Posted in Reviews, University Peak

Book 14: The Girl Before Review

28016509I can honestly say that I am so happy that I borrowed this book! At first I thought we were going to get another version of “Fifty Shades of Grey” (not that there is anything wrong with that) but this

book was so much more! The book isn’t just about an Architect who seduces vulnerable women, this book goes deeper than that. You have Emma whose part of the story is always titled “then” and Jane who is the “now”. Both of these women have had a trauma in their lives that make them agree to move into  a house created by Edward Monkford.  Jane was robbed and sexually assaulted and Jane had a stillborn baby girl. These  things are the reason these women are drawn to this strange house. By strange I mean that in order to live in this home they had to fill out a bunch of questions that might get them to the next phase, get approved for an interview with Edward Monkford, and agree to hundreds of rules in order to live there.

Once living there the house would record all of their daily data etc etc, Imagine a smart home on steroids. What really got my attention was when Edward started making passes at Jane and then finding out that everything he did with Jane he did with Emma. Then throw in that both of these women looked exactly like his dead wife, and you start getting this really uneasy feeling about Edward. What made it even more curious is when Emma’s ex-boyfriend approaches Jane at the home and tells Jane that Emma died in that house and that he believed Edward had something to do with it. Jane starts to wonder about Edward and what really happened with Emma. Was he involved in her death? Was it an accident? Was it suicide? The answer is far darker than you can imagine.

Star rating: 5 out of 5 stars!!!!

Seriously, the author did an amazing job weaving together Emma and Jane’s stories together. You start off seeing slight similarities between how Edward treats both Emma and Jane, but immediately you see that these two women are actually very different. Jane seemed to be a strong woman dealing with sorrow and Emma seemed like a broken woman who needed something more. But the thing is, the person the begin as are not who they actually who they are. There are several times when you think you have something figured out only to have rug pulled out from under you.


  • Jane and Emma were both written in such different ways that it was surprising to find that Edward was attracted to both of them. On the surface everything about them was so different. Emma was younger and appeared to be more afraid of life because of what happened to her. Jane was a bit older and just seemed to need a new start after losing her baby.
  • With each chapter you found out a little bit more about Edward and his bizarre relationship with Emma and how he was trying to replicate that relationship with Jane.
  • The home that they live in and the things that they had to agree to in order to live there really gave a darker feel to the book.
  • Before each chapter you got to see the questions that both women had to fill out in order to  live in this home and I found myself thinking about my own answers and wondering what Edward would have chosen.


  • It is not really a con, but I wish that the book gave us a little bit more about what exactly happened with Jane, but the way it ended really was what was best for the book. I just really found myself on Team Jane so I wanted more.


I loved this book and really recommend it! The book just has so many layers and the only way to unravel those layers is by reading the book. You get a wonderful mixture of mystery and suspense in this book, without having to invest in a new series. This book is a wonderful standalone and really deserves a shot. Give it a read!

~Book 2 of University Peak complete! 2 to go!~


I love reading all kinds of books but have no one to share them with....that was until now. My favorite genre's are: Cozy mysteries, Fantasy, Horror, and thrillers.

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