Between You and Me

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Pub Date 22 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 06 Jul 2021
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

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Description

Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…

She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?

As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems...


A Note From the Publisher

Carol Mason was born and grew up in the north-east of England. As a teenager she was crowned Britain’s National Smile Princess and subsequently became a model, diplomat-in-training and advertising copywriter. She currently lives in British Columbia, Canada, with her Canadian husband, a rescue dog from Kuwait and a three-legged cat. To learn more about Carol and her novels, visit www.carolmasonbooks.com, her Amazon author page at www.amazon.com/Carol-Mason/e/B0045AP0NI or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CarolMasonAuthor.

Carol Mason was born and grew up in the north-east of England. As a teenager she was crowned Britain’s National Smile Princess and subsequently became a model, diplomat-in-training and advertising...


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ISBN 9781542004992
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Featured Reviews

It took me a while to get into this book but once I did I enjoyed it, very well written and all the characters were good, some I liked, some I didn't but the storyline was interesting.

I can thoroughly recommend this book and thank you to Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

This book was right down my alley! The beginning started off a bit slow for me! But like many others it quickly picked up the pace and before I knew it I was done with this great thriller!
Really enjoyed this book! Thanks NetGalley Publishers and author for this great advanced readers copy

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I’m not a big fan of romance books, especially those centered around mending relationships, so this book just wasn’t for me. It was well written, but I just couldn’t get wrapped up in the book.

Lauren, the main character, seemed nice enough, but also a bit whiny, which made her hard to relate to.

Mason alluded to some potential infidelities or issues with Joe, Lauren’s husband, which would have made the book much more interesting. The conflict in the story, including in big part Meredith’s infidelity and Toby’s real father, played such a small part in the story. Lauren’s relationship with Grace also could have made for some good drama, but unfortunately had short bursts and then faded into the two having a good relationship without any explanation of the shift in Grace’s behavior. I also expected Lauren’s relationship with Mel to have so much more meaning or weight, but that also fell flat for me.

Overall the book was just okay. I finished it and don’t regret finishing it, but I have a feeling when I look back on my year in review I won’t even remember what this book was about.

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There’s an old saying that goes something like,”If you think it’s too good to be true it probably is .”

Lauren, a young British medical student, is courted by Joe , also British, when they meet by chance in Palm Springs. Joe is divorced from his wife, Meredith, and has two children, 14 year-old Grace, and almost 4 years old Toby.

Needless to say they fall madly in love and are soon married. But married is not the wedded bliss Lauren anticipates from her courtship. Grace is a vicious, vindictive liar, cut from the same cloth as her mother. While Toby is adorable and loving, no one has ever taught him that hurling himself against someone standing at a hot stove is something he shouldn’t do (and he is old enough to know better), and neither child has learned that throwing a tantrum in public is not the appropriate way to get what they want.

And there are signs of fissures in the marriage as well. Joe is not always supportive.

I’ll leave it at that.

I received this book as an ARC. from NetGalley and the publisher.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Between You and Me by Carol Mason is a relationship drama and slow-burn domestic thriller that will appeal to fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Push. The plot revolves around Lauren, a doctor, who meets Joe, an older businessman while on vacation in America. They are both from London. Although it's complicated when they first meet and they aren't able to get together, things change when they see each over a year later back in London.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 that shows us the note that Joe writes to Lauren after they haven't seen each other for 14 months:

"Dear Lauren,
This could perhaps be a wild goose chase in more ways than one. But in case by some miracle this does actually manage to find you, and if there is even the remotest chance that, after all this time, you still vaguely remember me, I wanted to say that it's not complicated anymore and I would love to take you to dinner.
Joe Johnson."

The note is romantic, and this sounds like the beginning of a romantic comedy. However, this book is definitely not going in that direction. After Lauren and Joe get together, Lauren struggles to connect to his step-children and his ex-wife. She also starts to notice his temperament changing. Is Joe really not the person she thought he was? Or is it all in her head?

Overall, Between You and Me is a pretty standard domestic thriller. I took off one star because it got pretty slow in the middle, and it felt like nothing was happening. I prefer thrillers that have a little bit more action in them. However, that is not the book's fault. I'm only explaining why it wasn't a 5-star read for me. I think I will stay away from domestic thrillers in the future and read thrillers with more action-packed plots. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above or if you're a fan of relationship dramas, then I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in June!

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Between You and Me by Carol Mason is a relationship drama and slow-burn domestic thriller that will appeal to fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Push. The plot revolves around Lauren, a doctor, who meets Joe, an older businessman while on vacation in America. They are both from London. Although it's complicated when they first meet and they aren't able to get together, things change when they see each over a year later back in London.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 that shows us the note that Joe writes to Lauren after they haven't seen each other for 14 months:

"Dear Lauren,
This could perhaps be a wild goose chase in more ways than one. But in case by some miracle this does actually manage to find you, and if there is even the remotest chance that, after all this time, you still vaguely remember me, I wanted to say that it's not complicated anymore and I would love to take you to dinner.
Joe Johnson."

The note is romantic, and this sounds like the beginning of a romantic comedy. However, this book is definitely not going in that direction. After Lauren and Joe get together, Lauren struggles to connect to his step-children and his ex-wife. She also starts to notice his temperament changing. Is Joe really not the person she thought he was? Or is it all in her head?

Overall, Between You and Me is a pretty standard domestic thriller. I took off one star because it got pretty slow in the middle, and it felt like nothing was happening. I prefer thrillers that have a little bit more action in them. However, that is not the book's fault. I'm only explaining why it wasn't a 5-star read for me. I think I will stay away from domestic thrillers in the future and read thrillers with more action-packed plots. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above or if you're a fan of relationship dramas, then I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in June!

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#BetweenYouAndMe #NetGalley
Wao.
When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Mercer for giving me an advanced copy of this book.

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This was a pretty average domestic noir. The plot and the characters were good and interesting but unfortunately it was not memorable overall. There are too many similar books and this just did not stand out for me.

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When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…

She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby, and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?

As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

Damn, Joe was just a creep to me. I saw his Ex-wife, Meredith and he was just so wrapped up in their children and control, Lauren couldn't do anything right, UGh, NIce book .

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The book description caught my attention straight away and once I had started to read the first few pages I knew I had to continue.

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I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really liked this book, it wasn't a thriller or suspenseful, but still a great novel.

I felt like all the details in the book made it very realistic, and when I was reading it, I felt all the emotions alongside Lauren- frustration, astonishment, bitterness, etc.

One thing that really summarizied my indignant for Lauren was when she told Meredith: "But I was here, where were you?" . Endless incidents showed that both Joe and Lauren were too busy with their lives to be available, so they would dump the kids responsibilities onto the new wife, she was the one who had to pick up the kids, make dinner, take out for outings, all alone by herself. What should have been a simple solution is for Joe and Meridith to hire outside help, especially when they're both financially well off.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book very much, and happy about the ending as well.

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Thank you for the advanced copy in exchange for a review.

I enjoyed this, after the first chapter I just sat and finished it. Good plot, good characters and well worth a Thursday afternoon with a couple of cups of tea.

I have been lucky recently with the books I have requested, I have come across some new authors and new genre.

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An excellent easy to read story of modern day marriage.
Lauren hopes to be a fantastic stepmother to her husbands two children but soon discovers its a constant battle. New husband Joe fails to provide the support and there is the impossible task of trying to win over Meredith the ex wife, and endless battles with his complicated teenage daughter Grace.
Lauren starts to have doubts and wonder if she has made a huge mistake. Mason provides an engaging story with a touch of humour at times, which will relate to many..

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This is less of a thriller and more of a riveting but very true to life domestic drama. When a young doctor marries a seemingly perfect man with whom she has a powerful connection, little does she know that real life is far from perfect. If you throw in getting to grips with being a step parent, a volanic ex-wife, and a husband who never takes your side, - and a series of events that erode everyone's trust in her - you have no idea how it can possible end well. Can it? Is love enough? Can people change? Can we ourselves be better versions of ourself? Can we forgive and forget? It's fascinating stuff with a very satisfying ending!

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Carol Mason, between you and me, Lake Union, 2021

Thank you, NetGalley, for this copy for review.
Carol Mason’s novel, woven around the topic of step parenting, combines a sensitive and thoughtful approach, from the perspectives of all the main characters, as well as those that become involved while those relationships develop. At times, Mason’s even handedness toward the characters might annoy, particularly if the reader is committed to one or other of the protagonists. However, while this almost neutrality sometimes seems to slow the story, it works to demonstrate the complexity of the topic. This novel shows the inability of even those with the advantages of professional lives and lack of economic anxieties to deal easily with the complications attendant on developing any new relationship combining first and second families.

In December 2017 Joe Johnson and Lauren Matheson meet at the swimming pool in a Santa Monica Hotel. She is there to attend the wedding of a friend; he is there on business. Lauren is writing a short story, has a degree in history, but is now well on her way to becoming a medical doctor. He has been married, has two children, is originally from Chicago, but like Lauren, now lives in London. Fourteen months later Lauren is attending a patient and receives a text from Joe. They have married. In Chapter three, the first indications that all is not well appear with the introduction of Grace, Joe’s fourteen-year-old daughter.

Lauren and Joe’s relationships with Meredith, Joe’s first wife, Grace, and Toby, the four-year-old, become the foundation of the story. Lauren’s attempts to win over Grace; accept Joe’s attitude towards her relationships with his children; and her sometime mistakes, and difficulties with Meredith are well developed. While it is difficult not to sympathise with each character in turn, some of the behaviour is challenging while realistic. The tension in the household and between the protagonists becomes part of the process of reading as, often unwillingly, the reader is drawn into ‘taking sides’. Mason also cleverly renders readers part of the dilemma about why some occurrences are allowed to undermine a happy marriage.

This novel takes a complex situation and works well in highlighting the problems, while refraining from offering contrived solutions. Some clever humour is introduced amongst the stress. Although the open ending includes some elements of a typical happy conclusion, it is all the more satisfying because it is only one of the possible resolutions; other options are offered, maintaining the realistic way in which the novel has unfolded.

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I really enjoyed this although at times I wanted to shake all of the characters and I did not understand how they acted like they did. I read this is one setting as it was a nice easy read but I also wanted to find out what happened next.

The ending was classic - loved it.

I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.

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Although Lauren is in the profession to mend others, she really needed to mend herself in order to stick up for what she needed and deserved. I am sure that it can be hard to be a stepmother to two children that have gone through multiple changes coupled with a strong willed ex-wife, but Joe really did need to stick up for her. Mistakes were made and I do not agree with the forum she stated as Miserable, but she did not know where to turn or who would listen. I am sure she felt very alone. The book did have a happy ending with her, Joe, Grace and Toby, but she was willing to take the risk to get what she wanted and deserved.

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A solid story about people just trying to make a life for themselves in the chaos that is this world. Great book if you like the family dynamics and a stepparent situation.

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This book was sent to me by Netgalley on Kindle for review. It involves family dynamics from divorce to relating to stepchildren. At times, one just wishes the story would move on. At other times, the reader wonders what will happen next. Try this one. It is honest and not all sugar and light. Blended families have problems. Blended families sometimes don’t work out. The protagonist isn’t in 5is novel is strong and honest and tries so hard.

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This was such a captivating storey. I wasn’t sure what genre it was going to be based on the premise. It sounded quite psych thrillery, but it wasn’t. It had a few heart in your mouth moments, but it was just a heartbreaking story of a woman finding love but it not being quite right.
Lauren meets her new husband one day in Santa Monica and falls for him immediately. He is the perfect guy except for one thing; he comes with a ready-made family. He has two kids and an ex-wife that is still very much present in his life. Lauren has to decide whether this is something she wants to take on. Is Joe worth it?
There were so many frustrating moments throughout the story where I just wanted to bang both Joe and Meredith’s heads together. The way they treat Lauren, I wouldn’t have put up with that for as long as she did and would have told them where to go.
There are lots of ups and downs, and you have no idea what direction the book is going to go in or how any of the situations can be resolved. I was happy with Lauren’s choice at the end, I think it was the right one, but that last sentence left me a little confused!
I hadn’t read a Carol Mason book in a while, and I’d forgotten how amazing they are. They really capture all the feels; they are brilliantly written and have wonderful well-developed characters.
I didn’t want this book to end, but at the same time, I devoured it to find out what would happen, and I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since, so much so, I’ve not started a new book yet. A superb five-star read!

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I always enjoy Carol Mason’s books and this one didn’t disappoint.

When Lauren meets Joe by a Californian poolside there is an instant attraction, but for Joe it's complicated. Months later they are married and for Lauren, life has become a lot more complicated that she could ever have imagined. With an ex-wife and two children in the picture she is left wondering what exactly her role is within Joe’s life and if it is the life she really wants.

A good domestic drama which made for an entertaining read.

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One of the things I love about Carol Mason (and I say one because there are loads) is her ability to make you feel like any of her characters could be somebody that you know. Ordinary people that have been thrown into a difficult situation and the harder they try to sort things out, the worse things become. Lauren, the protagonist in this author’s latest novel Between You and Me, is no exception.

Twenty-nine-year-old Lauren is a junior doctor who, whilst in Santa Monica, meets and falls in love with Joe, an older man. Although it seems to be mutual love at first sight, Lauren is devastated when Joe declares things are complicated and is unable to take things further. However, not long after Lauren arrives back in London, Joe tracks her down and tells her things have changed. The couple soon marry, and Lauren becomes step-mother to fourteen-year-old Grace, and four-year-old Toby. But far from being Lauren’s happy-ever-after, her ready-made family soon chip away at Lauren’s psychological well-being. Grace – who has some very strange habits when it comes to personal modesty - seems to hate her. And Meredith, Joe’s ex-wife, seems to treat Lauren like she’s some kind of inexperienced hired-help, putting her down and belittling Lauren’s ability as a step-mother at every opportunity. When Toby falls from the slide in the park: (a) because although Lauren is crazy busy as a junior doctor, she goes out of her way to help Meredith, who seems to think her job is way more important than Lauren's ; and (b) because Toby is a being a little shit who won't do what Lauren tells him; Meredith blames Lauren. The more Lauren tries to help her new family, the more trouble she seems to find herself in. There is a real sense of injustice at how she is treated, and whilst I would class this novel as women's contemporary fiction, it does border on domestic noir. At her wit's end, Lauren turns to an online forum for step-parents for advice, but is shocked to find others don’t seem to be so tolerant when it comes to putting up with the whims of their step-children.

Things go from bad to worse for Lauren, and thanks to meddling Meredith it looks like Lauren could lose everything, including her career as a doctor. Can Lauren turn things around? And just what skeletons are rattling around in Meredith’s cupboard?

This was another twisty and compulsive read from one of my favourite authors - and don’t you agree that cover is just stunning!

I recommend this book for fans of Emma Cooper, Kim Nash, and Jo-Jo Moyes.

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Thank you Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an early copy of Between You and Me, this was an incredibly hard read that I did NOT want to put down. It got stepfamilies to a T! You really felt All of the characters feelings. Such a goooooooood book, the ending was totally unexpected. I LOVED this book, thank you Carol Mason.

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I’ve read previous books by Carol Mason and in this one, she manages to take the complicated subject of divorce, parents that remarry, and step into a sometimes unfamiliar role as a parent with no standing. The emotional issues attached to a split family,trying to maintain a semblance of normality for their children, that can only succeed with cooperation and lots of work.
Between You and Me, takes such a scenario and adds a much younger woman, with no children as the new stepmother, destined to fail before she’s unpacked.
Lauren is a junior doctor in a busy ER,trying to balance an new marriage to an older man and his 4 yr old spoiled son, resentful 14 yr old daughter, and a passive aggressive ex wife. Lauren can seem to do nothing right and several unfortunate mishaps, cast an attitude of a reckless step mother, unable or unwillingly to deal with children.
As her new husband begins to question her every action and sides with his ex and kids, Lauren begins to doubt herself and if she can survive this marriage or even want to.
Between You and Me is a domestic thriller, that kept me waiting for something really sinister to occur, as I got further into this book.
Carol Mason is a skilled story teller and her characters are well developed and interesting. This is a novel that kept me riveted to the conclusion.
My thanks to NetGalley, the author and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC. I thought it deserved the 5 stars.

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If there is one book you read this summer this has got to be it!
I loved the characters in it and how some of them developed throughout. A definite page turner! Thank you NetGalley for this opportunity.

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From the very first page, I knew I was going to enjoy this story. I expected it to be a different story than what I read, but after realizing it wasn't going in the direction I thought it would, I enjoyed the read.
I especially enjoyed each character and their arc and kept turning the pages wanting to know where I was being led.
I will admit that I expected more - more tension, more twists, more discovery. I expected something sinister to happen between the text messages between two of the characters, more than just a different identity being revealed, and I was being led down the path of a twist with the husband only to have there be nothing twisty about it.
For fans of thrillers or psych suspense, this isn't that book.

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This is an enjoyable and well written book with a good few twists woven into it. The books delves into the role of being a step parents with our protagonist being a young doctor who marries an older man. Lauren has now found herself dealing with a sullen and somewhat difficult teenager and a boisterous 4 year old whilst also trying to keep her marriage stable.
I felt this novel really dealt well with the problems and hardship that follows a new blended family and the difficulties faced for everyone. I loved the couple of twists thrown in. This is an engaging, believable and very engaging read. I really enjoyed the storyline.

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I wouldnt describe this as a thriller, more a family drama. It is an interesting read describing the problems involved in a step family relationship. Difficult at times but a satisfying ending, and well worth a read

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I found this a very poignant and quite emotional read. I really felt for Lauren and everything she was going through, I read this book in one day - my day off - as I couldn't put it down, the story really held my attention.
Overall I found this a lovely book, the author has such an engaging style, I especially found her depiction of teenage girls bought a wry smile to my face, a thoroughly involving and warm book, although Toby frankly made me far too broody, the sweetest depiction of a four year Old ever! (thank you Russell Crow)!

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I enjoyed this book - it was more family-drama than thriller - i especially felt for Lauren and what she was going through - would definitey recommend

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This was my first book by this author, but it will not be my last.

I don't know why, but when I downloaded this book, I thought it was going to be a mystery/thriller. I think this is how it was categorized. So my expectations were different as I was reading it, and I had to adjust my mind set.

This is a family drama, a romance, a story about family. It covers marriage, divorce, ex-wives, stepchildren, and trying to manage a career and a new life. I was completely drawn into the story and the characters, I felt like these were people I knew. I actually felt like this was my bff telling me her issues - it just rang all true to me. I had all the feels while reading this, which does not happen enough. I would love another book that continues this story to see how they all fare down the road - I was really invested in these characters.

I want to thank the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.

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This was my first book by this author and I really enjoyed this story! Loved the amazing characters! Highly highly recommend

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Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this arc and prove my honest feedback.

I’ll start with, if you’re looking for a mystery or a thriller, or preclinical thriller, this book is not that. It seems to primarily center on family drama, the family Unit, and roles and responsibilities within it. The story takes place in a linear timeline so it’s easy to follow and is a quick read. Although family dramas aren’t totally my thing this book held my attention throughout and I wanted to see what would happen next. The characters were annoying in the way real people could be (and are) so the author did well creating these characters to be believable, as well as their struggles and flaws. There were only a few places that felt repetitive but not enough to detract from the overall story. I enjoyed the book, was well written and believable while still tackling a pretty common problem that people could face, especially in the main characters case. There were a few times I wanted to yell at the main character to stand up for herself or speak up, but that just means I was invested in her outcome. Overall, if you like family drama this would definitely be the book for you.

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So so many twists and turns and I absolutely loved it!!
Carol Mason really has a way of sucking you into the story.

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I really enjoyed the themes of step family life, second marriages, tension between mother and step mother. The challenges of overcoming these very realistic problems are well described, with differing viewpoints recognised. many will wryly recognise the early optimism with which Lauren embarks on her relationship with Joe, who is older and already has two children and how the pressures take their toll as real life intervenes. And a great, if somewhat unexpected ending!

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Domestic Drama With A Touch Of Loss Lake. This is an engaging, real, and honestly a bit depressing look at the trials and travails of your first marriage being your partner's second marriage and coming into a situation where they already had a family with another person while you're still growing and working to establish yourself outside of the marriage as well. In that vein, Mason was startlingly real, including all of the various messy issues that can come up and even showing how finding a place to find support or even just vent can be crucial. The ties to Lake Union stablemate Amber Cowie's Loss Lake... well, in the title of my review of that book, I proclaimed "Screw You (In The Best Possible Ways), Amber Cowie" - which I still chuckle at and produced a few good laughs by those in the know. And if you do know why I wrote that, know that you'll be saying the same thing to Ms. Mason for similar (though to be clear, not identical) reasons. And that's all I'm saying about that. If you don't know what I'm referring to, I suggest you go read *both* books. :D

Seriously, this tale was excellently done on a topic and with particulars that I'd never seen done quite this way before, and that is always something I seek out and love to find. Mason executed everything beautifully, and you'll find yourself constantly reading to see what comes next. You just may want something a bit more bubble gum for your *next* read. :D Very much recommended.

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I love Carol Mason's book but this story did not do it for me, the storyline felt choppy, the characters were unrelatable, I just could not enjoy this one, as I usually love the intricate stories that Carol Mason usually writes.

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“It’s complicated.” That’s how Joe Johnson describes his status to Lauren Matheson when they first meet in California. Fast forward several months later - Joe has been divorced, he and Lauren are married, they live in London and they share custody of Joe’s children, fourteen year old Grace and four year old Toby. Guess what? It’s still complicated.

Joe has a demanding position in finance and Lauren has just begun her career as a physician. Work separates them during the week and the little time they have together is shared with (ruined by, depending on perspective) Grace and Toby. Here’s Lauren’s challenge. Will Grace and Toby grow to love her? Will she learn to deal with Meredith, Joe’s demanding ex-wife? Is Joe on her side? And does she care?

Between You and Me is a love story full of family drama. I wanted Lauren and Joe to resolve their problems. I wanted Meredith to move to Siberia. I wanted Grace to grow up and I wanted Toby to stay small. Did I get what I wanted? You’ll have to read Between You and Me to find out and I know you’ll love it as much as I did. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Carol Mason for this ARC.

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I started this book with high expectations for what I thought I was about to read.
Lauren, is in her late 20’s and pursuing a career as a doctor, which involves long hours and high stress.
After a friends wedding in Santa Monica, Lauren meets Joe, a mysterious older man. They click immediately, but it’s complicated....

Fast forward to some time later, back in London, we find Lauren and Joe married.
With Joe, come the added extras of Meredith, his ex-wife, and their two children, Grace and Toby.
Can Lauren find her place in this blended family or will the pressure be too much for Lauren and Joe’s marriage to withstand?

This book was well written and captured some very life like snaps of the ups and downs of being a step parent.
Carol Mason creates some very real and believable characters. Unfortunately, what I struggled with, was being able to like any of them. Despite being drawn into the story, and really wanting to see just desserts served on those who had it coming, I just couldn't take to any of them. I’m sure other readers will feel differently, but as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't Warm to them.
While i’m being a negative Nelly, I wasn’t massively keen on the ending of this book. I can only hope there will be more to come from this family, because I didn't feel that the story was tied up neatly.

There was a lot to say in favour of this book, and although it wasn’t a big hit for me, I would encourage other readers to give it a go, because that’s the beauty of books, what one person struggles with another will find to be a great read.

With thanks to #Netgalley and
#Amazonpublishinguk for an ARC of #BetweenYouAndMe in return for an honest review.
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I was hooked on this book from the beginning. I really felt bad for Lauren and all that she had to endure from her family. The book was filled with family drama and had many different twists and turns. I would definitely recommend to others.

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Between you and Me is the first novel I have reviewed by Carol Mason and I was intrigued by the choice of title, as it seemed secretive to me and appropriate, as it's what you say when you don't want a secret to get out.

The novel is multi-layered, and has different themes. There's marriage, divorce ex-wives stepchildren, as well as trying to juggle a career and build a new life.

Lauren and Joe meet by the pool in California. She's a doctor and he's a divorced businessman and has two kids: Toby, aged 4 and Grace who is a teenager. Then, there's Meredith, Joe's wife...

I can't resist a family drama, and this is certainly mysterious and twisty. I was gripped by it.

Thanks to Carol Mason, Lake Union Publishing and Rachel's Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

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I am not always a huge fan of slow-burn domestic fiction, but when you do it as well as Carol Mason does, it's hard not to enjoy! I knew immediately that I was going to like Between You and Me and despite the frustration I continually felt with Lauren, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this book. It is told all from Lauren's viewpoint and is filled with tons of family drama thanks to her marrying a man with an ex-wife and 2 kids. We watch as Lauren struggles to connect to the kids, especially the teenage daughter Grace, and her husband Joe is definitely not helpful in the slightest. I was so appalled for Lauren at the way Joe, his ex, and his daughter treated her, and I really wished she would grow a backbone and tell her husband off for his blindness and attitude. Clearly, I have no experience with being thrown into a ready-made family, as I am quite sure my way would not be everyone else's way. However, I just felt so bad for Lauren and it felt like she was being gaslighted nonstop.

I read almost half the book before switching to the audio which is on Kindle Unlimited along with the eBook. Moira Quirk narrates, and I have to say that she made me like Lauren a lot more once I got to put a voice to the character. The ending also helped me like her a heck of a lot more, and there were even a couple of surprises in Between You and Me that I wasn't expecting. There is a TON of tension in this book and it really helped keep the pacing up and it made me not want to put it down. I had to know what would happen next with the kids, and how this whole mess would end. It is certainly a messy thing to be the second woman in a child's life especially when they aren't looking for another mom, and I do understand why Lauren just wanted things to run smoothly and not rock the boat. If you like domestic dramas that have a focus on step relationships, Between You and Me is an excellent choice!

Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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In Between You and Me, Carol Mason takes the reader into the lives of Lauren and Joe as they navigate married life after a whirlwind romance. But their newfound happiness is not all smooth sailing with Joe bringing to the relationship two children and an interfering ex-wife.

This tale is a realistic insight into what it can be like as a step parent. Carol Mason has done a great job in showcasing that not everything is always sunshine and roses and it can be hard work, especially when dealing with an unpleasant teenager who definitely puts a strain on the relationship.

My heart went out to Lauren here. She couldn’t seem to do anything right and fights a losing battle as she tries to befriend Grace who just continues to antagonise her when alone, but portrays a butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth persona when her father is around. This is when tensions rise between the two and Joe starts to change and becomes distant.

This is the first book I have read from Carol Mason and it has been a great introduction to her work. She has a very easy style, which makes for such an enjoyable reading experience and I look forward to reading more from her.

Between You and Me is a gripping tale perfect for fans of the domestic drama genre. It raises the questions of is the relationship worth fighting for? and can love really conquer all? Will Lauren and Joe be able to overcome these issues? Well, you will just have to read this to find out!

Thank you to Carol Mason, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Between You And Me, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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A quick read. At first I thought this book was a mystery, but when I started reading, I realised it was a book about family, relationships after divorce, dealing with a insta-family. I enjoyed the connection between Joe and Lauren, but this seemed to disappear after their marriage. The ending threw me... it sort of leaves it to the readers imagination.

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A good domestic thriller that held my attention until the end. Well developed characters, some you like, some not so much. Good summer beach read.

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This was a very engaging and enjoyable novel. It was a bit different than I expected but still kept me wondering what might happen next. It was a fascinating insight into a complicated family situation.

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This was one of those maddening tales that kept me reading well into the night while greatly annoyed with ALL the characters. They each needed a few firm pinches and even a swat or two to the back of the head. Ms. Mason excels at creating curiously compelling yet vile characters I love to hate. Her well-textured and shrewdly paced storytelling lures me into an interwoven trail of storylines, each with an itchy web of nebulous veracity and questionable sincerity, and I just can’t help myself.

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I think I read 90% of this book with a stomachache! Maybe it hit too close to home and emphasized how bad it could have been to be a step parent.

This is the story of Lauren, told by Lauren herself. Lauren is a doctor in training when she meets and marries Joe, a divorced father of 2. To say that Lauren’s relationship with Joe’s teenage daughter Grace and ex-wife Meredith are tricky would be the understatement of the year. I am so glad we handled things completely differently, but as a step parent it was all too easy to imagine everything Lauren was going through. I was literally appalled by how she was treated and although I did not agree with how she handled things, I could imagine some people would go down that path.

I enjoyed the style of writing and there was never a dull moment. I simply had to know what drama the next chapter would hold and if the characters would ever change. I didn’t particularly like many of the characters, but the story was good… except the end. Now there needs to be a sequel, only I am not sure I can handle reading another whole book with a stomachache. Perhaps a short story sequel would be better?

I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Between You and Me was a great read. It kept me engaged throughout. A step-mom isn’t easy job, neither is being the next wife. Especially if her husband isn’t all she thinks.

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Lauren meets Joe on vacation. A swift courtship, a marriage, relocations. Trying to establish both professional and domestic problems , keeps Lauren at her wits ends. She is dealing with an ambivalent husband who clearly dentures to his ex wife in all matters of the children. She tries to see all sides and in the end finds herself retreating from the woman she was to someone she doesn’t recognize. The ending is worth the fare. Happy reading

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The story is told from the perspective of Lauren, a hardworking woman who is training to be a Doctor when she meets – and marries Joe. He is a divorced father of two, and Lauren is drawn to him instantly.

Lauren’s relationship with Joe’s teenage daughter Grace, along with his ex wife Meredith is difficult – and that really is putting it mildly. Lauren is determined to be the best step mother she can possibly be to four year old Toby along with Grace, but she somehow never seems to get things right, and with Joe reluctant to take her side when she clashes with Grace, Lauren is quickly coming to realise that the happy life she pictured is far from the life she is actually living.

When Joe then starts retreating into himself, and leaving Lauren to struggle on her own, he is far from the dashing man she met back in California, and as the situations surrounding them escalate Lauren finds herself questioning whether she actually knows her husband at all…

Everything about this book was wonderful! The storyline itself is perfectly structured and has so much depth and detail throughout. Each of the characters have complex personalities, and each of them have flaws – as all humans do!. This made them all the more realistic and even relatable at times. I really felt for Lauren as she struggled to adjust to becoming a step mother to a reluctant teenager, and the constant power struggles that arose between herself and their mother Meredith.

A tense, suspenseful read that had me well and truly hooked. This is an absolute page turner that I urge you all to read!.

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Well written story about family relations. I found myself wanting to give advice to Lauren. It was easy also to relate to the step daughter having to deal with another woman coming into her fathers life and competing for his attention. It held my interest throughout and was an enjoyable read.

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Well written story about the trials and joys of being a step-mom. Loved this story. The charaters were very well developed and well written.
4 stars

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Lauran falls in love with divorced dad of 2 Joe and goes from single life to mother of two. While I enjoyed the story overall I felt like something was missing. Lots of small plot twists that never felt wrapped up or completed. And the ending left me a bit perplexed.

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Between You And Me by @carolmasonauthor

Honestly, I really don’t know where to start and end my review. This was my first book by this author but it won’t be my last that I can assure you.
I only know that this book is unputdownable and I don’t know why this book called fiction cause trust me I almost cried at some point and I can simply simply relate my life. It felt like I’m reading me and my husband’s life… 😓🤷🏻‍♀️

This is a story of Lauren, newly registered doctor and her husband, Joe who once married and have two beautiful kids Grace and Toby.
Meredith his ex-wife always eyeing for a chance to accuse Lauren that how misfit she’s for the family.

This will be my favourite read from this year. The story is too emotional for me. First I thought it’ll be a thriller but it’s definitely not it’s touchy. More importantly, I never wanted this book to finish cause I wanted to read more what happened next with Lauren and Joe.

Few people will not get this book engaging cause I guess they never really been into that situation. They’ll find this book immature. Well, that’s their perspective. But I really enjoyed reading this.

Highly recommend to those mainly who married the person they loved and sacrificed but didn’t regret taking decision at hit of the moment.

Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

Thank you @netgalley and @lakeunionauthors for the #arc in exchange for an honest review.

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3.5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was my first book by Carol Mason which was an enjoyable read. It’s a family drama about Lauren who becomes a stepmother to 2 young children. Lots of twists and turns in their lives to keep you reading. The ending wasn’t what I expected but I do like it.

Thanks to Carol Mason, Amazon publishing and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I don't think I've read anything else by Carol Mason, but if Between You and Me is anything to go on, I should!

Saying I enjoyed this book is complicated. I definitely liked Lauren and much like Lauren, I liked Joe, in the beginning. Between Joe and Meredith, I spent the book alternately yelling and wanting to smack them into some sort of awareness. Now that may sound like a bad thing, but isn't always. Without them being who they were, there wouldn't be any drama in this well-written domestic drama.

After a point though, even Lauren joined the should I smack you or yell at you squad, but overall this book was very good. It's a story line we've seen before - sweet woman marries a divorced dad with a few kids and lo and behold, dad has a huge blind spot. But this author takes that and moves somewhat behind it and in a good way.

If you haven't read Ms. Mason, I'd recommend remedying that and if you have, you'll want to pick this book up.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and publisher for an ARC at my request. All thoughts are my own.

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Carol Mason has written a compelling novel in this slow-burn, riveting work of fiction.

Lauren, a junior doctor, is an extremely intriguing character. She met Joe when she was in her final year of medical school but as Joe was married, with a thirteen-year-old daughter Grace and a son, Toby, aged three, there could not be anything between Lauren and him. But a year later, Joe is divorced.

Regularly displaying a cocktail of emotions, including frustration and bitterness I could really empathise with Lauren as she struggled with her blended family; her role as a step mum, and seemingly never being able to please anyone or get things right. As she also tried to manage a demanding career, she struggled with her new life. I was invested in Carol Mason's characters even though the majority were difficult to like. The story encompasses marriage, divorce, exes, and many blended family issues and I found it extremely insightful, helped along by the author's beautiful writing which has depth and substance. The ending was unexpected and I will definitely be reading more of Carol Mason's books in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Amazon Publishing/ Lake Union via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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I enjoyed this book but just wanted to give the two main characters a good old shake and tell them to stop and talk to each other.

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Between You and Me is an engrossing domestic drama detailing dating and marriage within the modern family. Lauren, a young doctor from the UK, meets older, charming Joe at a resort in the States. There is immediate chemistry but knowing his situation is complicated Joe leaves it at that. Fast-forward 14 months later-Joe and Lauren are married. Told through Lauren's perspective, with some flashbacks to the past, we find out that Joe's situation was no longer complicated and he and Lauren had a whirlwind courtship-and became an instant-family with his two children. Lauren navigates being a stepmom to a teenager and a four-year old while Joe expects her to jump in without much preparation or help. Situations arise that threaten their happiness and family life; Carol Mason takes you on an emotional roller coaster while leaving some things to the reader's interpretation.

I enjoyed this story and how Mason developed some of the characters and really examined how modern families blend today. Some of the situations Lauren found herself in seemed a little far-fetched but if the lens we are supposed to see her through is that of someone without exposure to caring for children than that could be accurate. Overall a 3.5 star read-had there been some more context and development of why Joe changed so much it would have been a 4 start novel.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.

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Thank you Netgalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. An interesting novel by a new author in my personal reading-sphere! I am sure others would enjoy it too. Good character portrayls, descriptive setting and gripping plot.

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I really enjoyed the characters in this book, and I think the 'fairytale romance' start to the book lured me in - sometimes you can't go wrong with a bit of cheesy romance! As the plot developed I started to question some of the main characters, so it kept me guessing and eager to read more. There were some interesting plot twists which weren't too obvious, and despite the romantic element to the plot, it avoided the predictability that often comes with such genres. A nice easy page-turner.

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Carol Mason does slow burn domestic fiction brilliantly and I can see why she is such a popular thriller writer.. Filled to the brim with family drama consisting of the main character Lauren whom has married Joe. Joe's ex-wife and 2 kids make up the rest of this drama filled escapade. If your after a solid family psychological drama look no further.

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A gripping story about family relationships and how it's difficult to create the perfect balance. Ms Mason doesn't shy away from the gritty details of life and this kept me turning the pages. Realistic, twisty and enjoyable. Five stars!

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Synopsis: When Lauren meets Joe on a trip she tries to forget about him and leave it all behind. A year later when they fall even deeper in love they find out how there is much more to a relationship than just love. In Joe’s previous marriage he had two kinds and his ex wife shares custody with him. Lauren finds out that being a stepmom isn't always easy.

Thought: I think that this book did a great job talking about some of the difficulties of dating and marriage when one of the spouses has children. It brings a whole new level and other relationships in. I felt like I understood what Laruen was feeling and that I could have been there to give her advice even though I'm not sure that would have helped.

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Wow! What an enjoyable story, well written with great characters. I felt very sympathetic to the main protagonist, Lauren, in her role as a step mum. I was sorry when I came to the end of the book which had añ excellent ending and left me wondering. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book and to discover this excellent author.

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This was my second book by Carol Mason. I honestly hate to give a negative review, because I know a lot of people loved this book, but it wasn't for me. I was rolling my eyes at the writing style, and I felt like our two main characters, Lauren and Joe, had absolutely NO chemistry. It was just bland and I felt like I was reading a juvenile novel for lack of a better way to describe it. I wanted to love this based on the synopsis, but I was just annoyed and disappointed.

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Domestic Disharmony..
A dose of domestic disharmony in this relationship fuelled read. Is Lauren’s husband really who she thinks he is? Has she made a mistake of gigantic proportions? A twisting plot and deftly drawn characters combine to make a gently engaging tale.

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I enjoy Carol Mason's writing and domestic dramas. Add a female doctor, grappling with step-motherhood and the ex-wife, and some mystery and good twists and it becomes a very entertaining read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance digital galley.

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Lauren, a medical student has a chance meeting with Joe, a businessman in the US. Move forward a few months, and they are married and Lauren is now stepmother to Joe’s son and daughter. Constantly in the background is Meredith, their mother. A domestic drama if ever there was one and sadly not very captivating. By the time the kids are involved Lauren is a fully qualified doctor and therefore intelligent or is meant to be! She certainly doesn’t act like it and becomes a whining doormat letting the four above characters walk all over her. Exactly the type of book that I find particularly irritating. Each time something happens she’s more downtrodden to the point where you want to shake her. I wish I could say I enjoyed this book but I can’t but no doubt the author’s fans will love it.

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Lovely feel good book to read. It was a joy to read. Lovely characters. Great plot. The book was charming. Very well written. I’d definitely recommend this book

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