review and cover mani: the two lila bennetts

The back jacket, from Goodreads:

Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally.

In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over. 


With a super interesting premise and gorgeous cover, THE TWO LILA BENNETTS captured my attention right off the bat. I pictured Lila as Jeri Hogarth from Jessica Jones: a take no shit, ruthless attorney who strives to win no matter the cost. Definitely a harder character to cheer for in the beginning, and the authors’ choice of cases didn’t leave much room for grey. Lila Bennett just wasn’t a great person, her moral compass consistently spinning like a windmill in a hurricane. That is, until a certain situation made her question her behavior. I loved that it was a seemingly innocuous decision—a spur-of-the-moment choice—which split her life into two different pathways. And yet the plot progression, whether “captured” or “free,” had surprising similarities, perhaps suggesting there’s no escaping fate.

Cover design by Faceout Studio, Lindy Martin

A character not prone to self-reflection, being trapped in a concrete cell offered a rare extended silence for “captured” Lila to examine her life, as handcuffs and ankle bindings, dehydration and utter terror have a tendency to do. The tension in those chapters kept me turning pages, simultaneously worried about Lila’s safety and also the secrets she was forced to confront. Slowly but surely, my sympathy for Lila began to sprout as she took accountability for her mistakes, and it felt like an organic evolution. 

Meanwhile, although “free” Lila remained un-cuffed, she was still under attack. Her mystery assailant’s appearance required a deep dive into Lila’s past to find suspects, and through that process, she began to see just how long the list of potential culprits was. No real surprise for a criminal defense attorney, and her slow loss of control served as another source of emotional torture. For a character who’d grown accustomed to being one step ahead, she didn’t adapt well to falling ten steps behind and even though I knew the “captured” Lila had a literal gun to her head, I was actually more concerned for “free” Lila. A clever twist on a trope for sure, so if you love higher-stake thrillers that venture into darkness but aren’t consumed by it, THE TWO LILA BENNETTS is the book for you! 

Big thanks to Liz and Lisa for sending me an ARC!


For this mani, I used:

OPI – A Good Man-Darin is Hard to Find, In My Back Pocket, I Just Can't Cope-acabana, Stay Off the Lawn!, Viking in a Vinter Vonderland, Need Sunglasses

China Glaze – Celtic Sun, Four Leaf Clover, Week it Honey

FingerPaints – Paper Mâché, Inkblot Blue

Julep - Michelle

picture polish - chillax

So Nailicious – needle brush


  1. Way you nailed that blurry effect.



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