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Maternal Instinct

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Maternal Instinct

By Becky Masterman

Audiobook :- 10 Hours & 40 Minutes

Narrator :- Gail Shalan

Book :- 288 Pages

Don't let them know what you're thinking, Althea Deming tells herself. It's your best defense. Althea didn't want her good natured but thoughtless step-son Hal and manipulative daughter-in-law Grace to move in with her, relegating her to a corner of the house that was once just hers, but she doesn't have much choice. She's been powerless since her beloved husband Robert's death. According to the will, everything that was hers now belongs to Hal - and to Grace.

Grace Deming didn't want to uproot her family to care for her difficult mother-in-law, but she's determined to make the best of it for the sake of her daughter Shyla's future. Their new home is enormous, the neighborhood prestigious. If the worst of it is that Althea dislikes her, she can cope.

Review...

well well, starting this audiobook i was not expecting much but maybe a woman who's a little bitter, but this book is more then that with the main character Althea Deming (I see her as a toxic character) after moving in she points out changes and also you can feel her disgust for daughter-in-law Grace. During the book slowly you see Althea doing small steps to twist and manipulate the situation and also the people around her ( in as well as out side the house ). The way Althea is written comes off as off settling as well as toxic, with some of her actions making my mouth fall open ( turtle ) (if you know you know ), I also have my suspicions that Althea killed people and felt no remorse... I even have had thoughts that maybe Althea is a sociopath. Once I started this audiobook i could not stop & the narration by Gail Shalan was greatly done really helping with the submersion and it really helped me get into the story being told ( I find it hard to get along with all audiobooks, certain voices don't work for me ).

I found this book really good dealing with a toxic In Law & trying to do the best you can but nothing you ever do being any good, you are the villain no matter what... but the actions of lies, manipulation, gas lighting and so much more done by Althea has made Grace think she is losing her mind and also that she is the only one who is suffering but she is not because even her daughter at times gets unfair treatment but to others it looks like Althea cares when she doesn't... the book mentioned in this book (how to deal with people with borderline personality disorder & not walk on eggshells - I have a book in this series but for dealing with bi-polar or narcissism ).

I give it 4 stars out of 5

highly enjoyed and was able to draw allot of emotions out of me

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I loved the author’s Brigid Quinn series so was thrilled to see that she’s written a standalone domestic thriller.
I really love Becky Masterman’s style of writing and I was drawn into Maternal Instinct from the beginning. It’s an atmospheric thriller with an undercurrent of dread running all the way through. Although I found all of the characters unlikeable they are very well drawn and this was an immersive and compelling read.
Many thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.

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This was the first book I've read from this author. This story was suspenseful and had me hooked from the beginning! My heart rate was increased with every chapter. Right when you think you've figured out the plot, there is a twist to make you doubt. I enjoyed this thrilling page turner and would recommend this to anyone!
@netgalley @beckymasterman2

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I love Becky Masterman's Brigid Quinn series, and have been hoping for another one, but sadly, I fear Brigid Quinn has truly retired. So when I saw that Masterman had a new book coming out, I jumped on it. It's a different type of book, more of a domestic thriller and an excellent character study. It's also a good modern look at the friction that can come from having three generations suddenly living in the same house. Those frictions are only exacerbated by the fact that the "matriarch", Althea, is now living in the newly renovated house she and her husband once owned, but living with her stepson and his wife and teen daughter in an arrangement engineered by her dying husband. It's an arrangement that no doubt seemed perfect on the surface. But no one left to deal with the consequences of the arrangement is truly happy or comfortable with it. Althea feels displaced in the home she once owned and isn't happy that she's no longer the "Queen Bee"; her stepson Hal misses the the job he loved and had to leave; his wife Grace misses her friends and her old job. Their teen daughter, Shyla, also misses her friends and school. Most of all, though, Grace is increasingly distrustful of Althea - and with good reason. As events escalate Grace becomes increasingly concerned about Althea's stability and for Shyla's safety.
I'll continue to hope for more of Brigid Quinn, but now I know I can safely look forward to more of Becky Masterman's books, even if there's no more about Brigid.
Thanks to Netgalley and Severn House for providing a copy for an unbiased review.

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This is a chilling and suspenseful domestic thriller that will keep readers glued to the pages until the final shocking twist; the story unravels the dark secrets hidden behind closed doors.

The writing is taut and atmospheric, creating a sense of unease that lingers long after the book is finished. As the book goes on readers are drawn deeper into the twisted story where nothing is as it seems.

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Dark Domestic Suspense..
A battle of wills and way, way more in this dark and disturbing domestic suspense. Since the death of her husband Althea has been feeling powerless, never more so than now following her relegation to a small corner of her beloved home by her step son and daughter in law. As familial tensions rise, the warfare begins. A tension filled ride through a terror of domesticity gone wrong with a deftly drawn and keenly observed cast of characters and a propulsive plot laced with a sense of impending dread.

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Poor Althea. Her husband has passed away and left their home to his son, Hal. Hal has a wife, Grace, and daughter, Shyla. Althea finds herself moved to the "Mother-in-Law suite", where she once had the entire house. Oh, but don't count her out yet! Grace finds herself uprooted from her friends and community and does have a few rules of her own. Everyone loves Althea and thinks she is just the sweetest, but Grace has her doubts. Why does everyone put up with any of this, you ask? Well, Dear Hubby stipulated in his will that Althea be allowed to remain, and that Hal and Grace take care of her. Oh joy. We soon learn that Althea is NOT just the sweetest, but then neither is Grace. Let the games begin. This one was fun to read in a disturbing sort of way and I would read more from this author.

Thank you to #NetGalley, Becky Masterman and Severn House for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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First I felt for the house. I don't get the desire to redo and modernize all the houses all the time. You can just not. It is a lot easier and cheaper. Grace gets a huge house and she just does all this work on it but she has to work so hard to pay bills. She could have not and the house would have kept its original character.
I imagined it was gray with those gray floors I hate so much.
The MIL is evil. The thing with the turtle sealed the deal. How she can hurt an animal and child that way is too much for me.
And Hal is just a loser.
I need I think about this one. I hated everyone but usually that helps me like a book but I don't think it worked that way this time.

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Maternal Instinct
by Becky Masterman
This was a very wild book. Don't let them know what you're thinking, Althea Deming tells herself. It's your best defense. Althea seems to silently move through the family home, with so many rules.I like Althea much better than the family, But, the daughter-in-law is mean, her husband a wimp, and the daughter a brat,

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This was great! It's unique and I enjoyed the writing style. Overall, this was fun entertaining book I would recommend. Special Thank You to Becky Masterman, Severn House and NetGalley for allowing me to read a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

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This book was such a twisted read. I really enjoyed the daughter-in-law's character. The whole book engaged me and kept me reading.

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Two women living in the same house. A covert decision by a father and son that upon his father’s death he will have power of attorney for his stepmother whilst inheriting everything conditional upon the widow living out her life with his family. A series of refurbishments on her home and implied confinement to a luxury granny extension leaves the widow angry, resentful and focused on real and imaginary slights by the usurper. Her stepsons wife. Grace. excluded from any discussions or agreement to these life changing arrangements finds herself and child isolated from family and friends the focus of an old lady intent on a battle of attrition where there can only be one winner. What follows is psychological warfare compounded by secrets of the past. This is compounded by manipulation of the wider society to become ignorant innocent witnesses encouraged to believe in the contorted version of increasingly bizarre and violent behaviour . Hugely gripping storyline, excellent three dimensional characters and tense finale, if somewhat moving towards the melodramatic. Tighter editing of the final chapters might have increased credibility but did not detract from a satisfactory conclusion. Many thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

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I have enjoyed other books by Becky Mastermind, but this one is very different. If you have a good relationship with your mother-in-law/daughter-in-law be grateful as you read this book. Grace, the daughter-in-law is not happy because when her father-in-law died he left the family home to his son and wife together, and Grace is not happy in her new neighborhood. Althea, the mother-in-law feels uprooted from her house. Grace makes an effort, but Althea is determined to not be happy. The son stays out of the whole thing. My personal sympathies were with Grace, but I will leave your decisions up to you. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc, and for not influencing my review.

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A complex tale that has a lot of threads and plenty of red herrings. It wasn’t my favourite book of the year and on the whole I didn’t feel it was the most original plot.

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EXCERPT: 'We'll get past it. It's a hard time.'
Despite her hatred, she wished he would touch her, or maybe not. He did not. He never really had; it wasn't in him, though she knew he loved her. And for herself, she had lost the will to initiate that small gesture of forgiveness and affection. She said, 'I know, sweetie. I know,' without meaning it.
That's what she said to Hal, I know, sweetie. What she knew was that underneath his words and hers was the truth. Hal had just told her that the battle had already been fought and there was no knowledge beyond knowing that Althea had won. Althea's presence had taken everyone away from her: her mother, her husband, her daughter, her friends, and somehow herself. How strange that you could be part of a family of four and feel so lonely.

ABOUT 'MATERNAL INSTINCT': Don't let them know what you're thinking, Althea Deming tells herself. It's your best defense. Althea didn't want her good natured but thoughtless step-son Hal and manipulative daughter-in-law Grace to move in with her, relegating her to a corner of the house that was once just hers, but she doesn't have much choice. She's been powerless since her beloved husband Robert's death. According to the will, everything that was hers now belongs to Hal - and to Grace. Grace Deming didn't want to uproot her family to care for her difficult mother-in-law, but she's determined to make the best of it for the sake of her daughter Shyla's future. Their new home is enormous, the neighborhood prestigious. If the worst of it is that Althea dislikes her, she can cope. After all, Althea Deming is a sweetheart. Everyone says so. Her husband. The neighbors. And soon, so does Shyla, the once vibrant and happy child now a shadow of her former self. What's wrong with Grace that she can't trust her? But all her instincts are screaming at her that Althea is dangerous, and if she doesn't fight to protect her family from her malign influence, she'll live to regret it . . .

MY THOUGHTS: A quick, easy, but not particularly gripping read. I felt out of touch with all the characters, although I did have a little sympathy for Grace. I once had my mother-in-law stay for ten days and that was too long! I think the problem for me was that none of the characters were really well developed. We have Grace, married to Hal, who is Althea's stepson. We know that Hal's father organised these living arrangements before his death to ensure that Althea was cared for in her old age. Neither Grace, Hal, their teenage daughter Shyla, nor Althea are particularly happy about these arrangements; they have all lost something important to them by acquiescing to Robert's wishes. And that is all we know about them. And I like to know my characters. I like to know what makes them tick. So a lot of the things that happened in this book didn't make a lot of sense to me, particularly towards the end. There was one point where it got really good, but then it just tailed off again.

An okay read that had the potential to be much better.

⭐⭐.9

#MastermanMaternalInstinct #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Becky lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Severn House via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Maternal Instinct by Becky Masterman for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions

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Thank you to Severn House via NetGalley for this read in exchange for my honest feedback.

I hate to say this but I’m a DNF at 15%. I could not get into this at all. The plot had good bones with the idea of a mother and daughter in law at odds living together, something sinister building maybe. But there’s nothing there for me I’m sorry I couldn’t do it anymore.

1/5 ⭐️

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This book has one of the most narcissistic, annoying, evil villains I have ever seen. Grace, the main character, definitely had all my sympathy in trying to deal with her. My mouth actually dropped open a couple times while reading this - there were some unexpected shocks for sure. Overall, this was a really enjoyable read and very engrossing p.

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


A well-written domestic drama with plenty of intrigue, twists and turns. A recommended read.

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I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. My mother-in-law and I got along very well. But I never moved into what she considered her home and started changing everything. And she certainly never stirred up as much trouble as Althea does for Grace. In this fictional story of a blended family thrown into guaranteed turmoil by the death of Althea's husband, who leaves their home to his son and daughter-in-law, each day brings new surprises. Neither Grace nor Althea are happy at this situation, but Althea is determined to insure Grace knows who is Queen of this roost. As they carefully manuever around each other, the tension builds and.......well, you really are going to have to read the book. It's very good.

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When Althea‘s husband ROBERT died all her belongings went to her stepson Hal and his wife Grace with the agreement Hal and Grace will take care of his stepmom Althea at first Grace tries to make the best of it and what she considers an honest attempt at making Althea happy… Althea sees it as a slight. Grace knows there’s another side to Althea and she is concerned. She has nowhere to turn except her mother Fiona because everyone loves Althea from the priests to their neighbors and she’s even swaying her own daughterShiloh into camp Althea. Throughout the book Althea talks to her dead husband who from the readers point of view she can see and hear but who doesn’t talk to their deceased spouse right I mean Althea is doing her best to get along and at first I could really empathize with Althea but as the book goes along and something from Altheas past pokes its head it will be the beginning of the end but not before someone gets hurt. I really enjoyed this book and at first as I said I didn’t know who was the bad guy but by the end OMG forget the bad guy there’s a bad ass woman and she’s had about enough. I can honestly say I have never read a book by Becky Masterman before but I can also equally honestly tell you I will definitely be looking for them in the future this book was really good and I love that at the end when Grace was woken up at that point I did not know what to expect but I definitely got a satisfying ending in a great thriller. I want to thank severin House and Net Galley for my free Ark copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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