The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Anyone married knows the relationship with their mother-in-law can be tricky at best. Sometimes a person can hit the jackpot in that department and sometimes…not so much. Unfortunately for Lucy the relationship she has with her mother-in-law Diana is quite complicated at best. From their first meeting when Diana deemed Lucy “fine” as her son Ollie’s girlfriend to denying them a loan (Diana and her husband Tom are filthy rich) when they were a little short meeting the down payment on their starter home.

Diana it seems lacks emotions. At least on the outside. She is hard to read and in this dysfunctional family hard to please. So when the family finds out Diana has breast cancer it comes as a shock, but when they receive a call that she has committed suicide and the autopsy shows not only no cancer, but she has been murdered everyone becomes a suspect. Who would want to kill Diana? Maybe everyone in the family?

To add insult to injury the family upon her death find out she has left her vast fortune to the charity she started years earlier. A charity which provides for women and their families who come to America from other countries.

So many questions, and so many secrets. Who killed Diana and for what reason.

The story unfolds in chapters by Lucy and Diana hopping from present day to the past. Each chapter leaves the reader hanging for the next part of the story. It gives one the feeling of being on a rollercoaster ride.
But for Lucy she must come to terms with the death of a woman who she may have thought she disliked yet is mourning a woman she realized she may have actually admired.

The twists and turns in this fast paced novel keep coming, with dark secrets, some which are never revealed–only to the reader and of course the shocking ending as to who and why someone would want to kill the mother-in-law.

Thank you #NetGalley #St. Martin’s Press #The Mother-in-Law #Sally Hepworth for the advanced copy. The book out now.

A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

A Perfect Cornish Summer is based in a town on the water called Porthmellow. Sam Lovell is the owner of a catering company and she is the organizer of an annual food festival which was her idea years before. Through the years the festival has continually grown much to the delight of many of the locals, but not all.

When the guest chef pulls out at the last minute and Gabe Matthias, a hometown boy made good offers to step into the role to save the festival, Sam is not too pleased. Their past history was once magical until Gabe up and told the police that Sam’s brother Ryan was planning on robbing a store. This put Ryan in prison, Sam upset with Gabe and Gabe leaving town. When Ryan finally did get out of prison he vowed to never return and much to Sam’s great sadness she has not seen him in years.

And as with any good love story/mystery we get to meet the comical characters who go along with a small harbor town where everybody knows one another. And most have secrets. Some more serious than others. The highlight of the story is the festival itself, that’s where the comedy was at its best and kept a smile on my face. A smile still there even as this sweet story came to it’s conclusion.

For fans of The Vicar of Dibley, a series from the BBC in England, you especially will relish the tight knit community and quirky characters which come along with it. The committee meetings are just on place in which I laughed. But most of all you will be pleased with the love and caring for others which occurs in this tiny place near the sea. More please!!

Thank you #NetGalley #Avon #Phillipa Ashley #A Perfect Cornish Summer for the advanced copy. It will be out on April 25.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Anna Fox is a child therapist who is separated from her husband and daughter. She lives alone in a home in New York. She does not leave her house, ever. It was not always like this but that’s the past. Now she drinks, takes way too many pills, watches old Hitchcock movies and views her neighbor’s lives from her windows. She sometimes even creates scenarios of what is going on in their houses and lives.

When a new family moves into the house across the street from her, she admires their typical family, like the one she use to have. The Russells, Jane the mother, Alistair the father, and Ethan their son remind her of how her family once was.

But one night as she is staring out her window she witnesses something terrible…or she thinks she has. With no one to believe her and quite frankly she is not sure if she believes herself, she begins to dissolve into an abyss of even more drinking and more pills.

A fast-paced thriller which puts you into the mind-set of a very depressed agoraphobic woman who endures crippling panic attacks and has her own dark secrets, her story begins to unravel before our eyes and as she too begins to unravel. The reader begins to understand that you really never do know what goes on behind closed doors.

There are so many shocking twists and turns throughout the story which you never see coming!

Now in paperback, The Woman in the Window is also being made into a move starring Amy Adams. I cannot recommend this book enough!

The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman

The Hope Chest was my first introduction into the wonderful world of author Viola Shipman. The Summer Cottage, the latest is even more lovely and inspiring.

Adie Lou Kruger spent her summers as a child at her grandparent’s summer home called Creaky Cottage, and then as a married adult with a child and husband at the same cottage when her parents took it over. There were very simple rules which had to be followed while at the cottage such as “Leave your troubles at the door” and my personal favorite “Nap often”. It was perhaps the best times of her life.

But when her parents both die and Adie Lou’s marriage fails she believes she should sell the cottage and begin to rebuild her life. Unable to let go of the memories of what the cottage has meant to her throughout her life, she makes a decision which will change her trajectory.

She decides to turn the much loved and much run down cottage into a bed-and-breakfast although many people doubt it will be able to succeed. Adie Lou watches as the progress of renovating the cottage. which comes with its own share of problems. begins to inspire her to feel hopeful about her decision as well as feeling empowered despite the harsh realities she encounters along the way.

The Summer Cottage is about finding out who you really are, finding love in many different forms, the importance of family of all types and especially the goodwill and tenderness of others.

Thank you #NetGalley #Graydon House #The Summer Cottage #Viola Shipman. The book will be out April 22.

The House of Secrets by Terry Lynn Thomas

Sarah Bennett has just endured a trial where her father had been accused of murder. He was found not guilty much to her chagrin as she was the star witness. Hounded by the press she seeks someplace to hide-out until all the media madness dies down.

She finds a job as a typist at the hospital of Dr. Matthew Geisler and his wife Bethany. Dr. Geisler has been treating people with mental illness and has become fascinated with the occult. He learns that Sarah has been hearing screaming and weeping. She thinks she is losing her mind but he feels these are signs she has certain powers to see and hear ghosts.

Minna, one of the residence of the hospital believes she too can see ghosts and fears that her dead fianc√©, Gregory, who happens to be Dr. Geisler’s late brother is haunting her and warning her that something bad is going to happen to the doctor.

In the meantime, Sarah discovers that her old flame Zeke who seemingly disappeared just before her father’s trial is also staying at the hospital due to injuries he incurred from an “accident”.

Soon Sarah begins to see and hear spirits who are trying to tell her things she cannot quite grasp. She keeps hearing from Geisler’s dead sister who insists her brother is in danger. She must solve the mystery of who would want to hurt the doctor and why, but also whoever it is are they from this world, or the hereafter? She must act quickly before there really is a murder.

This book was a cozy, historical story with a little paranormal thrown in. An easy read with lots of suspense and surprises. The House of Secrets is Book 2 in the Sarah Bennett Mystery series. The first book is The Spirit of Grace. You can find both out now.

Thank you #NetGalley #HarperCollins #The House of Spirits for the advanced copy.

A Palm Beach Wife by Susannah Marran

A Palm Beach Wife is about the Harrison family. Edward a successful businessman, Faith his loyal wife with a little business on the side to keep her busy and Katherine their beloved daughter who is getting ready to go to graduate school. But it is also about what happens when you lose everything you have but in the process find everything you have ever needed.

Living the Palm Beach lifestyle seems like it would be heaven, but in reality the anxiety of always being on and never making a mistake can be brutal. You are only worthy of the lifestyle for a long as your worth holds out. Faith and Edward are worth a lot, until they are not.

With their lives falling apart it is up to Faith to keep her head high and to try to fight her way out of a terrible disaster. She soon finds out who her true friends are in a town where superficiality is the word of the day. She must also stay true to her husband and family although temptation is all around her.

In a town where gossip is vicious and chairperson titles can be taken away at the drop of another fifty thousand dollars, Faith must try and hold herself together in order to keep her family together so they can all come out of this with their dignity intact.

Thank you #NetGalley #St. Martin’s Press #A Palm Beach Wife #Sussannah Marren for the advanced copy.¬† The book comes out April 9.

The Editor by Steven Rowley

The Editor is a fictional novel about first time author James Smale who sells his book to Doubleday during the 1990’s only to find out his editor is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The story is very lovely and awkward and funny at times as James tries to feel comfortable with his new editor and not make a complete fool of himself in the process of getting to know her.

As Jackie and James do begin to bond, James’ other relationships, with his mother and family, whom the book is based, on begin to fall apart (more than they already had been), as does his long-time relationship with his partner Daniel. Although he looks to Jackie for notes on his book, she seems to sense his anxiety and tries to give him the life advice he so desperately needs to finish his work and perhaps make peace with his life.

One of the best chapter sequences is the Thanksgiving Dinner at James’ mother’s house. Most of us can empathize with the tensions that sometimes erupt, and how deeply hidden secrets can come spewing out! I laughed and gasped and laughed again!

But throughout the book it is his relationship with Jackie which helps him to finally find a grown-up ending for his novel and perhaps assists him in actually becoming a real man himself.

The writing is so creatively crafted and although completely fiction, what a testament to Rowley’s writing style to make you feel James’ relationship with Jackie really took place. I loved the humor, the insight and the sadness he brought into the story.

The book is out today. Don’t miss it!

Thank you #NetGalley #G.P. Putnam and Sons #The Editor #Steven Rowley for the advanced copy.

The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller

Nora is the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner. Her sole purpose in life is to take care of everybody else. Even her ex-husband who has certainly moved on. She has a sister, Kit, who is a free spirit who depends on the kindness of everybody, especially her sister, and lives life moment to moment without a care in the world.

When there is a death in the small town of Guthrie, Nora and Kit are shocked to find the local cake baker has left her property to them, which includes a dog named Freckles who goes missing and although there are sightings, has yet to be apprehended. But the inheritance comes with a hefty price. There are back taxes owed on the property and a development company had been in talks to buy up all the land and create a huge store.

In the meantime, Kit has decided she wants to become a filmmaker and wants Nora to take out a loan so she can buy equipment.

Nora must try and figure out how to handle all these situations without putting her diner in jeopardy. Then things go from bad to worse and Nora begins to lose hope in herself and those around her.

Louise Miller writes about small town life seamlessly. How many of us wish we could live…in a community with friends who are always there and where everybody knows everybody. As I read the Town Meeting scenes, I had flashbacks to old Gilmore Girl episodes.

Although not a sequel to her first book, The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living, some of her previous characters make guest appearances.

I loved every minute of this story and cannot wait for Miller’s next!