The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth

Published April 4, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

346 Pages

Goodreads Summary: THE HUSBAND: A heart surgeon at the top of his field, Stephen Aston is getting married again. But first he must divorce his current wife, even though she can no longer speak for herself. THE DAUGHTERS: Tully and Rachel Aston look upon their father’s fiancée, Heather, as nothing but an interloper. Heather is younger than both of them. Clearly, she’s after their father’s money. THE FORMER WIFE: With their mother in a precarious position, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is. THE YOUNGER WIFE: Heather has secrets of her own. Will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses in all of them?

Review: This was my first novel by Sally Hepworth and it definitely will not be my last. I was intrigued from the very beginning. The book starts out on the day of the wedding and things quickly take a turn for the worst and then rewind to how it all began. The book is told in alternating POVs of Tully, Rachel, and Heather. With each chapter new details are revealed and each one is more twisted than the last. In addition to the main plot line, each of the women have additional things going on in their own lives that have an effect on the story. Each woman is dealing with things from the past that are affecting their present lives and it really added depth to their characters. This book definitely kept me guessing on how it was going to end and when the final twist was revealed I will admit that I was shocked! Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more from Sally Hepworth in the future.

Content Warning: Domestic violence, murder, rape, eating disorder, kleptomania

4 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Mini Review: The Summer Place

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

Published May 10th 2022 by Atria Books

432 Pages

Goodreads Summary: When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house on Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market.

But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been.

When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same.

From “the undisputed boss of the beach read” (The New York Times), The Summer Place is a testament to family in all its messy glory; a story about what we sacrifice and how we forgive. Enthralling, witty, big-hearted, and sharply observed, this is Jennifer Weiner’s love letter to the Outer Cape and the power of home, the way our lives are enriched by the people we call family, and the endless ways love can surprise us.

Mini Review: I’m sticking with a mini review on this one because it just really didn’t work for me and I ended up DNFing at 44%. I’ve read a few books by Jennifer Weiner in the past and have enjoyed them for the most part but this one was just beyond me. To say this family is dysfunctional would be an understatement and to me that doesn’t really fit the summer beach read mood. I also was not keen on the way the story was told. There are so many characters and having to go back to each character’s back story and how it fits in with the end game got really old. I also have a hard time reading books that have a lot of adultery. Multiple characters played that game in this book and I was not into it at all. There was just SO MUCH deception on all sides and it got to be more than I could handle. But like I said, this just did not work for me personally. If you’re a big fan of Jennifer Weiner or big family dramas featuring dysfunctional families with secrets galore than you might enjoy this one.

DNF @ 44%

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long

Published January 11th 2022 by Wednesday Books

357 Pages

Goodreads Summary: After angering a local gangster, seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen must flee with her prize fighting wolf, Iska, in tow. A team of scientists offer to pay her way off her frozen planet on one condition: she gets them to the finish line of the planet’s infamous sled race. Though Sena always swore she’d never race after it claimed both her mothers’ lives, it’s now her only option.

But the tundra is a treacherous place, and as the race unfolds and their lives are threatened at every turn, Sena starts to question her own abilities. She must discover whether she’s strong enough to survive the wild – whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.

A captivating debut about survival, found family, and the bond between a girl and a wolf that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories and frontier myths.

Review: **Content Warning: Animal Cruelty** When I first heard about this book, it sounded intriguing. I started reading it and at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to read the whole thing. There is some animal cruelty from one of the local gangsters that I was not very thrilled to be reading about. I abhor animal cruelty so I was almost ready to DNF the book. But then things started to take a turn for the better. The wolf, Iska, who was being abused was liberated by Sena and as the two of them went on their way to escape the evil gangster, their bond was what kept me reading. Once those two got away things really started getting intense with the world they lived in and the infamous race began. I found myself drawn in and actually enjoying the story and connecting with the characters. I really liked how Sena came out of her shell and started to trust the people that she was with and wouldn’t give up on Iska. Overall, I ended up liking this book more than I disliked it because of the animal cruelty. So just beware if you decide to read this book that there will be some animal cruelty.

3.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Bout of Books 34: Day 1 Update

Bout of Books 34 is off to a great start for me yesterday. I started off with the audiobook for Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long during the work day. It’s a high action fantasy novel taking place on a frozen tundra planet. I was able to listen to a little more than half of it. In the evening I started my advance copy of The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner. It’s a family drama with many POVs throughout the book. I’m not really sure how I feel about it yet but I was able to read 44% of it.

Day 1 Update:

Pages Read: 379

Total Pages Read: 379

Books Read From:

  • Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long
  • The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

The Regency Vows #3

Published April 5th 2022 by Atria Books

336 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.

With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.

With “an arch sense of humor and a marvelously witty voice that rivals the best of the Regency authors” (Entertainment Weekly), Martha Waters crafts another fresh romantic comedy that for fans of Julia Quinn and Evie Dunmore.

Review: I’m a big fan of regency era romances and I enjoyed the first two books in this series so I was really looking forward to reading book 3. I’ve liked Emily and Julian from the earlier books so I was happy to see them get their own book. Emily and Julian decide to enter into a marriage of convenience. Julian needs Emily’s golden reputation and Emily needs Julian’s help paying her father’s gambling debts. The banter between them was pure gold, especially on their wedding night when a stray kitten throws a bit of a wrench in their evening plans. I was laughing out loud basically during every scene that featured Cecil Lucifer Beelzebub and Julian. There were so many comedic moments in this book and there were also some very heartwarming moments as well. Julian had a bit of a strained relationship with his father because of the theater he owns. His father never approved. But with Emily’s help, his father comes around to support Julian and it really just hit me in the feels. This book was basically everything I hoped it would be. There were a few slow moments but overall, I loved it and definitely recommend it.

4.5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.