The Wife Before Me

Hidden beneath the handsome veneer and countenance is a sinister and cunning man whose outward appearance is deceptive and deceiving. Within his mind he justifies his actions and demands that his wishes and requests be followed exactly the way he imparts them. Two women caught up in his web of lies, deception and control will find themselves blindsided and manipulated as they become his willing at first and then terrified victims of a man so diabolical and dangerous who actually believes what he hi inflicting them is right.


Living in the shadow of someone else is difficult but when that shadow becomes a dark black cloud that hangs over your life, your identity becomes vague, your voice is no longer heard and your thoughts controlled by the source of why you have been enveloped in this dark cloud and veil of fear.

A car slides into the sea of Mason’s Pier. The body of the driver is never found. Two years go by and the victim’s husband decides to move on. Elena Langdon is prime for this person. Instead of a company or workplace , she is literally engulfed and led into the arms of Nicholas Madison whose appearance has her fooled, whose mood swings and fits of anger blindside her as she spills out her heart about her past romance and the loss of her child, followed by the loss of her mother and yet even though she senses something odd about him she falls prey to his manipulation.

Taking her out , controlling each situation and even how she speaks and responds to him, she senses his anger and fears him at times and yet her commitment to him becomes strong and yet toxic.

Not able to legally marry her until the death certificate for his wife is issued, Elena moves into his home, they take their own vows and life begins but not how anyone just married would expect.

His work puts pressure in him, and his parents are too much a part of his life and his mother is critical and overbearing at times and yet Nicholas sides against Elena and even uses force when she tries to present her argument. Abusive men rationalize their behavior and he is no different and blames her for his anger when she asks about Amelia.

Things escalate and Elena is trapped in a world filled with fear, jealousy, lies, betrayal and violence with a man who has created an intricate and deadly spider web of deception.

Elena’s first child is born and she is determined to create a wholesome environment for her but every step of the way he criticizes her, his mother belittles and undermines her parenting skills and a large hole is filled with uncertainty, doubts and the knowledge that she is trapped as her second child is born and more violence and an odd accident lands her in the hospital. Mood swings, controlling and biting words, harsh reactions when her view differs from him as Elena has awakened but not fully to the fact that she’s permanently a victim of spousal abuse and more. But will she finally leave or can’t she when she learns that he invested her inheritance and lost it all or did he? Why is he so calm and why doesn’t he understand her reactions to losing so much money and her past?

There are so many women that fall prey to a man like Nicholas and even justify their actions towards them even though deep down they know they are wrong.

When Elena begins to explore different places within her property, she is horrified with what she uncovers. With his mother belittling her at every turn Nicholas uses violence to hide his shortcomings and insecurities. The author brings to light this issue of domestic violence in a graphic and verbal way. We wonder if his father is abusive too and just why his mother is his verbal image.

As the author takes us to the past and we hear Amelia and her voice and get to know her story. The chilling events of how Nicholas manipulated Amelia and turned her against her own father proves how far he’s goes to control another person and achieve his goals. He wants to be autonomous in their lives.

His mother in the present was overpowering and the conversations were filled with accusations and strong language on both sides. But when he pushes Elena and she loses her child no one believes he was the cause.

In the present he manages to convince the police that she’s dangerous and she can no longer see her children but a letter, although an unsigned letter is a warning to Amelia to seek refuge and get away from Nicholas is just the start of what is shared warning readers there is much more to come. Both past and present intertwine and he even manages to find a way to have her father killed in an accident and the cross to mark his memory is removed by the county because he never told her about the complaints which she realizes came from him. Amelia was never the same.

Henry, his father comes up against Elena and more denials and lies are told but in the end, one takes her own life but what about Elena who is trying to get her’s back but what will the final verdict be? How long will it take for Yvonne and Henry to admit their son is mentally ill and dangerous. Jealousy rages within him and the fear he won’t be able to control both wives is daunting and terrifying as this story seems so true to life.

Finding someone she thinks was friends with Amelia she hopes to get the answers behind what killed her, but this person denies ever meeting her, but Elena won’t give up and then the unthinkable happens again.

Billy Tobin her neighbor is found dead and more about the icehouse and a harsh truth he tried to impart about Amelia’s father’s death come out, but someone silenced him and now Nicholas tries to make it seem that she killed him.


Demented and seriously psychopathic his reign of terror is widespread, and his parents are right there too.

A twist and revelation that will shock readers and one man whose power over too many might prevail as Elena fights for her children and her freedom another just wants to remain obscure and unseen. Friendships are tested and loyalties are broken as two women at opposing ends of a tightrope have to fight for their lives, protect their children and hopefully wake up a world blinded by a veil of deception as author Laura Elliot takes an issue that is in the news so often as you take the journey with both Amelia and Elena will open up the eyes of women to take heed and see the warning signs and hear the voices of those who just want to protect them.

Nicholas is controlling yet insecure in many ways and in order to show his make dominance he berated, belittles and undermines anyone who differs from him, disagrees with his methods or opinions must be bowed to and conformed to his wishes. Elena became his Amelia and he wanted a carbon copy and just about created one until she snapped.

The ending and final revelation will make you wonder where both Elena and Amelia wind up as letters come to light, a final confrontation and a reality sets in. Lives are at stake, children will learn what lies they were told and the ending will make you wonder who’s survives and what is the fate of both and would you want to be noted and haunted by The Wife Before Me?

Taunting, terrifying and characters that draw so many emotions from the reader this is one eye opening novel will prove what happens when you wear blinders and learn the hard way when it’s too late. Perfection: Beware: There are some tarnished edges and broken glass hidden beneath a perfect image or veneer.

Fran Lewis just reviews




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