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Cross Her Heart: A Novel

Cross Her Heart: A Novel

Written by Sarah Pinborough

Narrated by Antonia Beamish


Cross Her Heart: A Novel

Written by Sarah Pinborough

Narrated by Antonia Beamish

ratings:
3.5/5 (81 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Sep 4, 2018
ISBN:
9780062864963
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes returns with a twisty, hair-raising psychological thriller about a single mom, her daughter, and her best friend, the secrets they hide, and the danger they can't escape.

Lisa lives a very quiet life. A single mother nearing forty, she devotes herself to raising her sixteen-year-old daughter, Ava. Wary of men, Lisa doesn't speak of her past or Ava's absent father. Her best friend Marilyn wishes she would open up more and maybe finally go on a date—with the sexy new client who's obviously keen—but Marilyn has problems of her own.

Ava is getting tired of her overprotective mother. She wants to live like a normal teenager—chill with friends, go to swim practice, study for exams, have a boyfriend. Her mom would freak if she knew that Ava's already got someone special, someone who makes her feel sophisticated—and wanted.

Lisa has spent a long time looking over her shoulder, but lately she's been especially uneasy. Small things from the past have begun to appear in the present, feeding her anxiety. As her life begins to unravel, Lisa knows that the only way she can protect herself and her daughter is to face her fears. Yet courage won't be enough. She'll need help from the only person she can trust—Marilyn. Between them they have to save Ava, and to do that, they have to be honest with each other. Truly honest. Marilyn did promise she'd do anything to help.

But a long time ago, Lisa made a promise too. Then she broke her word. And that betrayal hasn't been forgotten—or forgiven.

Now, someone is going to make her pay for her sin.

Publisher:
Released:
Sep 4, 2018
ISBN:
9780062864963
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Sarah Pinborough is the number one Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of the psychological thriller Behind Her Eyes, and more than twenty other novels and novellas, including The Death House and a young adult thriller, 13 Minutes. She has also written for the BBC. She lives in England. sarahpinborough.com


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Reviews

What people think about Cross Her Heart

3.7
81 ratings / 22 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Great read. Did not really like the ending though.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 stars rounded up. I read mixed reviews of this book and wasn't sure what to think. Once I started reading, I was up and down. From the first chapter, I was hooked, but there were huge sections that were a bit slow. Starting from the first page, we learn that someone is very angry. The letter this person is reading has sent him into a rage. He starts to make a plan… I do not want to go into the plot, because that would ruin the story for you, but it is the story of a mother (Lisa) and her daughter (Ava) and what happens to their lives when secrets come out.

    This story is told using multiple points of view – Lisa, Ava, and Marilyn (Lisa’s best friend). This story focuses on Lisa and Ava, but includes chapters from Marilyn’s POV, which adds other detail to the story, it also shows us what others think about Lisa. This book is twisty and has a lot going on. For the most part, the reader is kept in the dark about what happened in Lisa’s past and who is behind the current troubles until the last quarter of the book. As I mentioned earlier, it was a slow build, then a rushed ending. It had a huge twist that surprised me, but not quite enough to make up for the slowness. I was a little disappointed in the ending, mainly because it felt too abrupt, but this was still a good psychological thriller. It was intense, suspicious, and twisted. There were unreliable narrators, a twisty plot, flawed characters, and a huge twist, in fact, more than one.

    I listened to this book and the narrator had the same voice for all the female characters. I had to keep checking back at the table of contents often to verify who was speaking, that might have added to the slowness of the story for me. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I had read this one. If you are a fan of domestic suspense/thriller, you will probably enjoy this book. One warning for the reader, there are some descriptions of abuse in this story, so it that is a trigger for you, be ready.
  • (2/5)
    This book dragged for me. I don't like the strategy of withholding information from the reader for the sake of "twists." I figured out most of the twists before getting to them. So much of this book was unbelievable and frustrating to read. It was too long and didn't go anywhere for a long time. I finished it just to get to the end with a hope for redemption. It wasn't there.
  • (2/5)
    For me, Sarah Pinborough's new book Cross Her Heart was just an ok book. The first part was very slow moving and it wasn't until I got halfway into it that the story started to become interesting. That was when the author started to give the reader some incite into the background of the characters. The ending was not as shocking as some of the reviews made it out to be.The story itself was interesting and I would recommend it to any one who wanted to read a mystery but if you're looking for a thriller this is not for you.
  • (2/5)
    Fortunately, some of the reviews of this book included spoilers that eliminated any need for me to waste any more of my time with this book. This is the second book I've read by this author. Since I don't like either her overwrought and clichéd writing style or her preposterous plotting, this will be my last experience with her. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
  • (4/5)
    This is the second of Sarah's books I've read, with the first being "Behind Her Eyes". Although this book didn't have as shocking of an ending, it was still a very well done thriller.
  • (3/5)
    Lisa lives a quiet life with her teenage daughter, Ava, but she's always on guard against her secret past. Of course, the past comes back in a most unexpected way. Antonia Beamish narrates the audiobook well and Pinborough builds a suspenseful tale but I had a hard time connecting to the characters and believing the motivation of the villain.
  • (4/5)
    Lisa and her daughter Ava are living quietly, as Lisa has a past that she would like to have kept in the past. She broke a promise and it haunts her. She works for a recruitment agency, maintains a low profile, doesn't trust anyone, but she has a good friend Marilyn at work who she feels that she can confide in, and she does.Ava, Lisa's daughter feels that her mum is overprotective, and she may very well be but she has her reasons. She is the typical, snarky, and feels that her mum is hiding something. Ava also having feelings for a boy and ends up having sex with him.Marilyn is one of those people that you just have to like, friendly, outgoing and a great friend. That is why Lisa is drawn to her. But looks can be deceiving, can't they? Her life is just too perfect.This story is told from different points of view, Him, Lisa, Ava, and Marilyn. Lisa makes reference to Daniel a lot, but we do find out who Daniel is and what makes him so important to the story. The story started out rather slow for me but it did get better as the story progressed. Lisa's younger life was not an easy one as we learn as the tale progresses. We learn of Lisa's past through flashbacks with all of the pieces coming together.I felt that the characters were well written if not flawed, the suspense slowly building until the unexpected ending. I love a good psychological thriller and this one did now disappoint. I also read Behind Her Eyes which is also one of those books that has you wanting more. I really enjoyed this book.
  • (5/5)
    If author Sarah Pinborough’s previous best-selling psychological thriller Behind Her Eyes was the inspiration for the #WTFThatEnding campaign, then her new novel, Cross Her Heart, should be the inspiration for the #WTFThatWholeBook campaign.Can the past ever stay in the past? No, and when it comes back, it comes back with a fury. Cross Her Heart is the story of three women: a single mom, her daughter, and her best friend. Lisa is a good person with a bad past. Ava is a rebellious teen, in a little over her head. Marilyn is a strong woman who seems to have it all together. They all have secrets. And faster than you can snap your fingers one of the secrets is out and their lives change – forever. Lisa’s past collides with Marilyn’s present, and everyone, including Ava, is put in a life-threatening situation. The illusion of control each of them had is broken.I felt like a pinball in a pinball machine while reading Cross Her Heart – bouncing all over the place, thinking I had figured something out, and then wham! Nope, wrong. Sarah Pinborough is one of the few authors where I am constantly talking to the book: OMG! Oh No! What??? And this rapid-fire, totally confusing, totally satisfying pace keeps up right until the very last page.Lisa is just a quiet, shy mom, Marilyn is her best friend who is always there for her, and Ava is just trying to grow up. You will love them and feel sorry for them, but there will also be times when you don’t like them. Lisa has been uneasy, thinking she is seeing things, that someone is watching. Something’s up with Marilyn but no clue what. Ava has a secret life going on, many layers of a secret life in fact. What is the significance of “Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die” and what’s this about a broken promise? Many things to keep you guessing – and guessing wrong.Sara Pinborough’s characters are well-developed and complex, and her phrasing is exquisite. Some samples from the ARC I read: “The dark soil of his mind.” “. . . hot tar glued to the lining of my stomach,” the words gave me chills. And who hasn’t felt like this: “The inside information comes later. Those talks are for the middle of the night, heads on pillows, faces only outlines in the darkness. That’s when people surrender their weapons to each other and hope they don’t end up stabbed in the night by them in the future.”Cross Her Heart is fast-paced and flows smoothly. So smoothly that when there was a big – no, giant - surprise I took a breath and relaxed, thought wow, what a story. And then I looked at my place in the book . . . half way through. What more could possibly happen? Trust me, lots more. Cross Her Heart will make you sad and angry and cringe and cry and want to turn away, but you won’t be able to put the book down. It’s amazing. I received an ARC of Cross Her Heart from the publisher. I was not required to write a review and all opinions are my own. I will read anything Sarah Pinborough writes.
  • (5/5)
    It’s just Lisa and her daughter Ava with no father in Ava’s life. They live a quiet life with a few friends. But Ava has a big secret she’s been keeping from her mom. And her mom has a few secrets of her own. Secrets that come to life after an accident makes Ava a hero and the publicity that comes with it is the last thing Lisa wants or needs. Suddenly Lisa has no one in her corner. Such a good book. Kept me guessing. Kept me intrigued. I was so emotionally invested in Charlotte and my heart ached forHighly recommend this book. It’s a quick read with suspense and emotion with some delicious twists and surprises. I am eager to read her previous book. Five stars!!
  • (2/5)
    This book really saddened me. I absolutely loved Behind Her Eyes and found the fact that I could not read that book fast enough. So, I was excited to jump right into this book. I was expecting the same intensity. Yet, it was apparent pretty early on that this book did not have the same magic as the prior novel. I found the characters uninteresting. Also, they kind of turned me off from the way that they acted. There was not great connection shared with the characters and me. Additionally, the story didn't have the "big twist" or suspense as I came to expect from the author. Readers of these types of books, can figure out how the story will end. Which, I was right. I am holding out hope that the next book from this author finds that "magic" again like Behind Her Eyes.
  • (4/5)
    I hated Behind Her Eyes by Pinborough. I mean, really despised it. (And I know I was in the minority with that one.) But I had this book in my queue of ARCs, and thought I'd give it a few chapters anyway. And finally, I found an interesting thriller without an unreliable, drunk, completely crazy woman as the narrator! Just when I thought I knew what the story was, it zigged. And just when I knew who the bad guy was, it zagged. This is a fun read, even though you will really need to suspend belief for a few of the reveals close to the end. But still, I found this to be a delightful, fast-paced thriller. Yay!

    (A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)
  • (2/5)
    Why do so many reviews give books high ratings because of their last couple/few chapters? Case in point: CROSS HER HEART.Just about all of CROSS HER HEART is figuring out secrets. Normally that’s OK in a mystery/thriller, which CROSS HER HEART is. But most of the secrets in this book are kept from the reader. I prefer to learn what is going on AS a main character does, not AFTER.Sarah Pinborough does have Marion, one of the characters in CROSS HER HEART, solve mysteries at pretty much the same time as the reader. But the main character, Lisa/Charlotte, is a mystery to the reader until the last several pages.Three quarters of CROSS HER HEART is frustrating, not thrilling . But that last quarter is not frustrating and is more thrilling than what comes before. That’s not good enough for a high rating.
  • (4/5)
    Oh, this book. Where to start? I honestly did not expect to be so addicted Cross Her Heart. My original plan was to start this, and then read it in between other books that I'm working on at the same time. Since, normally, Thriller/Mystery books take a little time to really get going. Well, scratch that idea. Sarah Pinborough's book is a slow burn sure, but one that just keeps you on your toes as every single turn. She expertly pulls you one way, then the other, never really allowing you to settle in. In short, I flew through this book. I'm really pleased about that.It's going to be rough to say a lot about this story, because I absolutely don't want to give anything away. The joy of discovery is half of the fun of reading this book. What I can say, is that Lisa's character is perfection. Both her and her daughter are fully fleshed out people who you'll slowly finding yourself falling in step with. Even Ava's teenage petulance made me smile. There's something wonderful about reading a story like this and feeling like the characters could be your next door neighbors. In the case of a story like this, there's always something vaguely ominous about it too.When I say that twists abound, I'm really not kidding. Cross Her Heart has a steady pace that just grabs you by the hand and tugs you along, never letting go. Even when you stop in your tracks because of what's around the next corner, it just pulls you along. I so appreciated the fact that nothing in this story felt forced. Every action, every plot point, felt expertly laid out. I felt like I was being told a real story which, like I mentioned above, added to the unease I felt while reading this book. I thought I knew where Sarah Pinborough was taking me. I was so wrong.If you're looking for a very well written, very quick moving Thriller this is your next read.
  • (2/5)
    This book begins with dangerous secrets lurk beneath normally peaceful facades. Lisa's past has required a change of identity, her daughter, Ava, is secretly exchanging passionate emails with an unknown "him," and Lisa's best friend and co-worker, Marilyn, leads a private life of abuse and terror that belies the public perception. When Lisa's past becomes explosive media news, Ava mysteriously disappears and Marilyn feels betrayed while her home situation escalates.I had previously read Behind Her Eyes, which required a suspension of disbelief that I couldn't muster. I had the same reaction to this novel, which held my interest throughout the first half, but then became repetitious and illogical. I admit to skimming to the end, which was consistent with the second half.
  • (4/5)
    Lisa lives a quiet life with her daughter Ava. Things seem ok until Ava saves a young boys life and their photos appear in the paper. The worst happens and Lisa's past catches up with her.I read Behind Her Eyes last year and it was one of my favourite reads of the year. What BHE had was that ending which I never saw coming. This book I enjoyed but not as much as BHE.This story is told before and after and from the point of views of Lisa, Ava and Marilyn who is Lisa's friend. The story is very engrossing, with me wanting to know what is going to happen next and what happened before.The story however does not have an ending to blow me away like BHE. I was expecting one, a mighty big twist but it didn't happen. The story does have a twist and I didn't guess which is a good thing but the ending was a little predictable.When all is revealed who 'it' is I found that a bit unbelievable. Saying anymore will spoil but when you read it you will see what I mean.The story overall was good and their was certainly enough to keep me entertained but it just didn't quite have that final wow factor.
  • (5/5)
    She’s an incredible author!!! So many twists and turns. A good listen as well, narrator was great!
  • (4/5)
    I went into this book blind. I didn’t know what it was supposed to be about. I just kept hearing it was a good book. Though I did consider a few different people as the ‘bad guy’, I wasn’t completely sure. The person who was revealed, I did briefly wonder if it was them but thought no way, because of the age difference.
    It seemed like everyone had their own secrets to hide. And I am actually still wondering about a few of the characters. I kind of felt like I was left hanging.
    I enjoyed how the book ended as well. This book was well written and fast paced.
  • (4/5)
    Starting at 12:01 on Saturday morning and finished by 7pm Sunday night, CROSS HER HEART consumed almost my entire weekend. A fast paced thriller with so many twists and turns, I can honestly say that I did not guess how it would end. I love when that happens!

    There are so many reviews out already, I'm not sure what I can add to what's already been said, but here we go. Lisa loves her daughter Ava so much, but is suffocating her by being so over-protective. Now that Ava is 16, she's chomping at the bit to get on with her life and for her mom to back off. Ava is an excellent swimmer and on the swim team at school. When a young boy falls into the water at a community fair, Ava doesn't hesitate to jump in and save him, and as a result, both her and her mom's pictures are plastered all over the local papers. This sets in motion a series of events that will change their lives forever. How do their lives change due to these pictures? You'll have to read this to find out!

    This is only my second Sarah Pinborough novel, but I'm happy to know there are several older books for me to catch up with. Her writing style appeals to me because of the pacing, the depth of the characters and her ability to change the direction of the story on a dime. A dime, I say! I was rooting for Lisa and Ava to pull through. I was rooting for Lisa's best friend Marilyn too. With bad guys you can easily hate and protagonists that are easy to love, Sarah Pinborough has gained a reader for life.

    Highly recommended for fans of mystery, suspense and thrillers!

    *I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
  • (4/5)
    This is a quick-read suspense novel with lots of twists and turns. It's told in multiple POVs and it's difficult to figure out what the real truth is until the very end. I enjoyed the book despite the fact that I didn't really like several of the main characters.Lisa lives with her daughter Ava. Ava is a typical teenager - loving to her mom sometimes and critical of her every move at other times. We find out right from the beginning that Lisa is hiding a secret not just from her daughter but also from her best friend Marilyn. Marilyn is a great best friend for Lisa - she is supportive and helpful but Marilyn also has a secret that she is keeping from Lisa. To round out the trio, Ava has a secret that she is keeping from her mom -- an older man who is texting her and who (in her teenage mind) she is falling in love with. Despite all of the secrets, these three women appear to be living a normal life with normal problems until Ava saves a little boy from downing and her picture along with her mom appears on the front page of the newspaper. Once people are aware of who Lisa really is, all hell breaks loose and the thrilling part of the story goes into high gear.This is a fun book to read - not too deep with characters who are not totally believable in their transformations but still interesting to read about. The last 25% of the book is where all of the action is so it was worth it to continue reading.
  • (2/5)
    What a convoluted mess! Every time there was a big reveal, my reaction was "ho hum." I felt no connection to any of the characters, and nearly all of them were extremely annoying. I couldn't have cared less what happened to any of them.
  • (2/5)
    After “Behind Her Eyes” (which I absolutely LOVED) I was excited to read Sarah Pinborough’s newest book. Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations.There are lots of secrets being kept, lies told to friends and family, abusive situations, people not being whom they appear to be, and lots of trust issues. The ending was suspenseful but that wasn’t enough. The story just was not at all realistic to me. Simon just “happens to suddenly reveal a tiny bit of his background - how convenient. And Marilyn’s interactions with Simon were too contrived. I found myself just reading the words, having no interest or emotional reaction to the story. And I will be happy to never see the word “shite” again. (Someone should count how many times that word is used.)Thank you to HarperCollins and Edelweiss for the electronic galley.