Carly Stanton is a lucky girl. Newly married to the man of her dreams, a beautiful home with her family close by and with a job she adores. But all is not as it seems. Oliver Stanton may be charming and utterly gorgeous with dark good looks and captivating blue-grey eyes, as well as being successful and financially secure, but once the ring is on her finger, Carly discovers there’s a darker side to his nature.

He is possessive and controlling, sapping her confidence so that she feels as if she is living on a knife edge, her nerves in shreds. Carly knows that she desperately needs help before he destroys her. But who can she turn to? Not her family who think he is Mr Wonderful. As Oliver’s cruelty escalates, can Carly find a way out of the marriage trap?

This book came about as a result of a casual conversation with my editor, when I happened to mention that I had once suffered a short and violent marriage. My own story took place in the early sixties, but the problem of violent men still exists to this day and many of the incidents which Carly has to deal with, and the control Oliver imposes upon her, are written from personal experience. Writing this book was rather like opening Pandora’s box. I’ve been happily married now for almost thirty-nine years, certain that I’d successfully blocked the bad memories of that painful period from my mind. But as I began to write I soon realised that I still carried a sense of shame for having ‘allowed’ it to happen to me, for having stayed in the marriage for almost three years in a futile effort to make things come right. No woman should feel such guilt, or have to tolerate abuse. Fortunately, although some attitudes still need to change, help for the abused woman suffering domestic violence is more readily available today.

I've had several moving emails from readers about the issues raised in this book. If you are in need of such help, don’t hesitate to call the numbers on this page.

Women’s Aid or Refuge, run in partnership on the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: Call 0808 2000 247

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