EXCERPT: It wasn’t going to work. Annie sat in the jeep that she’d parked on the clamshell driveway once she was back at the Inn. From there she could see two gray-haired ladies on the patio chatting with the young honeymooners, all of whom were drinking what looked like lemonade, all gazing toward the harbour and the sailboats and the lighthouse and it’s beacon that blinked red every sixty seconds. From where she sat, she could tell that the conversation was upbeat, the pleasant white noise of summer vacation.
But Annie wasn’t on vacation; this was her life. And she knew that her plan to focus on her book promotions, at the exclusion of her other responsibilities, simply would not work. Not this week, anyway, which promised to be as busy as the week of the 4th of July, with its pulse set to quicken the next day when Simon arrived. He and his assistant (whoever it was) would total seven guests, with the honeymoon couple, Mary Beth Mullen, and the Indiana sisters. Adding the four year-round tenants – two singles and one couple – the count increased to eleven people who’d be depending on Francine by day and Earl by night – both of whom, of course, must be worn out by now. Annie wished she’d paid closer attention to the state of their wellbeing.
And as upset as she was about Kevin having taken off, she suddenly realised that she hadn’t been carrying her share of the load, either; she’d selfishly expected that the place would run smoothly with her barely lifting a finger.
Shutting off the ignition, she faced the facts. The Inn was thriving, but she could not sit back while two people she loved were being run into the waterfront property ground. Her writing life would never – could never – be more important than her Island family.
ABOUT ‘A VINEYARD CROSSING’: Martha’s Vineyard may be picturesque and peaceful, but even there, happily-ever-after has its dark side . . .
Annie Sutton is not only a bestselling mystery author, she’s the proprietor of the newly opened Vineyard Inn. Recently engaged to local police sergeant John Lyons, instead of making wedding plans, Annie’s fighting with him about his older daughter, a troubled teen who has moved home—bringing chaos in her wake. With Annie’s beloved brother away on a troublesome journey of his own, Annie needs a friend. She begins to confide in one of the Inn’s guests, a mysterious stranger named Mary Beth Mullen. Her mix of kindness and vulnerability makes Annie trust her—until Mary Beth shares a secret that leaves Annie torn between family loyalty and a promise she made.
When a handsome, internationally acclaimed journalist checks into the Inn, he too unpacks a boatload of trouble for Annie, triggered by a provocative photo, covertly snapped—and posted on the internet. Intrigued, as tensions mount between her and John, Annie decides to eschew the police and get involved herself—enlisting Mary Beth’s help. But Annie is soon questioning whether anyone on the Vineyard this season is who they seem—and realizing that any chance of happiness rests in finding out just who her real friends are . . .
MY THOUGHTS: Although this is #4 in the Vineyard series, and I have read none of the previous three books, I had no problem, I had no problem with character backstories, or plot development. A Vineyard Crossing can easily be read as a stand-alone.
This is a wonderful summer read set in the renowned Martha’s Vineyard, a place I long to visit. The main characters are fully fleshed out, interesting, vibrant and very realistic. There are squabbles, jealousies, mysteries and
secrets. There is romance, but this is secondary to the mystery and family relationships.
I haven’t read Jean Stone before, but I really enjoyed her style of writing. It flows nicely, and I never lost interest in either the characters or the plot. I liked Annie’s nosiness and her penchant for interfering.
I am keen to read this series from the beginning, and will definitely be requesting any further books.
#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #mystery #romance #womensfiction
THE AUTHOR: With a career that has spanned over 25 years, Jean Stone is the author of 22 novels about the families, friends, lives, and lovers (who needs more?) of contemporary women that have been published by Kensington, Random House, and HarperCollins—10 of which take place on the celebrated island Martha’s Vineyard. A VINEYARD MORNING is the third book in her current Vineyard Series (A VINEYARD CHRISTMAS, A VINEYARD SUMMER). A fourth book in the series—A VINEYARD CROSSING—will be released in July 2021. All of her books are available in print and eBook versions; her Vineyard Series is also available in audio book format. From Germany to Japan, over a dozen countries around the world have purchased the subrights to her novels and translated them. Her titles have appeared on the USA TODAY bestseller list, Amazon eBook bestseller list, and one has been optioned for a Lifetime movie. Jean is a graduate of Skidmore College, has taught at a number of writers’ conferences, and has been a guest lecturer at many colleges and conferences. A native of New England, she has lived on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod for several years.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of A Vineyard Crossing by Jean Stone for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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