Mini Reviews | Mothers and Daughters by Erica James | The Guilty Couple by C.L. Taylor #MothersAndDaughters #TheGuiltyCouple @HQstories @AvonBooksUK

Even happy families have their secrets…

Anchor House is the coastal home where Naomi and her husband raised their two girls. Now widowed, Naomi is building a new life alone, but the arrival of Ellis next door is bringing some long-awaited fun back too.

Naomi’s daughters are very different: Martha is determined and driven like her father, while Willow is a free spirit. The three women have always been close, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have secrets of their own. There are things Naomi has kept from her girls, like the fact that her marriage to their father wasn’t quite what it seemed…

The Sunday Times bestselling author Erica James returns with this gloriously compelling tale of mothers and daughters, secrets and love.

Life has rather got in the way recently and reading and blogging has had to take a back seat. I’m playing catch up with a couple of short reviews of recent reads. Both hugely enjoyable.


Erica James is most firmly on my favourite author list; I’ve read virtually all of her books over the years from the very first one and she never disappoints. Reviews for previous books can be found via my post index.

The latest, Mothers and Daughters I loved.  The central characters are Naomi, a strong and resilient character, widowed after a long marriage to Colin. Her two adult daughters Martha, who is determined, bossy, organised to the nth degree and her father’s favourite and then there is Willow. The youngest and the most indecisive, who drifts along in life not really having a focus of what she wants to do. Each woman has their own memory of Colin who casts his shadow over their lives, even after his death.

Although the relationship between the three women is at the heart of the story, other relationships are bought under the spotlight including marital problems, the issues facing blended families, control and abuse and deciding how much of your real self that you let others see.

So much of the story felt authentic both in plot and characters. Some I felt so much sympathy for and I was so hoping that they wouldn’t sabotage their own chance of happiness.  There were others that raised red flags almost immediately and I found myself shaking my head in disbelief and shock.

I thought the author did a perfect job of blending all the different personalities and showing how they each reacted to change and personal challenges – as well as focusing on the difficulties that arise when someone wants to reclaim their own life in the face of opposition from others.   

This was one book that I really didn’t want to put aside. The idyllic setting of the harbour village of Tilsham on the Sussex coast and Anchor House with its beach access contrasted sharply with the slightly darker undertone to the story. There was so much to enjoy about this story, highly recommended. 

At the time of this post, Mothers and Daughters is currently 99p to download on Amazon UK – an absolute bargain price for a fabulous book.

Erica James on Twitter | Author Website | Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads

What would you do if your husband framed you for murder? 

Five years ago, Olivia Sutherland was convicted of plotting to murder her husband.

Now she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals. Repair her relationship with her daughter. Clear her name. And bring down her husband – the man who framed her.

Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her?

Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined – and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…


The story begins in 2014 with Olivia Sutherland in court waiting to hear her fate.  We then jump to 2019 with Olivia picking up her life and determined to find out the truth about who she believed framed her.

Told from various perspectives, this suspenseful thriller really was so addictive with short snappy chapters.  Whilst I did occasionally think something seemed rather too convenient, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Olivia was a fabulous character, engaging but still extremely vulnerable and her devotion to her daughter couldn’t be faulted – the obstacles that were put in her path by others determined to keep their secrets kept me rooting for her all the way.

With some thoroughly unlikeable characters and a storyline that kept me guessing, I found this a delightfully twisty read.  Set in London, I used to work near one of the locations referred to (I’m sure I’ve even been there at times for book events!!)  and was certain I recognised it even though it went by another name in the book. 

This well paced story of betrayal and revenge kept me entertained from beginning to end.  The Guilty Couple was an excellent read.

Reviews for previous books by C.L. Taylor can be found via my post index.

C.L. Taylor on Twitter | Website | Facebook | Amazon UK | Goodreads


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