Sonja Yoerg is the most astute, underrated author on the market Her observations about life, love, and family hit home and have literally stopped me in my tracks With STORIES WE NEVER TOLD, Sonja ventures into the suspense realm and boy does she deliver With her exacting prose, she gives us a story about first and last loves, obsession, jealousy and being truthful about who you are, not only to those you hold dear, but to yourself All the while she includes the inner workings of academia and lab research and a fascinating sub plot about data fraud YES DATA FRAUD WAS FASCINATING because she s a magician You ll want to read this book 2.5 starsI thought this book had a good premise but ended up being a bit of a disappointing read If the story lost most of the thriller elements, I maybe would have liked it It also didn t help that the main character just didn t do much for me There are quite a few good reviews for this book though, so as always take my opinions with a grain of salt.Jackie Strelitz has been married for a few years now to a man named Miles Harlan Crispin is her ex lover and colleague It might sound unusual but Jackie, Miles, and Harlan get together and socialize quite often Everything is great until Harlan brings a new person to dinner one night Nasira Amari is Harlan s date and she also happens to be the newest member on Jackie s research team Jackie thought she was completely over her ex but seeing him with Nasira stirs up a lot of emotions in Jackie When it looks like things are moving at a quick and serious pace between Nasira and Harlan that doesn t sit right with Jackie.While Jackie is the main character, occasionally the story alternates to another character s perspective And because of that, in my opinion the thriller elements of the story fall flat as there really isn t much excitement or anything that is unpredictable The second half of the story veers into convoluted mess territory I kept asking the question, why and even though the author provides some backstories for certain characters, it just wasn t enough to satisfy me It definitely didn t help that I never felt all that invested in Jackie as a character She felt like a caricature rather than a realistic character Perhaps if I could have gotten on board with her, the rest of the story would have worked better for me.I wish the story would have just stuck with a woman dealing with her feelings towards an ex plot rather than turning it into a thriller I think the author left a lot on the table to explore in regards to that and in the end the story didn t reach its full potential. From The Charts And Washington Post Bestselling Author Of True Places Comes A Suspenseful Novel Of Love, Secrets, And Obsession Psychology Professor Jackie Strelitz Thought She Was Over Her Ex Lover And Colleague, Harlan Crispin Why Should She Care If Harlan Springs A New Friend On Her After All, Jackie Has Everything She Ever Wanted A Loving Husband And A Thriving Career Still, She Can T Help But Be Curious About Harlan S Latest Nasira Amari Is Graceful, Smart, And Appallingly Young Worse, She S The New Member Of Jackie S Research Team For Five Years, Harlan Enforced Rules Limiting His Relationship With Jackie With Nasira He S Breaking Every Single One Why Her Fixated By The Couple, Jackie S Curiosity Becomes Obsession But She Soon Learns That Nothing Is Quite What It Seems, And That To Her Surprise And Peril She May Not Be The Only One Who Can T Let Go Expect the unexpected Stories We Never Told makes you question who are we, really The person we show the world, or the secret side of us that we keep hidden from the world, and sometimes even from ourselves This is the ultimate theme of this novel.Jackie, Miles, Harlan and Nasira display only a portion of their true selves to the world The novel is told from all four characters POV, which makes for interesting plot twists, although this novel is focused on character growth and development.Jackie and Harlan are both professors in the Psychology Department at the same University College, used to be in a five year relationship, until it ended and Jackie later married Miles.Miles has a son and hidden secrets which shatter Jackie s domestic bliss.And then things get shaky at work somehow, Jackie s research at the University has been compromised maybe even tampered with Harlan may be using Nasira to make Jackie jealous and it may be working.Nasira has secrets that have caused an estrangement with her family.Harlan is the key to so many turning points in this novel, which ultimately leads each of the characters to expose their secrets selves to everyone else around them Some surprising rifts and new relationships develop as a result of all of the revelations and discoveries An interesting and well written character study I rate this a 3.8 out of 5.My thanks to the author and to Lake Union Publishing for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. It s a rare psychological thriller that shows both the dark depths our obsessions can lead to and the unlikely breakthroughs that can let the light in Sonja Yoerg s STORIES WE NEVER TOLD does just that, deftly introducing a brilliant cast of characters for whom detachment and intimacy can be equally terrifying A taut, clever, and satisfying read. Stories We Never Told is a beautifully told story of love and obsession, a gradual unearthing of long held secrets that can unravel even the happiest of marriages Yoerg has a real talent for creating compelling and complex characters who wrestle with real life situations, leaving the reader wondering who to root for until the very end The perfect combination of gorgeous prose and slow burn suspense Yoerg should be on every reader s radar. This one was so involving, smart, well plotted, but also, a gentle comeuppance to anyone who might succumb to the notion that we can ever know others better than they even know themselves I kept pushing myself to read faster, faster, because it s so psychologically suspenseful, and you get VERY involved But speed reading never works when you re also loving the book on a sentence level, so basically imagine me staying up late and cursing the author for making the book impossible to put down but also too good to rush through Read it You ll see But prepare to be tired the next day. Obsession, Jealousy, Murder All is fair in love and war or is it Here we have a young professor Jackie who seemingly has it all A perfect marriage, a great career, and an obsession with her former lover Harlan Wait Hold up What Harlan is quite the catch and he just procured a new target with Nasira Amari who perhaps is running from her own internal wounds.Of course the past is never left in the past and curiosity leads to obsession and darn it stalking in my viewpoint.A woman has needs and by golly Jackie needs than what s she s receiving from Mills her husband as he seems distant and cold in this marriage of convenience.You can say I have a background in narcissism having married and happily divorced a malignant narcissist and this one brought up quite the reflections.The two ships passing in the night comes to mind as the hamster wheel keeps vicariously spinning while holding up the family responsibilities.I ve often wondered in my own scenario why the family never seen through the smoke and fog since they are quick to judge after the marriage falters In this case we have her sis Grace and her new husband Hector seemingly in wedding bliss while the world caves in on Jackie.Upon divorcing I was told I must ve been the biggest fool for staying in a relationship in which I was clearly unhappy and I bring this up because of what was noted after the anger subsides.In this case as was in mine I see the similarities but not as far as perhaps Mills has taken it for his own reasons.Though I ve had my suspicions I was amazed that I didn t see this twist involving Harlan.What a fab read from this talented writer as I ve always been a huge fan of Sonja Yoerg and that opinion has not changed An inventive, intriguing and intense domestic thriller full of obsession and jealously SUMMARYPsychology professor Jackie Strelitz thinks she s over Harlan Crispin, her ex lover and colleague Why should she care if Harlan brings a new friend to dinner After all Jackie has everything she ever wanted, a loving husband and a thriving career But she can t help but be curious about Harlen s latest girlfriend.Nasira Amari is graceful, smart, and young Worse, she is the newest member of Jackie s research team Jackie and Harlen dated for five years and he has some strict rules limiting their relationship and their time together With Nasira, however, he is breaking every single one Why her Jackie s curiosity about the couple becomes an obsession But soon learns that nothing is quite what it seems, and to her surprise she may not be the only one who cannot let go.REVIEWThe characters propel the narrative in this cleverly written thriller The four main characters, Jackie, Miles, Harlen and Nasir are richly flawed and shrouded in clouds of mystery But interspersed in the book are four unique chapters that clear the air There is one for each of the main characters These chapters contain their deepest secrets, and it s these secrets that reveal everything It s the stories they never told.STORIES WE NEVER TOLD is inventive, intriguing and intense The story is packed full of jealousy, obsession and lies The plot build is a delightful slow burn The writing is skillfully crafted and the book is immensely satisfying.Author Sonja Yoerg is the bestselling author of four novels House Broken 2015 , The Middle of Somewhere 2015 , All the Best People 2017 and True Places 2019 I have had the pleasure of reading Sonja s two latest novels and loved them Thanks to Netgalley, Sonja Yoerg and Lake Union for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Life is very complicated Don t try to find answers Because when you find answers, Life changes the questions.Sonja Yoerg always serves up storylines that circle around characters and situations with multiple layers and with multiple sharp edges Stories We Never Told does just that Yoerg knows full out what lies beneath the surface of day by day living It s not always what it appears to be She can spin a mundane existence on its head in nano seconds Let s crack the door on this one.Jackie Strelitz is a dedicated professor working in the Psychology Department at Adams University in Washington, D.C She is the head of a work study observing Autistic children and documenting those observations and data along with her students A substantial grant is waiting in the wings based on her continued findings She depends greatly on her post doctorate research assistant, Nasira Amari Although it is a highly stressful undertaking, Jackie enjoys the challenge.Jackie s husband, Miles, is on the road a lot as a football scout traveling to schools and universities for upcoming talent They ve only been married for eighteen months It s Jackie s first marriage at the age of thirty eight Her career has always taken precedence Miles is divorced and has a near adult son, Antonio, who has been diagnosed with ADHD.Jackie was on the rowing team in college and still likes to take to the waters of the Potomac in order to ward off stress But it seems that there s going to be plenty of churning waters involving Jackie in the coming days.To her surprise, her former intense flame shows up as a new colleague in the Psychology Department Harlan invites Jackie and Miles to dinner Enter Harlan s dinner date..Nasira Amari Soon Jackie is becoming unsettled at the sight of Harlan and Nasira as they move in together Jackie loves Milesso what s up with these odd zaps of jealousy Now if you think Yoerg is going to lay out a sickly sweet romantic novel here, think again Our gal Jackie is going to be experiencing some truly wacko goings on both in her professional and in her private life She s beginning to doubt what is true from what is definitely not true The scientific method doesn t always hold up when you have unstable humans involved Stories We Never Told starts the ball rolling down the fast track And you don t want to miss what comes next.I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Lake Union Publishing and to Sonja Yoerg for the opportunity.