"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…"
This is the first thriller which I've read that was published by Choc Lit and boy did I love the combination of the famous Choc Lit hero / heroine and a thriller!
This is actually an incredibly difficult book to review without giving too much of the story away as it really isn't completely predictable. Let's just say I felt completely aggrieved for Maddie at certain points of the story which were just unfair; a sign I had really bonded with the characters and was living this book alongside them. I hated Liam with a passion (he's a real baddie) but I adored Bandit and the way Poppy takes to him from the very beginning. There are some other 'non-main' characters who also stand out and we get to see more of these in the follow up to this book, House of Christmas Secrets (which I adore).
I loved the interaction with the past which is brought to life through the diary of a previous owner which is found and I loved watching that unravel and finding out how that links to the present and the future.
This is a book filled with sparks and I was truly surprised to find out that this book was Lynda Stacey's debut book; it's incredibly good! I have already finished the sequel to this book - House of Christmas Secrets - and I intend to work my way through all of Lynda's other books one by one! A new favourite author for my list - you can see more about Lynda here.
House of Secrets is out now and can be purchased here on Kindle or in Paperback (prices correct at time of writing):