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A Family of Strangers

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Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies? All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly f Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies? All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder—and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused. While Wendy lies low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger? Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar—or worse?


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Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies? All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly f Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies? All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder—and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused. While Wendy lies low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger? Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar—or worse?

30 review for A Family of Strangers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards is a family drama and a murder mystery all rolled into one very dysfunctional family. The Graceys have two daughters: Wendy who is married with two daughters and Ryan, the much-younger sister who is single and hosts a true-crime podcast. Out of the blue, Wendy contacts Ryan asking her to move back to her hometown to take care of her two young daughters until further notice because she has gone into hiding. Ryan, using her crime investigation skills, sets A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards is a family drama and a murder mystery all rolled into one very dysfunctional family. The Graceys have two daughters: Wendy who is married with two daughters and Ryan, the much-younger sister who is single and hosts a true-crime podcast. Out of the blue, Wendy contacts Ryan asking her to move back to her hometown to take care of her two young daughters until further notice because she has gone into hiding. Ryan, using her crime investigation skills, sets off to find out why her sister disappeared. This is when the Gracey family begins to realize that they all have secrets. And those secrets will change the Graceys forever and may pull them apart. At almost 500 pages, this is a long read but the suspense never fails to keep the reader fascinated. Highly recommended. Thank you to Harlequin-Mira and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    3 stars. An easy and comfortably entertaining family drama full of hidden secrets. Ryan Gracey receives a call from her sister, Wendy, asking a life changing favour. Could Ryan come back to her hometown to temporarily care for her two young nieces while Wendy sorts out a major issue - she may be wrongly accused of murder! Ryan packs up her work and a few personal items to move into Wendy’s townhouse to take on the role of parenting her nieces while their mother tends to this secretive and mysteri 3 stars. An easy and comfortably entertaining family drama full of hidden secrets. Ryan Gracey receives a call from her sister, Wendy, asking a life changing favour. Could Ryan come back to her hometown to temporarily care for her two young nieces while Wendy sorts out a major issue - she may be wrongly accused of murder! Ryan packs up her work and a few personal items to move into Wendy’s townhouse to take on the role of parenting her nieces while their mother tends to this secretive and mysterious situation. I liked Ryan - her character was strong and independent, yet sensitive. I admired her loyalty and strength to do what she thought was “right”. The effort she put in and the relationship she built with her nieces was touching. I liked this story and found it an easy read, one that I could pick up and put down in between other more addictive and suspenseful novels. Some of the plot was predictable and some was cliche, yet I remained curious to see how everything would play out. I felt the novel was lengthy and could have easily been reduced by 50+ pages which would have helped to keep the suspense and intrigue stronger. Overall, this was an entertaining read that I enjoyed but wasn’t my cup of tea. There are many reviews that give a higher rating than mine, so be sure to check those out! Thank you to HarperCollins for sending me a physical ARC to read and review!

  3. 5 out of 5

    daph pink ♡

    I remember reading this book a few months ago and since someone messaged me today that he/she really liked my thriller/mystery recommendations . I was overwhelmed so I decided to review this Why I decided to read it? --> when it comes to mystery thriller I really love one's portraying family drama and this has a word family in its title so I decided to read it . What I liked ? • Family drama:- this book portrayed one of the best family dysfunctional family I have come across in few months. • Relatio I remember reading this book a few months ago and since someone messaged me today that he/she really liked my thriller/mystery recommendations . I was overwhelmed so I decided to review this Why I decided to read it? --> when it comes to mystery thriller I really love one's portraying family drama and this has a word family in its title so I decided to read it . What I liked ? • Family drama:- this book portrayed one of the best family dysfunctional family I have come across in few months. • Relationship and character dynamics:- I personally loved the protagonist Ryan from instant she was introduced I felt a connection with her. • Easy and comfortable read:- it's a kind of book I would like to pick up between thrillers which require more use of grey cells coz this one was easy going and comfortable to read. What I disliked? • long read:- it's a 500+ pages long . At times I lost my interest in the story. I wish the story would have been 50 pages less or so because some descriptions and conversations were useless to me. • cliche and predictable plot:- this book throws so many twists and turns at you but some of them were pretty predictable except for one which I really really liked. • disappointing ending:- by the end of the book i really lost interest in whatever that Wendy is doing I was more interested in Ryan. I was really really happy the way book ended and everything was good with her. a dollop of mystery+ a dose of domestic drama+ a peppering of romance= perfect read for a lazy summer day I recommended this book to people looking for good family drama and mystery . Despite its length I am sure it will not fail to amaze you at times and maybe you will like it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    ᴍʏsᴛᴇʀʏ. ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ ᴅʀᴀᴍᴀ. ʀᴏᴍᴀɴᴄᴇ. Emily Richards has crafted a clever and engaging domestic drama. This book sucked me in in the first few pages. There’s just something about Ryan that drew me in. Perhaps it was that she was a true crime podcaster? Or perhaps it was that she was a bit of an underdog? The younger sister to perfect big sis Wendy. As absorbing as the mystery was I think what I found most captivating about this book were the characters and the relationship Dynamics. My favorite of the ᴍʏsᴛᴇʀʏ. ғᴀᴍɪʟʏ ᴅʀᴀᴍᴀ. ʀᴏᴍᴀɴᴄᴇ. Emily Richards has crafted a clever and engaging domestic drama. This book sucked me in in the first few pages. There’s just something about Ryan that drew me in. Perhaps it was that she was a true crime podcaster? Or perhaps it was that she was a bit of an underdog? The younger sister to perfect big sis Wendy. As absorbing as the mystery was I think what I found most captivating about this book were the characters and the relationship Dynamics. My favorite of these being Ryan‘s relationship with her nieces Holly and Noelle (Guess what month they were born in). These little girls had obviously been damaged and Ryan was so committed to making their lives better. There also was a bit of a romance in this book, a second chance romance my favorite kind! The relationship between Ryan and Teo was so sweet I was really rooting for them to get back together. This book really had a dash of everything... a genre potpourri. A dollop of mystery, a dose of domestic drama, and a peppering of romance. The perfect recipe for an engaging and delightful summer read. Ryan has always lived in her big sister Wendy’s shadow. So she is super surprised when Wendy calls her and asks a huge favor. Can Ryan go and take care of her two young children? It looks as though Wendy is suspected of murder. But how can this be? How can perfect Wendy be involved in murder? So Ryan packs her bags to go look after her nieces and uses her sleuthing skills to figure out what in the world is going on. The closer Ryan gets to her nieces and figuring out what Wendy’s hiding the more she realizes she really never knew her sister at all. “A Family of Strangers” was such an appropriate title for this book. I don’t think Ryan really ever understood the relationship between herself, her parents, and her sister, because there were so many secrets. This was my first book from Emily Richards but it definitely will not be my last. She has such a smooth engaging writing style that really made the 400 some odd pages of this book flyby. 🎧🎧🎧 Vanessa Johansson narrated the story brilliantly. She really brought the characters to life. This was a longer audio (14 hours) and I was completely engaged throughout thanks to the wonderful story and amazing narration. *** thank you so much Harlequin and Harper Audio for my copy of this book ***

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: '....I'm not coming home. I can't, and I don't know when I'll be able to. I need you to go back to Seabank and take care of the girls until things clear up for me.' 'You're kidding.' I really thought she might be. 'I don't want to go into detail. Can't you just trust me and do it?' I paused, with no plan to restart until I made sense of her request. Finally I said the only thing that occurred to me. 'Look, this sounds crazy. You have to tell me more.' "Great. Thanks a lot.' For the first ti EXCERPT: '....I'm not coming home. I can't, and I don't know when I'll be able to. I need you to go back to Seabank and take care of the girls until things clear up for me.' 'You're kidding.' I really thought she might be. 'I don't want to go into detail. Can't you just trust me and do it?' I paused, with no plan to restart until I made sense of her request. Finally I said the only thing that occurred to me. 'Look, this sounds crazy. You have to tell me more.' "Great. Thanks a lot.' For the first time Wendy choked up, as if she was trying not to cry. 'I'm in Phoenix. Okay? There was a murder last night, and I'm pretty sure the sheriff will think I'm involved. I need to disappear for a while until it's sorted out. Is that enough to get you moving?' I tried to rearrange her words into sentences that didn't catapult our family into an unfamiliar dimension. 'Murder?' ABOUT THIS BOOK: Could a lifetime of memories...be a lifetime of lies? All her life, Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead, Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now, Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder - and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused. While Wendy lays low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger? Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar - or worse? MY THOUGHTS: For most of the time I was reading the book I was thinking 3 stars, maybe at a pinch, 3.5. Then 80% into the book, it became 4. A good solid 4 stars. It is an interesting story. Unlikely....but interesting. A lot of things were very obvious from the start, and so most of the reveals lacked oomph. But I really liked the effort the author put into her characters. Ryan grows enormously as a person throughout the book. Even though I liked her from the start, I liked her a whole lot better by the end. And the end is not entirely predictable..... It begs the question 'how well do we know our nearest and dearest?' and 'how reliable are our childhood memories?' Although a little wordy and slow in places, I still enjoyed A Family of Strangers far more than I thought I would when I was 25% through. **** THE AUTHOR: I'm the author of seventy-something novels, including romance, women's fiction and mystery. When We Were Sisters debuted in June 2016, a stand alone novel about two foster sisters traveling back into their past together. I loved writing it and love the cover my publisher chose. I'm also excited about my recent series, Goddesses Anonymous, which started with One Mountain Away and was followed by Somewhere Between Luck and Trust. The third book in the series, A River Too Wide, came out in July 2014. The Color of Light debuted in August 2015. Will there be more? We'll see. I'm also putting up my newly edited romance backlist and love re-reading and updating them a bit. Last year my husband and I moved from Virginia, to Osprey, Florida, the state where both of us were raised, met, and married. In the summer we live in Chautauqua, New York. I'm a quilter, knitter, kayaker, and the mother of four children, whom I regard as my greatest creative endeavors. And now there are four wonderful grandchildren to spoil. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harlequin-Mira (USA & Canada) via Netgalley fro providing a digital copy of A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  6. 5 out of 5

    DJ Sakata

    Favorite Quotes: Sophie had many ways of getting to the truth. Now she pulled out guilt, a tool she manipulated with the precision of a top chef’s boning knife. The flaws of an older child are bleached by time, while a younger’s are always in plain view. I listen to your podcast, Ryan. I was right there in that awful prison with that poor woman, the one who was sentenced for a crime she didn’t commit. That’s as close as I want to get to iron bars and a cellmate named Butch. “I can tell him she’s on Favorite Quotes: Sophie had many ways of getting to the truth. Now she pulled out guilt, a tool she manipulated with the precision of a top chef’s boning knife. The flaws of an older child are bleached by time, while a younger’s are always in plain view. I listen to your podcast, Ryan. I was right there in that awful prison with that poor woman, the one who was sentenced for a crime she didn’t commit. That’s as close as I want to get to iron bars and a cellmate named Butch. “I can tell him she’s on a religious retreat, that while she was traveling she had a spiritual awakening.” Mom looked skeptical. “She’s a Catholic. We’re awakened enough.” I was almost sure who the package was from. I picked it up once more and lifted it to my ear. Bombs today aren’t the Wile E. Coyote variety with dynamite wired to a ticking alarm clock, but cartoon habits die hard. Sophie’s ex-husband was more of a hobby than a relationship. He came and went as regularly as the meter reader, and she regarded him with the same lack of wonder. My Review: Despite her prolific listing of thirty books to date, this was my maiden voyage on the crafty vessel Emilie Richards has most recently launched. I was supremely lucky in my selection as it was an excellent journey, although it was not smooth sailing for the characters featured. I was quickly caught up in the intrigue and my curiosity was primed and frequently prodded into increasingly higher levels of elevation and exasperation with the elusive Wendy and her fawning and over-indulgent mother. The characters were complex yet highly compelling while the taut and absorbing storylines were full of jagged secrets, daunting histories, and disquieting reveals that squeezed my heart. With thirty books to her credit, Ms. Richards certainly knows what she’s doing by now, as her pacing and storytelling skills appear sharply honed and lushly appointed with emotive and vibrant details and perfectly placed lashings of edgy humor. More, please.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Ryan Gracey left Seabank, Florida following a harrowing incident where she almost lost her life and the man she was beginning to fall in love with was shot. She now produces a successful cold case crime podcast and is looking towards the future. Imagine her surprise when she gets a phone call from her sister, Wendy, asking her to take care of her two young nieces while she is hiding from the police. Wendy was heading off to college when Ryan was born and they have never been close. Ryan always f Ryan Gracey left Seabank, Florida following a harrowing incident where she almost lost her life and the man she was beginning to fall in love with was shot. She now produces a successful cold case crime podcast and is looking towards the future. Imagine her surprise when she gets a phone call from her sister, Wendy, asking her to take care of her two young nieces while she is hiding from the police. Wendy was heading off to college when Ryan was born and they have never been close. Ryan always felt Wendy was the golden child, and so she followed her own path so as not to live in Wendy's shadow. Wendy lived what appeared to be the perfect life, a handsome navel officer husband, two beautiful daughters and a lovely home. But there was a whole other side to Wendy that she hid from her family. As Wendy stays away longer and longer, Ryan begins to doubt the story Wendy has been weaving. Using her knowledge from her podcast, and with the help of friends, Ryan begins to unravel Wendy's lies. Coming back to Seabank has forced Ryan to confront her past and the man she lost. It's also given her a chance to get to know her nieces, growing to love them deeply. Spending time with her parents has allowed her to reconcile their relationship and her belief that she could never measure up to her sister. A wonderful story of family, secrets, and second chances, interspersed with a page turning mystery.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

    This domestic drama features a dysfunctional family (who has loads of baggage), a mystery and a budding romance. I like books that have a few focuses but for this book, I was in it for the mystery surrounding Ryan's missing sister. There were parts of the story that were interesting, and I found myself much more invested in Ryan's relationships with her nieces than I would have thought. There are some interesting characters and a good premise, but this is a much lighter read than I was expecting This domestic drama features a dysfunctional family (who has loads of baggage), a mystery and a budding romance. I like books that have a few focuses but for this book, I was in it for the mystery surrounding Ryan's missing sister. There were parts of the story that were interesting, and I found myself much more invested in Ryan's relationships with her nieces than I would have thought. There are some interesting characters and a good premise, but this is a much lighter read than I was expecting with the mystery, surprisingly, playing second fiddle to the other aspects of the story. Unfortunately, I guessed one of the big reveals very early on which didn't bode well for the suspense I was expecting. I enjoyed the easy-going writing style and the humour that's sprinkled into the dialogue but felt I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it had had a hearty edit. The story often rambles and is filled with superfluous descriptions that bog down the plot. I tended to skim these passages in search of the mystery and tension. The book is touted as a mystery about Ryan's missing sister, but it feels like the book focuses more on a couple renewing a romance and Ryan learning how to parent her nieces. Cool Aunt points will be awarded, and, at times, the book was touching, but it doesn't make for the anticipated tension-filled read. Overall, this was a decent read for readers looking for a lighter read about a family in turmoil - in more ways than one. Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Mira Books and TLC Book Tours for a complimentary advanced copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I’m hovering unsteadily between 2 and 3 stars. Gosh, this was a l-o-n-g book. Do I think it was necessary to the story? Absolutely not. ✂️ clip clip edit clip clip ✂️ I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything by this author before. Would I again? Right now my answer is no, because it was more annoying than enjoyable reading. And I was thinking, ok, maybe I was in a surly mood or had an attitude when reading this book, but it was read over a span of a few days, so no, I’m not making excuses for not I’m hovering unsteadily between 2 and 3 stars. Gosh, this was a l-o-n-g book. Do I think it was necessary to the story? Absolutely not. ✂️ clip clip edit clip clip ✂️ I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything by this author before. Would I again? Right now my answer is no, because it was more annoying than enjoyable reading. And I was thinking, ok, maybe I was in a surly mood or had an attitude when reading this book, but it was read over a span of a few days, so no, I’m not making excuses for not liking this book or taking any of the blame. But...I always do allow for second chances/opportunities, so time will tell if I do pick up another one of this author’s books. So! Get ready for a Wendy (big sister) overload. She is the main thrust of this story and it revolves all around her. Wendy. Wendy. Wendy. And she is not a very nice or kind person. Makes me wonder what makes a person behave this way. Keep reading and some answers pop up. Most of the GR reviews on this book are in the 5 and 4 star rating, so perhaps the book and I just did not cohesively hit it off together. 🤔 The story starts out with a bang - an opening that had me initially intrigued and curious. There are two sisters, Wendy, the oldest, and Ryan, the youngest, by an extreme age difference. Two different personalities/character, two different lifestyles. Wendy is married to a man who commandeers a nuclear submarine on missions and is barely around (just keep in mind he’s living his life underwater than on top of it) which is a very odd tilt to the story. And they have two young daughters, who are...spooky and odd. And not 100% totally well cared for. Wendy works for her father/parents who run a string of higher end resort and rental properties, but her personality is evasive, caustic and abrasive in how she treats everyone, including family members. She is the older sister who could do no wrong. The golden girl. Popular in school. Overprotected. Mommy’s girl. She is acting out, still, in adult life. As we get into the book we find that this miss goody two shoes observation of her life is totally wrong. She is a bad girlfriend, a bad wife, bad mother, bad sister and bad daughter. She is overall a bad person. Flaky and secretive as oh hell and to call on her sister, Ryan, to drop everything in HER life and help her out at a serious time of need with no or little explanation, made me really and truly not like her character at all (I’m being kind here). Ryan, the younger sister, is a strong, self sufficient individual, loving to her two nieces and parents and friends/co-workers. She and her sister, Wendy were never really close; her sister just basically tolerated her. We are meant to think the big age gap is the reason why. Hmmm; Until the digging into the myriad of family secrets begins and Ryan unearths many curiosities about not only her sister, but the rest of the family in general. Ryan also has a love story of her own that is not easy, but is true, and her and her partner uncover the whole shebang of who and what Wendy is and end up picking up all the little broken pieces that are left behind. Their mother: I did not care for this individual/character either. She is mostly ditzy in the book and overprotective of Wendy and of her elderly husband who is recuperating from some cardiac surgery. The mother was always going on about Wendy this and Wendy that. Ad nauseum. Blah blah blah. Scrapbooks, pictures galore of the bright, shiny, can never do wrong girl, Wendy, during her growing up years, school years, in the drama club, cheerleader, getting married to the submarine man, having a family, working in the family business, etc. Going on and on about fond “Wendy” memories. 🤮She did not give Ryan the credit she deserved early in life or now. She later justifies this to Ryan in an off handed, undercutting way by saying Ryan, you were fine, you didn’t need me/us like Wendy did. Wendy. Wendy. Wendy. Ok I was disliking their mother more and more and more! She is an enabler. She sees no wrong in her one child who can do no wrong. She pretty much dismisses Ryan. And you’ll find out that’s not all. So that’s now 2 toxic characters I could not stand in the book which makes for some very annoying reading!! One is enough character to love to hate, if it’s well done, but two? Omg, help me, please. Once some issues come to light, the Mom is “less ditzy” and open in speaking and becomes more supportive of Ryan, but that really does not make up for the past. It is quite hurtful. There are reveals to these long time hidden family secrets and why some family members acted the way they did all through life, choosing not to see, or to accept the truth until the damage was done. The ending/wrap up, in my opinion, was inconsequential. I really did not expect anything explosive, and so I was not disappointed. I really did not care what happened to Wendy Wendy Wendy because she was a callous piece of work but I was hopeful for a happy ending for Ryan and the true love of her life.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    Review coming soon.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    First off, I can’t believe I waited so long to read A FAMILY OF STRANGERS! It is by far the best book I’ve read this year, so far. The twists and turns just kept on coming and hooked me from the very first chapter! Ryan Gracey left Seabank, Florida following an intense incident where she almost lost her life and the man she was beginning to fall in love with, was shot. Ryan soon learns on her return trip, her family isn’t exactly as she always thought they were. None of the characters are truly First off, I can’t believe I waited so long to read A FAMILY OF STRANGERS! It is by far the best book I’ve read this year, so far. The twists and turns just kept on coming and hooked me from the very first chapter! Ryan Gracey left Seabank, Florida following an intense incident where she almost lost her life and the man she was beginning to fall in love with, was shot. Ryan soon learns on her return trip, her family isn’t exactly as she always thought they were. None of the characters are truly who they seem to be on the surface when they are first introduced in A FAMILY OF STRANGERS. At first, I truly thought I knew why things were happening, but boy was I wrong! Trust me, once you start reading A FAMILY OF STRANGERS you won’t be able to put it down as Emilie Richards takes you on one heck of an emotional roller coaster ride! This is an intense story that never slows down. The Graceys have two daughters: Wendy who is married with two daughters and Ryan, the much-younger sister who is single and hosts a true-crime podcast. The compelling characters pull you into the carefully crafted world of the Gracey family. Once you are immersed into their lives you just want to keep coming back for more. Emilie Richards steps out of her comfort zone of women’s fiction and weaves a tale that includes suspense and intrigue and is fantastic. I loved the person Ryan is right away. A FAMILY OF STRANGERS is a great romantic mystery story that had me up late one night trying to finish. I just had to know what was going on with Ryan’s sister and why. After you read what she had to endure and why, you won’t believe it! I still can’t believe it took me this long to read this amazing story, I’m kicking myself……..if you haven’t read A FAMILY OF STRANGERS yet, you need to read it very soon. You won’t be sorry and then you can kick yourself for waiting so long! Haha

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I have read all of Emilie Richards books and even though this is a slight change from her normal genre, it's fantastic and my favorite of all of her books. Her past books have been women's fiction but her new book has a central mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. Though Ryan and Wendy are sisters, they were never close because there were so many years between them. Wendy was ready to start college when Ryan was born. Wendy was a successful business woman who helped her dad run the fami I have read all of Emilie Richards books and even though this is a slight change from her normal genre, it's fantastic and my favorite of all of her books. Her past books have been women's fiction but her new book has a central mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. Though Ryan and Wendy are sisters, they were never close because there were so many years between them. Wendy was ready to start college when Ryan was born. Wendy was a successful business woman who helped her dad run the family business. She was married to a military person who was gone for long periods of time in submarines and they had 2 young daughters. Ryan had a successful podcast about cold cases. Out of the blue, Wendy calls Ryan and says she can't come home because she may be accused of a murder and asks Ryan to move into her home (4 hours away) and take care of her daughters until she can get home. That is all she tells her! Ryan has to try to keep the truth from her mother and her father who is recovering from a heart attack without worrying them. The two little girls are not overly friendly to Ryan and as she tries to win them over, she is spending most of her time trying to figure out what is really going on with her sister. The more she learns, the stranger things get! Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger? This is an excellent family drama with a central mystery that affects the entire family. Even though Ryan is the sister who didn't feel like she was part of the family, she stepped up when she was asked for help from her sister. I thought that she was a very strong and resilient character who went well beyond to help her family. I enjoyed her scenes with her nieces as she tried to pull them out of their shells. There is also some romance for Ryan when she meets up with her old boyfriend. This is a wonderful story about love and family and how far people will go to protect the ones they love. Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    3.5 stars Overall, this is a pretty solid suspenseful tale, but for me, the middle dragged quite a bit. It's extremely long (over 500 pages) and could have used a little editing to make it move faster. I liked the family relationships and how they evolved throughout the novel, and did like the ultimate conclusion. Some parts I called before they were revealed, but it didn't take away from the tale. Loved Ryan's job as a true crime podcaster, I actually wanted more about that in the book and less 3.5 stars Overall, this is a pretty solid suspenseful tale, but for me, the middle dragged quite a bit. It's extremely long (over 500 pages) and could have used a little editing to make it move faster. I liked the family relationships and how they evolved throughout the novel, and did like the ultimate conclusion. Some parts I called before they were revealed, but it didn't take away from the tale. Loved Ryan's job as a true crime podcaster, I actually wanted more about that in the book and less of her minute by minute sleuthing about Wendy's whereabouts and what happened to her.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    Three and a half stars Ryan Gracey knew she could never compete with her older sister Wendy. Instead she just got on with her own life, until the day she receives receives an urgent call from her sister. It appears Wendy is suspected of murder? Maybe Wendy is not as perfect as she seemed as she needs Ryan to move into Wendy’s town house to care for her two young children, Holly and Noelle. But nothing that Wendy tells her, really makes sense to Ryan. Still Ryan heads back to Seabank to look after Three and a half stars Ryan Gracey knew she could never compete with her older sister Wendy. Instead she just got on with her own life, until the day she receives receives an urgent call from her sister. It appears Wendy is suspected of murder? Maybe Wendy is not as perfect as she seemed as she needs Ryan to move into Wendy’s town house to care for her two young children, Holly and Noelle. But nothing that Wendy tells her, really makes sense to Ryan. Still Ryan heads back to Seabank to look after her two nieces she doesn’t really know. With the help of her loyal friend and fellow worker Sophie, Ryan is able to manage her cold case crime podcasts Meanwhile her parents have their own issues and don’t need any more hassles as her father is recovering from heart by-pass surgery. Ryan is also wary about meeting up with Teo, who once saved her life, and who lost his leg and then pushed her away. What will the future hold for Ryan? For Wendy and her girls and for Teo? I have read and enjoyed several books by this author. While this one is a bit of a departure from her other stories, I found it interesting, if predictable in parts. Ryan is very easy to like as is Teo and his faithful canine companion, Bismark. Wendy is not so easy to like and Holly and Noelle blossom as the book progresses. I found the family dynamics hard to understand but I always struggle with family stories where one child is favoured over another. I did find however that at times it seemed overlong and bogged down with superfluous descriptions and information. Plus the copy I had could have done with either a darker or larger type, to make it easier on the eyes. Those quibbles aside I did enjoy the story overall. A good read that should appeal to those who like a combination of family story, mystery, intrigue and romance and a main character in Ryan who evokes our sympathy and support.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dorine

    A FAMILY OF STRANGERS, a good murder mystery and reunited lovers’ theme, leaves the reader with one unasked question – would you do the same thing if faced with this situation? See this review in full color and join the discussion at TheZestQuest.com. Ryan Rose Gracey is celebrating the success of her cold case podcast she co-produces with her friend Sophie when she receives an urgent call from her older sister. Wendy believes she’s a murder suspect, wrongly accused, and needs Ryan to take care of A FAMILY OF STRANGERS, a good murder mystery and reunited lovers’ theme, leaves the reader with one unasked question – would you do the same thing if faced with this situation? See this review in full color and join the discussion at TheZestQuest.com. Ryan Rose Gracey is celebrating the success of her cold case podcast she co-produces with her friend Sophie when she receives an urgent call from her older sister. Wendy believes she’s a murder suspect, wrongly accused, and needs Ryan to take care of her daughters while she hides until the situation calms down. As the evidence stacks up, and Ryan learns more about her sister, I couldn’t stop asking myself – what if this was me? Ryan has support with her investigation from the podcasts’ staff and contacts, but her biggest ally is her former boyfriend, Teo Santiago and his dog Bismarck. The pair had once saved her life – will they need to do it again? Ryan feels like she has lived her whole life within her older sister’s shadow. Even though Wendy wasn’t around much during Ryan’s formative years, she always felt like her parents favored Wendy. That’s why she’s shocked when Wendy asks her to take care of her two daughters while her husband is serving their country. Sure – Ryan is the most likely person to track down evidence for Wendy, but they’ve never been close enough for Ryan to know much at all about her life or her children. Meanwhile, Ryan must keep Wendy’s secret from their parents, Wendy’s young daughters, and her frequently absent submarine commander husband. All while taking care of these two sad children she hardly knows during the holidays. Coming home has benefits as well as added stressors. Ryan’s dad is recovering from heart surgery and can’t be told his oldest daughter is in hiding. The same daughter he hopes will be his replacement when he retires from the company he owns. Mom seems withdrawn from Ryan, not knowing why her favorite daughter turned to her sister for help instead of her parents. Then there’s Teo and Bismarck – the man and dog who saved Ryan’s life years ago and never left her heart. Will reuniting with Teo be what Ryan needs, or just more stress to add to her already full plate? A good story, this novel explores what you assume about your family is not always reality. Ryan is much more complex as the main character than I expected at the beginning. There were several moments when I thought she was gullible, but she didn’t let that be my last thought. She kept her investigator antenna up, and her suspect list wide enough to discover the truth. For the most part, I found the story to be believable and consistent. I did doubt and question everyone’s ability to keep the situation from Ryan and Wendy’s father. As the head of a corporation, I felt he should be asking more questions, even though he was told to relax by his doctor. I also wondered why no one at his company reached out to him or his wife regarding Wendy. Who was running the company in his absence? But that was such a small part in an otherwise exciting journey to the conclusion. The end was some parts expected with some shockers mixed in with the obvious. I was proud of Ryan’s sense of righteousness. But I still had to wonder – would I do the same? Would you? My favorite part of this book were the characters. I really enjoyed Ryan and Teo’s relationship. They had history and a past to forgive, but their attraction was undeniable. The dog was a fun addition, especially when interacting with Ryan’s nieces, Noelle and Holly. At six and eight-years-old, they stole each scene they were in and tugged at my heart. Bestie Sophie was a good sidekick, making Ryan think outside the box. At almost 500 pages, there were many well-drawn characters that made this book flow, pulling my attention back to the book as soon as I could sneak in a few more minutes of reading. Great entertainment overall. I’ve been a fan of author Emilie Richards’ talent since I read ONE MOUNTAIN AWAY, book one in the GODDESSES ANONYMOUS series. I had no expectations for A FAMILY OF STRANGERS, but it did have a different feel from the GODDESSES ANONYMOUS books. I was surprised at the depth of this mystery in comparison to the emotion in Richards’ books I’ve previously read. There is still plenty of emotion within these pages, but the book focuses more on crime solving and how twisted relationships can occur in our minds compared to reality. This family is complicated with great surprises woven into the mystery. An intriguing story, this novel is the perfect book club selection because it will generate interesting discussion about good vs. evil. And where we would each draw the line between them. Mystery lovers will enjoy this one. A FAMILY OF STRANGERS opened my eyes to the broad strokes of talent within Emilie Richards’ style. Review by Dorine, courtesy of TheZestQuest.com. Digital copy provided by the publisher for an honest review. Thanks in advance for following links and sharing this review on social media.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Robin Loves Reading

    Ryan Gracey was never close to her much older sister Wendy. So, when she gets a desperate plea from Wendy for Ryan to take care of her daughters, needless to say, Ryan is shocked. Even more shocking is the reason that Wendy needs Ryan's help. Wendy tells Ryan that there has been a murder and that she might be the most likely suspect, so she has to disappear. What else can Ryan do but tend to the girls? Ryan is much more than an aunt. She is acting as a stand-in mother. The girls father works at s Ryan Gracey was never close to her much older sister Wendy. So, when she gets a desperate plea from Wendy for Ryan to take care of her daughters, needless to say, Ryan is shocked. Even more shocking is the reason that Wendy needs Ryan's help. Wendy tells Ryan that there has been a murder and that she might be the most likely suspect, so she has to disappear. What else can Ryan do but tend to the girls? Ryan is much more than an aunt. She is acting as a stand-in mother. The girls father works at sea, and Ryan and Wendy's father is recuperating from surgery, so their mother needs to care for him. Ryan isn't content just to care for the girls. She wants answers from Wendy, but those answers do not come easy. Ryan is a a true-crime podcaster and excels in investigative skills. This comes in handy as she seeks to discover Wendy's whereabouts and what mystery and secrets that Wendy might be hiding. What an excellent story. There are a lot of dynamics explored here. Not only does Ryan get to know her nieces, but she gets a chance to reconcile with her parents. She also learns something about her past that is truly shocking. Ryan's friend and partner in the podcasting was a nice addition. Another nice layer to this story is that Ryan meets up with an old beau and sparks begin to fly again. This is the first book that I have read by Emilie Richards and I must say that I am impressed. A Family of Strangers masterfully delivered mystery, secrets, romance, family atmosphere and a touching conclusion. Many thanks to Mira and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I slowly read the last pages of A Family of Strangers, reluctant to finish, because then I have to step out of the story web that Emilie Richards has woven and entrapped me in. Ryan has had to return home to help her parents take care of her two nieces. There Dad is in a submarine somewhere and their mother - Ryan's sister - Wendy has let Ryan know she needs to disappear for awhile. Wendy is way older than Ryan so they have never really been at home together so don't know each other that well. Whe I slowly read the last pages of A Family of Strangers, reluctant to finish, because then I have to step out of the story web that Emilie Richards has woven and entrapped me in. Ryan has had to return home to help her parents take care of her two nieces. There Dad is in a submarine somewhere and their mother - Ryan's sister - Wendy has let Ryan know she needs to disappear for awhile. Wendy is way older than Ryan so they have never really been at home together so don't know each other that well. When Ryan takes on the role of caring for her two nieces Holly and Noelle, she finds the going tough, the girls are lost and very wary. I liked how it wasn't easy for Ryan as she had to find her way with them and discover what was happening for them.  As well Ryan needs to deal with a situation - a serious one - that she was involved in before she left town.  However she wants to reach out to Teo, the man she loved but left. Those who like to listen to crime podcasts will appreciate that Ryan has produced and been part of a successful crime podcast. She is a journalist and as a mystery surrounding her sister begins to develop her skills, colleagues and general instincts come into play. Along the way Ryan is going to have the opportunity of a second chance, she is going to find out what matters to her, how her family really sees her, and where true justice lies. For those who like an absorbing family story, with mystery that leaves clues along the way so that you are able to infer and make judgements about what tack the story is going in.  A satisfying read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    Ryan Gracey has always felt on the outskirts of her family, never able to live up to the example of her sister Wendy. Their lives have taken very different paths, but when Ryan receives a call asking for help, she cannot help but return home. Now, in taking the time to delve into all her family’s baggage, she is realizing just how much she has not known all these years. A Family of Strangers focuses heavily on family relationships, as the title suggests. Though the blurb leans heavily on the myst Ryan Gracey has always felt on the outskirts of her family, never able to live up to the example of her sister Wendy. Their lives have taken very different paths, but when Ryan receives a call asking for help, she cannot help but return home. Now, in taking the time to delve into all her family’s baggage, she is realizing just how much she has not known all these years. A Family of Strangers focuses heavily on family relationships, as the title suggests. Though the blurb leans heavily on the mystery Ryan encounters, I felt like it was not as much the primary focus I expected. The relationships—with plenty of drama—drive the story forward, making for a light, entertaining read. I enjoyed reading it, even though it was different than I anticipated. This review is also posted on Hallie Reads. I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kendall

    A Family of Strangers is a women's fiction novel with a hint of family suspense/drama. This story barely held my interest to be honest. It was so wordy and wayyyy to drawn out. It was too long and could have been 75-100 pages less. Family secrets and family relationships are at the core of this novel. There again was just too much going on in this novel and caught myself rolling my eyes wondering where the story was going. It didn't have enough punch to the max in this story. I was bored and wonde A Family of Strangers is a women's fiction novel with a hint of family suspense/drama. This story barely held my interest to be honest. It was so wordy and wayyyy to drawn out. It was too long and could have been 75-100 pages less. Family secrets and family relationships are at the core of this novel. There again was just too much going on in this novel and caught myself rolling my eyes wondering where the story was going. It didn't have enough punch to the max in this story. I was bored and wondering is the end yet? Which is never a good sign in my book. I feel like I've been running across to many books that are too wordy and wayyyy to long. It didn't hold my interest... but give it a try this may be enjoyable for you! :) Overall, 2.5 stars for me on this one. Thank you to Harlequin/Mira and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review. Publication date: 6/25/19 Published to Goodreads: 4/21/19

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anoud

    4.25 ⭐ okay so I should stop saying I don't like thrillers anymore cuz this is the second thriller I read in the past month that I liked .. let's start with the amazing writing style the author held my attention at all mundane life details Rayn was going through , the fact that I kept screaming at my reader at a point or another was enough indication that I was in too deep with this book , the story was intense . why not 5⭐ ? the romance in the book wasn't my kind of romance , there was so much bu 4.25 ⭐ okay so I should stop saying I don't like thrillers anymore cuz this is the second thriller I read in the past month that I liked .. let's start with the amazing writing style the author held my attention at all mundane life details Rayn was going through , the fact that I kept screaming at my reader at a point or another was enough indication that I was in too deep with this book , the story was intense . why not 5⭐ ? the romance in the book wasn't my kind of romance , there was so much build up to a meh conclusion , and the fact that everyone was blind to all the lies didn't make sense , a phenomenal read nonetheless ♥️

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    3.5 stars A Family of Strangers by Emily Richards is marketed as a mystery/thrillerbut I have to say that it is much more of a family drama. The mystery - Where is Wendy? What has she gotten herself involved in? Is she a victim or a perpetrator? Will she ever find her way back home to her daughters? Despite all of these questions the focus of the book strangely enough os not on Wendy but Ryan, the little sister who always disappeared in the shadows of Wendy's perfection. > How will Ryan be able t 3.5 stars A Family of Strangers by Emily Richards is marketed as a mystery/thrillerbut I have to say that it is much more of a family drama. The mystery - Where is Wendy? What has she gotten herself involved in? Is she a victim or a perpetrator? Will she ever find her way back home to her daughters? Despite all of these questions the focus of the book strangely enough os not on Wendy but Ryan, the little sister who always disappeared in the shadows of Wendy's perfection. > How will Ryan be able to cope with being a single mother to Wendy's two little girls? > How can Ryan reconcile the mistakes she has made in the past and the price others have had to pay for them? > How will she manage her reunion with Matteo? Can they overlook the errors of the past and make a new way of things? Ryan's plate is no doubt full and the Gracey family is rife with secrets. A Family of Strangers is an apt title indeed and will appeal to readers who seek domestic dramas. Special thanks to Justine Sha from Mira Books, NetGalley and Emilie Richards for access to this title.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    What happens when you throw a detached analytical true crime podcast producer into a situation where her own family member may have committed a crime? That juxtaposition is the biggest strength of the book “A Family of Strangers”. I also enjoyed how the main character’s family and romantic relationship grew and changed over the progression of the book. Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin-Mira, and the author Emilie Richards for an advanced digital review copy. This book will be published June 25, 201 What happens when you throw a detached analytical true crime podcast producer into a situation where her own family member may have committed a crime? That juxtaposition is the biggest strength of the book “A Family of Strangers”. I also enjoyed how the main character’s family and romantic relationship grew and changed over the progression of the book. Thanks to NetGalley, Harlequin-Mira, and the author Emilie Richards for an advanced digital review copy. This book will be published June 25, 2019.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    4.5 stars. I have never read anything by Emilie Richards, so I'm not sure if this is her typical fare, but I'm going to find out! The characters were realistic - not perfect but not stupid (which is one of my thriller pet peeves), and although I guessed a few things that were happening, I really had no idea! Ryan gets called in to help her sister Wendy, who has to disappear. As Ryan attempts to help Wendy, she discovers more and more about not only the current troubles, but about the past. This 4.5 stars. I have never read anything by Emilie Richards, so I'm not sure if this is her typical fare, but I'm going to find out! The characters were realistic - not perfect but not stupid (which is one of my thriller pet peeves), and although I guessed a few things that were happening, I really had no idea! Ryan gets called in to help her sister Wendy, who has to disappear. As Ryan attempts to help Wendy, she discovers more and more about not only the current troubles, but about the past. This was really hard to put down!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cassie’s Reviews

    What I love about book tours is the fact they introduce to me new authors!! When Ryan Gacey gets a phone call from her older sister Wendy she’s blown away, Wendy informs her there’s been a murder on her business trip and Wendy believes she’s going to be falsely accused so she’s going on the run until the police arrest the murderer! So Ryan packs up some clothes and heads to Wendy’s house to watch her nieces while their mom is on the run, to add fuel tot he fire Ryan and Wendy’s father just had h What I love about book tours is the fact they introduce to me new authors!! When Ryan Gacey gets a phone call from her older sister Wendy she’s blown away, Wendy informs her there’s been a murder on her business trip and Wendy believes she’s going to be falsely accused so she’s going on the run until the police arrest the murderer! So Ryan packs up some clothes and heads to Wendy’s house to watch her nieces while their mom is on the run, to add fuel tot he fire Ryan and Wendy’s father just had heart surgery so he can’t handle stress ,so Ryan comes up with a cover story that the business trip is taking longer, just until Ryan and can figure what the heck is going on! Ryan has her own true crime podcast so she knows how to uncover facts. Ryan takes on the role of caring for her two nieces Holly and Noelle their struggling not know where their mother is and their father is in the military on a submarine. Growing up Ryan was second best to her sister Wendy, in her parents eyes Wendy could do no wrong. Using her sleuthing skills she starts to dig into her sisters life and her past and she begins to discover overwhelming secrets her sister tried to keep hidden. With the help of her first love Teo and her coworker/ friend, Ryan begins to question who her sister really is and is she really capable of murder? Along the way Ryan discovers some family secrets that were hidden from her as well that affect her whole life. I loved this book and I’m keeping my fingers crossed there will be a second book! I want more!!! Five stars!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bobbie

    I almost don’t know what to say about this book. First off, it was NOT anything I expected. I have read Emilie Richards before, but it was some of her earlier works. This was very different from many of the books I have read lately, and I LOVED IT. It was such a complex family story with so many twists and turns, I could not put this book down. I felt as if every chapter was another twist and turn. This book was women’s fiction, a mystery, and a contemporary romance all in one wonderful story. T I almost don’t know what to say about this book. First off, it was NOT anything I expected. I have read Emilie Richards before, but it was some of her earlier works. This was very different from many of the books I have read lately, and I LOVED IT. It was such a complex family story with so many twists and turns, I could not put this book down. I felt as if every chapter was another twist and turn. This book was women’s fiction, a mystery, and a contemporary romance all in one wonderful story. The complexity of the family and how well it played out is such a tribute to Ms. Richards writing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Steena Holmes

    Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies? I love anything when it comes to secrets – especially when they are lifelong secrets that impact families. There’s something about the idea – how they impact everyone around us, ourselves and the lives we lead – it’s like candy to me. Suggest a book that deals with lies and secrets and I’m all in! Emilie Richards crafted a web I couldn’t entangle myself from in her latest novel – A Family of Strangers. If you are looking for something amazing to Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies? I love anything when it comes to secrets – especially when they are lifelong secrets that impact families. There’s something about the idea – how they impact everyone around us, ourselves and the lives we lead – it’s like candy to me. Suggest a book that deals with lies and secrets and I’m all in! Emilie Richards crafted a web I couldn’t entangle myself from in her latest novel – A Family of Strangers. If you are looking for something amazing to read this summer, something to take with you on the beach…then you’ll want this book and you’ll want to pick it up ASAP! I don’t like to give regular book reviews – I’m not a an of those type of reviews that simply retell the story. I’m more apt to pick up a book after I found out how it made a reader feel…so let me dive into that right now. The Feels: Like I wish I lived on the beach in Florida -How proud I was to have family dogs that were rescued -Reminded of how much I love to travel -How tired I was because I stayed up all night reading! My takeaway…Emilie Richards is someone I’ve always loved to read and this book was just as amazing! It’s a great #summerread #beachread and it’s going to leave you guessing all throughout the book – even when you think you know what’s going on!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Ryan Gracey is a True-crime podcaster. When she receives a phone call from her older sister Wendy her whole life changes. Wendy thinks she will be falsely accused of a murder so she in hiding. She wants Ryan to go to her parents house and get her two kids, Holly and Noelle and take care of them til things blow over. Changing her life to suit her sister doesn't set well with Ryan but she does it. After a lot of investigating on her own she finds hidden family secrets and the deviousness of her sist Ryan Gracey is a True-crime podcaster. When she receives a phone call from her older sister Wendy her whole life changes. Wendy thinks she will be falsely accused of a murder so she in hiding. She wants Ryan to go to her parents house and get her two kids, Holly and Noelle and take care of them til things blow over. Changing her life to suit her sister doesn't set well with Ryan but she does it. After a lot of investigating on her own she finds hidden family secrets and the deviousness of her sistetThis is a story that brings tears ad well as smiles and keep you turning pages until the very end. Well done Emilie Richards. Another good book to your credit.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany www.instagram.com/tiffs_bookshelf

    This is my first book by Emilie Richards & I loved this story!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved the mystery of it but also the very relatable style of writing. It was a tad long in my opinion but it kept you still reading through. Ryan Gracey is a producer of her own cold case podcast and hasn't heard from her too perfect older sister in ages until a phone stating that her sister may be a suspect in a murder and she needs Ryan to come home to take care of Wendys two young daughters until she can get everything This is my first book by Emilie Richards & I loved this story!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved the mystery of it but also the very relatable style of writing. It was a tad long in my opinion but it kept you still reading through. Ryan Gracey is a producer of her own cold case podcast and hasn't heard from her too perfect older sister in ages until a phone stating that her sister may be a suspect in a murder and she needs Ryan to come home to take care of Wendys two young daughters until she can get everything cleared up, Ryan agrees and she starts doing her own investigation and finds alot more that she bargained for. Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin for my honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    Summary from Goodreads: "All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her h Summary from Goodreads: "All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice. Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder—and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused. While Wendy lies low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger? Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar—or worse?" My Thoughts: Oh wow - I really enjoyed this book! I picked this one up and was a bit intimidated by the size of it (it's close to 500 pages) but I needn't have worried. I absolutely fell into the pages of this book and Ryan's life. I feel like this book was the type of book I've been wanting and waiting for without even really knowing it. I read a ton of thrillers and mysteries - I wouldn't categorize this book in either of those genres really even though it has elements of both. Instead, I think that I would call it a family drama maybe or suspense. Honestly it doesn't even matter to me what exact category this book falls into because really it was just a plain great read! From the very beginning pages, I fell into the story the author was telling and Ryan's life. Ryan's life is upended when her sister calls her one day and basically tells her little to nothing other than she might be charged with murder and she needs Ryan to care for her children while she tries to clear her name. And just like that I was completely sucked in. I don't think it is a spoiler to say that Wendy's brief call leaves the reader with more questions than answers. I was completely hooked that easily and stayed hooked throughout the rest of the book. The author did a really great job with the pacing in this book so that I never lost interest. Just when I would think that I had things figured out there was a twist that changed everything. I need more books like this in my reading life! I just loved how easily I found immersed myself within this book - I couldn't stop reading it and didn't want to. I'm hesitant to say much more. This was a book and a reading experience that I just couldn't get enough of! Overall, I enjoyed my time with this book immensely. I need other readers who have read this book to recommend me more just like it (well, not exactly like it but you know what I mean). I need more books like this in my reading life - that's for sure. This book worked for me so well because it did have suspense and mystery elements but the focus was on Ryan and her family. The secrets and truths that were coming to the surface whether she was ready for them to or not. I loved every minute of my reading experience with this book which is why I can't wait to read more by this author. The positive side is that it looks like this author has quite a backlist for me to try! That's always exciting! I would recommend this book to readers of suspense, mystery, and those who love books focused on family secrets or drama. It's a page turning read that I highly recommend! Bottom Line: A reading experience that I won't be forgetting anytime soon! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour. Honest thoughts are my own.

  30. 5 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    This is a book that I was looking forward to for quite some time. I was really interested in the family dynamics in this summary, especially since I am the oldest sister and my younger sister and I are in constant completion with each other. I thought this one would yield interesting family relationships and dynamics as well as present a fascinating mystery with lots of things to question and debate. Plus this author has written a number of books, most of which are women fiction or romance, sprink This is a book that I was looking forward to for quite some time. I was really interested in the family dynamics in this summary, especially since I am the oldest sister and my younger sister and I are in constant completion with each other. I thought this one would yield interesting family relationships and dynamics as well as present a fascinating mystery with lots of things to question and debate. Plus this author has written a number of books, most of which are women fiction or romance, sprinkled with a few mysteries. This one sounded like it was going to be a little darker and more complex than her usual books. I have never read anything by this author before, but I was eager to discover her style and writing. From the summary, I was geared up for this to be more of a domestic thriller rather than women fiction/romance with a little mystery. I think the summary is slightly misleading. I think people who have read this author before would maybe know what to expect, but for me as a new reader, I thought I was getting something much different than what I actually read. The domestic thriller/mystery seemed more like the secondary focus of this book with the familial relationships and budding romance taking center stage. I noticed that a few other reviewers noted similar thoughts and I wholeheartedly agree with their observations in regard to that aspect. That is not to say the book isn’t good, I did enjoy it and found myself thinking about the story at random times during the day. I loved how honest and real the character were. They were smart but yet had flaws, as we all do, and lots of family and relationship baggage which I think many readers can relate to. I know I certainly found things to identify with, especially when it came to the sisters and their relationship. I did find this one to be a little on the wordy and overly descriptive side though. I think some of the descriptions could have been pared down a little to make things more crisp. Even though this book had a few small imperfections, I did enjoy reading the story and found myself immersed in the story and thinking about the family dynamics often. I think this author is incredibly skilled and wrote a story that readers will enjoy reading on a last summer day! See my full review here

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