Tuesday 19 July 2016

Review of House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey - Five **


A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret … 
Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy. . 
Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past. 
After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer. 
But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts … 
Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.


As you all know, I am a great fan of Choc Lit and was very excited when I received this from a new author. I am a Choc Lit Panel Taster and had already read it pre editing and acceptance - and loved it then! My first Taster Panel publication!  It has evolved into an infinitely readable book and it has it all!

Maddie escapes from her controlling partner and flees to her father's hotel with small daughter Poppy and puppy Buddy. She has a lot of work to do in rebuilding her relationship with her father and there she also meets Bandit - an ex marine - and their developing relationship is part of the story as well.

So far so good. But then you have to add in the tension created by Liam, Maddie's ex, who will stop at nothing to get her back. And then, on top of it all there are the trips into the past and the mystery of Emily Ennis to resolve! Trying to resolve the mystery brings Maddie & Bandit closer and in the background Liam is always lurking.

There is something for everyone in this remarkable book. Poppy & Buddy bring light relief and Poppy in the kitchen is wonderful!

I laughed, I cried, I gasped, I shouted - all out loud - which, to me, is the sign of a brilliant book. When I become so immersed that I lose the real world completely. And that is what this book did.

A lovely book - real people, feeling real things and acting in a believable way. Next one please!

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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