Published: Harlequin – Mira.
Date: 29th June 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley
In the wake of her husband’s sudden death, Cassie Costas finds her relationship with her teenage stepdaughter unraveling. After their move to historic Tarpon Springs, Florida, Savannah hates her new town, her school and most of all her stepmom, whom she blames for her father’s death. Cassie has enough to contend with as she searches for answers about the man she shared a life with, including why all their savings have disappeared.
When Savannah’s rebellion culminates in an act that leaves single mother Amber Blair and her sixteen-year-old son homeless, Cassie empathizes with the woman’s predicament and invites the strangers to move in. As their lives intertwine, Cassie realizes that Amber is hiding something. She’s evasive about her past, but the fear in her eyes tells a darker story. Cassie wonders what the woman living under her roof is running from…and what will happen if it finally catches up to her.
I thoroughly enjoyed The House Guests by Emilie Richards. Any moment I had I was very happy to pick the book up and sink into it.
I was immediately drawn by the gritty Amber and her Dad’s wisdom on the luck of the bird and the worm. I liked her son Will too, a sixteen year old with a good heart. But their plight and the mystery that surrounds them had me worrying and wondering.
Cassie has had a big upheaval in her life and has returned to her hometown, most likely where she feels more secure. She has lost her husband and Savannah, her stepdaughter, blames her for the death of her Dad. So tension abounds between the two, and yet Cassie’s love is to be only admired. A few times their relationship had me tearing up.
Sometimes when reading a book there are memorable events that I never forget. One such one involves Savannah and so called friends and two teachers. At times I’d want to say to Savannah ‘get over it’, but really she is struggling and its going to take awhile.
I found the pacing just right, the characters interesting – I wanted to know more about them and how they would fare. I enjoyed seeing them find their ways through the maze of challenges. I loved the Greek flavour of the family restaurant, the minor characters and the friendships and bonds that develop.
There is some mystery, some underlying tension – is the bogey man going to jump out at some stage! Of course there are some issues explored and that is done with compassion and thoughtfulness.
Thanks to Emilie Richards for another wonderful story to read and enjoy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards has written more than seventy novels. She has appeared on national television and been quoted in Reader’s Digest, right between Oprah and Thomas Jefferson.
Born in Bethesda, Maryland, and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Richards has been married for more than forty years to her college sweetheart. She splits her time between Florida and Western New York, where she is currently plotting her next novel.