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I really need to read more of Lesley's backlist as this is probably my second favourite of the ones I've read. She could not do it for herself, even when they arrive at the women's refuge that a specialist solicitor has gotten them into, Eve's sense of denial is such that she finds it hard to relate her circumstances to the other women there. The bleakness of her life with Don and her subsequent struggles are lightened not only by her own courage and determination, but by the strength of the other characters in the book, who are a testament to the fundamental good heartedness of most people. Eve is to be admired for having the strength to do the right thing and soon herself and the children are placed in a women's refuge run by Marianne. Gone is the scared women who was afraid of change, meeting new people or even trying to do things for herself as in indulging her passion of curtain making and interior design.

Just marred for me by the surprising number of mistakes in the ARC copy I read, which is not usual from this publisher, hence 4 stars rather than 5. As the book moved on though, I found myself disliking her slightly due to reasons I won't mention for fear of spoilers! In this book, we see just how strong and resilient women can be even when things literally "beat" us down! It is actually quite hard to say too much about themes as that would add spoilers for the reader, but obviously betrayal in many forms is present, the most important one perhaps being the way we dupe and betray ourselves – but I’ll leave you to read the book to discover more. Beautifully written from start to finish and never one to shy away from uneasy topics, Betrayal covers some difficult subjects with this author's trademark skill of empathy, sensitivity and cracking good story telling.

Setting up a new life for herself and her children isn't easy for Eve but with sheer grit and determination she takes them out of poverty and into a more settled existence except that Eve is burdened by a dreadful secret which overshadows her future happiness. With Lesley Pearse's reputation for grippy, gritting stories that never shy away from the seamier side of life, I was expecting distressing themes from Betrayal. International bestselling author Lesley Pearse has lived a life as rich with incidents, setbacks and joys as any found in her novels. It's been a long while since I've read a book by this author, despite reading so many of her early books and loving them.

I loved this book, I cared so deeply for the characters and the ending, even though it was a good ending for the characters, it was human, not a fairytale ending but one of absolution. I don't actually have anything bad to say about it, these just aren't my favourite books of all time! I am not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without my permission. A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines, there is no set formula for a Lesley Pearse novel although strong heroines and difficult circumstances are pervasive. This makes some of the most brutal and most tender scenes all the more impactful and I think some readers will be profoundly affected by the quality of the writing.

A fantastic speaker and committed and passionate fundraiser for the NSPCC, Lesley is a much sought-after guest at literary lunches, library events and festivals up and down the country.

The story then follows Eve and her children over the years after breaking free but it looks as if the past is always lurking around the corner waiting for the truth to come out and justice to be done. On my mental well-being journey I've qualified in different 'therapies' including Mindfulness and as a Mental Health First Aider. Her left eye had already swollen so badly she couldn’t see out of it, and one of her teeth was bleeding but it didn’t feel as if it would fall out.I expected this book to be historical fiction, something I don't usually enjoy, but this book was actually set at the end of 1990s/early 2000s so make your own minds up as to if that's historical fiction (but to me it isn't). I certainly found myself questioning my morals with this book because I am very much one who believes in doing the right thing and without giving too much away Eve does something unforgivable that would usually have me turning against a character however because we have seen what poor Eve has had to endure through her life there was a part of me that excused her for her actions. I was rooting for Eve all the way through; hoping she'd put the past behind her to start a new and prosperous life in Devon. This is clearly not the first time he has bestowed this casually bloody act on Eve, but the effect it has on her is to determine that it will be his last. The impact of constant change and uncertainty in Lesley's early years is reflected in one of the recurring themes in her books: what happens to those who are emotionally damaged as children.

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