To the unsuspecting eye Dee Stephens has a perfect life as the vicar’s wife: a devoted marriage to her charismatic husband Reverend Vincent, an adoring congregation and a beautiful daughter.
EVERY SINNER HAS A FUTURE
But beneath the surface, Dee is suffocating. Vincent is in control, and he knows her every sin. Desperate, Dee escapes into a heady affair with Cal, an old schoolmate.
EVERY CONFESSION HAS A PRICE
But is Cal the saviour she thinks he is? What dark secrets does he harbour? And to what lengths will Vincent go to when he uncovers the truth?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. From reading some of Caroline England’s books previously I knew I could expect a character driven novel. I wasn’t disappointed, all of the characters who feature are strong, especially the two who were extremely unlikeable. There are probably readers who have differing views but I took a dislike to Victor, obviously, but in many ways more so to Britt, partner of Mari, Dee’s sister. I absolutely loathed her. It is difficult to say why, but I’m sure if you read this book you will see my reasoning.
To an outsider Dee has the perfect life. Married to the good looking, charming vicar, with a teenage daughter, Abbey, but nothing is as it seems. Victor is controlling, dangerously secretive and manipulative over their relationship with Abbey, his mother is overbearing and demanding. Dee herself is lonely, feeling guilt over the death of her young son and hurt over the fractious relationship with Abbey. It is easy to see that she is struggling. Her only ally is Mari who has problems of her own. When Dee starts her relationship with Cal she feels relaxed in his company but he also has major issues and isn’t the person she thinks he is.
Whilst there is a lot of focus on Dee’s life there is also plenty on Mari. Initially it was Mari’s story I preferred to read, mainly because I didn’t see what Dee was going through. Mari was much more transparent and I could see and understand her frustration and pain in her relationship with Britt.
A fascinating look at a small group of people all who have had to deal with heartbreak and who are all suffering from events that happened in the past.
If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Jo and Kate have been friends for years since they met at boarding school when they were eight years old. They appeared to have little in common, had different backgrounds but they supported each other throughout their school years. Both bullied for different reasons and I had sympathy for each of them. The boarding school in the book is nothing like the ones that featured in the books I read during my childhood. I preferred the schools in The Chalet Girl series and Malory Towers, St Luke’s was much more unfriendly.
But it was harder to feel sympathy thirty years later, when you could see how they lived their lives and treated their loved ones. I did prefer Jo, and could see her Barnsley roots even though she tried her hardest to disguise them. Her family were my favourite characters in the book, especially her mother Joyce.
Grief, loss, guilt and alcohol all feature heavily in the book but the more sinister side is more evident in the second half when you also saw betrayal. But I also started to see a warmer side to Jo. She seemed more natural, closer to her family and less willing to be the version of the Jo that the school created.
It’s a good story, with some interesting but not always very nice characters and a twist at the end works perfectly.
Today, I am doing something slightly different by revealing the synopsis for Caroline England’s new novel called Betray Her. There is no cover at the moment but watch this space.
About the Book
Best friends forever.That’s the pact you made.You’d do anything for her.And you have.But she’s always had it all.If you could take it for yourself . . . would you?The novel is called BETRAY HER and it’s due for release in ebook on 14th March and in trade paperback on 24 September. The Amazon link is https://amzn.to/2Q9CbnG
Whilst you have to wait to get your hands on her new book there is a collection of short stories available for download. It’s called WATCHING HORSEPATS FEED THE ROSES. The link for that is https://amzn.to/2T3dWK9 and it is best described by its tagline, which is 12 Sharp and Sweetly Twisted Tales! She will be publishing another collection in the spring.
About the Author
Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary publications and anthologies. Her debut novel, Beneath the Skin, known also as The Wife’s Secret, was published by Avon HarperCollins on 5 October 2017. Her second novel, My Husband’s Lies, followed on 17 May 2018 and became a Kindle top ten bestseller. Her two-book deal with Piatkus of Little, Brown Book Group, includes a “dark” psychological thriller called Betray Her, which will publish in March 2019.
Today it is my pleasure to show you an extract from My Husband’s Lies by Caroline England. I will let you see what the book is about first.
About the Book
Do you really know your friends?
On the afternoon of Nick and Lisa’s wedding, their close friend is found poised on a hotel window ledge, ready to jump.
As the shock hits their friendship group, they soon realise that none of them are being as honest with themselves – or with each other – as they think.
And there are secrets lurking that could destroy everything.
Finally arriving in the drenched car park, Nick spots Dan and Will’s cars parked together like kippers. Feeling a warm spread of comfort, he jumps from the car, flicks open an umbrella and opens his mum’s door. She slips out, neat and trim in her hat and tailored suit, and smiles reassuringly. Patrick does the same for their scowling father, but at a much slower pace. Harry’s hip replacement was a complete success according to the consultant, but he still struggles. ‘He’s got a new hip. He needs to use it,’ his mum says. But only in private.
The rain splattering his polished shoes, Nick walks briskly up the path towards the stone and cream church.
‘Are you nervous, love?’ his mum asks, tightly holding his arm. ‘Big day. Your big day. Exciting but nerve-wracking at the same time.’ At the door she pats the rain from his shoulders and kisses his cheek. ‘You look very handsome. You make me so proud.’
Similar to the words she used on his first day at school, he tries to answer with a mildly sardonic quip, but finds that he can’t. It’s as though the soft, steady smell of her perfume is stuck in his throat. Instead he focuses on the door, pushing it hard and almost colliding with the priest.
‘Sorry,’ he says. ‘Nearly knocked you over, Father.’
Father Garry turns. ‘Just wiping my feet.’ He shakes Nick’s hand and Patrick’s, then his mother and father’s. ‘Welcome … Welcome all,’ he says, his eyes pale and rheumy.
Glancing at his mum, he’s not sure what to say. Father Garry has clearly forgotten their names, though the tense wedding run-through was only last night.
Three women. Three secrets.
Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?
Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?
Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.
Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
I had Beneath The Skin on my kindle for a while and when I saw that there was a new book out I decided it would be the right time to read it.
There couldn’t be a more apt title for this book because nearly every character in it didn’t show the true side to their personalities. There are four couples, all different in most cases, apart from that they all have secrets. Most of the people in the novel are unpleasant a lot of the time, although you did see a better side to them occasionally. That is with the exception of Sami and Sophie, two characters who I just hated with a passion. There is a saying, that them being together wouldn’t ruin another couple and it is accurate for these two people. Sophie is a nightmare, spoilt, arrogant, lazy and bullying pretty much sums her up. Antonia is her victim much of the time, and apart from Rupert, she was the only one who I had any sympathy and liking for.
I didn’t really regard it is a psychological thriller, the secret isn’t revealed until the end of the novel. And by that time, for me, it was of no consequence. What was happening in present time was more fascinating. I had a feeling that the ending was left slightly open. There is definitely potential for another book featuring many of the same characters. Or it could have been left for the reader to make up their own mind. each way works perfectly.