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The Ultimate Betrayal

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  2,319 ratings  ·  191 reviews
A marriage in crisis. . .

"I never meant to do it...she was just there when I needed someone..."

Rachel and Daniel had three adorable children and a strong marriage-or so Rachel had always believed.

But her happy life was shattered when she was told that Daniel had been having an affair. Then she realized that they'd been growing apart for years.

Rachel wanted so much to save
Hardcover, Large Print, 286 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Thorndike Press (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,319 ratings  ·  191 reviews

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Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
I had no business reading this, but I did anyway.
Because IDIOT.
So for that reason, it wouldn't be fair to rate it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: not Dina for sure!
I've read many books where the hero has cheated in the past and the story begins several years later (present day), but this is the first book where the affair is "fresh" so to speak. Daniel & Rachel have been married for 7 years and have 3 small children. While Rachel is home totally content with her role as loving wife and mother, Daniel, a corporate whiz kid, is rapidly rising to the top of the food chain. However, buying and selling businesses is a nerve-wracking, cut-throat profession. So, ...more
Re-read October 6, 2018. After reading the less than convincing The Fourth Child by CJ Carmichael, I decided to re-read a five star story to see how it compared. Wow. There are lot of similarities, but this H/h were much more likable characters.

The scene that resonated with me on this re-read was the hero accepting the news, at 24, that he had gotten his 17 year-old girlfriend pregnant. He took her on his lap and said they would get married. The heroine, in hindsight, now thinks that she trapped
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I have no idea what I think about this book. :/

I was very relived that the hero(view spoiler) but all the things he did do with her- really bugged me! I mean, all of his was the worst emotional cheating ever! And when I stopped to think about his decisions as a whole? I wanted to puke all over him.
Seeing as how he had the perfect wife at home and loved her to bits I had no idea how he could even need emotional balance from somebody
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
4 ★'s

Okay, I had two reasons that piqued my interest in this book.'s from the 1990's and I was curious as to how it would hold up compared to today's romance novels and secondly, betrayal = a whole lotta angst! 'Nuff said! ;)

What was intriguing about this book is that it starts with Rachel just finding out from her best friend that her husband, Daniel, has been having an affair. Rachel's barely been able to keep her head above water with three small children so while she's noticed t
Paige  Bookdragon


cue Sam Smith's I'm Not The Only One in the background

Okay, before I proceed to the proper review, let me just say that Sam Smith's song is not really the proper song for this book. The only thing the song and the book has in common was the "guy cheating at his wife" part. Though the story behind the lyrics is different than the story in the book, it still made my cry.

What will you do if your partner cheated on you?


I rarely read books with married couples because I know something fucked up will
Michelle Reid is one of my favorite HP authors. She knows how to bring some genuine emotion even when working with very common tropes, but this story was different in that it was less tropey and more realistic in scope. There was no private island, no amnesia, no blackmail, etc.

This story isn't my usual taste. I waffled on reading it and tbqh it won't be a re-read for me simply because it's not my cuppa and not a "fun" sort of angst. But, I have to give credit to Reid for her ability to bring th
Updating my review from 2013, Rating stays the same!

I had a hard time rating this book/ from one hand the reader is emotionally and mentally shattered and at the same time demands the reader to face those emotions and suck you right there in the battle like you have witnessed it on your own skin which for that deserves 4 stars, hence on the other hand it wants you to hate the book and all that you have been forced to read to leave you with a bad taste and unfulfilled satisfaction.

I think the her
The best aspect of this story was the author's choice to not give the protagonists a quick and easy resolution after the heroine's discovery of the hero's infidelity. Instead, it took Rachel and Daniel many months to find a new beginning. Rachel slowly came to realize, with prodding from Daniel, how she needed to forgive him if they hoped to save their marriage. It was a totally realistic progression with Rachel expressing some serious doubts and Daniel expressing remorse.

What I didn't like as m
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I don't even know how to rate this. As I finished this the Ashley Madison hack is making headlines. I just can not understand the fascination with unfaithful heroes. Are there unfaithful heroines in the category romance world? Whenever I read these stories I marvel at the underlying sexism and double standards involved. A woman who behaves the way these so called "heroes" behave are the awful evil other women. I think the men who behave this way should get the same treatment.

Rachel, the heroine
Apr 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
I have no idea why ppl are saying this book is about a cheating hero. He clearly states he never touched the other woman. Heroine on the other hand kissed the other man and to me kissing is also cheating so it is the heroine who is the cheater here not the hero. Still this couple is messed up. Couldn't warm up to them. ...more
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Rachel and Daniel have been married for 7 years and have 3 wonderful children when Rachel's 'Best Friend' tells her that Daniel has been sleeping around with another woman.

When confronted, Daniel doesn't deny it and Rachel is devastated. Daniel insists that it is over and wants to make the marriage work. Rachel feels very vulnerable and unattractive and feels almost as if she has been kept in a prison for seven years.

Rachel tries to move out the previous suffocation confines of her marriage, whi
Nikki ღ Navareus
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Jess the Romanceaholic
Holy cannoli was this a good book!

It's a bit dated (obviously set in the 90's as the fashions will attest lol), but other than that, wow.

I don't normally intentionally read books involving infidelity, but I'm so glad I picked this one up.

It's very realistic -- all the bitterness and anger and hurt and resentment are illustrated beautifully -- from Rachel being angry with herself for letting them grow apart to her inability to climax during sex because whenever she gets close, she remembers/thin
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I hate cheating stories and despise cheating hero/heroine so you can imagine well my trepidation in reading this book. I remember first seeing this few years back but because of obvious reason i skipped it eventhough it got nice reviews and stars.
But yesterday after reading my fellow goodreaders review i couldn’t forget this book.And this time I couldn’t resist it eventhough I commented on that review i was going to skip it. AGAIN!
But.. I am so glad I decided against it!( eventhough it took me h
Penny Watson
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-hps
It was a breath of fresh air to read a Harly that felt like it was describing a real-life marriage. No Italian billionaires in sight. Just a young harried mother trying to get a shower, a workaholic husband, and a crisis of faith in a marriage.

Some thoughts:

I thought the 17 year old girl with the 24-year-old guy was a bit creepy. That's sort of...yeah...creepy. But not atypical for a vintage Harly (1996). It matters less as they grow older, but that was a bit jarring for me.

Michelle Reid is such
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I randomly picked this book. It was boring, and then later it's revealed the male protagonist didn't actually cheat with the other girl. it was a misunderstanding.

What's the point of the story then? it starts with cheating, right? That was the plot, right? The female protagonist was utterly naive. This book is a waste of time.
Infidelity never works for me and i mean that in an id-rather-suffer-than-forgive condemning kind of way; wheter it be thought or deed. So i was a bit biased in rating this- Most of the time when this kind of things happens; i always feel like the hero never grovels enough.

I guess there is that ugly me inside that is really good at holding grudge.

The entire book is like a documentary on the relationship between a man and woman concerning infedelity. Documentary because it was realistic. THe wh
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've put off reading this forever (though I've read almost all of Michelle Reid's other books) because I knew based on the synopsis it would be a total angst-fest and I was never quite in the mood for it. Total angst-fest is pretty much how I'd describe it after reading it too. Not my favorite of hers because the emotional upswing of the ending just didn't make up for the emotional downer-ness of the majority of it. It might be a more realistic portrayal, but honestly I don't want massive amount ...more
Apr 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book takes a more realistic view of the problems that come about when one spouse cheats. Rachel finds out her husband of seven years and the father of her three children has been having an affair. She's devastated and realizes that while he's been moving forward this whole time, she's been the wife/mother and hasn't changed at all.

She doesn't know where she's going, if she's leaving him or anything about her life. The problems they faced were presented realistically including the trouble wi
I don't know why I picked this one up. I think it was the great reviews. I was intrigued even though I hate reading about cheaters. Yet I find myself looking for a book where the cheater actually grovels enough to redeem themselves. I think in this book, that happens and their marriage is actually much better afterwards. Weird and hard to believe. But that was how I felt by the end. Anyways, it was good to have a good cry, lol!
Rachel leads him a merry dance before things get better. I thought th
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hqn
WOW! What a wonderful read from Michelle Reid. She is an incredible author that pulls you in right from the first page. I was hesitant to pick it up due to the content, but it came highly recommended by the ladies who chat on the HQN discussion group. They did not disappoint! This a story of betrayal, how it destroys the most sacred bonds of commitment and how difficult it really is to ever trust again. There for awhile, I actually thought these two were never going to make it back to each other ...more
Eva Harlowe
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lydia's Romance
5 Stars

Marriage in Trouble
Second Chance Romance

Reread December 2020
LOOOOOVE this one. I was afraid it wouldn't work out for me the second time around, but I was wrong. It was better.

Original Review:
I wish I could come up with a less cliché word, but seriously, WOW. What an amazing treasure find. I was badly craving something old-school, a Harlequin-style romance. A couple of Goodreads friends rated this one 5 Stars. It was supposed to be full of angst—my favorite!—and about a marriage in troub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I was afraid to pick it because of the unfaithful hero and I hated him till the very end , though I was able to believe that he regrets his actions , I could not like him, during their first confrontation he was so damn arrogant , I wanted to slap him with my shoes right in his face . But his character grew over the book and so did hers .

This book is worth reading just to read h's monologues , You will feel her pain , that was a extraordinary piece of raw emotions .
Just re~read for the fifth time, so a five star. Some books resonate more with some readers and become an all time fave . This is one for me. He behaves like an asshat but he gets his comeuppance. Sigh, makes me so happy 😋
H was cheater(even if he did not do the ultimate deed as he claimed) and accepted it. That's the acceptance and struggling to redeem himself made the difference. Anyway the book was soo fabulous, I'm happy to jump on my red line (cheater Hs) and read it. Thanks booge! ...more
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Hi, my name is Michelle Reid and I’ve been writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon for the last twenty years, and the crazy part about it is that I only realised it had been twenty years while updating this page!

So, hang on for a minute while I take this huge milestone in....

Twenty years with almost forty books published or in the pipeline ... I know it isn’t a great average when compared with some aut

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