate Cross has everything she's ever wanted, except for a baby, and her boyfriend, Max, fed up with the stress of trying to conceive, dumps her at the resort's front desk. Ginger Adler is a harried and married mom of three who is tired of being the "responsible one" compared to her beloved but free-spirited husband, Frank, and hopes for some peace and quiet, which is not to be. Her 15-year-old daughter, Elsie, is up to something, and Ginger must face her ex-best friend, Emily Brown, whom she caught drunkenly making out with Frank in college. Little does Ginger know, the loss of a child years ago has Emily drowning her sorrows in alcohol and a fling with handsome Henry, whom she met, and had sex with, on the plane. Then there's elegant 68-year-old Lulu Franc, the groom's aunt, whose fifth husband, Pierce, is acting squirrelly. The wild card is young mother Sydney Banks. Kate becomes fond of the young woman and her baby, Lydia, but something's off about Sydney. The weekend is filled with bonding, lots of champagne, and no shortage of melodrama, but no one expects murder. When a man is found dead, Lulu, Kate, Ginger, and Emily each confess to the crime—as revealed in police interview transcripts with the suspects, the bride, and gossipy staff members—but their stories don't add up. Lamanna's characters aren't too deeply drawn, but they're familiar enough to connect with, and more than a few burning questions keep the pages turning: What is Lulu's husband up to? What is Sydney's real story? And, of course, who is the dead guy, and what really happened to him?
An easy, breezy beach read with a clever twist.
Nearly 16 years after graduation, three friends from college attend the wedding of their fourth roommate at a California luxury resort. Emily, Kate, and Ginger haven't been in close contact with one another or with bride-to-be Whitney. The first night, they each separately bond with the groom's stylish aunt Lulu and eventually a young mother named Sydney and her baby, Lydia. Old tensions among the friends surface, and there's something odd about Sydney's story, but when a man threatening baby Lydia is murdered, they close ranks. A detective called to the scene gets four confessions, with Lulu, Emily, Kate, and Ginger all claiming sole responsibility. Murder is a crime with serious jail time, so why are they determined to prove themselves guilty? This smart, layered story built around relationships and public perceptions slowly reveals past and present conflicts from fertility to financial struggles to domestic abuse. More than one twist will shroud the truth of the man's death in mystery until almost the very end; the actual end offers another jolt. VERDICT Readers searching for their next binge read or book club selection will want to seek out this title from "Hex Files" series author LaManna.—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH