Kate Beckham learns more about her mysterious new husband while dealing with their friends’ romantic entanglements in Eglington’s (You and I, 2016, etc.) latest series’ installment.
Kate and Robert Beckham are basking in newlywed bliss. Although they married within a week of their first date, Robert had his eye on Kate for years. Her family and friends believe she married a decent, honorable man; however, Christine Foss, Robert’s colleague and erstwhile lover, is jealous and confronts Kate at home. Kate defuses the situation but soon learns her husband’s past is complicated and troubling. Kate maintains a close circle of friends, including her best friend, Pepper, and Pepper’s sister Dallas; both are in relationships. Robert’s best friend, Jimmy Taylor, joins the group. A devastatingly sexy state police officer, Jimmy is instantly smitten with Dallas, and the feeling is mutual. They all enjoy a tightknit friendship until an impromptu trip to Vegas threatens to upend everything. Eglington’s novel meanders through several secondary plots involving Kate’s and Robert’s friends and family. The supporting cast is lively, particularly Dallas and Taylor, but they tend to overshadow the couple. Kate and Robert’s marriage is of another era. He says he’s protecting her, but she’s not allowed to work, he controls the finances, and if she’s not going out with him, then she must call and tell him where she’s going and who is with her. She’s not an equal partner in this marriage; she’s under house arrest. Weak editing distracts: Kate says she’s “balling and shaking” instead of “bawling,” and upon receiving his Christmas gift, Robert calls Kate “Mrs. Clause” rather than “Mrs. Claus.”
Wandering storylines; secondary characters steal the show.