Monday, 1 June 2020

Release Day Review: If You Must Know by Jamie Beck

If You Must Know, the first book in Jamie Beck's new Potomac Point series.

Amanda and Erin; Two sisters living contrasting lives, their only common link is their bloodline. As different as chalk and cheese, Amanda's shocked when her perfect life's destroyed by deceit, while Erin lives a carefree life. That's until their father dies and some painful realities are exposed.

One aspect of Ms Beck's writing I admire is her consistent writing skill. After enjoying other novels by her, I know I'm going to be reading a well-written book when I pick one of her titles. Therefore, when the narrative didn't resonate with it caught me unaware. I ignored the temptation to give up after a couple of chapters simply because of the slow pace defused my enthusiasm. Besides, I don't like throwing in the towel when I'm scheduled to write a review. So I plodded on… and I'm glad I did because, whilst the beginning is slow, the reward for my patience is when the pace picks up and elements I associate with Ms Beck's writing begin to shine through.

The characterisation is spot-on as the dynamics between these two sister's unfolds. Absorbed within the storyline, the narrative had its moments, but equally, sections failed to keep my attention. I'm a mood reader and it's possible it affected my overall enjoyment of this book…"It's me, not the book". If at a later date I re-read this novel, I'll amend this review accordingly.

The author's shift away from romance to women's fiction is a surprise and a fact I wasn't unaware of before I began reading this novel. Yet, I applaud her for the change of direction she's taking with her work. Consequently, I'll still read future books in this series and by the author generally.

***arc generously received courtesy of Montlake Romance via NetGalley***

Amazon US          Amazon UK

Life turns upside down for two sisters in Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck’s emotional novel about how secrets and differences can break—or bind—a family.

Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.

The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.