BOOKS ON TOUR – The Mother-in-Law by Karen King

Dana hasn’t had the easiest life. Losing her parents at a very young age and being brought up by an aunt and uncle who always made it clear that by taking her in, they were just doing what was expected of them, not exactly what they wanted, has made her believe that she’s unloveable and destined to live a small, quiet and lonely life. So when she meets Sam and they fall instantly in love, she can’t believe her luck.

When it turns out that he’s comfortably wealthy and has a stable career, Dana is amazed that Sam is willing to waste time with someone like her. And when he proposes to her just four months after they meet, she knows that her life is never going to be the same again. She’s got no idea how right she is, because she hasn’t met her future mother-in-law yet! Although the fact that Sam is 35 and still lives with his parents is something that raises a big red flag with her best friend, who warns her to take things a bit slower, she explains that he actually has his own ‘suite’ and that his parents’ home is not exactly a semi-detached house on a suburban street. “Wealthy people do things differently.”

When she finally meets Evelyn and Harold, they welcome her warmly and Dana is thrilled that she’s finally going to be part of a loving family, something she’s always craved. But almost immediately, she realises that Evelyn might not be quite as enamored with her as she initially made out to be. Dana starts to feel quite uncomfortable whenever she spends time with her, which soon turns out to be quite often! And then the “accidents” start. Dana seriously begins to think that she might not actually make it to her wedding day in one piece … or at all!

To be honest, the book is quite ‘vanilla’ for at least the first 75% – girl meets boy; they fall in love; whirlwind romance; he proposes; she’s ecstatic at the unexpected turn her life is taking; she meets his parents; at first she adores them and thinks they adore her too; she starts to think maybe his mom is just a teensy bit obsessively possessive of her only son; weird things start to happen to the girl, most of which might be life-threatening but actually aren’t; what will happen next?

And then … suddenly … wowzers!!! The author throws in some cookie dough, walnuts and chocolate chunks for good measure and ‘vanilla’ turns into ‘Rocky Road’ (with dynamite!!) Yes folks, between about 75% and 80% of the way through this book, we go from zero to about 280 mph without stopping to pass ‘Go’ or to collect 500 Pounds, all the way until the end! So if you think you have it all worked out before that, just keep reading because I promise you … you definitely don’t!

There’s a lot of repetition here: numerous mentions of Dana’s uncle and aunt and their lack of affection; far too many reminders of the fact that Sam is a ‘successful accountant’; and way, way too many comments from Dana about how soon she and Sam will be married and able to move out of Evelyn’s home! It did all become a bit too tedious and mind-numbing.

But the basic premise and background story is solid, and as I’ve already said, when that roller-coaster ride really takes off, it’s a real doozy! Some books are just slow burners and take longer to get there, you just need to be patient, and with this one, patience really pays off making it a 4-star read!

Thank you to Bookouture for the Books on Tour …

Author Bio:

Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. Currently published by Bookouture and Headline, Karen writes about the light and dark of relationships. Her eleventh romantic novel, The Spanish Wedding Disaster, has recently been published and her third psychological thriller The Mother In Law is out in July, with a fourth one in February 2023.

Karen has also had 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines published. Her thrillers The Perfect Stepmother and The Stranger in my Bed and her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became International Amazon bestsellers.

Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

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