Sunday 7 July 2024

Review - First Wife's Shadow by Adele Parks

First Wife's Shadow by Adele Parks
Publisher: HQ
Release date: 4 July 2024
Back cover blurb: When Emma meets Matthew, a kind, handsome widower, he seems to be just what she needs. Yet as their relationship moves fast, Emma’s friends worry Emma might be exploited. She’s a rich woman after all. Emma doesn’t care Matthew has no money. But as the memory of his perfect first wife hangs over them, Emma does have one tiny doubt. If Matthew’s wife hadn’t died, he wouldn’t be with her. And Emma wonders if she’s second best. Can she ever fill the dead woman’s shoes? As jealousy and suspicion blossom between Emma and Matthew, events take a darker, dangerous turn. Suddenly Emma doesn’t know who she can trust. Her friends? Her husband? Or even herself…?

Emma Westly is the very definition of a career woman. Her life revolves around her job as the CEO of a company and brand that she is passionate about. She works hard, and is handsomely rewarded for it.

Matthew Charlton, a handsome widower, whose first wife Becky died just months ago in a tragic accident, meets Emma at a conference. He is everything that she didn’t know she was looking for. She had all but given up on relationships, and made her peace with that. 

But now her world has been turned upside down. Is the best way…

Neither of them were looking for love, both just sort of stumble in to it blindly.

Heidi and Gina are Emma’s best friends. They of course, want her to be happy. But Matthew is a lot younger than Emma, and clearly not of the same social status. Neither of them are snobs, but they do worry that he could be after her money. 

Particularly as everything between them seems to be moving so quickly.

Emma who has been oblivious to the joys of love, only of rewarding hard work, understands her friends are looking out for her, but also thinks they are being maybe just a tiny bit mean spirited. Can’t they just be happy for her?

Or are they right to be cautious?

When some strange and disturbing things begin happening around the house, Emma is convinced she is being haunted by Becky’s ghost. Heidi and Gina think Matthew is behind it. But the truth is something that none of them are prepared for.

I can’t say too much more, as I don’t want to spoil this for anyone. I read a lot of novels in this genre, but there a few genuine ‘what the *insert appropriate word*’ just happened?’ moments for me that sets this novel apart.

I’ve been a fan of Adele’s since her very first novel, but I truly think she has surpassed herself this time. 

This is my book of the year so far, and it might just be my new favourite by this author.

First Wife's Shadow is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

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