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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Mistress

Narrators: Julie Maisey, Rose Robinson

ISBN: 978180549424

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication Date: 03/25/2024

Format: e-book

My Rating: 4.5 Stars (ARC)

The next psychological thriller from the NUMBER ONE bestselling author Valerie Keogh!

She wants what you have...

Hannah Parker is a woman who always gets what she wants.

When her current husband discovers she has been lying to him – again - she knows it’s time to move on and find someone who can give her the life she desires… The life she knows she deserves…

But who will be the lucky man?

When her eye catches a glimpse of an old flame in a photograph, she’s sure it’s a sign. Mark Shepherd has always been in her thoughts – they’d been happy once, he’d adored her, but she’d made a mistake and let him get away. She won’t make the same mistake again….

Hannah is older now and wiser. She knows what men want and she knows how to keep them happy.

So what if Mark is happily married with a family of his own?

All good things must come to an end…

My Review

Author Valerie Keogh returns with THE MISTRESS (unlike the typical love triangle tales)—a femme fatale gets more than she bargained for when things turn toxic and deadly in this provocative and riveting thriller of sex, obsession, revenge, and murder from the "master of domestic suspense."

Hannah Parker came from a poor upbringing and loved her dad but left them when she was ten. She and her mom did not have a good relationship. What happened to him? Often, she wonders if her mom killed her dad. Why else would he just up and leave? From there, she led a life of self-destruction. Maybe all men were not like her father.

She is beautiful and exotic and a brilliant actress (manipulative plus clever) and has always looked for a father figure. She quickly learned she could get all the perks with a sugar daddy—old, powerful, and wealthy.

"Love wasn't a concept I was familiar with. I had a more than passing acquaintance with lust." —Hannah Parker, THE MISTRESS.

Until she married a sugar daddy, Ivan was seventy and ill. He wanted children, and he finally discovered she was taking the pill behind his back. He then turned violent and abused her. She winds up in the hospital. He was not fit to be a father. He thought she would give him beautiful babies. He was wrong.

She married Ivan after she graduated from university. She did not consider herself a prostitute, although she would accept accommodations, credit cards, jewelry, travel, spending money, and whatever she needed. She was using her natural talents, after all.

Now she was 39, and he was 70 and overweight, plus he was dying. He had thought she was younger than she was. She had work done and dressed to the finest. Money had been good for her. He was handsome and rich. Weekends in five-star hotels, jewelry, and shopping trips—but after they married, she was stuck in this remote family home. It was no longer fun.

She finds a college photo in a book when she comes home from the hospital to recover. She remembered all those years earlier in college.

She thinks back to those days. If she had stayed with Mark Shepherd, who loved her, she may have had a different life. She left him to keep dating older men with money. She mistreated him. She was not interested in a nice guy and settling down back then. Mark had made her feel loved. Does she want that back?

She looks up Mark on Facebook, now a successful attorney married to Susan with a son, Drew, who recently went to university. Hannah is devious, conniving, evil, beautiful, manipulative, and wicked. She gets what she wants. She does not care if he is married or if she will break up a family. She is selfish.

She decides she will get Mark back. She knows he will not be able to resist. She plans to return home to her mom's and play the poor female who needs rescuing. She soon has him under her spell, but does she want him?

She does not consider his wife; Susan may be harder to shake since she appears to be more of a challenge than she bargained for. Susan has a few tricks up her sleeve. Susan, Mark's wife, might be ordinary and dull in Hannah's eyes, but she would do whatever it took to save her marriage and keep the man she loved.

In a wicked, devious, dangerous game of cat and mouse, who will win out in the end? The wife or the mistress? Is Susan up to the challenge faced with the conniving, lying, selfish Hannah? Does Susan even want Mark back?

Was Hannah a fleeting fixation for Mark— a sexual siren with prominent attractions, or would she be something more dangerous, an attractive, intelligent woman who gave him everything he thought he needed?

"To be a successful liar, you need to have three skills:

Keeping the lie simple

Remember which ones you've told and to whom.

Consistency is key."

Will Hannah lose her edge? Susan is an empty nester who would not let anyone take her husband; however, she and Hannah may have more in common than they know.

Things do not go as planned when Susan hires Ethan, the PI. What a scoundrel! Told from alternating POVs: Hannah and Susan, will karma win in the end? Or will it take MURDER?

THE MISTRESS is a clever and highly entertaining domestic suspense with a plot that escalates to a twisty, chilling conclusion. Valerie Keogh is a favorite author, and I enjoy her writing style —I read in one sitting!

An exploration into childhood abandonment and nature vs. nurture. Does our past shape our future?

Although the characters are not likable, you ultimately feel for both women. Drama, suspense, and dark humor keep the pages turning in this twisty psychological thriller with complex female characters. I loved the ending!

For fans of authors— Miranda Rijks, Emily Shiner, Keri Beevis, Freida McFadden, Robyn Harding, and Michele Campbell.

Thanks to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an early reading copy.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Pub Date: 25 March 2024


‘Keogh is the queen of compelling narratives and twisty plots’

—Jenny O'Brien

'A wonderful book, I can’t rate this one highly enough. If only there were ten stars, it’s that good. Valerie Keogh is a master story-teller, and this is a masterful performance.'

—Anita Waller

'This deliciously twisty story kept me up late at night, desperate to know the outcome. A definite 5 stars.'

—Keri Beevis

About the Author

Valerie Keogh is the best-selling author of The Nurse. She lives in Wiltshire with her husband and a huge black cat, Fatty Arbuckle. She grew up reading Agatha Christie and initially wrote crime novels - she now writes psychological thrillers.

The Little Lies was shortlisted for the Crime Fiction Lovers Award 2021

Valerie has a BA in English and an MA in American Literature.

She is currently published with Boldwood Books. READ MORE

Order of publication:

Deadly Sleep (2016)

Twisted Power (2016)

Bitter Business (2017)

Wicked Secret (2018)

Secrets Between Us (2018)

The Housewife 2019

The Dublin Murder Mysteries (2020)

The Three Women (2020)

The Perfect Life (2020)

The Little Lies (2020)

The Lies He Told (2021)

The Couple in the Photograph (2021)

A Taste of Deceit (2022)

The Lodger (2022)

The Widow (2022)

The Trophy Wife (2023)

The Librarian (2023)

The Nurse (2023)

The Lawyer (2023) (previously published as The Deadly Truth)

The Housekeeper (2023)

The Mistress (2024)



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