Review: Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor

38462064Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.

Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.

Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: NetGalley          My Rating: 4½/5 stars

Winter Cottage is one of those books I find myself mad at myself for leaving it on my TBR for so long.  What was I thinking??  I could have read this awesomeness weeks ago . . . .

Thanks to her mother’s dying wish, Lucy Kincaid finds herself and her dog, Dolly the proud owners of a hilariously named cottage in Cape Hudson, Virginia.  Winter Cottage is, in fact, a virtual mansion with three stories, a large attic, a basement, and a waterfront view.  What’s more, there is land to spare and the house is something of a legend in the sleepy Virginia town.  Unfortunately, Lucy and her mother are also something of a legend.  Trouble is, Lucy has no idea why she’s a bit of a legend.

Twenty-four hours into her stay, Lucy has been advised all her newfound wealth is tied to Winter Cottage and as long as she’s willing to stay, maintain and/or improve the site and lands, she is welcome and will find the help she needs among the locals.  Thanks to her mother’s wanderlust, Lucy isn’t accustomed to staying in one place for long, but she is determined to stick it out until she finds the answers she’s long searched for.  Until the last days of her mother’s life, Lucy knew nothing of Virginia, Winter Cottage, or even the name of her father. 

As it turns out, no one in town, including the local historian has beyond the bare bones related to Lucy and her mother.  Furthermore, other than local gossip spreading over decades, there’s really nothing and no one who can tell Lucy much about Winter Cottage and how it came to be in her possession.  With nothing but time on her hands, a local librarian who enjoys digging into the archives, and stack of VHS tapes, Lucy sets out on a path that will not only change her life, but the lives of many in Cape Hudson.

In short order, Lucy makes her mark on Cape Hudson!  She begins uncovering long buried truths, bones are found on her property, she finds herself a hot a totally capable boyfriend, she takes in a young girl desperate for safety and stability, and finally uncovers the truth about her lineage.  To be sure, none of those accomplishments come without issues, some worse than others, but in the end, the truth sets so many free.

The Bottom Line:  Y’all know I love a good past meets present book, and often it is the past part of the book I am most drawn to.  In the case of Winter Cottage, I found the opposite to be true.  While I certainly enjoyed the chapters related to the past, it was the present that held my interest the most and that has everything to do with Lucy.  Lucy is such a strong character with a honed sense of right and wrong that guides her every action.  She doesn’t play games, she doesn’t beat around the bush, she lives her life out loud and as honestly as possible.  Through Lucy’s discoveries, the reader gets a bit of everything: drama, violence, love, secrets, loyalty, friendships, betrayals, and bounties.  Winter Cottage has it all and I sincerely hope this finely written read finds its way to being just the first in a series.

Goodreads | Amazon | Paperback | Audible

2 Comments on “Review: Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor

  1. This sounds fascinating, and I’m interested in trying this one. While I really don’t need yet another book added to my TBR, you’ve convinced me that it’s needed, lol. Also, I’ll note, I do like that cover. Great review!

  2. I too have a thing for lovely covers and have added many a book to my TBR thanks to a fine cover 🙂 I hope you enjoy this one, it really is worth the time!!

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