This book had a little too much going on for me to follow & still be interested. I had to pick it up & put down lots of times to read it through. It's just not my favorite style of writing.
I loved how this book started with the dramatic climax, and then jumped back in time to go through what lead up to that dramatic moment. Such a beginning really hooked me in, and is what kept me reading to the end. In all honest, with this book told through the perspectives of four different characters, it was quite confusing at times, and I almost felt like I needed to make notes on each of the characters to keep on top of how everyone fitted into the story. I enjoyed the ending, however there were some aspects of the book I didn't like so much, such as the portrayal of people with mental illness and autism. On the whole this was a very engaging read, it just left a little to be desired.
After a few DNFs, I needed something to grip me and I came across His Secret Family by Ali Mercer. If there is one thing that I love to read it is books about double lives and families as living one life is hard enough and I don't know how people make time for two. I could see it happening if they supposedly travel but even still. This one was a little deceiving with the title as he does have another family but he had separated from her and divorced her rather than living a double life at the same time. However, his new family had no idea about his previous family, but his old wife knew about his new family. The book starts with Paula who has just learned that her ex-husband's daughter is about to get married and is just down the road. Finally, the whole family is in one room, she is finally ready to confront Mark and his new family and unearth the lies. The next thing, Mark has a heart attack. The book then jumps back in time to Jenny who has just met Mark for the second time and this time it's fate as he is single too. Jenny is a single mother to Ava and Ellie. I liked Ellie's character as she has a few psychic abilities and I wish that they had developed that more as would have been intriguing. The book is slow-paced but as I said all comes to a halt at Ava's wedding when they are met face to face with Paula and her daughter Daisy who is on the Autism Spectrum. The family and daughter that Mark decided to pretend didn't exist as he was ashamed of them - which is quite Hardcase as when you learn about Mark's family history, it clearly shows that the Autism spectrum came from his side rather than Paula's. If you are looking for a thriller, then this book isn't for you but if you are wanting an edgy women's fiction/family drama then check out His Secret Family by Ali Mercer today.
Jenny is raising her 2 daughters alone when she reconnects with an old flame. Mark sweeps her off her feet but is he all he appears to be. The book is told from the POV of Jenny and the 2 girls as well as Mark's ex wife. A really good gritty read that explores the emotional and physical demands of parenting a child with ASD.
I wanted to like this book. The writing style was nice, but at times the story was convoluted and jumped all over the place.
Solid book with a good story. Nothing to flashy but good. It is definitely an easy and enjoyable read. Entertaining for sure.
A good story that kept your interest and worked well by being told in alternating chapters by the two wives and two daughters so that you got a completely rounded picture
Ali Mercer writes such incredibly powerful books and this one is no exception. 'His Secret Family' will keep you hooked from start to finish as well as give you a full emotional workout!
Unfortunately, I have not been able to read and review this book.
After losing and replacing my broken Kindle and getting a new phone I was unable to download the title again for review as it was no longer available on Netgalley.
I’m really sorry about this and hope that it won’t affect you allowing me to read and review your titles in the future.
Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity.
There is a wedding happening in the beginning. It's from the scorned lovers point of view as her ex is preparing to get married and start a whole new life. She has her young daughter with her. The man falls out in shock. I liked switching from different characters but got bogged down by the details. Interesting idea but wasn't hooked.
Jenny and her daughters Ava and Ellie live a hand to mouth existence, supported by Jenny's work as a hairstylist. Ava is finishing up high school and works very hard to excel so as to become independent as quickly as possible. Ellie is an eleven year old girl who loves her sister and mother and has a bit of a sixth sense. Sean is Jenny's ex-husband whose drinking problem and refusal to accept any responsibility has made him the father the girls both love and disdain. When Jenny starts dating Mark, things in her household start to change in a number of big and small ways. Every character learns some very important lessons.
This was a great read that had me going back to it whenever I had a free moment. I loved the characters, especially Ellie and Ava. The story line was like watching a train wreck -I could not look away from it. I hope to read this author's other two books as I loved her writing style. Strongly recommend.
Thank you to Netgalley, the author Ali Mercer, and the publisher Bookouture for granting my request for this free ARC in return for my honest opinion.
I didn’t feel like the book really lived up to the dramatic, intense blurb or the title. I do not love manufactured drama and that is where most of the drama is derived from in this book, through those differing timelines and the dragging out of events followed by a 10 year time jump towards the end. The actual events weren’t that dramatic. The big secret isn’t really a secret, either to the reader or to the characters. What little bit you do get at the end feels anticlimactic because, as the reader, you see it all unfold. The character reactions to it compound that feeling as it ends up not being any kind of an issue for them either. The pieces of this story that should have been sort of emotional volcanoes for me, just weren’t. I don’t know if it was because of a lack of connection to the characters or if it was the way those pieces were written, but it sort of felt like even the characters were experiencing the events they were going through from a distance rather than directly.
Well this has been quite a story from start to finish, full of family drama with a fair bit of emotional elements in places as well.
The story was told from the perspective of 4 different characters, two adults, one 11 year old and one sixteen year old. I thought this was very well done as it gives the reader ample opportunity to really get a feel for the characters and what they are each going through.
The only thing I wasn't too keen on is that I felt as if the last few chapters were rushed, as the readers were fast forwarded 10 years on just like that. I just felt as if this part of the story could have been better.
But despite that, it was a still a good story that I enjoyed.
There was too much going on in this novel. I did not finish. It just seemed to want to cover more topics than it should. Not absolutely gripping like the title suggests.
First, let me thank netgalley and the publishers for approving my request for an early release of this book. All reviews of my netgalley books can be found on goodreads and youtube. Please be sure to check out the links attached.
This is a powerful family drama, full of emotion.
The prologue gives us a hint of what is to come, then we are swept back to the past, where we meet Ellie and Ava, and their points of view are the main skeleton of the story.
I found Ellie a fascinating character, she’s so deep and intuitive. As the plot develops, we see Jenny and Mark’s relationship grow very quickly, but there are glimpses into his secret life from before.
A gripping and emotive book, with a superbly flowing plot. I really enjoyed this. Highly recommended.
Great story about two wives, three daughters and the man who connects them all. Told from four POVs (both wives and two daughters), the book was fast paced and an easy, enjoyable read!
Thanks to Ali Mercer, Bookouture and NetGalley for the ARC of this great book!
A really easy heartwarming book about a man and the story about his ex wife and newer wife with the drama of a wedding. Excellent characters and a lovely story
A tense family drama a book that kept me turning the pages.Well written characters multi layered story line very engaging read.#netgalley#bookouture
WOW! I got this book on NetGalley at the recommendation of a friend of mine who loves Mercer's work, and after reading this book I can definitely see why she does. This book had everything: romance, drama, suspense, heartache, hope. I really enjoyed reading about all of the characters. The book is told mostly from four characters' point of view, with a fifth character brought in at the end. Don't be alarmed though - it's extremely easy to keep all the characters separated in your mind. Each voice comes through clear as a bell. This book gets 4.5 stars from me, and I cannot WAIT to read more from Mercer. Brava!