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Her Secret Son

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How far would you go to protect the ones you love…when they may not be yours to protect?

When Josh’s longtime partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with a mess of grief—and full custody of her seven-year-old son, Logan. While not his biological father, Josh has been a dad to Logan in every way that counts, and with Grace gone, Logan needs him more than ever.

Wanting to do right by Logan, Josh begins the process of becoming his legal guardian—something that seems suddenly urgent, though Grace always brushed it off as an unnecessary formality. But now, as Josh struggles to find the paperwork associated with Logan’s birth, he begins to wonder whether there were more troubling reasons for Grace’s reluctance to make their family official.

As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets to uncover, and that the truth about where Logan came from is much more sinister than he could have imagined…

Tightly paced and brimming with tension, Her Secret Son is a heartbreakingly honest portrait of a family on the edge of disaster and a father desperate to hold on to the boy who changed his life.

378 pages, Paperback

First published May 28, 2019

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About the author

Hannah Mary McKinnon

9 books1,351 followers
Also known as Holly Cassidy (romantic comedies)

I was born in the UK and grew up in Switzerland. Unsurprisingly I love chocolate, mountains and cheese, and books, of course.

When I moved to Canada with my husband and three sons in 2010 I went through an (early) mid-life crisis. Maybe it was the failed attempt at a start-up company, but one morning I decided to follow my oldest passion; writing - and never looked back.

My first novel, TIME AFTER TIME, a light-hearted romantic read, was published by HarperCollins AVON in 2016. I subsequently moved over to the dark side. THE NEIGHBORS, a domestic suspense story, was published by MIRA in 2018 followed by bestsellers HER SECRET SON, SISTER DEAR (also published in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa), and YOU WILL REMEMBER ME, which was on the bestseller lists for 8 weeks.

Bestseller NEVER COMING HOME features Lucas, my most wicked and funniest character, and released in 2022 and has subsequently sold into multiple other territories.

Next up was the thriller THE REVENGE LIST, which published in May 2023. After that, I'm going back to my romantic comedy roots with THE CHRISTMAS WAGER, written under the pseudonym Holly Cassidy. It will release in September 2023.

Another thriller and another rom-com will follow in 2024.

To find out more please visit:
Twitter - www.twitter.com/HannahMMcKinnon
Instagram - www.instagram.com/HannahMaryMcKinnon
Facebook - ww.facebook.com/hannahmarymckinnon
Bookbub - www.bookbub.com/authors/hannah-mary-m...

Ask me questions on Goodreads, too. I love hearing from readers :-)

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Profile Image for Sandysbookaday is (reluctantly) on hiatus.
1,973 reviews2,041 followers
November 27, 2020
EXCERPT: As I put the pictures back in the bag, I picked up the shreds of what I'd dismissed as blank scraps of paper that morning. Most of them were plain white, but I now noticed some had bits of printed letters on them, light gray and faded, made by one of those ancient dot-matrix printers I'd once seen in my school's aging computer lab. I laid the pieces out on the desk and set to work, fitting them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Despite missing a few parts, three words became clear enough to decipher.


ABOUT 'HER SECRET SON': When Josh’s longtime partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with a mess of grief—and full custody of her seven-year-old son, Logan. While not his biological father, Josh has been a dad to Logan in every way that counts, and with Grace gone, Logan needs him more than ever.

Wanting to do right by Logan, Josh begins the process of becoming his legal guardian—something that seems suddenly urgent, though Grace always brushed it off as an unnecessary formality. But now, as Josh struggles to find the paperwork associated with Logan’s birth, he begins to wonder whether there were more troubling reasons for Grace’s reluctance to make their family official.

As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets to uncover, and that the truth about where Logan came from is much more sinister than he could have imagined…

MY THOUGHTS: 'If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all.' - Ray Charles

Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon is certainly an emotional page turner! How much bad luck can one man have? Well, like they say, 'when it rains, it pours.'

Josh has made some bad decisions in his life, but just as he thinks that he's finally got life sorted, found happiness, it's ripped right out of his grasp again. Struggling to cope, he is determined to do his best by Logan, who he loves like his own. And he had promised Grace that if anything ever happened to her, he would look after him. He is determined not to let either Grace or Logan down. But this promise gets harder and harder to keep as Grace and Logan's past is revealed to be layer after layer of lies.

I felt so sorry for Josh, and for Logan. Josh's love for Logan simply radiates from the page as he battles with his own grief to give Logan a stable home. Ultimately he finds himself torn between doing the right thing by Logan, and doing the right thing.

Her Secret Son is a compelling page turner. I was heavily invested in the characters and the outcome. But then it all became overly dramatic, a bit like an episode of a soap opera (Dallas sprung to mind), with blazing guns and all. Although the ending was great entertaining reading, I thought it could have been handled with a bit more finesse, and I felt let down by it. The quality of the rest of the story deserved better. A good candidate for a TV drama.


#HerSecretSon #NetGalley

'Moving never sorted out your issues. They sneaked inside your suitcases when you weren't looking and jumped out when you arrived.'

'I'd rather be a hermit with a stack of good books and a box of chocolates.'

THE AUTHOR: I was born in the UK and grew up in Switzerland. Unsurprisingly I love chocolate, mountains and cheese, and books, of course.

When I moved to Canada with my husband and three sons in 2010 I went through an (early) mid-life crisis. Maybe it was the failed attempt at a start-up company, but one morning I decided to follow my oldest passion; writing - and never wanted to look back.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,113 reviews2,805 followers
November 24, 2020
Grace, partner of five years, to Josh, and mother to seven year old Logan, dies in an accident. Sadly Grace was always hesitant to speak of Logan's first two years, before she met and partnered with Josh, so when Josh starts digging for documents and information about Logan's past, so that he can become Logan's legal guardian, at first Josh can't find any records. Deeper digging leads to finding paperwork that causes Josh to wonder what Grace was hiding and what lies she may have told. Recovering alcoholic Josh is dealing with grief, a heartbroken and angry little boy, financial strain due to the loss of Grace's paycheck and now the thought that he might lose the little boy that he thought of as his son.

The love between Josh and Logan is heartwarming and real. I also enjoyed getting to know Josh's sister and Josh's best friend, two of the many people who help Josh and Logan through the heartbreak of losing a mother and a partner. Josh embarks on a mission to find out Logan's past, something he feels he must do before he can move on and something he knows may mean losing Logan forever. My heart ached at his situation, a situation where the legal answer could mean a life of abuse and hardship for Logan, depending on what Josh's search revealed.

I was very invested in this mystery and what would happen to Josh and Logan and the secrets Grace was hiding but once we get closer to finding out the secrets, things didn't hold together very well for me. So many people had to make so many weird, strange, dumb decisions to get to the resolution of the book that is just seemed way too far fetched in the end. The book is worth reading and each reader can decide for themselves how they feel about the ending of the book and I know others feel differently than I do because of the rave reviews I've read. This is my first book by Hannah Mary McKinnon and I plan to read more of her books in the future even though I had problems with the way the last part of the book came together.

Publication date : May 28, 2019

Thank you to Mira/HarperCollins and Edelweiss for this ARC.
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,069 reviews3,614 followers
May 11, 2019
I may not have been the best match for this novel.
Hannah Mary McKinnon's previous novel The Neighbors was brilliant! It’s sitting pretty and proudly on my favorites’ shelf. Let’s just say this one fell short of that same magic (for me).

Josh’s life goes sideways after the sudden death of his partner of five years, Grace. He’s now left with the responsibility of raising Grace’s son Logan alone. It seems they never had the fore-sight to discuss guardianship or adoption. No arrangements were ever made.
For Logan’s well-being, Josh immediately begins the lengthy ordeal of securing guardianship. It’s during this process that troubling questions arise regarding exactly who Grace and Logan really are.

I struggled through this one. The story-line and characters never held my interest. I found myself putting it down in favor of another book more than once.

I am definitely in the minority on this one (with Susanne). There are many fantastic positive reviews so I hope you’ll enjoy.

Will this stop me from reaching for Hannah Mary McKinnon's next novel? Absolutely not! My love of her previous book will keep me looking for that magic once again.

A buddy read with Susanne!🌸

Thank you to NetGalley , Harlequin-Mira and Hannah Mary McKinnon for an ARC to read and review
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
April 7, 2019
2.5* Stars rounded down.

A Campy Suspense.

Remember those shows we used to watch in the 70-80’s after we got out of Junior High and High School? Those Afterschool and Schoolbreak Specials? Well “Her Secret Son” by Hannah Mary McKinnon reminded me of those. It was campy and far-fetched, yet I tore through it in a matter of hours desperate to find out what was going to happen to Josh and seven year-old Logan after everything in their lives fell apart. It was an interesting ride and while I thought I had it figured out, I will say that I guessed wrong.

I grabbed this book because I remembered loving the author’s prior novel, “The Neighbors.” Unfortunately for me, this one didn’t work quite as well. Where “The Neighbors” was compelling and suspenseful, “Her Secret Son” was overly dramatic. Admittedly my eyes couldn’t help but roll from time to time. What I enjoyed about this novel was the characters: I just adored Josh’s love for Logan and the lengths he went to for him. I also liked Josh and Logan’s relationship with Josh’s sister and best friend. Talk about tugging at my heartstrings! Note that I am in the minority here as other reviewers liked this one more than I did thus I encourage you to check out other reviews for this novel in addition to mine.

This was a buddy read with Kaceey. Thanks for keeping me company on this one Kaceey!

Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin - Mira and Hannah Mary McKinnon for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 4.7.19
Publication date 5.28.19.
June 17, 2019
I have been putting off reviewing this one in hopes that I might feel differently than my first reaction after reading this one. I haven’t. This one was just not for me. It pretty much hit on everything that I dislike in a story. I really wanted to love it and I feel really bad voicing my dislike for this one. It doesn't happen often but when it does maybe I need to give myself a break and just voice my dislike.

The Traveling Sisters Three (I just made that name up) Norma, Lindsay and I loved The Neighbors and it was one of our first group reads in The Traveling Friends group and it was hit, however, Her Secret Son was a miss for me. It really hit on some triggers for me that I really dislike used in a story for the sake of a shocking twist.

The premise of the story sounds heartbreaking and interesting and caught my attention right away and I started to dig into those ethical questions I love so much to explore. The pace slowed down for me quite a bit and the story took a different direction then I wanted it to go. It started off feeling like a family drama with a mystery and then the drama started building and the story got a little weighted down for me. Near the end, the pace picked up and it started to go in the direction of a twisty thriller I was hoping for until that disappointing shocking twist that just didn’t work for me.

I did read this one with a few members of the Traveling Sisters and even though their reactions were not as strong as mine it wasn’t one that was loved by us.

I received a complimentary copy from Harper Collins Canada
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,125 reviews30.3k followers
August 1, 2019
Josh’s girlfriend of many years, Grace, dies in a tragic accident leaving her seven-year-old son, Logan, to Josh. While not tied biologically, they need each other.

Josh begins the process of adopting Logan, and he has difficulty finding the necessary paperwork. Grace may have been hesitant to have Josh adopt Logan for some other reasons.

Josh doesn’t give up trying to find out about Logan and Grace’s past, and as he does, he uncovers bigger secrets, dark ones, concerning Logan.

Her Secret Son is more of a domestic drama with a good mystery and suspense element. It kept me gripped because I was invested in the characters. I loved Logan and Josh’s adoration of him. I could feel it! There’s great tension throughout as you wonder what happened to Logan at the start of his life.

Overall, Her Secret Son is a dramatic mystery that kept me guessing, and again, I loved the relationship dynamics portrayed.

I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.

My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarhelreader.com
March 9, 2022
4 stars!

A stepfathers determination to keep his stepson after his mother passes.

This was a heavy storyline that grabbed me right away. My emotions were touched and I was rooting for the main character throughout this intriguing and unique storyline. The author did a phenomenal job in exploring grief and building an emotional pull to the plot. I was deeply invested and found the theme of family bonds extremely heartwarming.

The pace and flow were smooth and easy to follow. There was an underlying feel of tension, secrets and suspense spread throughout.

In the second half of the book, especially the last 20%, there are several convenient and unlikely plot points but I was so heavily invested by that time that I didn’t over analyze and simply accepted them and moved on.

Thank you to the publisher for my review copy through Edelweiss! Thank you to my lovely local library for the audio loan!

Audio rating: 5 stars! Loved the audio narrator! He added an incredible amount of personality and emotion to the storyline. I think he made me enjoy this even more than if I had read it.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,484 reviews29.4k followers
September 18, 2019
Suspenseful and poignant, this is a powerful look at what makes a family—genetics or love.

Josh and Grace have been together for a number of years now. They’re deeply in love and Josh couldn’t love Grace’s seven-year-old son, Logan, any more if he were Josh’s biological child.

When Grace dies in an accident, Josh’s life is turned upside down. Not only is he overcome with grief, but he needs to help Logan come to terms with his mother’s death. Given all the turmoil in both of their lives, it seems like the perfect time for Josh to formally become Logan’s legal guardian. He and Grace had discussed it but something always seemed to get in the way. But as Josh searches for information on Logan’s birth, he is overwhelmed at what he uncovers about Grace, not to mention Logan.

How can this be the woman he loved? He starts realizing that there were real reasons Grace never wanted to formalize his guardianship of Logan. But why? What kept her from revealing the truth to him?

"If Dad had been there, he'd have talked in clichés, said I was completely off my rocker and I should let sleeping dogs lie. Trouble was, over the years I'd found when those sleeping dogs eventually woke up, they'd grown into oversize, snarling beasts that bit me in the ass. The only way to tame them was to get in control, and that would happen only if I had more of the missing pieces to Grace and Logan's puzzle."

Even though his life is rocked, he’ll do everything in his power to fight for Logan. He’ll stop at nothing—no matter what that means.

There were lots of twists and turns in this book which kept me guessing. I didn’t love all of the decisions that Josh made, and there were one or two surprises that blindsided me. But at its core I couldn’t get enough of this story of love, emotion, grief, and the bond between father and son.

Thanks to Kate Rock Book Tours, Hannah McKinnon, and MIRA for providing me a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Pick this up!!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html.

You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for Kendall.
638 reviews642 followers
April 22, 2019
Let me start out by saying how much of a fan I am of Hannah Mary McKinnon!

My goodness did I devour her first novel The Neighbors. I was SOOO excited to read her next novel Her Secret Son.

I once again devoured this novel within a few days and was desperate to find out what would happen between Josh and seven year old Logan after the death of his wife/mother.

So, unfortunately this one didn't work as well as The Neighbors for me. I felt it was a tad bit far fetched for me... especially at the end. I found myself rolling my eyes a bit too much and just couldn't wrap my head around the reveal of the whole story.

But, Hannah Mary McKinnon can write for days ladies and gentleman! That's what grabs me in with her! I also love her characters. I couldn't get enough of Logan, Josh, Logan's sister Lisa and Josh's best friend.

I do have to say that once again I thought I had the reveal figured out but once again Mary knows how to pull her readers in and add that final twist/reveal.

I may be in the minority on this one because I have seen many 4-5 stars for this one. I would definitely check this book out! :)

3.25 stars rounded up :)

Thank you so much to Hannah Mary McKinnon, Netgalley, and Harlequin/Mira for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date: 5/28/19
Published to Goodreads: 4/22/19
Profile Image for bookswithpaulette.
452 reviews176 followers
May 29, 2019
I really enjoyed the premise of this story. Grace and Josh have been together for 5 years, when they meet Grace had a 2 year old son (Logan). Its just the three of them Josh, Grace and Logan. A tragic accident changes their lives forever, Grace dies and Josh is left to pickup the pieces.

Josh has the support of his sister to help him get through losing Grace, she helps him with the funeral and helps with Logan. Grace and Josh were never married, Logan is not biologically his, but Josh loves Logan as he is his own son - he cant risk losing Logan too.

Josh doesn't know much about Logan's dad, Grace always diverted away from talking about Logan's dad and where he came from. Josh decides to file for guardianship with his lawyer to protect his family. What he uncovers during this process, it not what he expected...... Grace had a lot of secrets when it came to Logan.

I really enjoyed the first half of this book, the second half not as much, I'm not going to go into detail as I don't want to spoil it. It is an enjoyable book, I would be keen to read more from Hannah.
I give this book 3 stars.

Thank you to Edelweiss, Mira/HarperCollins for this ARC.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
August 23, 2019
How far are you willing to go for the ones you love? Hannah Mary McKinnon has written an addictive tension filled story that kept me on my toes. This is one of those books that you want to make sure you make time for before picking up, because you’re not going to want to put it down. Imagine this... Your significant other dies leaving you with the responsibility of taking care of her seven-year-old son Logan. You are young so you never made arrangements as to guardianship in case she died, but is there more to it than that? As you start looking for necessary paperwork you begin to discover things were not quite as they seemed, and your significant other had been keeping some huge secrets from you... huge! That is the situation that Josh finds himself in thinking he never knew the woman he loved Grace, at all. Determined to piece things together Josh finds himself in a small town full of secrets and despair.

Really like Josh, I really felt for him throughout this entire story, what a terrible position to find yourself in. The bond he and Logan shared was so sweet and I definitely was hoping that they would end the story as father and son. Josh really had an amazing support system in his sister and best friend, seriously we all need cheerleaders like this behind us! I was all in, furiously turning the pages, needing to know answers to the questions, but then a few things happened that unsettled me a bit. Josh made a questionable decision that didn’t sit well with me. And then the ending... I still am not quite sure what to think. A lot of people had to do a lot of wrong things for that book to have ended the way it did. Surprising? Absolutely! Definitely did not see it coming. Do I recommend the book? Definitely! It was a extremely compelling read, that I am still thinking about days later. For me those are signs of a good book!

*** thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,140 reviews1,891 followers
May 21, 2019
It was “love at first sight” for Josh when he met Grace, and her baby, Logan. And, Grace loved Josh too.

So why wouldn’t she accept his marriage proposals or allow him to formally adopt Logan?

Josh is about to find out.

When Josh goes in search of Logan’s birth certificate, after Grace dies in a tragic accident, he gets answers to questions he didn’t even realize were questions he should’ve been asking?

Let me start by saying that “The Neighbors”, was a 4 star read for me, and I was really looking forward to reading another book by this author. The book captured my interest immediately, and I was ALWAYS eager to get back to reading it.

All but one of the characters were likable, and I loved that Josh was willing to play “amateur detective” to do right by the boy he considered to be his son.

But then the book, just fell apart for me.

Implausible scenarios. Only one possible villain. And, an “over the top” final scene which will allow the story to be wrapped up, a bit too CONVENIENTLY for ME...a reader that prefers books with a solid plot over books that require me to suspend disbelief.

Will I reach for Hannah Mary McKinnon’s next published book? You bet.

Since I enjoyed the majority of the story, and was only disappointed by its conclusion, I feel 3 stars is about right for this one, and I am still looking forward to seeing what the author comes up with next!

I would like to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the digital ARC, I received in exchange for a candid review! This book will be available on May 28, 2019!
Profile Image for Meredith B.  (readingwithmere).
235 reviews159 followers
August 9, 2019
3.5 stars..rounded down

They say the lucky ones experience an incredible, life-defining moment, a moment they can point back to as they second everything changed.

Josh and Grace have been partners since Logan was two, he's now seven. Josh has wanted to get married to Grace and adopt Logan, however Grace always pushes it off. One day, Grace dies in a tragic accident outside their house. Josh is grieving but also knows he must take action to get legal guardianship of Logan before his Dad he's never met, tries to take him away. However, as Josh starts trying to get all the paperwork in order he struggles to find what he needs. Where is Logan's birth certificate? Why aren't there any records of Logan as a baby anywhere? This is the moment Josh finds out Grace has been hiding some serious things from him. From here, he starts on his journey to find out the history of Logan and Grace but not within uncovering some serious and twisted secrets.

The last ~50 pages of this book really brought me in and I could not stop reading it. I was definitely intrigued the entire time trying to figure out where Logan came from and the secrets Grace had been hiding. The beginning of the story was a lot of build up which I think is why it lost me. There was almost two much. Also, there's a few different story lines of what happened to Grace & Logan in the past but it was really obvious which one was going to be true.

I did enjoy the emotions that came through in this book. I do not have children myself so I cannot imagine what it would be like to have a child die, stolen or losing a parent at any given time. Grief is tough and I think this book did a great job of showing the emotions that a parent/child (Dad/Son specifically in this book) go through when they're grieving a loss of the other parent. I loved that Josh would do anything for Logan, even though he's not biologically his father. They always say you don't need to necessarily be related by DNA to be a parent.

Thank you to Suzy Approved Book tours and Mira books for my copy of this book!
Profile Image for Ceecee.
1,973 reviews1,503 followers
August 3, 2020
Josh’s girlfriend Grace dies in a tragic accident. Grace has a son Logan, a product of a one night stand and Josh is the only father he has known. Josh wishes to officially adopt Logan to give the child the stability he desperately needs and during the search for the necessary paperwork he makes astonishing discoveries. The story is told by Josh.

I really enjoyed this slow burner domestic mystery drama and one of the main reasons is the characterisation. Josh has overcome some issues in his life, he has messed up in the past but his determination to move forward with Logan is admirable. One of the strongest elements in the novel is the touching bond between Logan and Josh who need each other to overcome their raw grief over losing Grace. Logan is adorable and his issues after the loss of his mother are very well portrayed. Josh has very good intentions and while some of what he does is not necessarily wise it comes from a place of love. The story of Grace gets more and more twisty and surprising as Josh makes discoveries and tension, mystery and suspense builds well. The ending is something you don’t see coming, it’s possibly a bit of a stretch but it’s certainly dramatic and it fits well with what we learn of Grace.

Overall, a very enjoyable and gripping read.

With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton
Profile Image for Patricia.
524 reviews100 followers
June 6, 2019
When his partner of 5 years dies unexpectedly, Josh realizes he needs to look into adopting her son, Logan. Josh begins to realize there is something very wrong when there is no birth certificate, and his partner has never claimed a child on her tax returns. As Josh begins to investigate, this story gets more and more interesting. Be prepared for an explosive ending which you will never see coming!
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,317 reviews
May 28, 2019
3 fantastic premise stars (5 for premise 3 for execution)

I really enjoyed Hannah Mary McKinnon’s earlier book – “The Neighbors” – so I started this one with high expectations. This book has a fantastic premise – what do you when your long-time partner tragically dies, and you start guardianship paperwork on her 7-year-old son – only to discover that things are not as they seem?

Josh and Logan have a fantastic relationship, and both are battling their grief over losing Grace. Logan has some issues at school and Josh struggles to keep his act together with work and his alcoholism. Logan considers Josh his Dad, but things get messy when it’s time to make things legal. Josh sets out to figure out who Grace really was and the mystery surrounding Logan’s past.

I was intrigued enough with this premise to keep reading this one, but there are quite a few loose ends, characters that are introduced and then never mentioned again, and some doubts on my part about plausibility. This one has quite a dramatic ending that I did not predict.

I’ll still definitely read McKinnon’s next book.

Thank you to Edelweiss, Hannah Mary McKinnon, and MIRA for an ARC to read in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Kimberly Belle.
Author 16 books4,039 followers
October 23, 2018
In Her Secret Son, Hannah Mary McKinnon captivates with a story just as engrossing as her first. After the sudden death of his longtime partner, Josh will have to navigate dark secrets in his partner’s past in order to get legal custody of her son, a boy he loves as his own. An engrossing mix of suspense, grief, and family drama, Her Secret Son is a powerful tale of the lengths parents will go to care for their children and ultimately, the true meaning of family.
Profile Image for Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader.
1,107 reviews131 followers
July 10, 2019
WoW, is all I can say. I read this book in a few hours and I am still in awe. Mckinnon had me on the edge of my seat. I had to know all about Grace's son Logan and where he came from. The twists and turns were so very well executed. This is not a book to be missed. I HIGHLY recommend it.
I gave this book 5 stars. Run and get your copy.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
October 14, 2020
The book started very well, with the sudden death of Grace. The author described Josh’ and Logans’ grief and anger over what happened perfectly. The rest of the story deals with the strange facts surrounding Logans birth and how Grace managed to keep them a secret. Of course it is soon quite obvious she was hiding things from Josh and as we follow him in his search for the truth, we do learn a lot about Josh but unfortunately not very much about Grace. Knowing more about her would have helped to better understand why she did what she did. Josh is a good man, an interesting character and he is well described. The kind of man we all liked to have as a dad, lover, friend… His love for Logan is very real and shows that parenting is more than being a biological parent. Much more. Sadly the end of the book was disappointing because it felt a bit hurried and forced. It was a good read though, especially because the main characters were very real.

Thanks to Netgalley for this digital review copy.
Profile Image for Jamie Rosenblit.
904 reviews508 followers
March 7, 2019
Hannah Mary McKinnon is back at it again with taught family drama where one thread coming loose leads to the unraveling of the entire quilt. In Her Secret Son, Grace's sudden death is that unraveling thread for Grace's partner and their son Josh, who Josh has been a father figure to for his 7 years of life, but never legally. While trying to secure his rightful guardianship, Josh uncovers more than he could have ever fathomed about Grace and his quest sends him on a desperate search for answers.

McKinnon writes family secrets and tension like no other - in a way I always liken to a Shakespearean twist - and Her Secret Son follows in the footsteps of The Neighbors in this regard. Full of suspense and intrigue, Her Secret Son is one you do not want to miss.

I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Kate Vocke (bookapotamus).
577 reviews120 followers
August 2, 2019
Let’s hear it for the Dads!

I recently read another book and was telling people how refreshing it was because it was about a great Dad (not by blood) as the main character. Something we rarely see! And this book has one too! And I LOVED IT and I think you will too!

In Her Secret Son, Josh is in a really tough spot. He’s lost his love Grace, and finds himself a single Dad to her son Logan. He’s been there for everything since Logan was tiny, but even though he’s not Logan’s biological father – he would do anything for him, including adopt him.

But as he begins the process and can’t find Logan’s birth certificate … questions begin to arise uncovering troubling secrets and he starts to question everything he though he knew about the woman he loved so deeply.

This book was so fast-paced and thrilling to me! I loved every minute. I thought it was going to be a story about a custody battle or a court case – but no! The story line was so much more compelling and so well thought out - intricately woven and captured my attention the entire way through.

A fantastic balance of intriguing tension and very likeable and relatable characters. And that ending … took my breath away!
Profile Image for Susan.
1,151 reviews192 followers
October 15, 2019
Her Secret Son

Hannah Mary McKinnon

HER SECRET SON is the first book I've ever read by Hannah Mary McKinnon and it definitely won't be the last. The twists and turns keep coming and I had to know how it was going to end! Every time I thought I knew where this story was going, a few pages later, Ms. McKinnon threw me for a loop and I knew I was wrong! I'm kicking myself for not reading this wonderful novel sooner. I knew I was going to love this story just by the description. Don't forget your tissues!! Plan on not getting much sleep until you finish this suspenseful story!

HER SECRET SON is a quick read and unputdownable! Josh has been with Grace for many years and she has a son, Logan who is seven. There is a tragic accident and Grace dies. Logan has no one else but Josh. Through his grief, Josh decides to adopt Logan, but can't seem to find the paperwork needed to get that done. While looking for the necessary papers, he gets little clues that things aren't always what they seem. That goes for people too. If you are looking for a great story with lots of mystery to pull you out of your book slump, you can’t go wrong with IN HER SECRET SON. I’m so excited to read more by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

The twists and turns in HER SECRET SON are going to keep you up late into the night trying to figure it out. One minute you believe you know that without a doubt, Grace is Logan's mom and the next you are sitting there shaking your head, wondering what the heck just happened. My heart was breaking for Josh as well as Logan. When Josh starts investigating things from Grace's past, it will blow your mind. Once you start reading, trust me, you aren't going to be able to stop! Hang on tight as you are reading! It's a crazy and thrilling ride. When everything is finally revealed, well, you won't believe it!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading HER SECRET SON. As Josh begins trying to figure out just what Grace was hiding or if it is all a coincidence, I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop! There is so much going on in this story, but Ms. McKinnon does a wonderful job of weaving all the pieces together. All of the characters will have you feeling sad, then happy, and then yelling on the same page. What a suspenseful story filled with love, grief, mystery and all the emotions of a father fighting for his son. Once you finish devouring this story, you are going to want to tell everyone you know about this emotional and heartbreaking story!
Profile Image for Nina.
837 reviews216 followers
May 19, 2022
Another great book by McKinnon, even if it wasn’t as exciting as the good neighbor. I still felt my heart thumping as John struggled to understand where his son came from.
Profile Image for Vanessa Menezes.
433 reviews112 followers
August 25, 2020
When Josh's partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with full custody of her seven-year-old son.

Josh has always acted like a father to Logan, and so he doesn't hesitate to become his legal guardian. But when Josh can't find any paperwork associated with Logan's birth, his memories of Grace putting off making their family official begins to trouble him.

The further Josh searches into Grace's past, the darker the secrets are that he uncovers. It's not long before he starts to question who the woman he loved really was, and where her 'son' really came from.

This was quite an enjoyable read. It aptly deals with the question, "Would you still want to know the truth if it could cost you everything ?"

The story is narrated from Josh's perspective. It was interesting to follow the course of the events as Josh begins to search the documents required to become Logan's guardian. His love for Logan and his determination to go to all out to protect Logan, as well his ability to learn from his past mistakes was quite admirable. I could understand his frustration at every obstacle he faced, and I felt that he did a splendid job.

Grace's story was quite mysterious and the twists were good. The ending was surprising and shocking, as it was something that I hadn't expected and was far fetched according to me!

Overall an enjoyable read!

Thank You to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this Ebook!
Profile Image for Laura • lauralovestoread.
1,145 reviews235 followers
August 28, 2019
I seem to have a thing for domestic dramas, and Her Secret Son was just the family drama!

I loved the secrets that start to unravel as Josh tries to get to the bottom of what was going on with Grace. Why so many secrets and what wasn’t she telling Josh?

I felt sympathetic towards Josh, and I really enjoyed seeing his interactions and bond with Logan. Overall, I enjoyed this compelling read!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!

*thank you to the author and netgalley for this free copy for review. All opinions are my own
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,750 reviews1,616 followers
November 23, 2020
When Josh's longtime partner, Grace dies in a tragic accident, he's left with a mess of grief and full custody of her seven year old son, Logan. Josh has been dad to Logan in everyday that counts. Josh wants to become Logan's legal guardian, but he can't seem to find the paperwork he needs. As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets and the truth about when Logan came from is more sinister than he could have imagined.

I don't want to say too much about the storyline as I don't want to spoil it for potential readers. The pace is steady and that was just perfect for the story. It's also well written. Tnis is another book I plant put down as I needed to know what had happened. This is a gripping read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I would like to thank #NetGalley, #HodderAndStoughton and the author #HannahMaryMcKinnon for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Suzanne thebookblondie.
158 reviews57 followers
August 4, 2019
Her Secret Son (#72 in 2019)

How far would you go to protect the ones you love…when they may not be yours to protect? When Josh’s longtime partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with a mess of grief—and full custody of her seven-year-old son, Logan. While not his biological father, Josh has been a dad to Logan in every way that counts, and with Grace gone, Logan needs him more than ever. Wanting to do right by Logan, Josh begins the process of becoming his legal guardian—something that seems suddenly urgent, though Grace always brushed it off as an unnecessary formality. As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets to uncover, and that the truth about where Logan came from is much more sinister than he could have imagined…

Based on the cover, I would never have thought to read this book. But when Suzy recommended it, I thought, “why not?!” I’m so glad I took her recommendation, because this book really took me for loop. Just when I was pretty sure I figured out one of the big secrets, another one jumped right off the page! McKinnon’s writing style is, in my opinion, similar to that of Harlan Coben. She has a knack for taking an everyday person and making them so much more interesting through character development. This book would definitely be characterized as a drama in my mind, but then towards the end you get a hint of that Coben-style suspense and it’s impossible to put down. I give this one 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
504 reviews250 followers
October 13, 2019
Decent mystery, not a thriller in the least though, IMO. Definitely not as good as this author's first novel was. Still a fan though and looking forward to the next release!
Profile Image for Hannah McKinnon.
Author 9 books1,351 followers
December 1, 2019
Goodreads keeps asking me to review this book, lol. I wrote it, so I'm going to go ahead and give it 5 stars and say I loved spending time with Josh and Logan.
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