The Stepfamily: A Psychological Thriller

Silicon Valley Series Book 1

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Pub Date Apr 30 2023 | Archive Date Mar 10 2024

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Description

Laura Foster's not the type to go looking for trouble. But it seems to be looking for her.

Laura’s on the verge of living the life she’s always wanted. At the age of twenty-seven, she put her career plans on hold, married handsome widower Peter Foster, settled down in his Silicon Valley home, and helped raise his two children.

Twelve years later, it’s her turn to shine. Her career is thriving, the kids are out of the house, Peter’s company is on the verge of an FDA approval that could garner a windfall in stock gains for them, and she's training for the Kona Ironman. But when a series of freak accidents can no longer be chalked up to bad luck, it becomes clear that someone is out to get her. Is it someone from work, jealous of her promotion? Or is it perhaps someone more dangerous? Someone closer to home?

Laura has no enemies that she knows of, but she senses that husband Peter is keeping secrets. And when she starts digging into the family’s past, a twisted and unsettling story starts to slowly reveal itself. But with the walls closing in on her, she needs to find out why someone would want to harm her…and what really happened to his first wife.

Before it's too late.

Laura Foster's not the type to go looking for trouble. But it seems to be looking for her.

Laura’s on the verge of living the life she’s always wanted. At the age of twenty-seven, she put her career...


Advance Praise

★★★★★ Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite

The Stepfamily by Bonnie Traymore is a psychological page-turner set in Silicon Valley. After twelve years of marriage, Laura still feels like a visitor in the family because it is not hers. Laura married Peter after his wife’s death and helped raise his children. Something is bothering Peter, but he does not discuss it with her. Laura’s career is thriving, and she has just recently been promoted. On leaving for work one day, Laura notices liquid under the vehicle. This is the first of a few freak accidents, and Laura feels someone wants to harm her. She starts digging into Peter’s past. Laura must find out who wants to get her out of the way before it is too late.

If you want a psychological thriller with drama, secrets, suspense, and more, then The Stepfamily is a must-read. The plot is complex, intriguing, and thrilling, and I could not put the book down until I found out who wanted to harm Laura. I was drawn into this world Bonnie Traymore creates, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters are brilliantly developed and authentic with each contributing to the story's success. My favorite character was Laura. She is robust and does not jump to conclusions. She makes an effort to find the truth and then acts. The story is excellently written and had my attention throughout. The major twist was a big surprise; I did not see it coming.

"From the very start, the story held my attention."

"This is the best one so far."

"The world-building allowed me to play it out in my head as if watching a movie."

"The conflict, drama, mystery and even the romantic chemistry was nicely balanced and kept me reading on."


"""Building on the success of tense mysteries like Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl (2012), author Bonnie Traymore has crafted a deliciously unsettling domestic thriller with her new novel The Stepfamily."" - BookTrib


""Traymore deftly handles revelations and twists throughout. A deliberately paced mystery that always stays one step ahead of its readers"". - Kirkus Reviews


""The characters are brilliantly developed and authentic with each contributing to the story's success. The major twist was a big surprise; I did not see it coming"" - Readers Favorite.


""I couldn't put it down!"" - Amazon


""Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. Definitely one of the best books this year."" - NetGalley

★★★★★ Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite

The Stepfamily by Bonnie Traymore is a psychological page-turner set in Silicon Valley. After twelve years of marriage, Laura still feels like...


Available Editions

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ISBN 9798218177195
PRICE $2.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 60 members


Featured Reviews

The Stepfamily could have been trite, but it’s not. Not quite trite. Close, though. The book is saved by its excellent writing. And, the changing voices of the narration, first person for Laura, the stepmother only, and third person for everyone else (although it’s definitely the relevant character’s thoughts and observations), is an interesting literary device.

The story - well, it’s kind of corny. Laura, Peter’s wife and stepmother to his children, experiences a number of mysterious, frightening, and life threatening events, all revolving around the swirling shadows of the woman with whom Peter was having an affair when his wife apparently, and very strangely, hurls herself off a cliff to her death. She loses her job. Details of Peter’s past unfold at a snail’s pace, which I actually found quite amusing. The length to which Peter goes to obfuscate his whole story are tantalizing, and there’s a hint that a drug his company developed might not be completely on the up and up.

Still, it’s a good read. I would not call it a thriller or a psychological unraveling. Without giving away spoilers, I really can say no more and you will just have to read it yourself if you want to know the whole story. I would certainly be intrigued by other books by this author.

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

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Brilliant, one of my favourite books of the year so far, I can’t wait to see what’s next in the future

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Good book! This book had a bit of everything! It had suspense, intrigue, murder, mystery, and a few crazy twists and turns! The storyline was very interesting and kept me glued to my Kindle! I definitely recommend reading this book as it was well worth reading! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!

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For some reason this is not working on my kindle. It pulls up just the table of contents and then it won’t move past it. I’m hoping since it’s the unedited version, that it will be better. I did pull it up on my phone and boy howdy was it everything I expected. So much detail to put into this book and definitely has all the twists and turns. Take from an avid thriller reader, it’s GOOD!

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I read The Stepfamily by Bonnie Traymore in a day and a half; only much-needed sleep had me putting this book down. It was a good story, with good pacing, and I liked the Bay Area references and locale. I also liked the author's writing style; it was crisp and engaging.

The story details were laid out well. Some jaw-dropping moments took me by surprise, and Peter would dispense information slowly to the PI and to Laura, which built up to a somewhat satisfying reveal.

I will read more by this author. I give this a 5 out of 5 stars.

#TheStepfamily #NetGalley

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Big formatting problems with this arc. But once adjusted I enjoyed this book. My first Bonnie Traymore book but won’t be my last! Great characters and lots of secrets, twists and turns.
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book

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Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.

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Really enjoyed the characters in this book! Laura was really relatable as were the kids. Full of suspense and twists and turns! Highly recommend If you are into a psychological thriller this is one of the best!

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This is a high intensity, easy to read psychological novel. It has plenty of heart pounding moments and wonderful characters. I almost missed reading this due to a formatting issue but was finally able to read it. I am fortunate to have been able to do so. A great read. Don’t let yourself miss out on it.

I received an ARC from Pathways Publishing. This in no way affects my opinion or rating of this book. I am voluntarily submitting this review and am under no obligation to do so.

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Thank you to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

"What you don't know... can hurt you."

OOF THAT GIVES ME SHIVERS EVERY TIME I READ IT.

This book was actually really enjoyable to read. It's quite short - I think it's just over 250 pages - so everything moves at a quick pace. I enjoyed the characters and the mystery and the author did a really good job at keeping me on the edge of my seat. I'm eager to see what else is released by this author in the future!

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Brilliant, one of my favourite books of the year so far, I can’t wait to see what’s next for Bonnie Traymore

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Another awesome read by Bonnie Traymore. The Stepfamily is a dark psychological thriller, that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

I can't wait for Book 2 to find out more in the Silicone Valley Series.

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This was my first read from this author which I was lucky enough to preview with netgalley. There was a strong plot line with plenty of suspense and twists to keep me hooked! A good read if you love suspense thrillers.

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To be honest, it took me a bit to actually get hook on the story but oh boy, when I did, I just wanted to get to the end and see if my theories were right.

It is well written and the plot twists are really well thought.

The story is interesting, the link between the characters is very thoughtful and well written.

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Laura feels like someone from her past is following her. There is twists and turns on this one and you will not be able to put the book down.
Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC and the publisher Pathways Publishing.

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I was lucky to receive an advance copy of The Stepfamily by Bonnie Traymore from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review and opinion. LOVED this and read it so quickly as I was unable to put it down. This had lots of twists and turns and kept me up late into the night waiting to see what was going to happen next. Do yourself a favor and read this ASAP!

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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book. This was a great read! The characters and storyline were well done. The short chapters made this a quick and fun book. Highly recommend

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An intriguing read, This book had a bit of everything; It had suspense; murder; mystery; and twists and turns to keep you interested.

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I enjoyed this book. I liked the idea and the plot but for a thriller, it didn't keep me at the edge of my seat like I had hoped for. I liked the characters and their dynamics but I wasn't rushing to the next chapter to see what was going to happen. The main character was a bit too whiny and annoying for my liking. The ending did intrigue me and I think the author might have a second book in mind but not sure.
It was alright but not my favorite thriller.

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This was a great book. I loved every paragraph, every sentence and every word of this masterpiece! I read it in 12 hours, which is a lot for me to do! It had everything and more laid out in the novel! I sure hope There is more to come from this author! I am totally hooked!

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3.5 stars rounded up. I flew through this domestic suspense novel wanting to know the ending.

Laura goes from being a single woman to a wife and stepmom of two kids when she marries Peter. His first wife dies by suicide….maybe. Whoa! Talk about drama! Peter is messy, and Laura is passive. Throughout this story, we get to see Laura become less passive and start to speak up for herself. That part I loved! The storyline was full of drama, and I loved that too.

The suspense building in this novel was great. Traymore wrote the plot in a way that pulled you in and kept you wondering what was going to develop. The narrative is told from dual POVs with Laura and Peter taking turns. Laura was the star in this book, and I found myself rooting for her.

The twists in this book were good and believable, which I appreciated The only con I had was the alternating 1st and 3rd person writing. It was slightly confusing. Overall, this was a good read, and I am awaiting book 2 in the Silicon Valley Series. I am a new Bonnie Traymore fan.

Thank you NetGalley and Pathways Publishing for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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Thank you to NetGalley and the author for this arc.

I enjoyed this interesting, fast paced psychological thriller. It’s my first book by the author and I can’t wait to read more. Definitely recommend.

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I really enjoyed this book, the characters kept me on my toes and cannot wait to read the next book in this series.

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3.5 stars rounded up. I flew through this domestic suspense novel wanting to know the ending.

Laura goes from being a single woman to a wife and stepmom of two kids when she marries Peter. His first wife dies by suicide….maybe. Whoa! Talk about drama! Peter is messy, and Laura is passive. Throughout this story, we get to see Laura become less passive and start to speak up for herself. That part I loved! The storyline was full of drama, and I loved that too.

The suspense building in this novel was great. Traymore wrote the plot in a way that pulled you in and kept you wondering what was going to develop. The narrative is told from dual POVs with Laura and Peter taking turns. Laura was the star in this book, and I found myself rooting for her.

The twists in this book were good and believable, which I appreciated The only con I had was the alternating 1st and 3rd person writing. It was slightly confusing. Overall, this was a good read, and I am awaiting book 2 in the Silicon Valley Series. I am a new Bonnie Traymore fan.

Thank you NetGalley and Pathways Publishing for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

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New to this author but definitely like the style. Combo 1st person and third person helps us see alot of points of view yet keep with the main person's story.
Here, we have a step family with step mom having her life put on the line with no clear motive or assailant.
Alot of the story has to do with the death of the 1st wife and mistress. Lots of twists and turns, the PI hired delves deep into backgrounds and finds secrets better left secrets.

All in all its a good book. I would recommend it.

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First in the Silicon Valley series, it must be noted that the series is a location series, not a character based series. This is a flight or fight thriller as well as a domestic thriller. A prominent family has been threatened and when it escalates to attempted murder, they hire a private investigator for answers. However, some questions should never be answered when past secrets are buried so deep. Twist at end nails it!! Enjoyable thriller and I look forward to next in series.

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I really enjoyed this psychological thriller! It's about a blended family with secrets that keep you guessing what is going to happen next. This is the first book I've read by Bonnie Traymore. I think she did a great job writing the story. It kept my attention, making me wonder what was going to happen next and who was behind everything going on.

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