Book Reviews

Review: Tender Beasts by Liselle Sambury

After Delicious Monsters Sambury has solidified a spot on my auto-buy author list. And Tender Beasts is another psychological thriller playing with unreliability, belief, and family. It’s perfect for fans of family secrets. Keep reading this book review of Tender Beasts for my full thoughts.


With the death of Sunny’s mother, matriarch of the wealthy Behre family, Sunny’s once picture-perfect life is thrown into turmoil. Her mother had groomed her to be the family’s next leader, so Sunny is confused when the only instructions her mother leaves is a mysterious note: “Take care of Dom.”

The problem is, her youngest brother, Dom, has always been a near-stranger to Sunny…and seemingly a dangerous one, if found guilty of his second-degree murder charge. Still, Sunny is determined to fulfill her mother’s dying wish. But when a classmate is gruesomely murdered, and Sunny finds her brother with blood on his hands, her mother’s simple request becomes a lot more complicated. Dom swears he’s innocent, and although Sunny isn’t sure she believes him, she takes it upon herself to look into the murder—made all the more urgent by the discovery of another body. And another.

As Sunny and Dom work together to track down the culprit, Sunny realizes her other siblings have their own dark secrets. Soon she may have to choose: preserve the family she’s always loved or protect the brother she barely knows—and risk losing everything her mother worked so hard to build.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Tender Beasts is a book that doesn’t allow easy answers. It’s a book committed to family. The family which lies to us, keeps secrets from us to protect us, and leaves us in the dark. It’s also about the family who supports us when it’s difficult, who cover our backs without asking, and who know the power of loyalty. Tender Beasts will keep you on the edge of your seat. Sambury’s latest book is about images and legacy. What we will do to protect our legacy and our family.

My favorite part of the story was the way Sambury plays with the supernatural, with the belief. What is really happening and who is really telling the truth? None of these have easy answers in Tender Beasts. Letters and journal entries from Sunny’s mother cast doubts and illuminate fears. It allows the readers to wonder if it’s delusion, supernatural entities, or careful excuses. I also enjoyed Sunny’s character. Everyone thinks she’s too ‘sunny’ for the darkness. But little do they know it’s all an image. A construction.

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And to watch Sunny explore herself and her image in this dire and terrifying circumstance was intriguing. Sunny explores what people think they know about us – these images – versus what we think about them versus the truth. Tender Beasts examines the people we love. Are they capable of the terrible? Of the cruel? To protect the ones we love? Find Tender Beasts on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, & Blackwells.


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