The Fiancée by Kate White, 3.5 Stars

Meeting your significant other’s family is stressful. Probably even more so if their family is filthy rich and lives on a sprawling estate. In Kate White’s newest book, The Fiancée, a close-knit wealthy family comes together for their yearly vacation and their brother Nick, who is a bit of black sheep, has brought his new girlfriend Hannah. And no one really likes her.

It’s such a common story and I found myself wondering why we are all so hard on people who are new to a situation. It’s like we project how we felt in that moment when it was us on that new person. It’s really not fair. And yes, I do realize that some people really do suck and deserve the scrutiny. But how often do we jump to conclusions just because someone rubs us the wrong way?

And when I’m reading a book, I usually best friend the protagonist. And it can literally take me 75% of the book to decide I don’t like that person so much either. Anyhow, draw your own conclusions! But here’s my review of The Fiancée.

From the Publisher:

Summer’s looking forward to a break from hustling for acting work in Manhattan when she, her husband Gabe, and Gabe’s nine-year-old son arrive at the annual family get-together at her in-laws’ sprawling estate. On the agenda are leisurely gourmet meals, tennis matches, and plenty of relaxation by the pool.

But this year, Gabe’s brother Nick has invited his new flame Hannah, whom Summer immediately recognizes from a few years before. Oddly, her brother-in-law’s girlfriend claims not to know her. Yet she charms the other family members, and after Nick announces that he’s proposed to Hannah, Summer doesn’t have much choice but to grin and bear it.

Then the reunion is rocked by tragedy when a family member is found dead. Though the doctors attribute the loss to natural causes, a grieving Summer fears that the too-good-to-be-true Hannah is involved, even as Gabe dismisses her suspicions.

How far will Summer go to expose the truth? As she investigates just what Nick’s fiancée might have done to keep her perfect image intact, she begins to fear that the first death might only be the beginning . . .

My Review:

The Fiancée is a snapshot look into the lives of an extended wealthy family. Every year, the four brothers descend on their parent’s estate for a week long vacation. They wine, they dine, they play tennis and they relax by the pool. And everyone gets along famously. Except this year, Nick brings his new girlfriend, Hannah, the ex-girlfriend of his twin brother, and no one really likes her. Especially Summer.

Summer is the second wife to Gabe and stepmom to Henry. Which totally sets her up as a less than angelic character for whatever reason. Although in this case, Gabe’s first wife Stephanie, cheated. And was never liked by his mother Claire, the matriarch of their big wealthy family. So in this case, Summer is actually a bit of a Cinderella. Everyone loves her and thinks she’s the most amazing wife and stepmom.

At first Summer tries to like Hannah. But that doesn’t end up working out and she catches her in a lie. It’s all downhill from there. And it isn’t even just Hannah. Because when tragedy strikes, the whole family dynamic is thrown off and no one know what is going on.

Kate White is the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, which of course, makes her a goddess. And I’ve always loved her books. But while I enjoyed this one, the progression of the story didn’t ring true for me. And I felt like the ending was a bit just tacked on. Still, was a fun look into the decadence and lifestyle of those on the other side.

Special thanks to Netgalley and Harper Perennial for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out June 29. Get your copy!


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