1 author, 2 domestic thrillers and 3 nights of binge reading.



By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Our kids were packing up to head home two days after Christmas, when the undoing of all things festive began.


As always, I was a little sad to return the stockings and boxed-up Christmas trees to the attic, but once it was all cleaned up, I heaved a big sigh of relief.


The cooking, wrapping and fun were officially over, and it was time to settle into a good book.

I started searching through Goodreads, a new app my son Aaron told me about, and stumbled on a book called The Arrangement by author Robyn Harding.


The book fancies itself a “domestic thriller” and came with stellar reviews.


The story is set in New York City and centers around Natalie, a young (and broke) art student with a string of bad luck.


Then Natalie meets Ava and is captivated by her lifestyle: A pricey penthouse, designer clothes and money to spend.


But there’s a catch: Ava is a sugar baby (and yes, that’s a real thing) who trades companionship and sex to older men (the sugar daddy) for money, gifts and fancy trips.


Natalie decides to give sugaring a go and meets Gabe, an attractive, wealthy and very married man who becomes her obsession.


I’ll admit, that the sugar baby/sugar daddy thingy didn’t interest me at first, but Harding and her latest book had such good reviews, I couldn’t resist.


And I’m glad I didn’t.


The Arrangement is a fun and interesting read that will give you a glimpse into a little-known underworld and have you turning pages late into the night.

THE PARTY


I enjoyed The Arrangement so much that I dove right into another popular book by Harding, The Party.


This is the story of a sweet 16th birthday party that goes terribly awry.


Here’s a quick glimpse into the storyline: Rather than throwing their daughter Hannah a big bash, parents Jeff and Kim decide to celebrate the milestone with pizza and a slumber party with a few of Hannah’s closest friends.


What could possibly go wrong during the run-of-the-mill celebration? Turns out, plenty.


The party’s ugly aftermath exposes secrets and lies, turns friends into enemies and rips a family to shreds.


But the scariest part of all is the realization that something like this could happen to any one of us.


It’s the story of how one event can alter the course of our lives in ways we never imagined.


I devoured both books in a matter of three days.


They are must-reads for those who like their books dished up with a heaping

side of suspense.


Happy reading!