US & Canada title - The Exes' Revenge UK title - Sticks and Stones
A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who've all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him...
Divorces are often messy, and Imogen's is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he'll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.
In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable--something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She's desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.
But she wasn't expecting both Phillip's ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women--and unlikely allies--reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.
I knew going in this was going to be over-the-top ridiculousness. For a hundred pages or so it served its purpose--light, mindless reading for when I got home from work. It was fun for a while, but then it just got boring and messy. I didn’t care what happened to any of these characters and I was happy when I got to the end!
I don't care enough to write a detailed review.
I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway!
Jo Jakeman writes a stellar emotional roller coaster of a debut novel, a tense and harrowing portrayal of an issue that is widespread in society but often flies beneath the radar, domestic violence. In this psychological thriller, it all begins with the funeral of Phillip Rochester, a decorated police officer and all round nasty piece of work. Present at the funeral are three women, Ruby, his ex-wife, Imogen, his estranged wife and girlfriend, Naomi, the woman that Phillip was intending to marry. These women harbour secrets and an unexpected bond that binds them. You wlll fill little sympathy for Phillip as the narrative goes back and forth in time to reveal the circumstances that led to his funeral. The three women have differing perceptions of Philip, but their views come to coalesce through time.
Phillip is an ugly, brutal, manipulative, self centred, bullying man who has physically and mentally abused the women in his life. He threatens Imogen with losing their son, Alastair, unless she and his son leave their family home and grant him his divorce. Going to the police has turned out to be a non starter with his colleagues unwilling to take any complaint about his behaviour seriously. As Phillip falls accidentally, a desperate Imogen locks him in the soundproofed cellar. The women meet, and find themselves drawn together in a common purpose, that of walking down the dangerous path of doing whatever it takes to bring him down as they seek revenge.
This traumatic story is hugely compelling and Jakeman manages to infuse it with black humour and wit. The characters are well drawn, and I loved how the author depicted the women's growing connection and solidarity with each other, not to mention the support of friends like Rachel. This is a thrill ride of an intensely entertaining read that will have you rooting for the women who will no longer take their suffering lying down. Jakeman is to be congratulated for taking on the dark, complex and disturbing issue of domestic violence, a critical issue facing women in our contemporary society. Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC.
I was really intrigued after reading the description for this novel. Three women mistreated by one man will have their chance to get revenge for all that he has put them through.
Phillip Rochester is a police officer who treats the women in his life terribly.
We first meet Imogen (the second Mrs. Rochester). Imogen suffered a devastating loss early in her marriage to Phillip. She never did find out who was responsible but she had her suspicions. Her already unhappy marriage continued to deteriorate. Phillip blamed Imogen for everything. Now she is the midst of a bitter divorce from the abusive, controlling, and unfaithful, Phillip. She doesn’t want their son, Alistair to suffer because of the divorce, but Phillip wants to make things difficult. If she doesn’t agree to his terms he has threatened to take sole custody of Alistair.
Naomi is Phillip’s current girlfriend. The younger woman is supposed to make Phillip look good. An interaction with Naomi leaves Imogen feeling like Phillip is still using the same tactics he’s used before. She wants to help Naomi but Naomi declines her help.
The next time Imogen sees Phillip he’s back to threatening to take their son. He wants her to sign papers he’s had drawn up. He continues to belittle her, telling her how useless she is. Finally, Imogen has had enough, and she makes a very impulsive decision.
For the first time, SHE is in control. But what will she do next? And when a visitor shows up unexpectedly, will she once again lose to Phillip? Or will help come from where she least expects it.
Will the man who made three women’s lives a living hell FINALLY get what he deserves?
Most of the story is told from Imogen’s point of view, though there are a few chapters told from other characters perspectives. The chapters go back in time and help tell each woman’s story.
I enjoyed this novel. The characters were interesting. I hated Phillip of course. The author was good at creating the vile character that you love to hate. Though the story lulled in a few spots, I still read it rather quickly. I was interested in the plot and curious to see how things were going to play out for Phillip and the women he mistreated. There were a few things that were over the top so I had to put my issues with believability aside. However, it was still a good story…pure escapism.
“The Exes’ Revenge” was an engrossing story of betrayal and revenge. A good debut novel that has me looking forward to Jo Jakeman’s next book.
I'd like to thank Berkley Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Dark humor and entertaining plot / Just add popcorn
Phillip is a master manipulator and he has been at it for awhile, but when his girlfriend and former wives band together to plot their revenge, he is in for a heavy dose of his own medicine! Really? They did what to him? Oh no they didn't....oh yes, they did!
This was super entertaining and lets just say Phillip (who was quite the evil narcissist ) wasn't a sympathetic character at all. In fact, I can't think of any redeeming qualities for him. The character we all love to hate. As the women plot his demise, Phillip proves to be more dangerous than ever. He has his own plan and doesn't like to lose. Someone is getting ready to face the music. Who will it be?
I'm not going to lie, this is a crazy and quite ludicrous ride, but such fun. Beware of Phillip!
Thanks to Berkley / NG for my Arc. Publishes on 9/11/18
This is one fun read! Three women are involved with Philip - his ex, his present wife and his girlfriend.
Once an a**hole, always an a**hole. And Philip could win the prize. Nasty, manipulative, abusive. Check, check, check. But Philip is a decorated police officer, so it’s not like his buddies on the force will believe he’s abusive.
The book starts with his funeral, so we know he’s a goner, and then goes back three weeks and works itself forward.
The book moves at a fast pace and it keeps you engaged. It's a rare book where you’d be ok with someone committing murder. But in this case, hell, I’d have helped.
The one big reveal was something I’d already figured out. But I didn’t see that the ending, which has to be one of the most fitting endings ever. Karma’s a b*tch, Phil...
This isn’t a deep book, but there are several phrases that just rang really true. “We tried to break down walls, build bridges, but we weren’t architects and our foundations were weak at best.”
My thanks to netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an advance copy of this book.
Batman needs to shut his judgey mouth. But yes, I probably have been. This book totally would rock the movie of the week though.
Imogene is about to be the ex-wife. If her wanker husband Phillip will ever agree to just sign the papers. He has himself a brand new home and new woman friend that Imogene has to get along with for the sake of her child.
But one day when she is over at their house she notices something that makes her realize that she is not alone in the way that her ex-husband treated her.
Now before you even start..this book is NOT a mystery. The very first chapter of the book gives away what is going to happen. But it still was totally potato chip reading. (You know the kind...where you veg out on the coach and eat a whole bag of Doritos and wake up with crumbs in your parts that didn't need crumbs in them...but it's all good)
Ex Phillip is a real winner. He ends up in a tricky situation with all his women.
Oh wait...that part was in my head. sorry
Is this book groundbreaking? No Is it even believable at times? No I still read the dang thing and didn't completely hate it. If nothing else there is a ton of day drinking and venting.
A satisfyingly noir tale of three abused women seeking their revenge against one man.
Phillip Rochester is one of the cruelest, most manipulative, abusive men that these three women could imagine but they didn't have to imagine him. He was their reality. When his current wife, Imogen, is told that she must move out of her house - which they own together - or face consequences, Imogen is well aware of what those consequences might entail. She has a son by this man and he is threatening to take away their child - not because of love, but because he seeks revenge on anyone he perceives as wronging him. Imogen snaps and does something incredibly rash not realizing that her actions ultimately will involve the other women in Phillip's life.
I will admit that I found The Exes Revenge incredibly satisfying. It begins with Phillip's funeral so we know from the start that he dies - thankfully. The story, told in present and past revelations, imparts the sequences of events leading to his death. As it unfolds we realize that every person who has had contact with Phillip has, in some way, been abused by him. In the era of the #metoo movement, this book is perfect as each person, from his wives to his lovers, in-laws and his own child, has been abused by him.
This isn't "just" a story about abuse, however. It has some wickedly humorous moments and these three women most certainly do not start out as anything other than enemies: the ex-wife who is still in love with Phillip, the current wife who has been left for the third, much younger and prettier lover. How they interact with one another is quite rich.
The vengeful ex-wife story has been told repeatedly in literature, however, The Exes Revenge is a fresh, very honest and candid look at the lives of women who are abused. I either have been that woman or knew them. They are your neighbors, sisters, daughters and friends. There simply are too many women who have been verbally, physically, sexually or psychologically battered for the story ever to grow old. The ending, how Phillip actually dies, is priceless. I could read and re-read that chapter over and over again. Perhaps I'm just in a very cynical mood lately, but endings like this one provide immense gratification, as does the entire book. It is a fast paced page-turner that I highly recommend.
Many thanks to the author for an advanced copy of this debut thriller and also to Berkley Publishing Group for my physical copy of the book. Much love!
This is the ultimate story of revenge! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
I read The Exes’ Revenge with Holly, and this is just the kind of read you want to share with a friend!
Also called Sticks and Stones in the UK, this one had me enthralled from the first line:
“The day of Phillip’s funeral.
I expected to feel free, unburdened, but when the curtains close around Phillip Rochester’s satin-lined coffin all I feel is indigestion.”
Phillip is an icky kind of character. Actually, he’s so abusive he is beyond ick and a total narcissist. Three women know his faults all too well: Ruby, his first ex-wife, Imogen his soon to be ex-wife #2 and mother of his only child, and Naomi, his bombshell live-in girlfriend.
Imogen thinks she is finally out of his clutches when they separate, but because they share a child, Phillip still tries to control her life. He shows up one day demanding that she move out of their house, or he’ll sue for custody of their son.
Faced with potentially losing it all, Imogen is understandably frantic. She does something impulsive and dangerous to take charge of her life, and somehow, Ruby and Naomi become involved, too.
This book is dark, but to me it’s a dark romp because it’s witty, entertaining, and wholly satisfying. No one likes Phillip, and I’m sure you won’t either. I shamefully went to the dark side with these ladies and reading about his demise was like watching a guilty pleasure movie with popcorn! A quick and engaging read, The Exes’ Revenge had me laughing out loud, and I enjoyed every bit!
Thank you to the Berkley book fairy for the physical ARC. All opinions are my own.
Divorce (and even breakups) can be nasty. If you’ve been through it, you know. Sometimes you’re not even sure you’ll survive. In this case, Phillip Rochester’s exe’s find out for themselves.
Imogen and Phillip are newly divorced. As the father of their child, Phillip makes Imogen’s life miserable and it’s about to get worse. When Naomi became the new girlfriend of Phillip Rochester, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Ruby is Phillip’s first ex-wife. Married for a very long time, they still share a bond, which Imogen just can’t understand.
When Phillip does something heinous that threatens life, liberty and child and Imogen is forced to take matters into her own hands. Then well, you guessed it.. There’s a Face-Off. Only it’s not between John Travolta and Nic Cage. Mum’s the word here, though I will say it sure got my attention.
If you’re looking for an entertaining read, with crazy, compelling and twisted characters, look no further than “The Exe’s Revenge.” This was a very enjoyable and fun buddy read with Kaceey.
Thank you to NetGalley, Berkley Publishing Group and Jo Jakeman for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Published Goodreads, NetGalley and Twitter on 8.18.18.
I love a delicious tale of revenge, especially when the villain is as deserving as the one in THE EXES’ REVENGE. Phillip is an abuser, control freak, and master manipulator. He continues to make life miserable for his exes and current girlfriend, until finally the three women reach the tipping point.
THE EXES REVENGE is a gripping dark domestic thriller. It’s entertaining, fast paced, and hard to put down, though also rather disturbing at times with the instances of domestic violence. The things that Naomi, Imogen, and Ruby went through put my stomach in nervous knots. Some of the things they did made me want to scream, but the tremendous stress they were under made me empathize with them.
This is an impressive debut novel from Jo Jakeman, and I’m eagerly anticipating her next book!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
"The axe forgets, but the tree remembers." (African Proverb)
What would you do if fate handed you the ultimate opportunity for payback? What would it be like to finally have the steering wheel in your grasp rather than being relegated to the backseat in the vehicle of life?
Imogene Rochester has been deluged with disrespect. It dresses her in wraps of verbal, nonverbal, and physical abuse at the hands of her police officer husband, Phillip. He wears his official uniform and so does she on a day-in-day-out basis. Fear shows her the cracks in the ice before it even begins.
Pleasing Phillip is life in a maze just waiting for the next incident. Imogene lost her unborn daughter in a hit and run accident while she was pregnant. She still mourns for her. But Imogene now has a young son, Alistair, who is the joy of her life. It is the well-being of Alistair that finally prompts Imogene to divorce Phillip.
Phillip, dear readers, is a piece of work. He just oozes of evil and dastardly acts. Phillip is a womanizer with a capital W. In fact, we'll be introduced to the notches on his belt with his first wife, Ruby, the enabler, Imogene, the timid pleaser, and Naomi, the girlfriend who is looking for stability and a home. These three women will form a wall of defense against our boy Phillip.
"I let him chip away at me until he found something that he liked."
Whoa.....powerful words that individuals of abuse can relate to. And there are moments in this book that we cheer Imogene on and there are moments that ratchet up in intensity. But, in sincere honesty, I found that this book could have come to a climax after about the first two hundred pages. You find yourself shaking your head as to why these women didn't go to the authorities time and time again. Lost opportunities that would have served as avenues of true power for real abused individuals. But the goal here is fiction with the final scenes played out to serve the original intent. Karma with a side order of spikey vinegar.
I received a copy of The Exes' Revenge through Berkley Books for an honest review. My thanks to them and to Jo Jakeman for the opportunity.
A bit of a mess but I still kinda liked it. This is one of those books where you find out the ending right at the beginning of the story and the rest of the book is the details of what happened, in this case how the ex wound up dead and if the ex -wife, soon-to-be ex-wife, and current girlfriend had something to do with Phillip's death.
The book had a bit of a soap opera quality to it in which I was entertained but it will drive you nuts if you spend time questioning if it is believable or not. One of the reasons this held my interest was Philip very early on shows he's a horrible person so I actually enjoyed finding out what led to his death. The story line can be messy at times so I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this particular book because there are much better ones of this genre out on the market.
Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
The title alone was all I needed to make sure I got my hands on a copy of this and I went in with high expectations.
Were they met? I'd say yes, for the most part.
Highlights: -The many layers to the story and how it all unfolded. -I may not have liked all the characters, but the author did a nice job creating a core group of women, each with their own strengths and weaknesses that made this story work. That ties in with showcasing Philip's ability to manipulate these woman because of them. -Philip! He's a very, very, bad man, and not ashamed to show it.
What could have been better: -The story dragged a bit for me, especially in the middle. The ending was solid though. -This would NEVER happen in real life. And I'm not just referring to these women coming together.
This is a solid debut effort and I will definitely be looking for what's next from this author!
What first caught my eye with this one? That cover..... and of course I was thinking "ooo awesome for a bunch of women to seek revenge on their ex?" BUT this?? Yikes... NO
The premise starts out with a bang at Philip's funeral.... Three women Naomi, Imogen, and Ruby all know deep down inside that Philip Rochester got the death he deserved. Of course the author leaves the readers with a bit of bread crumbs... aching for more!!
Philip is a typical character that all readers will hate.... physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive to each of the women that were in his life. Philip lives off fear and control with a mix of domestic violence. This started out fantastic with an ex-wife Imogen wanting to seek revenge on Philip and adding 2 other previous exes to the mix. What more could you want?!
Oh god... this turned out to be a complete MESS. I felt like the author was trying way too hard for this to be an excellent story. There were certain details thrown out left and right in the story that weren't necessary and in all honestly didn't make any sense.
I REALLY wanted to like this one. I feel like I've been on a serious 2-3 star streak of books. Such a bummer!!!
This reminded me of a lifetime movie. Eh.. no not my cup of tea.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Berkley for the advanced arc in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Expected publication date: 9/11/18 Published to GR: 8/5/18.
If it were left up to Phillip I would be awarded worse, poorer, and sickness while he got the rest".
Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman
Sticks and Stones is another "revenge thriller". Only in this case, the revenger(is that even a word?) is not one person but three. The wife, the ex and the current (girlfriend).
Most of the story takes place in the basement where bad hubby is locked up.
I will be honest..the book did not do much for me.
It was OK but required so much suspension of disbelief that it became really hard for me to take it as seriously as I wanted to. I have read books like this before and had the same issues.
This was not awful but was just a bit to out there for me. I also found the plot a bit repetitive.
The plot twists became more and more extreme as well. I think if you like revenge thrillers and do not have issues with the above mentioned it's all right. But it was not one of my favorites personally.
This is the debut novel by author Jo Jakeman. The book starts with the funeral of Phillip Rochester, a police officer before going back in time to tell the events leading up to his death. Phillip is not a nice man and has abused his two wives and his lover throughout his adult life. The three women are now joined together in a common goal of seeking revenge. This is a fast paced story with some very interesting characters, Jo Jakeman is a new author to watch out for. I would like to thank Net Galley and Random House UK for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
The Exes' Revenge is a character-driven, domestic thriller that delves into how much relationships define us and reminds us that hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.
The prose is gritty and taut. The characters, including the sinister, despicable villain are consumed, ruthless, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot, using a back-and-forth, past/present style does a nice job of building tension and unease as it subtly intertwines and unravels an intricate web of lies, secrets, abuse, control, desperation, vengeance, violence, and manipulation.
Overall, The Exes' Revenge is an unnerving, relentless, satisfying read and even though I felt the plot was slightly unrealistic at times it is still a compelling, entertaining debut for Jakeman, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Exes’ Revenge by Jo Jakeman is a debut thriller that for this reader just seemed to lack a bit of thrill and border more on a drama. The story is one that begins at the end and then takes the readers back to a so many days before countdown to where we’ve begun.
Imogen is in the process of getting a divorce from her once abusive and controlling ex-husband. Meanwhile, said husband has a new women in his life and also another ex that was the first wife Imogen could never quite live up to. These three ladies are not close at all of course but do share more than they ever expected.
All Imogen wants is what is fair from her ex but he’s done nothing but stall and fight her at every turn when it comes to their divorce. But when it comes to her young son being threatened Imogen snaps and does something out of desperation to try to take control of her life once again.
Now, looking at my rating one might think this one wasn’t that good but don’t get me wrong, it was a solid and likable read. The thing is when I got to the end of the book I felt a bit underwhelmed which when thinking about it might be due to already knowing the outcome with the format, I just had to wonder if the story would have a bit more wow factor if all was unknown getting there.
Now I’d also like to mention this one reminded me heavily of an old movie with the set up bringing these three women together and a part of what happens in the book. I know that sounds a bit vague but it’s best to go in not knowing as much as possible to enjoy the story but for me the originality factor lacked a bit also. So in the end I do think the book is worth a read but overall just an OK story for me.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
I expected to feel free, unburdened, but when the curtains close around Phillip Rochester's satin-lined coffin, all I feel is indigestion.
The opening lines of Sticks and Stones grabbed me – and I was enthralled until the very last page!
Phillip Rochester was a policeman; his reputation was everything to him. But he had more than just the guns he carried for weapons – his words and the menace they carried; and his fists. And his ex-wife, his wife and his new girlfriend had all felt the lashings of his tongue, and the might of his strength. He was evil – but only showed it at certain times. Phillip came across as a genuine, compassionate and caring guy – when he wanted it to show…
Imogen – Phillip’s wife, currently trying to obtain a divorce – wanted nothing more to do with him. She and their six-year-old son Alistair were better off without him, but the problem was they would always be connected because of Alistair. Ruby was the ex-wife and Naomi his new girlfriend whom he supposedly wanted to marry. Because Phillip was a well-respected cop, Imogen wasn’t believed when she reported him – he glossed over it and it was pushed under the rug. Then she was punished…
Revenge – it was sweet wasn’t it?
What a brilliant debut! I didn’t realise it was author Jo Jakeman’s debut novel until the end in the acknowledgements – it was that good! Domestic violence is horrendous in all its forms – and it is well and truly alive in Sticks and Stones. Jakeman has done a great job with the settings, the emotion, the evil, the terror, the blame (now look what you made me do!); my heart was pounding, and I couldn’t put the book down. But for all that it’s not hard to read – Sticks and Stones is one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time. Highly recommended.
With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read and review.
How far would you go for revenge on your ex? Imogen's husband is a bad man. And now he's given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I will fight you for custody of our son.
This book starts with the funeral of Philip Rochester, a policeman who was not a very nice person. Present at his funeral are three women who all have something in common, they have all been abused by Philip Rochester. Ruby is his ex-wife, Imogen is estranged from him and Naomi is his current girlfriend. Then the story goes back in time to explain what happened before Philip died.
*warning* This book night upset some readers as the secnes of abuse are quite violent. Even though I knew Philip Rochester had died, I found myself caught up quickly in this storyline, rooting for the women. This is a well written, page turning, tense, gripping, edge of your seat read. A great debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author in future.
I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Vintage Publishing and the author Jo Jakeman for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Three exes and a narcissistic man! Whatever could go wrong? Meet Ruby, ex number one, Imogen, soon to be ex number two, and Naomi, soon to maybe be wife number three. ...and then there is Philip Rochester, the man who entranced them all. They all come together in the book: The Exes' Revenge. and yes, there is a basement too!
This interesting novel have a number of things that will delight those of us who have had a man like Philip in our past. He is a grand controller, seemingly a gift from god on the outside but a devil on the inside. All of his exes come together to eventually tackle the antics of Philip as he descends deeper and deeper into a level of aggressiveness that is frightening and beyond daunting for the three ladies. However, they are a resourceful crew and Philip perhaps has met his match in these ladies. Although Philip is clever, supposedly beloved by the police department of which he is a member, and is still able to weave his spell entrapping one of the ladies, will he eventually find that as the saying goes every dog has its day?
The book flips back and forth as Philip becomes more dangerous and the ladies seem to be enclosed within that sphere of danger. He is the ultimate nightmare always seeming to be one step ahead. Will Philip use his cunning and deceit to win or will the ladies be the victors in this game that is turning serious by the minute?
This was an enjoyable book, one that held the reader's attention although at times perhaps stretched the envelope of believability a bit. Thanks once more to my local library for having a copy of this book.
This was my first novel by Jo Jakeman, but I'm already looking forward to her next one. The story moved at a good pace and was engaging, but what I really liked was the characters development of the protagonist, Imogen. She starts off very meek and afraid (with good reason!) and changes and grows stronger as circumstances demand. I don't want to give away the plot, because there are a good amount of twists and turns, bit I will say it was an enjoyable and clever thriller by an author I will happily read again in the future. Thanks to Netgalley for supplying me with a copy of The Exes' Revenge in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not going to go fully into detail about this story, because The Exes' Revenge was one of the more disappointing stories that I've picked up this summer. Imogen and her son Alistair are trying to recuperate after Imogen decides to divorce her husband Phillip Rochester. Phillip is a successful doctor (I think?) who lives a double life. He is a misogynist and domestic abuser who has cheated on his wife with a plethora of women during their relationship. Now that Imogen has decided to divorce Phillip, he is still trying to control her by any means necessary. After bumping into Phillip's new girlfriend, Naomi, she realizes that Phillip is not a changed man—he is still the evil, abusive, horrible man that she's always known him to be. As the divorce proceedings continue and Phillip's attacks on her image and security are growing, Imogen is left with virtually nothing. At the brink of desperation, Imogen decides that it's her time to fight back. Phillip's life has always been one that burns bridges. He just didn't think that the women in his past and present would be the ones to light the match.
UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm so disappointed, everybody! The Exes' Revenge really started out strong for me—like 5 out of 5 stars strong. However, as the story develops, the plot begins to go around in circles. Once I got to the halfway mark, I realized that the story wasn't progressing like it should be. It was so fast-paced and intriguing and now I'm waiting for the next move like *YAWN!*. I wish that the story was more condensed so that it would continue with the original pacing and have the story develop the way it should've been. Once I was 65% into the story, the plot just got to the point of ridiculous. It was like someone lit a fuse to a bomb that exploded everywhere. The story was all over the place, and honestly so were my emotions about the story.
I wish I could've enjoyed this story more, but I read a lot of domestic thrillers and it just left me feeling exhausted when I completed it. I know this is not a popular opinion, so if you're still interested in this story, I think you should pick it up and tell me why I'm wrong!
Wow! Crazy story but quite good! 4.5 Stars ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have to say this book is loaded with triggers and raw description of those affected by domestic violence. However, the book is also about revenge and that brings strange bedfellows in and of itself. So if you are in the mood for a little payback, check out my review...
The story started out with a bang and really never let up. I was not expecting a lot of the dark graphic detail, however I understand that in order to get the response from plot you have to include rich and dramatic detail.
This is a debut novel by this author and I am impressed with her ability to delve into a deep yet touchy subject without it becoming a negative connotation or judgmental. The plot is very intricate and she made it a book that was very difficult to stop reading once you got into it.
With highly developed characters and the ability to create and write scenes that include such high anticipation your heart starts to pound, the author has crafted a story that you will not soon forget. In fact, you will probably get that tingly feeling in the back of your neck like you’re being watched and feel the urgent need to lock the doors.
While some of the parts in the story you cannot actually be called wonderful, you can call the inventiveness, anticipation, and gut-wrenching reality of the story highly addictive. Plenty of dry wit humor too! This is definitely an author to watch and put on your one click list immediately.
When I first read this description, my thoughts were kind of "oh cool, a psychological thriller meets first wives club"...and DAHLINGGG, I was here for that. But this? No.
What started as an interesting premise, an abusive husband, an ex wife wanting to take revenge, kind of spirals into ridiculous, with red herrings that don't serve the benefit of the story. I thought the length was longer than necessary. I had high hopes, but, alas. I will say the ending twist was enjoyable, at the very least.
I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
I want to add to this review that if anyone who has ever suffered from Domestic Violence, be it verbally, physically or emotionally really should keep that in mind if they read this novel due to the subject matter. I'm a Victim's Advocate for Domestic Violence Survivors, and I found myself tense up at times.
Having stated that; this is a well-written book. I liked the way the author has set the book the up. Phillip Rochester is a police officer who is very controlling and cruel to the extreme to his first two wives and his latest girlfriend.
Ruby, his first wife, was quite a bit older than him and seemed to be more of a mother figure to him than a wife. She was a loner and loved animals, in fact, she was a veterinarian. Ruby left him after he took up with his present wife, Imogen. But he keeps her on a string and uses her in such a way that she can't get on with her own life even after he married his second wife, Imogen.
Imogen gets the worst of his abuse it seems, she's a people pleaser, and she's tried just about everything she can think of to be a better wife to him. But nothing works with someone like him. She's called the police on Phillip, after an extremely violent beating but they seem to cover for one another, and the blame falls on her being "unstable" as he likes to describe her. He's isolated from her only friends, and she has a disapproving mother that makes her feel the abuse has to be her fault for not being picture perfect. She's in a no-win situation in regards to this marriage; it's been rough from the start. Imogen has suffered two major losses in her life that would cause anyone to be depressed and anxious. The only thing that matters to her is her five-year-old son, Alistair and making sure he has a loving, nurturing home to grow in. When she finally gathers up the nerve to ask for a divorce, Phillip has already moved in with his latest "victim." A much younger woman, Naomi, who has grown up in the system without any family to speak of who would, of course, see this older man a police officer at that as her knight in shining armor. Phillip, of course, is making Imogene's life a living nightmare since she requested the divorce, it's all about appearances with him. He counters the divorce and muddies the water, so it drags on and on. Phillip threatens to sue for sole custody of Alistair as a way to try to get Imogen to be more compliant to his demands. Imogen is trying to protect him from his abusive father, and she knows he doesn't care for the boy, he's using him as a bargaining chip. Imogen wants her son, Alistair to be safe from his father's tirades and get on with her life. When Imogene first meets Naomi, she notices that things aren't as rosy with them as Phillip would like it to seem. When she accidentally runs into Naomi while she's leaving the hospital after her mother has a minor accident Imogene notices that Naomi has a large gash on her forehead. Imogene knows precisely how she got it. Phillip's abuse is escalating. She stays with Naomi at the ER, and they form a type of kinship. They both know that something is going on with him, but they aren't quite sure what the deal is because they have both caught him lying to them.
This is where the revenge part comes in; it's quite diabolical when the three exes get together and form an unlikely alliance against him. It's one thing after another; this book was hard to put down, I have to admit. You don't know who to trust or what is about to happen next. They know that going to the police is out of the question because Imogene has tried that and it's a joke because they are protecting their own. Each woman finds themselves questioning the other one's trustworthiness during this plot to keep him from killing them all. He's caught up in a web of his own making, Imogene finds out a few new facts that are causing Phillip's more intense rages. Things are falling into place, but these three women have only each other for protection. Imogene's only concern is that Alistair is safe and away from this awful plan which could very easily blow up in their faces.
"The Exes' Revenge" is an edge of your seat thriller as I stated earlier, Ms. Jakeman did a fantastic job keeping you guessing what is coming next. It's to the extreme, but she did an excellent job for her debut. The ending will take you by surprise as well. I want to thank the publisher and Read-it-First for the opportunity to read and give my honest opinion of this e-galley.
What do three women who have all been involved with the same man have in common... Revenge against him!
And what a revenge story we have here. Jo Jakeman takes us on a wild ride with this one. Can Ruby, Imogen, and Naomi work together to bring down their ex, Phillip? Or will Phillip manage to manipulate one of the women and foil the entire revenge plot?
This is a good solid domestic thriller that will keep you engaged. I can't wait to see what Jakeman writes next!
*Many thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Phillip Rochester is abusive, manipulative and controlling. There are three women who know just how much of a nightmare he can be. One decision acts as a catalyst to start a battle in motion. Three women against one man. If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned....what about three women?
This book is disturbing, action-packed and suspenseful. I usually find at least one redeeming quality in characters, even villains...and I tried. But Phillip Rochester is just a total wanker. Not that the three women he wronged are much better. Imogen, Naomi and Ruby all have their faults and have all made huge mistakes in judgement. And normally they wouldn't have allied with each other for any reason, given their former attachments to Mr. Wanker. But.....adversity makes strange bedfellows.
I usually avoid books that center around abusive relationships, divorce, kids stuck in the middle, etc.....but this one sounded different. Revenge. Powerful emotions. And dark decisions. Once I started reading, I couldn't stop.....wow....just wow. The story is just incredi-disturbing, scary and wrong....but I couldn't stop myself wanting to finish...to find out what happened.
This story is heavy....emotional and dark. I think I might just have to watch 2 Disney movies and binge a season of Gilmore Girls to clear out my head. But, a book that can bring me on a emotional roller-coaster ride is well-written. This story moves along at a perfect pace....has plenty of unexpected twists along the way....and is stellar at building suspense and just feelings of dread, disgust, anger, sadness....
Not for the faint of heart or for those who just can't handle stories about abusive (mental and physical) relationships.
Kudos to Jo Jakeman for totally creeping me the hell out. By halfway through the book, even I was afraid of Philip Rochester! Total wanker!
**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
I’ve been working my way towards this book for what feels like months, so I had high hopes for it but it just didn’t live up to what I was expecting.
It’s a solid thriller, well written, focusing on the horrific subject of domestic abuse, but these are the kinds of books I don’t seem to get on with lately. I find they make me really uncomfortable while reading so I tend to disconnect from them, which in turn means I disconnect from the characters and the story.
But this is my issue, not that of the book or author. I think this book will appeal to anyone who is a fan of the genre. It will keep you reading, eager to find out what happens! I would definitely recommend you read it if it’s your thing, but it just didn’t go down with me personally!