I couldn’t put this one down! What a delicious read, filled with secrets and suspicion!
It’s a known fact that when you marry, you don’t just marry your partner, but their entire family too. With Ria, that’s certainly the case when she marries into the eminent Parker family. Having grown up in the foster system, it’s important to Ria to have a close, committed family of her own, and with her husband Grayson and his prominent family, she’s sure she’s found that. She quickly finds that being on the inside of the Parker clan is not quite the same as what they display on the outside. The smiling, benign facades that are presented to the public disappear as soon as the paparazzi and hangers-on have disappeared and it’s ‘just family’. But although it’s difficult to warm to her prickly sisters-in-law, Ria does her best to never return the cold shoulders and prefers to remain neutral, regularly attempting to reach out to them. She’s generally successful with Shamira, striking up a tentative friendship; Christine prefers to remove herself from the family and lives further away; and Ashlin makes it clear she can’t bear her!
When Grayson leaves for work one day and never returns, Ria is at a loss! What happened, and why? Thankfully her mother-in-law May, matriarch of the family, takes her under her wing and continues to include her in family gatherings and insists on providing financial support even though Ria insists on working independently as a freelance journalist. But then out of the blue one day, Ria receives a mysterious email with incriminating evidence against all three of her sisters-in-law. Someone is clearly targeting the Parker women and wants her to know that they know their deepest, darkest secrets. Skeletons that they would very much want to remain hidden in the depths of closets that should never be opened. It’s up to her to discover who sent her the email and what they’ll go to to bring down the mighty Parker empire.
I loved reading this! Told from the points of view of the various Parker women, I thoroughly enjoyed the way the author was able to seamlessly move between the voices and characters of each person: Ria, Ashlin, Shamira and May. They shift from scathing, bitchy, observant, panicked, caring, secretive, furtive, flirty, deceitful and a multitude of other moods, attitudes and opinions, throughout … sometimes within the space of minutes! However, as much as each of these characters was well developed, I really would have liked to hear more from Christine. Being the only actual Parker daughter I wanted to know directly from her, rather from her mother, what it was like growing up in the Parker household. I did find it a bit strange that she wasn’t given a voice as I felt that would have given things a bit of an additional ‘edge’.
Overall though, this is what I’d classify as a twisty, tense family noir. Dysfunction at its best! I would imagine it would also make a great mini-series – it has all the elements needed for some great, juicy, jaw-dropping viewing! There’s back-biting, excess, mystery, sex (just enough to keep it interesting, but not too much to make it trashy) and I’m quite sure there could be some stunning outfits and shoes thrown in, not to mention a bit of eye-candy too! But of course – you need to read the book first! It’s a fabulous 4.5 star read!
USA TODAY bestselling & multi-award winning author Nicola Marsh writes feel-good fiction with a twist!
She has published 68 books with Harlequin, Amazon and indie, and sold over 8 million copies worldwide. She currently writes women’s fiction/rural romance for Harper Collins Australia Mira imprint, emotional domestic suspense for Bookouture and contemporary romance for Harlequin Dare.
Her first mainstream contemporary romance, BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD released to rave reviews, including a nomination for RWA’s RBY, Romantic Book of the Year.
Her first indie-pubbed contemporary romance CRAZY LOVE is an Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller, and was nominated for an ARRA award.
Her women’s fiction novel SAVING SARA with Lake Union hit the #1 kindle romance spot on Amazon UK.
Her young adult fantasy SCION OF THE SUN won a National Readers’ Choice Award for Best YA novel.
She’s also a Waldenbooks, Bookscan and Barnes & Noble bestseller, a RBY and National Readers’ Choice Award winner, is a multiple finalist for awards including the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, Booksellers’ Best, Golden Quill, Laurel Wreath, More than Magic and has won several CataRomance Reviewers’ Choice Awards.
A physiotherapist for 13 years, she now adores writing full time, raising her two dashing young heroes, sharing fine food with family and friends, barracking loudly for her beloved North Melbourne Kangaroos footy team, and her favourite, curling up with a good book!
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Thank you to the fabulous team at Bookouture for inviting me to tour with them once again. Take a look at what other bloggers on the tour had to say about The Last Wife …