The Perfect Girlfriend by Hayley Smith

Published: July 20, 2023


Genre: Domestic Thriller

Pages: 332

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Hayley Smith is married with three children and lives in Derbyshire, UK. She has worked as a graphic designer, youth worker and musician, and has been involved for many years in organising music festivals and gigs. Having a penchant for all things alternative, she often dips into the counter-culture scene for writing inspiration, producing quirky rough-edged characters and dark, unpredictable twists, turns and moral dilemmas.

He loves me. He trusts me. He shouldn’t.

Jay and I have only known each other a short while, but whenever I gaze into his deep green eyes I tell him he’s the one. His little house by the deep forest’s edge is perfect for the two of us – there’s no internet, no phone signal, and no neighbours. I’m about as far from my past as I could be. No one knows where we are, and I need to keep it that way.

He wants me to stay here where he can keep me safe from the outside world. I don’t question him, I won’t challenge him. I have him exactly where I want him. He has to think I’m the perfect girlfriend, far better than the one before. Because I know what he did.

All I have to do now is play my part and bide my time. So I tell myself Jay doesn’t have a clue who I really am. I’ve been so careful. Haven’t I?

“They are hiding something from me and I won’t be satisfied until I find out what it is.”

Lauren is looking to start over. To leave all of the grief and heartache behind her. And when she sees a handsome stranger at a music festival, she knows she has found her chance. Jay is attractive and kind and brings Lauren home to his secluded cottage. There, they start slowly renovating things, and Lauren learns to be self-sufficient. And then the secrets start coming out.

The way this story is written and the way things unravel is so clever. The twists were beautifully executed. For a debut thriller, this one stands on its own.

I loved the originality of the plot, and I loved the complicated simplicity of the storyline. I liked Lauren. She was searching for something, and she found it. Jay was a complex character, and I spent more time disliking him than liking him.

The way the story goes full circle was so well choreographed. The details matter so much, and it was fascinating to have everything come together.

I am looking forward to reading more of Hayley Smith’s work. I think she has a long career ahead of her!

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