Cover Image: The Girl I Used to Be

The Girl I Used to Be

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Member Reviews

This book reminded me subtly of another book I loved, Elin Hilderbrand’s Winter in Paradise. The wife discovers the husband had a terrible dark secret and had to find a way to come to terms with that and heal. I LOVED THIS BOOK. I love stories with this type of plot. I found myself to be Jill’s personal cheerleader throughout this story, and I found her character to be very relatable. I hurt with her and felt so much of what she was feeling. My first book by this author, but certainly not my last. Thank you, NetGalley for the e-copy of this one!
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Go Jill!!!  I love a good "i totally kicked life's butt after my husband turned out to be a turd" book!!  And this one, did NOT disappoint.  Except this time, Marc was sort of a psycho - a manipulative gas lighter cheating jerk face narcissist...  So, not your run of the mill cheater...  Jill THOUGHT she had it all with Marc, and then discovered that "ALL" wasn't what it seemed.  It takes struggle and a change of scenery - hello Dewberry Beach - to find the REAL Jill - and bring her back to the person that she's always been deep down.  I've provided this honest review in exchange for this ARC by Netgalley.  <3
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I was delighted to read the second in the Dewberry Beach series. They are completely fine as standalones, as the characters are different, but they’re so fabulous that you should really read them all. I can picture Dewberry Beach perfectly in my mind, and it’s a beautiful backdrop to these superb novels.

I wasn’t sure what to make of Jill at first, she was so compliant and it was hard to believe that she had gone from being the strong woman that she used to be to this almost Stepford wife. But as the novel progresses, the old Jill begins to re-emerge, and she’s a character to be reckoned with. Her inner strength re-appears, and she’s a much more authentic and true-to-herself person.

Marc and his world seem totally false and mercenary, and he’s so cold towards Jill. He and his type don’t belong in the friendly community of Dewberry Beach, and as Jill begins to dig into his business dealings, she sees what he’s really like.

Dewberry Beach weaves its spell on the reader again, and it’s easy to see how Jill is captivated by the place as she gets to know it and the community there.

This book is totally all-consuming, and I found it so hard to put down. It was a balm to my soul during a difficult week, and completely swept me away. Just gorgeous.
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This is perfect for a day at the beach. I was captivated from page one and couldn’t put it down. The characters are so relatable and the plot is emotional and exciting. Would highly recommend
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When Jill Goodman’s picture-perfect marriage implodes, she’s heartbroken. Still reeling from the shock, the only thing she receives in the hasty divorce settlement is the deed to her husband’s sprawling beach house on the New Jersey coastline. Jill never cared about money – only her marriage – but with Marc determined to take everything she owns; the beach house is her only lifeline left.

Jill is slowly starting to see a path back to who she was before she met her husband but it isn’t easy.

Then Jill dives deeper into Marc’s secrets and she stumbles across a something in her husband’s past that changes everything. Could Jill herself have been unknowingly complicit in what Marc did and, if so, what will happen to her when the truth finally comes to light? With Marc determined to bury the evidence, can Jill find a way to save herself before her once perfect husband takes her down with him?

This was a quick read! And I didn’t know it was a part of a series!

What I loved most about this book was the setting of Dewberry Beach and its close knit community. It was absolutely perfect. 

In terms of the main characters, I hated Marc right from the start. With regard to Jill, initially I found her naïve but then as the story progresses, I found myself rooting for her and hoping that she finds the strength to do the right thing!

Overall, it’s a quick beach read!

Thank You NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC!
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The Girl I Used To Be by Heidi Hostetter is a wonderful, feel-good novel about a broken love. There is something cathartic about knowing that you are strong enough, and smart enough to succeed even when all the cards are stacked against you. That is what Jill Goodman needs to learn.

Jill Goodman is the main character. She had it all -a handsome husband who loved her, a wonderful hobby of taking pictures, and a good life. However it all fell apart one day when she found out the truth. The only thing she was left with was a monstrosity of a house on a small family beach and all kinds of questions. Now is the time for the Jersey girl to find out what she's really made of!

The girl I used to be by Heidi Hostetter is a good read. I loved all the characters. I liked the revelations and how Jill dealt with them. And I loved hating her husband or ex-husband now. An interesting beach read.
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When I first started reading this book, I was highly intrigued and as I continued through the story, it held my interest fully! Thank you for the opportunity to read this book, I highly recommend it.
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I've heard it said that good healthy relationships help you to be a better version of yourself.  Unhealthy relationships let you stay where you are or regress to a lesser place, or they try to make you into someone you are not.  When Jill learns her husband is having an affair she realizes that he has spent their marriage making her into someone she is not--and she does not consider the "new her" to be an improvement.  This book follows her through her divorce and starting over.  

I liked Jill and liked watching her realize what was important to her and what was not.  Of course I hated Marc--there was  nothing likeable about him or his fraternity brother attorney.  While I enjoyed the book and read it pretty much straight through, I found the resolution to be highly unlikely.  Also from what I read I could figure out why Marc would have made Jill his mistress, I just don't know why he actually married her.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B.
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Heidi Hostetter’s The Girl I Used to Be is emotional, heartfelt and captivating women’s fiction at its most addictive.

Jill Goodman is a woman with the world at her feet. With her enviable lifestyle and rock solid marriage, Jill seems to have it all – until her perfect life implodes when her husband Marc announces that he wants a divorce. The shocks just keep on coming for Jill when Marc leaves her with nothing in the divorce except for the deeds to their beach house on the New Jersey coastline. With her husband having well and truly pulled the rug out from under her feet, the beach house is the only thing Jill has left. She plans to put it on the market and sell it as fast as possible, however, when she gets to the beach house, she quickly realizes that it’s going to be quite a an ordeal to sell the house that means so much to her.

Jill finds herself charmed by the friendly locals and the welcoming community she finds herself temporarily living in and the more time she spends at her beach house, the more she begins to find the girl she used to be before she married Marc and became ashamed of her heavy Jersey accent. With each passing day, Jill begins to feel more like herself and more alive than she has felt in a long time – until secrets from the past come to sudden and shocking life…

The more she discovers about Marc’s lies and deceptions, the more she realizes that she might have been an unwitting accomplice to all his misdeeds and misdemeanors. With her future in doubt and her reputation to clear, Jill must find a way to save herself before her ex-husband takes her down with him and she ends up paying the highest price of all for putting her trust in a man who is still intent on ruining her life.

Heidi Hostetter’s The Girl I Used to Be is a wonderfully written tale about renewal, redemption, second chances and picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and fighting for your own happiness which is absolutely delightful. Written with sensitivity, empathy and warmth, The Girl I Used to Be is the story of Jill, a woman who has lost herself in her marriage where she tried to be the perfect wife to a man who never deserved her. It is a story that will make readers laugh and cry and which will have them cheering on Jill and keeping their fingers crossed as she forges her own path and rises above all the obstacles standing in her way.

Lyrical, poignant and inspirational, Heidi Hostetter’s The Girl I Used to Be will keep readers glued to their sun loungers this summer.
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This was my first read by the author and it definitely didn’t disappoint! I loved the beach setting, representation of close-knit community, and the evolvement of Jill’s character. I look forward to reading the second book and spending more time in Dewberry Beach!
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This is a great quick summer read, to keep next to the sun lounger and really enjoy. This was about how marriages can be very different behind closed doors and how a woman can lose who she is when she’s on the receiving end of psychological abuse. Everyone thought Jill and Marc had the perfect marriage. They have a wonderful lifestyle and Jill seemed like the perfect, well-presented wife - a huge asset to her husband. However, everything implodes suddenly and Jill is left stunned. It’s a surprise to us as readers, that Jill hadn’t worked out that Marc was awful. He seems horrible to me from the start, but it is possible that he’s been slowly wearing down her confidence, making her doubt herself, or telling her nobody else would want her. She finds out there have been nefarious business dealings and the only thing she’s left with in the divorce settlement is a home at Jersey Beach. Her intention is to sell the property and use the cash to start life again somewhere else. 

Once Jill gets to Dewberry Beach, the small town where her new home is, she starts to like living there. It really is a place of healing for her and her character starts to grow and develop. She catches glimpses of the woman she used to be and starts to put herself back together. I liked that this growth and development is for her alone. She even starts to get her Jersey accent back. However, when clearing the house out she finds evidence of Marc’s business dealings and something even worse. She thinks back and wonders whether she’d been complicit in the crime. Marc wants to bury the evidence, Jill thinks the police need to see it. How determined is he to keep it under wraps and if found out, will he drag her into it? 

The story is great and I did identify with Jill. Marc could have done with some other qualities to make him a fully rounded character rather than flat out villain. As it is he has no redeeming features, and we have to believe Jill would fall in love with him? Otherwise this is a page turner and diverting enough for a summer read.
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Jill Goodman has been married to Marc, a rich property developer for three years. She is his glamorous much younger wife who runs his home and hosts parties. From the beginning it is clear that he controls everything she does. The way she looks, the way she behaves. In love with her husband, Jill has been happy to make these changes; to become the woman he wants her to be. However, when she discovers he is having an affair with one of his employees and is asking for a divorce, she realises how much of herself she has lost in the years she has been his wife.
Ruthless in business, Marc now applies the same tactics to the wife he is ridding himself of, making sure she is left with nothing. But things don’t go to plan, and Jill ends up with a house. Perched on the cliffs at Dewberry Beach, on the East Coast, she needs to sell it in order to clear the fraudulent mortgage her husband arranged in her name.
Settling into Dewberry Beach while she organises the sale, Jill sets about reclaiming her old self and resurrecting her love of photography. But gradually she begins to realise the damage Marc has done to this close-knit community and decides to do something about it.
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'The Girl I Used To Be' by Heidi Hostetter is the first book I have read from this author so I had no expectations other than hoping it would hold me. There was no danger there, I have discovered another author whose work I thoroughly enjoy. Although this is the second book in a series, I found it delightfully entertaining and kept up with the story easily.
Jill Goodman is a glamorous much younger wife who runs the home and hosts parties for Marc, who is a rich property developer. They have been married for three years. Jill is so in love she doesn't realise Marc controls everything about her, the way she looks, the way she behaves. She has been happy to allow the changes so she can become the perfect wife he wants her to be. She discovers he is having an affair with one of his employees and asks for a divorce. She begins to realise how much she sacrificed of her own self for his sake.
Marc is determined to leave her with absolutely nothing. Instead she walks away with a house.Perched on the cliffs at Dewberry Beach, on the East Coast, she still needs to sell it in order to pay off the illegal mortgage her husband took out in her name.
Living at Dewberry Beach while she organises the sale, Jill sets about finding her old self again and rediscovering her love of photography. She starts the metamorphosis back into her original confident self and becomes aware of Marc and the mark he has left on the town. She decides she will right the wrongs that her Ex-husband did. 
This is a fabulous uplifting story that shows us how much of a difference friends can make to help us move foward. Jill has a marvellous friend in Ellie. One who becomes her touchstone in her returning back to her own self. The residents of the town all have a special part in layering this lovely story of second chances and hope. I found I enjoyed all the characters from the town, Jill and Ellie. Marc I definitely thought was a nasty piece of work and Jill was so well rid of him! 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me on this Bookouture.- Books  - On -.Tour  and netgalley for the copy of this great book.
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This book made me think about how I acted different when first meeting my husband’s superiors. He was in the military and you always want to put your best foot forward. 
Jill Goodman however lost contact with most of her friends, changed her hairstyle, her speaking and her dressing to meet her husband’s approval. She wanted his love and acceptance, but was that truly love?
Jill found out her husband wasn’t exactly her Knight in shining armor and things come to a head when she finds out he has involved her with fraudulent things!

Author Heidi Hostetter touches on some very key issues in dysfunctional marriages or dating relationships. There are men and women alike who are very suave at how they slowly control a person. 

I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.
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The Girl I Used to Be is a detailed story that is slow to start, but soon becomes engrossing...a fun page turner that is emotional and a light read.
I like how Hostetter has created a good plot by giving the reader a great description. I really enjoyed the beach setting!
The character development of The Girl I Used to Be is good, with a mixture of different characters...some are very likeable, yet other you want to give them a good shake...Straight away Marc's character comes off as spoilt and arrogant. Jillian is very naive, and I really liked seeing how her new-found confidence brings a sense of life to the plot.
I would recommend reading The Girl I Used to Be to lovers of Women's Fiction, as it is a great and entertaining escapism story about friendship, secrets and deceit.
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The Girl I Used to be by Heidi Hostetter is an emotional story of a young woman, Jill, who has a chance at a new life after her marriage that she thought was perfect explodes when she finds her husband Marc is cheating on her. As a divorce settlement, Jill gets a sprawling beach house in New Jersey and she intends to sell it to help her to start her new life, but when she travels to Dewberry Beach to sell the house, she runs into unexpected obstacles. While trying to sell the property, Jill discovers the full extent of the duplicity and awfulness of her now ex-husband Marc.

I liked Jill, but I found her naivete in the first half of the book a little annoying. Marc didn't have any redeeming qualities, he was awful from the beginning of the book, but Jill excused his behavior over and over again. It was hard to comprehend how she fell in love with him in the first place. Marc was like a cartoonish villain, his character didn't have a lot of complexity. I usually prefer characters, especially villains, with more nuance. I found the second half of the book a lot more enjoyable. Jill really came into her own later in the book. Unlike Marc, her character grew by leaps and bounds. I also liked the setting of a small beach town and its occupants. Dewberry Beach was a perfect backdrop for the story. The Girl I Used to Be is an enjoyable summer read perfect for reading on the beach or by the pool.
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This was an emotional and gripping read. Loved the setting of the small beach town and its occupants. Definitely one I’d recommend and can’t wait to read more from this author.
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I have not read this author before and I need to fix that soon. I read this in one sitting, it was quite perfect actually, a perfect combo of troll-y husband, spouse trying to move on but with a bit of a mystery to solve before she can. Throw in a beach setting in the fall (including a close knit small town) and I am all in. This had some depth to it and is a wonderful story about resilience, rebuilding, and reconnecting old friendships.

Thank you to NetGalley, Chicklitcentral, and Bookouture for the advanced digital copy to review. This one is perfect for your beach read list.
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The Girl I Used to be is the first book by the author that I have read and I must admit that I am absolutely blown away! At first while reading the book, the first few chapters made me form certain assumptions about how the story would progress. When we reach midway through the book, the author throws out everything with a few twists forcing the reader to rethink their assumptions! This was amazing!

The story follows Jill who we think is happily married to Marc, almost twenty years her senior. She changed her life, her style and everything for him until one day when everything shatters. From there on, we see the strength and resolve Jill has as she deals with a divorce and mortgage on a house she demanded for in a calculated move. However, going to Dewberry Beach is perhaps the best thing she does. With the intention to sell the house as soon as possible, she immerses herself in the town and falls in love with it. Once she hears what people think of the house and she realizes what Marc did to obtain the land, she sets out to try and make things right. In addition, she gets a chance to explore her passion for photography.

This is a story of rebuilding and of finding oneself. It is a story of strength and determination as well as community who come together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters and their lives which the author has brought out very well. The description of the beach and it's view from the house, the lives of people there is amazing and will make the reader want to visit the place!

This is a wonderful summer beach read that can be finished in one sitting. It is an emotional rollercoaster with some kind of a happy ending that will ensure the reader falls in love with the book and the places!
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Heidi Hostetter writes an emotionally gripping story about fractured families and the power of resilience and starting over.

The Girl I Used to Be is a well written contemporary women's' fiction about Jillian DiFiore whose perfect marriage comes crashing down after discovering her husband Marc's affair. In a whirlwind divorce, she ends up with the property right on the Jersey Shore, where she unearths secrets her husband has been a part of.

In a story that gripped me from the very first chapter, I read this through in a weekend while spending my time by the water over Mother's Day weekend, and it sure was a delight. Hostetter has won my heart for her strong and resilient characters, in the beautiful New Jersey sea side setting.

A fantastic Beach Read that will surely entertain and keep your fingers turning those pages.
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