THE REESE WITHERSPOON X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB PICK AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"One of the most twisted and entertaining plots."Reese Witherspoon
"Whiplash-inducing."New York Times Book Review
"Such fun you'll cheer [Emily's] chutzpah."PEOPLE
"This thriller will hit close to home."Refinery29
The most twisty, addictive and gripping debut thriller you'll read this year.
HE LOVES YOU: Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.
BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.
AND SHE'LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.
The Other Woman will have you questioning her on every page, in Sandie Jones' chilling psychological suspense about a man, his new girlfriend, and the mother who will not let him go.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.40(d)|
About the Author
SANDIE JONES has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.
Read an Excerpt
There weren't many things that I didn't like about Adam when I first saw him across the crowded bar at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, aside from his lack of empathy. I'd just come out of an incredibly dull "Future of Recruitment" conference and needed a drink far more than he or the barman realized.
I'd been standing at the bar for what felt like an eternity, theatrically waving a battered ten-pound note in the air, when, just along from me, a dark-haired man muscled his way to the front, holding a credit card. "Yep. Over here, mate," he said in a booming voice.
"Er, excuse me," I said, a little louder than I intended. "I think you'll find I was here first."
He shrugged and smiled. "Sorry, but I've been waiting ages."
I stood and watched openmouthed as he and the barman shared a knowing tip of the head, and without him even saying a word, a bottle of Peroni was put in front of him.
Unbelievable, I mouthed, as he looked over at me. He smiled that smile again, and turned to the throng of men beside him to take their orders.
"You've got to be kidding me," I groaned, before letting my head drop into my arms while I waited. I was sure that it would be an inordinate amount of time until my turn.
"What can I get you?" asked the man behind the bar. "The guy over there reckons you're a rosé kind of girl, but I'm going to bet you're after a gin and tonic."
I smiled despite myself. "As much as I'd like to prove him wrong, I'm afraid to say a glass of rosé would be perfect, please."
I went to hand him the tenner as he placed the glass in front of me, but he shook his head. "No need," he said. "Please accept it with the compliments of the gentleman who jumped the queue."
I didn't know who I loved more: the bartender who, in my opinion, ought to be elevated to chief sommelier, or the really rather nice fellow smiling down the bar at me. Oh, the power of a chilled pink blush.
My face flushed the same color, as I held the glass up to him and headed over to where my seminar colleagues were gathered in a corner, each nursing their own alcoholic preference. We'd been strangers up until seven hours ago, so it seemed that the general consensus was to get your own drink and not worry about everybody else.
Mr. Peroni obviously doesn't have the same arrangement with his own acquaintances, I thought, smiling to myself as I looked up and saw that he had continued to order his round.
I took a sip of wine and could hear my taste buds thanking me as the cold liquid teased them before hitting the back of my throat. What is it with that first taste that can never be replicated? I sometimes find myself postponing that initial swig for fear of losing that sensation.
I'm making myself sound like a raging alcoholic, but I only ever drink on weekends, and on mind-numbingly tedious Wednesdays after being holed up with two hundred HR personnel for the day. We'd been helpfully informed during a lecture entitled "Nobody Likes Us. We Don't Care" that a recent survey had revealed that recruitment consultants were fast becoming the most disliked professionals, second only to real estate agents. I wish I could defy the haters and prove that we weren't all morally lacking, unethical deal makers. But as I looked around at the brash, loud, would-be City boys with their slicked-back hair and insincere expressions, I had to hold my hands up in defeat.
Despite having introduced myself in the "forum" earlier in the day, I felt I had to do it again as I approached the baying mob.
"Hi, I'm Emily," I said awkwardly to the guy in the outermost circle. He wasn't someone I was particularly interested in talking to, but talk I had to, if I wanted to finish my glass of wine without looking like a complete Norman nomates. "I'm a consultant at Faulkner's," I went on.
I offered my hand and he took it, shaking it brusquely in a slightly territorial fashion. This is my manor and you're on my turf, was the message he conveyed, even though we'd spent the entire day learning how to do the exact opposite.
"Be open. Be approachable," Speaker No. 2 had stated earlier. "Employers and employees want to deal with a friendly face. They need to feel that they can trust you. That you are working for them, not the other way around. Deal with your clients on their terms, not on yours, even if it does put a dent in your pride. So, read each situation individually and react accordingly."
I'd always prided myself on doing exactly that, hence why I'd been the top consultant at Faulkner's seven months in a row. In person, I was the antithesis of what people expected since I was honest, considerate, and blasé about target-chasing. As long as I had enough to pay my rent, eat, and heat, I was happy. On paper, however, I was smashing it. Clients were requesting to deal exclusively with me, and I'd secured more new business than anyone else across the five-office network. Commissions were flooding in. Perhaps I should have been the one standing on that podium, telling them how it's done.
The man, from an obscure agency in Leigh-onSea, made a half-hearted attempt at pulling me into the throng. No one introduced themselves, preferring instead to eye me up and down as if seeing a woman for the first time. One of them even shook his head from side to side and let out a slow whistle. I looked at him with disdain, before realizing it was Ivor, the bald, overweight director of a one-office concern in Balham, whom I'd had the misfortune of partnering with in the role-play exercise just before lunch. His breath had smelled of last night's curry, which I'd imagined he'd scoffed impatiently from a silver-foil container on his lap.
"Sell me this pen," he'd barked, during our how-to-sell-snow-to-an-Eskimo task. A cloud of stale turmeric permeated the air, and I wrinkled my nose in distaste. I'd taken a very normal-looking Bic Biro from him and had begun to relay its redeeming qualities: the superior plastic case, the smooth nib, the flow of the ink. I'd wondered, not for the first time, what the point was in all this. My boss, Nathan, insisted that these conferences were good for us: that they kept us on our toes.
If he was hoping that I'd be motivated and captivated by new and exciting ways to do business, he'd booked the wrong day. And I'd certainly been paired with the wrong man.
I'd continued to enthuse about the pen's attributes, but as I'd looked up, Ivor's eyes hadn't even been attempting to look at the tool in my hand, preferring instead to fixate on the hint of cleavage beyond.
"Ahem," I'd coughed, in an attempt to bring his attention back to the task at hand, but he'd merely smiled, as if relishing in his own fantasy. I'd instinctively pulled my blouse together, regretting the decision to wear anything other than a polo neck.
His beady little eyes were still on me now. "It's Emma, isn't it?" he said, stepping forward. I looked down at the name badge secured to my left bosom, just to check for myself.
"Em-i-ly," I said, as if speaking to a toddler. "It's Em-i-ly."
"Emma, Emily, it's all the same."
"It's not really, no."
"We were paired up this morning," he said proudly to the other men in the group. "We had a good time, didn't we, Em?"
I'm sure I felt my skin crawl.
"It's Em-i-ly, not Em," I said, exasperated. "And I didn't think we worked particularly well together at all."
"Oh, come on," he said, looking around, his face betraying the confidence in his voice. "We were a good team. You must have felt it." I stared emptily back at him. There were no words of recourse, and even if there were I wouldn't have wasted my breath. I shook my head as the rest of the group looked awkwardly to the floor. No doubt as soon as I turned on my heels they'd be patting him on the back for a job well done.
I took myself and my half-drunk wine to the space at the end of the crowded bar. I'd only been there two minutes before I realized that the reason no one else was standing there was because, every few seconds, I was getting hit in the back by a bony elbow or shouldered out of the way by the waitstaff, as they busily collected drinks and returned glasses. "This is our area," barked a young girl, her face all pinched and pointed. "Keep it clear."
"Please," I said under my breath, but she was far too important to stand still long enough to hear it. Still, I edged up a little to remove myself from "her area" and rummaged around in my bag for my phone. I only had three more sips, or one big gulp, of wine left. Four minutes max and I'd be on my way.
I surreptitiously ran through my emails, in the hope that (a) I wouldn't be bothered by anybody and (b) it'd look like I was waiting for someone. I wondered what we'd done before mobiles and their far-reaching information trails. Would I be standing here perusing the Financial Times or, better yet, feel inclined to strike up a conversation with someone who might prove to be interesting? Either way, I'd most definitely be better informed as a result, so why, then, did I log on to Twitter to see what Kim Kardashian was up to?
I groaned inwardly as I heard someone shout, "Emily, fancy another drink?" Really? Did he not get the hint? I looked over at Ivor, but he was engrossed in conversation. I had a furtive glance around, embarrassed to know that the person who had said it would be watching my confusion. My eyes fleetingly settled on Mr. Peroni, who was grinning broadly, revealing straight white teeth. I smiled to myself as I remembered Mum's erstwhile advice. "It's all in the teeth, Emily," she'd said after she met my last boyfriend, Tom. "You can always trust a man with nice teeth." Yeah — and look how that turned out.
I put more importance on whether someone's smile reaches their eyes, and this guy's, I noticed, definitely did. I mentally undressed him, without even realizing I was doing it, and registered that his dark suit, white shirt, and slightly loosened tie were hanging from a well-built body. I imagined his wide shoulders sitting above a strong back that descended into a narrower waist. Triangular-shaped. Or maybe not. It's difficult to tell what a suit is disguising; it could be hiding a multitude of sins. But I hoped I was right.
Heat rose up my neck as he stared intently at me, his hand pushing his hair to one side. I offered a watery smile, before turning my head a full 360 degrees, looking for the voice.
"Is that a yes or no?" it said again, a little closer now. Mr. Peroni had maneuvered himself so that he was now my next-door neighbor but one. What an odd expression that is, I thought, oblivious to the fact that he was now standing right beside me. Can you also have a next-door neighbor but two, and three? I wondered.
"How many have you had?" He laughed as I continued to look at him blankly, though not without acknowledging that he was taller when he was close up.
"I'm sorry, I thought I heard someone call my name," I replied.
"I'm Adam," he offered.
"Oh. Emily," I said, thrusting out my hand, which had instantly become clammy. "I'm Emily."
"I know, it's written in rather large letters across your chest."
I looked down and felt myself flush. "Aha, so much for playing hard to get, eh?"
He tilted his head to one side, a naughty twinkle in his eye. "Who said we were playing?"
I had no idea whether we were or weren't. Flirting had never been my strong suit. I wouldn't know where to start, so if it was a game he was after, he was playing on his own.
"So, what's the deal with the name badge?" Mr. Peroni, aka Adam, asked, as coquettishly as a man can.
"I'm a member of an elite conference," I said, far more boldly than I felt.
"Is that so?" He smiled.
I nodded. "I'll have you know I'm the cream of the crop in my industry. One of the highe-stranking performers in the field."
"Wow." He smirked. "So, you're part of the Toilet Roll Sellers seminar? I saw the board for it when I walked in."
I suppressed a smile. "Actually, it's a secret meeting of MI5 agents," I whispered, looking around conspiratorially.
"And that's why they wrote your name all over your chest, is it? To make sure nobody finds out who you are."
I tried to keep a straight face, but the corners of my mouth were curling upward. "This is my undercover name," I said, tapping the cheap plastic. "My conference pseudonym."
"I see, Agent Emily," he said, rolling up his sleeve and talking into his watch. "So, is the gentleman at three o'clock also an agent?" He waited for me to catch up, but I didn't even know which way to look. I was twisting myself in every direction, haplessly trying to find three o'clock on my internal compass. He laughed as he caught hold of my shoulders and turned me to face Ivor, who was gesticulating wildly to a male colleague, while looking longingly at a female dressed in tight leather trousers behind him. She was happily unaware that his eyes were drinking her in. I shuddered involuntarily.
"Negative," I replied, one hand to my ear. "He is neither an agent nor a gentleman."
Adam laughed, as I warmed to the theme. "Can we class him as the enemy?"
"Affirmative. Take him down if you wish."
He squinted, in an effort to read the perpetrator's name badge. "Ivor?" he questioned.
"Ivor Biggun?" He looked at me, waiting for a reaction. It took me a while, a long while, in fact, to get it, but until I did, he just stood there, staring at me.CHAPTER 2
I wasn't looking for a boyfriend. I hadn't even known I'd wanted one until Adam showed up. Pippa, my flatmate, and I were blissfully content going to work, coming home, having our tea on trays, then gorging ourselves on chocolate while watching back-to-back episodes of Prison Break. It was heaven on earth for those few short hours, but the next morning I'd get on the scales and damn my nine pounds of winter weight gain. It was the same every year — and not helped by the fact that I never went to the gym that I paid seventy-two pounds a month for. I could no longer fit into the size-twelve jeans I'd worn the year before, but instead of buying myself a size fourteen, I'd scoured the shops to find a more generous size-twelve pair that I could pour myself into. I'd spent the entire summer "in denial," and was still kidding myself that the promised Indian summer would be sure to see my motivation return.
I would go out every once in a while, particularly around payday, but nights out weren't what they used to be. Maybe it was because I was getting older, or everyone else was getting younger, but I saw little benefit in standing in a crowded pub and having to elbow my way to the bar every time I wanted a drink. Pippa'd dragged me kicking and screaming to a few gigs, though not, unfortunately, at the O2 Arena. She favored underground caverns, where bands, most of whom she seemed to have slept with, thrashed about the stage and encouraged their audience to do the same. I was the one standing alone at the back, with hidden earphones blasting out Musical Theater's Greatest Hits.
Thank God for Seb, my best friend and a male version of me. I'd have married him years ago if I thought there was a single hair on his body that I could have turned straight, but, alas, I had to make do with evenings locked in a soundproof karaoke booth, each of us competing for the best lines in Les Misérables. We met during what he referred to as my "hairdressing period." Discontented with secretarial work, I'd booked myself on a night course for hair and beauty. Obviously, I had visions of becoming a female Vidal Sassoon, with a trendy salon in the middle of Mayfair and celebrity clients having to book months in advance. Instead, I spent three months sweeping up other people's hair and developing eczema on my hands from the caustic shampoo. I used to have these half-baked ideas and rush off to start making them happen, but I was forever deluded by grandeur. Like the time I enrolled on a homemaking course at my local college. It was never my intention to learn how to make a pretty cushion or spend hours rubbing five layers of eggshell off an old chest of drawers. No, I was going to bypass all the graft and groundwork that learning a new skill entailed. I was heading straight for New York, where I would be immediately commissioned to design a vast loft space for Chandler from Friends. Needless to say, the cushion never got finished and all the wallpaper samples and fabric swatches I'd acquired never saw the light of day again.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Other Woman"
Copyright © 2018 Sandra Sargent.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Other Woman by Sandie Jones is completely unbelievable. It is a psychological thriller. These characters that you will love to hate. Itvis fast paced and twisty turny. Emily believes she has found the perfect man in Adam. Pammie is his mother. They are so close that it is creepy. She is down right devious and manipulative. Pammie will stop at nothing to end Adam and Emily's relationship. And Adam is blinded by the love he has for his mother. This is a must read! It is fast paced, twisty and has an ending you won't see coming!
You wont regret this novel. You wont guess the plot so so good
This one will keep your attention! Don't start to read this on a work night, as you probably will stay up to read it!
This book started out great! I simply could not turn the pages fast enough, but by page 220 it became harder and harder to read. Are women THAT desperate to keep a man? A man that puts his mother firdt and refuses to see the hurt she's causing the woman he supposedly loves? And then treats said woman like crap after she gives birth to his child? And she's no better with her lack of backbone and total lack of self confidence! I'm an avid reader and NEVER not finish a book, but this one is getting harder and harder to read. I seriously doubt anybody has ever known people like wifey, hubby, and his dear beloved "Mum"
Excellent debut novel. The storyline kept you in suspense through the whole book. Looking forward to another book from this author.
Couldn’t put it down. Read it in a day.
This book caught my attention from the first page. I kept reading one more page, because I wanted to find out what happened next. Things started happening right away and the pace kept the story moving. The twists and turns take the reader on quite a ride, waiting to see what Pammie would do next. I felt for Emily and Adam thought the story, and the surprise ending was great. I really enjoyed this book!
Loved the story, but hated the ending! I didn't find it plausible. I found the main character frustrating as she was so weak and compliant to the point of being unbelievable. I did enjoy the story for a campy read.
This book keeps you on your toes with many twist and turns. For an ending that blew me away!
I have to agree that this novel was addictive. For once I started it, there was no turning back and I couldn’t get this novel out of my head. My emotions swayed as the events played out and I started to think they were all crazy. Who would stay in such a crazy, mixed-up situation and put up with all this drama? Was the prize actually worth it in the end? Emily had a successful career but her love life was nonexistent. After work one night, she meets an easy-going guy at the bar and this is the beginning of their relationship. Throughout the novel, I wondered why she continued her relationship with Adam as the drama intensified and her frustration mounted. I felt Emily had a lot going for her before she met Adam: friends, family, career, and money. Was it so important for her to have a guy, especially Adam? I began to make a mental list as I read, shaking my head and yelling at her, “Why this guy Emily?” “Get out! Run, Emily, run, open your eyes.” I thought perhaps she stayed with Adam because of what happened with her last boyfriend, perhaps it was his easygoing mannerism, perhaps she felt attracted to him or it could even have been her desire to win as events started to heat up around them. Me, I would have walked away. Emily found a reason that she wanted Adam, and she was willing to stand by his side. Prammie, Adam’s mother got under my skin. I wondered why she treated Emily the way she did. Did Prammie know something no one else knew? Or was it just Prammie? Was Emily paranoid? My head was spinning with questions as I read. There needed to be a third party examining this situation but everyone seemed to be bias. As other characters were introduced into the mix, I read how they fit into the picture and things started to fan out but I just couldn’t put my finger on what was really happening. I love a novel that can get me riled up and I end up hollering at the characters. Prammie got me riled up good in this novel, I wanted to lock her up! I was glad the Emily had some great friends to lean on because she needed someone. I enjoyed putting the pieces of this novel together.
The main character couldn’t be less likable she never wins us over or warrants anyone rooting for her. Just an insipid woman. End could’ve been a fun twist but was just completely ridiculous.
This makes my family look normal!! Just kidding but I am very thankful that I liked and got along with my mother in law before her passing! Poor Emily, she just doesn't know what she is getting into with this family. Can love be stronger than the "other woman"? She is about to find out. When Emily meets Adam it seems that things are great and love is blooming until secrets from Adam's family starts cropping up, and the family will hide it at any cost! The characters were charming but I will admit that I got frustrated with Emily! There were times when I was like "OMG do this!! or Do That!!" but overall the MC was a tinge weak, but to be honest I would be too not really understanding what I was dealing with! What a great page turner, the ending I wasn't expecting at all!
This book was boring and predictable.
I won this book for an honest review. This was a fast paced book. When Emily finds Adam and falls for him she could not be happier but when she finally meets his mother Pammie things aren't the same. She cannot believe how much Pammie does not like her and the things she does and says. Adam doesn't seem to see anything so how can Emily not look deranged when she tells him how horrible his mother is to her. Very good!
This book starts off hard to read as you wonder why a mother in law would be so terrible to her future daughter in law! It was almost disgusting at some points because it seemed absolutely ridiculous for a normal person to go through so much trouble to prevent her son from marrying a perfectly normal character. The middle drags a bit as the story outline the son's mother's attempts to terrorize them. When I got to the ending though I definitely thought it was satisfying. That being said, I had predicted the ending 3/4 of the way through because there are only a few reasons a "normal" person would go to such lengths and the ending was one of them. It was a fun read but definitely not my favorite one of 2018.
3.5 Stars This was a bit of an odd book for me, mainly because you just know from the first page onwards that you are being sold a pup. You are constantly aware in the back of your mind that Emily is misdirecting the reader and that she knows she is doing it - this is flagged up by constant asides of along the lines of "this is what I thought then". For me it would have perhaps worked better as a straightforward timeline so the reader felt they were watching things unfold as they happened rather than Emily's recollection of events. It also didn't help that Pammie is so unremittingly awful and Adam so loathe to see it that it is obvious where the twist lies and before you are halfway through you have a pretty good idea what the twist will be. The characterisation throughout the book is surprisingly solid and I did find myself wanting things to work out well for Emily. I was also quite concerned about Pammie as some of the extremes she goes to were scary and did seem to bring Karma down on her head (if you believe in that kind of thing). As a book about relationships it does work surprisingly well and not all in Emily and Adam's garden is rosy - even without the inimitable Pammie in the equation - this is not really explored to any great degree but the notes are there in Emily's exasperation with certain behaviours (mainly relating to the Rugby Club and "boys will be boys"). The plot is quite good but I felt that it was all handled with rather too much of a heavy hand. Pammie's actions are not subtle and I find it hard to believe that nobody else could see what was happening, only Emily. If the people around her are so disconnected from reality then she needs some major help. The writing was actually pretty good and kept the tale moving on nicely from one shocking set piece to another and the final twist reveal at the end was handled in wonderfully dramatic way. To be honest, the end of the book was my favourite bit as it was delicious in it's over-the-topness. I did enjoy the book but don't feel it really fulfils the hyperbole around it; there were no shocking twists and it is not really a thriller. It is a good read though and you don;t come out of it feeling like you wasted your time reading it.
This book was a stressful read. Emily, the main character made so many immature and terrible decisions it was tough to read at times. She was a trainwreck and needed to get a backbone. Not very likable characters either. The ending was a surprise though.
Overall easy and great read. Some parts dragged on. But multiple plot twists!
Very immature. She needs to read some of the big guns novels. Example: Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, Kat Martin, or Catherine Anderson. All Americans of course! NLR
Emily thinks she’s found the perfect man in Adam. The only thing wrong is his controlling mother, Pamela, or Pammie as she prefers to be called. Every time she sees Adam, she rushes to hug him and starts in belittling Emily. Pammie fakes having cancer and Emily catches her in her lie. She accuses Emily of making a play for Adam’s brother James. Emily loves Adam but realizes she will have to put up with Pammie because Adam won’t have Emily saying anything negative about his mother. The book has an unexpected twist at the end that will catch you by surprise.
Page Turner. Couldn't put it down!
Librarian: This feels like the kind of book that will be popular with the mystery/suspense/psychological thriller crowd. Fans of books like Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, etc. should enjoy this one. It feels like the type of book that will become the focus of book clubs, so stock up on multiple copies. Reader: Another day, another psychological novel, with a slightly unstable, not totally reliable female narrator and a (not particularly logical)"twist" ending. I'm honestly getting kind of sick of this book. It's starting to feel like writers aren't allowed to have any other type of protagonist. And well I love having an ending that surprises me, it would be nice if the end felt even slightly logical. This one doesn't. Instead it just feels like an attempt to be trending. I will be VERY glad when this trend ends.