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Ratings and Book Reviews (4 5 star ratings
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    Fantastic!

    What a captivating, true-to-life story this is. I was hooked from the very first pages of this story of divorced mum Jenny who is struggling to raise two daughters, 11 year-old Ellie and 16-year-old Ava, working as a stylist. The story is told with each chapter from the point of view of each character which makes it very interesting and full of twists. Jenny connects with Mark, a former love interest from before she was married to former husband, Sean. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this powerfully emotional book in exchange for an honest review. I highly recommend this book.
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    Must Read!

    Ali Mercer writes with heart and soul. His Secret Family is another well written, true-to-life family suspense-er. Each character is lovingly developed and all-so-human. Secrets abound and the reader won't know them all until the end. A definite for your TBR list!
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    A very affecting book.

    My Rating: 4.5 Stars He simply walked away. After a few years of marriage to Paula, Mark had an affair with Jenny. However, he went back to Paula and they had a daughter named Daisy. However, as it was slowly revealed that Daisy was on the autism spectrum, it all became too much for Mark. When Mark and Jenny originally had their affair, Jenny became pregnant with a daughter she named Ava. Jenny married another man, and even had another daughter named Ellie. When Ava was sixteen, Jenny and Mark began dating and soon married. Jenny had no idea that Mark had left his family, especially due to his not being able to cope with a disabled daughter. This touching story by Ali Mercer is delivered in first-person from four points of view - Jenny, Paula, Ava and Ellie. Paula's entries are especially sad, as she was left to raise Daisy all alone. Jenny is thrilled, yet hesitant to have another chance with Mark, especially with two daughters that she has always put first in her life. Then Ava and Ellie have very different views on what is happening with their mother and the "new" man in her life. Mark's point of view is not shared. However, readers get enough ammunition to dislike him greatly. After all, how can anyone be drawn to a person that walks out on a wife and child, never mind the original affair? This was a difficult story to read at times. My heart bled for Paula and Daisy. Meanwhile, I hated to wonder whether or not Jenny would be hurt by letting Mark back into her life. However, it was these very issues that made this book such a compelling read. Ms. Mercer writes an affecting story, allowing readers to be drawn into the delicate lives of these characters, all the while hoping beyond hope that they would all find a happy future. With so many issues touched on: autism, cheating, divorce and more, this was a superb read. The author did a fine job leaving me satisfied with the conclusion. Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.
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    An emotional page turner

    It is not very often that I will stray away from reading crime fiction, but every now and then a book in another genre will get my attention, which was the case for His Secret Family. I was intrigued immediately from reading the blurb and I just had to read this to find out more and how it would all unfold. Ali doesn’t waste any time in getting things going with an opening that hooks you in straight away and leaves you on a cliffhanger. From there, you take a ride on an emotional rollercoaster where you are not let off until the final page. Ali has crafted a story that covers topics of secrets, lies, infidelity, family drama, marriage, mental illness, loss, grief, autism, acceptance and ones need for perfection, which are entwined with twists and turns including a tragedy that will break your heart. Make sure you have the tissues handy! Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of four women over different time periods, each one adds a layer to the story which is expertly done without it becoming too overwhelming with all of these points of view. The common denominator for all of these women is one man and the story follows how he has impacted each of these women’s lives. I found all of the characters to be written perfectly. Each one is complex and not without flaws. In a story like this it is to be expected and adds realism to it. Some were unlikable, others likeable which was the perfect balance. I really enjoyed Ali’s writing style. It is honest, raw, emotive and she has brought this story to life beautifully. Some of the topics covered in the book are at times hard to read, but Ali handles each one sensitively and compassionately. Ali is a new author to me and one that I am so glad to have been introduced to. She is an amazing storyteller and knows how to get a readers attention and how to keep them engaged and enthralled from go to woe. I look forward to reading more books from Ali. Thank-you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Ali Mercer for allowing me to read an advanced copy of His Secret Family which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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