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Joe Goldberg returns! You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes @CarolineKepnes @SimomSchuster #Gifted

“Joe Goldberg is back. And he’s going to start a family – even if it kills him.

Joe Goldberg is done with cities, done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cosy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library – he does know a thing or two about books – and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old-fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.”

I know that we aren’t meant to love him, he’s a nightmare, especially to women – a contemporary Ted Bundy mixed with aspects of Lothario, well a warped one, but I can’t get enough of Joe Goldberg. In ‘You Love Me’, the third instalment of the series, we begin to see Joe moving to another area and *surprise* he falls head over heals in love with his boss, a librarian, one who isn’t as accessible as Joe would like, but when did that ever stop him?

You Love Me is another twisted love story, one where Mr Goldberg has to jump through hoops to get that which his heart desires but with those lurking in the shadows from his past life we feel the pressure that Joe is under to reel in his next victim…. I mean love. I adored You Love Me because we begin to see Joe thinking more logically about his path to true love but yet we can’t help but face palm when things don’t quite go to plan – how much amount of blood must one have on their hands before they just give up and live the peaceful, non-eventful life of a hermit? The object of Joe’s heart is Mary Kay, a book lover who is a submissive personality caged between the attitude of her daughter and the dominance of her feminist best friend. As Joe gets closer to Mary Kay, we just know we are in for a psychological whiplash of a ride, while Joe’s new life begins to crumble away around him. I suppose the heart wants what the heart wants doesn’t it?

As with all the books in this series, Caroline has us clasped tightly with her character weaving and her storyline unravelling, her writing is intoxicating which slowly burns into pacey, attention grabbing novel all about obsession and lust. Within the pages of this novel, deep rooted societal issues are present, including stalking and gaslighting. Joe presents this unsavable character that also shows a flicker of emotion in relation to his past life, I felt this showed some sort of humanity and consciousness behind the eyes of our present-day psychopath. We tend to associate stalkers as interpersonally unintelligent, fearful of the female kind but I think Joe Goldberg’s character, throughout the series, especially in a domestic setting such as in You Love Me, shows that sociopaths can be charming, appearing ‘normal’ with an ability to fit into society – I think these are the most dangerous of all, as Caroline proves.

You Love Me is the third book in the Joe Goldberg series, although it possibly could be read as a standalone, I’d highly recommend reading the first two; You and Hidden Bodies – I also insist that you binge-watch the hit Netflix show You – seasons 1 and 2!

I’d like to thank Simon & Schuster who gifted me a copy of You Love Me, written by Caroline Kepnes, in exchange for an honest review. {Requested copy}

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