All posts by Marnie Harrison

Single Mother by Samantha Hayes #BookReview #BooksOnTour #SingleMother #PsychologicalThriller #NetGalley @samhayes @Bookouture #onceuponatimebookreviews

Today I am reviewing on its publication day Single Mother by Samantha Hayes, published by Bookouture.

Continue reading Single Mother by Samantha Hayes #BookReview #BooksOnTour #SingleMother #PsychologicalThriller #NetGalley @samhayes @Bookouture #onceuponatimebookreviews

The Betrayal by Terry Lynn Thomas #BookReview #TheBetrayal #PsychologicalThriller #NetGalley @TLThomasBooks @HQstories #onceuponatimebookreviews

Today I am reviewing The Betrayal by Terry Lynn Thomas. This was released on the 28th of October, published by HQ Digital.

Continue reading The Betrayal by Terry Lynn Thomas #BookReview #TheBetrayal #PsychologicalThriller #NetGalley @TLThomasBooks @HQstories #onceuponatimebookreviews

The First Husband by McGarvey Black #BookReview #TheFirstHusband #PsychologicalThriller @mcgarveyblack @Bloodhoundbook #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing on its publication day The First Husband by McGarvey Black, published bt Bloodhound Books.

Book Blurb

What if everything you think you know is a lie?

While on vacation in India, Trina Holmgard meets and marries Sam, a poor but charming man. She returns home to New York to arrange his entry into the U.S. and leaves him with her heirloom locket as a pledge of her commitment.

But as time passes, she begins to question his motives. Does he really love her or is it life in America that he wants? Deciding she has been deceived, Trina cuts off all contact and marries another man.

Driven by rage when he realizes his dreams have been shattered, Sam dedicates his life to getting revenge. But, how far will he go?

One thing is for certain, the world will never be the same again…:

It has been 10 long months since the release of McGarvey’s fantastic debut novel, I Never Left and I have been impatiently waiting ever since for her followup! When I was offered to read an advance copy of The First Husband to review, I was like Road Runner replying back to the email that I would love to review this! When it was delivered to my Kindle, it was like Christmas Day all over again and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and read it. Was it worth the wait? A thousand times YES! There are not enough stars to rate this book!

As I am writing this review, I have literally just finished reading the book. Normally I wait a couple of days to review a book to let it fully sink in and process it, but in the case of The Perfect Husband, I just had to get all of my thoughts and feelings out on it straight away. This story is so powerful, that it is actually through tears that I am writing this. It is a very emotional journey so make sure you have the tissues handy when reading this as you will definitely need them!

For this review, I am not going to discuss anything about the plot as the blurb gives more than enough details and it is best going into this story with just this information. What I will say is in this case, “Hell hath no fury like a “man” scorned”! McGarvey has done a great job flipping the genders around here, which really makes for a refreshing and interesting change as opposed to it always being the woman who goes off the rails.

The main protagonists of Trina and Sam are both dynamic characters that bring so much life to the story. This is a credit to McGarvey in her development of them both and the way that they have been written. The story is told through their points of view, that spans over multiple timelines. It is a fast-paced story that is highly addictive and with the shorter chapters makes it impossible to tear yourself away from it. I was hooked instantly and was so completely entranced by the whole story that I read it in one sitting.

McGarvey’s writing is absolutely flawless. It is engaging, articulate, eloquent and highly emotive. I had all the feels when reading this, as painful memories were brought back to the forefront with McGarvey incorporating into the story one of the most harrowing events to occur in history. It is confronting going back and reliving that day, but it has been written sensitively and respectively. I do like how there was a hint of what was to come earlier in the story before it occurred, which had me prepared for it. The aftermath that is created from this is so shocking that it could only lead to its seemingly inevitable ending.

Reading the acknowledgements, The First Husband was not an easy book for McGarvey to write and was 4 years in the making through various drafts and revisions. Thank you for persevering with this one McGarvey. It really is an utterly breathtaking piece of work, that you should be very proud of and it is one that is going to stay with me for a long time to come. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review The First Husband which I can not recommend highly enough.

Thank-you to Heather Fitt from Bloodhound Books for inviting me to be part of the publication day celebrations and for providing me with a free copy of The First Husband ebook which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

The One Night Stand by Carissa Ann Lynch #BookReview #OneNightStand #Thriller #NatGalley @carissaannlynch @0neMoreChapter_ #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing on its publication day The One Night Stand by Carissa Ann Lynch, published by One More Chapter.

Book Blurb

A night she won’t forget…

When single mum Ivy wakes up to a complete stranger lying next to her, she knows her one-night stand hook-ups have to stop. The encounters mean nothing to Ivy, but for just a short time, they make her forget her own terrible life.

A murder she can’t remember

But then Ivy discovers the stranger in her bed has been stabbed to death, and she is covered in his blood…except Ivy has no recollection of bringing this man home. Could she have killed him?

As she tries to piece together what happened last night, Ivy’s own past returns to haunt her. And secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

The One Night Stand is one creepy, thrilling read! From the chilling quote before you even dive into the story, “We stopped looking for monsters under the bed when we realised they were inside us” – Charles Darwin, to the opening chapter which causes major goosebumps, Carissa takes you on a wild ride with twist and turns that keep you hooked and captive until the final page.

I was immediately drawn to the story after reading the blurb and I couldn’t wait to get started. Once I got going, I couldn’t stop and before I knew it, I had finished it. I was so engrossed in the story that nothing was going to tear me away from it! This is a credit to Carissa’s great storytelling and how through engaging writing, she is able to capture the readers attention and keep ahold of it until the end.

Carissa wastes no time in getting things started and kicks off the story in spectacular fashion. Single mother Ivy is woken up by her daughter Delaney who utters the most chilling words you could ever hear…”There’s a stranger in your bed”. (I am getting goosebumps all over again writing this!) From there things take a turn when Ivy can’t wake the man up and discovers he is dead! What follows is a whirlwind of events that leave you with your head spinning.

The characters in to story have been well developed and have been brought to life through the pages really well. They are not all likeable, but they are believable which is really important. Carissa has done a great job with them all and through great writing, they fit into their parts of the story with ease.

I enjoyed Carissa’s writing which makes this story flow really well. I liked how the story was structured with the chapters alternating between the “now” and “before”. There is also a subplot that takes you back to the early 90’s, which compliments the main story, especially when it is brought into the current events where it ties in really well.

All up The One Night Stand is a gripping read and is one that needs to be on your to read list for 2020. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review The One Night Stand which I recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley, One More Chapter and Carissa Ann Lynch for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The One Night Stand which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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

My Perfect Wife by Clare Boyd #BookReview #MyPerfectLife #PsychologicalThriller #NetGalley @ClareBoydClark @Bookouture #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing My Perfect Wife by Clare Boyd. This was released on the 4th of March, published by Bookouture.

Book Blurb

I finally have everything I ever wanted. A home with floor-to-ceiling windows, a devoted husband who dazzles everyone he meets, and two angelic children I adore. But as I watch my husband chatting with the girl next door, I wonder if anyone can see the sadness in my pretty pink smile, or hear the scream behind my straight white teeth?

I know I’m crazy to think there’s a hint of desire in his eyes.

I know it\’s madness to see a flicker of fear in hers.

I know all this, because I’ve been wrong before.

And if I’m wrong again, he’ll try to take my children away.

The party is my last chance to prove to my husband that I’m on the mend, that I can handle something as simple as a drinks reception without snapping under the pressure. It’s all going perfectly, until I see something in the swimming pool that changes everything. But if I can’t trust myself to believe it’s real, who will?

A totally unputdownable page-turner about the darker side of love and what really goes on under the surface of perfect-looking lives. Clever and unexpected, this book will have you gripped from the very first page until the dramatic final twist. Fans of The Wife Between Us and The Mother-in-Law will be hooked.

Whoa, this is quite a read! Less is definitely more when describing this story. It is really best going in with only what the blurb gives you, as there is so much more and I would not want to accidentally give anything away. It is wickedly twisted, full of lies, deceit, manipulation and toxic, dysfunctional relationships. It is everything that you would not want in your life, but one you find you can’t tear yourself away from reading about.

Clare has done a really great job with this book. It is an addictive story, that gets your attention and holds it right from the get-go. It is a great insight into how one can make their life appearance look so perfect on the outside, but on the inside, it is nothing like it is portrayed. Told from the point of view of Elizabeth (The perfect wife) and Heather (The girl next door), the story flows really well and its structure does a great job of helping complete the picture behind the characters. Whilst the story does contain a number of sensitive topics, Clare has written them in a way that is not overly distressing to the reader.

The characters in this story have all been really well written and are a mix of likeable and unlikeable ones. it is really fascinating to see how Elizabeth’s husband Lucas is perceived by each of them. It is a credit to Clare’s writing that she has created a read that reflects that complex and raw relationships can exist and will have you questioning at what point both of these cross over into abuse?

I really enjoyed Clare’s writing. She has a very relaxed style, that makes reading her books an enjoyable experience. She is able to draw the reader in and expertly builds the tension and suspense throughout. Normally I can get a sense when I am reading a story where it is going to go, but in this case, I actually had no idea how it was going to turn out. It was dramatic, a surprise and a great way to finish it up.

My Perfect Wife really is a captivating read. Clare has really made excellent use of “smoke and mirrors” concept in this story and at no point can you actually have a feeling of ease with anything or anyone. You are constantly seconding guessing throughout and at times second-guessing your second guesses!! I love that in a book. This is another great read from Clare and I am looking forward to reading more from her. It was a pleasure to read and review My Perfect Wife which I recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Clare Boyd for allowing me to read an advanced copy of My Perfect Wife which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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

Trust by Lisa Sell #BookReview #Trust #PsychologicalThriller @LisaLisax31@Bloodhoundbook #onceuponatimebookblog

Today I am reviewing on its publication day Trust by Lisa Sell, published by Bloodhound Books.


Book Blurb

Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone deserves a second chance.

Sarah Jessop has a troubled past. Born to drug addict parents, she was fostered and then adopted as a child.

Now an adult, and a doctor, Sarah finds herself looking into the murder of her foster sister, Tamsin, a little girl who disappeared in 1992, and whose body has recently been discovered.

As Sarah gets closer to the truth, the killer will stop at nothing to protect themself and dispose of anyone who gets in their way.

Caught in the killer’s web of deceit, who can Sarah trust?

Lisa Sell is also the author of the bestselling crime mystery, Hidden. Trust is a gripping crime mystery full of twists and turns which will keep you turning the pages. If you are a fan of authors like Louise Jensen, Rachel Abbott and Heidi Perks then you\’ll love this unmissable mystery.

Having really enjoyed Lisa’s debut novel Hidden, which was released in 2019, I had been eagerly awaiting her followup. When I received an email from the publisher, offering me an advanced copy of her new novel, Trust for me to review, I jumped at the chance. When I was finished reading the book, there were two questions that I asked myself which were, was it worth the wait? and would I recommend this book to other readers? Read on to find out…

Lisa has created a haunting tale where one’s families old wounds are reopened when the body of their daughter/sister (Tamsin, who was only six years old at the time.) is found years after her disappearance. Having gone through the years hoping that she would return back to them alive and well, their worlds are once again shattered when the cause of death is revealed as murder. The rest of the story follows Sarah, Tamsin’s foster sister, as she becomes caught up in the investigation. What she doesn’t know is that the killer is close by and they will do anything to make sure that the truth is never uncovered no matter what!

There are a few characters in the story to get your head around, but each is significant. Lisa does a great job in making it clear who each one is by keepingthem all involved throughout. There was never a time when I was reading the story that I had to go back and remind myself who each one was. This is always one of my concerns when reading a book with so many characters, but Lisa instantly set my mind at ease by having each chapter as the characters name as to who’s the point of view you were going to be reading from.

Unless part of a series, I really don’t like to compare an author’s previous novel to the latest one. The exception to my rule though is when the previous novel is a debut. I like to look back and take note of how I viewed the author as a first-time writer, to how I view them now as a second-time writer. In Lisa’s case, my first impression was she did a great job at captivating the reader, which is so important. I am pleased to say that for her sophomore novel, this hasn’t changed.

What I did find that has changed this time round from Hidden, was that Lisa showed more confidence, which just shines so brightly through her writing. She doesn’t play it safe this time and takes the story and runs with full steam ahead, there is no stopping her once she starts. This is evident right from chapter one. Just a side note, if you are a reader that checks how many chapters there are in a book and if this forms part of your decision to read it, don’t be put off by the 164 chapters that are in this story. Lisa moves through them at lightning speed and each one is short, snappy and leaves you wanting more.

What I also really enjoyed about Trust is how there is no time for you to be complacent. When you think you have it figured out, you really have no idea at all. On many occasions, Lisa does let you think you’ve got it, only to pull out the rug from under you as she steps it up another notch and leads you into another direction. Each time this happened and a new twist was thrown in, I could almost imagine Lisa on the sidelines chanting in an annoying voice of a child saying na na na na na! In the end, I had to admit defeat and just let Lisa take control, which she does in spectacular fashion with a twist to end all twists that I did not see coming!

So, to loop back to my two questions, was it worth the wait? and would I recommend this book to other readers? I have this answer to both…Hell yes!! Trust is a breathtaking piece of work that will get under your skin and stay with you long after you read the final page. It was an absolute pleasure to read and review Trust which I highly recommend and is a strong contender to be part of my top books for 2020.

Thank-you to Heather Fitt from Bloodhound Books for inviting me to be part of the publication day celebrations and for providing me with a free copy of the Trust ebook which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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