Blog Tour -Merry Go Round by Sarah Toll

A psychological romance. The more dangerous the ride, the harder it is to get off . . .

Lily Montrose has endured a white-knuckle ride during her on-off affair with Nathaniel Deighton. She is sitting alone in a coffee shop when a brief but devastating call brings the whole thing to a crashing halt.Fleeing her job and flat in London, she retreats to a farmstead on the shores of the north Devon coast to repair her broken spirit and regain her sense of self. Here she finds an unlikely soulmate in Adam, a somewhat homespun but handsome local with unexpected qualities.

As the months pass by, Lily begins to put her troubled past behind her and – despite harbouring the most intimate of secrets – her relationship with Adam deepens. But when Nat suddenly resurfaces, the malevolent merry go round begins to revolve once again, revealing the ugly truths that lie deep within Lily and unleashing a chain of events that will threaten not only her sanity, but everything she holds dear . . .

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I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really fancied the premise of this book as it meets two of my favourite genres of romantic fiction and thriller.  What I hadn’t anticipated was how affected I would be by this dark yet hopeful story.

Lily is immediately likeable and I’m sure there are plenty of people who could identify with her bizarre obsession with her former lover, Nathaniel.  I am fortunate to have never been in that situation yet have seen friends fall for dreadful, gaslighting partners.  I have kept that description androgynous as I know that not all narcissists are male.

It’s easy to root for Lily, to hope that she can find her way to turning her back on Nate and find happiness with Adam. His almost joyous outlook is the perfect salve for the rawness of Lily’s reactions.  His ability to ground her is wonderful and yet the feeling of impending doom remains as Nate reappears and brings all of Lily’s skeletons out of the closet. 

Although the title speaks of merry go rounds, this was a definite rollercoaster ride as the reader gains an insight into the damage caused by a manipulative partner, one who toys with emotions and runs hot and cold.  As Lily starts to see through his cruel behaviour, her mind is flipped back to seeing him as her perfect partner.

This book is an addictive yet difficult read but I’m glad that I finished it.  It’s the kind of thriller that creeps into your psyche and leaves a strong feeling of discomfort.  A rational mind will wonder how Lily is so easily controlled, but by the end, it’s painful to believe that people like Nate exist.

This is one of the best psychological thrillers that I have read and would recommend it, but it’s not for the faint hearted…

About the Author

One fact that people may no know about Sarah is that she was an Olympic Torchbearer…She ran her leg of the relay in St Albans, Hertfordshire on July 8th, 2012. ‘It was the most wonderful day of my life, followed closely by the release of Merry Go Round. Carrying the torch was an honour and I’m so proud to be able to say I carried it.’

Sarah was born in Hertfordshire, where she lived and worked for many years in the NHS. She attended Oxford Brookes University and graduated with a merit in Creative Writing (MA).

Sarah now lives in rural Northamptonshire with her partner Keith, their dog and cats. She continues to write, paint and work as a Reiki Practitioner and Macmillan Volunteer.

Merry Go Round is her first novel, however, the next is already in progress. It is a ‘sidequel’ or re-write of Merry Go Round, following the same year but revealing the lived experiences of Adam and Lou whilst Lily was having such a bad time of things.

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Receiving a digital ARC does not influence my opinion of a book.  Please note, this review contains affiliate links.

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