Member Reviews

Emma has done it again.
Great storyline, great characters.
We meet Gabbie, Olivia and Alice, we join them as they are travelling to see Gabbie’s Stepmother for the 1st time in several year. Teenage Olivia is fuming that she has been dragged away from spending her final summer after finishing school, with her friends. Little Alice, is tired and sleepy and doesn’t seem to understand what is going on and Gabbie is struggling to hold her emotions in check. She is carrying a secret, she has had to flee her family home and is going to ask her stepmother for help, she is reluctant to do this as she has never really got on with her and resented her father marrying her after her beloved mother’s death.

Emma slowly reveals what is behind Gabbies return to the home she grew up in and we begin to understand more about her relationships with the adults in her life as we read letters and snippets from her time in boarding school.
Gabbie isn’t the only one who has been keeping secrets?

I found the characters likeable and really wanted things to work out for Gabbie, I wanted her to remove her rose tinted glasses and see what was really going on around her.

Highly recommend and a, already looking forward to her next book.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this title

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An emotional family drama about lies, deceit, and the generational secrets that keep us. As heartbreaking as it is heartwarming. Emma Robinson knows how to write the stories that tug at our hearts and are so relatable!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC!

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warning tissues are needed to finish this emotional and superb novel. i wish there was an option for more than 5 stars. feeling emotionally drained.

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I just want to start off by saying thank you to Netgalley and Emma Robinson for offering me the opportunity to read this before the publishing date!
This is different from what I would normally read, and I enjoyed it!

If you're looking at the cover and expecting this to be a thriller, I'll warn you now that it's not!

This is a very powerful and emotional story about a family, secrets, addiction, bullying, gambling, and finding out the truth about childhood.
As children we don't see the bigger issues when growing up with your parents, you don't always know what's actually going on behind the eyes of your parents.
This story is told in the present day with flashbacks of Gabbie's time in boarding school.

Gabbier takes her two children to her stepmother's house because of an incident that her husband caused that she needs him to fix. While she's there Jill starts sharing family secrets that make Gabbie rethink everything about her childhood. Why her father sent her away to boarding school, why she was bullied in school and her mother's relationship.
She now has to decide what to do for herself and her children.

If you enjoy reading books about family secrets and life-changing revelations, you'll enjoy this book!

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This was a great read! This book really made me think about how we idolize our parents when we are younger and our memories may not reflect the true reality. I could relate to many of the struggles in this book on a personal level and enjoyed the story! It ended up being heartwarming and just all around a great read.

This was a quick read and hard to put down, as well as easy to get into. My first read from this author but certainly not my last!

4.5/5 stars ⭐️

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC in exchange for my honest thoughts!

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When Gabbie finds out that her husband has been keeping secrets that affect her and their two daughters, she packs up her car and heads to the only place she can go - the house she grew up in. It's her house but is lived in by her step-mother Jill - the uncaring and boring woman her father married after her wonderful loving mother died in a car accident. She doesn't want to go back there because she resents Jill and blames her for the changes in her life growing up, but she has no choice. She's keeping the reason for their unexpected trip from her two daughters - one of them a teenager who is very suspicious and difficult. By day two, Gabbie is even more resentful towards Jill and doesn't want her giving advice about her daughters. When Gabbie finally tells Jill why she has come to her family home and asks for money, Jill refuses to give her any money but tells her that she and the two girls can stay there as long as they need to.

As Gabbie begins to face the issues of her husband's addiction to gambling and her daughters' happiness, Jill begins to share family secrets with her and Gabbie finds out that nothing in her life is what she thought it was -from her loving and fun mother, why her father sent her away to boarding school, the girl who bullied her in school and her husband's addiction - she has spent her entire life viewing people and situations wrong. Now she has to decide how to deal with the changes in her life and how to best take care of her daughters and she realizes that she may need to start depending on people that she had never trusted in the past.

This well written family saga was full of secrets and the effects that those secrets had on other people. Gabbie has to decide whether to stay in her marriage and what she should tell her daughters about their father. It's also about choices and change. Is it possible to see people and situations differently than you have all of your life?.

This book was the first Emma Robinson book that I've read and I plan to read more of her books. The description of the author states that she has a passion for stories which explore the power of family and friendship in the most challenging circumstances. This book definitely fit that description and I'm anxious to try some of her earlier books. If you enjoy books about a family with secrets that are unraveling and how people deal with the secrets, this is the book for you!

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Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for this eCopy to review

I really enjoyed Robinson's My Stepmother's Secret, the characters were very believable and even though the plot twists were well sign-posted I found the story utterly compelling keeping me up well past midnight so I could finish it!

I loved the duel time aspect of Gabbie's time at boarding school and the present day. It allowed for a deeper understanding of her relationships with her mother, Jill her stepmother, and her own daughters. As well as unravelling all those secrets

Whilst heart breaking at times, the happy ending makes it all worth while

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Gabbie and her 2 daughters, packed up and she decides to go to her father’s home where she grew up to stay with her stepmom. So what did her husband lie about? That made her pack and go?

Amazing writing. It’s very touching and emotional for Gabbie to learn from Jill, her stepmom about the things she didn’t know. It’s a great story about lies, loss, family and heartache as well as addiction. Gabbie’s a strong woman, making choices that are going to hard for anyone.
I really enjoyed this book.

If you enjoy reading about families with secrets, you will love this, there's just so many lies.

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"My Stepmothers' Secret" is a book that touches on so many topics; addiction, love, loss, hurt, betrayal, and fear. I didn't know what to expect from this book as the "blurb" doesn't give much away. I can safely say that I'm glad I read it because it is about so much more than the title suggests! It's both heartbreaking and heartwarming and even made me shed a few tears at the end! It's a must read for anyone who likes the above topics.

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Gabbie grew up idolising her mum and was devastated to lose her in a car accident when she was thirteen, already packed off to boarding school a year earlier, and with no friends, she was struggling so when her dad seemed to swiftly move on with her mum's friend Jill, Gabbie grew up despising them both. Now married herself and with two children, Olivia and Alice, she discovers her husband has lost everything they had worked so hard for and finds herself turning to the one person she thought she'd never have to, her stepmother Jill. However, not everything is as it seems, and secrets are about to be revealed which could change Gabbie's mind about everything.

My Stepmother's Secret is the latest domestic drama from this author and depicts how keeping secrets can tear a family apart. Right from the offset Robinson had me intrigued as to what Liam could have done that was so bad to force Gabbie to flee their home with her girls and return to her childhood home to beg her stepmother for help, and it's a while before we discover the reason as she's unsure who she can trust. This story is told in the present day but with flashbacks to Gabbie's time at boarding school, it covers topics such as bullying and addiction to gambling which are dealt with sensitively. It's well structured with relatable characters, I wanted to shake Gabbie to try and make her see sense and as for Liam, he deserved a slap for his insensitivity and selfishness! I was hit with a mix of emotions during this book which does require tissues and, having read and loved some of her previous work, I'd say this is her best one to date! I need to go back and read her others now.

I'd like to thank Bookouture and Netgalley for the auto approval, I will post my review on Goodreads now and Amazon on publication day.

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I wonder if My Stepmother's Secret is Robinsons' best novel yet. A cracking story, brilliantly teased out by an author who just gets better and better. I can honestly say I had no idea which way it would go and not only that, I had no idea which way I wanted it to go - that's how invested I was in Gabbie and her dilemma, so deeply involved that, like Gabbie, I just didn't know what to do as a parent, a wife, or as a step-daughter. I loved the way Robinson unpeeled the story layer by layer, without rushing and without reaching for easy outcomes. This is not my first rodeo with this writer and it won't be the last, so I knew there would be more to every character than met the eye, and there was! Robinson writes from the heart but the story is not sentimental. It is thorny and messy and complicated, just like real life and there are no easy solutions here. I finished it last night and I have been thinking about it this morning. At one point, I realised I had a churned up feeling, wondering if Gabbie and her family were OK, before I reminded myself that they are fictional. They are OK, I think. Gabbie is resourceful and loving and, whilst no one changes overnight, her character goes through a huge learning curve. To say more would be to leave spoilers so I will say only this: fans of women's fiction will devour this book!

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This is my 4th book by Emma Robinson and I enjoyed this domestic suspense novel. A heartwarming story about bullying, addiction and secrets. Lots of secrets! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review. To be published April 2023.

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Thankyou to netgalley and Emma Robinson for the opportunity to read my stepmothers secret before being published.

What a great read. It draws you in from the first page and dives straight into the story. You can tell from the get go that something isn't quite right and you want to read until you find out whats going on!

It flicks between past and present in the form of letters and text which is a great touch. It's easy to keep track of what is happening when also, as some books I find you can get a bit confused when this happens.

The characters are relatable and you can really understand them and feel as if they are real people.

Overall this was a fantastic read, a slight change to what I normally read, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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My Stepmother's Secret
by Emma Robinson
Pub Date 03 Apr 2023
General Fiction (Adult) | Women's Fiction
5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
It’s in that moment, I realise – I have nowhere to turn. If my precious daughters and I are going to have a roof over our heads, we have to return to my childhood home. The one I’ve not felt welcome in since my father died. The one where the woman who destroyed our family still lives. 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. My daughters, Olivia and Alice, need me like never before. I will do whatever it takes to stay strong, to keep them safe and loved. So I turn to the one place I hoped never to return to. When my dad died, he left me his house, with one proviso. His second wife, my stepmother, was to be allowed to live there for as long as she wanted. She hasn’t welcomed me there, or shown a single sign of leaving, since. But I have no choice. I need to ask for her help.
Little do I know that everything I thought I knew about the woman who destroyed my life when I was a child is about to come crashing down. Living together now, the secrets that have kept us apart for all these years are finally revealing themselves. Will our fragile bond break completely, or could it be the only thing that saves me and my daughters…?
🛑My Review🛑
My Stepmother's Secret
by Emma Robinson is a very powerful
emotional story about family, secrets, lies, gambling addiction ,bullying and the lengths a parent will go to, to protect their children. I was drawn to this book by its beautiful cover. It caught my attention right away. Once i read the description i knew i had to read it. This is one of those books that will stick with you for a long time. It will consume you long after you finish it. Two days later and its still on my mind. Emma Robinson sure knows how to write a mesmerizing story that will hook your attention from the first chapter and pull you across the emotional spectrum as the story and characters unfold.You feel every emotion of these characters as you turn the pages. I felt so connected to Gabbie .
I could feel every single emotion Gabbie was going through and it was like I knew her personally. All of the scenes were perfectly described and It was easy to feel as if you were right there in the middle of all of it. I cried and cried some more. I highly recommend reading this story with a box

I just want to say Thank you to author, publisher, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this 5 star story . I truly appreciate it!
If you are looking for a well written,unforgettable, heartbreaking,emotional, beautiful story then you should definitely read this one.
I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.
#MyStepmothersSecret #NetGalley

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-this book is not a mystery/thriller. And it doesn’t claim to be one-

To Be a Mother by Emma Robinson is an emotional story about family secrets and lies, and the lengths a parent will go to, to protect their children.
A beautifully written, emotional story I enjoyed it immensely.
The characters are realistic and described so well here. They are relatable and so damn real. I could feel every single emotion Gabbie was going through.
I was completely captivated from start to finish. It’s an all-consuming read that left me wanting to read this authors backlist.
Another fantastic book, heart wrenching and uplifting read.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You NetGalley and Bookouture for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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This book was not at all what I expected & I just could not connect with it. I thought it would be more a mystery/thriller but for me , it was not.

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This is not a thriller. There are no mysteries, no shocking reveals, no unexpected twists. This is a drama. It digs into the darker side of childhood, growing up, and hits on a lot of emotions. Unfortunately, I assumed this was a thriller because it was labeled as such and dramas are not my cup of tea.

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Beautiful and oftimes sad tale of a woman’s lying husband and of the secrets her father kept from her. The story of Gabbie’s teenhood of school bullying is set against that of her husband’s addiction to gambling. She struggles with holding information from her daughters as a way to protect them-much the same as her father did to her. A thoroughly engaging novel.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Thank you to NetGalley & Bookouture for the ARC of My Stepmother's Secret

What extent will one go to protect the one’s we love? I thoroughly enjoyed this family drama. It is an emotional story of loved ones, relationships and how secrets can do lifelong damage. The characters in this story were easily relatable and easy to connect with although at times challenging. This book sheds light on the damage of gambling addiction and bullying. This story may frustrate you at times but tug at your heartstrings. Solid 4 star, quite a wonderful read. I will be sure to look for more of Emma Robinson novels.

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Gabbie’s life begins to unravel when she discovers her husband, Liam, has been keeping secrets. She packs up her kids and drive out to her childhood home where her stepmother lives. Gabbie discovers secrets about her mother, her childhood bully Jessica, and her stepmother Jill. This is a domestic suspense with good pacing. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy.

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