Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Cross Her Heart

Rate this book
Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn, but when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go. Then her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see. Lisa's world explodes, and she finds everything she has built threatened. Not knowing whom she can trust, it's up to her to face her past to save what she holds dear.

341 pages, Hardcover

First published May 17, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Sarah Pinborough

88 books6,153 followers
Sarah Pinborough is a New York Times bestselling and Sunday Times Number one and Internationally bestselling author who is published in over 30 territories worldwide. Having published more than 25 novels across various genres, her recent books include Behind Her Eyes, now a smash hit Netflix limited series, Dead To Her, now in development with Amazon Studios, and 13 Minutes and The Death House in development with Compelling Pictures. Sarah lives in the historic town of Stony Stratford, the home of the Cock and Bull story, with her dog Ted. Her next novel, Insomnia, is out in 2022. You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @sarahpinborough.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,072 (20%)
4 stars
7,828 (39%)
3 stars
5,879 (29%)
2 stars
1,684 (8%)
1 star
345 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,546 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews169k followers
February 8, 2019
I read this for a bookish video experiment which will HOPEFULLY be on my channel soon. I honestly don't know what to fully think of this book. I haven't read many mystery thrillers, but this one seemed kind of all over the place. There was also something in this that was SO UNREALISTIC. It's like ????? y'all really didn't question this certain thing that was happening??
Profile Image for Deanna .
664 reviews12.4k followers
September 9, 2018
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

“Cross Her Heart” was my first read from, Sarah Pinborough and I really enjoyed it.

The first chapter pulled me right in. Someone is very angry. The letter this person is reading has sent him into a rage. He starts to make a plan…

He wants to destroy her.

Lisa is a mother in her thirties who likes her quiet life. She’s devoted to her sixteen-year-old daughter, Ava. Ava loves her mother but feels that she is way too over-protective. Ava has started keeping secrets. One special secret in particular. She won't even tell her friends this secret.

It’s something just for her….

Lisa knows her daughter deserves privacy but she just wants to keep her safe and protect her. She has to protect her…because she knows “how terrible it can be out there.” Lately, Lisa has been feeling like something isn’t right. Little things keep throwing her off. A picture is misplaced, a familiar song on the radio. She’s not sure if she’s being paranoid, but it’s making her even more nervous than usual.

Marilyn is Lisa's best friend. They met at work and have been close ever since. Marilyn is also very attached to Lisa's daughter. So when Lisa and Ava need her help, she will do whatever she can. But will her own situation get in the way?

Lisa, Ava, and Marilyn are very different but the one thing they do have in common is that they are all keeping secrets…some bigger than the others. And when some of the secrets start to come out, things start to unravel. Unfortunately, there's much more to come.

I really enjoyed this novel. I liked the alternating perspectives and the short chapters that were broken into Before, Now, and After. I really thought I knew where the story was headed. Although I was right about a few things, some of the twists really threw me for a loop. I could easily have read this in one sitting if life hadn't gotten in my way. However, I picked up this book whenever I found a free minute, and as I neared the ending, sleep was the last thing on my mind. I was up reading until I finished the last page.

“Cross Her Heart” was an addictive, intense, and entertaining domestic suspense novel. A story about secrets and lies and how sometimes no matter how hard you try to hide things, in the end, they always seem to find a way to come out.

Sarah Pinborough sure knows how to tell an interesting story. I’m really looking forward to reading more from this talented author.

I'd like to thank HarperCollins for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,605 reviews24.8k followers
March 23, 2018
Sarah Pinborough has huge numbers of fans of her twisted psychological thrillers and I am sure most of them will love her latest book too. I have to admit to being less than enamoured with Behind Her Eyes and I hoped that was just a blip and that I would like this more. I cannot deny the author provides us with well written, skilful and intricately plotted storylines, with unexpected twists. Her characters are suitably unreliable and flawed, often unlikeable. The story here is delivered from the perspectives of single mother Lisa with a past, Ava, her hormonal self involved teenage daughter obsessed with sex, and Marilyn, Lisa's friend from work, who gets Lisa out of tight corners and helps with her problems. All withhold secrets from each other and have issues when it comes to trust. It is a fast paced novel with plenty of twists, but somehow it left me cold whilst appreciating what others might like about it. I just wished I could engage more deeply with this thriller, but it was not to be. However, I am sure most people will love this novel. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.
Profile Image for Miriam Smith (A Mother’s Musings).
1,522 reviews158 followers
June 13, 2018
Having adored "Behind Her Eyes" and totally enjoying the wacky ending it had, I was very much looking forward to reading Sarah Pinborough's latest offering "Cross Her Heart".
Although the storyline or ending to this one wasn't anywhere near as crazy, I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it to be a brilliantly written psychological thriller. The author had each of the character's dialogue tone perfect, switching between an angst teenager to a worried and concerned mother seamlessly. The quick alternating chapters in the timeline were very easy to follow and kept the story addictive and immensely entertaining and I particularly loved how a following chapter would explain the previous. I liked all the characters, I thought Marilyn was just fantastic and the possible romantic interest between Simon Manning and Lisa kept me intrigued. I did suss out where the story was leading but it certainly did not detract me from enjoying the ride, it was very satisfying to read how it all came to a conclusion and the flashbacks to Lisa and Katie's childhood were riveting.
I can't wait for future offerings from Sarah Pinborough, she's such a talented and highly imaginative writer and I'd happily recommend "Cross Her Heart" it was hugely enjoyable, fun to read and kept me anxiously turning the pages till the tense end.

5 stars
Profile Image for Debra .
2,291 reviews35k followers
April 25, 2018
3.5 stars

Lisa is a single mother raising her sixteen-year-old daughter, Ava, without any help. She mainly keeps to herself but does have a friend from work named Marilyn. Both women like to keep to themselves and both have secrets. Ava also has secrets. She is a member of the swim team and is trying to be more independent. She has friends, a boyfriend and someone she has been chatting to through Facebook. Someone no one knows about.....

Lisa has lived in fear for a long time and is constantly looking over her shoulder. As secrets become known, the danger and suspense mounts...

Secrets, lies, betrayal, deception are all themes of this book. All the characters have secrets in this book. Some of their secrets are straightforward i.e. Ava is chatting with a mysterious person on Facebook. Other secrets take their time to be revealed. Some secrets have been buried deep and will slowly become known over the course of the book.

I found that this book started slowly for me, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. She had to set the stage and slowly unravel her plot. It did take some time, but I found that time to be worth it. If this starts slowly for you, my advice is to stick with it. As the secrets begin to be revealed the book picks up and doesn't stop. This is well written and although slow to start, ended nicely and did not disappoint. I did not love this as much as I did her other book, "Behind her Eyes" but this one is enjoyable.

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss and William Morrow in exchange for an honest review.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com
Profile Image for Hannah Greendale.
703 reviews3,279 followers
June 4, 2018
Forced, redundant, and apathetic. Slow to start and a spiraling mess by the end. Cross Her Heart is an unsurprising thriller whose superficial narrative hinges on information withheld from the reader and characters with flimsy motives.
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
814 reviews1,869 followers
September 30, 2018
Last year's Behind Her Eyes (2018) was one of my top reads.  I really enjoy Pinborough's writing style and was beyond excited to read her newest. While this one has many of my favorite suspense elements ~ an unreliable narrator, a twisty plot, and a bunch of flawed characters (some I liked/others not so much), it never seemed to completely capture my interest. I found myself wondering if the final twist was going to "win" me over. You can be sure there are some shocker twists.

It is a fast read with plenty of surprises ( you may need to suspend belief a bit).  There is also a fair amount of disturbing content that I didn't feel contributed to the plot. It is well written with a plot that slowly builds as secrets are revealed. Perhaps some added eye rolling as well.

I'm not going into the plot, better to go in blind or read the blurb. I'm sure there will be many fans of this one. I do look forward to this very talented author's next novel.

Fans of domestic suspense with strong female characters and family secrets may really enjoy this one!

Thanks to the publisher for my advanced copy to review in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,294 reviews2,963 followers
July 9, 2018
I really enjoyed reading this book and practically raced through it. Lisa is a single mom and she seems to be overly protective of her teenage daughter. She probably is hiding a secret or two. That's all you really need to know other than this falls in the mystery/thriller genre.

The back cover states "You won't see it coming" and that is a lot of hype to live up to and unfortunately there are some elements of the story that are predictable. I'm left with the same feeling I had when I finished The Girl on the Train and The Woman in the Window which is my overall opinion of the books is positive but it was disappointing to figure out which direction the author was going before the end. Now there are some aspects of this book that are surprising and that is one reason why out of those three books I enjoyed this one the most. The plot really does grab ahold of you and makes you want to keep reading but just be prepared as it just doesn't quite reach the level of perfect mystery/thriller. I still recommend if you are a fan of the genre. Just a forewarning though there is some graphic and disturbing content.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
Want to read
June 30, 2018
I have such a tremendous love for Pinborough's writing--here's hoping the streak continues with this one!

*Huge thanks to Edelweiss for providing an advanced reader's copy, for which I will leave an honest and fair review*
Profile Image for Dan.
794 reviews80 followers
February 26, 2023
Another stellar novel from Sarah P.

She writes the twists and turns of suspenseful thrillers like no other author out there.

The pacing is excellent and the story is compelling. The reader is constantly wondering how reliable of a narrator Lisa is, and the ending is extremely satisfying.

It is emotional and gives cause for introspection.

Brilliant, engaging, and a five-star read since that is the maximum. One of the most clever authors I have ever read. This book does not disappoint.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
October 21, 2018
2.75 Stars* (rounded up)

Secrets & Lies: They do not become us.

Lisa’s past haunted her for years. She has done her best to keep it hidden but if anyone else finds out, her life could come crashing down in an instant. Ava is a teenager who feels stifled by her mother Lisa and she can’t help but want to have a life of her own. Each has secrets from the other. Secrets that could tear their little family apart.

Unfortunately, “Cross Her Heart” by Sarah Pinsborough didn’t quite work for me as I found the premise to be somewhat far-fetched. That said, I enjoyed the first half of the novel more than the second half and liked the character of Ava and wished she was featured more in the second half. Having read and liked Ms. Pinsborough’s prior novel, “Behind Her Eyes” I look forward to her next read.

This was another buddy read with Kaceey!

Thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins and William Morrow, Sarah Pinborough for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on Goodreads and Edelweiss on 10.21.18.

Profile Image for JanB .
1,146 reviews2,522 followers
December 13, 2018
2.5 stars

Lisa is the stereotypical helicopter parent. A single mother to 15 year old Ava, she spends most of her waking moments worrying about her daughter. Ava naturally bristles against her mother’s hovering. Lisa is a bundle of nerves but she has her best friend Marilyn who helps her maintain a bit of balance in her life.
The story alternates chapters with  Lisa, Marilyn, and Ava as the narrators. The reader knows something has happened in Lisa’s past but we have no clue what it might be. We eventually become aware it’s not just Lisa who is harboring secrets but Ava and Marilyn have secrets of their own.  Events unfold that brings these secrets to light and threatens the life Lisa has fashioned for herself and her daughter. 
This was a terrific set-up that kept me interested and invested throughout the first half of the book. After a slow build-up the twists came fast and furious toward the end. There were red herrings galore and I was led down a path that proved to be wrong more than once. Kudos to the author for surprising me. 
I was glad the ending wasn’t as far-fetched as last year’s Behind Her Eyes but it still didn’t quite work for me and I was left disappointed and confused. My opinion is that with psychological thrillers less is more, and for me this was just too much and too far out of left field.  Things need to make sense for me and this one didn't.
I enjoy Pinborough's writing, it's her endings I struggle with. I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next. 

Thanks to my best reading buddy Marialyce for reading this with me. We both came to the same conclusion at the end, but our discussions made the experience  so much more enjoyable 😊
Profile Image for Linda.
1,228 reviews1,282 followers
September 28, 2018

Let's talk about this one, shall we?

Reading Sarah Pinborough is like delving into fine wines that should come with a warning label. It may or may not be your vintage. It may or may not swirl just right in your glass. And the bouquet may intrude upon your delicate palate.

We are introduced to Lisa, a single mother of sixteen year old Ava. Although having a full-time job with some highly unusual co-workers, Lisa spends almost every breathing moment worrying about her daughter and checking in on her nonstop. Even in the beginning chapters, we as readers come to find that Lisa has some deep dark secrets that have settled in the bottom of that wine bottle. As the cork is slowly removed by Pinborough, much comes to light in the way of long held secrets by Lisa's best friend, Marilyn, and the very elusive lifestyle of her daughter.

Pinborough sets up her chapters in a revolving door manner. Chapters are entitled Lisa, Marilyn, and Ava. The storyline unfolds with each character slowly revealing nuggets of their past and present life. There are cross sections here in which Pinborough's characters speak in such a manner that the reader feels like they have entered into a room in mid sentence. Chunks are held back until the ending chapters. If you are the impatient type, you may not want to tread water here. But there definitely is a pay-off at the end......a wicked one.

I've read my share of Pinborough with Behind Her Eyes, Mayhem, and The Language of Dying. While Cross Her Heart did not cause my own heart to beat faster, it is still a good read with plenty of twists happening. Sip this one slowly and see just what you think.
Profile Image for Char.
1,636 reviews1,489 followers
September 3, 2018
Starting at 12:01 on Saturday morning and finished by 7pm Sunday night, CROSS HER HEART consumed almost my entire weekend. A fast paced thriller with so many twists and turns, I can honestly say that I did not guess how it would end. I love when that happens!

There are so many reviews out already, I'm not sure what I can add to what's already been said, but here we go. Lisa loves her daughter Ava so much, but is suffocating her by being so over-protective. Now that Ava is 16, she's chomping at the bit to get on with her life and for her mom to back off. Ava is an excellent swimmer and on the swim team at school. When a young boy falls into the water at a community fair, Ava doesn't hesitate to jump in and save him, and as a result, both her and her mom's pictures are plastered all over the local papers. This sets in motion a series of events that will change their lives forever. How do their lives change due to these pictures? You'll have to read this to find out!

This is only my second Sarah Pinborough novel, but I'm happy to know there are several older books for me to catch up with. Her writing style appeals to me because of the pacing, the depth of the characters and her ability to change the direction of the story on a dime. A dime, I say! I was rooting for Lisa and Ava to pull through. I was rooting for Lisa's best friend Marilyn too. With bad guys you can easily hate and protagonists that are easy to love, Sarah Pinborough has gained a reader for life.

Highly recommended for fans of mystery, suspense and thrillers!

*I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,160 reviews1,517 followers
August 18, 2018
Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough is another book that as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to give it a try after reading Behind Her Eyes. But again before I will get to the rest of the review when finished with this one I know that it is another that will not be for everyone with a definite need for a trigger warning for child abuse.

The biggest part of the story is told from three points of view in the present, Lisa, Ava and Marilyn. Lisa is teennage Ava’s mother and Marilyn is Lisa’s co-worker and best friend. But along with those the book does also make trips back to Lisa’s earlier days to uncover what secrets she’s been hiding for years.

The book begins giving readers a glimpse into the life that Lisa and Ava are leading with Lisa having been at her job for ten years working alongside Marilyn all the while raising her daughter. Ava’s a typical teen worrying about fitting in with her friends and boys but it quickly becomes apparent there are secrets that each character is hiding from one another and things are about to catch up to them all.

Already knowing I had liked the author’s writing style I wasn’t surprised to find an ease of the flow of the story as it went along. The characters also seemed to each hold their own distinctive personalities and stood out from one another. Throw in plenty of twists and turns along the way I did find this one quite the engaging read and would recommend it.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
781 reviews571 followers
October 1, 2018
Unfortunately this book didn't work for me. I found it slow and repetitive, and lacking any big surprises that made me want to keep reading. The twist at the end was so far-fetched, which sometimes can be entertaining (like in her previous book, Behind Her Eyes), but this time I was just shaking my head. I see lots of positive reviews for Cross Her Heart, so probably an "it's me" situation here. Borrowed from the library.
Profile Image for Dennis.
774 reviews1,476 followers
October 9, 2018
This is one of the worst books I've ever read in my life, and hands down the worst I've read this year. Chelsea and I picked this up for our first month's Scared Suspense Book Club choice, and we both did not enjoy it. I felt the plot was over the top ridiculously unrealistic and unoriginal. I think this might be my last chance at redemption with Sarah Pinborough. Sorry folks!

I am getting really fed up with Sarah Pinborough's use of

For Book Club members, we will be consolidating our final review next week and you can follow along on our instagrams: @scaredstraightreads @suspensethrill #scaredsuspensebookclub
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,430 reviews993 followers
January 17, 2018
Genuinely brilliant on way too many levels to mention them all.

But - Characters. Depth. Relevance. Emotionally stunning. Creatively insightful. Heart stopping at times and beautiful in all the right places - kind of sums it up.

Basically read this today because it was so engaging it was impossible to do anything else except devour in short order.

All of which I'll say in a slightly longer but still short teaser review soon. But not one plot detail will you get from me. Lips sealed. Best served cold.

Highly Recommended.
Profile Image for Selena.
488 reviews309 followers
March 31, 2020
I received a free e-copy of Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough from Goodreads for my honest review.

An intense thriller about a women (Lisa) who desperately tries to hides her past from her daughter (Ava). She does so to try to keep her daughter safe. Lisa is an overprotective mom and Ava is a rebellious teenager, who loves to test her limits. Both are hiding secrets that can threaten their lives.

An intense read with one heck of a crazy ending!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,549 followers
September 13, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Cross my heart and hope to die. You can’t break a deal like that. You can’t.”

I was one of the many readers absolutely blown away by Behind Her Eyes. When I saw Sarah Pinborough had a new selection, I immediately attempted to obtain an early copy . . . and my request remained in “pending” status until after the book was released, leading me to look a little something like . . . .

Luckily my best friend the library always has my back so I didn’t have to wait long before my turn came around. Then the fear set in that my expectations were waaaaaaaay too high leaving me like . . . . .

And I was right. I should have realized lightning doesn’t generally strike back-to-back when it comes to book releases.

The story here is of Lisa – overprotective single mother of a teenaged daughter named Ava. You know something happened in Lisa’s past immediately and Pinborough delivers once again when it comes to feeling the tension of the character. She also doesn’t drag you on for eternity and around the 30% mark you find out the superbadawful in Lisa’s past. Then you get to start in on the potential new superbadawful that’s getting ready to happen in the present.

So I dig Pinborough’s style. I appreciate the “getting there is all the fun” approach she has to storytelling. Unfortunately, unlike the whammy of a twist in Behind Her Eyes, this ending?????

Or I should say the additional thing doesn’t work. Again, lightning doesn’t strike twice. Some crazy twists are not only redonkulous, but are bad enough to lessen the reading experience as a whole.
Profile Image for Lucie.
100 reviews28 followers
April 8, 2020
Everyone has secrets.

'Cross Her Heart' is told from the perspectives of three women, written in alternating chapters (as seems to be the trend these days), but Pinborough is the absolute master at this. There's an unparalleled ease and flow to her storytelling.

Here we are introduced to Lisa, a single mother escaping from an abusive relationship. Ava is Lisa's teenage daughter, and Marilyn is Lisa's co-worker and best friend.

Lisa doesn't discuss her former relationship with anyone, nor does she divulge an enormous secret from her childhood.

Ava is privately dealing with some very serious issues of her own, and she's in way over her teenage head.

Marilyn's marriage might not be all that it appears to be... Lisa keeps getting the feeling that her best friend's husband is abusive.

As with so many books in this genre, the climax and ending don't quite live up to the suspense of the first three-quarters of the book. A couple of the 'surprises' were predictable, and one was flat-out unrealistic, but it didn't really matter that much to me because the story as a whole was just so gripping and entertaining to read.
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books550 followers
June 25, 2018
I sped through this book and yet I never quite felt gripped by or connected to the story. In fact, as I write this review, details are already beginning to fade from my memory (I very much hope this is only because it was an unmemorable book and nothing to do with my short-term memory!) It wasn't bad, it just wasn't spectacular in any way. Let me back-pedal for a second. The reason I say this is because I thought Pinborough's previous book, "Behind Her Eyes", though mighty weird, was definitely original and a page turner, so I may be comparing my experience reading that one with the experience of reading this one. I did like that the story was told from different POVs, and Pinborough does this well, and the plot does move quickly. Unfortunately, I felt the ending was very rushed, given all the build-up and a bit of a cop out. I'd be very curious to hear what anyone else thought. All in all, it was a decent thriller, even if I was not hugely impressed. I would read future books by this author, because her style is very readable and the pace quick.

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Profile Image for The Book Review Café.
680 reviews186 followers
May 27, 2018
I must admit I picked up Cross Her Heart with trepidation, I absolutely loved Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, you know the one I mean, it’s the one you probably saw all over social media with the #WTF hash tag. This one comes with the tag Don’t Trust Her Books, and never a truer word was written! I thought I pretty much had this book all worked by the first half, but then wham bam the author very deviously pulled the rug out from under me, not once but on several occasions. Brilliantly twisted, unsettling yet compelling this is a must read for fans of psychological thrillers.

Told in three parts the first third moves along at a slow paced, but don’t let this put you off as the author uses this time to introduce the three main characters Lisa a neurotic mum, who is haunted by a tragic past, Lisa’s sixteen-year-old Daughter Ava and Marilyn, Lisa’s best friend who appears to have the perfect life. Sarah Pinborough also uses this time to set the scene, and it’s this part of the book, that makes the second and third part so disturbing. As the reader reaches the second part of the book the pace kicks off and I must admit I had more than a few “OMG moments” which were superbly executed by the author.

Cross Her Heart is as much about the characters as it is about the plot, Lisa appears to be another over protective mother, Ava likes nothing better than spending hours on social media, and then you have Marilyn who appears to have it all, but nothing appears as it first seems the characters are complex with so many hidden issues, secrets and half truths and when Ava does a brave thing none of the characters are aware of the ramifications of one kindly deed. I loved the three main characters they were so well depicted, I couldn’t help but become emotionally involved in their plight.

Cross Her Heart turned about to be both a shocking and harrowing read, it was nigh on impossible to second guess where this book was heading. As psychological thrillers go this is one of the best ones I’ve read this year, and I’ve read plenty believe you me. Cross Your Heart will mess with your head and lead you a merry dance but it’s so worth it. One last thought I loved Behind Her Eyes, but if anything I loved this one more, in parts it’s credible, heartbreaking and very disturbing this book will definitely be one I’m adding to my top reads of 2018. Highly, highly recommend.

All my reviews can be found at http://thebookreviewcafe.com
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
January 26, 2020
Cross My Heart, Hope To Die.

This book is wild! I’m still trying to wrap my head around how we got from the beginning of this book to the end? Sarah Pinborough Has once again left me reeling and thinking WTAF? This book started off simply enough. We have Lisa the helicopter mother, Ava The rebelling daughter, and Marilyn the devoted friend. We know Lisa has a bit of a past, because she is hesitant to start a new relationship with Simon. We also know that Ava has started an online correspondence with an older man. Then one day Eva is at the beach, a child goes into the water and she jumps in and saves him and gets some media attention. Then the book goes off the rails. Secrets are revealed, lies are told, feelings are hurt, trusts are betrayed, revenge is seeked. The story is told from the perspectives of Lisa, Ava, and Marilyn, and all three of these ladies have secrets to hide. Twists and turns, zigs and zags, I didn’t know if I was coming or going. Seriously the last 40% of this book I spent with my jaw on the floor. The story and these ladies lives were spinning out of control. This is a story that will definitely make you stretch your mind and if you’re all about believability, this might not be the book for you. Miss Pinborough has spun a disturbing tale with a deranged ending.

This book in emojis ❤️ 💓 💞 💔 💘

*** Big thank you to William Morrow for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Selena.
488 reviews309 followers
August 29, 2021
I received a free copy of Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough from Goodreads for my honest review.

Lisa, is extremely overprotective of her 16 year old daughter, Ava. All she wants to do is keep her daughter safe. When Lisa's secrets from her past surface they unleash an unyielding domino effect that put Ava, Lisa, and her best friend, Marilynn in arms way.
Profile Image for Mary.
1,474 reviews495 followers
October 15, 2018
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5

Cross Her Heart is my first time reading a novel by Sarah Pinborough, but it will definitely not be my last. It seems that her novels can be rather polarizing, and I am happy to report that I really enjoyed this one.

What it's about: Lisa is living a fairly quiet life - she has a best friend named Marilyn, a teenage daughter she loves named Ava, and a great job. But when her daughter saves a boy from drowning and it ends up in the papers, it creates a whirl of activity brought on by a terrible secret from her past... and threatens Lisa's life as she knows it.

THIS BOOK. It did take me a bit to get into, but once I was hooked I was HOOKED. I thought it was predictable in some parts, but not in all, and the balance was fine for me. Marilyn was by far my favorite character, and even though she has shit of her own going on, she ended up being a source of comic relief throughout the novel. She was a badass and a very strong female character that I loved.

I think the best part is that the blurb doesn't tell you a whole lot, and I really don't recommend reading reviews before you read the novel. This is a great one to read and find out if you like it or not for yourself. People seem to be on both ends of the spectrum for this novel and I can see why. I thought that it did get a bit confusing with her chapter titles, but besides that I was able to keep up with the situation, and was so drawn to see what was so bad about Lisa's past.

Pinborough did a great job with pacing for me, and it really kept me interested in what was going on. Cross Her Heart does start a bit slow, and Lisa may drive people crazy with her overbearing mother routine, but it does pick up and get pretty interesting.

Final Thought: This is a great novel to spur a discussion as it will not be for everyone. It moves quite quickly, and I definitely recommend checking it out as it is a very quick and engrossing read once you get into it. Abuse does become a heavy theme though, so just beware of that if it is a topic that makes you uncomfortable to read about. The author doesn't really dwell too much on it though so that is something to take into consideration as well. All in all, I really liked this novel and would recommend it to almost everyone!
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,036 reviews1,747 followers
January 23, 2020
Favorite Quotes:

I said yes because I wanted to. Because I’m lonely… being near him is like peeling back layers of delicate crepe paper wrapped around a treasure you’ve packed away somewhere to keep safe and forgotten about.

His eyes are full of quiet interrogation. Marriage, divorce… other boyfriends - all the information men are interested in. Things that boil down a woman’s relevance in relation to other men, rather than anything in and of themselves. The inside information comes later. Those talks are for the middle of the night, heads on pillows, faces only outlines in the darkness. That’s when people surrender their weapons to each other and hope they don’t end up stabbed in the night by them in the future.

This is the other thing she’s learned over time. The secret is her own. It's her burden and sharing it doesn't lighten the load it simply doubles it… You can’t trust a drunk, she knows that too.

My Review:

This was a darkly intriguing, tragically twisted, and disturbingly realistic tale, which was cast with a full slate of unlikable and contemptible characters. There wasn’t one admirable person in the lot while the vast majority were quite vile and committed heinous acts that had me flinching and cringing and wanting to swear the most wicked expletives I know, and maybe even create a few more for good measure.

The storylines were cunningly crafted, shrewdly paced, and deftly written from multiple POVs that kept the little pea rattling in my cranium on fire with constantly evolving theories and hypothesis, I fear the little legume will forever bear scorch marks.

Sarah Pinborough is obviously an evil genius, and someone her neighbors should seriously take heed to respectfully and quietly tip-toe around and should never even consider disturbing or knocking on her door without having armloads of tasty treats and posh bribes in hand.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,546 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.