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Ask Mariah

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AN UNFULFILLED HEART -- Joanna Wingate knows something is missing from her life, something she never dreamed she'd find in a handsome stranger's children -- mischievous six-year-old twin sisters who look up at her adoringly ... and call her "Mama." AN UNSPOKEN NEED -- Since his wife's accidental death, Michael Ashton has struggled with his many responsibilities as a single AN UNFULFILLED HEART -- Joanna Wingate knows something is missing from her life, something she never dreamed she'd find in a handsome stranger's children -- mischievous six-year-old twin sisters who look up at her adoringly ... and call her "Mama." AN UNSPOKEN NEED -- Since his wife's accidental death, Michael Ashton has struggled with his many responsibilities as a single parent to twin daughters who, though they clearly love him, refuse to speak to him. Then he meets Rose and Lily's new teacher, and his emotions spin out of control. For Joanna Wingate is the mirror image of his late wife. MARIAH'S MAGIC -- Bizarre coincidence, a strange destiny... or something althogether different has joined these four lives. The twins believe Mariah -- a magical fortune-teller in a crystal ball -- has the answers. But only Joanna and Michael's willingness to confront long-buried secrets can guide their families back to wholeness ... and unite them in a love that seems meant to be.


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AN UNFULFILLED HEART -- Joanna Wingate knows something is missing from her life, something she never dreamed she'd find in a handsome stranger's children -- mischievous six-year-old twin sisters who look up at her adoringly ... and call her "Mama." AN UNSPOKEN NEED -- Since his wife's accidental death, Michael Ashton has struggled with his many responsibilities as a single AN UNFULFILLED HEART -- Joanna Wingate knows something is missing from her life, something she never dreamed she'd find in a handsome stranger's children -- mischievous six-year-old twin sisters who look up at her adoringly ... and call her "Mama." AN UNSPOKEN NEED -- Since his wife's accidental death, Michael Ashton has struggled with his many responsibilities as a single parent to twin daughters who, though they clearly love him, refuse to speak to him. Then he meets Rose and Lily's new teacher, and his emotions spin out of control. For Joanna Wingate is the mirror image of his late wife. MARIAH'S MAGIC -- Bizarre coincidence, a strange destiny... or something althogether different has joined these four lives. The twins believe Mariah -- a magical fortune-teller in a crystal ball -- has the answers. But only Joanna and Michael's willingness to confront long-buried secrets can guide their families back to wholeness ... and unite them in a love that seems meant to be.

30 review for Ask Mariah

  1. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    3.5 stars Michael Ashton was having a bad day. His 6-year-old twin devils darlings had inadvertently set the kitchen on fire. They had made a rash attempt to 'cook' for their tea party. That was after the girls had painted their nanny's chair in her bedroom green. Needless-to-say, Mrs. Polking -their caregiver- had given her notice but offered him a list of summer schools that might have two openings for new students. Since Michael's wife had passed away a year ago, his scamps refused to talk to 3.5 stars Michael Ashton was having a bad day. His 6-year-old twin devils darlings had inadvertently set the kitchen on fire. They had made a rash attempt to 'cook' for their tea party. That was after the girls had painted their nanny's chair in her bedroom green. Needless-to-say, Mrs. Polking -their caregiver- had given her notice but offered him a list of summer schools that might have two openings for new students. Since Michael's wife had passed away a year ago, his scamps refused to talk to him. Immediately prior to her death and in their confusion, the twins had made their mother this promise. Michael had explained that she was in heaven now but they continued their silent treatment. Even visiting several medical professionals hadn't helped with the matter. They spoke to everyone else, just not to him. His job as an architect was foreseeable; he was always in control. Unfortunately, he found himself floundering with fatherhood. 'Mariah' referred to a lady inside a crystal ball that 'answered' questions. Rose and Lily had been given the gift from their maternal grandmother, Sophia. Thinking it was harmless, Michael let them keep it. Joanna Wingate had recently lost her dad to lung cancer. She had been pursuing her PhD in American history when her father had become ill. As an only child, she set aside her life to assist her mother with his care. Among things that she lost, she was dumped by her then-current boyfriend. Two months had passed since her dad's death and she found herself restless. She needed something new to motivate herself and help her mother to move on. Lo and behold, a close friend suggested a six-week job teaching a group of young children. "First grade is an adorable age" were a few words on the subject before accepting the position and hearing bloodcurdling screams. A man was dropping off his daughters. When the three of them first saw her, there was silence. Then, "Mama! You came back." Call it fate, kismet or serendipity but Joanna was the living image of the girls' mother. Yes, the story was mildly predictable and contained a few cheesy moments. There was an abundant amount of melodrama but without it there would have been no plot. I thought Ms. Freethy could have summarized the romance with 100 less pages. Ask Mariah also embraced some funny, precious instances that were superb. I appreciated that the author included enough tension to make the romance believable. The author gave me an accomplished view of grief and how it soaked the lives of people that were left behind.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Coco.V

    🎁 FREE on Amazon today (5/22/2020)! 🎁

  3. 4 out of 5

    Waterfall

    I don't often say this (I almost never say this), but the book would have been so much better without the supernatural element - the lady in the crystal ball. It's nothing more than a handy plot device which saves the author from actually having to come up with reasons for why certain things happen, and it's also completely unnecessary. The plot would have been just the same without it, and placed firmly in our world. As it is now the book flounders between being a very good realistic romance an I don't often say this (I almost never say this), but the book would have been so much better without the supernatural element - the lady in the crystal ball. It's nothing more than a handy plot device which saves the author from actually having to come up with reasons for why certain things happen, and it's also completely unnecessary. The plot would have been just the same without it, and placed firmly in our world. As it is now the book flounders between being a very good realistic romance and a very disappointing supernatural one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Iluvbooks44

    Phenomenal book!!! I love Barbara’s books, she is one of my favourite authors. I loved this book from start to finish. I love the characters and the story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

    Michael Ashton is a widower with twin 6 year old daughters; girls who take a page from the Von Trapp children terrorizing nannies and sending them packing. Lily and Rose think their mother is coming back and haven't spoken to their father since their mother's death. He enrolls the kids in summer school and discovers the teacher Joanne is the spitting image of his dead wife. The twins think their mother has returned. The book is predictable, with a few twists, but I never doubted the outcome. I did Michael Ashton is a widower with twin 6 year old daughters; girls who take a page from the Von Trapp children terrorizing nannies and sending them packing. Lily and Rose think their mother is coming back and haven't spoken to their father since their mother's death. He enrolls the kids in summer school and discovers the teacher Joanne is the spitting image of his dead wife. The twins think their mother has returned. The book is predictable, with a few twists, but I never doubted the outcome. I didn't mind that I knew what was coming. The characters were Joanne and Michael were a bit too perfect, although the other characters were more well rounded. The twins' antics were unrealistic, but neither too cutesy or two hellion to become annoying. I enjoyed this book. I cried at the end, ever though I saw it coming. This would be a great beach read or a good book to peruse if you're feeling down.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda Walters

    This book had really good main characters with a group of equally interesting supporting people. If you are looking for a story that has emotion as well? This book also has plenty of that. Also long held secrets that are being ripped open. And some painful chips are going to fall. As time goes on, it doesn't take long for Michael to get over his shock of Joana's resemblance to his dead wife. He begins to see differences between the two; good ones. He still tries to fight his attraction though bec This book had really good main characters with a group of equally interesting supporting people. If you are looking for a story that has emotion as well? This book also has plenty of that. Also long held secrets that are being ripped open. And some painful chips are going to fall. As time goes on, it doesn't take long for Michael to get over his shock of Joana's resemblance to his dead wife. He begins to see differences between the two; good ones. He still tries to fight his attraction though because he can see all the potential roadblocks ahead. Joanna falls in love with the girls first. Both Rose and Lily capture her heart and they are quite the pair. And then Michael follows pretty closely after that. Like she says how can she resist this handsome man who is so tender with his daughters? Especially since he is dealing with their refusal to talk to him. Oh, they love him and they will hug him but no talking at all. It's frustrating and hurtful to him but just keeps on loving them and being there for them. There not talking to him is just another secret in the story. It makes for some interesting situations. Joanna's mother is something else. She loves her daughter but her possessiveness was bad before her husband died but now it's off the charts. So, yes there will be fireworks. And confrontations and love. The only thing I didn't care for was the fortune telling aspect of the story. But I must have missed that in the information because it was mentioned. Going to fortune tellers is a big no-no for me. But I guess if you look at Mariah as a fantasy creature instead of a fortune teller or psychic that MIGHT be okay. She doesn't show up too often. Still the decision is up to you, in the end. Speaking of end, it had a pretty good one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    JigsawGirl

    I started this review a few times and was going to say I enjoyed several aspects of this book. But, as I started to list them, I realized they were all things that bothered me. So, I will say that I liked the idea of the story. I still have not been able to put my finger on why I didn't dislike the book when I disliked so many aspects of it. A. I had to wonder why Joanne, after hearing Michael's daughters talking about the secret Mommy told them to keep, didn't feel the need to share that informat I started this review a few times and was going to say I enjoyed several aspects of this book. But, as I started to list them, I realized they were all things that bothered me. So, I will say that I liked the idea of the story. I still have not been able to put my finger on why I didn't dislike the book when I disliked so many aspects of it. A. I had to wonder why Joanne, after hearing Michael's daughters talking about the secret Mommy told them to keep, didn't feel the need to share that information with him. B. I wondered about the DeLuca's, who were supposed to be this wonderful family, were really kind of unhappy and unlikeable. C. I figured out pretty early on why Joanne's mother was so unattractively possessive. D. The whole Mariah part of the book was unnecessary. If the paranormal piece had been left out, I doubt it would have mattered. E. There were so many life altering secrets being kept it was ridiculous. There was a lot of selfishness to go around. F. Let's not forget that Michael and Joanne knew each other for ONE WEEK. The instalove was a bit much. The chemistry was not quite there. G. It ran on a bit too long. The sub plots (I guess that's what you call them) with the siblings was to introduce future books. Taking all of the things listed above, it still wasn't a bad book. I enjoy Barbara Freethy books. Whatever was o of about this one still eludes me. I am glad I was able to read it via Kindle Unlimited.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    This story had a lot of elements I liked. Michael is struggling to pick up the pieces after his wife's death, half-believing that their unhappy relationship was the ultimate cause of her demise, and wondering why his twin daughters will speak to everyone but him. The family he married into always seemed to have it all together--long, happy marriages, successful family restaurant, close relationships. But when he meets someone who looks almost exactly like his dead wife--someone his daughters cal This story had a lot of elements I liked. Michael is struggling to pick up the pieces after his wife's death, half-believing that their unhappy relationship was the ultimate cause of her demise, and wondering why his twin daughters will speak to everyone but him. The family he married into always seemed to have it all together--long, happy marriages, successful family restaurant, close relationships. But when he meets someone who looks almost exactly like his dead wife--someone his daughters call "Mama"--suddenly the family's perfection begins to look like a veneer. Meanwhile Joanna, who has been a lifelong lover of history and family heritage, begins to question everything she believes to be true. So we've got themes of identity and family and duty and loyalty, which were interesting to explore. The things I didn't like were the insta-love (I can believe there would be intrigue--though likely of an uncomfortable sort--if you see someone who looks just like your former spouse, but the whole, "I feel like I've known you forever" business is just a bit over-the-top) and the sprinkling of magic, which was really weird in an otherwise realistic story that really didn't need a magical element.

  9. 5 out of 5

    J. Florence

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a wonderful book about two little twin girls that think their mother is going to be home "just anytime". Even though their mother is deceased, she had told them she would be back, and she never broke a promise. They are very ornery and won't speak to their father. If you read the book, you will find out why. The summer school teacher was the splitting image of their mother, and they thought she had come back and couldn't understand why she had a different name and why she didn't come home This is a wonderful book about two little twin girls that think their mother is going to be home "just anytime". Even though their mother is deceased, she had told them she would be back, and she never broke a promise. They are very ornery and won't speak to their father. If you read the book, you will find out why. The summer school teacher was the splitting image of their mother, and they thought she had come back and couldn't understand why she had a different name and why she didn't come home to live. Mariah is a crystal ball that the girls would ask questions to and she would answer them. Their mothers side of the family was a large important family in the community. As you read the book you will meet the rest of them, and find out more about them, and the girls mother. The book is rather predictable, but there are so many more things than that in this book. There is romance, love and mystery in the book, along with two headstrong little girls. I thought it was a great book to read. The author of this book must have young children or is around small children a lot. Some of the thing I read, was just too cute. I enjoyed this book completely. I hope you will also.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    This story is about two small twins who have recently lost their mother and won't speak to their father because of a promise they made to her before she died. Johanna has lost just about all herself after caring for her dying father. She lives with a very possessive mother. She is now teaching a summer class for 1st graders. What a shock for her when Lily and Rose come in saying she is the mother they have been waiting for to come back. As their father, Michael Ashton meets Johanna, the resembla This story is about two small twins who have recently lost their mother and won't speak to their father because of a promise they made to her before she died. Johanna has lost just about all herself after caring for her dying father. She lives with a very possessive mother. She is now teaching a summer class for 1st graders. What a shock for her when Lily and Rose come in saying she is the mother they have been waiting for to come back. As their father, Michael Ashton meets Johanna, the resemblance in uncanny. How can this be just a coincidence? "Mariah" is an antique magic ball that the girls grandmother Sophia gave them. Only they know the true magic it has. This story has so many twists and turns, mystery intrigue, romance, love, forgiveness, etc. If it makes me cry, it has to be great. Another 5 stars of Barbara Freethy. Her books never cease to amaze me. I read this book so fast as I couldn't put it down. I would give it more than 5 stars if I could.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Norma Jean

    I became a fan of Barbara Freethy a few years ago when I read my first book by this talented author. Since that time I have read every new Barbara Freethy book that is published. I recently picked up Ask Mariah. It was published in 2011 before I started reading Ms. Freethy’s books. This book is amazing! Now I want to purchase every book in her backlist. Ms. Freethy has a real talent for weaving suspense, romance and wonderful characters into compelling stories that pull a reader into the story a I became a fan of Barbara Freethy a few years ago when I read my first book by this talented author. Since that time I have read every new Barbara Freethy book that is published. I recently picked up Ask Mariah. It was published in 2011 before I started reading Ms. Freethy’s books. This book is amazing! Now I want to purchase every book in her backlist. Ms. Freethy has a real talent for weaving suspense, romance and wonderful characters into compelling stories that pull a reader into the story and don’t let go until the end of the book. Every time I thought I had this one figured out, the story line took another unexpected twist. I couldn’t put it down! I have several favorite authors whose books I purchase as soon as they are available. Ms. Freethy is definitely one of my favorites. I recommend Ask Mariah to anyone who loves, Romance, Suspense and Women’s Fiction.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ellen White

    His girls had terrorized everyone in the family. Maybe the summer school camp would work till he found another nanny For Joanna she had lost everything, her job, boyfriend, to help her mother tend to her father for nine months, and now her father was gone. She needed something, and when offered to help with the six year olds at the camp she accepted. She was a teacher, and the plans had already been done, to just follow. First day and hearing the screams, and the twins seemed to be the loudest. O His girls had terrorized everyone in the family. Maybe the summer school camp would work till he found another nanny For Joanna she had lost everything, her job, boyfriend, to help her mother tend to her father for nine months, and now her father was gone. She needed something, and when offered to help with the six year olds at the camp she accepted. She was a teacher, and the plans had already been done, to just follow. First day and hearing the screams, and the twins seemed to be the loudest. Of course those two would be in her class. Going to help the father, the girls ran to her, crying Mama. She looked just like their Mother. The girls insisted that Mariah who lived in a crystal ball had told them, about their mama returning, A tender story of a mother that was taken and the girls acting out and searching for answers,

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Ask Mariah is a wonderful story about what constitutes family. Is it nurturing or bloodlines or both? Joanna Wingate who recently lost her father takes a summer job as a teacher. Her very first morning six year old twins throw themselves at her, calling her Mama and telling her they always knew she would come back for them...just as she had promised. The girls father is stunned! Joanna looks almost identical to his late wife. In Barbara Freethy’s capable hands readers will have a hard time putti Ask Mariah is a wonderful story about what constitutes family. Is it nurturing or bloodlines or both? Joanna Wingate who recently lost her father takes a summer job as a teacher. Her very first morning six year old twins throw themselves at her, calling her Mama and telling her they always knew she would come back for them...just as she had promised. The girls father is stunned! Joanna looks almost identical to his late wife. In Barbara Freethy’s capable hands readers will have a hard time putting this book aside. The author weaves a complex tale of lies and love and a little magic from Mariah. I loved everything about this book. Most highly recommend.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debra

    Ask Mariah This story revolves around a man, his twin daughters, and a woman who looks like his dead wife. Oh and a crystal ball. In this story not all is as it seems. The girls promised their mom not to talk to their dad till she returned home. But she died. So a year later they still haven't talked to him. Heartbreaking. He doesn't understand why. In comes their new teacher. And she looks just like the mom. There are are many twists and turns in this book. The one thing I enjoyed most was Maria Ask Mariah This story revolves around a man, his twin daughters, and a woman who looks like his dead wife. Oh and a crystal ball. In this story not all is as it seems. The girls promised their mom not to talk to their dad till she returned home. But she died. So a year later they still haven't talked to him. Heartbreaking. He doesn't understand why. In comes their new teacher. And she looks just like the mom. There are are many twists and turns in this book. The one thing I enjoyed most was Mariah. Read and find out why.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Baby Girl

    Wow, what a story. Joanna lived a good life, but with secrets that she knew nothing about until she met Michael and his precious twins Lily and Rose. In an instant Joanna's world was turned upside down. However, somewhere along the way, she found love in Lily and Rose and in their widowed father. Although she has a lot to sort out, she has a ready made family to help her through it all. Loved this story. Wow, what a story. Joanna lived a good life, but with secrets that she knew nothing about until she met Michael and his precious twins Lily and Rose. In an instant Joanna's world was turned upside down. However, somewhere along the way, she found love in Lily and Rose and in their widowed father. Although she has a lot to sort out, she has a ready made family to help her through it all. Loved this story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeannine Wickliffe

    Enjoyable family mix up Joanna Wingate needed a change so she is teaching summer classes for 6 year olds. Michael Ashton enrolls his twins in the school because they ran off another nanny. Michael is shocked when he meets Joanna because she looks just like his dead wife. Could Joanna be a DeLuxe and if so who is her real mother. Can they unravel the past, find love, or will the past destroy their growing love? Another great story from Barbara

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Owen Owen

    Story about mistakes and love! Barbara Freethy always makes the characters come alive in all her books! It wasn't long before I fell in love with Joanna and Michael and Lily and Rose. Then she introduced the De Lucas and Caroline Wingate and !are me love them to. I even loved Mariah!! Story about mistakes and love! Barbara Freethy always makes the characters come alive in all her books! It wasn't long before I fell in love with Joanna and Michael and Lily and Rose. Then she introduced the De Lucas and Caroline Wingate and !are me love them to. I even loved Mariah!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kira

    The twins. Urghh...Such spoilt brat. I know I know they were meant to be that way for plot’s sake but they annoyed me throughout the whole book. And I actually didn’t feel the “love” between Michael & Joanna. Sorry not sorry.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pat Christie

    Ebook He’s a widower with twin daughters that don’t talk to him. She doing some summer school teaching. She looks like their dead mother. They think she’s their dead mother, it leads to such confusion and a huge secret that can destroy a family.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jerri McLamb

    Sweet story with some magic This was a very sweet story with magic thrown in. There were some unexpected turns and it had me trying to guess the ending but I was completely surprised. A easy read especially for a weekend get away!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Wonderful! Of the book is by Barbara Freethy, get it! Time after time she writes a "winner". Compelling, captivating,memorable characters and heartwarming happy endings. Makes you sigh and smile at the end. Wonderful! Of the book is by Barbara Freethy, get it! Time after time she writes a "winner". Compelling, captivating,memorable characters and heartwarming happy endings. Makes you sigh and smile at the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tracey Hutto

    I loved this book! It will tug at your heart strings. It is a story about loosing, hurt and happiness. You will cry and smile. I highly recommend this book. The characters are so real. Please take time to read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey West

    Never disappointed Quick read that I was unable to put down. The suspense was building with every turned page. I really hope future books are based off of Tony; a great character worth exploring more.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suzan

    3.5 ⭐️ Ok this was a little strange. I couldn’t let go of how totally cruel this 30 year old woman was to her adopted mother. The author told a good story and the writing was done well.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Rudolph

    Great book I loved this book from the very beginning! The characters were wonderful and funny. The storyline kept me interested from the very first page! I have read quite a few of Harvard's books and this was was a winner! I look forward to reading more. Great book I loved this book from the very beginning! The characters were wonderful and funny. The storyline kept me interested from the very first page! I have read quite a few of Harvard's books and this was was a winner! I look forward to reading more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rosa Ascenso

    Love it. R. A Loved it. The twins was so adorable and the families. It's a must read. Love it she continued with the brothers. Love it. R. A Loved it. The twins was so adorable and the families. It's a must read. Love it she continued with the brothers.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Metzger

    Not discussing adoption is not okay.

  28. 5 out of 5

    charmaine White

    A little confusing A whole lot going on.I got confused there a couple of times.Not sure if I really liked it,or unstood all the twists and turns.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Good This book is one where two little girls are left traumatized by the death of there mother and it is

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tara

    Loved this book!! I couldn’t put it down

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