A woman must deal with the dangerous parents of her son’s girlfriend in this thriller.
Nicole Adams is a single mother making it work. She runs a moderately successful pottery company, and her teenage son, Justin, is an honor roll student. Maybe she hasn’t dated in eight years and her artistic dreams were put on hold after a messy divorce, but her luck is just about to change. After she’s asked to replace a last-minute dropout from a museum show, Nicole finally gets the chance to prove her artistic chops. With only six weeks to create her masterpiece, though, Justin throws a wrench in things when he announces that he and the sweet but secretive Daniela Harris are having a baby and that she needs a place to stay until her parents come around to the idea. On top of everything else, Nicole’s older sister, Caroline, has moved in after separating from her high school sweetheart husband. Independent Nicole clashes with her sister about the lack of romance in the artist’s life. Nicole believes love and sex aren’t “good for my system.” She tries to focus on her company to accommodate her growing bills but has less time to execute her piece for the art show. Despite Nicole’s multiple attempts to contact them, Daniela’s parents refuse to get in touch with her, so she decides to confront them. But the teen’s hot-and-cold mother and hostile father might be more than Nicole bargained for, as they draw her into a world of peril and deceit. If Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls was dropped into a thriller, it might resemble this appealing novel. Nicole is a scrappy, charming character for readers to get behind. Pfeffer (Just Pru, 2015, etc.) has a knack for picking up on subtle moments that make the protagonist flawed and believable. “They hadn’t told her parents first, or even at all,” Nicole thinks triumphantly after interrogating Justin about the pregnancy. “I was the one they’d come to for help.” In just a few lines, the many shades of Nicole’s connection to Justin are rendered vividly. But while this mother-son bond is central to the story, it’s sometimes overshadowed by Nicole’s relationship with the beguiling Daniela.
An entertaining tale that blends high-stakes drama with a rom-com sensibility.