With You Always
From the author of The Girl Before comes a tense and incisive work of psychological suspense that examines how easy it is to fall into the wrong relationship...and how impossible it can be to leave.In the wake of a painful breakup and struggling to prove herself at work, Julia feels adrift. When Bryce blows into her life, he seems like the perfect anchor. Handsome, charming, secure, and confident, Bryce brings out the best in Julia, sweeping her off her feet with attention and affection while grounding her with his certainty and faith. Together they embark on a path guided by the principles of his family and their church, each step a paving stone leading to happily ever after.But this is no fairy tale.Step by step, one small concession leading to another, Julia is slowly isolated from her job, her friends, and her family, until she comes to find that her dream come true is a cage. Then one day everything changes...and Julia is faced with no choice but to find a way out.

With You Always Details

TitleWith You Always
Author
ReleaseAug 7th, 2018
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

With You Always Review

  • Debra
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe synopsis of this book pretty much says it all. This is not going to be a fairy tale romance. It starts out that way but things, like life. have a way of changing. Julia meets Bryce by chance and is quickly swept off her feet by this handsome, charming and confident man. Julia wants to please Bryce and is open to meeting his adopted family and attending Church services with him. This is where things get interesting!Soon, with each small concession, Julia's life begins to change...Thi 3.5 starsThe synopsis of this book pretty much says it all. This is not going to be a fairy tale romance. It starts out that way but things, like life. have a way of changing. Julia meets Bryce by chance and is quickly swept off her feet by this handsome, charming and confident man. Julia wants to please Bryce and is open to meeting his adopted family and attending Church services with him. This is where things get interesting!Soon, with each small concession, Julia's life begins to change...This book is what I would call escapism reading. It was entertaining, and I enjoyed it. Will I be sitting around thinking about his book for months to come? No. But I did enjoy it while I was reading it and hence the 3.5 stars. I feel this book makes a great plane or beach book. I enjoyed how this story was told. I also enjoyed the italicized sections. Yes, they do break up the story a little, but I enjoyed trying to make sense of them and made guesses as to who each part was about. Thank you to Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.Read more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
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  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars.The writing was done well, the characters were distinct but the plot was predictable and many questions were left unanswered.This novel follows Julia Hawthorne, a young woman working her way up in her career, who is swept off her feet by the handsome and wealthy Bryce Covington. Bryce immediately falls deeply into Julia’s life and seems to be the perfect man – successful career, incredibly handsome, extremely attentive, devout to his church. Julia keeps wondering how she could be so lu 2.5 stars.The writing was done well, the characters were distinct but the plot was predictable and many questions were left unanswered.This novel follows Julia Hawthorne, a young woman working her way up in her career, who is swept off her feet by the handsome and wealthy Bryce Covington. Bryce immediately falls deeply into Julia’s life and seems to be the perfect man – successful career, incredibly handsome, extremely attentive, devout to his church. Julia keeps wondering how she could be so lucky. As time progresses, Julia longs to know more about Bryce’s past. Why does he refrain from giving details about his childhood? What happened to his real parents? What is his true connection to his church?For me, this story felt like it has been done many times before. The situation seemed highly predictable, at times I could picture it as a made-for-TV movie. Even though it was quite obvious where this story was headed early on, there were many questions left unanswered at the end. The intricate details that were slowly revealed throughout the novel remained open and without explanation at the conclusion which felt unsatisfying.This was a Traveling Sister read. Others felt much more positive about this, so I strongly recommend checking out the other glowing reviews before making a decision on this.Thank you to Edelweiss, G. P. Putnam’s Sons and Rena Olsen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    4 ominous creepy starsOn this sunny Saturday morning, I am reviewing the very dark With You AlwaysWhen one is hurt and suffering, it is easy to fall into traps, places that you know you shouldn't be, relationships that can make you wonder if this is just too good to be true. Oftentimes, your gut feeling is right and you know eventually you have tumbled into something you need to get away from, something threatening, something evil.Julia is adrift coming off of a bad relationship when into her li 4 ominous creepy starsOn this sunny Saturday morning, I am reviewing the very dark With You AlwaysWhen one is hurt and suffering, it is easy to fall into traps, places that you know you shouldn't be, relationships that can make you wonder if this is just too good to be true. Oftentimes, your gut feeling is right and you know eventually you have tumbled into something you need to get away from, something threatening, something evil.Julia is adrift coming off of a bad relationship when into her life strolls the handsome, charismatic Byrce. He is beyond wonderful, a successful lawyer, a respectful man, and Julia finds herself being swept off her feet. Their relationship goes forward in record breaking speed because you know when something is right, and one does sometimes fall madly in love.Byrce does have a few tiny idiosyncrasies though. He refuses to speak of his parents and he adores his church having latched onto the Reverend and his wife as surrogate parents. Byrce encourages Julia to join his church and originally she is put off by the goings on, but she loves Byrce and wants to please him so she climbs aboard for this religious experience. Julia embraces the church and its followers and all seems destined to be a bit of heaven on earth.However, that little bit of heaven becomes a large piece of hell as Julia descends down a road she never thought she would be traveling. As always, all is not what it seems and Julia is in for a very rude awakening.This was a well done story that kept this reader actively involved in the scenario it depicted.. Rena Olsen did an admirable job with developing her characters and created a mysterious, ominous and chilling moodiness.Thank you to Rena Olsen, G.P. Putnam's Sons, and NetGalley for a copy of this chilling book. Also thank you to the Traveling Sisters group who shared this chilling book and their views with me. My reviews can be found here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...
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  • Janelle
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come
  • Jillian Doherty
    January 1, 1970
    OMG i Loved Olsen's first title The Girl Before like a 14 year old fan girl. Now with her latest release I feel like I've returned to my teen giddiness after finishing; such astounding storytelling!If you also enjoy I-can't-believe-how-this-could-be-true psychological writing style - preorder now. From page one you know it's going to have elements of Sleeping With the Enemy, while equally getting sucked into the fairy tale love story that most young girls dream of. You stay on this wild ride of OMG i Loved Olsen's first title The Girl Before like a 14 year old fan girl. Now with her latest release I feel like I've returned to my teen giddiness after finishing; such astounding storytelling!If you also enjoy I-can't-believe-how-this-could-be-true psychological writing style - preorder now. From page one you know it's going to have elements of Sleeping With the Enemy, while equally getting sucked into the fairy tale love story that most young girls dream of. You stay on this wild ride of situational irony until you yourself feel the emotional turn and want to step into the pages to stop what you know is coming. I was glued to the story right up until the brilliant ending (and could still use about 50 more pages ;)
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  • Jamie Rosenblit
    January 1, 1970
    With You Always is the story of Julia and Bryce - a couple who meet by the chance of fate and have a whirlwind romance. By all appearances, Bryce is the perfect man - handsome, wealthy, charming - but is there more than meets the eye? In this story of a woman who gets wrapped up in a Scientology-Esque cult with an awful man, the story is really just that. The writing is great, however, the story bored me honestly and felt incredibly predictable. I was expecting more of a thriller and this one wa With You Always is the story of Julia and Bryce - a couple who meet by the chance of fate and have a whirlwind romance. By all appearances, Bryce is the perfect man - handsome, wealthy, charming - but is there more than meets the eye? In this story of a woman who gets wrapped up in a Scientology-Esque cult with an awful man, the story is really just that. The writing is great, however, the story bored me honestly and felt incredibly predictable. I was expecting more of a thriller and this one was more a bad lifetime movie. I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Tracy (The Pages In-Between)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Putnam Books #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.I sadly rate this book a 2.5 stars out of 5. This book started out great for me, the prologue had me hooked, and than once Bryce came along, I wanted to find out what kind of bad guy he was. I can't say in this review, because if I do, it will ruin a huge part of the plot for you guys, but I came to a certain part of this book, and lost interest. While I give major kudos t Thank you Putnam Books #Partner for gifting me a copy of this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.I sadly rate this book a 2.5 stars out of 5. This book started out great for me, the prologue had me hooked, and than once Bryce came along, I wanted to find out what kind of bad guy he was. I can't say in this review, because if I do, it will ruin a huge part of the plot for you guys, but I came to a certain part of this book, and lost interest. While I give major kudos to the author for thinking outside of the box, this book just didn't do it for me. While I love a good unreliable narrator, I do not like a weak-minded ones. I also took a huge issue with a character that suddenly appeared at the end, and basically how the book ended. There was no resolution to other key parts of the books, and I was left with several questions. For me, I think I would have enjoyed this book more, had it had less build up, and more conclusion. I will say though, despite me not liking the book, I did appreciate Olsen's writing style. It kept me turning pages, and even though this book wasn't for me, I did want to see how it ended, and I wanted to see some serious karma dished out. I believe there was. I would suggest this book for readers who want a much lighter thriller, this does have a couple domestic violence issues (and what happened when Julia tried to get help really PISSED me off) but someone who wants to start reading domestic and psychological thrillers, I think this one is a good step into that genre. I hate writing negative reviews guys, and really I hope you take them with a grain of salt. Not every book is for every reader, and although I am one person in line who didn't like it, there are 15 in line who will. So please keep that in mind when you choose to read this book or not. I will add, it also was a very quick read, so if you are looking for something to read in a day or so, this is your book. 
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  • JuJu (Julie)
    January 1, 1970
    Another 3.5 ⭐ suspenseful thriller. I found the book interesting, but it left unanswered questions — which I didn’t care for. Throughout the book, there are brief chapters that give a glimpse of Bryce’s past and hints of what we might expect from the ending. Those chapters were the most interesting and I wish more of the book was dedicated to that portion of the story. The plot is your typical boy meets girl, instantly sweeps her off her feet and they marry — without the happily-ever-after. The Another 3.5 ⭐️ suspenseful thriller. I found the book interesting, but it left unanswered questions — which I didn’t care for. Throughout the book, there are brief chapters that give a glimpse of Bryce’s past and hints of what we might expect from the ending. Those chapters were the most interesting and I wish more of the book was dedicated to that portion of the story. The plot is your typical boy meets girl, instantly sweeps her off her feet and they marry — without the happily-ever-after. The author does throw in some different context, which changed things up some.Julia is an assistant at a marketing firm, trying to impress her boss and get a promotion. Then she meets Bryce and they begin a whirlwind romance. He’s everything she needs after a complicated relationship with her ex-fiancé — handsome, successful, supportive and charming.After the proposal, she becomes overwhelmingly busy. She struggles to make time for everything without being stressed out and ends up quitting her dream job, that has now become too demanding. There isn’t as much time for friends and family, either. Which is fine because some are skeptical of Bryce and don’t understand their relationship. She’s even convinced they might be jealous.Bryce has a wonderful “church family” that consumes most of their time and although she’s never been religious, the church is so welcoming that she begins to understand the importance of faith. Her life has finally taken a turn in the right direction!Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Group-Putnam for this ARC, in exchange for my honest review!#WithYouAlways #NetGalley #Edelweiss
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  • Trevor
    January 1, 1970
    1 underwhelming star What a letdown. The Girl Before was one of my favorite reads last year so I was excited to see what Olsen's follow-up would entail. Yes, I finished this in a couple sittings but that's because I was hoping to get it over with, to see if anything would make me change my mind in giving it a higher rating. It's always painful to give reads 1*; I always feel like there's something I'm missing, but after comparing this to her debut... honestly? I expected more. First off, this is 1 underwhelming star What a letdown. The Girl Before was one of my favorite reads last year so I was excited to see what Olsen's follow-up would entail. Yes, I finished this in a couple sittings but that's because I was hoping to get it over with, to see if anything would make me change my mind in giving it a higher rating. It's always painful to give reads 1*; I always feel like there's something I'm missing, but after comparing this to her debut... honestly? I expected more. First off, this is labeled as "thriller". Sure that meaning has been severely overused the last few years, but there was nothing "thriller-ish" about this book. Like Olsen's debut, you have the unreliable narrator- the MC being a naïve, pushover female. (Why are they not more strong-willed?)Then you have the "broad-shouldered dashing prince" who gives her the time of day, so naturally she falls in love with him. It's an already cheesy baseline, but I guess it just annoyed me more than usual because The Girl Before is quite similar. Why do authors insist on copying what they know rather than trying to dive out of their comfort zone? Regarding Julia & Bryce's relationship: obviously they get married. Bryce has introduced Julia to his church as religion is a massive part of his life & since it isn't for her, she wants to show that she cares deeply about her fiancé's interests. But this church is unlike anything Julia has ever seen before. "The Church of Life" (a Scientology similarity) quickly consumes her & makes her give up everything from her outside life- friends, job, possessions- so she can learn to become a suitable wife. Naturally, it only gets worse from here as Bryce turns off his charm & shows his dark, domestic abuse side & Julia realizes there's no escape. Or is there? The plot to this is incredibly predictable, but I was really hoping Olsen would salvage it as her writing is compelling at times. The "bad guy" characters are generalized & the good people that do come into Julia's life aren't there to stick around long enough to be fleshed out. So much time was spent focusing on Bryce's downward spiral, that by the time Julia set her plan in action, it was already too late. I lost interest in the story way before that happened & I felt cheated that it was boring for 300+ pages & then bam! Way to simplify & add unnecessary drama- especially by randomly bringing back a character off-screen that we don't see for a chunk of the book. Overall I just had a difficult time with this. It felt like I had already read the same story a thousand times & nothing stuck out or made me like any of the characters. Can't recommend; it's better just to stick to her debut.
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  • Jennifer Vining
    January 1, 1970
    This book starts out as a love story so I was a little worried as to where it was going because I am not a romance reader. As I kept reading though I realized this "love story" had quite a few red flags and that absolutely peaked my interest. This was filled with an underlying feeling that something was about to go terribly wrong so you just had to keep reading to uncover what that was. While I couldn't relate to the main character Julia I could see how someone in her position could easily be ma This book starts out as a love story so I was a little worried as to where it was going because I am not a romance reader. As I kept reading though I realized this "love story" had quite a few red flags and that absolutely peaked my interest. This was filled with an underlying feeling that something was about to go terribly wrong so you just had to keep reading to uncover what that was. While I couldn't relate to the main character Julia I could see how someone in her position could easily be manipulated and I wanted to reach right into the book and tell her to run and don't look back. Normally I don't gravitate towards books heavily written with church and religion but this "faith" is much more of a cult and I was fascinated to find out more. In the end I was happy with how everything turned out I just wanted one more chapter of what happens next (follow up book anyone?).I really enjoyed With You Always and it is one I will for sure be recommending to anyone who likes a good building suspense story with a cult twist!Thank you Putnam Books for sending me this book.
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  • Lee Husemann
    January 1, 1970
    What a totally fantastic read that I absolutely loved. Julia is still getting over a relationship when she meets Bryce Covington, a charming, charismatic and handsome lawyer. He introduces her to his l cult-like church and after a whirlwind courtship, they are married. He makes her sever ties with family and friends and prince charming turns into a devil in disguise. Lots of surprises in this book with a real surprise ending. If you are looking for a great psychological thriller, this is the boo What a totally fantastic read that I absolutely loved. Julia is still getting over a relationship when she meets Bryce Covington, a charming, charismatic and handsome lawyer. He introduces her to his l cult-like church and after a whirlwind courtship, they are married. He makes her sever ties with family and friends and prince charming turns into a devil in disguise. Lots of surprises in this book with a real surprise ending. If you are looking for a great psychological thriller, this is the book for you.
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  • Lesa Divine
    January 1, 1970
    At the beginning Julia thought she found her prince charming. So in loved with him. She even likes his family which happened to be the church family of his. But with her sister warning her that she don't know him she's ready to defend her man by all means. But once married she sees how different he become. Shutting her away from her family. His secrets stays his own his past but she can't ask about his REAL family.Prince charming isn't who she thought he was.Interesting tale on a marriage gone w At the beginning Julia thought she found her prince charming. So in loved with him. She even likes his family which happened to be the church family of his. But with her sister warning her that she don't know him she's ready to defend her man by all means. But once married she sees how different he become. Shutting her away from her family. His secrets stays his own his past but she can't ask about his REAL family.Prince charming isn't who she thought he was.Interesting tale on a marriage gone wrong.
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  • Mindyleigh
    January 1, 1970
    I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.I’d actually give this book 3.5 stars but rounded it up for Goodreads. The book started out with Bryce, the prince charming, wooing our main character, Julia. However, since I already knew this was a psychological thriller I knew Bryce was not all he was cracked up to be. You saw little things from time to time that seemed a bit weird but I felt the book took more than half way to really start to expose the whole r I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.I’d actually give this book 3.5 stars but rounded it up for Goodreads. The book started out with Bryce, the prince charming, wooing our main character, Julia. However, since I already knew this was a psychological thriller I knew Bryce was not all he was cracked up to be. You saw little things from time to time that seemed a bit weird but I felt the book took more than half way to really start to expose the whole reality of Julia’s situation. Then, only the last 1/10th of the book is where Julia really finds out some hidden secrets and tries to escape. I gave it a good rating still because, for me, it started becoming a page turner where I could not wait to find out what would happen. There was only one part that I found confusing but other than that it is a quick read with an interesting topic. Even though every step of the way I was screaming at Julia to leave Bryce, I understand how if you are in that situation, not everything is always so clear.
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  • Christen Moore
    January 1, 1970
    The story of a woman trapped in a mentally and physically abusive relationship is not new. We have seen this story play out in books and movies. Usually these stories end with the woman killing her abuser or the abuser killing her then moving onto to his next victim. What makes Always With You original is the circumstances which lead to the main character's dangerous situation. Unfortunately the story does not live up to its potential.Meet Julia Hawthorne. In her early 30’s working as an assista The story of a woman trapped in a mentally and physically abusive relationship is not new. We have seen this story play out in books and movies. Usually these stories end with the woman killing her abuser or the abuser killing her then moving onto to his next victim. What makes Always With You original is the circumstances which lead to the main character's dangerous situation. Unfortunately the story does not live up to its potential.Meet Julia Hawthorne. In her early 30’s working as an assistant in a marketing firm. Still healing emotionally from a broken engagement, she meets Bryce, a handsome and successful lawyer. Julia is very quickly taken in by Bryce’s charm and they marry. Soon after they marry, Julia learns there is much more to Bryce than she first thought. Julia is now entangled in a web of deceit and danger with no way of getting out. Always With You has a very original premise. Julia is not only trapped in a troubled marriage, she is also trapped in a religious organization. Bryce is a devout member of the Church of Life. The Church of Life has many loyal members but is also clouded by rumors and mystery. Many of Julia’s friends and family express concerns about the church and Bryce’s dedication, but Julia ignores their concerns. The addition of a religious element to the story of an abused woman is new to me. This is the main reason why I was excited to read Always With You. Sadly the story did not live up to my expectations, I found Always With You predicable and superficial. Julia’s story has been told many times in fiction, but in my opinion the author missed a great opportunity to make build a more substantial story by not exploring the religious aspect more. The corruption within the Church of Life was implied more than explained. I would have enjoyed the story more if I could have learned details about what the church was up to. When Julia finally realizes she is in danger and decides to stand up for herself, she begins to rebel against Bryce and the church. The way the high ranking members of the church, including Bryce, reacted seemed extreme and a bit over the top. Since I never really learned what was happening within the church, I did not understand why it is so important to keep Julia in line.Always With You moves at a very fast pace and can be read within a few days, which makes it a perfect read for summer. I am sure there are some readers who will enjoy Always With You and will find Julia relatable. I did enjoy Olsen’s first book The Girl Before, so my lack of enjoyment of Always With You will not stop me from reading other books by Olsen. Readers looking for a lighter fast paced read should add Always With You to their list of must reads.** Thanks to G.P. Putnam's Sons for my free review copy**Murder and Moore Rating : 3 out of 5 Stars
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  • BookNerdsBrainDump
    January 1, 1970
    Short Take: Like a fun-size candy bar - tasty for a minute, but unsatisfying.(*Note - I received a free advance copy of this book for review.*)Mega-churches are skeevy, aren’t they? I mean, you have the pastors with their shellacked hair and blinding veneers, hopping around doing their darnedest to convince their congregation that God wants them to have a private jet. It’s no secret that Joel Osteen and his ilk prey on people who are desperate for some kind of help, and scam them out of what lit Short Take: Like a fun-size candy bar - tasty for a minute, but unsatisfying.(*Note - I received a free advance copy of this book for review.*)Mega-churches are skeevy, aren’t they? I mean, you have the pastors with their shellacked hair and blinding veneers, hopping around doing their darnedest to convince their congregation that God wants them to have a private jet. It’s no secret that Joel Osteen and his ilk prey on people who are desperate for some kind of help, and scam them out of what little they have. But as disgusting as I find their behavior, I have to acknowledge that behind the spotlights and designer choir robes, there might be worse crimes than stealing from the poor.Enter Julia. She’s at a bit of a crossroads in life, just coming out of a bad break-up, and trying to get a promotion at work when Bryce Covington blows into her life. He’s rich, gorgeous, and treats Julia like a queen, lavishing her with attention and gifts. He’s also mysterious - he will not speak of his family, insisting that the only family that matters to him are the Reverend and his wife Nancy, leaders of the Church of the Life, who took him in as a teenager. Although Julia has never been into religion, she begins attending church with Bryce, gradually abandoning her own life in order to be accepted into his.Julia gives up her job, contact with her family, hanging out with her friends, and pretty much everything that mattered to her before Bryce, and do I even need to tell you what a Bad Idea that is? Because of course Bryce is not the Prince Charming he appeared to be, and the church is way more sinister than Julia could’ve imagined.As much as I love a good takedown of a religious huckster, With You Always didn’t do that. It didn’t even try. The first three-quarters of the is nothing but Julia mooning over Bryce and ignoring everyone who tries to talk sense to her. She’s That Girl, the one who will change everything about herself and turn her back on everyone who’s been there for her throughout her life to keep a guy. It’s pathetic. When Julia finally starts to wise up and realize YOU IN DANGER GIRL, there’s exactly one scene, one character getting what they deserve in the space of a single paragraph, and Bam! Over. Ms. Olsen gives readers a lot of tantalizing mysteries to gnaw on, then ignores them. For example, who in the church’s inner circle was responsible for [spoiler], and did they get any kind of punishment for that? Were there any consequences for anything on the church’s end? We don’t find out what happened in Julia’s life after all this, at all. The epilogue is literally like 20 minutes after the climax, and it amounts to “and she lived happily ever after”, which, uh, NO. There’s absolutely no way that [spoiler] wouldn’t be out for revenge, or that she would just walk away and go back to her old life after burning so many bridges, not to mention the whole police thing.And honestly, with the way Julia treated everyone around her, it’s really hard to care what happened next. I’m inclined to think the author agreed.The Nerd’s Rating: Two Happy Neurons (and a full-size candy bar. Because whoever invented “fun size” clearly doesn’t understand candy bars.)
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  • Leah
    January 1, 1970
    Only reason this received 2 stars instead of 1 was that I evidently was engaged enough to keep flipping pages. This one made me angry. Julia goes FAR beyond naive, she tosses away her job for a man she's only know a few weeks, readily accepts his proposal after three months, and steadfastly defends him from every. single. person in her life who sees through his facade.The ending was also a cop-out: (view spoiler)[within the last handful of pages, Julia kills Bryce aaaaand that's it. Not kidding. Only reason this received 2 stars instead of 1 was that I evidently was engaged enough to keep flipping pages. This one made me angry. Julia goes FAR beyond naive, she tosses away her job for a man she's only know a few weeks, readily accepts his proposal after three months, and steadfastly defends him from every. single. person in her life who sees through his facade.The ending was also a cop-out: (view spoiler)[within the last handful of pages, Julia kills Bryce aaaaand that's it. Not kidding. She somehow managed to keep a spare key hidden just outside their door (let's ignore the fact that Bryce even mentioned he changed the security code for their gate) when he literally had eyes all over town - including tracking her car and phone. Yet her sister was able to waltz right in and then tagged along with her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The end. Not a word was said about the Reverend and his wife, not a moment given to the supposed scandals the church had been facing. (hide spoiler)] I wanted a resolution, what I got was a few sentences at the VERY end and more questions.More thoughts to come.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    So I'm on the way home, I glance ahead to the next car, I read the vanity plate," TrophyYF."Enough Said!This is the case of Julia who sets out to prove herself worthy of love and affection.After a painful breakup she stumbles upon the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor, her hero - Bryce.Love is blind and Love is not meant to hurt.Sometimes love does both.Empty promises, broken dreams, lives destroyed.Sometime we fall down seven pick ourselves up on the eight time. Sometimes we fall a So I'm on the way home, I glance ahead to the next car, I read the vanity plate," TrophyYF."Enough Said!This is the case of Julia who sets out to prove herself worthy of love and affection.After a painful breakup she stumbles upon the man of her dreams, her knight in shining armor, her hero - Bryce.Love is blind and Love is not meant to hurt.Sometimes love does both.Empty promises, broken dreams, lives destroyed.Sometime we fall down seven pick ourselves up on the eight time. Sometimes we fall and never get back up.When Bryce fell he never got back up.For Julia who was isolated, abused, and running scared it was the perfect recipe for disaster.She's now set free. Free to spread her wings and fly.
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  • Nada Hosny
    January 1, 1970
    The book triggered me in so many ways.I have read a lot of books about abusive relationships. A LOT!But nothing was this intense.The Main character naivenness was getting on my nerves, i couldn't believe how much stupid she is for falling for him.Right from the beginning there was something wrong about this man.I thought i would forget that it was an abusive relationship for a while, get swept up like the main character did, love him like she did.But no.Right from the beginning, so intense and a The book triggered me in so many ways.I have read a lot of books about abusive relationships. A LOT!But nothing was this intense.The Main character naivenness was getting on my nerves, i couldn't believe how much stupid she is for falling for him.Right from the beginning there was something wrong about this man.I thought i would forget that it was an abusive relationship for a while, get swept up like the main character did, love him like she did.But no.Right from the beginning, so intense and abusive.I don't think i can even rate this.It was just so hard...
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Positives: Nail-biting if predictable plotNegatives: Stilted writing with lots of telling and not enough showingA super rushed ending I almost quit reading this, but the plot kept me engaged. 2.5 out of 5 stars, which is a bit generous.
  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    DNF. The writing in the beginning was pretty bad, so I'm lemming this one.
  • Farleigh Wolfe Lichstein
    January 1, 1970
    Truly terrible.
  • Chelsey Burch
    January 1, 1970
    WARNING: PERSONAL ANECDOTE INCOMINGIn my pathetic attempt to fit in in high school, I started going to a youth group that all the cool scene kids went to. It wasn't what you'd think, like a group of 5 pimply teens reading the bible together. No, this was like a huge, free concert that happened every Saturday night, where all the kids pranced around in their skinny jeans and their big teased and dyed hair, talking about some RaWr and xSTRAIGHTEDGEx and all that. This place was huge- they had the WARNING: PERSONAL ANECDOTE INCOMINGIn my pathetic attempt to fit in in high school, I started going to a youth group that all the cool scene kids went to. It wasn't what you'd think, like a group of 5 pimply teens reading the bible together. No, this was like a huge, free concert that happened every Saturday night, where all the kids pranced around in their skinny jeans and their big teased and dyed hair, talking about some RaWr and xSTRAIGHTEDGEx and all that. This place was huge- they had the sound system, the lights, the cool rock band the started and ended the night, the mini-skate park, the coffee shop, and fun group games with huge inflatables and obstacle courses. It was hard to think that in the middle of all of this was a church. Of course, being the shy person with no friends that I was, with my not-quite-skinny jeans and my limp hair that refused to tease, I was pretty much ignored at these events. I mean, I'm used to being a wallflower now, but as a 16-year old it was a weekly struggle. After they settled the rowdy kids down, they'd start in with the sermon or whatever. They related it to high school kids, talking about situations in school where we could refer to the bible and blah blah blah. But interspersed in between these relatable anecdotes were pleas for money. How we, 12-18 year olds, should be giving 10% of our money to the church to give back to God. How we should be recruiting 3 people a week if we were really Christians. I didn't have any people to recruit, but I cringily tried to no avail, and I started asking my mom for money every Saturday night. Things got weird when we went to summer camp (on buses without AC and with the church name painted on the side) where we were free to sit by the lake by day. But at night they led us to a creepy building in the woods with bonfires and people speaking in tongues. This was like at midnight, which really weirded me out. The cool, popular people I had admired from afar were screaming gibberish while their eyes were rolling into the back of their heads and their hands were outstretched. Then we were marched to the lake where we were baptized. My friend got MRSA from the lake which I took to be a bad omen. I don't think I went back to the youth group after we got home. ANYWAY, the point of my story is that sketchy ass "churches" like this exist everywhere, which is a shame because religion is based on believing in something you can't see, and if a powerful authority figure is telling you that God is telling them that you should give them all your money then who is to say they're wrong? I hope they don't find me and sue me now that I wrote this. ACTUAL BOOK REVIEW This book reminded me of that experience so I was uncomfortable the whole time. While the scammy church gave a really unique premise on an otherwise-common thriller theme, I felt that it could have been so much stronger. I get that she was bamboozled into thinking everything was okay, especially as she was eased into it one fucked-up situation at a time; however, I didn't think there was enough depth there to really believe why she was putting up with everything. The ending was TOO ABRUPT. I could not believe that was it. I wanted to hear more of the Reverend's story. This book just skimmed the surface of what could have been a much creepier story. It felt unfinished and rushed and everything was a bit too predictable. Overall, meh. It was more fun for me to rehash my little somewhat-related story than it was to read the book. I kept hoping it was going to get better but it never did. However, I gave 3 stars for the attempt at something a little different.
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  • Summer
    January 1, 1970
    The story was okay but the execution didn’t quite work for me. Julia deferred her career for a guy who then ditched her mid-engagement, so she’s alone and feels a bit stuck at work, though things appear to be looking up when she meets a handsome lawyer named Bryce. But appearances can be deceiving. This is intended to be a thriller, so I understand the lack of romance, however, I felt like the lack of romance hurt the book. Bryce does throw his wealth around (dinner at a fancy restaurant, a yach The story was okay but the execution didn’t quite work for me. Julia deferred her career for a guy who then ditched her mid-engagement, so she’s alone and feels a bit stuck at work, though things appear to be looking up when she meets a handsome lawyer named Bryce. But appearances can be deceiving. This is intended to be a thriller, so I understand the lack of romance, however, I felt like the lack of romance hurt the book. Bryce does throw his wealth around (dinner at a fancy restaurant, a yacht, a giant house), etc, if that’s romance, it’s a shallow kind of romance, and though it won Julia over, it didn’t win me. I couldn’t help feeling like I would have been so much more invested in this story had I ever noted genuine feelings, sparks, and rapport between these two, if I liked them together for the first third or so of the book it would have had a much greater impact when everything went horribly wrong in their relationship. Unfortunately, their relationship was so much on the surface rather than anything deep, anything that would have drawn me in emotionally. Very early on you know something’s off with this guy and something is off with his church, yet Julia basically asks no questions which makes her seem oblivious, impressed by his money, and desperate, and none of those qualities are particularly endearing. As much as I felt for Julia in the situation she ends up in, she often exasperated me, particularly when she did things like marrying a guy while knowing next to nothing about him, or not taking extra precautions to hide where she’s going when she knows someone’s tracking her every move. In real life, no one’s immune to losing themselves in a relationship, people who are smart and ask questions, can still wind up in a toxic marriage, so it would have been interesting to see that person reflected in fiction, to not have the heroine seem at times dumbed-down for the sake of advancing the plot.As for Bryce, throughout the book, Julia and so many other characters told me how charming he is, the problem is the book never showed me, I felt like this would have been such a different reading experience had I fallen for him alongside Julia and then been blindsided by his darkness, but there was nothing to fall for, his creepiness was apparent from the get-go, his alleged charm was not. I didn’t need him to be a good guy, I didn’t need to care about him, I just wanted a more dimensional character, or at least him putting on the facade of being more dimensional. I liked the ending, though it wrapped up abruptly, so an epilogue would have been welcome.I received this ARC through a Goodreads giveaway.
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  • Sonica •TheReadingBeautyBlog
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for my copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.Julia has not had any luck in love, with a broken engagement and heart, she has taken a break from dating and begins refocussing her energy on her career.  Julia is determined to rise through the ranks with dedicated hard work and perseverance as she tries to fix the void in her life by keeping busy.  Her focus is distracted by a chance encounter with a charmingly handsome man, Bryce Covington, who s Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for my copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.Julia has not had any luck in love, with a broken engagement and heart, she has taken a break from dating and begins refocussing her energy on her career.  Julia is determined to rise through the ranks with dedicated hard work and perseverance as she tries to fix the void in her life by keeping busy.  Her focus is distracted by a chance encounter with a charmingly handsome man, Bryce Covington, who sweeps her off her feet and opens her heart to love again.  On the surface, Bryce is the epitome of perfection, a wholesome man with confidence and a strong faith in the Church.  Julia is living the perfect fairy tale life until little by little her paper castle starts crumbling as Bryce reveals his dark side.  With a past of secrets and lies, Bryce becomes more of a nightmare for Julia than anything else.This book definitely caught my attention AT FIRST, but I have to admit my interest slowly dwindled about half way through.When I first started reading, I thought this was going to be a cheesy romance, then it took a dark turn and I couldn't be more intrigued.  I was enjoying the suspense and drama  but my attention slowly started to detach from the story as I just could not relate to Julia and her weakness (with this man).  I could not get over how naive she was about Bryce, when all the red flags were coming at her from every direction.  I can see how someone like Bryce can INITIALLY sweep a woman off her feet, but seriously this guy was NUTS and I just don't know how Julia did not see it.  Or when she did see it, she would just end up making excuses for him and ultimately forgiving him, until one day she stopped forgiving...Despite my interest dwindling halfway through, I did appreciate the author's writing style; it kept me turning the pages and I was curious to know how it would end.  It was engaging on that front.  I hear her first novel (The Girl Before) was fantastic and I may pick that one up sometime because I truly did enjoy this author's writing.I recommend this one for readers who might prefer a light domestic thriller, that will keep you turning the pages, despite its predicability.My Rating: 2.5/5
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  • Up All Night With Books
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsReview by Amy Late Night ReviewerUp All Night w/ Books BlogThis was my first time reading Rena Olsen and I thoroughly looked forward to what awaited me within the pages of With You Always.When Julia runs into Bryce, a charming looker who wines and dines her, she knows she has found her prince charming. He introduces her to his church family and their whirlwind romance lands Julia in an unusual relationship. She quickly realizes that Bryce’s faith is the most important thing and Julia is 3.5 StarsReview by Amy Late Night ReviewerUp All Night w/ Books BlogThis was my first time reading Rena Olsen and I thoroughly looked forward to what awaited me within the pages of With You Always.When Julia runs into Bryce, a charming looker who wines and dines her, she knows she has found her prince charming. He introduces her to his church family and their whirlwind romance lands Julia in an unusual relationship. She quickly realizes that Bryce’s faith is the most important thing and Julia is determined to make him happy and prove that she is willing to support him and be a devoted wife.This book was not at all what I had envisioned by reading the summary. The majority of the book focused on the church life, playing with cult-like behaviors and a controlled lifestyle guided by the church. I found parts of the book to be a quick page turner and others were a bit slow and drawn out. The first half of the book, for me, spent so much time setting the premise, the second half began to pick up and was quite enjoyable and twisty, and then it ended with a bang, all too quickly and left me feeling like it was rushed and incomplete. There was so much time building it up and then the ending for me just fizzled and left me desiring more.I am a huge psychological thriller fan and have read hundreds. This book reminded me a lot of B.A. Paris’ Behind Closed Doors. If you enjoyed that one, you may also enjoy this book. Just know going in, there was less suspense, and more story building than you usually find in a thriller. There was a lot of focus on the church they belonged to, so if you find cults fascinating, this may be a good read for you.**ARC provided for honest review**
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  • For Reasons Unknown
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARSOverlong, but creepy enough til the very last page.Basically, trust your family's instinct?Julia meets and falls in love with a super charming Nice Guy, Bryce, who she met outside her work. He quickly insinuates himself into her life, whisking her into fancy dates in a matter of weeks. Later she finds out he's actually a part of a weird church group. Their relationship soon moves to marriage, to the irritation of her sister Kate who takes a deep dislike to her new beau. Pressured by the 3.5 STARSOverlong, but creepy enough til the very last page.Basically, trust your family's instinct?Julia meets and falls in love with a super charming Nice Guy, Bryce, who she met outside her work. He quickly insinuates himself into her life, whisking her into fancy dates in a matter of weeks. Later she finds out he's actually a part of a weird church group. Their relationship soon moves to marriage, to the irritation of her sister Kate who takes a deep dislike to her new beau. Pressured by the church, she quits her dream job and unknowingly starts obeying Bryce and the church people. They control; she takes the bait.There was a lot of repetitive dialogue here that could have been cut out. Especially the dates that just went on and on. Red herrings that I wish they shed some light on. It does end abruptly, but not unsatisfying. There were plot threads that I wish were illuminated upon, like the friendly church group, what the church was actually doing, Bryce's evil~ transformation. I mean some of these bits provided to us had their "answers", but still I wanted more! Just like Julia at the end, we're left wanting what that "big purpose" was. The one she mentioned about Bryce "this is just the beginning...", like what was supposed to be the finale for the two of them? What did Bryce want, really? World domination lol? It felt a tad incomplete.It's still good though, highly readable and kicks up your anxiety like hell. Men are awful beings. Trust your sister maybe.
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  • Kailey C
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I loved "The Girl Before" so was eager to pick this one up, but I was very disappointed. I almost DNF this one, but I skimmed the last 40% to see if the ending could redeem it.Unfortunately, I just found this one very cliche and for me, it was not believable. Bryce was SO over the top & all the going-ons of the church were so shady, yet Julia couldn't get a clue? Of course, that's the storyline but again, it was j I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I loved "The Girl Before" so was eager to pick this one up, but I was very disappointed. I almost DNF this one, but I skimmed the last 40% to see if the ending could redeem it.Unfortunately, I just found this one very cliche and for me, it was not believable. Bryce was SO over the top & all the going-ons of the church were so shady, yet Julia couldn't get a clue? Of course, that's the storyline but again, it was just overdone and not done well. The main character was an extremely weak protagonist and I don't find myself enjoying those types of novels. I was hoping she'd sort of "take charge" and fight back the last 1/3 of the book. I don't want to give anything away but I even felt like the ending was a cop-out. I would not recommend this one, especially if you read a lot of suspense/thrillers- it felt very stale to me.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    A big thank you to Penguin Group and Netgalley for letting me read an arc of this title. I loved the book. Julia recently suffered from a painful breakup and now spent her time trying to get a promotion at work. Then she met Bryce who seemed perfect in every way. He was rich, successful and knew how to show Julia a good time. Things progressed quickly and Julia started attending Bryce’s church with him. A few times things that happened in the church seemed a bit off to her, but she put those tho A big thank you to Penguin Group and Netgalley for letting me read an arc of this title. I loved the book. Julia recently suffered from a painful breakup and now spent her time trying to get a promotion at work. Then she met Bryce who seemed perfect in every way. He was rich, successful and knew how to show Julia a good time. Things progressed quickly and Julia started attending Bryce’s church with him. A few times things that happened in the church seemed a bit off to her, but she put those thoughts aside because Bryce was so perfect for her. Until he wasn’t. Can you say “Cult”? She’s sequestered from the outside world, and it seems like everyone who sees her reports her activities back to Bryce. Will she realize what’s going on? Can she get out before it’s too late? That’s for you to stay up nights finding out. Because you won’t be able to put this book down. The tension is so taut you could cut it with a knife. Olsen is now on my to-read list for all future novels.
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  • Wendy Sice
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone has their story of someone they know who has been swept up into the all-consuming life of being a committed church member, helplessly watching the way it takes over their life, sometimes meaning work, family and other commitments are neglected or even abandoned. This is one of those stories. It is quite hard to read about the main character’s vulnerability and her slippery slide into the church life, which is completely different to what she has known. Wildly in love, we see her conside Everyone has their story of someone they know who has been swept up into the all-consuming life of being a committed church member, helplessly watching the way it takes over their life, sometimes meaning work, family and other commitments are neglected or even abandoned. This is one of those stories. It is quite hard to read about the main character’s vulnerability and her slippery slide into the church life, which is completely different to what she has known. Wildly in love, we see her consider the pros and cons of every new change, but each time she gives in to her husband’s and the church’s expectations. It is appalling but also a relief to finally see her come to the realisation that the relationship and the church are toxic, and it is shocking to see how the situation reaches a resolution. Gripping, page-turning stuff.
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  • Heather DeWit
    January 1, 1970
    With You Always is a fantastic read. I love the way the author, Rena Olsen, develops characters. They are so real! The main character in this story is likeable which adds to the suspenseful nature of the plot. The main characters quirks provide split second moments of slightly comical relief from an intense novel.I so value the approach to real problems and terrifying "could happen to your own best friend or sister" scenarios. In With You Always, the situation this author takes us into is a cult With You Always is a fantastic read. I love the way the author, Rena Olsen, develops characters. They are so real! The main character in this story is likeable which adds to the suspenseful nature of the plot. The main characters quirks provide split second moments of slightly comical relief from an intense novel.I so value the approach to real problems and terrifying "could happen to your own best friend or sister" scenarios. In With You Always, the situation this author takes us into is a cult. In her previous book she addressed human trafficking. Rena Olsen's ability to raise our awareness while providing a fabulous reading experience speaks to her ability to weave great characters and compelling plot lines. Just like The Girl Before, I couldn't put this book down!
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