Only Ever Her

Only Ever Her

by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen


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It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503903890
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 05/07/2019
Pages: 298
Sales rank: 59,234
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True, and five previous novels. She speaks to women’s groups around the United States and is the cofounder of the popular women’s fiction site She Reads ( Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for twenty-seven years and are the parents of six children. Marybeth divides her time between the suburbs of Charlotte, North Carolina, and the coastline of Sunset Beach, North Carolina. You can find her at

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Only Ever Her 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
LlamaJen 5 days ago
I enjoyed the book but wasn't really a fan of the characters and would give it 3.5 stars. The problem being I never felt I really got to know them. Each character had so much more to their story, especially Faye and Clary. Annie ended up being my least favorite and she happened to be the main character. The whole book revolved around her disappearance right before her wedding. Even the book centered around Annie, the story was about all the people in her her life. Annie seemed like an awful friend and used people. Kenny would have done anything for her and was a great friend. I felt like Annie would do anything just to get away from the small town where she lived. I kept wanting to find out what really happened to Annie's mom. It wasn't revealed until the end and felt so rushed. The scenes with the doves were some of my favorite parts. I absolutely loved the cover of the book. I recommend the book and look forward to reading more by the author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Angela Houston 8 days ago
If you are looking for a mystery with rotating perspective, this is a great one for you! If you are a fan of "Mother-In-Law" by Sally Hepworth, "Only Ever Her" by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is sure to be another that tops your list of enjoyed reads. Thanks to NetGalley for sending me this ARC in exchange for my honest review. Annie Taft is the apple of her small South Carolinian town’s eye. Her wedding is the most talked about event of the season. But her upcoming nuptials aren’t the first time Annie’s name has been prevalent in the rumor mill that is the town of Ludlow. That all started with the murder of her mother, Lydia, when she was a child. And the event still holds sway over the entire community, making Annie the focus of much attention for all of her life. Annie is looking forward to moving away with her soon-to-be hubster Scott Hanson and escaping from her both the nightmares of her childhood and the frivolities of adulthood. She just sees one thing standing in her way... The man who was convicted for her mother’s murder might not be guilty at all. While Annie’s first concern is the truth surrounding Cordell Lewis, she’s well aware that the memory of the town may in fact be longer than her own—and there are some who are not as concerned with discovering the truth. A solved crime reflects a safe town; unsolved, it casts the unwelcome shadow of the past. Laurel Haines, a reporter at the town’s local newspaper, the Ludlow Ledger, is a Gilmore Girl of her own right. Raised by a prominent family, grasping at the dream of a journalist’s Pulitzer-winning lifestyle, she’s desperate to prove herself and to rise up to the story that the suspect circumstances surrounding the Taft family is revealing. But the story she’s given isn’t the one she’s expecting. Because Annie Taft has mysteriously disappeared four days before her wedding. Faye, Annie’s legal guardian and aunt and beloved sister of her deceased mother, is sick and tired of Annie’s sporadic and unexplained disappearances over the years. But when the disappearance stretches uncomfortably with no word from the bride, Faye begins to fear that this is no longer a young woman’s foolish and inconsiderate desire to be alone. What has happened to the niece she promised to care for? The town begins its search for Annie, every soul seeking to find her. Some seek to find her for their own sense of safety. Some seek her out of love. Some seek her to prove their love. Secrets will be unearthed...and not all of them Annie's. Marybeth Mayhew Whalen has an incredible ability to create characters that yearn to tell their own stories. Each character is so different. I appreciate that each chapter is dedicated to only one's viewpoint. Some are likable...some aren't. Faye and a few of the townsfolk that frequent her hair salon remind me very much of Truvy Jones and her friends from Steel Magnolias. I've already mentioned that Laurel Haines has a very Rory Gilmore kind of feel (without all the poor decisions—sorry, Rory, it's true). But I will say that Kenny, Annie's best friend, was a frustrating character for me. The ending was succinct (if not a little anticlimactic), and I find myself placing this novel on the "to recommend" shelf with a 4 out of 5 rating.
5669317 9 days ago
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley for my honest opinion. I really enjoyed this mystery. It was light and a quick read and perfect as the weather is starting to warm up to enjoy as a nice evening read. I liked how there were several characters who's stories we learned throughout the book. I feel like maybe the book could have been a bit longer and the characters could have been developed somewhat more. It wrapped up neatly which isn't my favorite in a mystery book but the conclusion surprised me and I thought was unconventional.
MichG 10 days ago
Where do you go when it all becomes too much? For Annie Taft, she returns to the site of her worst memory. She's getting married in a week, has decided to stop seeing her high school best friend and the man who was put away for killing her mother, on her testimony, may have been innocent. After reading the blurb and the first few chapters I was intrigued. There seemed to be a lot of potential in the storyline. Between the imminent release of the man convicted for her mother's murder and her disappearance, I was convinced that the story would be enthralling. Unfortunately, it was not to be and I soon found myself hurrying to finish the book rather than enjoying what I was reading. The style of the narrative was an issue almost from the start. I found it to be difficult to read and often had to reread in order to understand what was being said. The multiple main characters that the book included was also off-putting to an extent. as was the number of affairs that the book seemed to include. In most books affairs seem to be the exception but in Only Ever Her, affairs seem to be the norm. There were also a number of continuation issues which made me question my own understanding of previous events and had me jumping back chapters to see if I had missed something. The book did have some high points despite my disappointment. I thoroughly enjoyed the character of Clary and learning about her past made her present that much more intriguing. I also enjoyed how the main characters (numerous as they may be) were all actors, whether supporting or extras, in each other's stories. A sentiment that was shared by Clary during the story. While I am unlikely to recommend this book actively, I do feel that it is a book that can be picked up as a light read if one were to start it with the expectations that were not as high as mine.
Samantha1020 11 days ago
Oh wow - this book was so much more than I expected it to be! I went into reading this one expecting a suspenseful read based off of the above summary. And this was a suspenseful read - don't get me wrong there. But it was also so much more and because of that I have a feeling that this one will stick with me for awhile. I don't think that it's too much of a spoiler to say that as the reader we get to meet Annie before she goes missing. I thought that because we got to see her beforehand that it made everything that went after that much more potent. I found myself so immersed in these characters and their lives. The good and the bad, the secrets, the every day details - these things brought each of these characters to life for me and made me care for them. I rooted for them every step of the way. I really liked the way that this book was set up. It was told from the viewpoints of multiple characters and each chapter was from one of the characters viewpoints. Setting the book up this way really helped me as the reader to get to know each of the characters and get inside their heads. I think it is one of the main reasons that I was able to connect to so many of them so easily. Okay so fair warning for slightly spoiler-ey talk here for a few minutes. I finished this one in between innings at my son's baseball game and let me tell you what - it was the perfect ending even if it wasn't the one I had been hoping for. Also, finishing it between innings allowed me to reflect on the ending in a way that I might not have otherwise. It was both heartbreaking and hopeful. Isn't that a sign of a great book? I sure thought so! I'm really looking forward to seeing what other readers thought of this one now! Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and am looking forward to reading more by this author. It was a bit different than my usual mystery and thriller fare but I enjoyed this book all the more because of it. I definitely need more books like this in my reading life! It felt good to stretch my reading a bit and reminded me that I need to do this more often. On an entirely different note here - how gorgeous is this cover? I love it! I would recommend this book to fans of suspense but also to anyone who enjoys a good character driven novel. I obviously can't say enough good things about it but that is the mark of a good book. Highly recommended! Bottom Line: A book with characters that came to life for me - and a book that I won't be forgetting about anytime soon! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour. Thoughts are my own.
AnnieMcDonnell 13 days ago
I kept waiting for the juice! The thrill! The moment I was going to turn the page and the excitement was going to begin, but it never came! I’m not even sure what genre this book would fit into nicely. I was expecting a suspense, thriller novel and what I got was a story about a town and all the happenings going on within its society. Sure, there was an old crime. Now there is a missing girl that was about to be married. The whole town is upset. They are all looking for her, but there are 500 things going on in the background. There is not much going on about the supposed crime. Old or new. It all boiled down to reading a bunch of pages about people I never quite cared much about. I cared most about Annie; the missing girl. Her character was super interesting! I spent the entire book waiting to find out what happened to her. Suspecting every single character in the book of foul play; and there are many that we meet! It was always about “Only Ever Her” for me, the rest was just noise. I would like to thank the publishers for send me an ARC of this novel via NetGalley.
JBronder 14 days ago
Annie Taft is the small town celebrity. She is found as a child wandering the town of Ludlow, her mother having been murdered. Because of this everyone in town has helped her grown up to be a beautiful woman. She is about to be married in the wedding of the century when a couple days before she disappears. This coincides with the release of Cordell Lewis, the man sentenced for murdering Annie’s mother. At first Annie’s aunt Faye and cousin Clary think it’s just because of Cordell’s release. But as the days go on they start thinking that something may seriously be wrong. This story is more about the connections between the characters than the thriller that I thought it was going to be. Although we start the story from Annie’s point of view after she disappears we bounce around several people that had me disoriented. There was almost too much happening that kept me from really getting into the story. This is not a bad story, just not one that I could really get into. But then again I’m thinking of a thriller not a contemporary story. It’s definitely one to check out. Just because it wasn’t my thing doesn’t mean that someone else won’t just love the story. I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
MeganLeprich 15 days ago
Thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing and Little Bird Publicity for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I honestly had a really hard time getting into this novel. A lot of characters were thrown at me in the beginning and I had a hard time keeping straight who was who. I felt no connection to this book and honestly would have DNFed it if I wasn’t honestly a little curious about the outcome. Annie Taft’s wedding is soon approaching and it’s speculated to be the wedding of the year if not the wedding of the century. Her Aunt Faye is happy for her but can’t help think about Annie moving away after the wedding. Annie is like a daughter to her as she took her in when she was 3-years-old after her mother was murdered and Annie helped convict the killer. Now all these years later the killer is claiming innocence and Annie now isn’t so sure he was guilty. Then Annie goes missing days before her wedding, right after the man who killed her mother is released. To me it seemed like the book wasn’t really about searching for the missing bride, it was more about all these different characters living in a small town and all of their individual problems. Like I said above I had a hard time keeping up with the characters when every other chapter switches between their POVs. I thought this book was supposed to be about the suspense surrounding finding the missing bride but really it’s about everyones story while they’re searching for Annie. I wound’t have minded that if the characters had been more interesting and compelling but all of them fell short and were honestly a little annoying to me. Having never read anything by the author and after reading this book, I honestly don’t think I really want to explore her other novels.
JamieS 15 days ago
Thank you Net Galley for the ebook Arc in exchange for an honest review. Annie is going to be married in four days. The whole town is excited. When she was little her mother was murdered and she was found wandering around alone. The town immediately became caught up in her story and she became the town sweetheart. When she goes missing right before the wedding everyone is desperate to find her and the list of suspects keeps changing. At times I felt it was a bit slow but it keep me wanting to come back to see how Annie’s story will end. The ending was not exactly as I thought it would turn out. Second book I’ve read by this author and look forward to more!!
CharlotteLynnsReviews 15 days ago
3.5 Stars The story is one that’s been heard before. A bride disappears before her wedding. The difference is this bride has a history of disappearing for a few days at a time and always reappearing like no time had passed. Everyone in this story is holding their breath hoping that this is was the case this time too. As I kept reading I could tell that there was going to be more to this story than a bride with cold feet. I liked that there were many characters telling the story. I found it easy to tell who was telling their tale and to see how life was affecting them. Their thoughts on Annie’s disappearance, the way the police and the town was handling the investigation, and what they thought of Annie was not always the same for each person. It was interesting to see how their points of view could be different for the same happenings. I am a fan of Marybeth Mayhew Whalen and was excited when I heard she had a new book coming out. This isn’t my favorite but it is a great addition to my collection of books by authors I look forward to.
Shelley-S-Reviewer 15 days ago
2.5 Stars I liked the premise of the book but the execution failed. Sadly for me, the book felt a bit drawn out. I could not connect or feel much for the characters, there were just way too many of them. It took me three days to finish this book, and that is a long time for me. I didn't like Annie or any of the other one-dimensional characters in the book. The characters are sort of ambiguous in that you're not really sure if you are supposed to like them or not. The prose was fine to read - nothing particularly good or bad, though maybe a little repetitive at times. I just felt the book was so-so. This one just didn't do it for me.
marongm8 15 days ago
All I have to say is OMG WOW!! I usually do not get so wound up when a book takes an unexpected turn but WOW! After reading this book, I literally felt my heart beat so fast that a huge adrenaline rush came through me. From beginning to end you have a picture of how the story will turn out and then when you thought you had the story down, a huge dramatic twist takes effect and then it leaves you dumbfounded and breathless that you do not know what came of you. I know a lot of our patrons will enjoy this book and I can not wait to tell them about it. We will consider adding this title to our Fiction section at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Ms-Hurst 15 days ago
This one just sort of meandered around until it just ended. There was no suspense and the stories begun never came together is a satisfying way. I was expecting more action, more to happen. Instead we jump from one thin character to another. None fleshed out and none feeling reliable.