The book blurb:
Some secrets never leave us alone…
Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right?
After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart.
Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock – and destroy her.
Befriended is an exciting, contemporary thriller that will keep you on the very edge of your seat. This book will toy with your emotions time and time again – and keep you coming back for more.
I seriously could not put this book down. I was drawn into Gemma’s and Indiana’s worlds right away. It’s far from a “chic lit” novel and I enjoyed the thriller-esque scenes where you weren’t quite sure if Indiana was finally going to pull out a knife or push someone out a window. She is a very complex, dark character, and I loved reading about her. However, I was put off by a couple of things. Indiana’s behaviour was very characteristic of antisocial personality disorder which includes exploiting others, low empathy, glib and superficial charm, intense anger, etc. (Not bipolar disorder as the book describes- which is a very different illness from sociopathy). As a counselor-in-training, I find it very important that mental illnesses and personality disorders aren’t misrepresented in media. Also, spoiler alert: When a counselor sleeps with his patient, he risks losing his license and facing criminal charges. In counseling ethics, a counselor can’t even see their client as a friend for at least five years after providing therapy. So I couldn’t take that romance between Indiana and her counselor seriously. I hate to throw a wet towel on such an otherwise gripping story, but those were the two things that took away from my experiences as a reader. Still, it was an edgy, enjoyable read. And what I loved is that Gemma cared enough about Indiana to help her. 4/5 stars!
(I couldn’t find where to purchase this story, sadly it seems like it was taken down, but you can follow the author on Goodreads.)