Just Married by Kiersten Modglin (2021) Snapshot

How well do you know your partner?

Grace and Ryan have been married for six months and planned to go on their honeymoon for their first anniversary as money is tight! Out of the blue, Ryan surprises Grace with this Cabin in the woods he found and thought it’d be the perfect getaway for them. Grace is apprehensive as she isn’t sure if she knows her husband that well, but is ultimately thrilled.

Their first day is perfect! Until things are not – starting with a note left on their doormat that says, “She’s dead, you’re next.”

Ryan starts gaslighting Grace, saying she’s overreacting and doesn’t need to go to the cops. What does Grace do? Tell Ryan that she has known his secret for a while and will keep it forever. Before they know it, things escalate, and it’s clear someone is out to get them. Ryan remains calm, but Grace is starting to panic. I mean, wouldn’t you?

I will preface my opinion by saying that maybe it is because I am a heartless private person who gets uncomfortable with a highly affectionate display of intimate feelings. I show my emotions in actions more than words. For that reason, I was let down by Ryan and some of the dialogues; in parts, the conversations were onedimensional, so affectionate, and felt like one person was writing them all – I can’t explain it well, but it’s like when characters have their unique voice, a reader feel like it’s the character speaking and not the author putting words in their mouth! I do not mean to diss the author, because overall I had a lot of fun reading this book. I think it’s a matter of expectation and preference; I was expecting a grittier, darker thriller. Just Married read lighter (which is not bad) like it could be a Hallmark movie. I feel this would be great for Cozy Mysteries fans who want to start reading darker thrillers.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the positives, shall we? First of all, what a solid first chapter! The tension and suspense were also so well done throughout the book. Most of all, Modglin played fair with her solution, which you all should know by now is my number one thing when reading mysteries. The book was well-plotted, and other than dialogues in some of Ryan’s and Grace’s chapters, the writing was terrific. We have a third POV in some chapters (like the first), and I felt that the author’s strength really shone in them. I wish more of that narrative style could be found throughout the book.

Just married is a fast-paced page-turner that I feel many people will love.

wonder if it will work

Enjoyability     7

Characters       7

Ambience        8

Fairness          10

Plot                 10

Execution        6

My total rating: 4


Disclaimer:  I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to Bookouture, Kiersten Modglin, and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Just Married.

Until next book, be the hummingbird!

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