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Where the Blame Lies

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At nineteen-years-old, college student Josie Stratton was kidnapped by a madman and held shackled for ten months in an abandoned warehouse before she finally escaped her hellish prison.

Eight years later, when the body of a young woman is found chained in the basement of a vacant house, Cincinnati Police Detective Zach Copeland is instantly reminded of the crime committed against Josie Stratton. Zach was just a rookie on the perimeter of that case, but he’s never forgotten the traumatized woman with the haunted eyes.

As more information emerges, the crimes take on an even more sinister similarity. But Josie’s attacker died by suicide. Does the city have a copycat on its hands? A killer who picked up where the original perpetrator left off? Or are they facing something far more insidious?

Josie has spent the last eight years attempting to get her life back on track, but now there’s a very real chance she could be the unknown suspect’s next target. As Zach vows to keep her safe, and Josie finds herself responding to him in a way she hasn’t responded to any man in almost a decade, the investigation takes on an even more complex edge of danger.

As past and present collide, Josie and Zach are thrust toward a shocking and chilling truth. A revelation that threatens not only Josie’s life, but everything she’s been fighting so desperately to reclaim.

426 pages, Paperback

First published September 13, 2019

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Mia Sheridan

58 books21.9k followers

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5 stars
6,784 (51%)
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4,526 (34%)
3 stars
1,564 (11%)
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106 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,695 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,202 reviews40.7k followers
May 26, 2020
This is the one of the surprise move coming from one of my favorite romance writer decided to go to the dark side as Darth Vader’s theme song “Imperial March” blaring out in my head! ColHo wrote the “Verity”, Tarryn Fisher wrote “Wives” and now Mia Sheridan created a spooky, nerve bending, heart throbbing thriller! Damn it! Those evil multi-talented ladies are blowing my mind!

I sat at the edge of my couch and dunking my nails into ketchup (at least when I’m biting them, I wanted to eat something nutritional, am I disgusting? Oh you didn’t get introduced this book’s villain! You’ll see which one of us more disgusting!) and of course I fell down on the floor because I jumped up and down like a bird with broken wings. Finally I gave up and hid under the blanket and lied down on the floor. But this book made me so paranoid because I heard hitting windows, slamming doors and cat’s mewing (I don’t have a cat! Oh that’s me! Sorry! When I scared so much I started to make cat sounds!) and a wild animal’s roaring! OMG! I have to leave my house.

Then I realized the voice was coming from my husband, taking a quick nap on the couch. This is not a sound of wild animal’s roaring. My husband was just snoring! (My neighbors already started a fund raising campaign for my husband’s snoring surgery but I already told them, he was too chickenshit to endure any operation. When I watch horror movies with my evil laughs, he always passes out because he cannot look at the blood! See what I’m dealing!)
Let’s turn back to book after ordering ear plugs for my neighbors from Amazon.

Josie Stratton, an abduction, abuse survivor, chained, starved, impregnated, left to die in a basement, survived after her 10 months long imprisonment. Now 8 years passed, her path crossed with Zack Copeland who worked in her kidnapping case when he was a rookie and now he became detective searching for copycat crimes. This time, copycat killer not only abducted the girls, chained them at the basement! The copycat is a serial killer hunting the college students from the same university she’d attended before her abduction.

The common point of the victims connecting to Josie, both of them had an affair with the same professor. (Josie didn’t know he was married and she broke things off as soon as she found out but other victims didn’t have same good intentions!)

When Zack and his partner Jimmy (I loved both of them! Jimmy reminded me Gotham series’ Donal Logue and Zack reminded me of all combined hottie police officers who are posing for calendars) searched more and…. BANG!!!! BIG, SUCKER PUNCHING TWIST COMING OUT!
I thought I had good spider senses and suspected some people we’re introduced in the beginning of the book. But I couldn’t foresee this one! WELL DONE MIA SHERIDAN! I’m not only April’s fool because of my birthday, I declared myself autumn’s bigger fool! (I think most of the readers are going to feel like me!)

I was planning to give five shiny stars to this book because it’s so dark, irritating and disturbing (I even thought to skip the pages of Josie’s kidnapping times. I never liked to read books about a woman’s captivation, in chains, tormented, tortured, broken. That’s why I stopped reading Pepper Winters’ books) But I liked the idea of survival story and the conclusion. But when it comes to punishment of guilt and some unanswered parts, it really bugged me! Maybe a sequel is coming, we don’t know yet but I don’t wish Josie should endure more thrilling experiences. She and Zack earned their HEA!

I LOVED THE CHARACTERS, PACING, STORY DEVELOPMENT. This is a dark thriller, a little romance injected in but I enjoyed the writing. Only I didn’t like is the final and some closures about the characters. I can see Mia Sheridan is gifted writer who never stops to surprise her readers. The previous book of her also consisted lack of romance but it was so slow burn psychological thriller and I honestly don’t enjoy it! But this dark, captivating, riveting story hooked me from the first page so I’m so happy to see an author can write in both genres impeccably.

But I missed her old school romance books like Becoming Calder, Archer’s Voice, Most of All You kind of angsty, edgy, tear jerker and pant-melting stories. So yes, I loved her dark side but I’m hoping to see her whiter parts on her next book!
Profile Image for Arini.
772 reviews1,622 followers
April 8, 2020
#1 Where the Blame Lies — 5 Stars
#2 Where the Truth Lives — 4.5 Stars

To quote Eleanor from The Good Place, “Holy mother forking shirt balls!”

This book is out to get you. It ain’t take no prisoners. Seriously, WHY IS NOBODY TALKING ABOUT THIS?! I’m also OFFENDED that those of you who’ve read it DIDN’T RECOMMEND it to me! Like, how dare you? Of course, I wanted in on all this nightmare. I’ve been looking for this kind of reads everywhere.

Finally, an author who can give me all the creeps, make me want to wail and almost wet myself like a total wimp, but also move me with her words. Most of all, as a reader of romance, the love story in this is just the perfect cherry on top. Woman’s a genius. This book absolutely blew my mind.

It’s dark and gritty and sadistic. It makes you feel all kinds of uncomfortable. The villain is a disgusting piece of shh—, but shockingly enough I felt for them. And goodness me THE HORROR of the predicament that our heroine is in! Bless my soul for making it out of this book alive.

This is Mia Sheridan at her best. Dare I say I loved it even more than my old time favorite Archer's Voice and her other latest release Savaged. This is a must read! Especially if you’re a fan of Colleen Hoover’s Verity or basically an aficionado of serial killer crime thrillers. I’ll pray for you and your mental wellness if you decide to pick it up. Godspeed!
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
498 reviews1,146 followers
September 30, 2019
4 stars

“Sometimes the victim, sometimes the perpetrator? None of us are one or the other. We’re all both to different degrees.”

This was such a brutal raw book that made me feel so uncomfortable at times. Specially those “Before” chapters, they were so intense, dark, and hard to read.

This book was so dark and disturbing. I was struggling between wanting to know what’s going to happen next and needing a break because it’s too hard to read. Josi is a freakin hero. She’s so strong. Her strength and how she didn’t give up no matter how hard and unimaginable what she’s been through, was so impressive. This was a psychological thriller book that would keep you on the edge of your seat. Mia Sheridan writing is so beautiful as always. I still don’t know how I feel about the ending tho. I’m kind of happy with it but I still think they needed more? I wanted closure, and I feel like I’m not completely satisfied by how things ended, I think.

Song recommendation:
Ashes by Celine Dion
Lovely by Billie Eilish ft. Khalid
Blame by Bastille
Profile Image for Mali Mor ❤️ The Romantic Blogger.
422 reviews526 followers
May 25, 2020

9 years ago, when Josie Stratton was kidnapped and held in an abandoned warehouse where she suffered from mental, physical and sexual abuse... but despite everything, she never broke down! 💪
10 months later, Josie has found a way to escape - and now, she's another woman trying to piece her life beck together... until her pest knocks at the door again. 💔

Zach Copeland, a Cincinnati police detective was just a rookie when Josie was kidnapped, but he'll never forget the look in her eyes after she escaped. Now, another crime has happened, and it was too similar to what happened all those years ago... 💥
All signs point to a copycat killer, because Josie's kidnapper committed suicide, but when she receives threats, Zach must solve the mystery and protect her. 😱

Will he find the killer before it's too late? Will the past threaten the future, or will Josie finally get a second chance at happiness...? 💥💥💥

📚 “𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐬𝐚𝐢𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞, “𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭,” 𝐨𝐫, “𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧.” 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤 𝐨𝐮𝐭? 𝐎𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧?" 📚

It was a suspense book (with a touch of romance) full of mystery and secrets and VERY different from the author's previous books, which are always full of sweet romance. ❤

I LOVE Sheridan's writing and unforgettable story-lines, but unfortunately this is not one of them... 😬
While the story was original, the suspense felt lacking and there were parts that didn't make sens to me, like - how could someone who experienced something so traumatic never went through some kind of professional treatment? She just went on with her life like nothing happened...??

In terms of romance - I tried, I really did... but I just didn't feel it. It felt like the romance was put into the plot just to fit it into the romantic genre. Even so, I loved Josie's strength and that despite everything she went through, she always finds good in the bad. Plus, I loved that Zack saw Josie as a survivor rather than a victim. ❤

📚 "𝐖𝐡𝐨 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐞? 𝐓𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐪𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. 𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐉𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐞’𝐬 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐟𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐬𝐰𝐞𝐫. 𝐏𝐮𝐭 𝐬𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐥𝐲: 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬. 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐥𝐚𝐦𝐞. 𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐟𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐧 𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧 𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐮𝐭, 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐩 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐟𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐚𝐩𝐬𝐞, 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐬𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝.” 📚

The end of the book was touching, but also disappointing - I won't say why (it's a spoiler) but it didn't feel "complete". I mean, after everything the heroine has gone through, the least you could do is give her the ending she deserves, LADY!!! 😂😂😂
On the other hand, you could say the ending was "realistic" in a way...

Although this book didn't live up to MY expectations, If you like suspense romance books full of secrets and mysteries - you should try it yourself! 💥

• I listened to the AUDIO version. 🎧


📖 ᖴOᒪᒪOᗯ ᗰE Oᑎ IᑎᔕTᗩGᖇᗩᗰ: https://www.instagram.com/the_romanti...

📖 ᐯIᔕIT ᗰY ᗷᒪOG ᖴOᖇ ᗰOᖇE ᖇEᐯIEᗯᔕ: https://books-romance.com/

📖 GOOᗪᖇEᗩᗪᔕ: https://bit.ly/3acMRMP

💕 לקריאת הסקירה בעברית, כנסו לבלוג: https://books-romance.com/ 💕
Profile Image for ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books.
2,162 reviews7,581 followers
October 28, 2022
What a whirlwind of a novel. What a journey this took me on! Twists and turns that had my heart rate spiking. Heartbreaking, raw, gritty.
This is so unique to this author. Completely out of the box. Easiest 5 stars given!! Highly recommend!! I can’t wait to see what this author brings us next!
Profile Image for Mira☁️.
48 reviews160 followers
May 27, 2021
Full review

we follow our main character Josie when she was 19 years old, she was abducted from her home for almost a year. she was sexually assaulted and tortured for ten months in an abandoned warehouse before she finally escaped her hellish prison.
and eight years later a body of a young woman is found chained in the basement of a vacant house, Cincinnati Police Detective Zach Copeland is instantly reminded of the crime committed against Josie Stratton. Zach was just a rookie on the perimeter of that case, but he’s never forgotten the traumatized woman with the haunted eyes. As more information emerges, the crimes take on an even more sinister similarity. But Josie’s attacker died by suicide. Does the city have a copycat on its hands? . Zach vowed to protect Josie from this copycat.

OMG, this book I can’t even put it into words, The twists and turns in this book were AMAZING. Josie was such a brave woman after all of this trauma she remained brave, strong, and loving, and Zach’s character was beautiful, he is such a kind and understanding character, The way he treated Josie was beautiful.

I was in a reading slump and decided to read one of Mia’s books and omg I couldn’t put it down. The plot twist at the end was shocking I didn’t see that coming and I couldn’t predict what will happens to them next. Overall this book was amazing, I enjoyed it and I’m kinda out of my reading slump.
Profile Image for Jade Violet.
328 reviews424 followers
September 23, 2019
Mia Sheridan has written a masterful book. I have never read her before but she knocked me on my ass, invaded my being, scared the hell out of me and broke my heart to pieces while somehow putting it back together again at the end in her own unique formation - not quite the same as when I went in but somehow the broken pieces were melded in a way I could accept.

Where the Blame Lies is definitely Josie Stratton's story. A college girl out with friends at a bar 5 minutes walking distance from her apartment, who calls it a night, bids her friends goodbye and after being abducted from her very own bed, does not see freedom or the light of day due to her abductor, tormentor, rapist for almost a year. The book goes back and forth chapter to chapter between those 10 months chained in the middle of nowhere and back to the present and what is happening now eight years later. I'll be honest, I don't know if I could've kept going if there hadn't been those breaks to the present day. With all the dark books I've read, this is the first that has so indelibly shaken me that I wanted to turn away. And it's not because of shock value, Josie's story, hell, the entire story is so well written, so full of feeling and fight and the bittersweet pang of longing and loss that it's a thing unto itself.

Since it cuts to 8 years later and Josie is now out and no longer chained, she obviously got away and she's trying her damndest to live a life. And although she's still a ghost of the girl she once was, I couldn't have admired a person more for surviving and choosing to try and choose life every day. What she lost in that warehouse was so much more than her innocence, so much more than her freedom. What she lost in those 10 months is the most precious gift on this earth. And yet she still keeps moving.

It should be enough that she be left alone in whatever peace she can find but 8 years after, it seems there is a copycat filling the same M.O. in the same old hunting grounds and thus she meets Zach Copeland, a detective who was new on the force when she was first recovered and has never forgotten the broken girl with fight that escaped and lived to tell. Now a lead detective, he's assigned to the case and realizing the two are somehow connected, he comes into Josie's life. There is a romance there but for me, it took a huge back seat to the thriller and suspense that this book was. Reading this as a group read, we were all posting like a mini CSI unit updating theories and pointing out to each other little 'leads' we were following or possible clues. Because Mia Sheridan wrote this book so that you're absolutely hooked. You just cannot turn away from this. No matter how horrid, how grim or how heartbreaking, it's almost as if being compelled to solve this case and give not just Josie her justice, but all the poor victims that follow with even worse outcomes.

This is a ride by the seat of your pants book that doesn't let go. A game of true cat and mouse. But it's also the remarkable struggle of one girl/woman who has had so much taken from her, including a piece of her heart and soul who doesn't give in, who keeps fighting the good fight and shamed me more than once into what it really means to be strong and truly be a survivor.

Josie will always have a piece of me and this isn't a book I'll forget.

As for the culprit and the storyline as a whole, buckle your seatbelt because it's a twisted, wild and crazy ride with a sick and deranged character always one step ahead, and no matter how much you figure out and nail, you will never see the end coming!!

5***** brilliant, captivated, heartbroken stars for a damn fine first rate book.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,077 reviews13.3k followers
May 25, 2022
I was excited to pick this up because I knew it was a romantic suspense and I love Mia Sheridan's books. This one is more suspense than romance, but I still really enjoyed it! The first thing I loved about this book is that it takes place in Oxford, OH. I actually one to college at Miami University and I lived in Oxford for four years! So that was cool. This was a really engaging mystery and starts off when our heroine is abducted when she's in college and kept captive for almost a year. She is abused by her kidnapper and quickly becomes pregnant. We know she has a child in captivity and that she eventually escaped. Now, almost ten years later, a copycat has emerged and women are showing up dead in situations exactly like hers. The cop that had helped protect her when she escapes is now a detective and taking on the case. The two are trying to figure out who the new killer is and end up falling for each other in the process. The story flashes back to when Josie was kidnapped to now when they're trying to find the person responsible for the currently attacks. I enjoyed the slow development of the romance between Josie and Zach. It did take a backseat to the mystery, but I was so hooked on the mystery that I didn't mind too much. This definitely had some twists and turns I didn't expect and I really enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,573 followers
March 12, 2020
<35 STARS<3

What a brilliant story,I was speechless!I couldn't put it down, it has suspense and it's so different from her other books!It was an emotional read, my heart was aching!


What a rollercoaster of emotions.And the twists omg it make me guessing all the time!I loved Zach and Josie. I wanted so much to hug Josie, and Zach is protective.

Where the Blame Lies was captivating and intense!


Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,517 reviews3,772 followers
November 2, 2019
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This wasn't quite what I expect of Ms.Sheridan, but I still enjoyed it! I like the occasional captivity theme book, so this was good for the fact I was in the mood for it! I liked both characters and I do agree with other reviewers in that this did seem more like a suspense with just a side of romance. I typically struggle with suspenseful romance for that reason -- the imbalance between the romance scenes and the suspense. I wouldn't say I necessarily struggled with it, but I definitely would have liked more romance! I also am greedy and would've liked more of an ending. But! All in all, I enjoyed it!

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Josie and Zach's story. Josie was a victim of a horrific crime and Zach was a rookie policeman assigned to guard her door. Many years later, Zach has the realization that some new crimes remind him of Josie's case that was thought to have been solved. He has to reach out to Josie to get some help on his new case. Josie is simply trying to survive still after her traumatic past, but she is instantly willing to help out when she hears what's going on. There are some suspenseful moments, some sexy times, some sad scenes...and they get a HEA ending.

Point Of View (POV): This alternated between Josie and Zach's POV. It also had flashbacks woven in. I thought it was done well to where it wasn't confusing.

Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well.

Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.

H (Hero) rating: 4 stars. Zach. I liked him. He was strong and protective for the h, but he also allowed her space to process things when she needed it.

h (heroine) rating: 4 stars. Josie. I appreciated how she never broke and how strong she was. I liked her too.

Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Good. They have some good tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Not in the typical way

Sex scene with OW or OM: Kind of

Cheating: Not between the mcs

Separation: Yes

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This ended well with what I would call a HEA. I still wanted more though!

Safety: This one is probably Not Safe for most safety gang readers depending on personal preferences.
Profile Image for Radd Reader.
870 reviews445 followers
September 21, 2019
“Who is to blame?”

Work? Sleep? Family obligations? Forget those because this book is completely unputdownable!!!

My attempt to convey the awesomeness of this book is going to fall way short in this review. I don’t think I can adequately articulate the roller coaster of emotions and the multitude of “who done it” guesses I had as I read through this book.

There is definitely a dark element to this book as Josie is held captive for almost a year and is repeatedly raped. The story flips back and forth between “before” and now, so at least it is not 300 pages of her captivity. You get a break from the captivity aspect as you flip to the future and watch her relationship with Zach unfold and follow along with the investigation as they try to determine who the bad guy is. I really appreciated the break because Josie in captivity was heartbreaking. This girl endured unimaginable things. 💔

And here’s another thing that I will not adequately be able to convey......Josie. Is Freaking. AMAZING! ❣️❣️I don’t think I have ever met a heroine who I have admired more. Her sheer determination, her tenacity, her back bone and her emotional stability through all of her ordeal (actually her entire life) just flat out blew me away. How can someone go through what she did and have the life attitude that she does? Her perseverance and sacrificial love....I’m just speechless. Clearly I’m girl-crushing here. ❤️

And of course I can’t overlook the hero. Detective Zach Copeland doesn’t have any flaws either. He’s good at his job, cares about people and will go the the ends of the earth to support Josie with whatever she needs. He will leave no stone unturned to find this killer and bring closure to the many people affected. Yes....definitely loving him too 🥰

The “who done it” element was CRAZY! 🥴 Omg I must have had 100 different guesses and theories (and I’m usually a really good detective and can figure out the bad guy). I read this with one of my groups and all of us were all over the map. So, if you want something that will completely stump you.....here you go.

When all was said and done, I was emotionally wiped out. The heart palpitations, cringing, nail-biting, white-knuckling, guessing, theorizing, and crying (yes, I said crying 😭) left me completed depleted. I have a major book hangover and might need a day or two to recover.

I can’t say enough fantastic things about this book. It’s a journey to be experienced and if you can handle the darker element, I definitely wouldn’t let this book pass you by.

Triggers: rape, abuse
280 reviews82 followers
October 9, 2019
I'm such a fan of this author. I'm so happy to give this story five stars.

Intense, suspenseful, sometimes difficult to read, but I was engaged from the first the beginning and could not put this down.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,311 reviews219 followers
September 29, 2019
Dark, sad, intense, emotional and so very bittersweet.

4++++ stars. Romantic Suspense with gnarly twists and turns, **strong writing!!..

Mia Sheridan has given me whiplash with her last few books but in a good way (i.e. exceptional and captivating writing), they have all been so different from each other and also unexpected departures from the more traditional romantic style of her earlier works.

This book is much less of a romance and more of a dark and sad story that is very believable in terms of storyline and outcomes.
If I am completely honest I found it to be a fairly depressing read in "emotional" terms. It was so extremely intense at times but I did feel compelled to push through even when my stomach said - NO......✋STOP......

I am sure that many readers will point out that there is still HOPE to be found in this bittersweet story along with all the heartbreak and trauma that is experienced by Josie (our main character and one of the strongest heroines that I have ever come across in my book travels ) but for me it was so hard to overlook everything that she had LOST along the way.

For stories like this there really is no happily ever after but the author gave us an acceptable and realistic ending in my opinion and I have to respect that.

depress black and white GIF
Justice is not always served and not every wrong can be righted but life still goes on and so must we!!!! my own personal takeaway from this gutwrenching reading experience

**This an exceptional read in so many ways but I simply cannot 5 star 🌟 it as I "personally" didn't enjoy some of the outcomes even if they did have a very real feel to them and I also struggled with the massive amount of abuse this young woman suffered.
I do have to say though that Mia Sheridan really impressed me here with her "stellar" writing skills, so much of this book was extremely riveting reading and kudos to the author... it was just so sad.
For the "brave" or readers who honestly don't mind or even enjoy a certain amount of angst in their reading- then this one is for you!!!
Profile Image for Pam Godwin.
Author 43 books8,939 followers
December 10, 2019
Beautiful. Tragic. Inspirational.
This gritty story resonates with the human soul in such a powerful, long-lasting way. It will gut you, hearten you, keep you guessing, blow your mind, and make you desperate for more of Mia Sheridan's masterful words.
Oh, what brilliant, well-thought-out, three-dimensional character arcs. The heroine's journey is gripping and painful, a story of survival and understanding love. You won't just root for her. You'll ache to hold her hand, to hug her, to never let her go.
The villain is the epitome of evil, but... As each page scrapes deeper, revealing bit by unpredictable bit, you'll reach a dawning of understanding. Everything you thought you knew becomes so twisted up in grief and brokenness--and dare I say, compassion?--for someone you never want to root for. Yet those unexpected feelings find their way inside you, carefully sketched across your heart by the author's skillful pen.
You won't walk away from this book the same.
This is a romantic thriller, a mystery shrouded in darkness. But the dark is perfectly balanced by a love story with sexy adult scenes and an overall ambiance of hope.
I highly recommend this to all romance readers.
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,150 reviews1,206 followers
March 21, 2020



Josie thought her life would finally be normal. After surviving 10 months shackled and abused in a warehouse eight years ago, she's finally more or less happy in her life. Or at least she's keeping busy fixing up this old B&B.

But suddenly this good looking cop Zach shows up and tells her that a woman has been found dead. With lots of similarities to her case. But her bad guy killed himself. What is happening? And is she in danger??





Grrrr Mia
- there she goes again - making me cry all through the book! ☺


This time it was a bit different though. It's not a sweet and heartbreaking romance thingy. It was a real thriller. A romantic suspense novel. But we still have sparks and romance and sexiness of course.☺

I loved this story!

You immediately fall for Josie and Zach and you want them to end up together. But they have to fight through a lot and survive a lot until we might get that happy end!

There are so many heartbreaking moments - especially those back-in-time chapters when we see what Josie went through.

And then we have those mysterious moments, suspensy moments, dangerous moments, exciting moments. But also those sweet and adorable and sparky moments.

And we have hope. There's so much to hope for. For both Josie and Zach. I'm not telling you what there is to hope for other than surviving this book - you need to read it.☺


WHERE THE BLAME LIES was such a beautiful & heartbreaking romantic suspense story! I adored Josie & Zach! Run to your nearest amazon asap - they'll be sold out in no time! Or they might hang around Netflix soon if I'd have any say in it! ☺

A tiny little problem I had while reading. ☺
The word CRIMINALIST appears in this book about 200 times and I have NEVER ever in all my romance and thriller reading years heard the word/job CRIMINALIST. Never! It's a crime scene investigator person. So weird. I googled it even - they exist, but why have I never heard of them? Why does television hide them from us? Or is this something locally to Cincinnetti or Sweden or something?? Sooo very weird. ☺


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Profile Image for Sabrina.
3,234 reviews1,934 followers
August 20, 2020
Amazon US * Amazon UK

The second I read this blurb I knew that I had to read the book, which luckily enough for me I read the blurb after the book was live. I started it right away and devoured this story. I was captivated right away and I'm pretty sure I didn't move from my spot on the couch once I downloaded it.

The story is told is dual POV's from Detective Zach Copeland and Josie Stratton, and goes back and forth from the present to the past when Josie was being held captive by a mad man. When similar crimes to hers start happening in the present, Zach knows that he needs to protect Josie in case this new killer has his sights set on her. During the investigation questions come up that have Josie re-thinking everything she knew about the man who held her for those terrifying months, and together with Zach, now her protector, she needs to help solve these new crimes and hopefully get some more closure on her own past.

I can honestly say this story was one of the most suspenseful ones I've read in a long time. It had me on the edge of my seat and constantly wondering what was happening and what was going to happen. I thought I knew at so many points, but then I would be proved wrong. And that ending was completely unexpected. I'm not honestly sure if I'm mad at it or not but it certainly had me wide eyed and enthralled with the story.

Yes, there is some romance in this book but the majority of the book focuses on the suspense and personally I loved that. We still got to see a connection between Zach and Josie, which I liked, but I was happy that I was able to see more of the crime aspects to their book than anything else. I definitely recommend reading this book, especially for fans of a captivating suspense.
January 1, 2020
Audio...4 stars
Story...3.5 stars

I mostly enjoyed the story. There were some really emotional as well as dark scenes that were really well done. But when it came to the romance, it fell completely flat. The H and h were boring. I felt no connection between them. Honestly, if the romance part was written out, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more.
Profile Image for Stacie.
1,970 reviews193 followers
September 17, 2019
5+ "All the Stars!" Stars!!

I am not going to give one thing away. What I will say is Josie has all my love and respect. This is quite different for Mia Sheridan and I loved every sentence. I'm really hoping we get more Thriller/Mysteries from her. This book was genius! Happy reading!!
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,510 reviews4,570 followers
September 18, 2019
3.5 stars - Romantic Suspense

This one is hard to rate/review because my feelings about it are sort of mixed. I was sucked into the story, and the suspense aspect was gripping and kept me guessing.

But the extreme torture and brutality that the heroine endures is graphic and really hard to read about. I just didn’t feel like someone who endured such intensive, traumatic abuse like Josie did would be as well adjusted, and it never really mentions her receiving counseling/therapy.

I liked the hero, Zach, and I rooted for him and Josie together. I did bawl my eyes out toward the end when . The epilogue was bittersweet and touching, but I didn’t like that Overall, I liked this, but it’s heartbreaking and gutwrenching at times and not an easy read.
Profile Image for Korrie’s Korner.
1,067 reviews13.6k followers
March 12, 2020
6 shuttering brilliant stars!

Casus belli. Where the blame lies. This book took me way outside my comfort zone, and made me think and look at things very differently around me. Mia dug deep, and boy did it pay off. This book was so unlike anything she’s ever done, and I must say, I’m slightly terrified of her at the moment. This story chilled me to the bone. I loved the mysterious element that it had to it. The suspense. The horror! There were times I was literally gripping the edge of the chair not knowing what in the world was going to happen! Josie was so strong and brave. A true hero with all that she endured..the torture..and other horrors left me in such awe of her strength. Zach, the detective that won her heart and her trust was so perfect. His patience, protectiveness and the care that he showed her really touched my heart. He was her rock..her safe place. I wouldn’t dare give anything away here, but just know it’s quite the roaster coaster. Do yourself a favor. Stop what you’re reading and just pick this up. Once you start reading, I dare you to stop. You won’t be able to.
Profile Image for Wil Loves Books!.
1,120 reviews461 followers
May 8, 2020
This was a great book! Mia Sheridan is a fantastic writer and with this book she demonstrates that she can practically write anything. This is a great thriller that will keep you guessing from beginning to end. I loved the story and the characters and all the twists and turns the story took that I just didn’t see coming. It got me hooked from beginning to end. This is not your typical Mia Sheridan book, since she’s known for her epic love stories. But this thriller/ romantic suspense is all sorts of amazing and has one heck of a heroine that will absolutely fall in love with! Absolutely recommend ❤️

PS: The audiobook, narrated by two of my all time favorites Callie Dalton and Teddy Hamilton is simply everything and then some!
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,346 reviews1,419 followers
September 14, 2019
4 Stars!
(ARC provided by author)

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Josie Stratton’s life was forever changed when she was a nineteen year old carefree college student at the University of Cincinnati. She was abducted by a monster who imprisoned her for months before she finally escaped. Now she’s a 28 yr. old woman who has endured enough personal hell to last a lifetime. She’s a survivor trying to move on with her life. She longed for peace and to be anonymous. She’s finally in a good place emotionally, and looking forward to a fresh start when the past seems to be knocking at her door.

Zach Copeland is a detective for the Cincinnati police department. When the body of a young woman is found in a basement he is instantly reminded of a similar case from almost a decade ago involving Josie Stratton. He could never forget the college girl with the haunted eyes. Now it appears the city may have a copycat killer recreating crimes.

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With a killer on the loose, it’s a possibility Josie could be in danger, and it’s Zach’s responsibility to guard her and keep her safe. He felt an undeniable pull toward her that went beyond physical attraction, but she was his job, and off-limits to him.

Josie had spent the last eight years working on herself. At times she thought she was broken beyond repair, but the man tasked with protecting her is making her feel things she didn’t know were possible anymore. It had been so long since she’d responded this way to a man. Zach looked like a Hollywood movie star and was absolutely gorgeous! As he becomes her hero, she starts to reclaim some of the things she thought were lost. Will the past threaten her future, or will Josie finally get a second chance at happiness?

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-She felt the subtle shift between them, the way he was looking at her not as a cop looked at the victim he was protecting, but as a man looked at a woman.

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Where The Blame Lies by Mia Sheridan is an emotional, romantic suspense story full of mystery, action, danger, and intrigue. Nothing is what it seems, and it will mess with your mind and keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to solve the murders and figure everything out. It’s a dark, horrific, twisted can’t put down thriller that will keep you wanting more. Just fantastic!!!

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Profile Image for Syndi.
2,901 reviews634 followers
December 30, 2019
Oh my! How I miss Mia Sheridan books. Where the Blame Lies really a cure for that aching lost for her works. Its been a while since I read her wonderful book.

Where the Blame Lies is a mystery suspense romance. There is trigger warning such as sexual assault, child abuse, murder and kidnapping.
Mia Sheridan blends perfectly the aspect of mystery and romance. The suspense is really alive until the end of the book. The crime problem solving does not damper the romance. Josie is a survivor. She is a kick ass heroine. At the beginning we know her as timid, scared and nervous heroine and at the end of the book, she is a warrior and survivor.

Zack is sweet, strong and protestor. He helps Josie to gain her inner strength and heal her with the his love for Josie. The plot is twisting and gripping until the end.

5 stars
Profile Image for Birjis.
435 reviews314 followers
April 8, 2020
This was a juxtapose read. It was dark and has the talent for captivating the reader from the beginning. The story has a disturbing edge right from the start. The story shifts from past and present in interval, each one chapter compelling you to know what happens on either event of the time. A murderer who is not expert but manages to stun us with his talent and play us (the readers) and the characters. The main genius, Mia Sheridan, she did a draining great work in bringing out the highlight of the story. This is a crime/ thriller romance which has grotesque killing and gritty, suspensful events. In a way it's dark but has horror and uncomfortable predicament.

Jesie Stratton (28) has past of traumatic horror that has you sympathize her. When Josie was a student (19) she was kidnapped, raped and pregnant all within the span of 10 months of her captivity. Josie escaped (more like allowed to escape) but the kidnapper took her baby and for this she had another scar that stuck her to past. Detective Zach Copeland attended a new murder scene that was similar to Josie's case. He was rookie back then. He remembers Josie as a strong woman who came out of the hell strong and determined. Finding Josie again to search the killer and protecting her from the danger, Zach picks the responsibility beyond personal. Josie was broken and searching for her baby. She was barely making her ends meet. The past didn't stay behind, the traumas and abuses comes back to haunt her, this time emotionally. The investigation was awesome, who the killer or suspect was hard to define. I was giddy and impatient. The pacing of the story, the characters development, the horrific murders and most of all there was no predictability - all are 10 on 10. The murderer was simply not some zombie on a rage/hungry kill, he had abuses and feelings of his own. I comprehended him at some point. He is one of my favourite villian now.

An talentful murderer, a selfless heroine and a dashing cop take us on an uphill of brain hitting story. I had tears in my eyes for the selfless act Josie had done, my heart broke for the murderer and the good cop healed me at the end. The story ends with a bittersweet suspenseful edge but there is HEA. You will be on an emotional and undeniable pull with this story.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,072 reviews7 followers
September 26, 2019
Another masterpiece from Mia Sheridan!
More suspense, little romance, but this heroine needs a lot of romancing!
Couldn't read some pages, skipped a lot
Very dark
It's written totally different than her others books
Profile Image for Carolyn.
111 reviews58 followers
July 19, 2022
“All of us are to blame. For the fighting to move on rather than lashing out, for choosing to stand up over and over again after we collapse, for working to heal the broken parts of ourselves so the shards don’t wound the world.”

Wow this book.🥹👌
Profile Image for Carla Bulian.
1,265 reviews239 followers
September 17, 2019
This story was great and completely twisted. The author was perfect. Thank you.
I unfortunately, didn’t get it the love between the characters, it looked like superficial and desperate bond.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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