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Until You're Mine
 
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Until You're Mine [Format Kindle]

Samantha Hayes
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

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1

Someone’s replied to our advert.” I peer over my laptop lid, making a semi-pained face. Part of me had been hoping no one would answer, that I could somehow manage alone. The heat of the computer is cooking my legs but I can’t be bothered to move. It’s work and a winter-warmer rolled into one.

“You shouldn’t have that thing so close, you know.” James taps the screen as he walks past on his way to the cupboard. He pulls out the wok. “Radiation and all that.” I love him for cooking, for caring.

“The scan says she’s got all her arms and legs. Stop worrying.” I’ve shown him the ultrasound pictures a dozen times. He’s missed all my scans so far. “We have a healthy little baby girl on the way.” I shift uncomfortably and put the computer on the old saggy sofa beside me. “Aren’t you interested in who’s replied to the advert?”

“Of course I am. Tell me.” James splashes oil in the pan. He’s a messy cook. The ring of blue flames leaps into life as he turns the gas burner to high. He bites his lower lip and tosses pieces of chicken into the wok. The smoke gets sucked up into the extractor fan.

“Someone called Zoe Harper,” I say above the sizzling noise. I read the details in the email again. “It says she’s got loads of experience and has all the right qualifications.” I'll phone her later, get a feel for how she sounds. I must show willing even though the thought of a stranger in the house isn’t a particularly pleasant one. I know how worried James is about me coping when he goes away again. He’s right, of course. I am going to need help.

Our nanny chatter is suddenly interrupted by noise and fuss and screaming coming from the sitting room. I heave myself up from the sofa, legs apart and hands wedged in the small of my back to stop my spine giving way. I raise my hands to halt James’s rescue dash. “It’s OK, I’ll go.” He seems to think I’m incapable of anything since he’s been home. Probably because last time he saw me I didn’t resemble a house.

“Oscar, Noah, what’s going on?” I stand in the sitting-room doorway. The boys look up at me. Forlorn, they have been sprung in the early stages of war. Oscar has something crusty and yellow stuck in the corner of his mouth. Noah is brandishing his brother’s toy gun.

I only let them play with toys like that when James is home. He doesn’t see the problem. Other times, they’re locked away in a cupboard. Toy weapons were a hot topic at that dreadful dinner party, a few years ago now, not long after I’d met James. I’d wanted all his friends to like me, to not make comparisons, to trust that I had my own set of maternal instincts when it came to bringing up my newly inherited sons.

“How do you handle things like that with the twins, Claudia?” she’d asked me, when I stated I didn’t like to see children playing with swords and guns. God knows, in my job I see enough messed-up kids to know that there are better things they could be doing with their time. “Must be hard being a mother . . . but not being one,” she finished. I could have slapped her.

“Come here, Os,” I say, and do the unthinkable. I lick a tissue and wipe his mouth. He wriggles away. I eye the gun in Noah’s hand. Taking it away from him would cause a major incident.

At the dinner party, I’d feebly explained that as stepmother to twin boys who’d lost their birth mum to cancer, I believed it pretty much gave me the right to call myself their mother--but no one really cared or was listening by then. The topic had moved on. “James is in the Navy,” I heard myself saying, “so of course they’re fascinated by wars . . . it’s not taboo as such in our house but . . .” I was burning crimson by that point. I just wanted James to take me home.

“Give the gun back to your brother, Noah. Did you snatch it?”

Noah doesn’t reply. He holds up the plastic weapon, aims it at my belly and pulls the trigger. There’s a weak crack of plastic as it play-fires. “Bang. Baby’s dead,” he says with a toothy grin.



“They’re asleep. Kind of,” James says. He’s wearing his favorite sweater, the one he doesn’t know I take to bed with me when he’s away. And he’s got a glass of wine. Lucky him on a Friday night. I’ve got peppermint tea and a pain in my lower back. I’m convinced my ankles look swollen today.

He sits down beside me on the sofa. “So, what did she sound like, this Mary Poppins woman?” An arm goes around my shoulders, fingers twirling the ends of my hair.

While he was tucking the boys into bed--drunkenly singing Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun” but putting the names Oscar and Noah in instead--I’d phoned Zoe Harper, the woman who replied to our advert.

“She sounded . . . fine.” I say it rather flippantly because I hadn’t expected her to sound fine at all. “Lovely, in fact. To be honest, I was hoping she’d sound like a witch and be slurring from booze.” The thing is, I’ve tried two nannies before and, one way or another, they weren’t exactly what they claimed to be. Besides, the boys didn’t take to having them around at all. So between understanding friends, day-care and, more recently, school breakfast and afternoon clubs, we’ve somehow managed to cope. James thoroughly advocates them being cared for in their own home while I’m at work and, now our own baby’s nearly due, he wants things more settled.

“But she really didn’t,” I say, watching his expression change to one of hope. “Sound like a witch, that is.” What with James away at sea for weeks or even months at a time and me trying to cram a demanding job into hours that often aren’t regular, I was tearing my hair out with guilt. I wanted to be the best mother I could but not give up my career. That was one thing I’d promised myself when I took on this ready-made family. I love my job, it’s who I am. I guess I wanted it all, and now I’m paying the price.

“Yes, she sounded perfectly normal and down to earth.”

We sit in silence for a moment, both pondering the reality of what we’ve done--the advertisement took up several nights of deliberation. I don’t think we ever considered the reality of what came after that: actually having someone live with us again.

“Oh God, but what if she’s like the last two? It’s not fair on the boys. Or the baby. Or me.” I shift my bump so I can curl my legs up on the sofa.

“Nanny-cam?” James says. He pours another glass of wine.

“Give me a sniff,” I say, leaning over, desperate for a sip.

“Fumes,” he says, holding the glass away from me and covering it with his other hand. I slap him on the shoulder and grin. It’s only because he cares.

“But I need fumes. Nanny-cam? You’re not serious, right?”

“Of course I am. Everyone does it.”

“Buggering hell, they do. It’s a violation of . . . of their human nanny rights or something. Besides, what do you want me to do? Sit staring at my computer all day watching the boys play LEGO while nanny feeds the baby? Kind of defeats the point of having her, doesn’t it?”

“Give up work, then,” he says in his faint-but-serious voice.

“Oh, James,” I say, hardly believing he’s trying that one again. “Let’s not go there.” A hand on his thigh is warning enough as he shrugs and turns the telly up. It’s Children’s Hospital. The last thing I want to watch is sick kids but there’s nothing much else on.

I consider the nanny-cam idea. I suppose it could work.

Suddenly Oscar is standing frozen in the doorway for effect (he does it so well)--tiny boy in dramatic period setting with blood pouring from his nose. He doesn’t even attempt to contain the flow. His Ben 10 pajamas look theatrical.

“Oh, darling Ossy,” I say. No point me moving. James is up quickly with a handful of tissues plucked from the box on the table as he goes. “Not again.”

James swipes our son up and plants him on the sofa next to me. He goes off to fetch ice, and Oscar leans on me for a cuddle. He rests his head on my bump and blood gets on my old T-shirt.

“Baby says she loves you, Ossy,” I tell him. He looks up at me with big blue eyes and a murderous bloody nose. James comes back with a pack of frozen peas. “Tea towel?” I say, not wanting to put them on Oscar’s skin directly. James nods and goes off to get one.

“How can she love me? She doesn’t even know me.” He sounds all bunged up.

“Well . . .”

James returns again. I wrap the peas in the tea towel and hold it against the bridge of Oscar’s little nose while also pinching it gently. The GP says if it keeps happening it’ll need to be cauterized. “She loves you, I guarantee it. It’s instinctive, built-in. Babies come with their own love and she already knows we love her.”

“Noah doesn’t love her,” Oscar says from beneath the peas. “He says he hates her and wants to shoot her off the planet.”

Even though it’s just Noah, my little son-by-proxy, I flinch inside. “He’s perhaps a bit jealous, that’s all. He’ll be fine when she’s born, you see.” I glance over Oscar’s head ...

Revue de presse

“A twisted thriller…Hayes plants the seeds of suspense early, and they gestate until a truly spectacular ending bursts forth.”—Entertainment Weekly

"Terror lurks just below the surface in this excellent psychological thriller....The twisty plot builds to a surprising and unnerving finale." —Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

“Wonderfully creepy…Hayes not only delivers a splendid mystery, she offers insights into the inner lives of today’s women and mothers in particular….Readers will find it hard to put this title down. A well-written, compelling plot, great characters, and a feminist viewpoint all add up to a satisfying read." —Library Journal

“A hit …Both frantic, page-turning pacing and a surprise ending…Hayes’ tale succeeds.”—Kirkus 


International Praise for Until You're Mine

An Independent (UK) 50 Best Beach Reads Selection


"If you only take one book on holiday with you it has to be Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes. It's a totally unputdownable thriller that will keep you gripped to your sun lounger until the very end. And just when you think you've figured things out, watch out for the twist!"—Cosmopolitan (UK)

A classic cuckoo in the nest tale with a disturbing twist.... This book is almost impossible to review without spoilers, so I won't. All I can say is, you won't see it coming.”—Harpers Bazaar (UK)

"A terse and thrilling story not to be missed: the unforeseen ending feels like walking on quicksand."—Psychologies

"Wonderfully creepy"—Toronto Star

"If you're a fan of psychological thrillers, you'll love this book. You won't be able to turn the pages fast enough and the ending is a real shocker."—Bella

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 516 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 416 pages
  • Editeur : Cornerstone Digital (20 juin 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00C1DG58A
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°37.789 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Surpriiiiise! 21 septembre 2014
Par Priskat68
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Enfin une bonne surprise, un bon petit polar où ne devine pas la fin au 3ème chapitre, avec, pour le coup, une vraie surprise (pour moi; d'autres auront peut-être tout deviné depuis longtemps!) à la fin.
Personnellement, j'ai beaucoup aimé ce roman. Le style est agréable à lire, l'ensemble est, comme on dit, bien ficelé. Les petits points négatifs, (il en faut bien, non?) par moment, les sempiternelles réflexions sur les sentiments et les images édulcorées sur la maternité et le désir d'enfant m'ont un peu "saoûlée". A ne pas mettre entre les mains d'une personne qui a envie d'enfant, donc! L'emploi du pronom sujet "I" pour différents personnages est également parfois perturbant, mais ça fait partie du jeu et on comprend mieux à la fin le pourquoi de ce choix.
Je conseille donc vivement ce roman.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A griping page-turner! 3 août 2013
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I do not read thrillers very often, because I know how disappointing bad ones can be... With that novel I got more than I expected! The story is told through the eyes of 4 characters, and through this device the author creates a riveting and manipulative suspense. It's exquisitely well-written, and we can successfully identify to the various women voices we get to know... The plot is quite horrendous and very satisfying!
Get it, it'll be read in two wide-eyed nights!
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 excellent 3 janvier 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A real page turner thriller
I read it very quickly and feel sad because it is finished
Very well written ! Bravo!
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  92 commentaires
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Warning: Potentially harmful to pregnant women! 8 janvier 2014
Par FictionFan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
A chilling psychological thriller about maternal urges, the story is told from three viewpoints. Claudia is a social worker and stepmother to twins, with a long history of miscarriages and still-births. When we meet her, however, she is finally about to achieve her overwhelming desire for motherhood - eight and a half months pregnant and about to give birth to a healthy girl child. Zoe is the impeccably qualified nanny whom Claudia has hired to live-in, to help her with the children while her naval-officer husband James is at sea. Claudia and Zoe each tell their stories in the first-person, so the reader is aware straight away that Zoe isn't quite what she seems, but Claudia too is soon wondering if she's made the right choice.

The third viewpoint is told in the third-person, through the eyes of Detective Inspector Lorraine Fisher, whom we meet when she has been called to the scene of a horrific murder. The heavily pregnant victim has had her stomach sliced open and her baby forcibly removed, killing both mother and child. When a second similar crime occurs, it seems there is a maniac targeting pregnant women...

It's been a while since I found a book that insisted on me pulling an all-nighter to finish it, but this one was truly unputdownable. Although the parts about the murders are graphic and gruesome, they don't overwhelm the story, which is much more about the psychology of the three women and how they are each, in their different ways, affected by the urge for motherhood. Hayes handles the characterisation of Claudia and Zoe brilliantly, twisting the reader's assumptions back and forwards, so that the only thing that's certain is that nothing is quite what it seems. Hayes manages the difficult balance of letting us get to know them well enough to relate to them, while holding enough information back to make each twist a surprise. Lorraine's story, of trying to handle a major investigation while dealing with a marriage in trouble and a teenage daughter going off the rails, is convincing and realistic; and serves to give a solid base to the increasing tension of the Zoe/Claudia strand.

Dark and disturbing, distinctly scary at points, but handled with a deftness and lightness of touch that prevents it from becoming too difficult a read, this kept me gripped all the way through. Although the storyline stretches credulity a bit, Hayes manages to keep the reader on side through the quality of the writing and characterisation. And one of the best last lines ever...but you'll need to read the whole thing to find out what that is! Highly recommended - except to pregnant women. This is not one to be reading in the waiting room at the ante-natal clinic...

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher, Crown Publishing.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Until You're Mine 20 juillet 2014
Par Kat - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
When I read the synopsis of Until You're Mine, I was immediately curious. Although not a mother myself, it struck me that a story about a pregnant woman with creepy nanny could be one of those edge-of-my-seat kind of books because the stakes are so very high.

Until You're Mine is told through three perspectives - Claudia who is finally pregnant with her first child after years of trying and heartbreak, Zoe the nanny who seems too good to be true and Lorraine, the police office investigating a rash of deaths amongst pregnant women in the local area. Lorraine's perspective was a real surprise, for although she is the investigating officer, she is also having problems in her marriage to Adam, who is also a cop working the same cases as Lorraine.

Unfortunately, Lorraine's perspective, although interesting, actually distracted me from the storyline of Zoe and Claudia and I didn't really see why it was relevant to the story. It almost felt like it was thrown in as a filler to make the story longer (and at 400 pages it's not exactly a quick read) and it also made it difficult for me to connect with Lorraine because I just wasn't invested in her story.

As for the plot between Claudia and Zoe, that was certainly more what I was looking for - there was definitely an element of mystery and as the story progressed it became more and more captivating as more about Claudia and Zoe's pasts were revealed and the story climaxed in a way I wasn't really expecting. I didn't see the clues that led up to the ending, although looking back they were there but just cleverly concealed.

Until You're Mine is a good, if slightly predictable in places, thriller, with a lot of mystery and some very clever characterisation. However, I found the extra perspective irritating rather than adding any value and the ending was a little bit too quick, without the kind of resolution I really needed.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fantastic Read by a new-to-me-author 19 juin 2014
Par D. White - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Until You're Mine was a fantastic read! I love a great thriller-- fast paced, complex plot and a great twist mean an all consuming afternoon of great reading.

From the prologue to the ending, the reader is kept wondering about Zoe, the mysterious, cagey Nanny hired to help Claudia and James, a busy family of four whose expansion is rapidly impending, as Claudia is 8.5 months pregnant. Claudia is stepmother to two twin boys and a social worker. Woven into this story is the frightening occurrence of the murders of pregnant women, one of which is Claudia's client.

This novel is written from the viewpoint of three women-- Zoe, Claudia and Lorraine, the Detective Inspector in charge of investigating the case. Each have their own mini stories that add to not on the suspense but complexity of the plot. Lorraine and her husband Adam-- who's also on the police force, are struggling in their marriage, something that's affecting their two teen daughters, Grace especially. I found Grace's story line to be rather superfluous and the resolution to be anti climactic. That Lorraine and Adam couldn't just 'man up' was infuriating. Zoe's story line was a bit more complicated and multi-leveled, with the writer willingly leading the reader toward one assumption and then suddenly revealing, on a hairpin turn, another explanation.

I'll save the most surprising character twist of all for your discovery. Suffice it to say I read the last chapter and the Epilogue twice, trying to understand. I must say that epilogues, as of late, are starting to annoy me. What I think could be at least one or two more explanatory chapters becomes a dump of 'okay here's what else happened'.

I truly enjoyed this story, what a wild ride. It's rare that I read a book that makes me gasp aloud, OH My GOD! I'd definitely pick up more Samantha Hayes!
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Deliciously replete with "red herrings" 1 mars 2014
Par Trudie Barreras - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Commentaire client Vine pour produit gratuit (De quoi s'agit-il?)
My mother, the original source of my willingness to occasionally indulge in a mystery/thriller (although I have recently avoided the genre) would have commented that Samantha Hayes' "Until You're Mine" is deliciously replete with "red herrings". The story is intricate and filled with plots and subplots, false clues, and sidelines.

The basic narrative, of course, has to do with the obsession of at least two of the characters with the successful gestation of a baby. However, the concerns of parenthood developed in the book don't end there, because the detective team of Lorraine and Adam, who have a relationship in serious trouble, are likewise dealing with parenting issues. These factors are developed in an elaborate overlap of internal and external drama.

Stylistically, the narrative fluctuates between first- and third-person, as well as present and past tense. This might lead to some confusion for the reader, but I really had no serious difficulty in keeping track of the story line. The crime-scene descriptions are a bit grim, but not overworked. The author obviously prefers psychological tension to scenes of mayhem, and builds that tension without littering the scene with unnecessary descriptions of gore. I award this novel a four instead of a five star rating only because I am not overly fond of the subject matter, not because I find any significant flaws in the writing.
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Scary Thriller 25 novembre 2013
Par Heather's Book Chatter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book was a huge surprise. I’ve never experienced such a change of heart in the course of reading any other novel. I was all set to give the novel three stars when the ending came along and completely blindsided me. It changed the entire book for me and I loved how the author tied everything together.

The subject matter definitely made me squeamish. Pregnant women having their bellies cut into aren’t something I normally want to read about. However, I thought it was interesting how the author focused on different women and their struggles with fertility. I thought the author did a good job of depicting an infertile woman on the outside looking in.

The story is told from three female points of view: Lorraine, Zoe and Claudia. I liked reading about each character and their struggles they faced. A few of the sub-plots were a little boring, but I understood their purpose a little more as the story unfolded.

I don’t want to post spoilers, so I’ll only say the ending will leave you breathless. I’m never usually surprised, but there were incredible twists to the story. I loved how I never saw it coming, but now when I look back at the novel, it makes perfect sense. The author didn’t leave plot holes for the sake of a shocking twist.

I would highly recommend this novel to suspense lovers. The crimes are horrifying and I was on the edge of my seat over if the right person would be brought to justice.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book for review!
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