A Secret in the Family by Leah Mercer #BookReview #BooksOnTour #ASecretInTheFamily #Contemporary #DomesticDrama #WomensFiction #NetGalley @LeahMercerBooks @Bookouture #onceuponatimebookreviews

Today I am taking part in the books on tour and reviewing A Secret in the Family by Leah Mercer, published by Bookouture.


Rachel sat at the kitchen table, trying to take everything in. She still couldn’t believe what her father had done. Clutching a faded photograph and a necklace in her hands, all she knew was that in her mother’s final days, she would do anything to protect her.

The call came on a seemingly ordinary day. But as soon as Rachel heard the pain in her sister’s voice, she had to face the fact that life as she knew it was about to be shattered: “It’s mum. She’s not well. She doesn’t have much time.”

Though her heart breaks to leave her husband and children behind, Rachel knows the right thing is to return home to care for her mother Janet. Their relationship has been strained for years. This may be the last chance for them both to heal.

Walking up to the front gate of her childhood home, Rachel is overwhelmed with memories: of hazy summers playing with her sister, of laughter ringing through the house, of the accident which cost their father his life. After that day, Rachel’s relationship with her mother changed forever.

Rachel has never forgiven herself for what happened and it is clear Janet hasn’t either. Determined to make amends, Rachel begins to get her mother’s house in order. But hidden in the cellar, Rachel unearths a devastating secret. A faded photograph and a tarnished necklace are the only clues to unravelling a secret that should have remained hidden.

Can Rachel unravel the mystery when it has the power to destroy her family? And when she finally discovers the truth, will it destroy everything she has ever known?

A completely addictive and heartwrenching story about deception and the secrets that lie behind a seemingly ordinary family. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Barbara O’Neal and The Silent Daughter

”I thought I knew my family…I was wrong

A domestic drama, A Secret in the Family is my new favourite read from Leah Mercer. Hooked right from the beginning, I knew this was going to be a one sitting read (I was right) and this time around, after her last book, I was prepared and had the tissues at the ready. Did I need them? Yes I did!

This is a gripping tale of one family where secrets, lies and deception are at it’s core. I loved our lead Rachel, who’s story really pulled on my heart strings. The fractured relationship between herself and her mother, is in equal parts sad and intriguing and becomes even more strained when shocking events from the past collide with the present.

A beautifully written, emotive and powerful piece of work, that unfolds in a duel character narrative of past and present, this really pulls you in and is heartbreaking in so many ways. This is one tale that I highly recommend and is one that will be part of my best reads of the year.

Thank you to Leah Mercer, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of A Secret in the Family, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble and BookBub if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK, but will post to Waterstones & Foyles if also available.


Amazon AU
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Follow the tour along the way and see what these bloggers also thought about A Secret in the Family. My thanks to Bookouture for my spot on this tour and for the promotional materials.


Leah Mercer was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the east coast of Canada. Her first ambition was to be a journalist, but after completing a master’s in journalism, she soon realised she preferred anything other than reporting the news.

After trying her hand at public relations, teaching and recruitment in various countries around the world, she finally settled in London and returned to writing… fiction, this time.

Her first two novels, Who We Were Before and The Man I Thought You Were, were shortlisted at the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards. Leah loves books, running and visiting historic houses with her husband and their son.



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