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Her Pretty Face

Written by: Robyn Harding
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The author of the best-selling novel The Party - lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times best-selling author Megan Miranda - returns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms - only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart...because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past? 

©2018 Robyn Harding (P)2018 Simon & Schuster Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It was fairly predictable but entertaining enough

The narrating was pretty good. I binge listened to it as the story line was good. predictable, but good. I was expecting to be surprised or thrown for a loop with this story but no such luck. I love a good twist.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I couldn't put it down. !!

loved it! Author is amazing to me. well done with 3 different readers and each character had a different voice. Loved the twist at the end. never would have guessed that!! Made me feel better about my own struggles as I believe there are people out there with the same issues!! will read again later!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great audio, good story.

This is my first book by this author and I would certainly check out another of her titles. While the climax left a little something to be desired for me I found the storytelling compelling and often sat in my car just to hear what was going to happen... I enjoyed the quality of the performance also compared to other audiobooks I have listened to. It was nice to have some variation in the voices for the characters. Overall, I'd give this book an 8 out of 10. #audible1

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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book!

The writing style was great and the storyline was well-paced and engaging. Would definitely recommend! #Audible1

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Colorado-reader
  • 2018-07-22

Realistic insight into sociopaths

This would have been a 5 star book if There had been more mystery and more action. Harding laid a wonderful foundation in her characters and their the pasts. A little at a time we find that the past is not always past. With these intricate and complex characters there could have been so much “edge of your seat” storyline – but there isn’t. This is a really hard review to write with out spoilers. So I’m being intentionally vague. If you like to be kept totally in the dark don’t read the rest of this. Sociopathy is a frightening characteristic. In this book the sociopath stays middle of the road and is able to pull off the “acceptability mask” sociopaths wear as it suits them. The author was brave enough to leave the sociopath as unredeemable. Which they are. It would’ve been a cop-out for a happily ever after ending. Contrasting that personality to the flawed character of her friend, who also has secrets that some would consider unforgivable. The big difference is that some people are intentionally evil, and that never changes. The story follows the two women and their families. It’s touching and realistic with the effect on a teenage girl being raised by a narcissistic, sociopathic mother. Harding nails that one on the head. But still, there is no real danger and no reason for the reader to worry for anyone’s life. I’m not saying that all books need to have dangerous intrigue. But this one is a foundation for dangerous intrigue! That said, it was very well written and could evolve with Harding applying her talent toward mystery. There was one part that I absolutely hated, and that was the stereotypical “rich-mommies” and their bitchy attitudes. They made great side-villains, but Harding missed the point that there are many middle of the road people. Not everybody is either good or mean. This was well worth the read, flaws and all!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • NicoleAllysa
  • 2018-07-24

one of my favorites

when I first started listening I couldn't figure out the true identities of the "now" characters. I kept hearing about DJ and his fascination with Amber (the woman who was involved in his sisters murder) I also wondered if amber was a victim or a sociopath in this case. READER you will soon find out and you'll love every moment of it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • 2018-07-12

great plot

Wow, what a great story! I wouldn't necessarily call it a thriller but it's got some awesome twists and turns. I could totally relate to each of the characters and several times even found myself feeling compassion for the bad guy. My only complaint is that it took awhile for the story to get going. But I'm so glad I made myself stick through it. It was well worth the wait and the credit!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Yikes
  • 2018-07-23

Enjoyed!

Very good fictional version of a story in the headlines long ago. Great narration and believable characters.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Hayley Brayley
  • 2018-07-20

Nicely done thriller/drama

Reminded me of “Big little lies” 👌🏻 not overly wordy and drawn out, keeping you captivated up to the last word.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JenniferLOVESThrillers
  • 2018-08-08

Just a Drama with Unlikable Characters

I enjoyed “the party” but this book was dull. There were no mysteries or suspense. Francis and Kate were unlikable, and I found myself disliking Francis even more. What a superficial character! I don’t think the story went deep enough and there wasn’t a big climax. The only thing good was the narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Eric Mochnacz
  • 2019-09-12

What a dud. DO.NOT.BUY

Note - I listened to this book on Audible.

...and it was painful to the last. I normally am not the person who questions others positive reviews...but really? Were we reading the same book?

The plot is intriguing enough. The book jacket advertises a dark, suburban thriller about motherly friendship. And can that friendship survive when one of the mothers is a MURDERER?!?! Suspenseful stuff - right?!

And with all modern thrillers these days - the story is told from the perspective of three different characters. This normally allows the story to slow burn. The mystery is revealed in layers, each one revealing a detail until our minds are BLOWN at the thrilling conclusion.

Yeah. No. That’s not this book. It is pretty much a dud from jump.

Frances, whose narrator was horrific and made her sound breathy and desperate for the entire novel, is one of the most annoyingly grating characters ever written. She is the quintessential cliche loner Mom with the special needs child that isn’t understood at a prep school (her kid peed in a bully classmate’s water bottle) - and to top it off - she’s overweight with a hot husband. So we spend an inordinate amount of time at the beginning of the book getting to know how sad, lonely and fat she is. In fact - the author is obsessed with making sure we know if a character is fat. Any time a character isn’t trim or slim or athletic - you’ll know - because she will tell you. And also tell you what they eat to remain that fat.

She begins to make references to her past - which is just one of the many poorly placed and horribly plotted red herrings throughout the book. It’s one thing to weave an intricate mystery. It’s another to plod through a plot with obvious misdirection.

Either way, Frances has one friend at school - the queen bee of Forrester Academy (because of course it’s called Forrester Academy) - Kate Randolph. Kate, we soon learn, moves a lot because of her older husband’s job. So now we have TWO women with a mysterious past?! Which one will be the MURDERER?

Also, it’s almost like someone read “Big Little Lies” and thought they had a chance of riding that wave.

We are then stuck dealing with the story from the perspective of Kate’s teenage daughter Daisy. Every section devoted to her read like some horrible Young Adult fan fiction. Daisy, a queen bee herself, has a sexual rumor started about her, Daisy hates her family, Daisy meets a mysterious, older stranger who buys her pink wine coolers...

...and here comes DJ. He tells the story of his sister’s murder at the hands of Shane Dawson and his abuse victim accomplice, Amber Kunick. And he, too, gets fat - which we are reminded of often. How does he tie into the story?!

Well - the author wants you to believe - and expects you to believe that HE is the mysterious stranger that Daisy meets (we learn about halfway through his name is David - because Daisy doesn’t ask his name until, like, the third time she gets in a car with him. Smart Daisy is not.)

But, in one of the dumbest plot twists - David ends up being the never before mentioned son of Shane Dawson. Like - literally - the last few chapters, they mention David. That’s it. He just leaves town. Daisy is just devastated because she just LOVED this older mysterious man.

So, the author wants us to believe David and DJ are one in the same. But she throws that out the window when she suddenly decides to reveal that DJ got his life together, came out of the closet and his a happily married therapist - and ultimately only matters because he eventually connects with Daisy because her Mom killed his sister.

Kate ends up being the murderous Amber Kunick...a sociopath allegedly - although none of the writing really indicates it.

Guys, really, this book is a poorly written mess - only made worse by the terrible narration.

ALSO - it is like this book was written with a thesaurus app open. So - in order to avoid saying a characters name over again - the author would get creative and it was utterly maddening. For example, if they were discussing someone’s father...

She would first describe him by his name - Jason. Then describe him as Kate’s husband. Then mention him as Kate’s male partner. Or Marcus’s attractive father. Or something like “The Metcalfe patriarch.” The pater familia. It was utterly frustrating.

Don’t.Read.This.Book. You’ll want to rip your eyes out.

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  • guest
  • 2019-07-23

Fabulous story!

Great book! Keeps one guessing...well written! Will recommend to my friends.
Interesting story line!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mom3
  • 2019-07-22

Very good!

Honestly, like nothing I’ve ever read before. It was very well done: good story, good narration, good overall!!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Annette
  • 2019-07-05

Get this one.

This is my second book by this author. I love how the twists keep coming after you think you have it figured out. She’s definitely worth the listen.