Valentina by S. E. Lynes book review


Valentina written by S E Lynes, publisher Blackbird Digital Books is available in ebook and paperback format from Friday 1st July 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.

But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane…

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.

She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?

As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears…
cottage in the woods scotland

I’d like to thank Blackbird Digital Books for an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.  I’d also like to thank them for encouraging me to open my eyes to a different reading genre.  My preferred genres are women’s contemporary fiction and romcoms so opening up an intelligent, psychological thriller is a whole new group of words for me to dive into.

This story however, was more than a psychological thriller, it was a play with relationships and personalities.

Shona is a journalist for the local rag in Glasgow when she meets Mikey, a University Graduate in Engineering, a whirlwind romance blossoms.  With the unexpected news of Shona’s pregnancy Mikey lands himself a ‘proper job’ working for an oil company offshore off the coast of Aberdeen.  Mikey moves his girlfriend Shona and their 4 month old baby girl Isla to an idyllic cottage in the Aberdeenshire countryside.  Life is looking rosy for the young couple; new baby, new home, new job.

Mikey’s job takes him away two weeks out of every four and Shona is soon feeling very isolated in this little cottage with just her baby daughter to keep her company.  Until one day she bumps into another young mum, Valentina, a striking red head with so much charm and confidence it was difficult not to enjoy her company.  Valentina and her son Zak’s appearance in Shona and Isla’s lives was perfect timing.  Shone and Valentina hit it off straight away, it was as if they had been made for each other.

However, small cracks started to appear in Shona and Valentina’s friendship and Shona was soon doubting herself and panic and paranoia sets in.  Shona was still very vulnerable with her new life in the country and didn’t want to upset her friendship with Valentina so any concerns she had she kept to herself for fear of losing the only friend she felt she could confide in.

The unease from her friendship with Valentina starts spilling over into her love life with Mikey.  Shona starts going out of her mind with different scenarios running through her head.  She doesn’t know who or what to believe anymore.

The story takes lots of twists and turns that keep you gripped and guessing to the very end.  To read a book in a genre I don’t normally read and to be gripped by the complexities of the characters and storyline is the sign of a great author.  A very promising start to a debut author’s career.  I’m so pleased I stepped out of my comfort zone … 5/5*

To find out more about S. E. Lynes and her writing please visit the following links:


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