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on 28 July 2014
This is a fairly quick review of Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes because it’s such a gripping thriller full of surprises that I don’t want to give anything away!

The book is told from multiple perspectives- Claudia’s, Zoe’s and detective Lauren’s. It’s easy enough to read – the language is quite simple and not overly descriptive but gives the reader enough to make them feel really immersed in the story – and the characters are likeable. You do feel for Claudia, who will be pregnant and alone with her husband’s twin sons, apart from the new nanny Zoe who seems in many ways a little strange. You also feel for Lauren the detective as she has her own issues and family problems. Finally, you don’t quite know what to make of Zoe, the new nanny, who seems too good to be true- and this is the gripping part of the novel! You know something isn’t quite right, but what you think you know isn’t what you are going to find out…if you know what I mean (that didn’t make an awful lot of sense, but read it and you WILL know!)

There are some scenes in this novel which are a little gruseome (not a lot, just a little!) and some of the storyline is pretty messed up. Not awfully so, but enough to make you think, “wow…there are some desperate people out there!”

Plus, it doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not - it’s an entertaining thriller with a good twist!

Until You’re Mine kept me completely hooked.

** For more book reviews check my blog: **
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 26 June 2013
This is an absolutely stunning read. It is a psychological thriller told from three different points of view, that of Claudia, her nanny Zoe and Lorraine, a detective. Claudia and Zoe's stories are told in the first person, and because each character has a very distinct, individual voice, it works from the very first chapters. It seems to add to the chilling feel of the book as right from the start you are completely immersed inside the minds of two of the main characters, living the story with them.

It is a book that simply drip feeds menace to the reader, with every single chapter seeming to seep out a little bit more so that by the end of the read you are completely wiped out. It is impossible to talk about the storyline itself without giving anything away, suffice to say that it is one where, as a woman, I could empathise, in different ways, with all three of the main characters.

It is a very cleverly plotted book, one which will have you constantly trying to work things out in your head as you read on. The characters are very easy to connect and empathise with. When you have finished it, you will still be going over it in your mind the next day thinking "Could it have happened that way?" I found myself googling one particular thing just to check its feasibility and the answer was "yes".

It was a book that had me gripped from the prologue and left me open mouthed at the end. I think it is one of the best books I have read in a long while and can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 15 October 2013
Becomes a little confusing half way through but you have to carry on to find out how the story unfolds. Very intriguing read that at times can seem a little far fetched
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on 15 July 2013
It has been a while since I reviewed anything, despite doing a lot of reading. However 'Until You're Mine' is such a fantastic read that I have to review it, simply to say that if you haven't read this, buy it today. I wouldn't start reading until you've a very easy day or so ahead though. I planned to spend yesterday getting organised for our summer holiday, but succeeded only in being utterly self indulgent and spending most of the day curled up with this novel.

It is very well written, with three strands which compliment each other brilliantly. It has a very satisfying conclusion and left me with no loose ends to irritate over the coming days. My only regret is that I should have saved this for the beach. If you are reading this review with a view to purchasing this book, then I cannot recommend it highly enough. I envy you the pleasure of anticipation of an excellent novel.
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on 15 September 2014
This book annoys me because it is far too long. If it had been 30% shorter then it would have a great chilling read... instead it is a long-winded rather boring read with uninteresting characters. Quite quickly into the book I knew who the true antagonist was. It was quite obvious but I was still interested in how the story would develop to it's momentum and big reveal, but there problem is that there was no actual lead up. The book doesn't clearly explain how the antagonist is capable of murder e.g. any split personality etc. Plus what was the point of the Grace story? or Lorraine's husband having an affair? The book is filled with boring domestic details that I had to skim read. I don't want to give any spoilers away but I would go as far as to say that this book is unwittingly un-feminist. Don't get me wrong I love books where the antagonist and protagonist are women but by the end of this one, apart from the antagonist herself, all the other characters (mainly all women are so weak and meek it's annoying. Basically I hate this book and am giving it two stars because the writing is not entirely awful.
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on 9 November 2014
This is a psychological thriller with some good characters that hold the plot together however the author does throw in a few random happenings which don't altogether fit with the flow of the novel.

For the best part it was a good thrilling read; I didn't guess the 'who dunnit' at the end and for me that was a bonus. All along the author is leading you to believe one person is responsible and then throws a curve ball and the last few lines of the book are genius.

Three main characters dominate this novel; Zoe the Nanny, Claudia pregnant with her first child and mother to James' (he's a naval officer and away a lot) two sons Oscar and Noah, and Lorraine a CID officer who is investigating some gruesome murders of pregnant women in the area. The author uses different narrative types - first person when she is being Claudia and Zoe and third person when she is being Lorraine.

The book has good pace and has enough tension and subtle clues to keep the reader moving along and guessing until the end.

I did feel that one part of the story didn't really fit in and that was when we learnt the naval officer husband has been involved in some shady goings on (I don't want to give anything away so won't reveal what). I just felt that this wasn't necessary to the story line and couldn't understand why Samantha Hayes felt it necessary to put it in. I also felt the introduction of the detectives' daughter was irrelevant and not necessary to the story in any way since the reader was not meant to connect with this character and was not vital to the plot.

As with most of these genres of novels it does stretch credibility but for all that it was entertaining and for the best part a gripping read.

It would be easy to retell the story in this review but if I told you I'd have to kill you (only joking); read it an enjoy it. If you liked Gone Girl then this will appeal. For me it just lacked totally bringing together in parts which is what let it down but even with that it was a good thrilling read and I would read this author again. I give this 4 stars because the last line of the book is brilliant, creepy and totally unexpected.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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on 15 November 2013
I do love a gripping psychological thriller and Until You're Mine is certainly that! A discomfiting read which made my skin crawl, I was completely sucked into the story. The characters were all irritating and had flawed aspects to their personalities, yet I was somehow compelled to keep reading. Claudia was portrayed as the typical neurotic Mum-to-be and I found her a frustrating character, although as a mother I did empathise with her fears about Zoe's erratic and unexplainable behaviour.

Samantha Hayes writes in a way that makes you doubt yourself all the time, leaving you unsure of who to trust. By telling the story from three different points of view (Claudia, Zoe and Lorraine, a detective) the reader is able to see the plot develop but Hayes never gives too much away. I was engrossed right up to the final page and really didn't want it to end.

Fans of Gone Girl and The Husband's Secret might well enjoy this one- I know I'll definitely be looking out for more books by this author.
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on 8 March 2015
Wow! What a stunning book.
This book really knocked the stuffing out of me.
One of the best physcological/suspense books i've ever read.

Until the last few chapters this book was a solid 4stars for me. But talk about twists and turns! When I got to the last few chapters I felt as though someone had kicked my feet out from underneath me and I truly fell flat on my backside, gazing at my kindle in true astonishment..?

The story is told from 3 POV's, that of DI Lorraine Fisher, Claudia and Zoe.

There's a murderer on the loose targeting pregnant women and butchering them, cutting the babies out, and leaving them to die.
Gruesome stuff huh!?
Claudia, who is heavily pregnant, employs Zoe as a Nanny to her 2 stepsons, needing the help when her husband works away.
There is something not quite right with Zoe, and the further we get into the book, the more suspenseful it becomes.
Why is Zoe so fixated with pregnant women?
What is she up to?

This book is really atmospheric. I was glued to my kindle and often a couple of hours had flown by when I looked up. I felt completely drawn into the character's lives, trying to guess what was going to happen.

Man I was so wrong.
And I'm not giving anything more away, because I want it to to knock the stuffing out of you too.
The author's writing is flawless, effortlessly flows. What a talented lady Samantha Hayes is.

Highly recommend to anyone who loves physcological/suspense/mystery thrillers.

You won't be disappointed.
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A chilling psychological thriller about maternal urges, the story is told from three viewpoints. Claudia is a social worker and stepmother to twins, with a long history of miscarriages and still-births. When we meet her, however, she is finally about to achieve her overwhelming desire for motherhood - eight and a half months pregnant and about to give birth to a healthy girl child. Zoe is the impeccably qualified nanny whom Claudia has hired to live-in, to help her with the children while her naval-officer husband James is at sea. Claudia and Zoe each tell their stories in the first-person, so the reader is aware straight away that Zoe isn't quite what she seems, but Claudia too is soon wondering if she's made the right choice.

The third viewpoint is told in the third-person, through the eyes of Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher, whom we meet when she has been called to the scene of a horrific murder. The heavily pregnant victim has had her stomach sliced open and her baby forcibly removed, killing both mother and child. When a second similar crime occurs, it seems there is a maniac targeting pregnant women...

It's been a while since I found a book that insisted on me pulling an all-nighter to finish it, but this one was truly unputdownable. Although the parts about the murders are graphic and gruesome, they don't overwhelm the story, which is much more about the psychology of the three women and how they are each, in their different ways, affected by the urge for motherhood. Hayes handles the characterisation of Claudia and Zoe brilliantly, twisting the reader's assumptions back and forwards, so that the only thing that's certain is that nothing is quite what it seems. Hayes manages the difficult balance of letting us get to know them well enough to relate to them, while holding enough information back to make each twist a surprise. Lorraine's story, of trying to handle a major investigation while dealing with a marriage in trouble and a teenage daughter going off the rails, is convincing and realistic; and serves to give a solid base to the increasing tension of the Zoe/Claudia strand.

Dark and disturbing, distinctly scary at points, but handled with a deftness and lightness of touch that prevents it from becoming too difficult a read, this kept me gripped all the way through. Although the storyline stretches credulity a bit, Hayes manages to keep the reader on side through the quality of the writing and characterisation. And one of the best last lines ever...but you'll need to read the whole thing to find out what that is! Highly recommended - except to pregnant women. This is not one to be reading in the waiting room at the ante-natal clinic...

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Crown Publishing.
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on 20 July 2013
wow, saw this recommended in a sunday mag and although its not what I usually read I ordered it, read it in a day,was absolutely brilliant, all my friends now borrowing it and they all agree......super
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