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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars
14 reviews have 5 stars
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All Book Reviews

  • A gripping and suspenseful read

    This cover with a lone woman standing behind the window gave me goosebumps when I first laid eyes on this book and I just had to know her story. After reading the blurb, the following questions kept running around in my head. What is she hiding, are her intentions pure and most importantly, does she have anything to do with the disappearance of her new husband’s little girl Emma? Karen King has crafted a gripping and addictive page turner that I found very compelling. It is a slow burn, but the tension and suspense that is built up along the way sets the story up well for its outcome. You know it is going to be something big and there was no way I could put the book down until I knew how it was going to unfold. The book opens with Emma’s disappearance then rewinds back eight months to where it is told from the points of view of Lily and Maria in the lead up. Immediately Lily has her guard up with her father’s new bride given that it is not even a year since her mother has passed and feels that there is more to her than meets the eye. Meanwhile Maria is hiding something so harrowing and shocking that if exposed, threatens to ruin her marriage and her new found happiness. The Perfect Stepmother is not your normal run of the mill psychological suspense and there is so much more to it. What I was not expecting was how it pulled on my heartstrings and had me shedding a few tears. It plays out well, but what I loved the most was the ending! Oh my goodness!!! So good! With that said I will finished this off by saying, this is a great read which I recommend you checking out.

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  • Quite intriguing

    Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for letting me read this book prior to its publication. My opinion is 100% honest, unbiased, and my own. This is the second book I read from the same author and I really enjoyed it. The premise, the story, the characters... all of that got me intrigued from the beginning and I just had to read more. I have to admit this book has kept me reading until quite late at night, and I used to wake up extra early so I could read a couple of chapters before my day started. Although not perfect, it had all the necessary elements to keep me reading. This book presents a very interesting debate: can a person atone for the mistakes they committed in the past? Can a person start a fresh new life after something horrible happened in their past? Can society forget and forgive, or is it asking too much? When Maria appears in the lives of Gareth and his family, nobody knows anything about her previous life before she arrived to their town. Why all the secrecy? Is she hiding something? Why is she so obsessed with being the perfect stepmother and being a perfect role model in their town? Mystery is served. The pace of the story was well done, although sometimes Lily's words and thoughts felt a bit repetitive. She went on and on about the same topic, and sometimes she started sounding a bit petulant. As for the rest of the characters, well constructed and developed. The reason I don't give it five stars is because I guessed one of the major key elements to be in play at the end of the book. To me it was pretty obvious, but I won't say anything because I don't want to reveal any spoilers. Overall, a very good story with the perfect dose of suspense and thrilling elements.

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  • Loved this book

    The Perfect Stepmother looks at how we are defined by our past, how choices made in youth can haunt you for the rest of your life, define who you are and how you end up living your life. This story was not what I initially expected. It holds the promise of an exciting thriller, but it is also a moving, serious story that leaves you with a tear or two. Opening this eBook, I was met with over six hundred pages which I was convinced would take me a while to get through. However, they ended up slipping away all too quickly. The story is told from Lily and Maria’s perspective, allowing you to experience both women’s emotions as you read. This makes it extremely difficult to pick aside. This daughter and stepmother share their feelings with you while not with each other. I found myself changing my opinion from page to page. The author unfolds the story with just enough information for you never to be a hundred percent certain of who you trust. When Gareth decided to marry Maria only a year after the death of his wife Ruth, Lily is immediately concerned. Maria was Ruth’s beautician, and someone Ruth bonded with. Lily is convinced that Maria is taking advantage of her father, that he is still grieving, and not thinking clearly. Concerned about both her father and her little sister, Lily cannot make peace with Gareth decision and she finds it impossible to trust her stepmother. Lily is convinced that Maria is hiding something. No matter what her suspicions, nothing could prepare her for the truth that awaits her after little Emma disappears. This story was intriguing right from the start, the characters are creative and realistic making it easy to bond with them and share their emotions. Five-year-old Emma steals your heart quickly. I lost myself in this story and was left with a tear rolling down my cheek at the end. This book turned out a lot more emotional than I expected, but I loved every minute. I could not pick a favourite character in this story. As the story develops you see a different side to both Lily and Maria, and just when you think you picked your favourite, something new is revealed and you end up changing sides. The author did a marvellous job at keeping you uncertain, leaving you unsure who to trust. By the time you have the full story you understand both sides and end up liking both these women. Little Emma is simply precious and the one consistent character you love from beginning to end. The Perfect Stepmother is a wonderful story full of surprises and emotion. I loved reading this book, enjoying every minute I spent with it. This book can be added to your TBR if you enjoy psychological fiction, mysteries and thrillers. It is a fast read even if the eBook version is over six hundred pages, they disappear in a flash. This is one of those stories that I cannot recommend highly enough, it’s gripping and emotional and leaves you wanting more, a brilliant read that will not leave you disappointed.

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  • Enjoyable Family Drama!

    The Perfect Stepmother is my first read by author Karen King. A thoroughly enjoyable family drama with twists and turns coming at just the right intervals. Well written and engaging - I am looking forward to my next read with this author! Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC!

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  • Suspenseful read!

    When Lily learns that, only a year after her mother’s death from cancer, her father plans to marry Maria, she is upset. After all, Maria was her mother’s friend, the salon owner who visited every week to fix her hair and give her a special beauty treatment. Lily knows she should be happy for her father and her little sister Emma because they adore Maria but she suspects there is something wrong. She is right but she has no idea of the danger she is facing. Maria, as it turns out, does have an idea. She has spent her life running from and trying to atone for a terrible decision she once made. Nothing is ever truly hidden and when Maria’s past clashes with the present, she must decide how to save her family. The Perfect Stepmother is a suspenseful read with slowly building tension. Both Lily and Maria are sympathetic characters for their love of family. The exciting conclusion is totally unexpected. 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Karen King for this ARC.

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