Member Reviews

Robinson's latest novel, My Stepmother's Secret, is an exceptional piece of writing that had me hooked from the start. I found myself completely invested in Gabbie and her family's story, unable to predict where the plot would take them. Robinson masterfully unpeels the story layer by layer, slowly revealing secrets and complexities that are true to real life.

My experience as a reader was nothing short of complete immersion in the story and its characters. As Gabbie struggled with tough choices, I felt a range of emotions that truly pulled me in. What stood out to me the most was how Robinson handled sensitive and difficult topics, such as addiction and bullying, with both grace and sensitivity.

Having read some of Robinson's previous works, I have to say that this is her greatest novel to date. She writes from the heart, but skillfully avoids sentimentality, crafting a story that mirrors the complexity of real life in all its thorniness and messiness.

Robinson's writing style is nothing short of captivating, as she teases out the story layer by layer, keeping the reader guessing until the very end. I found myself invested in Gabbie's dilemma, unsure of which way I wanted the story to go. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, and I couldn't put the book down.

One of the things that stood out to me about this book was the way Robinson addressed tough topics such as addiction and bullying. She did so with sensitivity and grace, highlighting the complexities of these issues and how they can affect not only the individual but also those around them. It was refreshing to read a book that tackled such difficult topics in a realistic and nuanced way.

As a fan of women's fiction, I would highly recommend My Stepmother's Secret to anyone looking for a captivating and thought-provoking read. Robinson has truly outdone herself with this novel, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

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I really enjoyed this book. I went into it not knowing much about the book or what it entailed. I had assumed based on the ominous title this would be a psychological thriller. This was less thriller and more good story. There wasn’t anything too gripping about the book or scandalous. It was a great story about the relationship children have with their stepparent. I went through the gambit of emotions, happiness, anger, frustration and love. I could relate to this novel given my own experiences. This was a touching novel about the power a step parent can have on the very fabric you turn into as an adult. I would recommend this for anyone who wants a better understanding of the trials of divorce and step parents from a child’s perspective into adulthood.

Read if you like:
▫️multiple perspectives
▫️past/present timelines
▫️domestic thriller

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Emotionally written book about relationships, addiction, and judgment. I like that Gabbie is strong enough to realize her judgmental mistake from the past and take strong actions for the future.. A good pastime women's fiction.

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I haven’t read any of Emma Robinson books before and she did not disappoint. This is a complicated story of families lives with a rollercoaster of emotions. Keeping family secrets is never a good thing and Gabbie finds out her husband has secrets, so pack up and moves in with her stepmother not explaining to her two daughters why.. what lengths will a parent go to protect their children.

Thank you Netgalley and bookoutre for the ARC I have really enjoyed it and look forward to more by Emma Robinson.

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All roads lead to home that is what Gabbie’s father always said and that is where she is headed. It isn’t the place that she remembers but she has nowhere else to go. She knows that her daughters will want answers about why they are going to stay in Fernley Village but she isn’t too sure what she is going to say. Her & Jill haven’t gotten on since her father died but she knows that she is safe with Jill but can she be honest about what is happening in her life?
She remembers her parents sending her say to boarding school and how she was bullied there. After her mother’s death Jill moved into the house and Gabbie always blamed Jill for her childhood.
Jill has always tried to be there for Gabbie but can she tell her the truth about her mother? Will it drive a bigger wedge between them?
Gabbie knows that she needs to speak to Jill about what is happening at home but she hopes that Liam will be able to sort out the mess he made before she asks Jill. Is there anyway to repair their relationship?
A good read. Gabbie has had a life a privilege and she doesn’t realise until now how much she had. Will she be able to move on from the past?
Jill only even wanted the best for Gabbie she tried her hardest to always be there for her. Will this be her chance to be honest with Gabbie?
Enjoyable story. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC copy. This is my voluntary honest review.

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WOW WOW this was a roller coaster emotional story. Huge fan of the author because I love her writing. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to review.

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This read definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. From the blurb I had more of a thriller feel in my head but it’s more of a suspenseful family drama. It’s told in 2 timelines of past and present which works well to build the backstory and present day. It gives you the different dynamics of what a family can entail from parenting, step parents and marriage. The storyline is full of reveals and shows how when things aren’t said it can shape our perception and really make us see things differently. It’s a slow burn read but enjoyable as it builds the suspense. I found the characters likeable and well developed. Overall a slower paced read to what I usually read but just as enjoyable.

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read #MyStepmothersSecret

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Gabbie has resented her stepmother for years. But as her own life is falling apart, she has to rely on Jill’s help. How far does Gabbie have to fall until she begins to see the bigger picture?
Robinson writes a complicated family tale that deliberately makes the reader think one character is the villain.
I fell for it, so gullibly.
I liked how the story developed and how Gabbie faced up to unvarnished truths and began take charge of her life and mend fences.
It had an upbeat ending which are always a pleasure to read.

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Another best seller by Emma Robinson. I love the style of writing no boring descriptions of places or people just straight in. I could not read each chapter quick enough. A really well chosen title and not until I was half way through the book did I begin to realise just how unselfish the stepmother had been in her role. I loved the main character and how she experienced so much in her life with her rose tinted glasses. The story was gently brought to a conclusion which did not disappoint. Really recommend this book for an absorbing read.

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Keeping secrets to protect your kids can be so detrimental as Gabbie discovers after leaving her husband with her 2 young daughters.
She flees to the only place she can, her childhood home where her stepmother still lives, and the stepmother she believes ruined her life.

As secets are revealed about her past, Gabbie soon realises that nothing was how it seemed and she recognises that she's making the same mistakes with her girls.

At first, I didn't like Jill and thought she was a bit mean, but once her intentions were revealed, I saw things from her side and agreed with her wholeheartedly.

Gabbie had some realisations to make and get her head and heart in the same space for things to fixed and improved and she grew and did what was required of her.

I could relate to Gabbie with her schooling and the bullies (although not the reasons why she was bullied) and even with the bully apologising for making her life a misery.

Keeping secrets for protection can actually do far more harm than good and can ruin relationships and break trust. The balance is so tricky about what to tell and what to hide, and that's what's stayed with me since finishing this book.

*This is not a thriller. It's a family suspense/drama, so keep that in mind going in.

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4.5 stars

Just finished reading this, and OMG it's fantastic. Probably the fastest I've read a book in a while.

My fourth book by Emma Robinson. I was so impressed by To Save My Child that I was worried the following works wouldn't live up to the mark, but My Stepmother's Secret exceeded my expectations a long way.

The story follows Gabbie and her daughters Olivia(16) and Alice(8). With no one to turn to in very hard times, she is forced to return to her childhood home. Both parents dead, she has to turn to her stepmother Jill- the last person she wants help from. But under these chaotic circumstances, there is so much of the past that peels away.

Climax was literally perfect with stuff piling up one over the other. I think the resolution was satisfactory and the 'ghosts of the past' tied in well with the rest of the story.

Writing: The book is in third POV with dual timeline. The past stories usually start with a letter and go ahead with accompanying memories. It is on the shorter side, too and makes for a great single sitting read.

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First, I want to thank Emma Robinson, Bookouture, and NetGalley for providing me with this book so I can bring you this review.

Oh you know when Emma Robinson announces a book release this girl right here gets all giddy! Infact, I cleared my schedule to binge read My Stepmother's Secret (and made a note to stock up on tissues in case). YES, I am a huge fan of hers! How can you not fall in love with the stories that she writes from her heart straight to yours?!

Alice Moore needs to be commended on this beautiful cover design for My Stepmother’s Secret. Emma always has a great eye for cover designers for her books.

My Stepmother’s Secret focused a lot on the family dynamic and forgiveness. Oh there was tons of family drama, deep hidden secrets, very eye opening revelations that changed the perspective of what we thought was really real. This was a very deep and intense book if you think about it.

Emma incorporated some very deep, powerful and meaningful life lessons within each storyline. Lessons that can be used in our own lives as well.

One thing I love about Emma is she picks storylines that pulls hard on my heart strings. Many times she leaves me crying like a baby-which is why I have learned to stock up on tissues when reading her book. This time around sweet little Alice pulled hard on my heart strings. Early on in the book she was having symptoms but it was put on the back burner til much later in the book. However, I had a hunch what the diagnosis was and was correct because I went through the same exact situation.

The main mystery in My Stepmother’s Secret is why did Gabbie and her two daughter’s up and leave her husband to come stay with her Stepmother?! It was kept hush hush from everyone including the readers! I was dying to know what was going on and why she was so close lipped about it. However, I never ever in a million years think that would be the reason! I didn’t see that coming!

Another reason I adore Emma’s writing so much is she researches such diverse topics for her storylines. These storylines and her pulling on our heart strings makes her books a 5 star read every time. It is one major reason I will read anything by her!

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This is my first Emma Robinson, but I have heard great things about other book, so was looking forward to reading!

When Gabbie finds out that her husband has been keeping secrets from her, she puts her two daughters in her car and drives back to her childhood home. Since her dad died, it has been occupied by her stepmother Jill, whose relationship with Gabbie is already strained, and that is only made worse when she won't explain the reason for the visit, but she has nowhere else to go.
Along with dealing with her husbands betrayal, Gabbie also starts to learn more about her childhood and how all was not necessarily as it was portrayed to her. With the safety of her children at the forefront of her mind Gabbie has to decide how she is going to deal with all that is uncovered.

This is a well-crafted family drama around the secrets that are kept to try and protect loved ones and the fallout when they are uncovered.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
So originally I expected this to be a thriller and then while reading it I realized that it was not.
However that made it an even better book. One about family relationships and coming together to help. Really enjoyed this book even though it didn’t turn out to be what I had expected.
Well written and very heartfelt.

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What happens when you discover that nothing in your world is what you thought it was? Gabbie finds out her husband has not been truthful with her and she returns to the home of her youth to take some time to do figure it all out. The problem is that Jill is there - the stepmother that she wants nothing to do with is living in the home that her father should have left to her. It’s here that Gabbie discovers what it really means to love someone and that all is never as it first appears. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the early read.

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I’d like to thank Bookouture and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘My Stepmother’s Secret’ by Emma Robinson in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

‘My Stepmother’s Secret’ is a wonderfully written story of relationships. It tells of Gabbie’s childhood when her mother made everything fun and her father sent her to boarding school where she was bullied. Now in the present time she’s happily married to Liam when she realises he’s been lying to her. She takes their daughters Olivia and Alice to stay in her childhood home in Suffolk where her stepmother Jill still lives and although she’s always had an uneasy relationship with Jill as events unravel she begins to see a different side to her.

The emotional issues involved such as the early loss of a parent and bullying form important parts of this story and are handled sensitively. I liked the characters of Gabbie and Jill who I became so involved with that during the times I was unable to read I couldn’t wait to get back to my Kindle to continue the story. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining novel by a very gifted author and one that I can wholeheartedly recommend.

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4.5 rounded up to 5. Based on the cover and description of the book I expected more of a thriller type story. I read the entire thing waiting for something big to happen and a big revelation of the stepmother. I kept expecting something really bad. That being said, this story was so well written and really heartfelt and real. In my opinion I feel this story will be better received by a mom/parent.

Gabbie is the mom to 16 yr. old Olivia and 8 yr. old Alice. She is married to Liam who turns out to have secrets that is tearing the family apart. However, Liam has a way of hiding those secrets and being the "favorite, fun parent." Throughout the story Gabbie is reminded of her own childhood and the loss of her mother at 13. We really have two stories in one with this one. The story where Gabbie is a child and one where she is the adult and parent.

We really see how resilient children are and how hard the truth is after being lied to or deceived. I really felt a connection with these characters as they were so well developed and portrayed. This is my first book by Emma Robinson, but will not be my last.

I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Many thanks to NetGalley, Bookouture publishing, and author Emma Robinson for the opportunity to read. Review posted to NetGalley and GoodReads.

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Enjoyed this book, found it a little slow at the start but once i got into it i really enjoyed it. Would have loved to know more behind the extent of Liam's gambling.

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I loved this beautiful emotional story told in a dual timeline of Gabby at boarding school and present day Gabby. The characters were so relatable it was easy to identify with them and understand how they got into their difficult situations even if you didn’t agree with their actions. As the secret Gabby's stepmother had kept unravelled it brought a lump to my throat. How often adults keep secrets thinking they’re protecting their children not realising the damage they are doing. When Gabby has to move in with her stepmother because of her husband’s actions she discovers just how far everyone had gone to protect her from the truth in her childhood, and how she was repeating the same mistake in her marriage. I highly recommend this heart-warming read.

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The story I just finished was not what I was expecting from the title of the book. Something more “secretive” and “thriller” is what I was expecting. Certainly got messed up family dynamics!
The story is full of family drama, broken marriage and how a family deals with secrets.
Overall, a suspenseful family drama. Do not go into reading My Stepmother’s Secret thinking it will be a thriller as you will be disappointed.
Thank you NetGalley, Bookouture and the author for the opportunity to read this book for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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