Cover Image: His Secret Family

His Secret Family

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Member Reviews

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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
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A tense family drama a book that kept me turning the pages.Well written characters multi layered story line very engaging read.#netgalley#bookouture
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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!
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A story of deceit and lies.  Jenny, a single mum with 2 daughters brings home her new man, but what is he hiding?  Told from several points of view, including Mark’s first wife, Paula.  Not sure exactly what genre this belonged to - spooky, tearjerker, romance or maybe feelings of anger towards some of the characters?  It started off really well at a future event and then travelled back explaining what led to this particular moment but that wasn’t really as gripping as the beginning.  As for the end, it was  very disappointing, it felt rushed and unbelievable - totally out of character.  What a let down!
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This is a story of a man with secrets.  There are 4 narrators that fold several storylines together and weave a tale of ignorance and bliss.  I didn't really connect with any of the characters.  The two wives and 3 daughters all have beefs agains Mark and he's sort of fool.  Just not an enjoyable read for me, hopefully you'll find more in the story than I did.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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This book began so strong, but by the end, it was so overwrought that it felt ridiculous. Great for those that love Lifetime movies, but overall, it didn't feel believable.
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I really loved the beginning of this book.  It kept me interested and made me want to know what was going to happen.  But, the ending fell flat.  Mark and Paula resolved things too quickly.
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His Secret Family left me a little unsettled and not exactly in a good way. I really wanted to love this story, and at times maybe I did, but overall it just fell a little flat. While there are plenty of moments and specific events that are thrown in for shock factor, it just didn't keep my attention. The writing didn't feel authentic to me and instead left me rolling my eyes and putting the book down.
BUT I will say, this book is a great warning to make sure you really get to know a person and not just what they want you to see. People are very complex and Ali Mercer definitely touches on that
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review 

Jenny and her girls Ava and Ellie are struggling to make ends meet as Jenny a single mom works as a hairdresser.  Suddenly Mark shows up with the means to provide luxuries and fun trips.  As time passes Mark and Jennie grow closer and decide to marry and create a new
Family.  Mark leaves behind a wife and handicapped daughter from his first marriage.  As time passes what will happen when their paths cross and their lives meet?
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This is a story of family life, broken relationships, secrets and hurt and is told from four different female perspectives which give us different insights intothis family drama.  The opening chapter had me hooked straight away when Paula and her daughter Daisy gatecrashed a wedding and on seeing them Mark, her ex husband, collapses.  The book then goes back in time to events that lead up to the wedding.  Mark walked away from his marriage to Paula as he couldn’t cope with his daughter Daisy’s autism.  Whilst married to Paula, Mark had an affair with Jenny and she became pregnant and had a daughter Ava.  Mark went back to Paula and Jenny married Sean, who was happy to be a father to Ava and they went on to have a daughter Ellie.  After finally leaving Paula and Daisy he went back to Jenny who was separated from Sean, telling her lies about Paula.  We learn about the deviousness of Mark and the lengths he goes to to cover up his secrets.  At the end of the book the truth is revealed how his behaviour affected everyone.  This was an enjoyable read and highly recommended.
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book 
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This book revolves around two families: Paula, with her daughter Daisy and Jenny with her daughters, Ava and Ellie. 
Jenny is a single mother to her girls, and divorced from her ex-husband, Sean. She has recently reconnected with Mark, who happens to be an old flame. 
Mark is divorced from his ex-wife, Paula and has no contact with her or Daisy. 

The story starts with the ending of the book: wherein Mark is celebrating Ava’s wedding in the same town as Paula lives; and on impulse Paula, along with Daisy decide to make an appearance. This is followed by the unfolding of events that took place leading up to it.

Told from the point of view of four people: Paula, Jenny, Evie and Ava, we gradually learn what went wrong with Mark’s first marriage, how he initially met Jenny and now that he’s back with Jenny how it could be impacting his new family and the girls. 
Will Ava and Ellie accept him and be open to their mother possibly remarrying?

Various aspects of a family life are covered viz. divorce, disability, adultery and secrets. The layers are peeled, the lies are revealed, and the truth is laid bare.
Abandonment, addiction and denial are other aspects that are dealt with. But the story is also about hope and forgiveness.

The book also brings to the forefront attitudes of people to those with autism and mental health issues. There's one character with special abilities to sense things, however it was not well developed, neither was it acknowledged by the family.

A dramatic story of two families intertwined with each other, with complex yet believable characters, each dealing with secrets, grief and facing up to reality.
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A family drama told from differing POV.  Two wives, one former, one current, raising their daughters the best way they can.  Circumstances have lined up so the two are connected through one man but neither ends up with a happily ever after life.  Ali Mercer has developed the characters and placed them in a realistic community that could be anywhere USA.  How the story unfolds and eventually ends is a unique spin on an old story.
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