Two on One: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle and Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner

       vs          

I’ve been waiting for the right book selections to feature this fun take on my favorite guilty pleasure TV shows The Bachelor/Bachelorette. I got this idea from Tara at Runningnreading when she posted her own two on one earlier this summer. If you watch The Bachelor & Bachelorette, you know there’s always as least one date in which the lead has to take 2 people out on one date. It can be awkward and angst filled but basically by the end…one stays and one goes in a dramatic fashion.

Read on to see who gets my rose for itsbooktalk’s first two on one…and can I just say Jordan vs David was a no brainer for Becca!

Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner
Publication: Sept 4, 2018 by Minotaur Books
352 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon 

This story pits young NYPD detective, Lourdes Robles, against not only a serial killer but also an entire police department that’s awash in lies, scandals and secrets galore. The prologue pulled me in immediately as we meet a young girl banging on the door of a house in the middle of a deserted neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy. She’s got handcuffs hanging from her wrists and she’s begging and pleading for help before “someone” tracks her back down and kills her. Is she saved? Well, of course you’ll have to read because the story jumps to a different time and we slowly begin to meet the key players involved in a story that’s laid out as an intricate web of conspiracies, bad guys everywhere you turn, and lots of secrets.

What I loved about this book was the fact that Blauner didn’t mess around with manipulations, we know who the bad guys are but what we don’t know is just who exactly is involved with all the murders and how (if at all) they’ll be taken down. The shining character for me was definitely Lourdes. She was tough, authentic and never intimidated by the good ol boys club she was up against. The story is told in alternating timelines starting in 1977 and shifting to 2017 until, by the end, the past storyline coincides with present day. I’m so on board with this type of structure and have to say Blauner kept me on my reading toes because I had no idea how this was going to end. Overall, this was a dark, gritty read.

Thanks to Minotaur Books via Netgalley for my copy

 

The Dinner List  by Rebecca Serle
Publication: Sept 11, 2018 by Flatiron Books
288 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon

For Sabrina’s 30th birthday, she finds herself having dinner with five significant people: her best friend, three very important people from her past and Audrey Hepburn. I love this premise and found the dinner scenes themselves very charming for the most part. Besides her best friend and Audrey, Sabrina found herself sitting down with her deceased father, her college professor and her one true love, Tobias. Needless to say, Sabrina has baggage along with past issues to reconcile with everyone at the table except Audrey who, honestly, seemed a little blasé most of the story. I was engaged with these dinner scenes, particularly the conversations between Sabrina and Tobias and Sabrina and her best friend…much tension could be felt.

However, and this is a big however for me, the dinner scenes were interspersed with something I often have issues with…flashbacks. Just when it felt like we were at a crucial part of the dinner discussion or when tension between people was high, we were taken back in time to retrace the love affair of Sabrina and Tobias. I will admit…this led to skimming on my part because I wanted to return to the dinner scenes. There was an underlying hint that there was more to the dinner interactions than meets the eye. Was I surprised by what that turned out to be? Unfortunately no, it ended up being as I predicted which really bummed me out because I love to be surprised. Overall, this was a light, easy read.

Thanks to Flatiron Books via Netgalley for my copy

 

SOOOO… MY ROSE🌹 GOES TO…

Sunrise Highway

While I won’t say this was a perfect read for me, I found this to be an unexpectedly well plotted cat and mouse story that also had a little bit of mystery to it. Blauner excels at authentic dialogue which I loved as well as pitting good versus evil. At its core, this is a gritty serial killer story so there ARE some gruesome details in parts so just beware. If you enjoy crime fiction with a relatable, strong detective this one’s for you. I’m really hoping I haven’t seen the last of Lourdes!

Thoughts on which book got my rose for my first two on one? Are you a Bachelor fan?(If so, WHAT do you think of Colton as the choice?)  Feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below and let’s discuss! 

 

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7 thoughts on “Two on One: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle and Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner

  1. Oh no, lol! I bought The Dinner List in August as my BOTM book, haha! I couldn’t pass up a book with Audrey Hepburn in it. Well, I guess it won’t be high up on my list to read…Sorry it didn’t work for you!

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      1. I might and I’ll give it a try at some point, lol. I’ve got so many others I want to read this fall since I only have 2 total ARCs in Nov and Dec (as long as I can stay off Netgalley and Edelweiss, lol) that one of those I’m not dying to read. I’ll let you know though if I do!

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