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The Forever Home: An incredibly gripping psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist Kindle Edition
You thought you’d always be safe there… you were wrong.
Carly had thought they’d always live there. The beautiful Cornish cliffside house they’d taken on as a wreck, that Mark had obsessively re-designed and renovated – a project that had made him famous. It was where they’d raised their children, where they’d sat cosily on the sofa watching storms raging over the sea below. It was where they’d promised to keep each other’s secrets…
Until now. Because Mark has fallen in love. With someone he definitely shouldn’t have. Someone who isn’t Carly. And suddenly their family home doesn’t feel like so much of a safe haven.
Carly thinks forever should mean forever though: it’s her home and she’ll stay there. Even the dark family secrets it contains feel like they belong to her. But someone disagrees. And, as threats start to arrive at her front door, it becomes clear, someone will stop at nothing. Because someone wants to demolish every last thing that makes Carly feel safe. Forever.
An utterly unputdownable psychological thriller about what lies are hidden in the most beautiful homes. Perfect for fans of Date Night, Gone Girl and The Woman in the Window.
Readers are loving The Forever Home:
‘WOW!! WOW!! WOW!!… The top #1 stop of my recommendations for 2021… So fast-paced it is unputdownable, intense, emotional, mind blowing, gripping, filled with betrayal, secrets, and “omg she went there” moments!!... wickedly good!’ Heidi Lynn’s Book Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was completely hooked from the first page and honestly could not put the book down… I did not predict the end and audibly gasped at the final twist. Just fantastic.’ Greatreadsflowersandseeds ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Utterly compelling… Oh my goodness… I sat mouth wide open as I held my breath, just utterly brilliant!!!... A page turning thriller that hooked me in and gripped me so tightly I felt captive, breathless and broken… An outstanding read that will stay with me forever.’ CrooksonBooks ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Hold on tight, buckle up baby, the ride’s about to begin… An epic thriller!... it’s hot, it’s sizzling, it’s a scorcher and it’s like right out of the oven and into the fire – real drama!... that ending was the bomb!’ The Secret Book Sleuth ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘WOW… her best one yet!… Each time I *think* I have it all figured out and practically lose my mind in anticipation of finally getting it right, then BOOM! Just a snap, crackle, and pop, and I’m all twisted up again!... Jaw-dropping!’ Misty’s Corner Reviews ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Wow this was an incredible book… I was hooked from the very first page and once I started reading I couldn’t put it down… Every time I thought I had sussed out what was happening something else cropped up and really kept me on my toes.’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Sue Watson knocks it out of the park… such a great read! Just when you think the story is almost over, another twist comes happens and shocks you! I couldn't put this book down!’ Goodreads reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Wow!... Sue Watson delivered big time… If you are looking for a great edge-of-your-seat thriller jam-packed with surprising plot twists... this is your book. Definitely a great book to start off your summer 2021 list!’ Two Girls and a Book Obsession ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- ASIN : B08YDCN27S
- Publisher : Bookouture (4 June 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 1664 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 346 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1800192800
- Best Sellers Rank: 14,310 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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I'm sure Sue Watson sits and dreams up ways to tie her readers in knots with her characters that just love to get under your skin! She once told me that I'm one of her favourite readers...probably because her characters get me so worked up I could happily poke my own eyes out they do my head in so much! Now she says "I write them just for you Stina! I know you love to hate them!" lol The last time she did that to me was in "The Sister in Law" ...but in that case there was only one irritating character. In THE FOREVER HOME there are two of them! Give me strength...!!
But having said that, I know when I pick up a Sue Watson book I am going to get a good fast paced thriller with plenty of twists that will have me turning pages long into the night. This book is no exception. And the setting...omg! Cornwall is one of my favourite settings and just visualising the house on the cliff overlooking the Atlantic and those stormy nights with the rain beating against the windows and those mornings you wake to see the colours reflected in the ocean depths...I was in heaven. Always a perfect setting for a thriller.
The house was in dire need of repairs when her mother gifted it Carly as a wedding present when she married Mark, but to Carly it is her forever home. The house of her childhood. Where her memories were made. But it has been open to the elements for so long that it needs bringing back to life. Newly married with a baby on the way, Carly and her architect husband Mark set to renovating and repairing the house.
Carly captured the many moments spent renovating on video as Mark talked through the process, uploading to their YouTube channel and social media sites and quickly gaining followers. Tagging DIY suppliers where they purchased supplied, this generated support from the various businesses and in turn their costs were kept to a minimum enabling the project to keep going. It wasn't long before their renovation was picked up by producers and turned into a TV programme titled "The Forever Home" watched by millions around the UK. And while Carly is the brains behind the concept, Mark is the handsome charismatic face of it and soon went on to renovate homes all over the UK for TV. And now a US streaming service is interested in "The Forever Home" with the promise of a multi-million dollar contract and the temporary relocation to America for TV's perfect couple. It's a dream come true. But is it really?
On the surface, Carly and Mark appear to be the perfect couple with the perfect marriage and living in the perfect house...their forever home where it all began. But on the night of their 25th wedding anniversary celebrations, the perfect facade to the perfect life comes crashing down.
Not only is Mark late for their own party leaving Carly to welcome their guests alone, but she finds herself at the forefront of a media circus that her husband has created for a PR show! But when she catches her husband arguing with her best friend Lara she wonders if she is just another in his long list of affairs...but the truth is far worse. Mark, it seems, has been sleeping with Lara's 24 year old daughter Erin. The same girl who used to play with their children and they sometimes babysat for as a four year old! But it gets worse...Erin is pregnant and the couple are in love. Could things get any worse?? Trust me, it does...
While Carly remains in the house that was her family's, it appears Mark is telling Erin a different story. Added to that, Mark's agent creates a narrative that puts Carly in a bad light but she agrees to the "story" they will tell the public to enable Carly to keep the house and Mark to get the US deal and therefore an amicable divorce settlement that will benefit them both. It is what they agreed. But then Mark and Erin go on national TV, rewriting the narrative yet again when Erin announces sweetly that she wants people to know how generous Carly is and that she said how "the house is too big for her, that she's too old to have any more kids, so rather than rattle around in there she is giving Mark his house back". Carly is livid. This is NOT what they agreed. And it seems that Erin mistakenly believes that THE house, the forever home, HER house is Mark's...since she stupidly believes everything Mark tells her. But Erin has always been spoilt and thrown tantrums whenever things never went her way, even as a child, and she's too greedy to let Carly live in that gorgeous spacious house alone while they are forced to rent a tiny two bedroom cottage with a baby on the way.
And then Carly starts getting threatening notes, seeing shadows and hearing noises in the house. A shattered vase, photos rearranged on the wall, a dead rat. A campaign to scare her from her home? Or is there something more sinister going on?
At first she suspects Ryan, the thirty five year old builder who she employed to start much-needed repairs and maintenance on the house...which Mark neglected after reaching the heights of success the forever home had brought him in the first place. But Ryan has been incredibly supportive throughout everything she couldn't see him behind the scare tactics. But then her daughter Phoebe warns her to be careful of him as "the Jarvis boys have a bit of a reputation". Is Ryan all that he appears to be? Should she be worried? But as their relationship becomes more intimate, Carly finds herself sharing the true nature of her marriage to Mark and the dark secrets that they kept from the public. And while they portrayed the image of the perfect couple to the nation, no one knew the truth of what happened behind the closed doors of their marriage.
So why didn't Carly kick him out years ago? Why keep up the pretense for the world, her friends, her children even when they clearly were not? Even after the children grew up and made lives of their own? What did Mark have over Carly to keep up the facade? And is it that which now keeps Carly from revealing the truth about Mark and shattering his perfect persona to the world? And what secrets does the forever home hold?
Then when Erin disappears having last been seen at Carly's house, the tension mounts as police are called in to investigate. A blood-spotted throw of Carly's is found on the beach and Erin's shattered phone hidden behind the shed and suddenly Carly finds herself in the spotlight and under suspicion of having done something to her husband's new girlfriend in an attempt to keep her house. But Carly can't help but think maybe Mark was behind the disappearance...after all, he admitted to her that he was finding Erin far too high maintenance and her behaviour was threatening the American deal. Could he behind it after all?
Oh my word! What a tension-filled suspense-driven thriller THE FOREVER HOME is! I could not swipe the pages quick enough waiting for Mark to get his comeuppance...not to mention the awful Erin as well. She was just vile. The way they both treated Carly was despicable I could hardly believe it. I was so angered on Carly's behalf. Mark was complete b****** and Erin behaved like a spoilt princess - they were perfect for each other. But it was the scene in the cafe soon after their separation that had me reeling with disbelief. The nerve of that woman! And then to turn it all around to make Carly out to be the vengeful ex-wife that Erin lived in fear of just made my blood boil.
The story is told from the first person narrative in Carly's perspective throughout, making the reader sympathise with her from the start. I was Team Carly from the beginning and like her, I didn't know who to trust or believe. Even Ryan, who Carly grew attached to and fell into a relationship of sorts with after her separation from Mark, I felt I could never quite trust him either. He just always seemed to be there at the right time when something happened. He even turned up moments after Erin disappeared which seemed somewhat suspicious. This added to the tension and left us wondering if Carly was doing the right thing letting him in...
And then there is the whole cliffside house setting, particularly on stormy nights which simply adds to the suspense on a Daphne du Maurier scale. The house which is a character in itself. It's the centrepiece of the entire story. Like Manderlay in "Rebecca", the house is the beginning and the end. I had visions of it burning down so no one could get it, particularly when it seemed like Carly had no way out when Mark depleted their entire savings and left her with nothing and no way to pay for the upkeep on the said house that is open to the coastal elements year round and in constant need of maintenance.
THE FOREVER HOME is the perfect title for this tension-filled tale of secrets, lies and jealousy. I could not devour it quick enough although I had real life rudely get in the way making the journey a little longer than anticipated. But still, it was an enjoyable ride that Sue took us on with an ending that you might think you know is coming...but it isn't. Although I thought it would have been a slightly more evil touch had the result been one of my other theories, the ending was still satisfactory and very well done. And as always, I love the short snappy chapters that just add to the building tension.
If you're a fan of psychological thrillers, I'm sure you will devour THE FOREVER HOME. There are so many secrets and lies that it is one truly twisted read drawing you in from the beginning and doesn't let go till that final page.
As with so many other books that I have read this year, The Forever Home is another one that kept me up all night reading it. I tried to put it down at one point to go to sleep, but nope the compulsion to keep reading was just too strong. Sue Watson really knows how to weave a tale to keep your attention and hold you hostage.
The are a few characters in the story and are a mix of likeable and unlikeable. It’s fair to say that Mark is an absolute jerk and I disliked him right from the get go. My feelings were reinforced all the more the story progressed. I am not a violent person at all but, he did make me want to reach into my Kindle and sock him one! I liked Carly and felt for her being married to such a doucebag and was empathic to the secret that she has been living with, which Mark holds over her to get what he wants. But Carly isn’t the only one hiding a secret and if Mark’s is exposed will ruin his squeaky clean image.
The house is also a character within itself and as I was reading the book I was completely under its spell. Sue Watson has done such a brilliant job bringing it to life through writing that is so very vivid, you feel like you are there experiencing it as the characters do.
This book absolutely rocks and I think it is Sue Watson’s best work to date! Well plotted and executed, it is also twisty, addictive and with a jaw dropping fist pumping finale, If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, you do not want to let this one pass you by. It is definitely a must read and will be part of my best books for 2021!
By Nicki Kendall on 4 July 2021
Top reviews from other countries
Carly and Mark Anderson appear to have it all; the perfect marriage, two beautiful children and their forever home, a fabulous cliff-top cottage that Carly inherited from her mom which Mark has spent years renovating, and it's this renovation that has made him famous, after being featured on a tv series, but beneath the surface cracks have started to appear, and not just in their home! Over the years though, Carly has kept a lid on their troubles, not just for their marriage but to save herself because she has a secret too and Mark knows what it is, then just as they are about to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary with family and friends, it's revealed that Mark has fallen in love with someone else and it blows their world apart. Carly is determined to stay in their forever home, no matter what, then she starts receiving threats in all different guises, someone is out to destroy her, but who is it and why?
Cornwall, and this idyllic house, is the perfect setting for this story, told from the perspective of Carly who takes us on a journey through the 25 years of her 'perfect' marriage to Mark, and Sue Watson tells it beautifully. I was definitely Team Carly, her strength, courage and tenacity throughout were remarkable. I took an instant dislike to Mark and felt so much for Phoebe and Jake, who were caught up in the middle of it all. This book is a fast paced read, with twists along the way and an explosive ending, which I did not see coming! I was drawn into this story very quickly, and struggled to put it down when real life got in the way, when I wasn't reading it I found myself thinking about it constantly until I could get back to it, I was so invested in it that I devoured it in two days. Surprisingly this is the first I've read of this authors books, though it won't be the last as I have all her other thrillers, and a couple of rom-coms on my kindle. Another fabulous read from a Bookouture author.
She lets his agent cut him better and better million dollar deals while whining about it to her new young boyfriend and she even lets the husband's new girlfriend (Erin) scream, abuse and shout at her in public,(Erin is a girl whom Carly and Mark babysat for throughout her childhood btw) try to grab her house of her, spout lies about the settlement on television about the breakup of the marriage and what Carly has agreed to hand over to them by means of gaslighting Carly into feeling pressured to agree and when Erin shows up because she's had a fight with Mark, Carly lets her weep on her shoulder, ignores the insults Erin spits at her and "gently" explains how he'll destroy Erin's life too and tenderly makes her tea and gives her a sweater. WHY WHY WHY???
It gets even better. Erin "disappears" the best friend is constantly calling in tears cos she's worried about her daughter and instead of Carly snarling how since the little squirt made her own bed she can now lie in it, Carly each time responds to the best friends calls, lets her lash out at her, makes excuses for her and when the best friend keeps bashing Mark (which he fully deserves) Carly never once says, " hello ur daughter is a nasty vicious selfish woman who wrecked my rotten marriage so no, I don't give two hoots if u don't know where she is!" Instead she feels quite "hurt" that Erin hates her so much and keeps offering to run over late at night to help her search for Erin.
And final punch.**SPOLIER**...the girlfriend Erin winds up with a fantastic media deal, million dollar settlement and is flown to a luxury resort and Carly smiles and wishes her luck, fame and fortune and Erin (who btw also doesn't care for that baby she had with Mark) we assured will indeed get all of this. Oh and final thing Carly finds out her best friend also cheated with Mark but of course Carly doesn't say anything since she belongs to the Age of 1700 where women turned the other cheek to every one who chose to treat them with contempt and disdain.
And the baby Erin and Mark had? Carly sets up a trust fund for that baby because u see he's "Mark's child" so Saint Carly beaming benevolently as she moves towards her nirvana must make sure that she and not the baby's mum who is now poised to become a huge reality star provides for the baby. Such perfection! She deserves to be canonised for her sainthood!!
This book is one of the most frustrating ones I've read in ages!
Mark and Carly Anderson have become celebrities following the success of their reality television show, The Forever House. They have lived the past twenty five years of their life in the spotlight. But now, their marriage is about to come to a bitter end. On their twenty fifth wedding anniversary, Carly discovers that Mark has been having an affair with her best friend’s daughter, Erin, who is twenty four. I really felt for Carly as I was reading this scene. Sue Watson paints a vivid picture of what a terrible person Mark is, and I really didn’t like him. And my intense dislike for him grew and grew as the novel progressed.
As Carly and Mark begin to work through the divorce proceedings, it is clear that there are parts of their lives which they would both rather keep private. I really wanted to know what had happened to them in the past and what secrets they were keeping. Sue Watson did a brilliant job keeping my intrigue piqued. The tension begins to gather pace here, and I couldn’t believe how Carly was being treated. It made me feel really angry, and I especially didn’t like, Erin the woman Mark left her for. There was one scene in a café, in particular, which made my jaw drop. I couldn’t believe what was being said.
We also have the introduction of Ryan, who Carly begins to grow attached to after her split from Mark. As I was reading, I felt I could never quite trust Ryan. This added to the tension as I wondered if Carly was doing the right thing here in letting him into her life.
The ending was so well done, and I thought the book had a really satisfying ending as well. Everything was pulled very neatly together. The Forever Home is so twisty. I’m sure if you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, you will devour it. An excellent read!
Having read other titles by this author, I'm so impressed how she's transitioned from fluffy rom-coms to tense psychological thrillers. And not just transitioned, it's as if she's been writing thrillers for many years.
A very twisty book, with new developments appearing as the pages turn. I really felt for Carly, who didn't know whether she was coming or going, who to trust and if it would all work out for her.
All the characters were very well-formed. Mark, the handsome TV host with a dark side. Erin, the pouty brat who wants what Carly has and will go to any means to achieve her goals - the destruction of the protagonist.
Very well-written, with a stunning Cornish backdrop, The Forever Home is a must for your bookshelf.