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Monday, August 10, 2020

Carnal Knowledge by Rachael Tamayo (VBT: Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Carnal Knowledge by author Rachael Tamayo!

My Book Review

Carnal Knowledge by Rachael Tamayo
Book 2: A Deadly Sins Novel Series
Publisher: Tangled Tree Publishing
Publication Date: July 11, 2020
Format: Paperback - 301 pages
               Kindle - 1894 KB / 229 pages
               Nook - 549 KB
ISBN: 978-1922359124
BNID: 2940163932160
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Buy The Book:

Buy The Series: A Deadly Sins Novel Series (Standalone Books)
Book 1: Break My Bones
Book 2: Carnal Knowledge

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

What do you do when you know you’re on a serial killer’s hit list?

Six women are dead, and Wren Addison is the next victim on the SMS Killer’s list—or so she’s been told after waking in a pool of blood with no memory of the events that have transpired.

Newly separated and struggling to start her life over after her husband’s infidelity, Wren tries to remember what happened to her, but nothing is adding up as more horrors unfold around her. With her life on a timer and the murderer taunting her, she realizes there is nothing typical about this serial killer.

Wren is pushed to the edge as she dances between knowing she’s likely to die and fighting to be the first to survive. As the truth starts to emerge, she rises to the challenge and decides not to go down without a fight.

Someone is going to die, and she’s determined it won’t be her.

Book Excerpt:

You really don’t know how you feel about some things until they happen to you. You can guess. You can pretend you’d be strong, that you’d stand on the rooftops and shout your indignation as you shake your fist to the skies, but those are only guesses. Hopes. What we think we know about ourselves. They say no one ever really knows anyone. I think it’d be a safe bet to say that we don’t really know ourselves either. You think you do. The “Oh, I’d never do that! Look at how she’s acting. If I were in her shoes….” but you don’t. No one does.

I said the same things to myself when I walked out on my husband, Ricky, months ago. Those thoughts went through my head as I closed the door behind me for what I told myself was the last time. I wouldn’t let myself cry as I said goodbye to him, only feeling the first tears fall when I heard the click behind me, the locking of the door to what used to be our home together. When he didn’t chase me and beg me to stay.

I wept in that moment, wondering how much pain a person could take.

Over the days that followed, it faded into something more akin to numbness as I found an apartment and got a new checking account. As I arranged to find movers to get my things while he was at work, all while thanking God that we had no children.

Now I find myself in that place once more, though for an altogether different reason. Something has happened to me, something that leaves my body sore and my head feeling as if I have a hangover. These are the moments that tell you who you really are, leaving you exposed to your own darkness.

I found that out about myself. No one ever imagines themselves in this position. You’re not prepared. No amount of self-defense can prepare you for the shock that is the next morning, waking up in a bloody mess, knowing you’ve been sexually assaulted.

I can’t even say it out loud. I won’t. I refuse to do it. It makes it real, and I don’t want it to be real. I want it to be some horrible nightmare that I can wake up from.

But it’s not.

It’s the middle of the night. I’m sitting on the floor of my shower, the water finally not running pink anymore. My face feels puffy from crying as I carefully wash the wounds, the soap burning. I wince and then stand up before the water turns cold. Sitting here won’t accomplish anything.

I look down at the mark on my left breast, swollen and purple. The definite outline of teeth, broken skin, tender to touch. It’s not the only place I’m hurting, but it’s the only one I can easily see. The only one I can’t really hide from. It’s a slap in the face, a calling card from someone I can’t remember. A face that won’t ever haunt my dreams.

So, what do I do now? It’s about 4:00 a.m. Do I call someone? The police? My friend Lily? My husband? Maybe Alex? Surely she would believe me.

I blink away tears, dipping my head back into the hot spray to wash the blood out of my hair.

No, I won’t tell anyone. It’s too embarrassing. Too humiliating. This big foreboding thing happened to me. What they warned us all about. My drink was tampered with, and someone hurt me. I broke the rules, and I got this for it.

I should have listened, I suppose.

I feel sick knowing what someone did to me while I was asleep. Or was I? Maybe I did fight and just can’t remember. I’d fight, surely. I wouldn’t just lie there and take it, right? The thought gives me some minimal sliver of peace, like passing through the eye of the hurricane—you know it’s not real, not the end, but you relish it just the same.

By the time I get out of the shower, I realize I haven’t really slept. My alarm will go off at seven for work so I can catch the bus and be on time for the morning meeting. I could get three hours of sleep before that, maybe.

I shut off the water, suddenly a bit afraid. Knowing someone was here gives me the creeps. Makes me wish I’d gotten that gun Ricky tried so hard to get me to agree to, the one I refused. I wouldn’t give in, fearing some horrible accident. He kept his locked up, and I never bothered to learn to shoot. He begged to teach me, tried to get me to hold his Glock to “get the feel of it.” Nope. Now I regret it.

In the months I’ve lived here, I haven’t been afraid to be on my own until now. Someone got to me. I’m without defense in my own home.

My Book Review:

In Carnal Knowledge, the second book in the A Deadly Sins Novel Series, author Rachael Tamayo weaves a riveting psychological thriller that easily draws the reader in as they follow Wren Addison, as she fights to stay alive after being targeted to be victim number seven by a serial killer that the police have tagged the SMS Killer.

The story centers around twenty-six year old legal assistant Wren Addison, who is trying to move on with her life after separating from her adulterous husband, ex-cop now police academy instructor Ricky Addison.

Wren goes to a club with co-worker Lily, but something is put into her drink, and Wren wakes up the next morning in a pool of blood on her bed. She's been sexually assaulted, but has no recollection of what happened, and because she feels too humiliated and embarrassed, she chooses not to report the assault.

Fast forward two weeks later, Wren goes to a house party with Lily and sees Ricky there, she gets upset and goes home. Once again she wakes up the next morning to find that she's been sexually assaulted, and this time she hadn't been drunk, and still decides not to report the assault. But when she gets into a car accident later that morning, the ER doctors find the bite mark on her left breast and ask if she has been assaulted, and she admits it and shows them a tiny bruise in the crook of her arm from a needle mark. The ER doctors call the police and Ricky, who insists on protecting her, especially after she receives a text message from a number that she doesn't know, with a naked picture of herself in bed out cold and with the bite mark. Ricky explains that Wren's life is in danger, that a serial killer that the police have dubbed the SMS Killer has killed six women in two years, that he toys with them before he kills them, and that she has been targeted as his seventh victim. Wren has to decide if she's going to let the serial killer claim her as his next victim, or if she's going to fight for her life!

Carnal Knowledge is a captivating and gritty tale, rich in detail, vivid descriptions, with enough intriguing and suspenseful twists and turns that leaves the reader with no other option than to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.

Author Rachael Tamayo transports the reader into this fast-paced white-knuckle storyline with her creative interweaving of a psychological cat-n-mouse game between Wren and the serial killer, as she fights to stay alive while the SMS Killer toys with her as he targets her as his seventh victim. The level of suspense keeps the reader riveted and so engrossed, while leaving them holding their breath until the surprise ending. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Carnal Knowledge is a scary good psychological thriller that provides the reader with one heck of an adrenaline rush. It is a must-read for the true diehard psychological thriller junkie!

Carnal Knowledge is the second book in the A Deadly Sins Novel Series, but it is a stand alone read.


About The Author

International Amazon bestselling author Rachael Tamayo is a former 911 emergency operator and police dispatcher. After twelve years in those dark depths, she’s gained a unique insight into mental illness, human behaviour, and the general darkness of humanity that she likes to weave into her books. A formerly exclusive romance author tried her hand at thrillers in her award-winning novel, “Crazy Love,” and loved it so much that she decided not to turn back. Born and raised in Texas, Rachael lives in the Houston area with her husband of almost fifteen years, and their two young children.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Win A $15 Amazon Gift Card

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Rachael Tamayo. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on July 11, 2020 and runs through August 16, 2020. Void where prohibited.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Event

Tour Participants:

07/11 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads

07/13 Interview @ BooksChatter

07/14 Review @ The World As I See It

07/15 Interview @ CMash Reads

07/16 Showcase @ delightfullybooked

07/17 Review @ Books with Bircky

07/20 Showcase @ the bookworm lodge

07/23 Guest post @ Its Raining Books

07/25 Showcase @ Airing My Dirty Laundry

07/29 Review @ Nesies Place

07/30 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

07/31 Guest post @ Reading A Page Turner

08/02 Showcase @ Our Town Book Reviews

08/03 Showcase @ Im Into Books

08/04 Showcase @ The Pulp and Mystery Shelf

08/05 Review @ Quiet Fury Books

08/06 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

08/10 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews


08/13 Review @ Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

08/14 Interview @ A Blue Million Books


  1. Your review has me wanting to get a copy asap.

    1. You have to read both of the books in the series even though they are stand alone reads. They are that good. :)