Gwen and Leslie are initially challenging to spend time with, as Gwen covers up her brittleness with brashness and Leslie hides her depression with platitudes, but readers will come to care deeply for both women and sympathize with their struggles. Gwen’s prickly nature is, at first, a stark contrast to Leslie’s confident supermom persona. Yet as the story slowly unfolds, it’s easy to find points of commonality between the two women as they both grapple alone with what they fear are life-altering secrets.
Stewart (the Piper Anderson series) balances the intense emotions with healing balm provided by Gwen’s adoring parents; her irreverent best friend, Griff, who quickly becomes her love interest; Leslie’s best friend, Claudette; and Leslie’s warmhearted 17-year-old daughter, Kerry, whose half-sibling DNA match with Gwen kicks the tension into high gear. There are also hints of mystery involving a sketchy for-profit adoption agency. This deeply moving story and its captivating characters will keep readers enthralled.
Takeaway: Any fan of women’s fiction will be enthralled by this powerful, emotional story of a young woman, her biological mother, and their quest to be reunited.
Great for fans of Nora Roberts, Lori Foster, Bella Andre, Kristen Ashley.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B