The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CENTER OF GRAVITY By Laura McNeill

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Release Date:  July 14, 2015

Pages:  309
Genre:  Psychological/Suspense
Format: Paperback
Rating:  4.5 Stars

Book Description: 
The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is grand.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It's temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town —Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.


Wanda's Thoughts: 
This book has it all – a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion. The writing is simple and flowing, and told from five character perspectives. It is composed of short, manageable chapters that entice the reader to read just one more chapter, and it held me captive throughout.

The character of Ava has such a generous heart and exudes so much warmth. Mitchell, Ava’s husband, is shadowy, violent, and relentless. He is smart, well educated, and seems dedicated to his family. He’s busy heading up fund-raising campaigns, donor meetings, and events for a college. Ava and Mitchell have been married a year and a half and everything seemed to be great. They have a one-year old son, Sam, and Ava has just adopted Jack, Mitchell’s eight-year old son from a previous marriage. Eventually Mitchell’s position at the college becomes more intense and things begin to become unbearable. Mitchell is not himself, no longer the same man Ava married, displaying anger and jealous behavior. Suddenly Mitchell is filing for a divorce and full custody of Sam and Jack.

And the story unfolds as tensions escalate and startling discoveries emerge with lies spinning out of control. There is a big crescendo of suspense that builds into a stunning conclusion.

One negative comment – The character of Jack seemed much too mature for his years. He was eight years old, but reacted to situations as an older boy – perhaps more like a twelve year old.

I highly recommend this book. It is a powerfully written, heartbreaking, and an absorbing book! I’ll be waiting for more books by this incredible author. My rating - 4.5 Stars

I received a complimentary book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:ACCLAIM FOR CENTER OF GRAVITY (July 14, 2015)

"A bold and poignant look into an imploding marriage, told in a chorus of assured voices. Center of Gravity is a compelling, fierce, and ultimately hopeful tale, and McNeill is a writer to watch."
- Josilyn Jackson, author of Someone Else's Love Story

“McNeill’s debut is a heart stopping, nail-biting suspense novel that held me captive until I read the last page."
--Colleen Coble, author of The Inn at Ocean’s Edge and the Hope Beach novels

"A breathless, gut-wrenching, satisfying page turner about the real superheroes of the world who stand up to evil and won’t back down."
--Erin Healy, author of The Baker's Wife

Laura McNeill has been a voracious reader since the age of four and would rather be stranded at the library than on a desert island. In her former life, she worked as an anchor and producer for CBS affiliates in Upstate New York and Alabama. Lauren adores her family, yoga, her new Electra bike, and flavored coffee. Center of Gravity is her first novel with Harper Collins/Thomas Nelson.