Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Last Chance Matinee (review)

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The Last Chance Matinee - Mariah Stewart
From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes the first novel in her all-new series, The Hudson Sisters, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish. In the process, they find not only themselves, but the father they only thought they knew.

When celebrated and respected agent Fritz Hudson passes away, he leaves a trail of Hollywood glory in his wake—and two separate families who never knew the other existed. Allie and Des Hudson are products of Fritz’s first marriage to Honora, a beautiful but troubled starlet whose life ended in a tragic overdose. Meanwhile, Fritz was falling in love on the Delaware Bay with New Age hippie Susa Pratt—they had a daughter together, Cara, and while Fritz loved Susa with everything he had, he never quite managed to tell her or Cara about his West Coast family.

Now Fritz is gone, and the three sisters are brought together under strange circumstances: there’s a large inheritance to be had that could save Allie from her ever-deepening debt following a disastrous divorce, allow Des to open a rescue shelter for abused and wounded animals, and give Cara a fresh start after her husband left her for her best friend—but only if the sisters upend their lives and work together to restore an old, decrepit theater that was Fritz’s obsession growing up in his small hometown in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Guided by Fritz’s closest friend and longtime attorney, Pete Wheeler, the sisters come together—whether they like it or not—to turn their father’s dream into a reality, and might just come away with far more than they bargained for.

I'm going to tell you I am likely biased right from the start because I am such a Mariah Stewart fan and I have been reviewing her books for quite some time. As soon as I had the opportunity to review her newest, which is the start of a new series, I got right on board! I'm so glad I did because while this book is longer than ones I choose to read for fun (right around 450 pages), it really sets up the beginning of what I hope to be a really fun chick lit summer series.

So the book starts off with the death of Fritz, who we find out was a bit of a hound dog. He leaves behind two separate families, who didn't know each other at all. They soon find out all about each other because of course a large inheritance is at stake, bringing all three of his daughters together to hash it out. In some really bizarre, "please forgive me" move, Fritz leaves a stipulation that if they can work together to revamp and restore this old theater, they'll get the inheritance. All three of them, for varying reasons, really need this and it would catapult their lives into a different direction and seemingly solve a lot of their problems. Can they do it? Can they get along despite not knowing each other at all? Time will tell. This book is basically Cara's story, narrated by her, which is a good place to start because she's the East Coast daughter. The other two daughters are sisters who share the same parents, but they didn't know about Cara, and they don't totally get along. Mariah Stewart sets up the entire series SO well that I am certain we're in for a treat, if it only results in a trilogy. Love interests are introduced, the setting is adorable, and once again, Mariah gives us an excellent summer read. I just hope the next ones aren't quite as long because even though I'm a fan, I'm a bigger fan of quick reads. I like being able to finish more than one book on a weekend or a trip and this one isn't a quick read!

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