A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards

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EXCERPT: ‘….I’m not coming home. I can’t, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to. I need you to go back to Seabank and take care of the girls until things clear up for me.’

‘You’re kidding.’ I really thought she might be.

‘I don’t want to go into detail. Can’t you just trust me and do it?’

I paused, with no plan to restart until I made sense of her request. Finally I said the only thing that occurred to me. ‘Look, this sounds crazy. You have to tell me more.’

“Great. Thanks a lot.’ For the first time Wendy choked up, as if she was trying not to cry. ‘I’m in Phoenix. Okay? There was a murder last night, and I’m pretty sure the sheriff will think I’m involved. I need to disappear for a while until it’s sorted out. Is that enough to get you moving?’

I tried to rearrange her words into sentences that didn’t catapult our family into an unfamiliar dimension. ‘Murder?’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies?

All her life, Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead, Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice.

Now, Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder – and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused.

While Wendy lays low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger?

Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar – or worse?

MY THOUGHTS: For most of the time I was reading the book I was thinking 3 stars, maybe at a pinch, 3.5. Then 80% into the book, it became 4. A good solid 4 stars.

It is an interesting story. Unlikely….but interesting. A lot of things were very obvious from the start, and so most of the reveals lacked oomph. But I really liked the effort the author put into her characters. Ryan grows enormously as a person throughout the book. Even though I liked her from the start, I liked her a whole lot better by the end. And the end is not entirely predictable…..

It begs the question ‘how well do we know our nearest and dearest?’ and ‘how reliable are our childhood memories?’ Although a little wordy and slow in places, I still enjoyed A Family of Strangers far more than I thought I would when I was 25% through.

****

THE AUTHOR: I’m the author of seventy-something novels, including romance, women’s fiction and mystery. When We Were Sisters debuted in June 2016, a stand alone novel about two foster sisters traveling back into their past together. I loved writing it and love the cover my publisher chose.

I’m also excited about my recent series, Goddesses Anonymous, which started with One Mountain Away and was followed by Somewhere Between Luck and Trust. The third book in the series, A River Too Wide, came out in July 2014. The Color of Light debuted in August 2015. Will there be more? We’ll see.

I’m also putting up my newly edited romance backlist and love re-reading and updating them a bit.

Last year my husband and I moved from Virginia, to Osprey, Florida, the state where both of us were raised, met, and married. In the summer we live in Chautauqua, New York. I’m a quilter, knitter, kayaker, and the mother of four children, whom I regard as my greatest creative endeavors. And now there are four wonderful grandchildren to spoil.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harlequin-Mira (USA & Canada) via Netgalley fro providing a digital copy of A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2769259489?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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