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To Dare by Jemma Wayne

Published : July 1st 2020

Publisher : Legend Press

Format : Kindle, Audio,Paperback

Genre. : Thriller


Veronica and her wealthy husband George are unpacking boxes, hoping a fresh start in their newly refurbished Victorian terrace will help them heal from a recent trauma.

Next door, Simone returns to her neglected council flat. Miserable and trapped, she struggles to take care of her children under the watch of her controlling husband Terry.

When childhood friend Sarah re-enters Veronica’s life, things are thrown even further off balance. As tensions in their own lives rise, the painful memory that binds them threatens to spill into their present.

Three lives collide in this story of family, inequality and revenge.

Thank you so much to Legend Press and Jemma Wayne for this review copy. I literally couldn't put this one down!

My Review

This book has got Thriller of the year written all over it! Gripping, addictive, extremely realistic and thought compelling, this story has it all.

The story is told over three different narratives, Veronica, Simone and Sarah.

Veronica has just moved into her new home with her hubby George. The pair seem to have it all, looks, money and to top it off a beautifully restored victorian house in Primrose, a picture perfect part of London that has quaint unique shops and picturesque streets. But not everything is as rosy as it seems, this is a fresh start for Veronica and George. After losing their last miscarriage they decided to start fresh in a new home away from the what could have been in their old house.

They used to be so in tune with each other but now its scheduled sex when Veronica is ovulating and unspoken grief that neither share.

Aside from all that they both have high hopes for this new start, that is until the first night in they are woken by the neighbours, distressing noises of a woman being thrown about, banging, a crying baby and endless music...

Simone lives with her husband Terry her son and their little baby girl. Terry likes to drink, take drugs and teach Simone a lesson when she steps out of line. She knows he doesn't mean it, he just gets so riled up because he loves them so much.

When Simone sees the new neighbours move in next door she cant help but watch their care free attitude and obvious love for each other. Terry doesn't like them and did not exactly hide how he felt when he showed her his feelings on the first night they moved in, she had to stay in the house to hide the bruises for a few days after...

Sarah is Veronicas old school friend, she unexpectedly reunites with Veronica when she realised she is her daughters new teacher. Sarah becomes instantly irritated and on her guard, Veronica keeps on talking about the good old days, but that is not how Sarah remembers them and she is still suffering to this day thanks to her old childhood friend...

This Story weaves the lives of three very different women all together so seamlessly that you find yourself relating to each and every one of them in one way or another.

Told in such a way that it feels so realistic, the characters are utterly brilliant and the plot is one of those that you really struggle to put down.

A very poignant and compelling read, I would recommend this to absolutely everyone.

Why I Loved It

I loved all the characters in this book, especially Simone, she was by far my favourite, even though I could have screamed at her on occasion to not be so blind where her choice of man was concerned. Veronica I had very mixed feelings about. One minute I felt sorry for her, the next I was disgusted at how manipulative she was being. She was very much the villain, yet she wasn't at the same time. And For some reason I didn't really like Sarah, i'm not sure why.

The entire book is Very cleverly written and a must read for this summer. If you love a good thriller that has you hanging on with every page you read then this is the one for you.




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Meet the author

Jemma Wayne is the author of three novels: After Before, Chains of Sand, and To Dare. She has been long listed for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for both The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize and the Waverton Good Read Award.

Jemma’s journalism has appeared in The Spectator, National Geographic, The Huffington Post, The Evening Standard, The Independent on Sunday, Red Magazine, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jewish News, among others.

For younger readers, Jemma co-authored the short novel Gita: The Battle of the Worlds, with Sonal Sachdev Patel. It was published first in India in 2018, and since in the UK, USA and Brazil.

For stage, her play Negative Space, co-written with Rachel Sternberg and directed by Tom Hunsinger, ran at The New End Theatre, Hampstead, in 2009 to critical acclaim.

Born to an American musician father and English mother, Jemma grew up in Hertfordshire and lives in North London.


Connect with Jemma




Books by this author

After Before

Chains Of Sand

Claire's Similar reads

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?

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