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My Lovely Wife

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A couple's fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting...

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

Alternate cover edition of ISBN 9780451491725

390 pages, Hardcover

First published March 26, 2019

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About the author

Samantha Downing

5 books5,182 followers
Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for the Edgar, ITW, Macavity awards in the US, the CWA award in the UK, and the winner of the Prix des Lectrices award in France.

Her latest novel, For Your Own Good, was released on July 20, 2021 and was an instant USA Today bestseller.

A Twisted Love Story is her fourth novel and will be released on July 18, 2023.

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5 stars
35,247 (26%)
4 stars
55,061 (41%)
3 stars
31,770 (23%)
2 stars
8,184 (6%)
1 star
2,398 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 16,115 reviews
Profile Image for Holly.
1,449 reviews1,086 followers
September 24, 2019
I have a lot of things to say about this book, none of them good, pretty much all of it is a spoiler. Some people really enjoyed this book so consider that before deciding to spoil this book's entire plot by reading my ridiculously (and uncharacteristically) long spoiler below:

Ok, rant over. I only gave this 2 stars instead of 1 because the writing was not horrific. Just the entire story pretty much was terrible in my opinion. BUT I AM PRETTY MUCH THE ONLY PERSON WHO FEELS THIS WAY so maybe my ability to enjoy this kind of book is just broken and I need to stay away from these kinds of thrillers for a while. That actually sounds like a good plan. I'm going to do that.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,303 reviews43.9k followers
August 24, 2022
4 what the hell did I just read stars!

Samantha Downing’s outstanding, smart, entertaining debut thriller keeps you on your toes and makes you cry when you take a look at your nails because you bit them all during your read!

Welcome to your crazy train ride ! Your destination is a suburban town, meet with this lovely family, party of four. A lovely real estate agent wife, a tennis instructor husband and their smart and beautiful kids. Nope, nothing as it seems. You’re about to meet to one of the dysfunctional families.

Not Shameless, Weeds tv series kinda dysfunctional. This couple suffers from their daily routines and responsibilities of the their marriage. Never ending bill payments, children’s demands, working on the jobs without any satisfaction... As a summary all work no play ! But their solution for not being dull is finding an interesting hobby which is organizing the murders of young women.

This book is unconventional with its disturbing characters. Millicent, lovely wife takes her trophy as one of the terrifying, blood freezing, sociopathic characters of the history( definitely she is the danger, Walter White is like a Disney character when you compare him with this woman)
This is brilliant page turner makes you addicted. You never want to stop and keep on reading. It makes you paranoid, it makes you run in the dark as soon as you turn off the lights, it gives you goosebumps!

Twists are well played. The characterization is developed with so much dark humor and conclusion is surprising. A promising start! I truly enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Deanna .
687 reviews12.5k followers
October 7, 2019
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

Wow! What a read!

I had no idea what to expect after reading the description for this novel. However, I knew I had to read it, and once I started, there was no going back.

Dark, disturbing, and so very clever. This novel really was impossible to put down.

The book opens with a man approaching a woman in a bar. He slides his phone towards her, and she reads the message he has typed on it…

“Hello. My name is Tobias”

She is unsure why he is using his phone to speak to her, but his next message clears things up.

“I am deaf”

The woman is unsure whether or not she wants to engage with Tobias. She assumes he’s been turned down many times. He can sense her inner struggle.

Will she stay?

She has no idea just how important this decision is.

The husband and his wife, Millicent have been married for fifteen years. They have two teenage children. He teaches tennis and she sells houses. They may not be rich but they are comfortable. The family runs like a well-oiled machine thanks to “Millicent’s Commandments”. They always eat dinner together, and they have regular family movie nights. They seem like a very happy and normal family.

People will do many things to keep a marriage alive. The couple in this novel is no exception. But the ways they keep their marriage from getting boring? Well, those are VERY different.

My Lovely Wife” was a diabolical, unique, and thrilling read with a fantastic cast of characters. Told from the husband’s point of view, the story was engaging and twisted. Full of secrets, lies, and surprises. I was riveted and couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next, what the characters were doing to do next.

“You didn’t think we were going to stop, did you?”

This was an incredible debut novel. I am very excited to see what Samantha Downing comes up with next!

I'd like to thank Berkley Publishing for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
February 11, 2021
4.75* Sinful Stars! (rounded up)

A Brand of Crazy All its Own.

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid! Next time your neighbor or someone else smiles at you, perhaps you should just look away. Catching their eye could be extremely dangerous.

Me: Smiling wickedly as I read: “I love this, but it is vile! I really shouldn’t be liking this so much, I mean, it’s so not right, but I just can’t help my darn self!"

Me: Laughing mischievously, “Oh my gosh, is this actually happening? I cannot believe she just did that!”

So what’s the premise? A man and a woman meet, fall in love and marry. Together, they have the wildest and well, most terrifying of hobbies. It’s one I’d never imagine and frankly, hope remains fictional.

For me, reading this was like eating a potato chip. I simply couldn’t get enough! The secrets are whoppers and the suspense is all consuming, gritty, grimy and was like nothing I’ve ever read before.

“My Lovely Wife” by Samantha Downing is seriously unputdownable! You simply must get your hands on it, like right this second. Beg, borrow or steal if you have to, or maybe just ask nicely, whatever works. You will not regret it.

My final thought is this: “My Lovely Wife” is freakish and demented and I loved every second of it. It is so crazy that it will make me give almost everyone I meet from now on the side-eye, including you!

This was a buddy read with Kaceey. Most of the conversations I had above (smiling wickedly, etc.), happened in the context of texting with her. We went back and forth constantly, as we couldn’t believe our own eyes. It was totally awesome, thus I highly recommend this for a group read. Thanks so much as always Kaceey!

A huge thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and to Samantha Downing for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Published on Goodreads, Twitter and Instagram on 9/26/18.
*Will be published on Amazon on 3.26.19 upon release.

Review also published on blog: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews157k followers
April 18, 2021

Halloween is just around the corner and it's time for some spooky books - but which ones are worth your time? Check out this BookTube Video for answers!
The Written Review:

4.5 stars

“I wanted to surprise you,” she says. “For our anniversary.”
I stare at her. My lovely wife.
“It’s demented,” I say.
She raises an eyebrow at me. Before she can speak, I put my finger against her lips.
“And it’s brilliant,” I say.”
Some couples have game night, other love to see a movie...this one likes to murder people.
My name is not Tobias. I use that name only when I want someone to remember me.
"Tobias" met his wife years ago, and he knew from the moment he saw her that she was special.

Fifteen years later, they are hitting a bit of a rough patch but the good news is, they're planning another murder.

But, what his wife doesn't know is that Tobias has been cheating... or does she?

As much as he loves her, he has to admit that sometimes (just sometimes) he can see dark thoughts flit across her face.

Is it just their anniversary murder? Or does she have something else up her sleeve?

Whew. This book was WILD.

This was a fabulous thriller and I loved figuring out all the pieces of this puzzle. There were so many moving parts (and the wife was soo deliciously evil).

I thought "Tobias" was a bit flat and dense of a main character but in all honesty, I think that ended up fitting quite well.

I do wish we spent more time on the grand reveal - we were teased quite a bit about the motives of the earlier couple-killings and when the twist happened, I really wanted more time in that moment.

The ending felt a bit sharp, and wrapped up surprisingly quickly but all in all - this was a really good book. And not one I'll soon forget!

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Yun.
521 reviews21.7k followers
August 16, 2021
My Lovely Wife is advertised as a domestic thriller about a married couple who murders to keep their marriage alive. It sounds interesting enough, so sign me up. Except what I got was mostly a domestic drama with no thrills. Boo hiss.

The majority of this book reads like a play of a typical suburban family, starring the couple and their two teenage kids. We are treated to page after page of them getting ready, going to work/school, coming home, cooking and eating dinner, watching tv, and going to sleep. There are lots of teenage drama, angst, rebellion, and technology use. It's all so pedestrian and boring.

This couple has real communication issues between them. Since the story is told from the husband's perspective and the wife does most of the murdering, it's all done off-screen, which means the husband (and we the readers) don't know the details. The husband is curious about what the wife is doing, but for some odd reason, doesn't just come out and ask her. Supposedly this couple murders to keep the spark alive in their relationship, yet the husband is too squeamish to know the details. It doesn't make any sense.

It's also not clear to me why they do this. The book makes some pretty far-fetched jumps to tie a backstory together, but it isn't convincing. In fact, none of the main characters' actions really gel into real people with coherent personalities. They are all rather one-dimensional, with the only distinguishing characteristics being that the parents murder for excitement and their kids go through teenage issues.

It's always a risk to tell a story from an antihero's perspective, and in order for it to be good, the reader has to be able to understand and connect with that person. Unfortunately, I didn't really feel anything from this story. I wasn't excited or thrilled or intrigued. I mostly just read to see what happens in the end, and when I got there, I didn't really feel anything either. Considering how awesome the premise was, it's a shame this book was a solid meh for me.
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.7k followers
March 26, 2020
There's no denying, I'm one tough customer. Or a picky chick as I've so lovingly dubbed myself. Being the lone misfit who can't seem to get in line with a book everyone else is awarding high ratings is proof positive. At 110 pages in, I have no choice but to jump ship. The “shocking revelations” I’ve encountered thus far aren’t enough to overcome the husband’s bland delivery. Or more candidly, I'm bored. Maybe I’ll give Millicent’s husband another opportunity to amuse me with tales of his *lovely wife* some other day. Let's be honest though, the chances of that happening are slim.

*Thanks to Berkley for providing a review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
383 reviews1,768 followers
April 25, 2019
Five Crazy Solid Stars

I am not going to get into very much of this plot. I went into this book blindly and suggest you do the same. It was a big surprise. Millicent and her husband have two children and live in the suburb. They seem to be a normal family like everyone else in the neighborhood. They get very bored in their fifteen year old marriage, which is very dysfunctional. They want to thrill their marriage up and they are hiding very dark secrets to keep their marriage alive.

This is one crazy thriller. It will blow your mind. I am utterly in awe. I could not believe this was a debut novel. It lived up to all the hype for me. This has everything that I love in a thriller. I loved everything about this book. This was my first solid five star for the year. I loved everything about this book. it definitely will be one of my favorites for this year. I was immediately drawn into this story. I could not put this down.

Before you open up this book make sure you have no plans for the day. Don't answer the telephone, and don't answer the door, because all you will want to do is to read this book. I am serious. At least that is how I thought. I did not want it to end. I raced through this book and read it in a day in a half.

I loved the ending. Right when I thought I had figured this one out, a big twist comes along that wasn't expected at all and it left me speechless. It was a big surprise. This one kept me on the edge of my seat. It is not a predictable read and I thought it was mind blowing and AMAZING! This one is tied in first place in my favorite shelf for this year. Crazy good!

I loved the character development and I thought it was very well written. I can't wait to read her next book.

This was a Traveling Sister read and I think we all loved it. It was a great discussion.

I want to thank Edelweiss, Berkley Books and Samantha Downing for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Available Now
Profile Image for Julie .
4,077 reviews59k followers
March 19, 2019
My Lovely Wife is a 2019 Berkley publication.

Sly, witty, and brilliant!!

The tile, cover, and intriguing synopsis for this book made it sound too good to pass up- and it was!!

The premise is mostly original, as a husband and wife and their two children enjoy ,what appears on the surface, to be a nice normal, healthy, family life. However, this married couple, instead of engaging in a little role play to spice up their marriage- indulge in a little murder on the side instead.

The husband, who never reveals his real name, tells this story from a first person perspective, giving us a play by play of events as they unfold, adding all his twisted inner thoughts about what has happened, what is probably happening, what he hopes will happen, and what he is afraid will happen- which is as fascinating as it is horrifying.

I can’t believe this is a debut novel!! Smart, devious, well-constructed, and wildly entertaining!! I loved it! If you love psychological thrillers, you do not want to miss this one! Relish it and savor it and try not to feel too guilty if you find yourself laughing instead being justly outraged by our narrator and his lovely wife. This book was almost TOO fun! But, if you love dark humor, twisted and disturbing plots, with loads of surprises, I promise this one will deliver everything you ordered and then some!!

5 stars
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,197 reviews3,034 followers
September 6, 2020
I was lucky enough to win My Lovely Wife in a Goodreads Giveaway. I knew the book was about a couple that murders and that the book had really good reviews but I didn't know much more. Recently I read the book with JuJu and Gail and what a fun way to read a book like this one. There are so many twists, turns, and shocks that I could not put this book down. Every chapter ended with me wanting to find out what happened next. There was just one shock after another and it was fun to get to share my thoughts with my reading buddies.

I will call the husband Fake Tobias, for reasons that you will understand when you read the book. FT's wife is Millicent, a very successful realtor and they have two teenagers, Rory and Jenna. FT teaches tennis lessons to his rich neighbors and seems to think he has to work to impress his wife since he's not sure how he married such an accomplished, beautiful woman. His life is filled with the everyday things of work, taking the kids to school and sports events, dinner with the family every night, washing the car, tending to the home, all the normal things a normal family man will do. But FT and Millicent have a big secret, something illegal that gives them both a big thrill and they want to keep on doing this thing, despite the risks and the wrongness of what they are doing

I can't believe how much I enjoyed this dark and disturbing book and it mostly had to do with the narration and thoughts of FT. Millicent is so easy to hate and FT is a horrible person but there is something semi likable about FT, too. He loves his wife and kids and has compassion for those who have suffered sadness in their lives...think about that one...when he and his wife cause such tremendous sadness for their victims and their families. The two people cause so much damage and it's when the damage reaches their family that at least FT seems to have second thoughts.

Author Samantha Downing did a fantastic job of keeping up the suspense and mystery in this story. It's such a guilty pleasure, enjoying this book from the wrong side of murder. Thank you to Berkley Books, Samantha Downing, and Goodreads Giveaway for making this book available to me.

Published March 26th 2019
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,126 reviews3,713 followers
September 27, 2018

Be prepared to be shocked!😳

If only I could give you a broader glimpse of what this book is about. Unfortunately, nearly everything I’d want to share would end up being a spoiler! So friends…less is more!

Millicent and her husband are living the typical suburban life. Both work, while raising two children. And of course, trying to keep up with the Jones’. Nothing out of the ordinary, really.
However, their “extracurricular activities” are, oh… a bit different than you and me (at least I hope so!) OK, that’s all I’m going to say...

This book is so twisted, so dark and macabre. I was speechless throughout! Once you’re in, it’s absolutely unputdownable! (I love that word!) And just when you think you’ve reached your maximum shock value? Well, not so fast. Samantha Downing isn’t done rocking your world and keeps the surprises coming! Did I mention this is her debut? Seriously! Cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

Make sure to clear your calendar, pack some snacks and put everything else aside. Because you won’t be able to tear yourself away until you reach the final page! This is a must-read for all thriller fans for spring of 2019! You don’t want to miss this one! Highly recommend!

A super fun, shockingly thrilling buddy read with Susanne!

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group for a galley copy to read and review.
Profile Image for Meredith (Trying to catch up!).
814 reviews12.7k followers
February 26, 2019
4.25 stars

My Lovely Wife is a f*ed up psychological thriller about a husband and wife’s extremely interesting fetish!

A couple married for 15 years takes up an unusual “hobby” to keep the spark alive. While their plan works to help their marriage, it can only work for so long before they are exposed. In order to keep having their secret “date nights,” they concoct an elaborate scheme resulting in a masterful game of cat and mouse.

My Lovely Wife is an ADDICTIVE and TWISTED read that held my attention from the first page. I just loved the tone! The dark humor had me laughing and smiling at some really inappropriate moments. These are characters that a reader should hate, and while the wife is depicted as being cold, there is something just so sympathetic about the husband. He is quite the clever narrator! While predicted one twist early on, I had no clue has to how things were going to play out. Oh and that last sentence? Chilling!

I have been reading a lot of mediocre thrillers lately and thought I was going to be taking a break from the genre, but Samantha Downing, with her bat sh*t crazy characters and crafty narrator, has restored my faith! I highly recommend to fans of psychological thrillers!

I received an ARC of this book from Edelweiss and Penguin Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cindy.
407 reviews116k followers
December 13, 2019
I really enjoyed binging this! It was so fun learning more about this twisted couple and seeing the storyline flip between past and present to develop the characters and how their relationship came to be. It’s fast-paced, easy to read, and made me want to guess what would happen next. Even though I was able to predict the plot twist, I still think how the author weaved together the story makes it engaging to read.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
August 16, 2020
wow. this book makes me feel like i need to go to marriage counselling... and im single.

what a trip. i saw pretty much saw everything coming a mile away, but its the narrator who sold this book for me. he goes by the name ‘tobias’ but we never actually find out his real name. and he loves his wife and would do ANYTHING for her. hes basically a less clever, suburban version of joe from ‘you.’ its the kind of twisted psychological relationship i love reading about and the same kind of bizarre dynamic that makes me so paranoid of other people.

this is a great story for those of you looking for something psychotically entertaining.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Joey R..
268 reviews391 followers
June 5, 2019
2.0 Stars—- I don’t think I have ever read a book this demented and warped nor do I ever want to read one like it again. This book’s basic premise is so ridiculous it ruins a well written book that could have been enjoyable. The author makes the mistake of making the two main characters ( including the narrator) so diabolical that the reader is left with no one to root for. Millicent and her unnamed husband are the typical family with two kids, two jobs and the normal problems you might expect for a family with two teenagers. The only difference between them and other parents in the neighborhood is that they have gotten in the habit of murdering innocent women. If you can accept and enjoy this foundation for the main characters — this is your book. If not, don’t waste your time. The rest of the book is like a bad offspring of “Gone Girl” (but not as entertaining when there is no one to root for). On the plus side, the writing is very good and I finished it due to the author’s ability to keep the story moving. But I was glad when I finished it and felt like I needed a shower.
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
315 reviews2,419 followers
February 26, 2019

MY LOVELY WIFE, my lovely knife, my lovely nightmare come true….aaaahhhh! You guys know how much I love a literary serial killer, but this is the first time I’ve read about TWO killers married to each other. You know, as in wedded bliss. Perfect harmony. Until death do they part. Get ready to be shocked. You are about to enter cray-cray town.

The lovely cover should be blasted with a lovely warning label: DO NOT START READING UNLESS YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO FINISH TONIGHT. It is paralyzingly addictive. Lightning fast to read, all short chapters and snappy dialogue. Your little fingers will be turning those pages so fast, you’ll need to watch out for paper cuts (just a tiny inside joke from the story!).

What can I say about the plot? We have a “normal” husband (our narrator) with a normal suburban family in Florida-- paying bills and working like crazy to keep his kids in the latest Nike’s and playing the latest video games. Frequent arguments about money are had with a slightly controlling, yet, lovely wife that add to our narrator’s frustrations. They accidentally discover a new hobby together that brings a vibrancy to their humdrum existence. SPOILER ALERT: it's not knitting!

I adore the first person, present tense style the story is presented in. And from a male character! A rare point of view in this genre. The tension is built like a house of cards and you never can predict what will happen next! The violence takes place off the page-definitely my preferred method- and the tone of the novel is tongue in cheek. I admire this author's skills!

The book comes out on March 26, 2019. Very reminiscent of the acerbic Jane Doe and the salty In the Vines –take a moment to prepare your palate with these two fave thrillers while you wait for MY LOVELY WIFE to hit the shelves.

Many thanks to the author for allowing me to read and review the early galley! All opinions are strictly my own.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
829 reviews4,706 followers
May 26, 2019
4.5 twisted, dark and thrillingly fun stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 - I absolutely LOVED Samantha Downing's My Lovely Wife ❤️

I am a Dexter fan - both the books and the television show so this book filled a definite void for me. Man meets woman. Man and woman fall in love, get married and have kids. Happily ever after becomes routine and a bit mundane.

How do you liven things up and bring back the excitement and intensity of falling in love? Well you'll simply have to read the book to find out. I will tell you that you are in for a treat with this couple's antics! Honestly, these two are sadistic and psychotic and yet I couldn't help falling under their spell and becoming enraptured with them. The crazier things got, the harder it became to put this book down. All I can say is that I'm a fan and I definitely look forward to what Downing will write next.

A huge thank you yo Samantha Downing, Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for an arc of this book to read and review.
Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
571 reviews618 followers
March 3, 2020

**** Yayyyy the paperback edition is out for this book today March 3rd!!! If you haven't read this, what the heck are you waiting for????? Thank you so much to Berkley Publications for having me along on this blog tour- here is my review from last year! I LOVE this book!******

OMG OMG OMG!!! Yes I am speechless as I finished up my most anticipated book of the year! It not only lived up to my expectations, it far exceeded them! Whew, how is this a debut? I mean really I am floored that this is Samantha Downing's first book. New thriller queen in the house!

I am going to try my hardest not to give anything away, just know you really need to read this. This is one of the most unique and well spun thriller plots I have come across and believe me I have read plenty. Don't think this is another wife and husband thriller with a plot you have read before.

Millicent and her husband have a fantastic loving marriage. Fifteen years of wedded bliss with two wonderful children. Living in the peaceful suburbs they are just the perfect little family. How do they keep their marriage so fresh and their love so strong? They must work hard to keep each other happy. OH my god you have no idea. I have never read about such a dysfunctional couple. I can only say I felt like Millicent was a pet tiger and her husband would secretly bring home fresh meat to feed her. LOL. I have no other way to describe what I read.

It is great when you know from the very first chapter that you are going to love it. The writing style had a raw, edgy humor to it and that is my favorite! I can't quite explain why I got suckered into liking this couple. It is awful to say that no matter what they did, I just couldn't quite hate them. I really didn't want this book to end. I was so wrapped up in their story. When I least expected it this story took a crazy turn leaving me dumbfounded. Did I miss the clues? I think not, it was just so well spun.

Obviously I loved the hell out of this book. I can't recommend it enough. I sure hope Samantha Downing is banging out a new book in the near future. I for one will be first in line trying to get my hands on it! Now excuse me while I lock all my eye drops up, you know just in case anyone gets any ideas.

Thank you so much to Samantha Downing, Berkley and Edelweiss for this fantastic ARC!
March 8, 2020
We had the pleasure of Samantha Downing joining us in our Behind the Pages Group for a spoiler-free Q & A. She shared some insight into My Lovely Wife and her writing process. To view the Q & A please follow the link


We read My Lovely Wife with two of our reading groups and this one left us all cheering with excitement after finishing this one. We hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did. If you haven't read it it's one we highly recommend not to miss out on as it is just that fantastic. It's a top pick for us Traveling Sisters!

It entertained us, disturbed us, made us uncomfortable and had us questioning our own dark and twisted loving minds!

Married with children serial killer, a game of cat and mouse, rich in twists and an ending that will leave you wanting to talk about it.

My Lovely Wife grabbed my attention right from the start and I raced through it as fast as I could. I wasn't alone here! It was a fast page-turner for us that kept a few of us up reading late into the night with the best book hangovers ever. It was one of the fastest group reads with one of the longest discussions we have had! Now that ending left us speechless but not for long. We had a lot to talk about with that ending. We all highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Samantha Downing for our copies to read and review!

For more thoughts from members of the Traveling Sisters can be found here

Profile Image for Crumb.
189 reviews539 followers
November 1, 2019

There are three things you should know about Millicent.

1. She fills a room with her charisma and beauty
2. She's a perfectionist
3. She's a psycho

This book surprised me in the best way. I couldn't put it down. I was actually having a conversation with a friend the other day, and I remember saying "if you aren't gasping at every turn and you keep taking breaks, than why are you reading it?" I may hold my books to a fairly high standard, but why shouldn't I? There are way too many stories out there for me not to be picky. This one, certainly did not disappoint. And in the world where there are far too many psychological thrillers marketing themselves as the next "Gone Girl" or the next "Girl on the Train" for me, it's important to shine and make your mark on the world.

I feel as if this novel didn't follow the standard formula, in which someone dies, and we spend the remainder of the book figuring out the why and whom of it all, yadda yadda yadda. No! In this story, we are introduced to the villains early on. I really enjoyed how the author created an eerie atmosphere from the first page and the tension was carried on through out.

I would highly recommend My Lovely Wife. It was a fast-paced, epic joy ride!
Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews942 followers
September 20, 2018
*deep breathing to calm myself so I can write this review*

Ok so when I got this book in the mail I literally jumped up and down while holding it to my chest....aaaaannnd I may have squealed just a little bit. My boyfriend thinks I'm a nutcase.

Samantha Downing's debut novel is de-friggin-licious.

Since the description for this story gives practically nothing away, I don't want to spoil the readers experience whatsoever with a detailed review.

The prose is precise and to the point, never once getting bogged down with useless information just to fill space. The characters are thoroughly developed and I quickly developed a love/hate relationship with them, though not nearly as deep as the one they have between themselves. Though this story is a slow burn, it remains tantalizing throughout, and when the flames are finally stoked it quickly turns into purgatory for all involved.

Wow, this is such a fun, page turning read.Twists and turns abound.This would make a crazy, dark and fun TV show.
Profile Image for Larry H.
2,512 reviews29.5k followers
December 3, 2018

4.5, maybe 4.75 stars, rounded up!

If you're looking for a heartwarming love story, a tale of two people whose marriage is so full of love and devotion...find another book. This was one crazy, tension-filled, suspenseful book that had me shaking my head and wondering what would come next!

On the surface, they seem like the perfect family. He is a tennis pro at the local country club, she is a successful, high-end real estate agent. They have two teenage kids who play sports, do reasonably well in school, and only give them a bit of backtalk now and again. They eat dinner together every night—no cell phones at the table—and they are totally involved in their children's lives.

But when you've been married for a while, how do you keep the passion burning? How can you keep your spouse from being tempted by the fruit of another? Every couple has their own tricks, their own strategies. Theirs just happens to be a little bit more, umm, unorthodox.

The beauty of this book comes from the surprises that lurk when you least expect them, so I'm keeping my plot summary to a bare minimum. Promotions for My Lovely Wife have described it as a cross between Dexter and Mr. and Mrs. Smith; I found it a little more of the latter (boy, what Brad and Angelina could have done with these roles in their heyday) and not so much of the former. But forget about comparisons, because this is a book all its own.

Samantha Downing has taken a genre that is getting a little tired and predictable at times, and thrown in some "wait, she's not going to do that, is she?" along with more than a few "oh, wows," and sprinkled in a few "holy craps" to boot. I certainly don't want to think that there are people out there like this couple, but given the book's depiction of the media and our crazy world, anything is possible.

What a wild ride this was. My Lovely Wife keeps you flipping those pages because you absolutely must know what happens next, and you cannot get enough of this story and these crazy, amoral characters. I'm sure there are people who won't like this, but it made a believer of me!!

NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,416 reviews35.2k followers
April 29, 2019
I'm flat in the middle of the road on this one. With the tagline of Dexter meets Mr. & Mrs. Smith, I knew what I was getting into and it sounded right up my alley. The problem is- I've been in this alley before. I'm quite familiar with the alley and for that reason this book failed to really "wow" or "shock" me. Just hearing about "H" I thought " I bet it's the other way around..." then we meet "H" and well.... I also had my theory on how this book would end - obviously not all the details, but with the Mr. and Mrs. Smith mention, it wasn't hard to foresee...plus somewhere in the back of my head I heard the tagline from Highlander in my head "There can be only one"

Don't get me wrong, this one got my attention right away, and I did enjoy it, I plowed through it fast, it just failed to wow me as much as it did other readers. It's enjoyable, it's a fast reader, it's fun, but will I remember it in months to come - vaguely. I will remember it as the writer's homage to a great television show (until that final episode - come on) and a so-so movie with Pretty people playing with guns.

Wickedly fun, deceptively enjoyable, but didn't live up to the hype for me.

btw- I kept picturing Millicent as Marcia Cross from Desperate Housewives while reading this.

Thank you to the publisher and edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions in this book are my own.
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 18 books1,594 followers
May 10, 2020
Wow, what a great ride and from a debut author. She won the Edgar for the best first novel and justifiably so. Excellent point of view, pacing, characters. There is conflict on every page that keeps the story moving. This is a serial killer story with a wonderful twist on a well-used trope. Great imagination. It is difficult to make an antihero that is endearing enough to stay with throughout the heinous things that happen, but I was with the story every step of the way. The author does a masterful job layering in the backstory and flashbacks with seamless transition that never confused. The ending was predictable mostly because there were no red herrings as far as alternatives for what was going to happen. I also caught a hint of Thomas Harris in the tone. The explanation for the final disposition didn’t work for me but that’s probably due to my law enforcement background. This book is a 4.5 would have been a solid five except for the ending.
I highly recommend this book.
David Putnam Author of The Bruno Johnson Series
Profile Image for Lindsay L.
679 reviews1,322 followers
February 17, 2019
5 stars! Thrilling, edgy and addictive!

I am in shock that this was a debut novel! Wow – Samatha Downing – I am very impressed!

This is a truly unforgettable story that will stay with me long after I have written this review. This book lived up to and, for me, surpassed the hype surrounding it. I won’t give any plot details as I think it’s best to go in blind. The narration was skillfully executed. The flow and pace were smooth, precise and consistent – kept me on my toes from start to finish. The characters were distinct and exceptional. The plot was brilliantly unique and scandalous. What more can I say? Get your hands on a copy of this book ASAP!

This was a Traveling Sister read that we ALL LOVED! The discussion was intense and urgent as we tried to figure out what was unfolding as we read together. A great novel for group reads!

Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for providing me with an ARC to read and review!

Expected publication date: March 26, 2019.
Profile Image for Theresa.
510 reviews1,551 followers
May 16, 2019
What an utterly boring, pointless book. I honestly do not understand the myriad positive reviews this book has been getting, because I did not enjoy anything about this.

Here's a quick synopsis: The book follows an unnamed man who helps his wife Millicent pick, kidnap and murder women because... it turns them on or something. I'm honestly not entirely clear on that. At some point they decide to frame another serial killer for it that had not been active in quite a while. This causes mass paranoia in their town and starts to affect their two children, Rory and Jenna. And yeah. Things happen. No spoilers and all.

For the most part, the main emotion I felt while reading this book was UTTER BOREDOM. You start off knowing the two are essentially serial killers and stalk women for sport, but it's presented in such a distant, detached way that I never felt any sense of suspense or danger. I simply did not care about it. In addition, about 80% of this book is build up and spent on meandering back stories about the couple that I could not care less about. It's all just so uninteresting. And the fact that the characters are essentially cardboard cutouts and act like cartoon villains at times doesn't really help to make them look and feel like real people.

It's also SO predictable. There was exactly nothing in this book that took me by surprise. ()

Here's the bottom line: an unimaginative, ridiculous plot, hollow characters, atrocious pacing, predictable twists and clumsily placed hints. Therefore: AVOID THIS BOOK AT ALL COSTS. Unless you want to be bored to tears. Over and out.
Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books1,042 followers
November 30, 2018
WOW! 5 big stars exclamation point. I went into this book without knowing anything about it. Right away I was intrigued. By the end of chapter one I was super intrigued. And I didn’t have to read all that much more before I started wondering what was wrong with me that I found this book, which I should have found way more deeply disturbing than I did, very readable and fast-paced. Seriously, I had to speed-read the ending because this is such a thrill-fest.

This story is demented and unbelievably good!

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Berkley Books for the opportunity to review this novel, WHICH RELEASES MARCH 26, 2019.

For more reviews, please visit http://www.theresaalan.net/blog
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
December 12, 2019
Oh boy oh boy oh boy......Samantha Downing is joining us March 2, 2020 @7:00 pm EST in our Behind the Pages group for a spoiler-free Q & A. If you haven't read this one yet we highly recommend. The paperback edition releases March 3, 2020.

You can find our Behind the Pages with The Traveling Friends group here:


Thrilling, mind-blowing & highly compulsive!

Oh my goodness this book definitely deserves my favourite wowza saying and I am absolutely thrilled to say that this is probably one of the best thrillers that I have recently read.

Holy Shooty Balls that was some awesome and impressive book!

MY LOVELY WIFE by SAMANTHA DOWNING is an engrossing, suspenseful, dark, twisted, and disturbing psychological thriller that was such an irresistible, fun and thrilling book to read. I was immediately sucked in and devoured every single page of this wickedly entertaining book. It was absolutely impossible to put down. Once I started reading this book I was hooked and so absorbed in this storyline that it wasn’t an easy task to pull me away.

SAMANTHA DOWNING delivers quite the impressive debut here that was such a clever, intriguing, tension-filled and well-written read. This was a highly anticipated read for me and one that I absolutely loved!! I am so excited to say that this book quickly went it into my favourite reads shelf.

Expected Publication Date: March 26, 2019

* Traveling Sisters read *

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I absolutely love everything about this cover and it definitely enticed me to want to read this book. My initial excitement over this cover definitely followed through and I might of even squealed a little in the end.
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so simply and brilliantly into storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, enthralling, fluid, efficient and an impressive debut.
Plot: Clever, fascinating, dark, twisted, intense, suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. A fabulous storyline!!!!
Ending: Loved it and was totally satisfied!
Overall: This was an all around fantastic read and I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!!! Would definitely recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Samantha Downing for providing me with a physical ARC to read and review. It was an absolute pleasure reading this novel!!

Review can also be found on our blog:
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