Holy CRAP, what a book. Verity by Colleen Hoover absolutely blew me away. Though Hoover is often marketed as a romance author, I would say she writes drama and suspense that is always heavy on the romance. This romantic suspense novel was dark, disturbing, and engrossing.

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The summary, from Amazon:

A thrilling, instant bestseller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

She decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

Due to extremely mature content, this book is recommended for readers 18+. Sensitive topics that may be triggering to some readers include graphic death/murder, child abuse, graphic sex

Buy Verity here.

Verity starts off intense. Lowen hasn’t left her apartment in weeks after caring for her dying mother. Her agent calls her in to the office in New York City, and on the way, she sees a horrific car accident where a pedestrian is brutally killed. Jeremy is also on the street, and helps Lowen clean up and calm down. She is shocked to enter the office just moments later for him to be one of the people she’s working with. His wife, famous author Verity Crawford, is unable to write the rest of her contracted series due to a medical condition and her publishing house wants to contract Lowen to finish the novels.

Lowen decides to take the job and moves into the Crawford home temporarily to go through Verity’s notes. She realizes that Verity and Jeremy have lost two daughters, twins, within a short period of time and are left with only a son. Verity lives in the home too, under near-constant care of a nurse, though Jeremy cares for her in the evenings. She suffered from a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that has left her disabled. She does not communicate, has limited mobility, and does not understand much of what is going on around her.

While sifting through Verity’s notes, Lowen finds an autobiography Verity never intended for the world to see. It details horrific actions Verity has committed, particularly towards her children, two of whom have passed away. Lowen is disgusted and unsure if she should reveal the information to Jeremy. Would it do more harm than good? Meanwhile, as she works on the novels, Lowen faces her attraction to Jeremy, which is mutual. But is that Verity she keeps catching out of the corner of her eye, watching them together? Or is Lowen’s grief and anxiety causing her to see things and become paranoid?

Verity is creepy, disturbing, and gripping. I will note that the erotic scenes may take some readers by surprise, but I enjoyed them. They only added to the conflicting emotions and sensations Lowen is experiencing. Of course, there’s a few final twists, and though I figured out some, others took me by surprise. I’m left wondering if everything is how it seemed in the epilogue, or whether Verity was really and truly playing the long game with her readers, husband, and even Lowen.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

VerityVerity by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot possibly write a legit review right now. Yet again CoHo has blown me away.

Update: I’ve seen some negative reviews from some who call this a romance and it’s not? Just because a book has two people falling in love and sex scenes doesn’t qualify it as a romance… but that’s an argument for another day.

Oof, this one was so rough to read at times. Verity’s autobiography had me dropping my jaw witch each new chapter. I knew there’d be a twist at the end but the one that came took me by surprise, though I guess I wasn’t shocked. I am left feeling the same as Lowen, and doubting everything she read.

I just love this author’s writing. I’ve read two books by her so far and I don’t want to say I enjoyed them because both were disturbing, but they were so good. Colleen Hoover clearly writes across multiple genres, always heavy on the romance, very well.

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Book Club Questions

  1. What’s your stance on the “truth” of this novel? What do you think really happened?
  2. Is Lowen a likeable character? What about Jeremy?
  3. What are your thoughts on Verity? On her relationship with Jeremy and her children?
  4. What makes a good writer?
  5. Why does Lowen fall for Jeremy?

Interested? Buy Verity.
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