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Between You and Me

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Is her new husband really who she thinks he is? When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill strugg Is her new husband really who she thinks he is? When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle… She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith? As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?


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Is her new husband really who she thinks he is? When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill strugg Is her new husband really who she thinks he is? When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle… She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith? As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

30 review for Between You and Me

  1. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    This was the first book I've read by Carol Mason and I can see now why she has such a great reputation for being an excellent storyteller. I expected the book to be a domestic thriller, but despite a few twists, it turned out to be a solid, well-written family drama exploring what it's like to be a second wife and a stepmother. Lauren Matheson is in her final year of Medical School when she meets fascinating Joe. There is immediate attraction, but Joe is married and has a 13year old daughter Grac This was the first book I've read by Carol Mason and I can see now why she has such a great reputation for being an excellent storyteller. I expected the book to be a domestic thriller, but despite a few twists, it turned out to be a solid, well-written family drama exploring what it's like to be a second wife and a stepmother. Lauren Matheson is in her final year of Medical School when she meets fascinating Joe. There is immediate attraction, but Joe is married and has a 13year old daughter Gracy and 3year old son Toby, so there can never be anything between Lauren and him. A year later things have changed - Joe got divorced and is free to date again. After a whirlwind romance Lauren, who is now a junior doctor, and Joe get married and Lauren is sure nothing can come between them. After all, Joe made it clear there's nothing that matters more to him than Lauren's happiness. That is apart from his children. Was Lauren really aware of how difficult it is to be a stepmother to a stroppy teenager and a sweet, but not without his challenges, four-year-old boy?Let's not forget she also has a challenging career which often leaves her emotionally drained. Joe and Meredith (the ex-wife) have joint custody and understandably Joe tries to spend as much time as possible with his children, while Lauren is trying very hard to find her own place in this family. Still, whatever she does, she can't gain Grace's respect, the ex-wife Meredith accuses her of being negligent and irresponsible...and Joe isn't supportive at all. Can Lauren and Joe's realtionship survive these changes or is it something Lauren should have thought more carefully about before falling in love with and agreeing to marry an older man with an ex-wife and two children? I found the book absolutely gripping -it kept me up reading until the small hours. The plot is quite straightforward (ok,there are a few twists that test Lauren's moral principles), but mostly it is about Lauren's marriage. The book is toldfrom her point of view and it is impossible not to sympathise with her, although the reader is aware that there's always the other side of the story. Would it have been better to have other POVs? I am happy with the author's decision- in real life, do we really know what other people think and how they interpret our words and actions? we can only guess and make suppositions, observe and ask. Joe appears quite elusive, or rather it's Lauren's idea of Joe that keeps changingThe number of secondary characters is quite small and they all serve to move the story forward or make Lauren realise some things, which just shows how well-structured this book is. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about family relationships, second marriages, life changes, setting boundaries and working out what makes you happy (or not). I'm gladto have discovered this fantastic author and I can't wait to read Carol Mason's next book. Thank you to Rachel from Rachel's Random resources, the author and the publisher for the review copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dash fan

    4☆ A Gripping and Engrossing Domestic Family Drama. Between You and Me is a brilliant story about relationships, family drama, the dynamics of a family and how one person can change everything. Lauren is newly married to Charismatic Joe, who has two kids from a previous relationship. Well imagine how you would feel if that ex is very much still in the picture! Don't get me wrong it's not an uncommon situation to be in. But what happens when the Ex still very much rules the roost! Well that's exactly 4☆ A Gripping and Engrossing Domestic Family Drama. Between You and Me is a brilliant story about relationships, family drama, the dynamics of a family and how one person can change everything. Lauren is newly married to Charismatic Joe, who has two kids from a previous relationship. Well imagine how you would feel if that ex is very much still in the picture! Don't get me wrong it's not an uncommon situation to be in. But what happens when the Ex still very much rules the roost! Well that's exactly the situation Lauren finds herself in! It doesn't help that Joe is blindsided to everything and treats Lauren just as badly. Unfortunately in their eyes Lauren can do nothing right. It really made my blood boil at how she was treated. Not just by the kids, but by Joe who was firstly older and should of been wiser, but he was her husband and should have respected her more. This book will definitely be relatable to some readers as the topics covered will definitely resonate with people, or maybe know of a similar situation that someone might be in. Which is why Mason is such a talented Author, as she writes about subjects that are real, that draw and play on the readers emotions. Between You and Me is a Gripping and Engrossing Domestic Family Drama, that had me hooked. Before even reading the blurb the cover gave me a Thriller feel, but this book is far from being a Thriller, although it could of easily turned into one! Mason's characters were brilliantly written, the plot was relatable, Compelling and full of drama, a must read! Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for this copy which I reviewed honestly and voluntarily. You can Find this Review and all my Other Reviews on My Blog :-   https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/2021/0...

  3. 4 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    This was one of those maddening tales that kept me reading well into the night while greatly annoyed with ALL the characters. They each needed a few firm pinches and even a swat or two to the back of the head. Ms. Mason excels at creating curiously compelling yet vile characters I love to hate. Her well-textured and shrewdly paced storytelling lures me into an interwoven trail of storylines, each with an itchy web of nebulous veracity and questionable sincerity, and I just can’t help myself.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ABookwormWithWine

    I am not always a huge fan of slow-burn domestic fiction, but when you do it as well as Carol Mason does, it's hard not to enjoy! I knew immediately that I was going to like Between You and Me and despite the frustration I continually felt with Lauren, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this book. It is told all from Lauren's viewpoint and is filled with tons of family drama thanks to her marrying a man with an ex-wife and 2 kids. We watch as Lauren struggles to connect to the kids, esp I am not always a huge fan of slow-burn domestic fiction, but when you do it as well as Carol Mason does, it's hard not to enjoy! I knew immediately that I was going to like Between You and Me and despite the frustration I continually felt with Lauren, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this book. It is told all from Lauren's viewpoint and is filled with tons of family drama thanks to her marrying a man with an ex-wife and 2 kids. We watch as Lauren struggles to connect to the kids, especially the teenage daughter Grace, and her husband Joe is definitely not helpful in the slightest. I was so appalled for Lauren at the way Joe, his ex, and his daughter treated her, and I really wished she would grow a backbone and tell her husband off for his blindness and attitude. Clearly, I have no experience with being thrown into a ready-made family, as I am quite sure my way would not be everyone else's way. However, I just felt so bad for Lauren and it felt like she was being gaslighted nonstop. I read almost half the book before switching to the audio which is on Kindle Unlimited along with the eBook. Moira Quirk narrates, and I have to say that she made me like Lauren a lot more once I got to put a voice to the character. The ending also helped me like her a heck of a lot more, and there were even a couple of surprises in Between You and Me that I wasn't expecting. There is a TON of tension in this book and it really helped keep the pacing up and it made me not want to put it down. I had to know what would happen next with the kids, and how this whole mess would end. It is certainly a messy thing to be the second woman in a child's life especially when they aren't looking for another mom, and I do understand why Lauren just wanted things to run smoothly and not rock the boat. If you like domestic dramas that have a focus on step relationships, Between You and Me is an excellent choice! Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jéssica

    There are times when I don't read the synopsis and just jump to the story, and there are other times when I'm already curious and want to know what it's really about before I decide to read a book based on impulse. When I saw the title of this book and the cover, I wondered about what it was. Was it a slow burn romance? Was it a Thriller? Was it a crime/mystery novel? So I jumped to the synopsis and looked up the genre of the book. Did I get answers? No. Did I end up super curious and excited? Y There are times when I don't read the synopsis and just jump to the story, and there are other times when I'm already curious and want to know what it's really about before I decide to read a book based on impulse. When I saw the title of this book and the cover, I wondered about what it was. Was it a slow burn romance? Was it a Thriller? Was it a crime/mystery novel? So I jumped to the synopsis and looked up the genre of the book. Did I get answers? No. Did I end up super curious and excited? YES! So here I am. In this book we follow Lauren in her new journey in life. She's joins to a ready-made family when she marries Joe, a businessman. With him came his two children, a young kid and a teen, and an ex-wife. I loved seeing the interactions and the family dynamics, it's not easy and that's life. When changes happen, we have to adapt, we have to learn how to be and what to do in the new situation. That's part of what I saw at first. A family dynamic that has changes and there is tension which made it interesting to read and follow. I found the book very interesting. It had some unexpected moments, and it also reminded me of some family stories that my aunts and cousins have told me about. Plus, the books is about an imperfect life. We all have struggles, we all have ups and downs, and seeing Lauren go through them and trying to figure things out, it was very interesting and I enjoyed it. Overall, it was more than I expected. It had a good pace, thanks to the drama, the romance, the family dynamic. But I also loved that it focused on many things that sometimes we don't think about when we are reading and just want to relax: the interactions between a couple, stepparents and stepchildren, and of course the ex-partners when the story talks about divorce. I really like those elements, they made the plot and the characters real. It made me connect with Lauren and her life, which I always appreciate. [I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, Carol Mason for the eCopy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.]

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bridget

    Carol Mason has written a compelling novel in this slow-burn, riveting work of fiction. Lauren, a junior doctor, is an extremely intriguing character. She met Joe when she was in her final year of medical school but as Joe was married, with a thirteen-year-old daughter Grace and a son, Toby, aged three, there could not be anything between Lauren and him. But a year later, Joe is divorced. Regularly displaying a cocktail of emotions, including frustration and bitterness I could really empathise wi Carol Mason has written a compelling novel in this slow-burn, riveting work of fiction. Lauren, a junior doctor, is an extremely intriguing character. She met Joe when she was in her final year of medical school but as Joe was married, with a thirteen-year-old daughter Grace and a son, Toby, aged three, there could not be anything between Lauren and him. But a year later, Joe is divorced. Regularly displaying a cocktail of emotions, including frustration and bitterness I could really empathise with Lauren as she struggled with her blended family; her role as a step mum, and seemingly never being able to please anyone or get things right. As she also tried to manage a demanding career, she struggled with her new life. I was invested in Carol Mason's characters even though the majority were difficult to like. The story encompasses marriage, divorce, exes, and many blended family issues and I found it extremely insightful, helped along by the author's beautiful writing which has depth and substance. The ending was unexpected and I will definitely be reading more of Carol Mason's books in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Amazon Publishing/ Lake Union via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    marnie | once upon a time book reviews

    In Between You and Me, Carol Mason takes the reader into the lives of Lauren and Joe as they navigate married life after a whirlwind romance. But their newfound happiness is not all smooth sailing with Joe bringing to the relationship two children and an interfering ex-wife. This tale is a realistic insight into what it can be like as a step parent. Carol Mason has done a great job in showcasing that not everything is always sunshine and roses and it can be hard work, especially when dealing with In Between You and Me, Carol Mason takes the reader into the lives of Lauren and Joe as they navigate married life after a whirlwind romance. But their newfound happiness is not all smooth sailing with Joe bringing to the relationship two children and an interfering ex-wife. This tale is a realistic insight into what it can be like as a step parent. Carol Mason has done a great job in showcasing that not everything is always sunshine and roses and it can be hard work, especially when dealing with an unpleasant teenager who definitely puts a strain on the relationship. My heart went out to Lauren here. She couldn’t seem to do anything right and fights a losing battle as she tries to befriend Grace who just continues to antagonise her when alone, but portrays a butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth persona when her father is around. This is when tensions rise between the two and Joe starts to change and becomes distant. This is the first book I have read from Carol Mason and it has been a great introduction to her work. She has a very easy style, which makes for such an enjoyable reading experience and I look forward to reading more from her. Between You and Me is a gripping tale perfect for fans of the domestic drama genre. It raises the questions of is the relationship worth fighting for? and can love really conquer all? Will Lauren and Joe be able to overcome these issues? Well, you will just have to read this to find out! Thank you to Carol Mason, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Between You And Me, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Tell

    This was my first book by this author, but it will not be my last. I don't know why, but when I downloaded this book, I thought it was going to be a mystery/thriller. I think this is how it was categorized. So my expectations were different as I was reading it, and I had to adjust my mind set. This is a family drama, a romance, a story about family. It covers marriage, divorce, ex-wives, stepchildren, and trying to manage a career and a new life. I was completely drawn into the story and the cha This was my first book by this author, but it will not be my last. I don't know why, but when I downloaded this book, I thought it was going to be a mystery/thriller. I think this is how it was categorized. So my expectations were different as I was reading it, and I had to adjust my mind set. This is a family drama, a romance, a story about family. It covers marriage, divorce, ex-wives, stepchildren, and trying to manage a career and a new life. I was completely drawn into the story and the characters, I felt like these were people I knew. I actually felt like this was my bff telling me her issues - it just rang all true to me. I had all the feels while reading this, which does not happen enough. I would love another book that continues this story to see how they all fare down the road - I was really invested in these characters. I want to thank the author, the publisher and #netgalley for the ARC which did not impact my review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Callie Hill

    One of the things I love about Carol Mason (and I say one because there are loads) is her ability to make you feel like any of her characters could be somebody that you know. Ordinary people that have been thrown into a difficult situation and the harder they try to sort things out, the worse things become. Lauren, the protagonist in this author’s latest novel Between You and Me, is no exception. Twenty-nine-year-old Lauren is a junior doctor who, whilst in Santa Monica, meets and falls in love One of the things I love about Carol Mason (and I say one because there are loads) is her ability to make you feel like any of her characters could be somebody that you know. Ordinary people that have been thrown into a difficult situation and the harder they try to sort things out, the worse things become. Lauren, the protagonist in this author’s latest novel Between You and Me, is no exception. Twenty-nine-year-old Lauren is a junior doctor who, whilst in Santa Monica, meets and falls in love with Joe, an older man. Although it seems to be mutual love at first sight, Lauren is devastated when Joe declares things are complicated and is unable to take things further. However, not long after Lauren arrives back in London, Joe tracks her down and tells her things have changed. The couple soon marry, and Lauren becomes step-mother to fourteen-year-old Grace, and four-year-old Toby. But far from being Lauren’s happy-ever-after, her ready-made family soon chip away at Lauren’s psychological well-being. Grace – who has some very strange habits when it comes to personal modesty - seems to hate her. And Meredith, Joe’s ex-wife, seems to treat Lauren like she’s some kind of inexperienced hired-help, putting her down and belittling Lauren’s ability as a step-mother at every opportunity. When Toby falls from the slide in the park: (a) because although Lauren is crazy busy as a junior doctor, she goes out of her way to help Meredith, who seems to think her job is way more important than Lauren's ; and (b) because Toby is a being a little shit who won't do what Lauren tells him; Meredith blames Lauren. The more Lauren tries to help her new family, the more trouble she seems to find herself in. There is a real sense of injustice at how she is treated, and whilst I would class this novel as women's contemporary fiction, it does border on domestic noir. At her wit's end, Lauren turns to an online forum for step-parents for advice, but is shocked to find others don’t seem to be so tolerant when it comes to putting up with the whims of their step-children. Things go from bad to worse for Lauren, and thanks to meddling Meredith it looks like Lauren could lose everything, including her career as a doctor. Can Lauren turn things around? And just what skeletons are rattling around in Meredith’s cupboard? This was another twisty and compulsive read from one of my favourite authors - and don’t you agree that cover is just stunning! I recommend this book for fans of Emma Cooper, Kim Nash, and Jo-Jo Moyes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steena Holmes

    From the very first page, I knew I was going to enjoy this story. I expected it to be a different story than what I read, but after realizing it wasn't going in the direction I thought it would, I enjoyed the read. I especially enjoyed each character and their arc and kept turning the pages wanting to know where I was being led. I will admit that I expected more - more tension, more twists, more discovery. I expected something sinister to happen between the text messages between two of the charact From the very first page, I knew I was going to enjoy this story. I expected it to be a different story than what I read, but after realizing it wasn't going in the direction I thought it would, I enjoyed the read. I especially enjoyed each character and their arc and kept turning the pages wanting to know where I was being led. I will admit that I expected more - more tension, more twists, more discovery. I expected something sinister to happen between the text messages between two of the characters, more than just a different identity being revealed, and I was being led down the path of a twist with the husband only to have there be nothing twisty about it. For fans of thrillers or psych suspense, this isn't that book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Hayward Pérez

    I also took part in the cover reveal for this title 0n 26 April 2021 and a cover image for this novel can be found in this post on my blog https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.c... Between you and Me is the first novel I have reviewed by Carol Mason and I was intrigued by the choice of title, as it seemed secretive to me and appropriate, as it's what you say when you don't want a secret to get out. The novel is multi-layered, and has different themes. There's marriage, divorce ex-wives stepchildre I also took part in the cover reveal for this title 0n 26 April 2021 and a cover image for this novel can be found in this post on my blog https://justkatherineblog.wordpress.c... Between you and Me is the first novel I have reviewed by Carol Mason and I was intrigued by the choice of title, as it seemed secretive to me and appropriate, as it's what you say when you don't want a secret to get out. The novel is multi-layered, and has different themes. There's marriage, divorce ex-wives stepchildren, as well as trying to juggle a career and build a new life. Lauren and Joe meet by the pool in California. She's a doctor and he's a divorced businessman and has two kids: Toby, aged 4 and Grace who is a teenager. Then, there's Meredith, Joe's wife... I can't resist a family drama, and this is certainly mysterious and twisty. I was gripped by it. Thanks to Carol Mason, Lake Union Publishing and Rachel's Random Resources for my ARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 5 stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Soraya Lane

    Mason is so gifted at exploring relationships and delving deep into her characters, and this books is truly one of her best. Between You and Me features the perfect blend of loveable and complex characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Big Time Book Junkie

    I don't think I've read anything else by Carol Mason, but if Between You and Me is anything to go on, I should! Saying I enjoyed this book is complicated. I definitely liked Lauren and much like Lauren, I liked Joe, in the beginning. Between Joe and Meredith, I spent the book alternately yelling and wanting to smack them into some sort of awareness. Now that may sound like a bad thing, but isn't always. Without them being who they were, there wouldn't be any drama in this well-written domestic dr I don't think I've read anything else by Carol Mason, but if Between You and Me is anything to go on, I should! Saying I enjoyed this book is complicated. I definitely liked Lauren and much like Lauren, I liked Joe, in the beginning. Between Joe and Meredith, I spent the book alternately yelling and wanting to smack them into some sort of awareness. Now that may sound like a bad thing, but isn't always. Without them being who they were, there wouldn't be any drama in this well-written domestic drama. After a point though, even Lauren joined the should I smack you or yell at you squad, but overall this book was very good. It's a story line we've seen before - sweet woman marries a divorced dad with a few kids and lo and behold, dad has a huge blind spot. But this author takes that and moves somewhat behind it and in a good way. If you haven't read Ms. Mason, I'd recommend remedying that and if you have, you'll want to pick this book up. Thank you to Netgalley, the author, and publisher for an ARC at my request. All thoughts are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    “It’s complicated.” That’s how Joe Johnson describes his status to Lauren Matheson when they first meet in California. Fast forward several months later - Joe has been divorced, he and Lauren are married, they live in London and they share custody of Joe’s children, fourteen year old Grace and four year old Toby. Guess what? It’s still complicated. Joe has a demanding position in finance and Lauren has just begun her career as a physician. Work separates them during the week and the little time t “It’s complicated.” That’s how Joe Johnson describes his status to Lauren Matheson when they first meet in California. Fast forward several months later - Joe has been divorced, he and Lauren are married, they live in London and they share custody of Joe’s children, fourteen year old Grace and four year old Toby. Guess what? It’s still complicated. Joe has a demanding position in finance and Lauren has just begun her career as a physician. Work separates them during the week and the little time they have together is shared with (ruined by, depending on perspective) Grace and Toby. Here’s Lauren’s challenge. Will Grace and Toby grow to love her? Will she learn to deal with Meredith, Joe’s demanding ex-wife? Is Joe on her side? And does she care? Between You and Me is a love story full of family drama. I wanted Lauren and Joe to resolve their problems. I wanted Meredith to move to Siberia. I wanted Grace to grow up and I wanted Toby to stay small. Did I get what I wanted? You’ll have to read Between You and Me to find out and I know you’ll love it as much as I did. 5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Carol Mason for this ARC.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Helen Leecy

    This was such a captivating storey. I wasn’t sure what genre it was going to be based on the premise. It sounded quite psych thrillery, but it wasn’t. It had a few heart in your mouth moments, but it was just a heartbreaking story of a woman finding love but it not being quite right. Lauren meets her new husband one day in Santa Monica and falls for him immediately. He is the perfect guy except for one thing; he comes with a ready-made family. He has two kids and an ex-wife that is still very muc This was such a captivating storey. I wasn’t sure what genre it was going to be based on the premise. It sounded quite psych thrillery, but it wasn’t. It had a few heart in your mouth moments, but it was just a heartbreaking story of a woman finding love but it not being quite right. Lauren meets her new husband one day in Santa Monica and falls for him immediately. He is the perfect guy except for one thing; he comes with a ready-made family. He has two kids and an ex-wife that is still very much present in his life. Lauren has to decide whether this is something she wants to take on. Is Joe worth it? There were so many frustrating moments throughout the story where I just wanted to bang both Joe and Meredith’s heads together. The way they treat Lauren, I wouldn’t have put up with that for as long as she did and would have told them where to go. There are lots of ups and downs, and you have no idea what direction the book is going to go in or how any of the situations can be resolved. I was happy with Lauren’s choice at the end, I think it was the right one, but that last sentence left me a little confused! I hadn’t read a Carol Mason book in a while, and I’d forgotten how amazing they are. They really capture all the feels; they are brilliantly written and have wonderful well-developed characters. I didn’t want this book to end, but at the same time, I devoured it to find out what would happen, and I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it since, so much so, I’ve not started a new book yet. A superb five-star read! Thanks for reading! If you want to see more of my reviews visit www.pinkanddizzy.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kay Cugini

    I found this a very poignant and quite emotional read. I really felt for Lauren and everything she was going through, I read this book in one day - my day off - as I couldn't put it down, the story really held my attention. Overall I found this a lovely book, the author has such an engaging style, I especially found her depiction of teenage girls bought a wry smile to my face, a thoroughly involving and warm book, although Toby frankly made me far too broody, the sweetest depiction of a four year I found this a very poignant and quite emotional read. I really felt for Lauren and everything she was going through, I read this book in one day - my day off - as I couldn't put it down, the story really held my attention. Overall I found this a lovely book, the author has such an engaging style, I especially found her depiction of teenage girls bought a wry smile to my face, a thoroughly involving and warm book, although Toby frankly made me far too broody, the sweetest depiction of a four year Old ever! (thank you Russell Crow)!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Perez

    I shouldn’t really give any stars to this book as I didn’t finish it. I won it in a Goodreads Giveaway so was hopeful I would like it. Nope, I couldn’t get past the contrived and immature writing. I was so annoyed by it that I just stopped reading. Bummer. I figure if I can’t get past the first chapter then 2 stars is generous.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gary

    A strong 3.5. I found the book really gripping and hard to put down as I did want to find out what happened next. The main character Lauren is easy to picture as her character is described quite well. I really disliked Joe from the beginning and it just got worse as the book went on. Meredith was the same. I couldn't work Grace out though. It was really frustrating at times to read about the next incident, and Lauren seeming just getting an emotional beating everytime, despite it not being her fa A strong 3.5. I found the book really gripping and hard to put down as I did want to find out what happened next. The main character Lauren is easy to picture as her character is described quite well. I really disliked Joe from the beginning and it just got worse as the book went on. Meredith was the same. I couldn't work Grace out though. It was really frustrating at times to read about the next incident, and Lauren seeming just getting an emotional beating everytime, despite it not being her fault. Such as when Toby was locked in the car - which was all a bit ridiculous and a complete non-event. Overall, really decent book and I did quite enjoy it. Will definitely read more from this author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    This Feral Housewife

    A solid story about people just trying to make a life for themselves in the chaos that is this world. Great book if you like the family dynamics and a stepparent situation.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Emily Correia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’m not a big fan of romance books, especially those centered around mending relationships, so this book just wasn’t for me. It was well written, but I just couldn’t get wrapped up in the book. Lauren, the main character, seemed nice enough, but also a bit whiny, which made her hard to relate to. Mason alluded to some potential infidelities or issues with Joe, Lauren’s husband, which would have made the book much more interesting. The conflict in the story, including in big part Meredith’s infide I’m not a big fan of romance books, especially those centered around mending relationships, so this book just wasn’t for me. It was well written, but I just couldn’t get wrapped up in the book. Lauren, the main character, seemed nice enough, but also a bit whiny, which made her hard to relate to. Mason alluded to some potential infidelities or issues with Joe, Lauren’s husband, which would have made the book much more interesting. The conflict in the story, including in big part Meredith’s infidelity and Toby’s real father, played such a small part in the story. Lauren’s relationship with Grace also could have made for some good drama, but unfortunately had short bursts and then faded into the two having a good relationship without any explanation of the shift in Grace’s behavior. I also expected Lauren’s relationship with Mel to have so much more meaning or weight, but that also fell flat for me. Overall the book was just okay. I finished it and don’t regret finishing it, but I have a feeling when I look back on my year in review I won’t even remember what this book was about.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leighton

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Between You and Me by Carol Mason is a relationship drama and slow-burn domestic thriller that will appeal to fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Push. The plot revolves around Lauren, a doctor, who meets Joe, an older businessman while on vacation in America. They are both from London. Although it's complicated when they first meet and they aren't able to get together, things change when they see each over a Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Between You and Me by Carol Mason is a relationship drama and slow-burn domestic thriller that will appeal to fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Push. The plot revolves around Lauren, a doctor, who meets Joe, an older businessman while on vacation in America. They are both from London. Although it's complicated when they first meet and they aren't able to get together, things change when they see each over a year later back in London. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 2 that shows us the note that Joe writes to Lauren after they haven't seen each other for 14 months: "Dear Lauren, This could perhaps be a wild goose chase in more ways than one. But in case by some miracle this does actually manage to find you, and if there is even the remotest chance that, after all this time, you still vaguely remember me, I wanted to say that it's not complicated anymore and I would love to take you to dinner. Joe Johnson." The note is romantic, and this sounds like the beginning of a romantic comedy. However, this book is definitely not going in that direction. After Lauren and Joe get together, Lauren struggles to connect to his step-children and his ex-wife. She also starts to notice his temperament changing. Is Joe really not the person she thought he was? Or is it all in her head? Overall, Between You and Me is a pretty standard domestic thriller. I took off one star because it got pretty slow in the middle, and it felt like nothing was happening. I prefer thrillers that have a little bit more action in them. However, that is not the book's fault. I'm only explaining why it wasn't a 5-star read for me. I think I will stay away from domestic thrillers in the future and read thrillers with more action-packed plots. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above or if you're a fan of relationship dramas, then I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in June!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Helena Halme

    I love the way Carol Mason writes but this book was a little of a disappointment. Firstly, I had difficulty in believing in the characters and secondly, I feel the book could have been a lot darker. Lauren, a bright junior doctor, meets Joe in California, and only a few months later in London, they are married. Joe is a successful businessman, who has two children, moody teenager Grace and a sweet four-year-old Toby, from a previous marriage to a brilliant senior lawyer, Meredith. Cold and calcul I love the way Carol Mason writes but this book was a little of a disappointment. Firstly, I had difficulty in believing in the characters and secondly, I feel the book could have been a lot darker. Lauren, a bright junior doctor, meets Joe in California, and only a few months later in London, they are married. Joe is a successful businessman, who has two children, moody teenager Grace and a sweet four-year-old Toby, from a previous marriage to a brilliant senior lawyer, Meredith. Cold and calculating, Meredith seems to be out to 'get' Lauren. The care of the two children falls often down to Lauren, and any mistakes or mishaps she makes are met with pure venom from Meredith and disappointment from Joe. The children come increasingly between Joe and Lauren's new sweet romance, and eventually, disaster strikes. I found it difficult to believe that as a junior doctor, Lauren would have more time on her hands than either of the children's parents. Whatsmore, if neither Joe nor Meredith trusted Lauren, why did they keep pushing the children in her direction? I also didn't understand the motivation for Grace, the teenage daughter. Fair enough, a teenager can be at best unpredictable, at worst vindictive. But Grace's hate toward Lauren seemed to evaporate into thin air so unexpectedly, I kept thinking she must be plotting a most devious plan to destroy her new stepmother. I couldn't quite understand Joe's motivations either. He seemed to truly love Lauren, however, the secrets he kept didn't back this up. At times it felt as if rather than loving her, he was indifferent to his new wife. So why get married? For free childcare? If the plot had turned darker and one of the characters had turned out to be a truly nasty piece of work (Meredith or Joe), or the secrets Joe kept from Lauren had been more severe in nature, the way the characters behaved would have made sense.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Kingsnorth

    I started this book with high expectations for what I thought I was about to read. Lauren, is in her late 20’s and pursuing a career as a doctor, which involves long hours and high stress. After a friends wedding in Santa Monica, Lauren meets Joe, a mysterious older man. They click immediately, but it’s complicated.... Fast forward to some time later, back in London, we find Lauren and Joe married. With Joe, come the added extras of Meredith, his ex-wife, and their two children, Grace and Toby. C I started this book with high expectations for what I thought I was about to read. Lauren, is in her late 20’s and pursuing a career as a doctor, which involves long hours and high stress. After a friends wedding in Santa Monica, Lauren meets Joe, a mysterious older man. They click immediately, but it’s complicated.... Fast forward to some time later, back in London, we find Lauren and Joe married. With Joe, come the added extras of Meredith, his ex-wife, and their two children, Grace and Toby. Can Lauren find her place in this blended family or will the pressure be too much for Lauren and Joe’s marriage to withstand? This book was well written and captured some very life like snaps of the ups and downs of being a step parent. Carol Mason creates some very real and believable characters. Unfortunately, what I struggled with, was being able to like any of them. Despite being drawn into the story, and really wanting to see just desserts served on those who had it coming, I just couldn't take to any of them. I’m sure other readers will feel differently, but as much as I wanted to, I just couldn't Warm to them. While i’m being a negative Nelly, I wasn’t massively keen on the ending of this book. I can only hope there will be more to come from this family, because I didn't feel that the story was tied up neatly. There was a lot to say in favour of this book, and although it wasn’t a big hit for me, I would encourage other readers to give it a go, because that’s the beauty of books, what one person struggles with another will find to be a great read. With thanks to #Netgalley and #Amazonpublishinguk for an ARC of #BetweenYouAndMe in return for an honest review. Shared to Amazon, Instagram, goodreads and https://www.facebook.com/groups/44778...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Wilks

    The story is told from the perspective of Lauren, a hardworking woman who is training to be a Doctor when she meets – and marries Joe. He is a divorced father of two, and Lauren is drawn to him instantly. Lauren’s relationship with Joe’s teenage daughter Grace, along with his ex wife Meredith is difficult – and that really is putting it mildly. Lauren is determined to be the best step mother she can possibly be to four year old Toby along with Grace, but she somehow never seems to get things righ The story is told from the perspective of Lauren, a hardworking woman who is training to be a Doctor when she meets – and marries Joe. He is a divorced father of two, and Lauren is drawn to him instantly. Lauren’s relationship with Joe’s teenage daughter Grace, along with his ex wife Meredith is difficult – and that really is putting it mildly. Lauren is determined to be the best step mother she can possibly be to four year old Toby along with Grace, but she somehow never seems to get things right, and with Joe reluctant to take her side when she clashes with Grace, Lauren is quickly coming to realise that the happy life she pictured is far from the life she is actually living. When Joe then starts retreating into himself, and leaving Lauren to struggle on her own, he is far from the dashing man she met back in California, and as the situations surrounding them escalate Lauren finds herself questioning whether she actually knows her husband at all… Everything about this book was wonderful! The storyline itself is perfectly structured and has so much depth and detail throughout. Each of the characters have complex personalities, and each of them have flaws – as all humans do!. This made them all the more realistic and even relatable at times. I really felt for Lauren as she struggled to adjust to becoming a step mother to a reluctant teenager, and the constant power struggles that arose between herself and their mother Meredith. A tense, suspenseful read that had me well and truly hooked. This is an absolute page turner that I urge you all to read!.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    Domestic Drama With A Touch Of Loss Lake. This is an engaging, real, and honestly a bit depressing look at the trials and travails of your first marriage being your partner's second marriage and coming into a situation where they already had a family with another person while you're still growing and working to establish yourself outside of the marriage as well. In that vein, Mason was startlingly real, including all of the various messy issues that can come up and even showing how finding a pla Domestic Drama With A Touch Of Loss Lake. This is an engaging, real, and honestly a bit depressing look at the trials and travails of your first marriage being your partner's second marriage and coming into a situation where they already had a family with another person while you're still growing and working to establish yourself outside of the marriage as well. In that vein, Mason was startlingly real, including all of the various messy issues that can come up and even showing how finding a place to find support or even just vent can be crucial. The ties to Lake Union stablemate Amber Cowie's Loss Lake... well, in the title of my review of that book, I proclaimed "Screw You (In The Best Possible Ways), Amber Cowie" - which I still chuckle at and produced a few good laughs by those in the know. And if you do know why I wrote that, know that you'll be saying the same thing to Ms. Mason for similar (though to be clear, not identical) reasons. And that's all I'm saying about that. If you don't know what I'm referring to, I suggest you go read *both* books. :D Seriously, this tale was excellently done on a topic and with particulars that I'd never seen done quite this way before, and that is always something I seek out and love to find. Mason executed everything beautifully, and you'll find yourself constantly reading to see what comes next. You just may want something a bit more bubble gum for your *next* read. :D Very much recommended.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna J

    Read in one day & relate too much This is a hard review. Without giving away any spoilers and opening my heart before readers I don’t know, I feel stuck, but I’ll do my best. Joe, An American who lives London has 2 children, a young teenager & a four year old. He marries Lauren, a young, almost registered as a doctor, British woman. She’s not just marrying “Joe”, but his children and EX wife. His ex wife is the “I’m a better mother than you’ll ever be”—a teenager who loves to push buttons, while t Read in one day & relate too much This is a hard review. Without giving away any spoilers and opening my heart before readers I don’t know, I feel stuck, but I’ll do my best. Joe, An American who lives London has 2 children, a young teenager & a four year old. He marries Lauren, a young, almost registered as a doctor, British woman. She’s not just marrying “Joe”, but his children and EX wife. His ex wife is the “I’m a better mother than you’ll ever be”—a teenager who loves to push buttons, while the youngest loves to throw temper tantrum’s, but the typical 4 year old. Here’s the part of the book where I wanted to scream—Joe NEVER sticks up for Lauren. Whether his daughter fights with her, or his ex wife thinks & still runs his life. The memories that run true to “blended families” touched a button in mine. I wasn’t the new bride but had the “once” new husband, just no ex wife from hell but had my kids..we’ll leave it there. In ending, this book had extreme issues dealing with the daughter & former wife against Lauren but reading & truly agreeing…Joe was the problem. Yes other circumstances didn’t help, and again without bringing up spoilers, the end was the right thing to do. Life isn’t a romantic movie. Definitely recommend & please read if you understand “blended dysfunctional family issues” because when you marry and love someone leave your ex at the door when it comes to YOUR personal relationship.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Labannya

    Between You And Me by @carolmasonauthor Honestly, I really don’t know where to start and end my review. This was my first book by this author but it won’t be my last that I can assure you. I only know that this book is unputdownable and I don’t know why this book called fiction cause trust me I almost cried at some point and I can simply simply relate my life. It felt like I’m reading me and my husband’s life… 😓🤷🏻‍♀️ This is a story of Lauren, newly registered doctor and her husband, Joe who once Between You And Me by @carolmasonauthor Honestly, I really don’t know where to start and end my review. This was my first book by this author but it won’t be my last that I can assure you. I only know that this book is unputdownable and I don’t know why this book called fiction cause trust me I almost cried at some point and I can simply simply relate my life. It felt like I’m reading me and my husband’s life… 😓🤷🏻‍♀️ This is a story of Lauren, newly registered doctor and her husband, Joe who once married and have two beautiful kids Grace and Toby. Meredith his ex-wife always eyeing for a chance to accuse Lauren that how misfit she’s for the family. This will be my favourite read from this year. The story is too emotional for me. First I thought it’ll be a thriller but it’s definitely not it’s touchy. More importantly, I never wanted this book to finish cause I wanted to read more what happened next with Lauren and Joe. Few people will not get this book engaging cause I guess they never really been into that situation. They’ll find this book immature. Well, that’s their perspective. But I really enjoyed reading this. Highly recommend to those mainly who married the person they loved and sacrificed but didn’t regret taking decision at hit of the moment. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own. Thank you @netgalley and @lakeunionauthors for the #arc in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Dyczewski

    Between You and Me is an engrossing domestic drama detailing dating and marriage within the modern family. Lauren, a young doctor from the UK, meets older, charming Joe at a resort in the States. There is immediate chemistry but knowing his situation is complicated Joe leaves it at that. Fast-forward 14 months later-Joe and Lauren are married. Told through Lauren's perspective, with some flashbacks to the past, we find out that Joe's situation was no longer complicated and he and Lauren had a wh Between You and Me is an engrossing domestic drama detailing dating and marriage within the modern family. Lauren, a young doctor from the UK, meets older, charming Joe at a resort in the States. There is immediate chemistry but knowing his situation is complicated Joe leaves it at that. Fast-forward 14 months later-Joe and Lauren are married. Told through Lauren's perspective, with some flashbacks to the past, we find out that Joe's situation was no longer complicated and he and Lauren had a whirlwind courtship-and became an instant-family with his two children. Lauren navigates being a stepmom to a teenager and a four-year old while Joe expects her to jump in without much preparation or help. Situations arise that threaten their happiness and family life; Carol Mason takes you on an emotional roller coaster while leaving some things to the reader's interpretation. I enjoyed this story and how Mason developed some of the characters and really examined how modern families blend today. Some of the situations Lauren found herself in seemed a little far-fetched but if the lens we are supposed to see her through is that of someone without exposure to caring for children than that could be accurate. Overall a 3.5 star read-had there been some more context and development of why Joe changed so much it would have been a 4 start novel. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest feedback.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Berg

    Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this arc and prove my honest feedback. I’ll start with, if you’re looking for a mystery or a thriller, or preclinical thriller, this book is not that. It seems to primarily center on family drama, the family Unit, and roles and responsibilities within it. The story takes place in a linear timeline so it’s easy to follow and is a quick read. Although family dramas aren’t totally my thing this book held my attention throughout an Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the opportunity to read this arc and prove my honest feedback. I’ll start with, if you’re looking for a mystery or a thriller, or preclinical thriller, this book is not that. It seems to primarily center on family drama, the family Unit, and roles and responsibilities within it. The story takes place in a linear timeline so it’s easy to follow and is a quick read. Although family dramas aren’t totally my thing this book held my attention throughout and I wanted to see what would happen next. The characters were annoying in the way real people could be (and are) so the author did well creating these characters to be believable, as well as their struggles and flaws. There were only a few places that felt repetitive but not enough to detract from the overall story. I enjoyed the book, was well written and believable while still tackling a pretty common problem that people could face, especially in the main characters case. There were a few times I wanted to yell at the main character to stand up for herself or speak up, but that just means I was invested in her outcome. Overall, if you like family drama this would definitely be the book for you.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Henriette

    I think I read 90% of this book with a stomachache! Maybe it hit too close to home and emphasized how bad it could have been to be a step parent. This is the story of Lauren, told by Lauren herself. Lauren is a doctor in training when she meets and marries Joe, a divorced father of 2. To say that Lauren’s relationship with Joe’s teenage daughter Grace and ex-wife Meredith are tricky would be the understatement of the year. I am so glad we handled things completely differently, but as a step paren I think I read 90% of this book with a stomachache! Maybe it hit too close to home and emphasized how bad it could have been to be a step parent. This is the story of Lauren, told by Lauren herself. Lauren is a doctor in training when she meets and marries Joe, a divorced father of 2. To say that Lauren’s relationship with Joe’s teenage daughter Grace and ex-wife Meredith are tricky would be the understatement of the year. I am so glad we handled things completely differently, but as a step parent it was all too easy to imagine everything Lauren was going through. I was literally appalled by how she was treated and although I did not agree with how she handled things, I could imagine some people would go down that path. I enjoyed the style of writing and there was never a dull moment. I simply had to know what drama the next chapter would hold and if the characters would ever change. I didn’t particularly like many of the characters, but the story was good… except the end. Now there needs to be a sequel, only I am not sure I can handle reading another whole book with a stomachache. Perhaps a short story sequel would be better? I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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