According to Goodreads I began Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes on July 7th, and I only finished it just last week. This book suffered from my frenetic reading style. One week I was really into this book, then something else caught my attention the next. I picked it up for 20-30 pages, then put it aside for days and, clearly, sometimes weeks. In the last two weeks I finally committed to this book because I wanted to know how it ended. If I had to characterize this book I would call it: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle ON steroids! If you haven't seen the movie look it up, read the book, and then you'll get what I'm talking about.
After years of heartache, Claudia Morgan-Brown has it all. A handsome husband, James, twins boys, Oscar and Noah, and a successful career as a social worker. What more could Claudia want? A baby to call her own. She loves the boys like her own and she has raised them since they were infants, but they are James' children from his first marriage. Multiple miscarriages before and after marrying James, have left a hole in Claudia's heart. But now that hole is finally going to be filled, Claudia is due to give birth to a baby girl in just another month or two. She finally has it all, or so it seems! James is a naval officer on a submarine, and is about to ship off for a long mission. Claudia will soon be alone with two toddlers and a newborn. That can't happen. Claudia hires the mysterious Zoe as her nanny. Zoe comes along at just the right time, but there is something off about her. What is it? Claudia isn't quite sure, but it might cost her everything, including her life, to find out!
Intrigued? You know there is more to the story! Keep reading!
A recent crime spree has left the women in the area frightened. Several violent attacks on pregnant women, including one murder, has left everyone on edge. The detectives assigned to the case, Lorraine and Adam, are baffled. Are these isolated incidents? Or are they connected?
Reading the book, I thought it's way too obvious for the killer to be Zoe. Although she is clearly hiding something about her past, I never believed the killer was Zoe. My mindset from the beginning was that she was a red herring. All of the hints at Zoe being the killer were heavy-handed. In one chapter, the author led me to believe that Zoe wanted a baby of her own. But then the next chapter, Zoe's motives for being in Claudia's life were totally different. Who the real killer was I just didn't get until the final 80 pages. I'm not saying Zoe is the culprit and I'm not saying she isn't, but looking back I realize the clues were there the whole time.
This was a good book, but it wasn't without flaws. The secondary storyline of Lorraine and Adam's crumbling marriage and home life, in my opinion, was just unnecessary. Adam cheated on Lorraine, their eldest daughter wants to drop out of high school, and both of them seem to ignore their youngest daughter. Adam's cheating ties back to the overall storyline, but the book could have still worked without it. Their lives outside the police station served more as a distraction than adding depth to the story. The pacing and flow of the story was a little uneven for me because of this secondary story. I wanted to get back to reading about Claudia and Zoe, but I had to weed through the family drama. Overall, I really liked the book and would read another one by Samantha Hayes!
Rating: Give it a try
Note: I received a copy from Penguin Random House's Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.