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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Happily Married

Narrator: Katie Villa

ISBN: 9781837902392

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: 05/11/2023

Format: e-book & audiobook

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

My husband is keeping secrets. I’m watching his every move…

Jake and I were childhood sweethearts. Strong, dependable and with a smile that melts my heart, he is the perfect husband and father to our beautiful little daughter. We have our money troubles – but getting a lodger, Kara, calms the panic I feel about our bills. Jake is reluctant but what choice do we have?

I’m relieved that Kara is so sweet, playing endless games of hide and seek with Elsie and settling into our home. But when I catch Jake and Kara sitting close together on the sofa one evening, they jump apart when I walk into the room. Jake promises it’s nothing…

When I search Kara’s room, I know for sure. My husband is keeping a terrible secret. And it’s much, much worse than I imagined.

Confronting him will tear our marriage apart, but I’ll do anything to protect my precious daughter.

Even if it means putting on a smile as I greet Kara at the breakfast table.

Even if it means lying to my husband’s face.

Even if it means someone has to die…

For fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Housemaid, this is a psychological thriller with a mind-blowing twist you’ll never see coming.

My Review

Victoria Jenkins returns following THE MIDWIFE with her latest complex and twisty psychological thriller, HAPPILY MARRIED —A marriage under fire, where nothing or no one is as they appear.

Natalie and Jake were childhood sweethearts, having been together since they were fourteen. Now two decades later, they live on Natalie's family dairy farm.

However, things are financially tense due to issues with the ice cream business, the pandemic, and animal problems.

The dairy farm is a full-time job, and they also have Tyler, an old family friend, who helps with the business and farm. The vet is there often to deal with the livestock.

Due to the ice cream business and financial problems, Natalie takes on a job at the local pub. She also mentions that they should take in a lodger for extra income.

So she places an ad for a woman lodger. Since they are on a farm in the country, it will take someone working from home who does not need social interaction since they are in the middle of nowhere.

They also have a young daughter, Elsie, who seems sick and attends nursery school. The couple's marriage is tense, and they are not bonding. Something is going on with Jake.

In response to the ad, a beautiful young single red-head, Kara, applies. She says she works in IT and can work from home. (but is this the truth)?

Natalie thinks she will work out fine as a boarder, but Jake seems uncomfortable.

Soon Kara moves in, and Natalie thinks something is happening between Kara and Jake. They seem too friendly, drinking wine when she walks in from work.

In the meantime, there is an unreliable narrator. We do not know the identity, but someone is gaslighting Natalie, making her look like an unfit mother and making her think she is crazy.

She has been on pills after her parent's death and worries about her family and their future. Someone is trying to sabotage her but who?

Can she trust Kara? Natalie discovers some alarming evidence and then receives a USB with a video that changes everything she thought was her life.

A dangerous twisty game of cat and mouse. Your loyalties are back and forth like a tennis match. The novel starts out as a slow burn until we reach the last half. You think the novel is going one way and then takes an unexpected turn.

Then things are fast-paced and propulsive; the suspense is INTENSE all the way to the satisfying conclusion. The past is unraveled with shocking revelations and surprises.

HAPPILY MARRIED is complex and multi-layered. Trust no one! You can say, UNRELIABLE NARRATOR!

Jenkins cleverly crafts a multi-layered plot keeping readers guessing and in the dark until the identity of the master manipulator is revealed with flashbacks of the past.

A captivating domestic suspense in a game of obsession, greed, deception, and a web of secrets and lies. An emotionally charged thriller that’s packed with twists and intrigue. Then when you think things are wrapped up, BAM, another jaw-dropping twist.

An impressive twisty domestic suspense. For fans of Freida McFadden, Kimberly Belle, Daniel Hurst, KL Slater, Miranka Rijks, and Emily Shiner!

Thanks to #Bookouture for a gifted e-ARC via #NetGalley for review purposes.

Due to my tight business schedule, I also purchased the audiobook, which I thoroughly enjoyed, narrated by Katie Villa, for an engaging listening experience. Highly recommend the audiobook.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 11, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars

About the Author

Victoria Jenkins is an English tutor and former secondary school teacher from South Wales who has been writing for years and day-dreaming about becoming a ‘proper’ writer for the past decade. She have an MA in Creative and Media Writing from the University of Wales, Swansea, where she wrote a lot of poetry while planning a lot of plots she hoped she would once day write. Victoria lives in South Wales with her husband.



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