Title: Winter Cottage
Author: Mary Ellen Taylor
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Page Count: 348
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
A gripping novel about family secrets…and coming home for the first time.
Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.
Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.
Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.
Well now, I suppose it’s a good thing I took a chance on Winter Cottage since I had no idea that Mary Ellen Taylor is also known as Mary Burton who writes romantic suspense novels that I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few. Now that I’m done I can definitely see the same strong writing that pulls a reader into the story.
This story centers around Lucy Kincaid who has just lost her mother to a battle with cancer and wants to honor her mother’s last wishes of returning her ashes to her hometown of Cape Hudson, Virginia. Lucy knows nothing of her mother’s past or any extended family, it’s only been the two of them against the world her whole life as her mother chose to leave and raise Lucy on her own.
After arriving in such a small town Lucy becomes the talk of the town as she finds out that she’s been named in the will of a local resident leaving her to care for Winter Cottage. The home is a more of a sprawling mansion than a cottage and holds many secrets of the past, a past that also includes Lucy’s family lines. The home also comes with the appealing bank account holding millions for it’s upkeep so Lucy finds herself moving in and exploring her roots.
Winter Cottage is told in 3 main timelines by switching the point of view within those times. In the present of course we have Lucy but there’s also a timeline with Lucy’s mother in the late 80s and then another with the home’s original owner in the early 1900’s. This may all sound a bit confusing but it really wasn’t the changes flowed wonderfully and fit well into the present of the story. Being one that loves digging into those old family secrets I quite enjoyed the tale and would definitely recommend checking it out.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
A southerner by birth, Mary Ellen Taylor’s love of her home state, Virginia, and its past is evident in her contemporary women’s fiction, from The Union Street Bakery, Sweet Expectations, At the Corner of King Street and The View from Prince Street to her latest, Winter Cottage, which debuts October 16th, 2018. Like so many people, her protagonists search for their place in the world, exploring issues of family, home and belonging. Inevitably, Mary Ellen’s stories entwine with those of the places in which they’re set, and the mysteries at their core span past and present.
Born in Richmond, Mary Ellen has spent most of her life there.
Along with writing, cooking and baking are important creative outlets for Mary Ellen, who’s been known to name recipes in honor of her characters. Her two passions —writing and baking—merged for the first time in The Union Street Bakery. Ever since, she’s been slipping favorite recipes into her novels.
In addition to her women’s fiction, Mary Ellen is known nationally as Mary Burton, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty-one romantic suspense novels.