This is the second book that I have read by this author and again, she did not disappoint.
The book is written in the present with two women with teenage sons hanging out and becoming friends. There is also a past part wherein someone has killed a 15 year old girl. The past deals with the courtroom drama and highlights the kidnapping, torture, rape and killing of this 15 year old girl.
I just knew one of these women in present day - Frances or Kate - was the one being referred to in that historical part. It was killing me, however, as to who it was. I went back and forth with my guessing. It was written so that you would do so.
However, when it all does come out of the woodwork, there are some jaw dropping events that I definitely did not see coming.
I found this to be an excellent read and I am really glad that I got the chance to read it!
Thanks to Gallery, Threshold, Pocket and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
A killer hiding in plain sight? Kind of, but not exactly. The blurb and even the beginning of the story sets this one up as what could have been a gripping domestic thriller. The glimpses into the past paint a disturbing picture, but the modern day happenings left something to be desired, mostly the suspense that should've been there. There are questions, but it was all way to easy to figure out in spite of the misdirection with certain points of the story. I kept waiting for something to happen in the present day chapters, some unexpected or shocking twist, and maybe that's where this one lost me. It was all just a little too predictable. The story is well-written and I did keep going, looking for that twist, that wow factor. Maybe I've just read too many domestic thrillers lately, but the 'thrill' of this one was lost on me. It felt more like a personal interest story, a where are they now type of thing, than anything else.
This was an okay read. It started off very slow and didn't really pick up until the halfway point, then it went into over the top territory that dragged down the rating. Grace is the owner of the flower shop in the town of Thunder Point, OR and has never been kissed or any other experience with love and sex due to her childhood/teen/young adult years spent being a world class figure skater. After she walked away from the limelight and the sport, Grace is self sufficient, kind, and smart but also lonely. Troy is an OIF veteran and high school history teacher who likes to be outdoors and have fun. He had a crush on Grace's BFF, but said BFF got married and now Troy is single and ready to mingle. He just randomly chooses Grace since his loneliness senses her loneliness. They take it slow at first, eventually getting into a routine together and then sex. Everything was fine, slow but fine, then I got to the mid-way point of the novel.
Grace never told anyone in Thunder Point who she is/was (she goes by her middle names) but once she got a disturbing letter in the mail that relates back to one of her stalkers (yes, as in more than one which is one way this leads to OTT), the one that kidnapped her for a while, she has to come forward to her small group of friends and Troy. Then in the same weekend, her estranged mother manipulates her into seeing her mother. Turns out Grace is a world class skater and a heiress of much means. Mother is dying of ALS, so turn on the guilt trip-o-meter and mother and daughter have a lot of rift-healing to do as well as get the estate affairs in order. Troy is freaking out because as a teacher, he doesn't make a lot of money (he also bartends on the side) and tends to spend his money on fun things like kayaking and camping.
In the midst of all this, Grace "forgets" to follow the instructions her friend/doctor gave her when Grace went to see her for birth control pills. By the time Grace takes the pregnancy test, she is well into the chaos part of the book and low and behold - it comes back positive. Virgin until about two months ago (maybe) and she gets pregnant. Troy has always used condoms, so he asked her to go on birth control to double their prevention odds. But Grace "forgot" to hold up her end of the bargain. She doesn't tell Troy until after he is putting a little distance between them so he could work out his issues with her being much wealthier than him. Grace gets pouty and blurts out she is pregnant, and Troy is less than thrilled, making Grace go deeper into hystronics. Meanwhile, two other couples from previous books also are pregnant and I had to read their birth announcement chapters as well - fan service that I can appreciate, but it made the flow choppy to read about characters I didn't know taking up space in another character's book. It seems this book was all about BABBIES = HEA, which I didn't like.
What started off as a slow burn romance turned into a typical contemporary mess that make me stay away from the sub-genre. Also don't drink the water in Thunder Point, you'll end up pregnant.
I am a Robyn Carr fan. When I pick up one of her books I know that I am going to find a good romance story with wonderful, realistic characters. The Family Gathering is exactly that and more. I found a book with an amazingly unique and fun family, a storyline that I lost myself in, and a series that I am looking forward to more from.
The Family Gathering is a book with a lot going on. The main story is Dakota’s return to Sullivan’s Crossing and his trying to find his new normal. He has to adjust to having family around, having friends, and living a civilian life. In addition to Dakota’s story, the reader gets to catch up with his siblings and where they are in their lives. There were a few times that I felt like I was lost in the secondary stories and there was too much going on.
While there are tough subjects touched on within this story such as divorce, stalking, adoption, and mental illness this is a romance story. If you love a good story as much as I do pick up this book and meet the wonderful people of Sullivan Crossing.