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Unforgivable

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Your ex-wife didn’t leave you because of me. She didn’t abandon her little girl because of a couple of love notes in your jeans pocket. She left because she’s twisted, and she wanted to punish you. And she’s not finished yet. You have to believe me. If you don’t, there’s no knowing what she’ll do next… Becoming a stepmother is the best thing that ever happened to me. My fav Your ex-wife didn’t leave you because of me. She didn’t abandon her little girl because of a couple of love notes in your jeans pocket. She left because she’s twisted, and she wanted to punish you. And she’s not finished yet. You have to believe me. If you don’t, there’s no knowing what she’ll do next… Becoming a stepmother is the best thing that ever happened to me. My favorite part of every day is picking Charlie up from school, watching her little rucksack bounce behind her as she skips over for a hug. I love the feel of those thin freckled arms around my waist. After a few rocky months of panic attacks when her mother deserted her, Charlie is flourishing. But the day Charlie’s mother Bronwyn returns without warning—showering Charlie with gifts and making promises she can’t keep—fear ripples through me. When I raise my concerns, no one wants to listen. I know I sound like the jealous new wife, but nothing is more important to me than Charlie’s safety. Me and Bronwyn have history. We both have dark secrets in our past, and I know the dangerous lengths she will go to get what she wants. But Bronwyn doesn’t know me as well as I know her. She doesn’t know just how far I will go to protect that little girl…


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Your ex-wife didn’t leave you because of me. She didn’t abandon her little girl because of a couple of love notes in your jeans pocket. She left because she’s twisted, and she wanted to punish you. And she’s not finished yet. You have to believe me. If you don’t, there’s no knowing what she’ll do next… Becoming a stepmother is the best thing that ever happened to me. My fav Your ex-wife didn’t leave you because of me. She didn’t abandon her little girl because of a couple of love notes in your jeans pocket. She left because she’s twisted, and she wanted to punish you. And she’s not finished yet. You have to believe me. If you don’t, there’s no knowing what she’ll do next… Becoming a stepmother is the best thing that ever happened to me. My favorite part of every day is picking Charlie up from school, watching her little rucksack bounce behind her as she skips over for a hug. I love the feel of those thin freckled arms around my waist. After a few rocky months of panic attacks when her mother deserted her, Charlie is flourishing. But the day Charlie’s mother Bronwyn returns without warning—showering Charlie with gifts and making promises she can’t keep—fear ripples through me. When I raise my concerns, no one wants to listen. I know I sound like the jealous new wife, but nothing is more important to me than Charlie’s safety. Me and Bronwyn have history. We both have dark secrets in our past, and I know the dangerous lengths she will go to get what she wants. But Bronwyn doesn’t know me as well as I know her. She doesn’t know just how far I will go to protect that little girl…

30 review for Unforgivable

  1. 5 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Unforgivable by Natalie Barelli Narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya There is all kinds of crazy going on in this story but who is crazy and who isn't crazy? Who is paranoid and who has every right to be paranoid? Who is conniving and who is getting the wool pulled over their eyes? I really wasn't sure until the end and I was pretty sure I was being gaslighted by somebody. By the end of the story, I wanted to say, "I knew that!" but did I really? Art curator, Laura, is engaged to Jack. Charlie is Jack's Unforgivable by Natalie Barelli Narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya There is all kinds of crazy going on in this story but who is crazy and who isn't crazy? Who is paranoid and who has every right to be paranoid? Who is conniving and who is getting the wool pulled over their eyes? I really wasn't sure until the end and I was pretty sure I was being gaslighted by somebody. By the end of the story, I wanted to say, "I knew that!" but did I really? Art curator, Laura, is engaged to Jack. Charlie is Jack's eight year old daughter and Laura would do anything for her. She's already helped Charlie to get through panic attacks because her mother, Bronwyn, abandoned her. Now Bronwyn has told Jack that she is going to be coming home from overseas, where she has been living with her lover, and Bronwyn is going to be staying at Jack's house, the house where Laura lives with Jack and Charlie, now. The house that used to be the home of Bronwyn before she left the marriage and her daughter. Bronwyn, has a list of requirements for her visit and in the midst of so much going on at work, it's up to Laura to make sure the requirements are met. Jack's out of work but doesn't seem up to doing what needs to be done. Charlie's acting out is back again, triggered by Bronwyn's impending arrival. And Laura knows that Bronwyn is coming to stir up trouble even though she is supposed to be coming to finalize her divorce from Jack. Laura is a frantic mess and then things get worse. She is often acting like a raving lunatic, paranoid beyond belief, it's as if she doesn't trust anyone. Ready to bite anyone's head off, rarely able to act the least bit reasonable. Is she nuts or does she know something we don't? The audiobook narration is great and is perfect for this story. Bronwyn's so put together, she makes Laura look like she's lost her marbles. Nothing Laura does is right, Charlie worships her mother and Bronwyn is putting a wedge between Laura and Charlie. Jack just wants to lay low and not ruffle any feathers, or at least not Bronwyn's feathers. Things start out unsettled and then ramp up to chaotic and it's hard to know who might be trustworthy and who might be blowing smoke in our faces. Pub: July 26th 2022 Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for this ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kaceey

    Laura is engaged to her fiancé Jack. And while not married quite yet she still considers herself the stepmom to his daughter, Charlie. And if we’re nit-picking here I should mention that Jack isn’t actually divorced yet either. When Jack informs Laura that Charlie’s birth mom (the estranged wife) will be returning for a visit from Europe, Laura is on edge. Just wait Laura, It gets better than this! The estranged, soon to be ex will be staying in their home! What? That’s right, it’s gonna’ be one Laura is engaged to her fiancé Jack. And while not married quite yet she still considers herself the stepmom to his daughter, Charlie. And if we’re nit-picking here I should mention that Jack isn’t actually divorced yet either. When Jack informs Laura that Charlie’s birth mom (the estranged wife) will be returning for a visit from Europe, Laura is on edge. Just wait Laura, It gets better than this! The estranged, soon to be ex will be staying in their home! What? That’s right, it’s gonna’ be one big happy family! NOT! I’m all for originality in my thrillers. But this was just too much of a stretch for me. At first I felt for Laura and her situation. Until…well … until I watched her character become as despicable as the rest.🤣 I’ve read several other books from this author and always enjoyed. This may be just a one-off for me. But, I’ll still be reaching for her next. A buddy 🎧 with Susanne Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media

  3. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    Unforgivable will likely be quickly forgettable. This was my first by the author. I enjoyed parts, but this felt like a family melodrama with a bunch of Looney Tunes whose actions were super irrational. I wanted someone with some active brain cells to root for. I did enjoy the daughter Charlie, who was more with it than the adults. The soon to be ex-wife, Bronwyn blows in on her broomstick, demanding to stay and visit her daughter. She turned the home that Laura had created for little Charlie and Unforgivable will likely be quickly forgettable. This was my first by the author. I enjoyed parts, but this felt like a family melodrama with a bunch of Looney Tunes whose actions were super irrational. I wanted someone with some active brain cells to root for. I did enjoy the daughter Charlie, who was more with it than the adults. The soon to be ex-wife, Bronwyn blows in on her broomstick, demanding to stay and visit her daughter. She turned the home that Laura had created for little Charlie and her fiance, Jack upside down. Who would even stand for this? The drama between them made me c-r-a-z-y! I'm okay with a over the top story, but I wanted out of Laura's head and fast! First person pov, didn't work for me this time. I'm open to reading more from the author, so we'll see! Check out other reviews as I'm a bit of an outlier here. Thanks to Netgalley for the arc. Released July 26, 2022

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael David (on hiatus)

    Entertaining, but nothing new here in the land of psychological thrillerverse. Laura is an art curator who is engaged to Jack, who recently lost his job. They’re raising his young daughter, Charlie, together. Charlie’s mom, Bronwyn, left Jack and Charlier a few years ago and only makes sporadic visits…until now. Suddenly Bronwyn is back in the picture. She decides to visit and stay in the family home and show her love to her daughter. Laura isn’t buying it, and knows Bronwyn isn’t the sweet woma Entertaining, but nothing new here in the land of psychological thrillerverse. Laura is an art curator who is engaged to Jack, who recently lost his job. They’re raising his young daughter, Charlie, together. Charlie’s mom, Bronwyn, left Jack and Charlier a few years ago and only makes sporadic visits…until now. Suddenly Bronwyn is back in the picture. She decides to visit and stay in the family home and show her love to her daughter. Laura isn’t buying it, and knows Bronwyn isn’t the sweet woman people perceive her to be. They have a shared past…which wasn’t pretty. Laura also thinks that Bronwyn wants to get back together with Jack. Laura will do anything to protect her family. If this sounds like standard fare, it’s because it is. However, I wouldn’t let that deter you if you’re looking for a few hours of entertainment and fantastic writing. Author Natalie Barelli is one of my faves, and I always pick up her books as soon as I see them available. This one doesn’t quite measure up to her others because it’s really not shocking, and follows the standard thriller formula for the most part. However, the writing is top notch and the characters are intriguing from start to finish. Even if I wasn’t completely blown away by the time I reached the ending, I can’t pretend that it wasn’t a fun ride. If you are new to the work of Natalie Barelli, I highly recommend the two books in her Emma Fern series. They are darkly humorous and deliciously wicked. I know I’ll be wowed by her again, and I can’t wait! Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 7/26/22.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ceecee

    Laura loves being a stepmum to delightful Charlie (Charlotte) but there’s a big black cloud looming on the horizon. That would be Bronwyn, the soon-to-be ex-wife who buzzed off to Italy when she got a better offer and now she’s returning for a visit. What’s more to stay with Laura, Jack and Charlie. What, I hear you cry? Yes indeedy and what’s more she’s making demands for her stay to be a more comfortable one. Everyone loves entitled Bronwyn, well, everyone except Laura. They have history from Laura loves being a stepmum to delightful Charlie (Charlotte) but there’s a big black cloud looming on the horizon. That would be Bronwyn, the soon-to-be ex-wife who buzzed off to Italy when she got a better offer and now she’s returning for a visit. What’s more to stay with Laura, Jack and Charlie. What, I hear you cry? Yes indeedy and what’s more she’s making demands for her stay to be a more comfortable one. Everyone loves entitled Bronwyn, well, everyone except Laura. They have history from school days and it’s not pretty unlike Bronwyn. So, how will it play out as this is a cuckoo, nest and all that jazz scenario and who indeed is the cuckoo ? Or should that be IS cuckoo? Well, I barrel(ed or should that be Barelli(d)??) through this one at a rate of knots as it’s so deliciously and devilishly entertaining. There are so many different shades of unforgivable you real from one revelatory act to the next in the intensely building drama. Frankly, if Laura doesn’t ring Bronwyn‘s neck then I will, then I want to yell at Laura for not standing up for herself and as for Jack, well least said and there’s poor Charlie in the centre of the many shenanigans. There’s an awful lot of button pressing and sitting back in anticipatory glee at the fireworks, some people sure know how to hold grudges and act on them in an over the top way! It’s a truly twisted sister tale, reserve your judgements on the characters, cringe your way through some of the conversations as you’re meant to and then watch as it plays out into a bonkers, insanely dramatic end which makes your jaw drop. What a ride. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Bookouture for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    3.5 stars First off, I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator did a fantastic job! This book was entertaining and read like a nighttime soap. It is equally entertaining and dramatic. There is a lot going on in this book. In short, Laura is engaged and living with Jack and his daughter, Charlie. She is happy and working in an art gallery. Jack's soon to be ex-wife, Bronwyn, is coming back to town and will be staying with them. What!?! Are you serious????? From this alone, I knew that th 3.5 stars First off, I listened to the audiobook and thought the narrator did a fantastic job! This book was entertaining and read like a nighttime soap. It is equally entertaining and dramatic. There is a lot going on in this book. In short, Laura is engaged and living with Jack and his daughter, Charlie. She is happy and working in an art gallery. Jack's soon to be ex-wife, Bronwyn, is coming back to town and will be staying with them. What!?! Are you serious????? From this alone, I knew that things were going to get messy. Especially, now that Bronwyn wants to be a part of her daughter's life - a daughter she left behind. She also is chummy, chummy with Jack taking all kinds of special pics during the outings......Laura is nervous and worried, who wouldn't be? Jack's soon to be ex-wife is living in their home with them. UGH! Plus, things are getting crazy at work for Laura who appears to have impulse control issues and acts without thinking.... Just when I thought I knew what was going on in the book, the author turned the tables and threw in a twist. Dramatic! This was an enjoyable, fast read/listen which I enjoyed. I believe the narrator made the book even more enjoyable. #Unforgivable #NetGalley. Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own. Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

  7. 5 out of 5

    chantalsbookstuff

    Well this one was a pleasant surprise. The story was catchy, the characters really rich and full of life and that ending totally blows you away if, like me, you didn't expect it. One character I wanted to see more of was Summer. She actually plays a very important roll and didn't see enough of her to fully bring that side of her character to life. I really liked the dual timelines as it gives that bit of insight into Bronwyn and Laura's friendship. Overall a really good book and another author t Well this one was a pleasant surprise. The story was catchy, the characters really rich and full of life and that ending totally blows you away if, like me, you didn't expect it. One character I wanted to see more of was Summer. She actually plays a very important roll and didn't see enough of her to fully bring that side of her character to life. I really liked the dual timelines as it gives that bit of insight into Bronwyn and Laura's friendship. Overall a really good book and another author to watch for sure! Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for this ARC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    4.5 rounded up What a cracking book! Thanks for bringing it to my attention Mark. I’ve read a couple of her books but this was next level! The story is told from Laura’s POV. Laura and Jack are living in happily pre-wedding bliss. Jack just has to have his divorce finalised. Charlie is his 7 year old daughter and Laura loves her to bits. This book is NOT about an evil step-mother. Jack’s ex Bronwyn left him over an alleged affair and took up with a wealthy Italian man. Happiness all round - or not 4.5 rounded up What a cracking book! Thanks for bringing it to my attention Mark. I’ve read a couple of her books but this was next level! The story is told from Laura’s POV. Laura and Jack are living in happily pre-wedding bliss. Jack just has to have his divorce finalised. Charlie is his 7 year old daughter and Laura loves her to bits. This book is NOT about an evil step-mother. Jack’s ex Bronwyn left him over an alleged affair and took up with a wealthy Italian man. Happiness all round - or not. Things go pear shaped when Bronwyn announces she is coming to London to spend some time with her daughter and she will be staying at Jack and Laura’s house (technically still half Bronwyn’s. The trouble starts immediately with Bronwyn undermining and gaslighting Laura, in the politest way possible. And Jack is largely mentally ‘not there’ - he has lost his job and, apparently, his personality as well. At this point I hate Jack! Poor Laura feels a deepening sense of paranoia and there is a sense of growing dread. We soon learn that there is more than one unreliable narrator, everyone (with the exception of the delightful Charlie) has secrets, and your loyalties start to constantly shift. It’s like quicksand. This a slow motion train wreck of a story but you cannot look away. Of course it’s bonkers but fabulously so. As we approach the end you get whiplash and I’m going “what?” “What the…?” Natalie Barelli did an awesome job with this one. She writes bad characters so deliciously well. Ultimately they are all pretty unlikeable for various reasons - except for Charlie. The plot was tight and the pace was crisp until it went into overdrive. In this case it all worked extremely well and I loved this story. Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the much appreciated arc which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    I have not found a Natalie Barelli book that I haven’t enjoyed. I always jump at the chance to read her books and Unforgivable was another binge worthy read. I read the whole thing on a rainy Sunday afternoon. My head was spinning, my thoughts in the characters changing with almost every new chapter. I love not knowing what is going on and who can be believed. Laura is happy with her fiancé Jack. She loves being step mother to Charlie and would do anything for her. Charlie’s mother Bronwyn announ I have not found a Natalie Barelli book that I haven’t enjoyed. I always jump at the chance to read her books and Unforgivable was another binge worthy read. I read the whole thing on a rainy Sunday afternoon. My head was spinning, my thoughts in the characters changing with almost every new chapter. I love not knowing what is going on and who can be believed. Laura is happy with her fiancé Jack. She loves being step mother to Charlie and would do anything for her. Charlie’s mother Bronwyn announces that she is coming to see her daughter for her birthday and would be staying with them. Laura and Bronwyn have a history and tensions is high in the household. Laura knows that Bronwyn has an hidden agenda. Why is is her new partner not with her? Why is she hesitant to sign the divorce papers? Laura is convinced that she wants Jack back and does everything she can to stop her. Now, you really need to just go with this one. The characters make a lot of questionable decisions that will have you shaking your head. It is hard to know who to trust, who’s truth do you believe, the ending was 🤯🤯🤯 Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book to read. Published July 26th.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    I really enjoyed this one! Barelli is superb at crafting her novels- unreliable people everywhere you look and a plot and reveal that is so intricately thought out, some of it just passes you by! The characters here are all fantastic, the reader has no clue who to trust- which is something I love! The plot was fast paced and I read this in just a couple of days. The ending didn't surprise me all that much, I had my suspicions who was culpable, but I definitely loved the way it was revealed. I really enjoyed this one! Barelli is superb at crafting her novels- unreliable people everywhere you look and a plot and reveal that is so intricately thought out, some of it just passes you by! The characters here are all fantastic, the reader has no clue who to trust- which is something I love! The plot was fast paced and I read this in just a couple of days. The ending didn't surprise me all that much, I had my suspicions who was culpable, but I definitely loved the way it was revealed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susanne

    Unrealistic and predictable. Engaged to be married, Laura’s life was almost perfect, until Bronwyn, the ex-wife of her fiancé returned. No one sees Bronwyn for who she is, except Laura, that is. Part mystery, part domestic suspense, this novel played on Laura looking unreliable and Bronwyn looking purely perfect. Who is who? All I can say is that Natalie Barelli left me a little underwhelmed. I found the storyline to be both extremely predictable, and quite outlandish at the same time though, I'm Unrealistic and predictable. Engaged to be married, Laura’s life was almost perfect, until Bronwyn, the ex-wife of her fiancé returned. No one sees Bronwyn for who she is, except Laura, that is. Part mystery, part domestic suspense, this novel played on Laura looking unreliable and Bronwyn looking purely perfect. Who is who? All I can say is that Natalie Barelli left me a little underwhelmed. I found the storyline to be both extremely predictable, and quite outlandish at the same time though, I'm sure a lot of readers will find this story to be wholly entertaining. In the end, I chalk this up to my being the wrong reader for this author's novels. A buddy listen with Kaceey. Thanks to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the alc.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Oh I LOVE a cuckoo, you can’t go wrong with one, craftily get themselves into lives and houses and situations, winning the good folk over and usually there’s the one person who knows what’s really happening can’t get anyone to believe them, it’s reading heaven for me and I tear through the book (s) waiting for that delicious moment when ‘all is revealed’ and the baddie is known And that’s what I expected and got with this book, until…until it went further and messed ( in a good way ) with my head Oh I LOVE a cuckoo, you can’t go wrong with one, craftily get themselves into lives and houses and situations, winning the good folk over and usually there’s the one person who knows what’s really happening can’t get anyone to believe them, it’s reading heaven for me and I tear through the book (s) waiting for that delicious moment when ‘all is revealed’ and the baddie is known And that’s what I expected and got with this book, until…until it went further and messed ( in a good way ) with my head 😎😂 this was a whole new level of Cuckoo and so cleverly done, so engineered by the author that you on multiple occasions thought ‘that’s it’ only to realise it was a red herring and you had been wrong Brilliant, honestly as you know I read a lot but this is a romper of a tale, so well done, so exciting to read and so all encompassing a story you will want to finish to find out who is the baddie, you wont be able to stop yourself Awesome read 10/10 5 Stars

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Thacker

    Why haven’t I read more books by Natalie Barelli? This one kept me guessing till the very end. When I thought I figured things out, nope, I was wrong. Bronwyn drove me crazy!!! She was a piece of work! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review. To be published July 2022.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Schultz

    Title: Unforgivable Author: Natalie Barelli Publisher: Bookouture Genre: Psychological Thriller Pub Date: July 26, 2022 My Rating: 4+ Stars Laura an art exhibitions director with the hopes of being a curator; she is also looking forward to marrying Jack Blackman and being the stepmother to his seven year old daughter Charlotte ~ nicknamed Charlie. Jack’s first wife Bronwyn, an uncaring as well as an absent mother, is now engaged to a Plastic Surgeon and decides it is time to sign the divorce papers. S Title: Unforgivable Author: Natalie Barelli Publisher: Bookouture Genre: Psychological Thriller Pub Date: July 26, 2022 My Rating: 4+ Stars Laura an art exhibitions director with the hopes of being a curator; she is also looking forward to marrying Jack Blackman and being the stepmother to his seven year old daughter Charlotte ~ nicknamed Charlie. Jack’s first wife Bronwyn, an uncaring as well as an absent mother, is now engaged to a Plastic Surgeon and decides it is time to sign the divorce papers. She arrives at the home of Laura and Jack (which was also her home when she was married to Jack) and for some reason feel she is entitled to stay in the guest room. While there she showers little Charlie with gifts and promises we doubt she will keep. She acts like she is on vacation while Laura is her servant. Hmmm ~ Turns out that she and Laura have history ~ they were actually friends in middle school when a nasty thing happened. Now it seems Bronwyn believe Laura stole her husband and it out to punish her. Another Hmmm . . . . . I love psychological thrillers ~ I know/expect  There will be secrets and  There will be twists and turns! Yep! The twists & turns kicked in and secrets were revealed! This psychological thriller is great! Natalie Barelli does a great job of messing with us. She creating a suspicion that seems clear-cut and then it doesn’t. Who is the real Psycho ~ Bronwyn or is it Laura? Awww you need to read this story and find out! As always I enjoy the author’s notes and/or Acknowledgements. In this case ~ A Letter from Natalie. She tells us when she started this story she has a completely different plot in mind but the characters had a different idea! BTW: A personal side of Natalie is that she lives in Australia, rides motorcycles, knits, and states she spends far too much time on her computer. Want to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for this early eGalley. Publishing Release Date scheduled for July 26, 2022

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather Adores Books

    4.5⭐ rounded up for the audiobook. There was so much going on my head was spinning. I went from having it all figured out, to being clueless, back and forth and all over the place with my thoughts. An abundance of twists and turns that kept the story flowing along at a delightfully engaging and quick pace. Our main characters are: Laura ~ engaged to Jack, already acts as a stepmom to Charlie Jack ~ father to Charlie, engaged to Laura Bronwyn ~ absentee mother to Charlie, ex-wife of Jack, childhood fr 4.5⭐ rounded up for the audiobook. There was so much going on my head was spinning. I went from having it all figured out, to being clueless, back and forth and all over the place with my thoughts. An abundance of twists and turns that kept the story flowing along at a delightfully engaging and quick pace. Our main characters are: Laura ~ engaged to Jack, already acts as a stepmom to Charlie Jack ~ father to Charlie, engaged to Laura Bronwyn ~ absentee mother to Charlie, ex-wife of Jack, childhood friend of Laura Bronwyn is back in town after living in Italy and she wants back in Charlie's life. Jack has no choice but to allow it, but did he really think it would be a good idea to allow his ex-wife to stay in his home. Crazy talk! and why would Laura be okay with it? I mean it's her house too and she's the only one paying the bills right now as Jack takes an awfully long time looking for a new job while he drinks up a storm. Side note ~ I was very frustrated with how much money they continued to spend when they were obviously getting their selves further and further into debt. There were times I both loved and hated each character ~ except for the adorable, Charlie, she was always lovable. I did not like what Laura asked Summer to do ~ in what world was this a good idea? No world, that's where. CW ~ about Charlie (view spoiler)[intentional drugging of a child (hide spoiler)] Jennifer Jill Araya did a wonderful job narrating for 9 hours and 38 minutes. She really gave proper emotion to each characters voice. To the frantic, at times, voice of Laura, to the condescending voice of Bronwyn and everyone in between ~ it was just perfect. I believe I've read similar plots, but this was on a different level of thrillingness. This is my second time reading Natalie's work (the first was Missing Molly, I tagged it as 4.5⭐, but wasn't writing reviews at that time). I will for sure put her on my list to read again and again. *Thanks to Dreamscape Media, Natalie Barelli and NetGalley for the advance audiobook. I am voluntarily leaving my honest review* More reviews here ➡ Heather Adores Books

  16. 4 out of 5

    oohlalabooks

    Jack’s wife, Bronwyn, leaves him and their daughter, Charlie. Perfect for Laura to offer support and be part of their lives. Now engaged, Bronwyn walks back in! Secrets, revenge - it starts out a bit slow, but this had me guessing til the end! Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for a gifted copy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Courtney (caffeinereadrepeat)

    Don't Get All Flittered! 😳😯🤯 Flittery Flappy Wings! For geese honks crying out loud! This was one absolutely messed up, crazy ride of a plot! I was sucked in, provoked and felt major urges to throw my phone at how frustrated I was with these characters (in the best way!!) I cannot believe how much I was irked and irritated by Bronwyn! To say I despised her is an understatement! I loved to dislike, be irritated and abhor at times some of these characters and the decisions they made. Mყ 𝐒ყɴ𝐨ρѕιѕ: A Don't Get All Flittered! 😳😯🤯 Flittery Flappy Wings! For geese honks crying out loud! This was one absolutely messed up, crazy ride of a plot! I was sucked in, provoked and felt major urges to throw my phone at how frustrated I was with these characters (in the best way!!) I cannot believe how much I was irked and irritated by Bronwyn! To say I despised her is an understatement! I loved to dislike, be irritated and abhor at times some of these characters and the decisions they made. Mყ 𝐒ყɴ𝐨ρѕιѕ: After Bronwyn left her husband Jack, & little girl Charlie, Laura stepped up and stepped in. Soon Jack and Laura have become a couple and engaged giving Charlie stability over the past few years. But now, Bronwyn has come back to spend time and reconnect with Charlie. With Laura fiercely protective of Charlie, she knows this is all a non-lasting ruse. No one can see what Bronwyn is trying to do slowly and subtly. With each harbouring dark secrets of a shared history, each willing to go to undeniable lengths to get what they want, just who's motherly love will be stronger? And what will it cost for each of them? This dark, devious, dishful book was like eating a midnight snack of the last slice of your favourite cake, at someone else's home. The thrills, suspense and endless cat and mouse game keep you intrigued from start to finish. And don't get me started on that ending. Fluffers! I think I need a piece of my GOOD chocolate after this! Thank you to NetGalley & Bookouture for this ARC. Release Date: July 26, 2022 𝐌𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭: 4 / 5 Beach Waves! 🌊

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Thank you NetGalley and Dreamscapes Media for an advanced audio copy of this book. This is not a solid three star rating. It is more a two and three-quarters rounded up. Laura, the heroine of the story, is an art gallery curator. She is soon to be married to Jack, an out-of-work consultant. Jack’s soon to be ex, Bronwyn, is also Laura’s former friend and now arch rival. Let’s throw in a seven year old named Charlotte and you get the idea. Laura pays her assistant, Summer, to flirt with Jack to s Thank you NetGalley and Dreamscapes Media for an advanced audio copy of this book. This is not a solid three star rating. It is more a two and three-quarters rounded up. Laura, the heroine of the story, is an art gallery curator. She is soon to be married to Jack, an out-of-work consultant. Jack’s soon to be ex, Bronwyn, is also Laura’s former friend and now arch rival. Let’s throw in a seven year old named Charlotte and you get the idea. Laura pays her assistant, Summer, to flirt with Jack to see if he will be faithful. Bronwyn meanwhile is in Seattle from Italy, where she is engaged to a plastic surgeon named Leon. Bronwyn and Laura fight like cats and dogs and Jack seems oblivious. He is also drinking too much. Recipe for disaster. The book wasn’t bad, it just didn’t really have anything that jumped out at me. Another annoying thing was the misuse of “I” and “me”. (It isn’t hard and the editor should’ve caught it!!). Put this in your “If I don’t have anything else to read” pile.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Krista crone

    This was such an entertaining ride! So many twists and turns with handfuls of gaslighting and deceit but for me it was somewhat predictable as I figured out the culprit early on. The ending left my head spinning and I felt completely fulfilled with the journey. I listened to this as an audiobook and really enjoyed the narrator. This was my first book by Barelli and I plan on check out some of her prior work. ***** Many thanks to Dreamscape Media, Natalie Barelli, and NetGalley for the gifted copy This was such an entertaining ride! So many twists and turns with handfuls of gaslighting and deceit but for me it was somewhat predictable as I figured out the culprit early on. The ending left my head spinning and I felt completely fulfilled with the journey. I listened to this as an audiobook and really enjoyed the narrator. This was my first book by Barelli and I plan on check out some of her prior work. ***** Many thanks to Dreamscape Media, Natalie Barelli, and NetGalley for the gifted copy as it was provided to me in turn for my honest opinion. Rating it 3.5 stars on goodreads but rounding up to 4 stars

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Natalie Barelli’s latest book, Unforgivable, is a true psychological thriller in every sense of the word. Laura, an art curator, and Jack, an out of work engineer, are engaged and living together but most importantly, she’s become a big part of his daughter’s life. All she wants is a family to call her own but when Jack’s ex, Bronwyn, comes back to town to reclaim a place in her child’s life, things get tricky and Laura becomes insecure. Add to that, a new employee that could be friend or foe, al Natalie Barelli’s latest book, Unforgivable, is a true psychological thriller in every sense of the word. Laura, an art curator, and Jack, an out of work engineer, are engaged and living together but most importantly, she’s become a big part of his daughter’s life. All she wants is a family to call her own but when Jack’s ex, Bronwyn, comes back to town to reclaim a place in her child’s life, things get tricky and Laura becomes insecure. Add to that, a new employee that could be friend or foe, along with a break-in that resulted in the loss of a $14,000 piece of art and Laura has no safe place. Is someone putting her through the ringer or is she overreacting and imagining things? I honestly didn’t know. This kept me guessing until the very end. I was back and forth so much it was dizzying! In a good way of course. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to listen and review. The narration was also great!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    This was a fun one, and is the 2nd book I have read and enjoyed by this author. The story centers on Laura, who is a stepmom to Charlie. Charlie’s actually mom, Bronwyn, a former friend of Laura’s, returns to town and shakes up the life that Laura is trying to build with her new family. Firstly, no character in this book is likable. It was sometimes hard to root for Laura when she kept doing so many stupid things. That being said, she had a horrible support system around her that didn’t help mat This was a fun one, and is the 2nd book I have read and enjoyed by this author. The story centers on Laura, who is a stepmom to Charlie. Charlie’s actually mom, Bronwyn, a former friend of Laura’s, returns to town and shakes up the life that Laura is trying to build with her new family. Firstly, no character in this book is likable. It was sometimes hard to root for Laura when she kept doing so many stupid things. That being said, she had a horrible support system around her that didn’t help matters. Though I did figure out what was really going on early in the book, Laura didn’t, and I enjoyed the red herrings she chased until she finally caught up; it made for a fast-paced read. I found the ending of the book mostly satisfying though I still didn’t like any of the characters. Overall, fun and quick story that I’d recommend to those who like psychological thrillers. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange doe an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liz Butler

    Although this book was a little crazy, I really struggled with the actions and reactions of most of the characters, which really frustrated me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    McBreakneck

    This is the first book I've read by Natalie Barelli. I've wanted to try her books after seeing Freida McFadden name her as one her favourite authors. I picked it up blind with no expectations. The first thing that hit me was the style, I was reminded of Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth. I really enjoy their light and easy domestic drama style, with humour and sharp edges, well this book is funnier, sharper and edgier. The plot revolves around Laura, fiancé to Jack and stepmom to his daughter Char This is the first book I've read by Natalie Barelli. I've wanted to try her books after seeing Freida McFadden name her as one her favourite authors. I picked it up blind with no expectations. The first thing that hit me was the style, I was reminded of Liane Moriarty and Sally Hepworth. I really enjoy their light and easy domestic drama style, with humour and sharp edges, well this book is funnier, sharper and edgier. The plot revolves around Laura, fiancé to Jack and stepmom to his daughter Charlie. When Jack's ex-wife and Charlie's mother Bronwyn announces she's coming to stay, Laura is filled with insecurities and anxious dread. Laura's anxiety quickly grows into jealousy and paranoia, not knowing who she can trust, even doubting herself. The pacing and acceleration is just perfect, and before you know it you're swept along for a fast, frantic and twisting thriller. I loved it, the characters, style, pacing, plotting and twists are so well done. Hugely enjoyable and definitely recommended. Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I love the premise of this book in which a woman will do whatever it takes to protect her step-daughter. However, it’s a slow build-up and during the first part of the book, it seems as if everyone is taking advantage of Laura at work and at home. She is walked on by both her partner, Jack, and his ex-wife, Bronwyn, and seems afraid to stand up for herself. Unfortunately, it’s often the child, Charlotte, that suffers because of this. It was hard to connect with or even understand the actions of I love the premise of this book in which a woman will do whatever it takes to protect her step-daughter. However, it’s a slow build-up and during the first part of the book, it seems as if everyone is taking advantage of Laura at work and at home. She is walked on by both her partner, Jack, and his ex-wife, Bronwyn, and seems afraid to stand up for herself. Unfortunately, it’s often the child, Charlotte, that suffers because of this. It was hard to connect with or even understand the actions of any of the characters, especially Jack and Bronwyn, because of the decisions they make and the things they do. Things improve in the latter part of the story and although she’s not always a reliable narrator, I grew to like Laura more. All of the main characters are keeping secrets and the story gets more interesting as they start to come out. Although she doesn’t always do the right thing, Laura’s love for “Charlie” remains constant. There is a very intense and dramatic confrontation near the end that reveals even more twists. I was pleased with how the book ends overall and would rate this psychological thriller 3.5 stars. I received this ebook from NetGalley through the courtesy of Bookouture. An advance copy was provided to me at no cost, but my review is voluntary and unbiased.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lori Martin

    I am a huge fan of Natalie Barelli and love her writing style. Unforgivable was amazing! I was reading late into the night to finish it as I had to know how it would end. This book is a real page turner, so If you've got something to do don't start this book! I highly recommend purchasing this book when it releases on July 26. 2022! The book tells the story of Laura, who is engaged to Jack, and his daughter Charlie. They are a very happy family to be until Jack's ex comes back from Italy and stay I am a huge fan of Natalie Barelli and love her writing style. Unforgivable was amazing! I was reading late into the night to finish it as I had to know how it would end. This book is a real page turner, so If you've got something to do don't start this book! I highly recommend purchasing this book when it releases on July 26. 2022! The book tells the story of Laura, who is engaged to Jack, and his daughter Charlie. They are a very happy family to be until Jack's ex comes back from Italy and stays with them for 3 weeks!! Laura is not happy that Bronwyn, the ex, will be staying in their home for 3 weeks, but Jack didn't know how to turn her down when she's been away from Charlie for so long. He thought he was doing what was best for his daughter as she missed her mom. It turns out that Laura and Bronwyn have a past from junior high and high school days. Bronwyn spread terrible rumors about Laura back then and ruined Laura's life in a lot of ways. Jack doesn't know about any of that. Laura works at an art gallery and is planning a new type of show that will travel around the country. The gallery is in need of a new assistant and Laura hires Summer, a person we're not sure if we should trust. Summer was only hired because she saw something that Laura did and Laura wants to keep her happy. Summer is a photographer also and considers herself good enough to have her own show. Something happens at the gallery. Is Summer to blame? Why does she seem to know more about Laura and her family than she should? Can Laura trust her? Jack has been out of work for a year as he lost his last job due to a rumor from a woman in his past. That woman was the babysitter when he was still married and living with Bronwyn. Bronwyn confides in Laura that Jack had an affair with the babysitter and that she should be worried about him having another affair. Jack denies the affair with the babysitter, but seems on edge of late. Can Jack be trusted to be faithful? Did he have an affair? Why did he lose his job and why is he having trouble getting a new job? Why is Bronwyn going on trips with Jack and Charlie without Laura? Is she trying to get her family back? Is she jealous of Laura? The suspense continues to build as you read this thriller. I thought I had it figured out a couple of times, but the twists will keep you on your toes! If you enjoy a great mystery then don't miss out on this book! I'd like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for an advanced copy of Unforgivable in exchange for a fair review. #NetGalley #Bookouture #Unforgivable #NatalieBarelli

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Cook

    This one missed the mark for me a little bit. I found that I didn’t like any of the characters. Laura made decisions that I found to be so immature and unrealistic of what a grown adult would make. Maybe it’s an overdone trope with all the gaslighting and jealousy, or maybe I just need to take a break from domestic thrillers. Either way, this one just didn’t quite do it for me. I listened to this as an audio book and enjoyed the performance of the narrator, Jennifer Jill Araya. 3.5 out of 5 star This one missed the mark for me a little bit. I found that I didn’t like any of the characters. Laura made decisions that I found to be so immature and unrealistic of what a grown adult would make. Maybe it’s an overdone trope with all the gaslighting and jealousy, or maybe I just need to take a break from domestic thrillers. Either way, this one just didn’t quite do it for me. I listened to this as an audio book and enjoyed the performance of the narrator, Jennifer Jill Araya. 3.5 out of 5 stars, rounding up to 4 on goodreads. A big thank you to NetGalley, Dreamscape Media, and Natalie Barelli for providing me with this gifted audio in exchange for my honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    3.5 ⭐️ Laura is engaged to Jack…Who happens to still be married to his estranged wife Bronwyn. Laura considers herself stepmom to Jack's daughter Charlie. Plenty of drama ensues when Bronwyn comes to stay at their house. Alls fair in love & war. I was anxious reading this but liked the ending I will definitely be reading more of this authors books. Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for this ARC in exchange for my honest review 3.5 ⭐️ Laura is engaged to Jack…Who happens to still be married to his estranged wife Bronwyn. Laura considers herself stepmom to Jack's daughter Charlie. Plenty of drama ensues when Bronwyn comes to stay at their house. Alls fair in love & war. I was anxious reading this but liked the ending I will definitely be reading more of this authors books. Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for this ARC in exchange for my honest review

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lani

    This is one book full of crazy characters that you think you have figured out, but do you? They're irritating in the best way because you want to keep reading, hoping you're right and they will get their comeuppance! There are several deliciously twisty moments which made me want to finish this whole book in a day. It flows really well, in part because it all comes from Laura's perspective, but also because the narrator does a great job reading this. Really enjoyed this audiobook, finished quickl This is one book full of crazy characters that you think you have figured out, but do you? They're irritating in the best way because you want to keep reading, hoping you're right and they will get their comeuppance! There are several deliciously twisty moments which made me want to finish this whole book in a day. It flows really well, in part because it all comes from Laura's perspective, but also because the narrator does a great job reading this. Really enjoyed this audiobook, finished quickly and definitely recommend for the psychological thriller fans. Thanks very much to #NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the ARC!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susan Crowe

    The wildest book I've read or listened to EVER! This book was a non-stop rollercoaster ride! It had my brain spinning. It was constant! You think it's solved then something new pops up. That happens over and over. I was worn out by the end! The narrator was PERFECT! Highly recommended! The wildest book I've read or listened to EVER! This book was a non-stop rollercoaster ride! It had my brain spinning. It was constant! You think it's solved then something new pops up. That happens over and over. I was worn out by the end! The narrator was PERFECT! Highly recommended!

  30. 5 out of 5

    James Foley

    Yet another stunning novel from Natalie Barelli. She creates characters that truly get under your skin, while at the same time you empathize them as the story unfolds. This book is a page turner that will have you staying up WAY too late to finish. Once the plot comes together, this book grabs you and won’t let you go until the bitter end. I’m already looking forward to the next Barelli book to devour! Is Cozy Psychological Thriller a genre? Because Barelli nails it every time. Thanks to NetGalle Yet another stunning novel from Natalie Barelli. She creates characters that truly get under your skin, while at the same time you empathize them as the story unfolds. This book is a page turner that will have you staying up WAY too late to finish. Once the plot comes together, this book grabs you and won’t let you go until the bitter end. I’m already looking forward to the next Barelli book to devour! Is Cozy Psychological Thriller a genre? Because Barelli nails it every time. Thanks to NetGalley & Bookouture for this ARC. It was a pleasure to give it an early read through!

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