House of Secrets (Choc Lit): A truly gripping suspense novel Kindle Edition
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Stacey surely created a story that has a little bit of everything. She creates this main female character that immediately grips your heart with the challenges she’s had to face but also seeing her courage and perseverance as a mother. It has the romance angle to lighten things up a bit which is needed thanks to the tension caused by her ex hell bent on forcing her to do things his way. If all that isn’t enough she’s even sprinkled in a bit of mystery to bring her characters together and heighten the suspense of what more will the evil ex do.
I adored her characters, except for the evil ex of course, and how she used a couple as the tension relievers so you didn’t get bogged down in too much darkness.
I was already a fan of Lynda Stacey from a previous book of hers I read, Tell Me No Secrets, so this just cemented all over again what a great writer she is; I look forward to more!
Madeline was a great female character who had so much thrown at her all at once but still kept a great attitude about life. She was faced with an evil man who tries to kill her and her child
Poppy’s mother, Madeline Frost, the–not-very-self-sufficient heroine, and the dastardly bully, Liam O’Grady that Madeline lives with, have a scary relationship.
When Jess, Madeline sister, pressures Madeline to seek help from her father and get away from Liam’s control, the reader is transported to Wrea Head Hall, the house of secrets, where numerous new characters get involved in Madeline and Poppy’s lives. Among them is Bandit, the hero, a veteran with PTSD. He has a family history with Wrea Head Hall. This history comes to light bit by piece as the story unfolds—not until the very end do we know its real significance.
A new facet of the novel is ushered in when Emily Ennis’ diary, written primarily during the World War II years, is found. Secrets of the house–tunnels, rooms, and where they are and what happened in them intrigue. The diary actually creates a story within a story. How the past is connected to the present at Wrea Head Hall surprises.
About the time I thought a happy, romantic love story would start, the villainous Liam slithers back into the action. His unrelenting efforts to control, his devious ways, and his connection with all the misfortunes in Madeline life send the story into the realm of horror. Wrea Head Hall is not the only house with secrets.
While this story demands the reader’s close attention to details, its plot is so compelling one feels an urgency to keep reading—just how much is Madeline going to have to go through before she gets her happy-ever-after!
Lynda Stacey does a remarkable job of weaving together, back stories, foreshadowing, and a big cast of characters with the many facets of this story. How she takes flawed characters and redeems them is amazing. House of Secrets is an unusual, compelling novel.
originally posted at long and short reviews
Maddie’s story is heartbreaking, and sadly all to recognisable in today’s society. In an emotionally abusive relationship, whilst desperately trying to keep her family life together for the sake of her young daughter, when push-comes-to-shove she takes the chance and seeks out her long-absent father for a home and protection.
I adored Maddie’s character. Her inner strength was inspiring, and to see how much she had been manipulated through her life, yet how strong she remained for her daughter really made me respect her, and long to finish her story alongside her. Her relationship with Bandit was perfectly depicted and I loved the slow-burn, but also respectful nature of their friendship that turned to romance, a huge departure from her relationship with Liam.
With some fantastic secondary characters, like Maddie’s sister and daughter, the brilliant staff at the Hall who all rally alongside each other, this was at times funny, sad and scary. A great mix in my opinion.
However, I did feel that there was too many storylines going on at times. I adored each separate storyline; Maddie’s escape to her father’s hotel; Liam’s continued psychotic spiral; the tale from the past of a love pulled apart by war and station, but in some ways I felt that I didn’t need the World War tale in the background, as it didn’t add much to Maddie’s story.
Nevertheless, I thorougly enjoyed this story, and will be eagerly awaiting the next book from Lynda Stacey!
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Set primarily in a large hall in North Yorkshire (and Wrea Head Hall is...Read more