When Julie asked me to review her book pre-release, I accepted without really knowing anything about the book. Julie herself is an author of several books, including chick lit, and I thought that this book would probably be in that genre. As I read, however, the book drew me in and I couldn't put it down.
So what's it about? Marlie Evans, a Cali girl, meets Daniel Cannon, a southern widower with two twin boys and it is love at first sight. Marlie, a social worker, usually prides herself in using her brain and not leaping into things, but when it comes to love, it's hard to stay strong. Daniel proposes the day after they meet and she agrees. Without knowing much about her new husband, a state senator, she soon finds herself unwanted in the South... by her inlaws and by Daniel's associates. Mysteries surround her husband's late wife, Gentry, a woman who appeared to be beloved and yet whom nobody will talk about. Marlie begins digging deeper and is shocked at the answers she digs up.
Conspiracies, secret societies and people who will kill to keep their pasts in the past, this book is the perfect women's fiction... mystery blended with real emotions as a woman tries to connect and integrate herself into a new family and new society.
I started this book during my toddler's afternoon nap and couldn't put it down! There were twists and turns and it was far from predictable. It reminded me of classic novels such as Jane Eyre or Gone With The Wind in the development and attitudes of many of the characters, and yet was modern and addressed many issues that face us today.
Marlie's interactions with her stepsons made me think about how I would deal in that situation. The title itself speaks to this... how do you replace a mother in the lives of her children? How do you replace her in the life of her husband? And how do you keep from feeling like you are second best?
This is an excellent novel and I highly recommend you go out and get yourself a copy!