Cover Image: His Secret Family

His Secret Family

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Secrets, secrets, lies, lies.  This family’s dramatic story is well told by each character, which really helps the reader to understand what each is experiencing.  A quick, easy read that all comes together in the end with a few surprises along the way.  Many thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Ali Mercer's newest release, His Secret Family, is more of a family drama than a gripping, suspenseful story. Single mother Jenny has raised her two daughters mostly alone for the last several years and a man from her, Mark, past re-emerges and attempts to sweep her and her daughters off their feet. However, Ellie, the youngest, is suspicious of Mark-with good reason. He is keeping a secret, as the title alludes to, and the story told with alternating points of view weaves together a little slowly and then the last section really picks up the pace.  Fans of emotional, family-based stories will enjoy this book.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.
Was this review helpful?
Lots of emotions in this but not really anything happy or laughable. Mostly sad, mad and gloom. We start out at Ava's wedding and someone is there with their daughter that shouldn't be there. Then we go back about 10 years. We meet Jenny with her 2 daughters, Ava and Ellie. Jenny is divorced and her ex is an alcoholic and kind of a dead beat dad. Jenny brings a new man into her family, Mark. He is not what she thinks. We find out secrets about him and one that Jenny and him have been keeping and it all comes out.
I think Mark s not a very nice guy. He seems to think that kids and life should be perfect and when they aren't then he moves on. His mother was just a mean person as well. Her life was all about Mark.
I did like Jenny even though she needed to have a little bit of a backbone but she does get her point across and Mark does seem to really love her.
I received this from Bookouture for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
What a captivating, true-to-life story this is.   I was hooked from the very first pages of this story of divorced mum Jenny who is struggling to raise two daughters, 11 year-old Ellie and 16-year-old Ava, working as a stylist.  The story is told with each chapter from the point of view of each character which makes it very interesting and full of twists.   Jenny connects with Mark, a former love interest from before she was married to former husband, Sean. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this powerfully emotional book in exchange for an honest review.  I highly recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
This book certainly opens with a bang! 

Once you are over the initial shock it slows down, but you are still very intrigued because you want to know how the beginning and the rest of the book connect.

The story is told through the eyes of different characters. This gives the reader an excellent tour inside the heads of those people.

At the beginning of the story, the reader starts with an empty plate, but slowly but surely the author adds emotion after emotion until you have an overflowing one.

I never would have thought the author would take me on this road, but I am glad she did.

Every child is precious and unique and you most certainly can't treat them all the same way. Sometimes life gives you lemons. It's up to you to find the perfect mixer to obtain the best result. 4 stars.

 Thank you, Ali Mercer and Bookouture (via Netgalley)
Was this review helpful?
A convoluted mess of family situations which showed the thoughts and feelings of people. A story written in 4 POV of women, some of whom had overlapping lives, all concentrating on the man Mark.

Jenny and Mark had an affair and daughter Ava was the result. Mark went back to his legitimate wife and had a child Daisy who was on autistic spectrum, so he rejected mother and daughter as they were not perfect. Jenny married someone else had another daughter Ellie. Mark came back to Jenny, blaming his ex-wife, hiding his shortcomings, and they tried to live happily ever after till Ava got married, and things came to a confrontation.

My second book by author Ali Mercer, the story had me grappling to get a hook on to the thoughts of these characters. Each of them were unlikable and selfish, except for child Daisy. She was innocent and sweet.

The author has tried to get into the psyche of the human mind to show us the nature of some. Selfishness and a need for perfection were ingrained. Some didn’t want to face facts and believed in explanation without clarifying. All the characters seemed to seek happiness at any cost, primarily their own.

It was down the line when Ali transformed them, and there was light in the dark tunnel as facts presented themselves. Forgiveness is for one’s own soul rather than for the guilt-doers. The story brought to the forefront what we rarely want to face. It removed the masks off people. The opening scene was at its most dramatic, and then the layers swirled and waved feebly in the winds of time.

Life is a blend of situations and circumstances and people who face them, some bravely, but most, not so much. This book was a honest portrayal of some of them, stark and raw drawn as characters in a fictional situation, people whom we have all come across in real life. A reflecting read.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy....

Well, it was a good read..really enjoyed it...

Looking forward to read this book from this author soon...
Was this review helpful?
I mistakenly thought, by the blurb, the cover and the title that this was going to be a domestic noir, a psychological thriller and although there is a mystery it’s not the heart of the novel.  It’s a family drama, well written, and covering many different difficult topics.  Told with different narrators in different timelines, I loved one character and despised another but all four were well crafted and fleshed out.  It’s a story of motherhood, love and loss.
Was this review helpful?
A very confusing story for me as the author switched from character to character and I didn’t realize who the opening scene was about until almost the end of the book. A woman who used to be married to the father of the bride arrives at his daughter’s wedding with her daughter who is autistic. The shock of seeing his ex-wife and daughter causes the man to suffer a stroke. We are immediately taken to the past and the back and forth dialog between characters. Mark is an extremely flawed character and it is hard to imagine that two women actually wanted him. I have read and enjoyed books where the chapters switch between characters, but I felt that after the opening scene more information could have been provided so that we knew which wife was which. I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)
Was this review helpful?
This story wasn't exactly what I expected, but it was a page turner none the less. The characters are complex. Told from multiple points of view, the story surrounding this family unfolds at a pace that keeps the reader engaged. Some aspects were a bit unbelievable. I couldn't decide if Jenny was an idiot or desperate. Mark is the most unlikable and self centered character. The supernatural aspect related to Ellie seemed unnecessary. Overall it's an emotional family drama.
Was this review helpful?
His Secret Family – Ali Mercer

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review. This review will also publish to my blog, tropicaldelusions.blog, a few days before publication. 

Jenny is a single Mom, divorced from an alcoholic husband, who struggles to raise her two girls, Ava & Ellie. Living in a second floor flat in the suburbs of London, Jenny barely scrapes by working as a hairdresser. Like most alcoholics, her ex, Sean, is largely absent and very unreliable, so it seems like a dream come true when Mark, a brief romance from the past, re-enters her life, with eyes only for her.

Mark, recently divorced after a lengthy marriage to Paula, has re-connected with Jenny, whom he had had a very brief relationship with many years ago. Wealthy, and now single, Mark brings Jenny and the girls on a whirlwind courtship, taking them to places they’ve never been, and he and Jenny quickly decide to marry. But sometimes things that seem too good to be true ARE too good to be true…

Told from the perspectives of Jenny, Paula, Ava & Ellie, we learn of Mark’s first marriage, its struggles, and of his daughter Daisy – a daughter his new family knows nothing about. Ava, Jenny’s oldest, a teen studying for exams before college, learns some stunning news that she struggles to accept. Ellie, meanwhile, is learning to cope with clairsentient ability as she discovers she can sense things about people, and Jenny revels in her newfound happiness and all that comes with it. 

This story has all the feels, happiness and heartbreak, growth and renewal, betrayal and forgiveness – and hope…

I loved it!!
Was this review helpful?
I found myself quickly pulled into this book.  Chapter by chapter is told from the POV of the different characters weaving a tale of love, betrayal, ignorance, blind trust and loss.  A satisfyingly emotional read that I highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
This book had me hooked from the get go! Told from varying viewpoints, we slowly unravel the story of Mark, Paula, Jenny, Sean, Ava and Ellie.  Great storyline!
Was this review helpful?
What price are you willing to pay to have the perfect family? Although this book is written from the point of view of four women, the central character connected to all is Mark. Another female character is Mark's mother - which will explain why Mark has turned out the way he has. Interesting plot and and some sympathetic characterizations make this a good read.
Was this review helpful?
Jenny and her daughters Ava and Ellie are the focus of the story when Jenny brings home Mark. Mark is an old fling from before her daughters were born and wants to rekindle the romance they once had. As Jenny and Mark work to become a family with Ava and Ellie, they find their pasts coming back.

I enjoyed this book but felt the characters could be more developed. There were several storylines that could have been expanded upon and made the book even better.
Was this review helpful?
The story alternates from the perspective of the main characters.   I was utterly gripped by this book and found it hard to put down.   I look forward to reading more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
Nice suspense. 
Confusing at first but was intriguing.

Note: I received a free e-copy of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Special thanks to the author and publisher for giving me a chance to read it.
Was this review helpful?
I have really mixed feelings about this book. It is definitely a slow burner but in all fairness is starts off well. There is an element of not knowing and surprise, making you wonder who each character is and where it will go. However, it then becomes rather dull. Nothing of excitement happens when it could have been a thrilling storyline. Also, there are parts that are hard to believe. A mother siding with a man over her children and forgiving many lies relating to children? The end of the book is not exciting and I lost interest in the middle. It was not the book that I was expecting from the gripping title and first paragraph.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

His Secret Family may be subtitled as "an absolutely gripping and emotional page turner" but this book is just dull. The author, Ali Mercer, couldn't decide what kind of book it should be - a family saga, a dysfuntional relationship drama with hints of emotional abuse, a psychic eerie tale, or a combination of all. 

Mercer employs multiple narrators who move the plot along at a rather glacial pace. Jenny and her daughters, Ava and Ellie, live a rather hand-to-mouth existence in London. A new man, Mark, appears who seems to be the answer to all their dreams. Of course, he has secrets of his own including the fact that he and Jenny had a one-night stand years ago that resulted in Ava. His truth about his marriage to Paula and their autistic daughter, Daisy, are just some of the secrets he doesn't share with Jenny. 

Oh, and Ellie sees shadows of ghosts.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book. 

I was quite excited to read this book as the title screamed thriller with some family drama. The book starts off highlighting a part of the story that happens near the end (which I tend to love this type of writing). The book is written in the perspective of four women whose lives are entangled by one man. Jenny is a single mom raising Ellie and Ava. Jenny reconnects with an old flame, Mark, who has an ex-wife, Paula. Mark is not a truthful man to either of the women in his life. 

This book has much family drama but lacks the thriller aspect I was expecting. All in all a quick, easy read which I could not put down. I would recommend this book as it kept me enthralled throughout its entirety.
Was this review helpful?