The Women

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 May 2019

Member Reviews

S.E. Lynes always spins a good tale & The Women is no exception. Samantha Frayn is just finishing her English degree at UCL. Whilst at a get together for new students she meets the charming Peter. He is the charismatic History of Art professor. Suave, worldly, charming, he sweeps Samantha off her feet' She can't believe that this man could possibly be interested in her, but who could resist the classic sports car, the luxury flat, the compliments, the affection- certainly not Samantha! Before long they have a baby & Peter is suggesting she does some teaching. It is whilst marking her poetry class's homework that she finds an extra poem, one that is a warning that her world may not be as good as she'd thought!

I'm sure I wasn't the only one who longed to tell Samantha from the start that this would not end well! By the time she really looks at her life Peter has exerted a huge control over her. The scene at the very beginning of the book about their trip to Rome when Samantha seems to be more in control -but how & why? S E Lynes tantalises the reader & as always I couldn't put the book down until I'd answered those questions.

Thanks to Netgalley & the publishers for letting me read this terrific five star book.
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This book was interesting. Not what I’d call a page turner but still a brisk read. The characters were well developed and likeable. There were certain components of the storyline that were hard to fathom initially, however the author always remedied those situations in the end tying everything up into a neat, little package. Another aspect of this book that I liked was the “girl power” camaraderie. #thewomen #netgalley
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Oh I love S.E. Lynes's writing.  Bit of a fangirl moment for you! I've read nearly every book she's written (bar one which is on my #15BooksofSummer list) and you can always guarantee it's going to be brilliant and hard to put down.  The Women is Susie's latest book and was published by Bookouture on 22nd May.  I received a free eARC of The Women but that has in no way influenced my review.

First thing I want to say about this book is I love the cover! If I weren't already a huge S.E. Lynes fan then there's a good chance I would be picking up The Women based purely on that brilliant blurb and the stunning cover.  The book opens with Samantha and Peter (plus their baby, Emily) on their honeymoon in Rome.  The opening is wonderfully tense and sets the scene perfectly.  I was intrigued by what had gone before and I couldn't wait to discover this couple's story.  And what a story it is.

The reader is then flung back in time to when Peter and Samantha first met.  Professor Peter Bridges makes Samantha feel as though she's the only woman in the world at a boring University party.  He treats her with respect, listens intently to every word she says and makes her the centre of his universe.  Samantha rapidly falls head over heels in love with Peter.  He's a class above the men (boys!) she usually meets with his expensive red wine, limitless supplies of cash, his elegant and sophisticated home and his sporty vintage midnight-blue Porsche.  Before long Peter has suggested Samantha moves in with him, which she does leaving BBF and housemate, Marcia, on her own.  Life is good for Samantha.  Or is it?

What a great story this is with possibly one of the most unpleasant characters I have ever met in a novel.  Peter is such a cliche and so utterly repulsive.  Lynes has done an excellent job in making him so abhorrent - gah!  He made my skin crawl, I was frequently cringing with how revolting he was.  I was so desperate for sweet, trusting Samantha to see the light. To realise she was better than the life she was settling for, that not everything was how it seemed - not even to her - and for her to remove baby Emily from her obnoxious father's influence.

It's very difficult to say anything about this book without spoiling it for new readers.  I will say, however, that the ending of this book was perfect.  Had it ended any differently then I think I would have been disappointed.  But Lynes has told her story with sensitivity (maybe not when it comes to Peter) and with wonderful little surprises along the way which made me despise 'Peter the idiot' even more.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes.  S.E. Lynes is a great writer and I urge you to read absolutely everything she has written (particularly Valentina).  This is a beautifully written book with bucketloads of emotion.  S.E. Lynes is a skilled and accomplished writer whose books I will return to again and again and again.  Recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Women.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This novel totally blew me away! 

I love finding a new author who has an exceptional storytelling gift. 

One where you start the first book you’ve read by them and you are enthralled immediately and can’t wait until you can pick it back up again and throw yourself into a different world full off deceit, psychological manipulation and eventual revenge. 

The Women was packed with punches throughout and turning the page your gasping at the next reveal. 

This book was astounding! It was a mix of pleasure, shock and humour  while feeling the characters pain and sufferance in excusal measure. It has so many layers that become apparent and twists that makes you feel your on the waltzer at the fair! 
Fabulous storyline!
Another new favourite author! 

Thank you Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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Thrilling read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. It was well written and flowed well and was easy to read. One you won’t want to end
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OOO y'all this was such a good one! My first book from S.E. Lynes and I am so excited to read more! It was an excellent read, with suspense all the way through. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters as well, they were so complex!
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The Women was the perfect mix of intrigue, suspense, and excitement. Although the subject of the book is certainly one that has been visited before— much older man meets younger naive female, rushes the relationship, tries to control her and marry her in order to keep her all to himself— S.E. Lynes’ delivery was fresh and I was engaged from the start. I like how the book opened with a flash-forward to how the story would end, which spiked my interest and caused me to wonder about the many events that must have taken place in order to get there. The Women was a compulsively fun read that captured me from the first page and didn’t let go until the last.
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Once again the author delivers a book that keeps you gripped until the end . It is always a pleasure to read this authors work .
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Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Where to start with this one! This book simply drew me in immediately and I could not devour it fast enough. 

I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it for all psychological thriller fans. You will not be disappointed!
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This book was a brilliant read.  I love this author and her work and this is a fantastic read that I would highly recommend.
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I loved this book. One of the authors books that I have read but will be checking out the others.  Characters are realistic and found myself yelling at Samantha but only because the I was so wrapped up in her story.  
The story grabbed me from the first page and I didn't want it to end.
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I was expecting this novel to be yet another domestic psychological thriller but I actually really enjoyed it. Great twists and kept me guessing throughout.
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Samantha met Peter Bridges, a professor, at a uni get together.  They chatted for a bit and ended up at his place to listen to music and enjoy wine.  Even though he is so much older than she is, he soon encourages her to move in with him into his luxurious home.  Samantha is smitten by him as he is so sophisticated.  Her flatmate is worried that since they just met, it is too soon for Samantha to move in with him.  However, she assures her that she is fine.  Before long, she finds that Peter is a neat freak and wants everything done just so.  He becomes critical of even the most minor little things.

Before long, Samantha becomes pregnant and Peter is delighted.  At his insistence, they name their baby daughter, Emily, after his mother.  When Emily is a few months old, Peter gets Samantha a job teaching a course one day a week.  He is at home with Emily during that short time but Emily does not seem to be well cared for while Samantha is gone.  When Samantha starts receiving frightening messages among the homework papers turned in by her students, she becomes very apprehensive.  It appears that someone is trying to warn her of something sinister about Peter.  

This is a difficult book to get into.  Samantha comes across as an immature young person who just wants to grow up fast which is why she is attracted to Peter.  She lacks common sense.  There just isn’t that “thriller spark” that makes the reader chew their nails as they wonder what’s going to happen on the next page.  I found there to be too much on the “lessons of writing” included which makes me think the author is trying to impress us with her knowledge of the subject.  Yes, there is a moral to the story which is one parents try to teach their children every day, but not all of them listen.  Sorry, but this is just not a book I cared for.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Another domestic psychological thriller.  A college student is overwhelmed when she is sought out for the attentions of an attractive, older professor.  He sweeps her off her feet and before she knows it, she is living with him.  But, of course, he has a history!!!

The author is a literate writer.  Although there may be one too many coincidences, this is an engrossing, fast paced story, and worth a read if you are not burned out with domestic thrillers!
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A great book. Kept me reading from start to finish. Really shows how a person can be manipulated, how they can be drawn in by a person, and how their life can change firstly seems as if its for the best but soon turns to be on the wrong side. 
Loved the characters and the way the story flowed. Great read
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Samantha Frayn cannot understand why Professor Peter Bridges chooses her over anyone else he can have. To him, she’s a nobody with a troubled childhood. He, on the other hand, is older, suave, charming, loves fine wine and lives in a beautiful home which has the choicest of décor.

She falls – and falls so hard. Within a few days, she has moved in with him and very soon she finds out that she is pregnant. They quickly decide to get married – and for Samantha, it’s like a dream come true.

What Samantha doesn’t realise, is that Peter starts controlling her and all her decisions and moves. 
He has a way of making her out to be the unreasonable one. He does it so eloquently, so rationally, that she is left no longer sure if she is entitled to feel what she undeniably does feel, whether she is being too demanding or too sensitive. And, she finds herself always being the one to apologise. 
She shrugs it off, convincing herself that after all Peter is looking after her. He has everything under control. So why does she feel as if control is the exact thing she has given up?

Despite all of this, they were managing to have a semblance of a life.
And then she decides to teach creative writing classes – where her troubles start. Someone is sending her semi-threatening notes, and two of her students spill some nasty secrets about Peter. Samantha is confused – who should she believe? Her husband or these ladies.
Moreover, who is sending her these threatening notes?

This is a very cleverly written novel. It literally draws you in and catches you unaware. 
Though it started off slow, it catches up pace later. Samantha also came across as someone who is too smitten with Peter, and missed all the warning signs. You can put it down to the fallacies of youth, and blind love.

This book focuses on twisted and toxic relationships, where one partner is controlling the other.
There is a lot of suspense, intrigue, mistrust and lies that will just leave you boggled.

The end is brilliantly done with a fantastic twist.
Totally recommended
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Oh what a satisfying read! The suspense builds slowly and surely with each new revelation until we think we know everything. But we don't - there's even more secrets and lies to come. I so enjoyed this engrossing read and every time I had to put it down I couldn't wait to pick it up again. I didn't race though it, but savoured each and every revelation as the story built to a very satisfying conclusion. So well written, the characters were palpably real, the tension there. Even the house felt creepy! This book is a real treat and I loved it.
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The night she moves in with Peter, she’s so happy, so exhilarated, so in love. Later, she will remember a much smaller feeling, a tiny one percent in her gut. And she will remember pushing that feeling aside…
Samantha Frayn doesn’t know why Peter Bridges picks her – a nobody with bitten fingernails and a troubled childhood behind her – but she falls quickly. He’s older, charming, likes fine wine and French films, and his beautiful home has real art on its walls.
Peter transforms Samantha’s life in an instant. He sees the better version of herself – the one she’s always wanted to be. It’s only normal that there’s a little friction, when she moves in, over domestic matters like where things are kept, or the proper times to eat, sleep and shower. She’s lucky to be with someone who can help her find a new job, move on from childish friends, and speak with greater sophistication.
But as Samantha notices, more and more, Peter’s temper, she starts to wonder if there might be consequences to breaking the rules of the world he has so quickly built around her.
And then she receives an anonymous note that makes her ask: is she the first woman to feel trapped by Peter? Is she being paranoid, manipulated, or could she be in danger?
You can tell the truth about your life, but someone needs to be listening. Someone needs to trust you. And someone needs to save you from the man you thought you loved.

If you are looking for a well written compelling psychological thriller which you won't be able to put down until you finish it, then look no further.
This author has tackled the delicate subject of domestic violence without it being over the top graphic. Mostly the violence is in the way of words and manipulation... but violence none the less. 
The suspense is a slow builder and it is so worth it. 
Twists, lies, manipulation and plenty of suspense keep you gripped to the end. I read it in one sitting as I just couldn't stop and put it down.
This was an amazing read to me and I thouroghly enjoyed it.
Recommend reading.

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review The Women. This is my honest voluntary review.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

S.E. Lynes has created likeable characters that shed their skin like an onion revealing bits and pieces of their story and makes you want to keep reading in order to find out the complete story. 

Peter sweeps Samantha off her feet. Tells her how special she is, and within no time he has her living with him, she's pregnant, her life is totally controlled by him. He's older than her, he has a beautiful home, a fancy car. If being told when to eat, what to eat, when to shower, or to go to bed bothers her, she doesn't let on. She's isolated from her friends,  forced to teach a course that she's not really interested in. She learns that she might not be so special from several students in her class. What she learns makes her question her entire life.

I stunning page turned that was difficult to put down and has stayed with me long since the last page.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the free copy in exchange for an honest review. This book is now out everywhere!

This was a fascinating, slow-burn psychological thriller that packed a powerful punch and tackled a very important issue. The author illustrates well the power of charm and sophistication, and how abusers can manipulate you, get under your skin and into your head before you even know it's happened.

The story starts off at the end, so we already know that something bad is going to happen. Through the characters' words and actions, we also know that there's a deep underlying current of tension, anger and guilt. Peter's ugly character already begins to shine through in this first chapter, and I knew right off that he'd be the worst kind of character. But on the surface, Peter wasn't seen as a "bad guy", which made him one of the most dangerous types of people out there. The ones that can charm and disarm. The ones with a seemingly thick layer of sophistication and perfection that can only just mask the teeming ugliness that's slick under the surface.

The characters were well developed. As we got further into the story, more and more layers of Samantha's and Peter's characters are peeled back like layers. When they first meet, Peter is a charming, handsome, and intelligent history professor that has a reputation as a ladies man, but surprises Samantha with how courteous and respectful he is. Their "relationship" moves very quickly; from Samantha visiting his house that first night, to sleeping with him the next, and then moving in with him very soon after that. Peter is persuasive and showers Samantha in compliments and assurances that he has never met someone like her and that she's his one. However, Peter's actions slowly become more manipulative and controlling, and I was shocked at the ease in which it happened. Samantha unknowingly relinquishes her autonomy to him and very quickly lets him dictate all aspects of her life. I particularly enjoyed how Samantha's character grew--going from this naive young woman, to someone dogged by paranoia, anger and shock, and then she takes all that emotion and strengthens herself with it to undertake the "final act". Her empowerment and determination after meeting "the women" who survived Peter's abuse, made me feel somewhat giddy, just as much as it made her feel excited and emotionally high in the novel. There were many twists and turns as more of Peter's past is revealed, and although it wasn't very unpredictable, I was hooked and wanted to speed through to find out what happens to lead them to that final scene.

What made this book frightening was how realistic the situation is. The relationship between Samantha and Peter sady isn't uncommon. There were times that I found myself frustrated that Samantha was defending Peter and seemed unwilling to open her eyes to his scumbag ways; but then I realized that in real life, this is the dynamic that exists in these relationships. The abused have their views so warped by the abuser, that they're unable and sometimes unwilling (for their own sanity) to believe that something so perfect from the start could actually be the worst thing to happen to them. I thought this book was well-written and covered the topic well. Although until recently people haven't openly spoken about the issue (at least to my knowledge living in Asia), that's even more reason why it needs to be given greater attention. Especially with the current "Me Too" movement. I was very pleasantly surprised by this story, and I'm looking forward to reading other books by S.E. Lynes!
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