The Women – S E Lynes


The night she moves in with Peter, she’s so happy, so exhilarated, so in love. Later, she will remember a much smaller feeling, a tiny one percent in her gut. And she will remember pushing that feeling aside…

Samantha Frayn doesn’t know why Peter Bridges picks her – a nobody with bitten fingernails and a troubled childhood behind her – but she falls quickly. He’s older, charming, likes fine wine and French films, and his beautiful home has real art on its walls.

Peter transforms Samantha’s life in an instant. He sees the better version of herself – the one she’s always wanted to be. It’s only normal that there’s a little friction, when she moves in, over domestic matters like where things are kept, or the proper times to eat, sleep and shower. She’s lucky to be with someone who can help her find a new job, move on from childish friends, and speak with greater sophistication.

But as Samantha notices, more and more, Peter’s temper, she starts to wonder if there might be consequences to breaking the rules of the world he has so quickly built around her.

And then she receives an anonymous note that makes her ask: is she the first woman to feel trapped by Peter? Is she being paranoid, manipulated, or could she be in danger?

You can tell the truth about your life, but someone needs to be listening. Someone needs to trust you. And someone needs to save you from the man you thought you loved.


S E Lynes is a writer, tutor and mentor. Formerly a BBC producer, she has lived in France, Spain, Scotland, Italy, and now lives in Greater London with her husband, three kids and her dog, Lola.

After the birth of her third child, she completed an MA in creative writing from Kingston University. Her critically acclaimed debut, VALENTINA, was published by Blackbird Digital Books in July 2016. Her second novel, MOTHER was published by Bookouture in 2017, followed by THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL in 2018. In August 2018, VALENTINA was published in a new edition by Bookouture.


I absolutely LOVE SE Lynes books – she is an author who manages to take a theme or topic and add so much depth to the characters and story line that the reader becomes immersed in the story almost immediately and that added layer brings such realism that it’s so easy to forget this is a work of fiction and these characters are not real.

Samantha Frayn is our main  protagonist.  A young, inexperienced and gullible university student with hardly any confidence or self worth who meets the enigmatic, handsome, suave and highly respected Professor at a university party one night and is instantly drawn into his world and flattered by his attention.  Within a matter of time she finds herself living with him and alienating herself from her friends and family.

The blurb above describes the story perfectly and there isn’t much more I can add except to say that I started reading this the day I arrived in Rome on holiday and absolutely loved the fact that the opening chapter is based in Rome which gave me an added layer of authenticity whilst reading about Samantha and Peter on honeymoon in the same city I was visiting.

The Women is, at times, an uncomfortable and unsettling story especially watching Samantha being “groomed” by this older and charismatic professor and when she starts to receive these anonymous notes causing her to question the father of her child and the man she lives with, the reader is taken on a journey with an underlying feeling of dread.

Once again SE Lynes has written an original, clever and totally addictive thriller which I thoroughly recommend.


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