Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson

(12 customer reviews)

$9.99 / E-BOOK

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Author: Wendy Hudson


Award winning author Wendy Hudson is back with a chilling lesbian romantic suspense, set in rural Scotland.

Erin Carter is alone. Plagued by childhood nightmares since the loss of her mother, she embarks on a journey to trace her father, hoping to find some semblance of family and put the darkness to rest. A tentative thread leads her to Hopetoun, in rural Scotland, and the welcoming Cornfield Castle.
There she meets Abigail Miller, the castle chef, who quickly becomes her tour guide and search partner. Along with Abigail’s brother, George, they decipher village gossip from truth, fact from folklore, and offer Erin sanctuary within the castle walls.
But when Erin’s nightmares start to close in, can she defeat them and learn to live again?

Additional information

Publication Date

October 2017


epub (for Kindle Reader/Kindle Apps, for iBooks, Nook etc.), mobi, and pdf


77,000 words




978-3-95533-883-1 (mobi), 978-3-95533-884-8 (epub), 978-3-95533-885-5 (pdf)


Ylva Publishing

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12 reviews for Mine to Keep by Wendy Hudson

  1. Karola


    ***free ARC
    Erin is searching her Dad after her mother died, he’s the last of her family. So she thinks. Meeting Abby and her brother George on her journey, they become friends and Abby even more. This story is mixed with crime, love, fears and trust in a very good way. I really enjoyed it.

  2. Betty Harmon


    There are the necessary elements here for a good psychological mystery, and it’s set in Scotland, a land full of mystery itself. There is tension and danger as well, which helps move the story along. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful thriller.

  3. Kitty Kat


    When maths teacher Erin books into a Scottish Castle hotel with a plan to research her difficult past she sets off a chain of events that had me hiding behind the metaphorical sofa. Nightmares from her childhood  begin to resurface, causing her to question the path she has taken. Meeting gorgeous chef Abby and her brother George brings some light and the hope of something more. I enjoyed the blossoming relationship between Erin and Abby. It was sweet and romantic with a fair bit of heat.  Of course the path of true love never runs smooth and the introduction of an irritating ex threatens to mar their happiness. The wonderful Scottish countryside setting was beautifully described and made me want to explore as Erin did. But the true strength of this book was Wendy Hudson’s skill in writing a tense, thrilling and frankly heart-stopping story that I couldn’t put down. She knows exactly how to ramp up the tension. Just when I thought I could relax she had me breathless again! A brilliant second novel from a very talented writer.

    I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.

  4. Fiona Montgomery


    Mine to Keep, the brilliant second novel from Wendy Hudson, is a fast-paced romance, set utterly believably in a castle with a fairy-tale tower. Erin Carter arrives at the imposing hotel after a prologue that lets us know, in true Taggart-style, that ‘there’s been a murder.’ But Erin doesn’t know that.

    A teacher, she’s starting her summer holiday with an open-ended booking at Cornfield Castle, determined to track down her father, who’s been out of her life since she was little. Chef Abby and her brother George hit it off with Erin and help out with some local knowledge, as the search for clues takes them all into dangerous territory.

    The developing relationships sparkle with witty dialogue as the three find out just how much they can, and may need to, trust and rely on one another. As with Four Steps, Hudson’s debut, this is a page turner, with some real shocks along the way. Even with some foreshadowing, Hudson sets up a strong feeling of tension, making this an unputdownable tale. It’s no wonder that she won the Golden Crown Literary Society’s Debut Author award for Four Steps, which is also shortlisted for the crime award in the 2017 Diva Literary Awards, alongside famous Scottish crime writer Val McDermid.

    Mine to Keep is a title with a double meaning, potentially very sinister, and Erin is right to feel shaken when she senses someone watching her in the cemetery. Abby provides comfort but can they find a recipe for true love or will both their pasts poison the mix? A highly rccommended read

  5. Jane Shambler


    This book kind of caught me off guard. You get dropped in at the deep end. You don’t really know what is going on and I guess it’s sink or swim. Erin has just lost her mother and has come to Hopetoun looking for her father. She has a sketchy memory of him as she hasn’t seen him since she was a child. Her mother took her and ran from him as he was abusive to them both.

    The hotel where she is staying is run by a sister and brother Abby and Charlie. Abby is the chef and Charlie is kind of doing everything else. Abby and Erin start a relationship. As you can guess love never runs smoothly. Abby’s ex turns up. Why does the ex always turn up?

    Apart from being dropped in it without any idea it was actually a good story which unraveled gradually. Which taking into account Erin’s issue with speaking was quite a feat. Erin is pretty insular. She doesn’t have any family or real friends hence why she has come searching for her father. She meets Abby and her brother and learns what a real family feels like. Kind of a discovery for Erin. The end has a really good feel and will make you smile. However, I do feel the author just ended it. I am assuming Thea is going to have some issues. The author never mentioned these. Maybe there will be a second. who knows? Enjoy!

    *ARC provided by publisher via Ylva Publishing*

  6. rebeccakbarrus2


    *Note: I was provided with a free copy of the book by Ylva Publishing in exchange for a fair review

    (Just a heads-up: if abusive father figures aren’t your jam, you’re probably going to want to skip this one.)

    The narrative structure of “Mine to Keep” weaves between two separate—but connected—points of view. It really keeps the reader engaged, trying to figure out precisely how they’re related.

    A majority of the plot takes place in Erin’s point of view, which I preferred to the other. Erin’s emotionally cautious personality was portrayed well; her growth throughout the book is marked but not unbelievable or out of character. Her romantic relationship is fun and healthy too. It made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.

    As for the more serious side of the plot, it was suspenseful without being horrific, which I appreciated. When my heart raced at the apex of the story, it was because I was fully invested in what happened and not because I had been shocked by gratuitous gore.

    The book overall really made me think about the intersection of love and possession. I’d recommend it to anyone who appreciates a good suspense novel that has a solid romantic plot too.

  7. Rocío Toboso


    Four Steps was such a good book that I had to read her second. And it hasn’t disappointed me a bit. It’s an excellent book where the suspense, sorrow, laughs and love are guaranteed.
    Erin Carter is a secondary maths teacher who decides to look for her long lost father after her mother’s death. She starts looking for reasons to her nightmares. She is lost without her mum and seeks to find some peace by finding him but, at the same time, is afraid he may be just as the little she remembers.
    Along the way, she meets Abigail Miller, head chef in the castle hotel where she is staying. Abigail’s brother will also play an important part in the story and in Erin’s life. She soon becomes more than a guest.
    Erin finds her father and finds out she’s got a sister too. She wants to believe things are different this time but realizes she is wrong.
    The author keeps the suspense all through the book. First with the women’s relationship, then with Erin and her father’s and finally with the situation they all get involved.
    There are also moments for some laughs and romance.
    I highly recommend this book. The author has done an excellent job, again.

  8. Carolyn McBride


    I received this book as a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    I enjoyed this book. The pace was consistent, there was enough angst and questions to keep me interested, and the characters were skillfully crafted. The only part I found slightly predictable was Erin’s kidnapping. (I won’t go into detail so I don’t spoil it for future readers) I could picture the castle easily, such was the author’s skill at setting the scene. Poor George. I wanted him to be my brother. Abby was funny and sweet, even if she did come with baggage. I cheered when she took care of said baggage though!
    This is a great book absolutely worthy of a re-read!

  9. Miira


    So this is a thriller/romance. There’s Erin, who’s recently lost her mother and now trying to find her father, of whom she only has vague memories – and nightmares. There’s Abigail, a chef and part owner of a hotel (in a castle, in Scotland! see why I got interested?), who along with her brother, strike up a friendship with Erin. Mysteries, leads and rumours about Erin’s relatives abound…

    Part of the story is from the villain’s point of view, so there isn’t really a big mystery or suprise for the reader – but that doesn’t mean you won’t be hanging on the edge of your seat, wondering how it will all turn out.

    I loved the setting – small town/village and the castle – and the characters were great; I especially liked the (at first) withdrawn and taciturn Erin. And the villain was super creepy!

  10. cheekybugger13


    I know I should have read this book earlier especially with an irresistible cover like this one (more about this and the title later!) and because I thought “Four Steps” was a brilliant debut effort by Wendy Hudson, which put her on my radar in the world of lesfic reading. But for some reason, I thought I’d read it all this time until I happened to review my reading queue and surprise sur-bloody-prise, “Mine To Keep” was still sitting there staring at me with that bloody mesmerising cover taunting me! Gobsmacked, I was! Bloody hell! Reckon me mind’s done for! Too many books, too little time! Grrr!  Anyway, by this time, I’d read her 3rd and latest book, “Meant To Be Me,” already. But just like everything else, things happen for a reason, don’t they? And timing is everything, innit? Won’t bore you with the deets about what it means except I can firmly attest that “Mine To Keep” is now my favourite Hudson book! Her best one, thusfar, as far as I’m concerned! Hence, this book has effectively renewed my opinion about Hudson’s writing and creativity whose craft I’ll always be looking forward to exploring! Well done, Ms. Hudson!

    Whilst I utterly enjoyed “Four Steps” (the reason Hudson summarily landed on my author-to-watch list, in the first place), I absolutely loved “Mine To Keep,” from start to finish. Every aspect and angle of Hudson’s craft in this particular book just clicked with me, from the mystery, darkness and thrilling intrigue of the plot, the characters – main and secondary, alike – to the camaraderie and romance. Nevermind the breathtakingly beautiful and mesmerising scenery of the Scottish lands which Hudson vividly illuminated with colours, temps, ambience that could stir the soul which she extended to the interior surroundings, particularly the castle and its endless corners, hallways and doorways, which only enriched the Scottish feel for the reader, well, for me, rather! Yes, I’ve always been partial to Scotland and its majestic views and tranquillity they exude. In this book, Hudson’s visual descriptions had effectively brought the entire story to life, in all aspects. There was only one thing I could do. I devoured the book at top speed, so quick my head was spinning….with utter joy, elation, satiation, pure satisfaction!

    In essence, “Mine To Keep” was a brilliantly crafted and told psychological mystery-thriller surrounding a captivating romance, not to mention, some white-knuckling action intrigue at the end. One thing I want to mention is the plot itself. Whilst I can’t really divulge what it was, all I can say is, Hudson skilfully constructed a refreshing, creatively original, dark, mystery plot, which I hadn’t come across it before in genfic or lesfic. Usually, when it’s something to do with a dark childhood past, it almost always includes some very tiring, predictable elements (you know what I’m talking about) which I really don’t care for it. Being a big fan of psychological mysteries/thrillers, it’s always a thrill for me to find a story of this genre in lesfic that truly captures everything that I look for that satisfies my overall reading experience. Indeed, this book ticked off every box in this genre for me. In this story, Hudson had achieved the coveted “outside-the-box” result in her story creation, imo! Needless to say, I was thrilled to learn and discover Hudson’s ingenuity in giving the psychological mystery a clever twist! Utterly fascinating! The kicker? The icing? There was romance in it, too! A romance that worked out seamlessly, which, in fact, played a pivotal role in the mystery as it slowly converged on the MCs’ lives. I was absolutely absorbed in the budding romance between Erin and Abby and all its complexities that came with it because both characters carried their own complicated baggage when it came to love and relationships. I thought Hudson weaved a compelling love story that I was immediately invested in because of how she crafted the two characters with very different personalities and circumstances but shared one thing in common which they had to discover it themselves along the way. I was utterly intrigued by their journey throughout. Hence, THIS book being my Hudson-favourite. Yay!

    Although the story started off more like a single POV from Erin’s, in a 3rd-person format, which I was a little concerned initially but then Hudson provided Abby’s POV, albeit much more limited than Erin’s. Obviously, this story was, by and large, about Erin’s journey to her past, seeking answers, self-discovery, truth and reconciliation, and finally closure. No man is an island, obviously, so her journey was enriched, expanded, deepened by Abby’s entry into her life who felicitously captured her lonely heart and restless soul as soon as she laid eyes on the castle hotel chef! Speaking of, the chemistry between Erin and Abby was deceptively ambiguous but in actuality, palpable, especially with those tantalisingly flirtatious banter between them from the moment they met! The ease, the comfort and security, the peaceful calmness that Abby emanated around Erin made her feel strangely safe and not alone. This affinity that Erin felt with Abby was undeniable even when they barely knew each other. Abby, on the other hand, felt the insatiable, magnetic pull toward Erin, connecting with such natural ease.

    As mentioned, their romantic journey wasn’t as straightforward because of several issues that complicated matters between them. The most jarring one was obviously Erin’s reason for landing herself at the castle hotel that Abby and her brother, George, would inherit in future, where Abby worked as a chef. A bloody good one, too! Yes, her vocation would have something to do with her past as their relationship progressed and personal revelations were discussed. Anyway, Erin’s reason – her plan to uncover some the truth behind all the unresolved, unanswered queries to her traumatically haunting childhood past. Speaking of her past, the residual PTSD from that dark, nightmarish trauma had effectively shaped her outlook, her behaviour, her mindset. Erin’s instincts to be alone from years of conditioning (due to growing up always feeling unsafe or unwelcome amongst people), had led to her mistrusting everyone around her except for her mum. Her self-preservation and defence mechanism would always kick in when insecurity emerged for fear of being hurt or disappointed. So being alone was her solitude. Until Abby. I loved how Hudson slowly peeled away the walls of defence in not just Erin but Abby, too, as their budding relationship deepened. Abby had a past that inevitably spilled over the present, effectively changed their course. Angst ensued. But I thought Hudson weaved it ever-so delicately that the consequential actions were realistic. I believed in their mindset as Hudson delved into both Erin and Abby’s inner psyche. I was rooting for both of them whilst they struggled to an eventual reconciliation. All the circumstances, emotional and mental angst were authentically honest even though it was quite upsetting but it needed to happen, imo, in order to amplify the strength of Erin and Abby’s connection and emotional intimacy and highlight the importance of establishing an open and honest relationship especially when love was deeply rooted in their growing feelings and attachment with each other. Love. Something that was new to both of these intriguing women. You have to read it to discover all the nuances that occurred during their challenging moments that revealed more about their characters.

    Back to the mystery that engulfed Erin’s journey to her past, I was captivated by Hudson’s skill in luring my endless curiosity about it by dropping breadcrumbs at each stage of development, in conjunction with Erin’s growing relationship with Abby and her brother, George. The mystery that had haunted and affected Erin’s life meant that she had been living in the past all along. She was never in the present but merely surviving. Not until a life-altering event that finally triggered her conscious mind to wake up from her slumber. The only way to move forward with her life, live in the present and have a future of possibilities instead of nightmares and restlessness, was to find the ultimate answer, a closure to the unfinished business that conquered her so-called life, thusfar. I won’t divulge any further about the mystery and Erin’s discovery because it needs to be read in order to experience the effects of her complex and disturbing road to memory lane and what the implications of her findings. Needless to say, I must applaud Hudson for creating such a refreshing mystery plot that raised some really poignant psychological aspects of Erin’s childhood past. It’s very interesting because psychological effects are very resilient when the cause happens in childhood. When it happens to a child, it’s harder to come up for air from that Svengali hold because of the subconscious that acts as the child’s protector by creating instant mental and memory blocks, until the conscious mind is ready for the truth, usually years after the child has become an adult. So what happened with Erin between childhood and adulthood until she finally snapped out of her oblivion is a very realistic phenomenon. In regard to the subconscious activating the memory blockage, did you know that memory can be reshaped? What is a memory, anyway? It’s something that we believe to be a reality. Our reality. But not necessarily true. If you’re wondering what I’m gobbing about, you simply must venture into this fascinating psychological mystery yourself! I was impressed with Hudson’s aptly crafted subtlety in presenting the psychology of the conscious and subconscious mind, the memory bank. They all clicked in the end when all the layers were peeled off – not just for Erin, but for other affected characters, too.

    Speaking of other characters, I loved the secondary characters, even the antagonists. Obviously, the antagonists were gritting my teeth, they were morally reprehensible to the MCs but totally necessary to enrich the multi-layered, multi-dimensional effects of the plot, the romance, the characters. Love. Family. Endurance. My favourite secondary character had to be George, Abby’s 19-year-old, impressionable young lad. Oh, he was adorable, kind, funny and goodness knows just how pivotal his role was in and around the story and Erin and Abby’s journey! I loved how Hudson created this effortless rapport between George and Abby, and between George and Erin. Their respective relationship and chemistry were written with such organic flow that I believed in their attachments, camaraderie, kinship and familial connection. Without giving anything away, let’s just say, George wasn’t the only impressionable secondary character who endeared me! The entire group of individuals that Hudson created and weaved ever-so genuinely and effectively into the story was utterly absorbing, gripping and fascinating to explore, uncover, discover, enjoy and experience! And the epilogue? I must admit, I was surprised to find one in this story and I was delighted! It was one of those epilogues that you could perceive it to be succinctly closed out completely or there’s a hint of potential by the end of it, you know what I mean? Regardless, I simply love endings that leave you to your own imagination. And I must say, this one passed the test with flying colours as far as I’m concerned.

    p.s. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the cover. As you may know, I’m a sucker for aesthetically designed/photographed covers, especially those dark, ominous, secretive, mysterious ones. This cover spells trouble. Menacing, dark, and sinister. I was mesmerised by the lighting, the colour filter, the camera angle. Don’t know about you but the first time I saw it, it immediately transported me to the scene with Lily Taylor in the basement in “The Conjuring!” Crikey! And then there’s the title – “Mine To Keep.” Straightforward and direct, on the surface, especially with the accompanying cover, which I’m sure you’d have made up your mind about what to expect. True. But for me, since I never take anything on face value, so for me, it’s also a play on the phrase. There’s a different meaning to it and I must say, with that in mind, it actually elevated the level of thrill and my intrigue with the story and its characters as I explored its hidden/unspoken parallels. Needless to say, interesting findings! Ok, ignore me!

    Anyway, if you haven’t sensed my enthusiasm from my aforementioned commentary about this book already, I HIGHLY recommend this book to every lesfic mystery/thriller/intrigue reader who also enjoy a bit of romance in it (well, this book has more than “a bit,” tbh, which meshed up perfectly with the underlying mystery/thriller plot, imo). A Must-Read, I’ll say! For me, it was such a captivating and absorbing ride exploring this brilliantly written story as it gave me everything I needed from the beginning until the very end! THRILLS!! Well done, Ms. Hudson, and thank you!

  11. Ana Leamaro


    I really enjoyed this book. It’s a romance/thriller and it was the first book I read from this author. The romance is interesting but predictable and I don’t mean the happy ever after because that’s a must! The thriller it’s also predictable but it will keep your attention, except for the last part when it’s so unreal it takes away all the fun. It would be a lot better with more twists and less macho man attitude.
    Overall it’s a very good book and I recommend it.

  12. Hayde W

    (verified owner):

    I received this book free during a weekend giveaway in June… I’ve Never read anything by this Author and was happy to see this was a Suspense/romance/thriller. I’m happy to say, this was and is a great book! It had plenty of suspense and had me hooked from the very first chapter. It’s a bit of a roller coaster of a ride, but if your like me and love those kinds of books. Then by all means, grab a copy! Now I’m off to see what else this author has put out there to add to my collection… 5⭐️

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