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The Stepmother: A gripping psychological…

The Stepmother: A gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist

by Claire Seeber

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I will at least give the author an A for effort. Though Seeber meant well in her plot approach and brought a decent story, I personally found absolutely nothing "gripping" about this novel. And I know my beloved psychological suspense and thriller genres.

I only finished this book because I don't fancy leaving anything that I start unfinished. And the story wasn't SO awful that it would force me to just give up on it. However, it was rather "dragged out" and slow-moving. I kept waiting to be "gripped", but that edge-of-your-seat feeling never came.

I really don't get what's "gripping" about this book. It was decent in its own right, but not once did I ever have to stop reading just to say, "Oh, my God! This book is just too damned good."

Again, an A to the author for her effort. Because it's not a horrendous read, it's just not an out-of-the-gate page-turner. The plot simply took too long to unfold. And it wasn't a bombshell when it did.

(Original Kindle review.) ( )
  CatEllington | May 5, 2017 |
Jeanie has a secret and is terrified that someone will find out, especially now as she has just married the man of her dreams. She has a teenage son and he has a twin son and daughter, so it's all a bit awkward. What should have been a perfect new life for them all, is anything but as someone is intent with sabotaging everything and Jeanie is convinced she is going mad. Loved the book despite of mousy Jean who always seems to put off doing something or saying what needs to be said and is very spineless! It was a great, exciting page turner with a few dark twists, leaving the reader wondering what nasty trick was coming next. I took it with on holiday and it was perfect for that. ( )
  boudicca123 | Oct 12, 2016 |
A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Nice cover!

Claire Seeber delivers a nightmare of a fairy tale, THE STEPMOTHER A gripping domestic and twisty psychological suspense, with more red herrings than you can imagine.

A perfect read for Halloween.

Is the stepmother as bad as you think, or is someone making her appear to be?

With a devilish twist of Snow White, Cinderella, old houses and creepy—join the disturbing stepfamily to learn which one is really evil.

From violence, rage, jealousy - a psychopath. Inflicting pain on the helpless. The horror of the Malum House.

Jeanie believed in fairy tales. She subscribed to the myth. However, the fantasy life crumbled. The beautiful idyllic stuff fell away. Shiny and unreal. She always looked for the best in people. An optimistic. Jeanie marries Matthew. They have a blended family.

"Why do you think little Snow White’s stepmother struggled with her? Was it merely because the girl was young and youth is always to be coveted? Was it because the girl was the queen’s daughter, who was first recipient of the king’s great love? Was it perhaps because the king love her- his little Snow White, firstborn- more than he could ever love the stepmother? Or was it because Snow White was a spoiled, little cow, used to getting her own way all the time?"

Mothers and daughters can be tricky. Teenage children from former relationships. A blended family.

Jeanie has a past. A terrible secret. Someone is playing a frightening game. It seeks to destroy.

From Jeanie to Marlena, two sisters; things are not as they seem. Can things be put away in the past, tidied and boxed up?

Jeanie Randall marries her prince charming, Matthew King. Jeanie has a son, Frankie from a prior relationship, and Matthew has two fourteen–year-old twins, Scarlett and Luke from a former marriage to Kaye.

Jeanie is now a stepmother. She wants to be accepted and wants everyone to be one big happy fairy tale family. However, someone does not feel the same.

Strange, weird things-begin happening. Driving someone to the brink of insanity. A family imploding. Step families are hard work. However, who can be trusted? Someone has a secret and it threatens to destroy.

Dark and compelling, wickedly evil! Plenty of twists and surprises to keep you guessing. A fairy tale family turns deadly. A game which threatens to drive someone nuts.

Seeber sends her reader into a labyrinth of creepy twists and grotesque turns. The secrets of the past refuse to keep quiet in this disquieting, taut thriller.

Razor-sharp and intense THE STEPMOTHER hooks, grips, and draws you into the web of deceit - impossible to put down. Wow, an author to follow!

JDCMustReadBooks ( )
  JudithDCollins | Aug 31, 2016 |
After a whirlwind romance, Jeanie marries handsome, charming and well-off Matthew. She is determined to be a good stepmother to teenage twins Luke and Scarlett and wants her son Frankie to feel secure and happy in their new patchwork family. But it soon becomes apparent that Jeanie and Matthew don't know each other well enough, and then there's the ex-wife, Kaye, of course, who still seems to have a significant presence in their lives. When everybody has secrets, when manipulations and lies are daily occurrences, putting the patchwork together successfully is a rather delicate process and can be scary stuff.
This book made me doubt everyone. I kept changing my mind in nearly every chapter about who I thought was trustworthy. Was Jeanie simply losing her mind? Was Scarlett a purely evil stepdaughter? And what was Matthew all about?
Having Marlena's, Jeanie's sister's, perspective included gave an extra layer to my perception of Jeanie and made the story even more mysterious and intriguing.
With its short chapters and easy style, this was a fast-paced and very enjoyable read.
However, I'm not really sure what the point of Marlena's journalistic investigation was. While it didn't distract from the story, it didn't really add anything either. This had plenty of good twists and turns and was quite intense, but the last 10% or 20% felt a bit anti-climatic. I also feel the Simon subplot needed some more development. But overall, this was an exciting and compelling psychological thriller.
Many thanks to Bookouture for my ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Pet12 | Jul 5, 2016 |
Jeanie is swept up in a wirlwind romance and marries Matthew. Jeanie and her son Frankie go to live in the fairytale home that Matthew shared with his first wife Kaye. Jeanie becomes stepmother to Matthews children, twins Luke and Scarlett. When things don't go to plan Jeanie relies on her sister Marlena.

This story is told from the point of view of both Jeanie and Marlena, but mostly Jeanie. I did enjoy though the punchy voice of Marlena and would have liked a bit more. However Jeanie story is very compelling as she tries to be a stepmother.

From the very beginning the story drew me in and I knew that Jeanie had got something in her past which was not nice and that her new life will not go to plan. I really couldn't wait to see what was going to happen.

I really liked the references to Snow White and how it was fitted in around Jeanies story. Could Jeanie be a good or wicked stepmother.

The story was pacy and keep my interest at all times. When trying to work out who was 'it' I hadn't got a clue. It really could have been any of the characters. Red hearrings where there to keep me guessing.

It did feel towards the end that one of the events was thrown in quickly just to tie up a loose end. I did also think that the final revelation came out of nowhere and I didn't think it was really needed.

However the book was a cracking read and I do enjoy the domestic thrillers. These characters could be the people who live next door and you wouldn't even know.

I highly recommend this book. Thank you to Bookoture via Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book for review. ( )
  tina1969 | Jun 15, 2016 |
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