Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough #20BooksofSummer


Author : Sarah Pinborough
Title : Cross Her Heart
Pages : 400
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : May 14, 2018



Is it Lisa?
Haunted by a tragic past, all Lisa wants is a quiet life with her daughter, Ava. And when she meets a new man, things seem to be falling into place. But Lisa is hiding a secret so momentous it could shatter her entire world…

Is it Ava?
When sixteen-year-old Ava saves a young boy’s life, she becomes a local hero. But never in a million years could she have anticipated the fallout of her actions…

Is it Marilyn?
Marilyn has the perfect life. Her husband, her job, her house—she seems to have it all. But she could never admit to her best friend Lisa the lies she tells herself to get through the day…

One moment will change these three women’s lives forever. And the secrets they’ve been keeping could destroy them all.


After being blown away by Sarah Pinborough’s previous book and that #WTFending, I was curious to see what she’d come up with next. I had high hopes and expectations but I’m sad to say, they weren’t quite delivered.

The book is divided up into three parts and I must admit part one had me wondering if I had the right author. It all felt incredibly slow, too much time spent on setting the scene and being introduced to the various characters. It’s obvious early on that Lisa is hiding from her past and I felt like shouting “just bloody tell me what’s going on already!”. Patient, I am not.

I desperately needed something, anything, to happen. Luckily, the last page of part one finally promised something exciting around the corner but up until that point, it all felt a bit like pretty much any other psychological thriller out there.

And …. that didn’t really change. Not in part two and not in part three. Sure, there are a few surprises and a red herring or two but overall, it wasn’t the addictive page-turner I was expecting and it wasn’t anywhere near the brilliance of Behind Your Eyes. Some of it was rather predictable and some things were a bit too much out there, losing believability along the way and causing me to roll my eyes once or twice. And all of this ended in a massively disappointing reveal.

So no, Cross Her Heart didn’t quite work for me. It fails immensely at standing out from the crowd, which I very much expected it to. Now, it’s not all bad. She says way too late. I do enjoy Pinborough’s writing style and I think she handled the character of Ava, particular, extremely well. All that teenage angst and secrets. Overall, there is a good plot here and it never occurred to me not to finish the book. I just read too much in this genre, I think, and I fully admit that my constant comparison to her previous book didn’t do me any favours as I was constantly awaiting a special kind of BOOM.

So, please don’t take my word for it. This is getting some rave reviews so grab yourself a copy, read it and feel free to come back and tell me how wrong I am 😂.

[I normally wouldn’t have posted this review but since this book was on my 20 Books of Summer list, it only seemed like the right thing to do. Also, thanks to Janel @ Keeper of Pages for another fun buddy read!)

Cross Her Heart is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads


Book 18 from my 20 Books of Summer list.



32 thoughts on “Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough #20BooksofSummer

  1. I really appreciate that you’re posting this review and you points are fair! After reading Behind Your Eyes I have high expectations too but it’s good to know it won’t be the same. I can’t believe I’m waiting more than 3 months for this book to be delivered but no damn it I don’t want want my order to be cancelled, they should stop proposing and just deliver it. Thanks for your review lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, I really appreciate that. I’ve never posted an overwhelmingly negative review before and it had me worried and nervous.

      I’d just cancel your order and order the hardback from amazon, I think it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the honest review. I’ve also been quite brutal about this book, really hated it. I liked other Pinborough books,but not sure if I’ll read her again. Too much frustration with this one and it’s upsetting content and messing around (I think that’s the slowness you mentioned)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Upsetting content doesn’t really bother me. I read a lot of gruesome crime fiction anyway. But, yes, frustration on my part as well and like you, I may not be so quick in picking up one of her other books in future.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly , it didn’t work for me either. I loved Behind Her Eyes and maybe I had high expectations. I tried to like it, but was so disappointed. Maybe next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t read Behind Your Eyes so with no expectations I enjoyed this. I’ve given up on NOT having my imagination stretched in alot of books I’ve been reading this year. Seems to be part & parcel of the genre…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve only ever read one book by Sarah Pinborough and i wasn’t that impressed, so I’m not sure I’d try this one. Loved reading your review though!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh dear! I do know exactly what you mean about part one – I also felt that it obviously building up to something, and I wanted to what that was well before it was revealed. I read this on holiday, and I think that the relaxed atmosphere let me just sit back and go along with it. Whether I’d have felt the same about it reading it at another time, I’m not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for being honest in this review. I am “trying” to read this book and I am not so sure if I’ll be finishing it. The hinting of spousal abuse is a huge turn off for me thus far, and I am only 80 pages in. I read Behind Her Eyes and absolutely loved it! Maybe I had too high of hopes for this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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