Written by Ruth O’Neill


Some secrets never leave us alone…

Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right?

After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart.

Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock – and destroy her.

Befriended is an exciting, contemporary thriller that will keep you on the very edge of your seat. This book will toy with your emotions time and time again – and keep you coming back for more.




Enjoyable, but …    3.5 Stars


Mothers-in-law, eh? They usually get a bad press but in this instance nothing could describe the evilness of Joan Peacock!

Gemma has never been accepted by Ritchie’s mother who has done her best to ignore her very existence. After Ritchie dies unexpectedly, nothing changes. We begin to get to know Gemma as she attends her husband’s funeral, and it’s quite obvious that there is a distinct chill emanating from his mother. Luckily Gemma has her friend Maria to lean on. Then another woman appears on her radar and strangely they strike up a friendship.

The issue of mental health looms large in this book – or perhaps I’m just noticing it more as I’ve read it during Mental Health Awareness Week? I felt this was more the focus of the story. I struggled a bit with Gemma’s capacity for compassion and forgiveness. As much as I admire both traits, I thought she was a bit gullible. I also felt there were a few loose threads which needed finishing off. I know I can be very pedantic when reading (I’m the same watching tv, can’t help it) and I daresay many wouldn’t pick up on the things I do. I’m just pernickety!

I love the cover of this book .. it clearly shows why Indiana garners so much attention from the men, young and old! The style of writing is clearly very readable, and the story flows well. The basic idea is excellent but I would have liked a bit more attention to detail.

My thanks to Ruth O’Neill for my copy. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.


Tags: contemporary fiction


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 732 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Publisher:
  • Publication Date: 17 March 2018
  • Link to Buy:


Meet the Author


51jDTeRRQ-L._SY200_Ruth O’Neill grew up in the ancient Roman city of Bath England, a beautiful peaceful city whose locations are often referred to in her first book ‘Sunshine & Tears’.
Ruth has always enjoyed helping others and is very committed to her job as a Teaching Assistant where she supports young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities.
Her second book `Befriended` is a contemporary thriller.


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