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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Like a Mother

Narrator: Gail Shalan 💙

ISBN: 9781666654240

Publisher: Dreamscape Media

Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: 02/06/2024

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 5 Stars (ALC)

Writing as Mina Hardy, New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart delivers a nail-biting psychological suspense about the bonds of family, perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Jeneva Rose.

Sarah and Adam Granatt had the perfect suburban life: a beautiful house, an adorable daughter, a baby on the way, and a once-in-a-lifetime love. They were the couple everyone envied—until Adam died.

In the wake of his death, Adam’s secrets begin to emerge. The first comes out when a woman named Candace introduces herself to Sarah as Adam’s mother. Sarah is rightfully confused: Adam had always said his mother was dead. Adam also lied about making sure Sarah, Ellie, and the new baby would be taken care of financially. The truth is there’s no money.

Candace proves she is who she says, but she admits the relationship between her and Adam was strained. Her beloved son is gone, but she can offer emotional support and, better yet, a place to stay until after the baby is born and Sarah can get back on her feet.

Living in Adam’s childhood home, Sarah begins to understand the life he had before they met—the life he buried along with his relationship with his mother. When Sarah notices Candace’s strange obsession with her, and the house begins to feel less like salvation and more like a cage, she realizes that the secrets go deeper than she ever could’ve imagined. Candace might not be the caring mother-in-law she seems…

And maybe Adam had good reason to pretend that his mother was dead.

My Review

Mina Hardy's (Megan Hart) chilling new psychological thriller, LIKE A MOTHER , is a wild, twisty, and crazy ride with darkness lurking on every page—something I never expected. From gaslighting to a dark web of deceit, family secrets, and lies, this domestic suspense keeps you guessing until the explosive ending.


💙 AUDIOBOOK: OMG! The audiobook was so good! I listened to the audiobook without a digital reading copy. The audiobook was fantastic! I love the narrator, Gail Shalan, and have heard some of her other performances over the years, which is why I chose this one. (I just finished One Wrong Word by Hank Phillippi Ryan, which she narrated).

Gail makes the characters come alive! Each character's voice was so distinct—this has to be a significant undertaking! The voice of the mother-in-law was so creepy, just like her character. I highly recommend the audiobook!

Sarah and Adam Morgan had the perfect suburban, a beautiful house, an adorable daughter, and a baby on the way until he died from Leukemia. They met in college and had a great marriage. Adam owned a business with a partner. She assumed he had taken care of them in this will.

However, after Adam dies, Sarah discovers so many secrets, one by one. She had quit her job years earlier to be a homemaker and always wanted to open a B&B. She decided to stay home and raise a family which she loved.

She finds out Adam changed his will, and she is not provided for. They had talked about it, and she was to get a monthly income from the business until the kids were grown and she could support herself.

Then, a shocker. His business partner Graham and his wife want guardianship of the baby. They want her to sign it over to give her monthly income. They said this was Adam's wish. Sarah is appalled! No way. Sarah's mother had mental problems, and she has anxiety. But she is a strong-willed woman and a capable mother. He would never do this. They are trying to blackmail her. No one will take her baby.

The second shocker (there are many more)—a woman shows up named Candace claiming Adam is her son. Adam said his parents were both dead when they met back in college! The woman calls him Henry. What is going on?

Candace seems like a nice woman, and eventually, Sarah is worn down, and Candance offers to let them move in with her. She has a big house and plenty of room until Sarah gets back on her feet. Sarah thinks it will be nice to be taken care of UNTIL...

However, is she making a deal with the devil? She seems like a loving grandmother to her daughter, but then she seems obsessed with her baby. Why is everyone obsessed with her baby?

Sarah also feels like she is in prison as the house is remote, and they have no internet or cell phones with signals. She feels cut off and wants to get a job working remotely to be independent and not rely on this woman.

Then, more strange things occur, which is spine-chilling. Candace pushes her Christianity on Sarah and her daughter when Sarah and Adam are Jewish. Then, she finds out Adam's dad was a priest. So, what in the world is going on?

Candace said they had a falling out. Was it so bad that he claimed they were dead to have them out of his life?

A young lady named Honor is also living there as Candace's housekeeper. She seems afraid of Candace and hides things. Also, there are locks on things in the kitchen, and Sarah feels like an outsider. She thinks Honor may be the only one to provide her answers to the past and present and what is going on in this house if she will confide in her.

Sarah never expected this shocker. Did she really know Adam? Had their life been a lie, or was he trying to protect her? Sarah feels trapped in this house under Candace's control. Then, more sinister and scary things occur, and somehow, Honor is connected. How many secrets had Adam been hiding?

The closer Sarah gets to the truth, the more she learns she may be in danger. She must escape this house and this woman. Is she trying to take her baby, and what about Peter, the husband who was a minister? There are dark, hidden family secrets, and Honor is her only hope, but can she trust her?

Wow! This is one nail-biting, heart-pounding thriller. You will never guess where the book is heading, but you are on board for the ride. I was glued to my AirPods because you do not want to miss a thing.

There is so much to this book/audio and many layers. No spoilers here, but trust me, there are so many parts and twists, and some do not come to light until the latter part. However, trust me, there is action, tension, and drama from beginning to end in this well-written domestic suspense.

LIKE A MOTHER is creepy and twisty, and the suspense is riveting. I would love to learn the inspiration behind the book, which may/or may not have been included in the author's note, not included in the audiobook. For fans of authors Lisa Jewell, Sally Hepworth, and Frieda McFadden (favs).

Even though I liked the ending, there were some loose ends left undone; however, giving this one 5 Stars due to the audiobook performance, which was stellar!

This is for you if you enjoy the unexpected, with a locked room-type, unsettling atmosphere with a dark sense of foreboding. The mother-in-law was so creepy because you do not know her motives. She will give you the chills. I felt for Sarah; you will root for her to the end!

I am delighted to discover this newfound author and look forward to reading more!

Thanks to Dreamscape Media NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advanced listing copy.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars (Audio)

Pub Date: Feb 6, 2024


“A poisonous treat best consumed in a single breathless sitting.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A really good psychological thriller, that starts off strong and never lets up.”

—Red Carpet Crash

About the Author

Mina Hardy writes books. Usually, they feature good people making bad choices, but sometimes they might be about bad people making good choices. Either way, everyone is basically a mess, and you shouldn’t trust any of them.

From twisted tales of domestic suspense to darker stories of bumping in the night, you can expect some thrills and a few chills. Follow her on social media, if that’s the sort of thing that melts your butter. WEBSITE







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