Member Reviews

My Stepmother's Secret by Emma Robinson was another brilliant book, I was hooked from the beginning till the end. I loved it.
This book is about a woman called Gabbie who is in a troublesome marriage, and with all her husband's lies he has ruined their family life and totally wrecked their marriage. Now, he’s disappeared, leaving just a big promise to make it all right again.

But, Will he ever make it right again for them all?

Gabbie also has challenges of motherhood to her two daughter Olivia and Alice, But, she has to stay strong, to keep them safe and loved from the world around them. But, the only way she can do this is to return to one place, Gabbie hoped she would never return to, her family home!. With so many happy memories of the one place she once called home when her dad was alive. Sadly he died Her father left her the house but with one proviso. His second wife, Gabby's stepmother, was to be allowed to live there for as long as she wanted.
Sadly, She never welcomed me there, or shown a single sign of leaving, since her husband died!.
There is no Love lost there on either of them!!!!

But Gabby has no choice. She needs to ask for her help.

Gabby knows little of her stepmother, she was a young girl when she came into her life. She was the woman who destroyed her everything around her. and took her dad away from her!! However, living together now all under the same roof, all the secrets that have kept us apart for all these years are finally slowly revealing themselves.

Will this fragile bond break completely between them, and they become friends?

This book was so good and I highly recommend it.

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With a title like "My Stepmother's Secret," I was expecting a more diabolical past to be revealed than what the story told. However I did enjoy Emma Robinson's family drama about secret's and how they can destroy relationships and families.

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for an advanced reader's copy of this book for my honest review.

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Well this was a very interesting book. Whilst reading it I went through a range of emotions and really got involved in the story. Thoughts of my teenage self and teenage daughter came to the front.

Thoroughly a self provoking book and do recommend.
I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.

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My Stepmother’s Secret by Emma Robinson

Gabbie & Margot are more than mother and daughter, they are best friends. In Gabbie’s eyes, she can do no wrong-taking her shopping in the most posh cities, planning elaborate getaways in fancy hotels. That’s why when she’s sent to boarding school by her father, she is devastated. Constantly writing to her parents to get her out, she feels alone and attacked by the other girls. When her mother dies and her father begins to move on, Gabbie chooses to go back to the hellish boarding school over watching her father and Jill create a life together.
Flash forward to Gabbie’s adulthood when she is a mother to Alice & Olivia, wife to gambling addict Liam. She is forced to go back to Jill, her distant stepmother, and ask for help. What she doesn’t anticipate is the truth that Jill drops on her. Is it possible that her mother wasn’t who she remembered her as?

A sentimental read that tugs on your heart. Navigating divorce with children is never easy and this touches on all aspects of it. I loved the alternating time lines & found it easy to follow. The only thing that felt “off” to me in the book was the resolution with her old roommate-it felt rushed and out of place. Overall, this was a great read!

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I loved this book and for ages I didn't know which way it would go. I read late into the night as I wanted to find out more but the was sad when it came to an end. A good page turner

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Honestly I saw where this story was heading right from the start and still thoroughly enjoyed it. I grew to like the family and wanted to see good things happen to them. And for Gabbie to realize what she really has. The good and the bad.

The author does create a little bit of mystery with Gabbie’s husband and what has caused her to flee to her childhood home and visit her estranged stepmother. It’s an emotional read exploring family and what effect secrets have on them. I kinda thought Gabbie was a little bit of an ostrich with her head in the sand. I know it is easy to do as a child, but the pattern continued as her as an adult.

I read the book in just over a day and was drawn in by the real world feel. Messy family relationships, the ups and downs of parenting and what happens when your world unravels just a bit.

It’s a great women’s fiction novel that will appeal to those that like to read family dramas.

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Thank you to NetGalley & author Emma Robinson for allowing me the opportunity to read a copy of "My Stepmother's Secret".

This novel follows Gabbie, who packs up her things (and her two children) and moves back to her stepmother Jill's home after learning that her husband has been keeping secrets from them. She does not get money, as desired, from her stepmother Jill, however Jill does allow her and her two daughters to stay for as long as they need. During their stay, Gabbie learns things about her upbringing that she wasn't expecting, while also dealing with the aftermath of her own husband's addiction & other indiscretions.

Overall, I rated this novel 4/5 stars!

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Another emotional rollercoaster read from Emma Robinson. Twists and secrets kept me gripped on a story that I highly recommend to anyone who appreciates and enjoys reading family dramas.
Well done Emma.............................another 5* story
Many thanks to Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC

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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A great suspense thriller, full of excitement and emotion.A recommended read.

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BLOG TOUR REVIEW


Review for 'My Stepmother's Secret' by Emma Robinson.


Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Emma Robinson, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous


Publication date 29th March 2023


This is the sixth book I have read by this author. I have previously read 'My Husband's Daughter', 'Only For My Daughter', 'To Save My Child', 'To Be A Mother' and 'His First Wife's Secret' which I highly recommend.


I was originally drawn to this book by its beautiful eye catching cover and its intriguing synopsis and title. The synopsis stated that this book is "An emotional story about family secrets and lies, and the lengths a parent will go to, to protect their children. Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Kate Hewitt.'' I am a huge fan of all three authors so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I am also a huge fan of Emma and if this is half as good as 'My Husband's Daughter', 'To Save My Child', 'Only For My Daughter', 'To Be A Mother', 'His First Wife's Secret' it is sure to be a page turning read. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).


This novel consists of 41 chapters and an epilogue. The chapters are short to medium in length so easy to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!


This book is based in the fictional Fernley Village, Suffolk, England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿, UK 🇬🇧 . I always enjoy when books are set in the UK as I'm from Wales and have sometimes visited areas mentioned in the book. This makes it easier to picture where the scenes are set at times. I have in fact visited England on many occasions including this year so am looking forward to possibly recognising name places.


This book is written in third person perspective with the main protagonists being Gabbie. The benefits of third person perspective are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.

'My Stepmother's Secret' discusses some topics that may upset some readers or may not be suitable for others. I like to point this out ahead of time in my reviews so you can judge if this book is for you or not. In this book Emma discusses bullying, addiction and other domestic issues I don't want to add in case I give too much away.

Wow!!! Where to even begin?? Yet another stunning domestic drama from the extremely talented and absolutely wonderful Emma Robinson.


I start by saying that Emma Robinson is a very talented author and I cannot wait to dig into more of her books. She is definitely on par with several of my favourite authors including Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks which is why she is also one of my favourite authors!!!


The book itself is written so well that it reads so smoothly from chapter to chapter with brilliant descriptions and settings perfect for the scene. It really dragged me deep into the story and I became completely invested until I came out the other end with tears streaming down my face. The title and synopsis fitted the storyline perfectly.


Emma has such an amazing talent and is always able to weave serious domestic and other topics into an emotional rollercoaster ride of a story and she has covered several in this amazing book. I need to be very careful in writing this review as I really don't want to spoil anything for future readers so I will try my best to give as much detail in my review without going to in depth as to give too much away. The fact that Emma has done her research on so many topics absolutely shines through and this is one of the things that I love abut Emma is that she always does sych alot of research for her books and ensures there are no mistakes that could spoil the storyline for readers. Some of the topics that Emma has covered in this book include addiction, bullying, medical research, boarding school and much more nut any other subjects I mention may give too much away, After you have finished this fantastic book make sure you keep on going until the very last page to not only read the prologue and first three chapters of 'My Husbands Daughter' but to also read her letter which mentions Boarding School Syndrome. This is something I have never heard of, so thank you Emma on teaching me something new and not for the first time, and as soon as I have typed this up I am off to do some more of my own research on it. I absolutely loved this book, no surprise there really as all Emma's books have all been amazing, and I just could not put it down!! I ended up devouring it in a few hours as every time I told myself I would finish that chapter and get on with something else I just had to read the next and then the next until before I knew it I had come to the last page!! It is one of those books that had me hooked onto my kindle from the first page to the last and I ended up walking around with my eyes glued to the pages, well screen!! It is ram packed with emotions and so much going on. I was on the edge of my seat on so many occasions and as a parent myself some of the events that happened would have been my worse nightmare and there was more than one of them!! I cannot even begin to imagine how poor Gabbie kept herself going, I will go into the characters later on. As a parent myself I felt emotions such as horror, panic, love, dread, worry, stress, annoyance, guilt and so much more!! Emma's evocative writing skills ensures everything mentioned came to life around me and it felt like I was right next to Gabbie both in the present and past. I loved that Emma included letters between Gabbie and her Mum throughout the book as it gives the reader an insight into her Mum as well as Gabbie. This book isn't just filled with emotions but also shocks and surprises that absolutely blew my mind and I just was not expecting at all!! It is also filled with mystery and it left me intrigued to what happened between Gabbie and Liam for her to have to go to her stepmother, what happened between Gabbie's Mum and Dad, what happened with Jessica and why was she being the way she was and so much more. It was non stop and just when you think things couldn't get any worse for Gabbie and her family something else came smashing towards them around the corner. It is an absolutely beautiful story of love, loss, parenting, forgiveness, friendship, secrets and family!! It is filled with love, family, friendship, regrets, selflessness, heartbreak and much much more. It is extremely thought provoking and just goes to show that sometimes keeping the truth from someone because you think you are protecting them isn't always the right thing to do and can sometimes make things worse. I love how Emma manages to take what could be such controversial subjects and manages to weave them into absolutely addictive and gorgeous stories. Emma manages to mix the past and present chapters in at the perfect times so you get a bigger picture of what is and was going on but no too much to give the story away too early. There is so much going on this book that I just could not put it down for one moment!! You will definitely not only need to clear your schedules when you start this as you will not be able to put it down but you need to make sure you have tissues at the ready!!! I cried, screamed, smiled, my heart broke, my heart warmed and soooo much more!! Such a rollercoaster ride of emotions!! I wont say anymore as I don't want to give too much a way. Needless to say it is a beautiful book and an absolute page turner!!! I WAS completely invested in this book and read it in one sitting as I do with all of Emma's books. It is a complete rollercoaster ride of emotions and Emma has weaved so many "hard" subjects perfectly into a gorgeous yet heart-breaking storyline. This is yet another stunner by Emma that I would love to see made into a movie!!


Do not start this until you have cleared your schedules as you won't be able to put it down!!


It is set over multiple time lines. When books show what has happened in the past and what is happening in the present I find it really helps the reader (if it is well done) understand why things are happening and what has lead to the present activities and decisions. It also shows the bigger picture.


The characters are all realistic and described so well I really felt that I got to know them all. I became completely invested in Gabbie but in Olivia and Alice too. My heart absolutely went out and broke for Gabbie especially as a parent myself. She not only had her own history and family past to deal with but everything her husband Liam was putting her through, her feelings for Jill and the stress of everything that was going on with her children Olivia who was 16 years old and Alice who was 8 year old to deal with too. It is hard enough as a parent anyway let alone as a Mum who has to move in with a step-mother she dislikes and one she hasn't seen in 3 years along with everything else. I need to be careful with how much as I say not to give anything away. Emma's writing skills made me feel that I was going through everything Gabbie was going through making my heart beat faster and then break. It wasn't just adult problems that she had had to deal with too but everything that went on when she was a child, from being sent to boarding school to losing her mother at a young age to feeling betrayed by her Dad to being bullied and isolated whilst in boarding school. I absolutely cannot abide bullying regardless of where it takes place and I wanted to punch Jessica (the ringleader) so many times I lost count. However, and there is no excuse for bullying, including the reasons given, but I did feel sorry for Jessica for what happened to her as a child too and I was gobsmacked when I found out!! You manage to shock me in all your books Emma and you would think I would start working things out by now but you manage to get me every time so a huge CONGRATULATIONS as I read hundreds of books a year so it gets harder and harder to shock me but you've done it from the first book I read by you to this one. I had mixed emotions about Jill (Gabbie's stepmother) as well as Gabbie's mother and father. Again, I need to be careful I don't say too much as I don't want to give anything away so all I will say about them really is that I thought Jill seemed very bossy to Gabbie and judgemental when she moved in with her children but I do think that she was fantastic with Olivia and Alice. Olivia is at that joyful age of 16 where she wants to be treated as an adult but act like a child at times and although I did think she was being a brat at some points I also seen how mature she could be, how sweet and wonderful she was to her sister Alice and how it also cant be easy for any child to go through what was happening. Rose was really sweet and innocent and I loved watching her relationships develop with Jill and some of the funny things she came out with. I really liked Gabbie's childhood friend Tricia who said it how it was and was a great support network for Gabbie. She was a lovely friend who would drop anything to come out to help her regardless of their past separation. I didn't trust Liam as there was something going on that he was behind although we don't find out until later in the book but I couldn't stand the way her kept trying to blame Gabbie who I was rooting for throughout and shouting at her to leave him!! Whether she does or not I will leave you ti find out yourself along with what Liam did and what secret Jill is hiding. Teaser I know but you'll just have to pick your copy up ASAP wont you Emoji. Gabbie is an absolutely amazing Mum who was continuously putting herself last and doing what she thinks is right for her children. However, does she get it right? Do any of us know that what we are doing is the right thing for our children? I really can't say anything else about how I feel about them as I think if I did say anything else I will spoil things but just trust me you need to read this book and you will know what I mean and feel!!! I loved that all the characters were a mix of personalities and I enjoyed watching the relationships between each grow and develop. regardless of whether I liked, loved or hated them they all worked together perfectly to make yet another exceptional read by the amazing Emma!!!!


Make sure you read to the very end of the book to read the prologue and first three chapters of Emma's absolutely stunning 'My Husband's Daughter' which is another emotional page turner and one I have read myself and would highly recommend!!


Congratulations Emma on yet another page turner!! This is why you are one of my favourite authors and here is to your next success 🥂!!!


Overall an absolute page turning, addictive and emotional roller coaster, beautiful story of love, secrets, family, heartbreak and so much more!!


Genres covered in this novel include Literary Fiction, Women's Divorce Fiction, Mystery, Romantic Fiction, Thriller & Suspense Literary Fiction, Women's Writers & Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Literary Saga, Mothers & Children Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary Women's Fiction, Small Town & Rural Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Domestic Fiction, Family Saga, Women's Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Women's Saga, Emotional Drama and Fiction amongst others.


I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Nicholas Sparks, Kate Hewitt, Diane Chamberlain Jojo Moyes, Jodi Picoult, Colleen Hoover and just anyone looking for a beautiful read.


318 pages.


This book is just 99p to purchase on kindle, free with kindle and £7.99 in paperback via Amazon, at time of review, which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!!


Rated 5 /5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook.


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Today marks the end of my life as I know it. I have absolutely nowhere to go, no-one to turn to. My husband’s lies have ruined our family and wrecked our marriage. And now he’s disappeared, leaving just a promise to make it all right.
What a powerful story about family secrets and lies. My Daughter's secret shows us the length a parent can go to, to protect their children
It is the kind of book that you have to add to the top of your list but make sure you have tissues at hand as it's absolutely heartbreaking.
An easy five star from me as I couldn't put it down and it pulled on my heart strings with such force. The ending had me in tears and got me in a total book hungover
Thank you so much to Bookouture for offering me a spot on the tour. This has been an absolute triumph. I am piling up on Emma Robinson's books 📚now as I want to read them all

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Gabbie finds out her husband has been lying and everything she has will be taken from her. So she leaves with her 2 daughters to go and stay with her Stepmother. The woman she never got along with since she was a child.
We leant that she was sent to boarding school because her dad wanted it but not her mom. Her stepmother was her mom;s best friend and ends up marrying her dad.
But what we think is not exactly what really went on as we find out things from the Stepmother. I really enjoyed this book although sometimes I wished that Gabbie would get a backbone.
I was expecting a psychological thriller but it isn't and is a woman's fiction.
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for the book to review.

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I want to say most authors make the characters take the highroad and although Emma Robertson definitely did that for the most part I loved the whole scene with Jessica and thought that was a nice touch because sometimes we just need to get things off our chest and what a great way to do that I was so much rooting for Gabby loved her and love this book. I received it from NetGalley I am the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistake as I am blind and dictate my review. When Gabby and her two daughters showed up on her step mothers doorstep she was full of resentment for her stepmom Jill and remorse for the loss of the mom she loved so much. Because of what her husband Liam done however she had no other choice and no other place to go but her staying with Jill will not only open her eyes but change her outlook about those closest to her. They say the truth will set you free and that is exactly what’s going to happen to Gabby while staying with her stepmom jail. It seems everything Jill says and does Gabby look sad as a negative but is Jill really the evil stepmom she makes her out to be or is Gabby just looking at it all wrong when there’s an accident and Gabby‘s youngest daughter Alice is found unconscious she’s forced to call Liam to tell him the state of their daughters condition if not for Jill who knows what could’ve happened to little Alice but Liam‘s arrival only causes gabby to see him and a whole new life as well and it isn’t a good one. I wish I could tell you in greater detail an awesome summary for this book because it really is a stellar read and more than a thriller it’s about a woman yearning for something she already had and letting go of something else she never needed to begin with. I loved this book and highly recommend it it is a stellar read and one I couldn’t put down if you were looking for a five star read that is compelling and unlike other books in the genre you need to read My Step Mother‘s Secrets

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I thoroughly enjoyed this read from start to finish. I was originally expecting a thriller-mystery type read, however My Stepmother's Secret tells the story of a woman trying to navigate her troublesome marriage, the challenges of motherhood and a turbulent relationship with her stepmother.

Gabbie as a character was entirely relatable, especially for me. As a mother of 3 girls, reading how she struggled with her own parenting decisions, made mistakes and felt constant guilt brought comfort to me in a way. It was evidence that we're all really trying to do our very best, even when it doesn't feel like it.

Her relationship with Liam, her husband, infuriated me at times but again, was relatable. Seeing how he would blame her for his own shortcomings but in a roundabout way that meant he never outright said it was her fault but also never accepted blame.

The Stepmother in question, Jill, comes across as a sanctimonious old woman who hates Gabbie. As the story unfolds however, we learn that maybe Jill isn't as bad as she seems and Gabbie in fact has a skewed perception of her own childhood.

Some parts of the story were told via a dual timeline which I enjoyed. Even though Gabbies mum passed away when she was 13, we still got to see their relationship and have an understanding as to how her dislike of Jill came to be.

Overall it was an excellent read and I would definitely recommend it. I cried in parts, felt frustration, anger, joy and understanding. I love how it made me feel like a good enough woman and Mum.

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I was expecting more of a psychological thriller type read, it wasn't. What I did get was this amazing slow burning, domestic thriller drama written by Robinson based on family secrets and lies.

Switching from past to present time lines we get to spend time with Gabbie as a child and then as an adult as she returns to the family fold seeking help from the stepmother she's spent years resenting. I related to this, not with a stepmother but the love/hate/resentment relationship I have with my own stepfather.

I didn't expect it to resonate so much, it was moving, emotionally charged and I found myself enjoying it.

Many thanks to Bookouture for my tour spot.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Who do you turn to when your world is turned upside down? Gabbie reluctantly turns to her stepmother, with whom she has had a difficult relationship. She needs to protect her children from the truth about their father, but soon learns that keeping secrets may not be the best way to protect them. A very emotional and riveting novel!

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Emma Robinson continues to surprise me! She knows exactly how to engage readers’ emotions and pull them into a story.

As Robinson explores the truths we believe and the extent we’ll go to uncover the truth, readers are pulled into Gracie and Gabbie’s lives. We learn that things aren’t always as we see them and that there’s always more to the picture than we let ourselves believe. We also step deep into the emotional roller coaster that takes off when we realize that there are some things we can’t control - other’s actions.

Robinson examines the role addiction, infidelity, divorce and secrets play in our lives and reveals the joy in second chances, forgiveness and learning to rely on others for help. This emotionally charged and thought-provoking book, centered around family secrets and bonds, is one that you’ll remember for quite some time.

I keep coming back to Robinson’s books because she writes to mirror real life and has mastered the ability to engage her readers.

I was gifted this copy by Bookouture and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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My Stepmother's Secret is another fantastic book by Emma Robinson. I am not a typical woman's fiction reader but there are some authors I make the exception for and Emma is one of them. My Stepmother's Secret is an emotional rollercoaster with long buried family secrets at the heart of it. Absolutely fantastic - I would highly recommend this and all of Emma Robinson's previous books.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my ARC.

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I found this book to be a page-turner and it's even in a genre that I don't typically read. Gracie's marriage is going through a rough patch, and she takes her two daughters and returns to her family home. Only she doesn't really feel like she belongs there at all since her father died three years ago. Though truth be told, it hadn't felt like home long before that. What she has is a big house of hurtful memories and a stepmother still living there that she never wanted. But Gracie feels like this is the only place she can turn right now.

This book follows the journey of Gabbie's life in the present day and in the past. As secrets come out, she begins to question what she thought she knew. Is it possible that things weren't exactly as how she she had perceived as a young person? And maybe her stepmother isn't the evil person she made her out to be either?

As a mother herself now, how will what Gabbie learns from visiting her past shape her future and that of her daughters' and her marriage. There is no doubt that Gabbie has been placed in a tough spot, but will she find her way out? I dare not say any more for risk of giving any spoilers, but I highly recommend this book if you just want to step into someone else's world for a day.

Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.

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"An emotional tale of family secrets and the lengths parents will go to protect their children. —Chock-full of warmth, heartache, and hope."

Master storyteller Emma Robinson returns following To Be A Mother with her latest family drama, MY STEPMOTHER'S SECRET.

Gabbie is married to Liam, and they have two daughters, Olivia and Alice. Unfortunately, her hubby has been keeping secrets with a bad gambling problem. How will she tell her daughters, and where will they live? She has a lot of decisions to make.

Gabbie has nowhere to turn but to her stepmother, Jill. Her mom and dad are gone, and even though they left her the house in the will, Jill can live there as long as she likes.

She does not care for her stepmother, whom her father married after her mother died in a car accident. She blames and resents her for all the turmoil growing up.

Everyone keeps secrets, and no one communicates—thinking they are protecting their children.

Gabbie is keeping all of this from her two daughters. She finally confesses to Jill the problem, but she does not give her money but says she can stay with her. In the meantime, Jill began to open up about the family secrets, where nothing was as it appeared.

Her father had sent her away to boarding school, and there she was bullied by another girl. She appeared to have viewed others and situations incorrectly.

Gabbie finally realizes she must depend on others for help. Highly charged topics from addiction, bullying, infidelity, affairs, family secrets, marriage, relationships, self-awareness, and second chances.

So many people had been hurt by deeply flawed parents. Why had they not told her the truth? Was it right to sacrifice your own happiness for others? What would her life be like if someone had told her the truth?

Gabbie has to make some tough choices, but she has learned from these new truths and is better equipped to handle her own life as a wife and mother to her girls and how she perceives her stepmother Jill in a different light.

This is my second book by the author, and Robinson explores the tough and messy side of families, relationships, and parenting— with a cast of well-developed characters. If you enjoy family sagas, the power of family and friendships, and the ties that bind, you will enjoy MY STEPMOTHER'S SECRET.

For fans of authors: Jodi Picoult, Rochelle Weinstein, and Suzanne Redfearn. Beautiful cover.

Thank you to #Bookouture and #NetGalley for a gifted ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Review posted @
JudithDCollins.com
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: April 3, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
April 2023 Must-Read Books

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