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Playing Nice 45 StarsThe door bell rang and Peter Riley went to answer the door and there were two young men outside the door and one of them looked exactly like Theo his son Can we come in they asked Its about your son they said It would be better to talk indoors Pete let them in and Miles Lambert introduced himself and Don Maguire Prepare yourself for a shock Lambert said I am sorry to tell you that Theo is not your son' He is mine Don Maguire says that we both have sons who were born prematurely and they were both transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at St Alexander's It's conceivable that at some point during the process the wrong tags were put on the babies So you have our son Pete asked Miles Lambert nodded We call him David How do you know this Pete asks Miles let him know that Don Maguire is a private investigator We took a sippy cup that belonged to Theo at Theo's nursery The tests came back yesterday and there is no doubt that Theo is my son This is how it all begins and life will never be the same again Pete and his wife Maddie discover that they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safe They are done playing nice I was captivated straight from the beginning until the very end This one kept me on the edge of my seat and was a roller coaster ride This is a suspenseful dark psychological thriller that kept me turning the pages I loved the short chapters This also is a family drama and it's every parents worst nightmare I loved the shocking twists There were some dark secrets and lies There also were a lot of Oh No moments I loved the ending and all the characters were very well developed This was a buddy read with my friend SusanI want to thank NetGalley Random House Publishing Group Ballentine for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review Now Available MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2020 THUS FAR IS AVAILABLE NOW YAYHello friends Meet my first 5 star stunner of 2020 I've had a few 45 star reads which I've rounded up but Playing Nice has become the understated hit of my reading season thus far I confess after The Perfect Wife a story of which I was NOT a fan I honestly didn't have high hopes going in However since I really enjoyed The Girl Before I was absolutely willing to give JP Delaney another shot I'm so glad I didThis book is everything I never knew I wanted Swapped baby stories are such a cliché but Playing Nice is so much This is a story about mental illness addiction abuse murder lies betrayal the law and most importantly it covers just how far parents are willing to go to protect the child they love despite the multitude of nightmarish scenarios facing them It's a total roller coaster ride My emotions were all over the place It's terrifying and addictingI had to force myself to stop reading last night I've had an incredibly busy day and it's made me totally grouchy because all I could think about was getting back to this book Any of you who know me and have read my reviews for awhile know I'm not one to gushbut I am so gushing right now Just do yourself a favor and read it Available July 28 2020 Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy What if you found out that your family isn't yours at all How far would you go to protect them A gripping new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Girl Before Pete Riley answers the door one morning and lets in a parent's worst nightmare On his doorstep is Miles Lambert a stranger who breaks the devastating news that Pete's son Theo isn't actually his son he is the Lamberts' switched at birth by an understaffed hospital while their real son was sent home with Miles and his wife Lucy For Pete his partner Maddie and the little boy they've been raising for the past two years life will never be the same againThe two families reeling from the shock take comfort in shared good intentions eagerly entwining their very different lives in the hope of becoming one unconventional modern family But a plan to sue the hospital triggers an official investigation that unearths some disturbing uestions about the night their children were switched How much can they trust the other parents or even each other What secrets are hidden behind the Lamberts' glossy front door Stretched to the breaking point Pete and Maddie discover they will each stop at nothing to keep their family safeThey are done playing nice Wow what a horrible thing to happen to a family to two families Two years after Maggie and Pete have the agonizing time of their son Theo being born months early and all the heartbreak that goes with such a tiny premature baby a man enters their life and tells them that Theo is his son that their babies were accidentally switched not long after they were born and sent to the ICU for babies Miles and Lucy who have baby David have had him DNA tested so they are positive he is not their son Miles has also secretly had Theo tested and they know that Theo is their son Miles claims that they want to work with Maggie and Pete to not disrupt the life of either boy but allow both sets of parents to play a role in each boy's life Theo is very headstrong and seems to lack any trace of compassion or kindness to others but he's just two years old and Pete is a fantastic stay at home hands on father willing to make any changes in his raising and guidance of Theo to ensure he learns healthy social skills Theo looks like Miles and even seems to take after Miles in other ways And little David looks like Maggie and reminds her of her favorite brother when he was David's age David has mental and physical challenges from his very premature birth and Miles and Lucy have the money to give him the special care he needs although their huge home and their life seems so sterile and cold to Maggie and Pete Then things start falling apart Miles is demanding thinking he's going to send Theo to boarding school when he's older dropping by Theo's house at night to spend time with him interfering with Theo Pete and Maggie's routine and lives Miles practically demands that Pete Maggie and Theo go on a week long vacation with his family and when Pete and Maggie revolt all hell breaks loose and their life explodes into a huge legal and moral mess There is even a suspicion that someone may have swapped the babies on purpose People have been hurt and murder may even play a part in this story Things look hopeless for Pete and Maggie and they realize they may not ever get to see either child again What at first seems like a domestic drama definitely turns into a thriller Publication July 28th 2020Thank you to Random House Publishing Group Ballantine and NetGalley for this ARC HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY to my FAVORITE J P Delaney book JULY 28 2020 If I were Forrest Gump or perhaps his mother I would say “J P Delaney books are like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re gonna get” Nothing formulaic about this author’s work The first was suspense the second read like a screenplay the third had a sci fi feel and now comes “Playing Nice” one that will feel like a family drama for the MAJORITY of the book but don’t worrynot everything is what it seems “IT WAS JUST AN ORDINARY DAY” Until it wasn’tA knock on the door changes everything for Pete and Maddie our two narrators when they are told that they took home the wrong baby from the hospital two years agotwo babies accidentally switched at birthAt first Miles and Lucy the other parents involved are “playing nice” But it is just an act and since Miles is used to getting what he wants and what he wants is his biological son Theo he will stop at nothing to get him back My favorite chocolate in the boxcaramel pecan turtlesyummy My favorite Delaney book “Playing Nice” But set aside a chunk of time to read it you WON’T be able to put it downThank You to Netgalley Ballantine books and the author for the digital arc I received in exchange for a candid review This was so flipping good The premise for this book is the most exciting thriller premise I've heard of in uite some time It follows this couple Pete and Maddie who are raising their two year old son Theo when this other couple knocks on their door and tells them their children were accidentally swapped at the hospital when they gave birth Their birth son David has been being raised by this other couple Miles and Lisa for the last two years and now they have the difficult decision of deciding what to do next keep this child that you've been raising for the last two years and have already formed a bond and attachment to but watch your birth child getting raised by strangers Or swapping the kids back and raising your birth child a child you don't yet know This topic was FASCINATING to read about and I could literally not book this book down This book got me out of my weird reading slump I've been in for weeks I keep talking about this book with everyone I know asking them what they would do in a situation like this because it's just so interesting to me This book was a roller coaster and we follow back and forth between Maddie and Pete's POV as they deal with this other couple and trying to navigate the most impossible circumstances This book was over 400 pages but I FLEW through this book it ended up being a very uick read for me I saw one of the twists coming at the end but the one I didn't see coming left me freaking shook I was just so genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed this definitely one of my favorite thrillers of 2020 so far This is my first book from this author so now I'm super interested in checking out books from them A fantastic and thought provoking domestic suspense novelI started off reading this novel but switched over to the audiobook a few chapters in as I wanted to get a few things done around the house I found the beginning of the book a little hard to get into but honestly it wasn't long before I was completely HOOKEDThis book had me feeling all kinds of emotions I don't normally think about jumping ahead with books but at times I was so anxious that I contemplated skipping chapters to see how it ended I resisted the urge thoughThe scary thing is that a lot of what happens in this book could really happen It's terrifying being a parent at the best of times but I can't even imagine going through the things these characters went throughI normally take notes when I read or put stickies on different parts of a book I want to remember for my reviews With audiobooks I'm still figuring things out And with this book I couldn't stop listening long enough to write anything downAn exciting intense and intelligent novel that I highly recommendI've enjoyed all this author's previous novels but this is definitely my favorite I'm really excited to see what JP Delaney writes next HAPPY PUBLICATION DAYPlaying nice is not something Miles Lambert has ever even tried to be good at Mid way through the book we will find out just how manipulating and forceful he can bePete and Maggie have been raising a son Theo for two years loving him teaching him to learn and to “play nice” with his friends Theo is a great little boy energetic and intelligent but has been having trouble at nursery school with sharing and learning how to play with others He was very premature and so there was a long period when Pete and Maggie had to stay in the hospital while Theo was in the NICU This was very difficult for both of them although Pete seemed to handle it very well He uickly learned how to comfort and love Theo Maggie had problems especially when Pete was away They were just getting to feel confident in how things were going with their relationship and with their sonIt was “just an ordinary day in Willesden Green north London” and Pete was dropping Theo off at his nursery school Pete noticed a “ trio of people a woman and two men on the other side of the road watching us” By their dress he assumed that they were possibly looking in the area for child care sites Back home while Pete was making some coffee and spending time online with fellow “stay at home dads” the doorbell rang This would be the changing point of the entire book and the story of two sets of parents and two little boys who it becomes known were allegedly switched at birth Miles Lambert is the person on Pete’s doorstep and he has come to tell him that Theo is actually his son and that Pete’s son has been living with Miles and his wife Lucy There is a third person involved Don Maguire the Lambert’s lawyer because they have already begun proceedings to sue the hospital for the mix up and had taken a cup used by Theo and tested his DNA he is definitely Miles’ son What begins as a “civil” decision to make it possible for the parents and children to get to know each other uickly escalates into an impossible situationMiles Lambert will settle for only one thing getting Theo back He begins to show up at Pete’s house at all hours insisting on seeing Theo He gives him gifts which are usually inappropriate and even goes so far as to offer up a scholarship to the college he attended Lucy and Maggie uickly become concerned at what will happen next Lucy knows how volatile and demanding Miles is and Maggie has her own way of “reading” him and knows that the solution to this situation will not be an easy oneThis is the third book I have read by this author and definitely my favorite I enjoyed the character development and how the atmosphere in the book changed from amicable to diabolical by the end of the book What really wrapped this up for me was the great ending of which I won’t speak a wordIf you enjoy a great character driven thriller this is the book for you I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss Can you imagine during your mid day somebody knocking on your door and when you answer it you see a man standing in front of you looks like older version of your son There are three options for you to express your feelings1 Slamming the door shut at the man’s face and form a plan to kill your spouse for her infidelity you may also hire a contract killer if you have great connections at the dark web Don’t you dare to ask me how I can know2 Slamming the door shut at the man’s face moving fast to toss everything inside your valise grabbing your son and leaving your place from your back door3 Scrutinizing the guy’s face acting like a naïve gullible person and asking “could you be my son’s second cousin’I know my three options are so stupid And I cannot imagine a man appears in front of my door telling me two years ago our kids switch at birth and he is biological dad of my son It’s so devilish smart gripping hooking you from the beginning plot isn’t it That’s why J P Delaney is one of the great authors he doesn’t give us stupid choices or plot has holes than my socks have I spent all my money to booze and books And I love my feet get airSo we have two families Lamberts wealthy ones Miles and Lucy and Rileys wait a minute we have Pete and Maddie but they are not married and unfortunately they are not financially stable Pete is journalist stay at home dad but he is responsible and gets parenting very seriously spending his time at chat forms for dads to read the comments and try the best options to help his son Maddie suffered from post partum depression after giving birth to her child and had problems to connect with him She didn’t share the same bound Pete and Theo have but it doesn’t make her bad mother and it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love him does itTwo switched kids Theo and DavidMiles’ life completely changes at the day Miles Lambert knocks his front door accompanied with a private investigator showing him the DNA results and telling him they’re suing the hospital for their crucial and impactful mistake But a few pages later we find out there are affidavits indicate that Miles also sues the family and we may sense he’s after the full custody of TheoTwo families arrange a meeting at Miles’ big mansion being introduced with David and they find out little boy suffer from brain damage introvert kid They finally decide they are not gonna change anything with children’s life they will live with the same parents but they also decide they’ll involve their biological child’s life like a family friend doBoth parties seem like appeased with the solution but wait for it We have a real psychopath in this euation and a psychopath gets furious when he doesn’t get his way and things get uglier Could Nate and Maddie resume playing nice around them for their son’s sake Did they put themselves in danger at the very same day they accepted Lamberts in their livesThis is gripping psychological high tensioned family drama plays with your nerves making you face with your insecurities and inner fears nightmares I was wearing gloves not to bite my nails during my reading so you may imagine I changed 6 pairs of gloves I may have stress eaten some of themThe conclusion of the story and final twists are also well played well written and well developedOverall I read while I was sitting at the edge of my couch It was one of the reads make you nervous edgy frustrated and when you finish it you take a long deep breathe and say thanks loudly for not being one of the characters of the bookThis means I’m addictive to this author’s books and I keep going blind and devouring them without thinking a secondSpecial thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing GroupBallantine for sharing this fantastic ARC in exchange my honest reviewbloginstagramfacebooktwitter “A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world It knows no law no pity It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path” The Last Seance from The Hound of Death and Other Stories also Double Sin and Other Stories” ― Agatha Christie The Hound of Death Pete and Maggie Riley have a 2 year old son Theo they’re having a few problems right now with his behaviour he’s very naughty at home and doesn’t want to play nice with the other kids at nursery he resorts to hitting and biting them to get his own way and there have been complaints from other parents about him so much so that he’s in danger of being asked to leave the nursery altogether but do Pete and Maggie love him Of course they do Would they give their life for him AbsolutelyPete a full time Dad is sitting down to a well earned coffee after dropping Theo off at nursery when he’s interrupted by the doorbell He discovers two men at the door one being a tall athletic looking guy named Miles Lambert and what they tell Pete shocks him to the core they have proof that Theo isn’t Pete and Maggie’s son the fact is Theo was swapped at birth with Miles and wife Lucy’s little boy David It doesn’t take much imagination to realise just how earth shattering that announcement would be but nevertheless after the initial shock the two families try to adjust to what has been an absolute bombshell and they all agree that they want an amicable relationship for the sake of everyone but especially for the children However events uickly take a turn for the worse and for Pete and Maggie it will prove an absolutely terrifying experience but I won’t reveal any than that as I’d hate to spoil it for those of you tempted to read itThis thought provoking thriller is psychological suspense at its best completely and utterly gripping with some seriously good twists miss this one at your peril Thank you to Netgalley and uercus Books for my ARC in exchange for an honest unbiased review

About the Author: J.P. Delaney

J P Delaney is the pseudonym of a writer who has previously published best selling fiction under another name

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