The Single Mums’ Secrets by Janet Hoggarth

Thanks to the author and publisher for the eARC of this book, which will be available to purchase on 6th August.

The story follows several characters as they navigate the often rocky terrain that is the life of the single parent. There’s Louise, who having been recently widowed, is trying to adjust to life with her two grieving children whilst trying to get through her own feelings of loss… and guilt.

Christa is Louise’s sensible sister, who was told long ago that she can’t have children and seems to have made her peace with that, despite it leading to the break up with her long-boyfriend. A one-night stand with her gorgeous neighbour Carl gives her the chance to move on… and a lot more than she bargained for. In order to cope with the shock of the present, she must come to terms with trauma in her past.

Carl is finally feeling in control of his life, his addiction and his body. He has a girlfriend too and it looks like they have a future together. Until he receives some news that will blow his mind…

I didn’t realise before starting this book that it is part of a series, including The Single Mums’ Mansion and The Single Mums’ Move On. There were a few references which I didn’t quite grasp, which I gather relate to events from previous books, but it definitely didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this novel.

There were parts where I laughed out loud, especially during Carl’s pep talks with his non-compliant penis! I felt the pain of Louise’s shock and grief, as well as the vacuum which comes after a funeral and the support and understanding can dry up. Much of the story was told from Christa’s perspective and I struggled to identify with her, possibly due to her seeming lack of emotion at times. However as her past was explained, I found myself empathising with and understanding her more.

All in all, this was a relaxing read and if my towering TBR pile allows it, I may go back to read the previous books in the series too.

Rating: 5 out of 5.