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Only Ever Her

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  185 reviews

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thought

Kindle Edition, 279 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  455 ratings  ·  185 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Marybeth Whalen
My favorite novel by Marybeth yet! Now available to request via NetGalley. <3
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
2.5 stars rounded up to 3.

Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

Contemporary suspense drama told from several viewpoints surrounding the mysterious disappearance of a local woman; only days before her wedding. Runaway Bride? Or is it possible that this is somehow connected to the recent release of the man convicted of murdering the bride's mother twenty three years ago.

Honestly, I felt torn between DNFing and continuing the book
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
In Only Ever Her a small South Carolina town is in despair as a young bride, Annie, disappears just days before her wedding. Where did she go? Why is she gone? Was this intentional or is foul play involved? Lots of unanswered questions loom as her family (Aunt Faye and cousin Clary), friends (Tracey and Kenny), fiancé (Scott), and local community (Sheriff Hal York and reporter, Laurel) try to figure out what happened. Interestingly enough, the man who served more than 20 years in prison for alle ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve read two other books by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen, and they were character-driven, emotional, and so easy to read. Only Ever Her follows suit with those things, and I think she’s topped herself. It’s important to know ahead of time that the characters are indeed the center of this story with a touch of suspense.

Annie Taft lives in small-town South Carolina. Her wedding is only four days away, and it’s set to be a grand affair. Everyone’s talking about it. But then Annie vanishes, and now ever
Hmmm... where to start? This was a well done character driven women’s fiction story. This was not a thriller, and I along with many other readers (I think) went into this with that expectation. So when you pick this one up please keep in mind this is a slower story that is all about the characters. There is a bit of a mystery but it’s not twisted or jaw dropping or anything like that. Marybeth Mayhew Whalen did a great job of creating that southern small town vibe.

Three days before Annie is sup
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
I've read one other book by Marybeth Mayhew Walen and I wasn't a fan of it. I was super excited to get my hands on this one because I've heard raving things but unfortunately this missed the mark completely for me.

I thought this was incredibly boring and should have DNF this book honestly. Ugh... just couldn't connect to the characters or storyline whatsoever!

I got to about 55 percent and then skimmed the rest of the story. There was lack of character development for Annie the main character bu
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received a free e-copy of Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen from NetGalley for my honest review.

I really feel bad when I don't connect with a book and have to leave an ehhh review. I feel bad as I can only imagine, being an author, and all the love, hope and work they put into their writing. With that said I am sorry to say that I just didn't connect with this book. I do appreciate the opportunity to read it and I do see that several other people really enjoyed it so don't let my review
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley

I read Marybeth Mayhew Whalen's book, "When We Were Worthy" and really enjoyed that one. This one was lacking depth for me. The writing itself is good and easy to follow it was just the story that did not resonate with me. I feel it started off pretty good but I admit that I started skimming towards the end. I wanted to find out what happened to Annie. I guess I just did not like the characters very much. I thought adding Faye's 7-Up Chicken Salad Recipe at the end of the book was a nice tho
Mandy White
May 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen was a book that I was hooked on - in the beginning. Unfortunately for me it became a but slow and the story started to drag. The ending was a disappointment for me as well.. The story sounded like one that I was going to really get lost in but it just did not continue. All the characters had their secrets that start to come out and take away from the main story of the missing bride.

Annie Taft is getting married - and it is to be the wedding of the year. An
Annie Taft is 26, ready to marry Scott Hanson, and move somewhere fresh. Away from the town of Ludlow, where she is known as the daughter of the murdered woman. Cordell Lewis was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Annie's mother, Lydia Taft--largely on the word of Annie, who was only three. But his lawyer is advocating for a new trial--and Cordell's release. It's now four days before Annie's wedding; Cordell is out of jail, and Annie has disappeared. At first, Annie's aunt, Faye, ...more
I'm not really sure what my opinion on this book is. It's a bit complicated, and I'm somewhere in the middle between liking it and not.
I found the characters intriguing, but at the same time I lost myself between all the POVs and as much as I thought a character was interesting, all the switching between everyone was a bit frustrating as it minimized the tension the previous entry was building. That's something that happened all throughout this book for me, every time I felt as though the tensio
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
2.5 Stars

I liked the premise of the book but the execution failed. Sadly for me, the book felt a bit drawn out. I could not connect or feel much for the characters, there were just way too many of them. It took me three days to finish this book, and that is a long time for me. I didn't like Annie or any of the other one-dimensional characters in the book.

The characters are sort of ambiguous in that you're not really sure if you are supposed to like them or not. The prose was fine to read - noth
Jeannette Nikolova
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Also available on the WondrousBooks blog.

Only Ever Her promises a suspenseful story about the search of a woman who goes missing days before her wedding and right after the man who went to prison for killing her mother gets released.

Except, that this book is not suspenseful and is not even really about the search of the missing bride.

Instead, the story jumps from character to character in a small town full of people who are not living their best life. From the girl who is trying to be everyone
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
My first read by Whalen and I wouldn't quite categorize this in the thriller category - but more as a contemporary mystery. This is a very character driven story. We get several different POVs that was a lot to take in at first. Once I got myself under control, I definitely became quite involved with the story. This book does move a bit at a slow to moderate pace. Normally this would cause my attention to wane, but in this case I was pretty well into needing to know what was going on. Where did ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
What is it about small southern towns that appeals to me so greatly?! Throw in a light mystery and a whole bunch of secrets and I’m all in!

The characters are the driving force in this, much as was the case in her previous book, When We Were Worthy, and there’s just something about a character driven tale that speaks to me in a deep way. This one focuses a lot on community and how people come together and support each other during hard times and there are several perspectives that offer you a bir
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Annie Taft is getting married in 4 days and everyone is working hard on preparations. That is...until the bride disappears. Is this a case of cold feet or is something more sinister at play?

This is not a thriller but a slow burn novel about secrets. There are a lot of characters, none that really stood out to me. I needed more character development, particularly for Annie. There was a disconnect for me with the characters and overall, left me feeling disgruntled about the plot. There is a myster
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Annie's mother was murdered when she was three years old. Her Aunt has been her caretaker since then. Now, Annie is all grown up and preparing for her wedding. With her wedding to Scott days away, Annie goes missing!

There were a few good points to the novel. The small town setting felt very Steel Magnolias with the hair salon and the town gossip. Laurel and Clary's stories were interesting and kept me going to the end of the book.

I found myself DESPERATE to know more about almost all of the cha
Amanda McGill
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgallery, 2019
For full review - The Limit of Books Does Not Exist

This was my first read by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen and sadly I wasn’t impressed. The story was intriguing and I enjoyed how the past and present seemed to link up, but sadly the characters did it in.

Annie is suppose to be this flawless main character who lost her mother at a young age. She has her secrets, but she is getting married to a great guy. I hated Annie. She was just so flaky and used people to get what she wanted. She didn’t care about o
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Only Ever Her⭐
With weddings and murder there is little Annie can do to keep her clam so with the wedding coming closer and Annies disappearance everything is questioned.
The prologue was amazing but the rest of the story had a different voice, many voices and none of them were as intriguing.
We follow alot of different people I think that if we were to only see two perspectives and just get more of them i would have really enjoyed this but I was trying to remeber who peope were and what their re
AMY(pronounced Ah-MEI)♥Queen Of The Fat Cats♥
Whoa! Cover!

I'm feeling generous today, so 4 stars!
Gina Jones
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel had an excellent recipe for great suspense—the bride goes missing days before the wedding. Man accused of killing the bride's mother released from prison. However, it fell short for most of the storyline. I know the author was setting us up for more, as we continued with each character. With each character’s chapters, we would learn a bit more of each one’s drama, and a secret each were harboring.
I would of like to had more time with Annie, the missing bride. I felt we didn’t learn m
Judy Collins
Review coming!
Leslie Ann
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness I cannot wait for y’all to read Marybeth Mayhew Whalen’s newest book in May. This was the perfect blend of general fiction and mystery/thriller. I was fully invested in all of the characters’s storylines and I couldn’t wait to find out how everything ended. Y’all, this one was soooo good!!!
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley-ebooks
2.5/5 stars

Only Ever Her is my first book by this author. I think that it is supposed to be a mystery. But honestly it was not overly suspenseful.

There are multiple 3rd person narrators. The narrators are: Annie, Laurel, Faye, Clary and Kenny. The story is about Annie (26), who is about to get married. She has secrets, as do all of the narrators. Faye is Annie's aunt. Clary is Faye's daughter. Kenny is Annie's high school friend. And Laurel is a reporter.

Having so many narrators is not my favori
Lori Boyd
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
🌟🌟🌟 1/2 Stars for this fast-paced myster. . Small towns are tough..everyone knows everyone, but certain secrets can be kept for years. A young mother is murdered with only her 3 yr old daughter as a witness. A man is sent to prison what the child says. This child, Annie, grows up as a favorite in Ludlow, SC. The town is excited about Annie’s upcoming wedding. Then, Annie goes missing. Old mysteries, new mysteries, Southern elite and outcasts come together with Annie’s family to search. By the en ...more
I love a good mystery, I’m always willing to dive into a new thriller, and upon seeing Only Ever Her I was ready for another thrilling mystery that would have me hooked throughout. With Marybeth Mayhew Whalen being a name I recognised, one I’d been meaning to read for a while, I was getting myself a new mystery and finally able to put a tick next to the name.

Although I had fun with this one, it wasn’t quite what I had been expecting. As I’ve mentioned, I was ready for a thrilling mystery. Althou
Donna Hines
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Can't have a wedding if you don't have a bride?!
I know... but Annie may not have gone willingly, or perhaps she did, or maybe the rest of the family and friends needs to check themselves an their own closets?
Loved it all as Marybeth shows plenty of characters with plenty of heart.
Speaking of hearts did she simply have a change of heart?
Was this a precursor to the past with a shady man arrested and misidentified by Annie as the killer of her mother?
In the end the doves fly away but the relati
Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
I love a good book cover and this one is GORGEOUS! Thank you so much Lake Union Publishers and Little Bird Publicity for sending it to me.

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Mrs Mommy Booknerd
#FirstLine ~ He tugs at his collar and takes a swig of tepid coffee.

A slow burn mystery that creates more intrigue than it does suspense. It was an enjoyable read and one that has depth both in story and characters. Worth the read.
Kristin Lanier
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Ugh, it pains me to write this review. I absolutely loved Whalen’s “When We Were Worthy.” So, I was excited to receive an advanced reader’s copy of her newest one, coming out in May. However, I did not like it as much as I was hoping I would.

“Only Ever Her” is about a bride who disappears and everyone is trying to figure out what happened to her. Did she leave on her own? Or did something more sinister happen? It definitely reads more like fiction than mystery/thriller, which I thought worked w
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Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True, and five previous novels. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site She Reads. You can find her at

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Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She speaks to women's groups around the US. She is the co-founder of the popular women's fiction site, She Reads Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 26 years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends mos ...more
“But this is what she knows - tragedy brings out the best and worst in people. The state of suspended reality that comes with a tragedy can make people believe that nothing they do right now counts. There is a freedom that comes with that feeling, a pass to do anything you want, damn the consequences.” 1 likes
“The trick to keeping a secret is you just have to do it every day, day after day” 0 likes
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