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Winter Cottage book cover - yellow flowers with a pocket watch) by Mary Ellen Taylor

Book: Winter Cottage
Author: Mary Ellen Taylor
Published: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Provided by Thomas Allen & Son for review

I received a copy of this book for free for a review. This does not impact the content of my review.


Still 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. (Goodreads)

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Book Review

The Winter Cottage was a lovely read. It was romantic and mysterious and full of secrets and questions.

Mary Ellen Taylor has taken a fairly simple trope – woman inherits something from someone she doesn’t know – and crafted a beautiful and gripping multigenerational story of family secrets, search for identity, grief, romance, and choice.

The narrative switches between Lucy’s story in present day, that of her mother and Mrs. Buchanan in 1988, and that of a woman named Claire from nearly a century earlier. This type of storytelling is one of my absolute favourites. I love reading multiple seemingly disconnected stories and picking up little hints along the way to piece together how the past and present characters are connected.

This book combines some of my favourite things – a romance and a personal mystery. Who is this woman who left her a house? Who is Lucy’s father? Why did her mother never tell her about this town she came from? And, while trying to figure out the answers to these questions, we get a lot of fun and interesting scenes and characters. It has the best bits of the small town romance trope, mixed with so many other enjoyable elements.

I can’t think of anything negative to say about this book. I really, really liked it.

If you like Kate Morton’s books, you might this one. If you like Jenny Colgan’s books, you might like this one.

If you inherited something from a stranger, would you try and figure out why?

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Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor - I can't think of anything negative to say about this book. Romance, mysterious inheritance, family secrets, on

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