Widows-in-Law

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I received this ARC and read this in less than 3 days!  Very well written compelling thriller-mystery. I really like the intriguing plot twists of having the 2 wives work together to find the killer. I didn't think it would work but it did!

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC!
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Thank you NetGalley, Blackstone Publishing, and Michele W. Miller for the ARC to review.  I had a hard time getting through.  Finish it, but not a fan.
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Widows in Law is a book about an unlikely friendship that comes from a very difficult and dangerous circumstance. This book was great, it was thrilling and adventurous. I rated this 3 stars. At some points it was slow, it took me a while to really get into it. After I was fully inthralled this book was great. It kept me wanting to find out what was going to happen. The end kept me wanting more and hoping for another book. All in all a great book! 

Thank you Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Miller’s new novel starts at a slow burn before rapidly picking up pace to its climatic conclusion.  There are bits and pieces of information to help the reader piece together the mystery thriller and at times, sometimes puts the reader ahead of the characters within the pages.

The characters are solidly built and it was good to have three strong female characters get along without fighting over the man.  This was a truly refreshing change of pace as normally there tends to be threads of at least I have a man or this is my man narratives in these types of stories.  In this case, we have Miller excelling at providing three forthright women taking control and although there is a man who sparks off the trio, but they go above and beyond.   

On the other hand, the criminals or bad guys are very stereotyped and have lack of any dimension.  They come across as cartoon baddies and though they do carry the threat of death, it would have been nice to have a bit more depth beyond mafia gangland.  The business partners were interesting and very well imagined although it was a shame not to have more of them.

The action is handled very well and Miller knows how to build tension.  She keeps it tightly reined and doesn’t let it run away from her.  The love interest is an odd addition to the proceedings but it does work within the confines of the story and adds a bit of light relief.  

Overall, the book is a fun page turner that has three strong female types playing against card board males and criminals but doesn’t take away from enjoyment of the novel.  A slow burn that builds to a climax that is rewarding experience.
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This book turned out to be nothing like I thought it would be.  I can easily see it as a movie.  The women characters are interesting and it seemed almost realistic watching them change as they faced frightening situations.  The story seemed a bit far-fetched at times and the whole bad-guys scenario a bit over-the-top (again - I can see it as a movie!) but overall, it was an enjoyable thriller with a delicious twist at the end.
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“Widows-In-Law” by Michelle Miller opens with a frightening confrontation and two women flattened against a plank avoiding gunfire. How did they get there?
Readers go back in time to mid-October. Lauren Silverman, the “first wife,” juggles relationships with her ex-husband Brian, his current wife Jessica, and her daughter Emily, now living with Brian and Jessica. The group struggles with all the things that happen in “extended” families, and had reached a tolerant truce. That all ended with a phone call, “Brian’s been injured.” Sorrow, chaos, confusion, and trauma follow any death, but especially Brian’s.  
The story includes flash backs detailing the past events that shaped characters. The casual conversational style helps readers get to know the participants and to see events from several perspectives. Little details come out piece by piece as Lauren and Jessica struggle with their new situation. There are money concerns, two households to maintain, bills for education, mortgage, and the orthodontist, but Brian’s job should provide earned commissions to allow them time to sort out finances. A call from Brian’s company changes all that. “Is there a problem?” Well, yes, there is a problem, and there is no money due to Brian’s family. 
Events continue chronologically and quickly starting on October 18 and ending on December 1. Readers follow the search for answers day by day as indicated at the start of each chapter. The plot shifts points of view, with side-by-side story lines following Jessica, Emily, Lauren, and others. It seems that Brian had many secrets, dangerous ones, complicated ones, illegal ones, deeply hidden ones. 
Colorful descriptions put readers into the scenes. “The streetlights still glowed outside Brownie’s but the sky had become sepia….The gray sky ripened into pink and orange as she rode downtown.”
Fear and tension fill every page. “An icy fear kept Jessica’s muscles stiff and her mouth dry. She was trapped between Lauren and the silent man.”
Lauren, Jessica, and Emily form an unusual alliance of women forced by circumstances to clean up a mess left by a death, to work together for mutual good, and to secure a financial future for each of them. I was given a review copy of “Widows-In-Law” by Michelle Miller, Blackstone Publishing, and NetGalley. It is full of secrets -- codes, trips, money, and influence -- all unveiled in surprising and dangerous ways. It keeps readers turning pages, anxious to learn what disaster or solution waits on the next page.
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Lauren and Brian Silverman, both attorneys, are divorced and the parents of Emily, 16.  Brian is now married to Jessica.  Lauren is not fond of Jessica because she feels the woman intentionally set out to steal her husband.  Lauren works at Family Court and Brian is with a private firm.  He claims to have some big cases in the works that should make him rich.  Lauren has to constantly remind him to pay the bills he is responsible for.

Emily’s behavior has become more difficult for Lauren to handle so she asks Brian to let her live with him.  He is happy to have her.  Lauren herself had had a difficult childhood with parents always doing drugs.  After getting into some of it herself, she finally straightened around, got her schooling, and became an attorney.  So, she hopes that Brian may have more influence on her and keep her in school.

While on a short business trip to Miami, Brian dies in a fire in his hotel room.  The authorities believe it was from him smoking in bed.  The funeral is difficult for all of them and Lauren worries that if Emily comes back with her, she will start getting into trouble again.  So, it is agreed that Emily will stay with Jessica.  

Brian’s law partner, Steve, says he will take care of settling things for all of them.  But when he says that Brian was never a partner, but just an employee and, therefore, not entitled to a share of the money from the cases, Jessica and Lauren both are shocked and furious.  In addition, it appears that Brian had been involved with some shady people and cases that didn’t make sense so they take it upon themselves to do their own investigating and see if they can find the real truth.

This is a story that deals with some very dangerous, international criminals and big money.  It is gruesome and heart-stopping at times.  These women are strong and determined to find out about Brian’s past even if they have to risk their lives for it.

My feelings?  Why would two women and a teenager think that they can outfox the “big guys” and get away with it?  That made me roll my eyes.  In reality, one who go to the police.  I know teens are fairly tech savvy, but for Emily to be able to do and understand the computer things she did made me question it.  It is good to see two women who were once considered to be enemies  become friends.  I’m sure that people who like an edge-of-the-seat thriller will like this one. 

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Lauren, Jessica, and Emily have a problem.  A big problem.  Brian, their ex- husband, husband, and father, is dead- burned to death in Miami. His partner, Steve, is ducking their calls and they are worried about their financial situation.  At the same time, as it happens, there are some very bad guys looking for something Brian has- something the women don't know about, at least not yet. Emily, a wily 16 year old if ever there was one, enlists a hacker to help her crack Brian's files, which reveal any number of surprises.  Luckily, Lauren is a family court attorney who, if nothing else, is able to gain access to the courts and knows how to work the system when Emily and Jessica are arrested AND when they all decide to fight back.  There's a subplot involving a little romantic attraction for Lauren which has its charms.  My only quibble is that the underlying bad activity is a little hazy (even for someone accustomed to this genre).  Thanks to the publisher for the ARc.  This is a highly readable plot driven thriller with three strong female characters.
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3 1/2⭐️‘s
When Brian Silverman is murdered it leaves way more questions than answers.  His ex wife (Lauren) and new wife (Jessica) must put their differences aside and band together to find those answers.  Things really heat up when he and Lauren’s daughter (Emily) joins them in their quest.  As the story progresses, the relationship between these strong women grows making this an integral part of the overall book.  Although I was not a huge fan of the plot and the the large number of bad guys was a bit on the overkill side,  the action and the strong characters made up for it making this book a fun read!
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Widows-In-Law by Michele Miller is a twisting, thriller where the untimely death of Brian Silverman leaves his family with a nasty mess. 

Brian’s ex-wife Lauren, current wife Jessica and daughter Emily put their past differences aside to form an unlikely partnership to discover the suspicious business deals he has been making with a former friend Jordan Connors. This lead him getting mixed up with the wrong crowd and now Jorge Arena’s was out to get the money taken from him, even if it mean killing people to get it.

This book goes back and forth from the different characters viewpoints allowing us, as readers, to see the story unfold from all sides. I gave this book 3 stars because there were parts that were slow for me and would find myself thinking about other things. However , there were plenty of exciting parts that kept me wanting to keep reading and find out the end result. I still would recommend this book for those that enjoy thrillers. 

Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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This author has done a great job of writing the original storyline as if you were watching a movie.  Not only can you see these two women joining together...even though they don't get along...but you'll be peeking through your fingers hoping nothing bad happens to them.  The story very quickly becomes a race to see who will win the day and get the money.  The good guys win, but along the way, it's an exciting ride.
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The description of the book was both intriguing and had me wondering if I would be disappointed by the characters; spoiler - I was not disappointed! The female characters were strong, but relatable in their reactions to the situations they were facing.  The lengths one would go for money and to hide deceptive behavior in this book had twists and turns you couldn't predict.  The situations were a little far fetched for "real life" but sucked me in and kept me turning the pages.  All together, a good read I would recommend.
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WIDOWS-IN LAW - Michele W. Miller
Perfect 10
Blackstone Publishing 
ISBN 10: 1-5385-5691-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-5385-5691-7
March 2019
Mystery 

New York and Miami – The Present

Lauren is the ex-wife of New York lawyer Brian Silverman. He is making millions of dollars with his law firm partner Steve Cohen. Lauren is also a lawyer, but she practices in the New York family court system. She doesn’t make the money Brian does, so depends on his alimony checks to support herself and their daughter Emily in the expensive city. It killed her to do so, but when she could no longer control Emily and the crowd she was hanging with in high school, she let Brian take over custody of Emily. She didn’t want Emily to end up like herself. In her teens poor choices led her into some unfortunate and dangerous situations. Her parents had both been drug addicts which led Lauren into making some very bad decisions. She overcame her past and desperately wants to protect Emily. Brian owns an expensive house in a better part of the city with his second wife Jessica. It places Emily in a better school system, and Brian can control the rebellious teenager better. Brian had cheated on her with Jessica before the divorce, and it left Lauren feeling inadequate and with low self-esteem. She calls Jessica her ‘wife-in-law,’ a term she learned in family court. Then Brian’s secretary Peggy calls Lauren. Lauren learns Brian was found burned in his bed while on a trip to Miami. She flies to Miami with both Jessica and Emily, but they are too late, Brian died.

While initially Steve told the two widows-in-law everything would be all right, he soon stops taking their calls. Then he claims Brian wasn’t really a partner and they will be getting nothing from his law practice. Lauren thinks this a fabricated story. Brian was the better lawyer and had told her his share of the firm’s contingency fees was worth millions of dollars. She and Jessica work to discover the truth, and from there everything goes downhill. Jessica witnesses the murder of Brian’s friend Jordon Connors, threats are made against Lauren, demands and threats come from criminal enterprises, and Jessica and Emily are arrested, all this leads to some very dangerous situations. Why was Steve being so deceptive, and just what was Brian up to? Carl Cintron, an FBI agent, takes great interest in Brian’s case despite being told to move on since Brian is dead. He already knows he has an even greater interest in Brian’s first wife. 

The viewpoint shifts from Lauren to Jessica, to Emily, to Carl, and even to Brian before his death. Everything for everyone is tied up in convoluted circumstances. The story isn’t sorted by chapters but by dates and character viewpoints. It is a gripping read about changing relationships and hidden desires and motives, criminal conduct, and overcoming almost insurmountable odds. A great read with emotional, smart and thoughtful characters caught in unfathomable positions, which makes this a Perfect 10.

Robin Lee
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Being the ex-wife is job enough, with out having to take care of the new wife, when your ex-husband,  Brian dies, but Lauren finds herself in this very position. Before long, Lauren, her daughter Emily, and Jessica the younger model, Brian traded up for find themselves in a mess much greater then they bargained for, as they learn that Brian was in a huge disaster of his own making and that perhaps he did not die by his own hand. Each woman in the story grows stronger as the book progresses and they begin to sleuth, and then to desperately look for answers and solutions before their own lives might be cut short, too.

This was a surprising thriller, with some very likeable women, even those you might not want to like in the beginning of the book. If you think your husband makes a mess of things... just you wait and see how Brian mucks things up... for himself and for those around him... although some people may have it coming.
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I truly loved this story about three badass women working together to clean up a man's mess. I didn't know what to expect yet I was pleasantly surprised by the plot. It flowed perfectly and I was able to envision everything as if it was playing out right in front of me. I was rooting for Lauren, Jessica, and Emily the entire way and absolutely loved how much they each grew as characters from co-dependent, fragile and afraid to strong, fearless and fierce women. I was in awe of Lauren and her strength and courage, especially coming from such a rough background. I admired Jessica for picking herself up and awakening a side of her that I don't think she knew she had. And Emily - I loved Emily - for her wit, sarcasm, and quick-thinking. I loved Carl (and Mookie!) too and was happy with how everything came full-circle in the end.

Thank you for this really fun and exciting read!
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What a very unique premise!  A trio of smart, determined women get together to solve the mystery of the illegalities associated with the recently deceased man who played an important role in all their lives.  For 3 women played by this one man, and coming together to work for a mutually-beneficial closure for each of them, is indeed a new exploration of the sensibilities we women possess...sometimes without us even knowing our own strength until we call upon it.  Definitely recommended!
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I tried starting this book twice, and each time I found it to be a really slow read and just couldn’t get past about 10%. I thought the premise was intriguing enough, but the writing just didn’t keep me wanting more.
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Lauren, Brian's ex wife and mother of his child feels left out in the cold sometimes. Brian has a beautiful, young wife now. When Brian dies unexpectedly and due to their child, Emily, Lauren helps Jessica, the new wife arrange the funeral.  Emily's feeling's are worth more than than the anger. It comes to light that not all of Brian's dealings are on the up and up. Will they survive long enough to get everything in order? Is the danger caused by someone closer to Brian than they realize. I really liked this book. It is about how two women survive through their differences. I received this book from Net Galley and Blackstone Publishing for a honest review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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Review by 2shay..........

Wow! This book packs a punch. A great story about women who have to find a lot of inner strength to deal with the death of a husband, an ex-husband and a father. Brian left a hell of a mess. Both Lauren, the first wife, and Jessica, the current wife have events in their past that they would like to forget, but the present keeps bringing forward their pasts. They have every reason to dislike and distrust each other, but in the scramble to save themselves and Emily, the daughter they both love, they, reluctantly, find a way to forgive each other and work together.

This is a superbly told story by a talented author. The characters are vibrant, and so well developed that I found it easy to empathize with each. The search for the missing millions seemed totally believable, though I have to confess that I know nothing about banking laws. So, I swallowed the whole thing, hook, line and sinker.

These women went through HELL. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and still dreaded getting to the end. I wanted more. I WANT more. I hope Ms. Miller is planning a sequel. Grab a copy and...

Enjoy!  ARC graciously provided by Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for an honest and voluntary review.
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Lauren is an attorney, working for New York City's Family Division. She was married to (philandering) Brian, also an attorney, but he is working in a lucrative private practice. Brian has already remarried to Jessica - a nurse he met on the west coast.

Particularly because they share a 15 year old daughter (Emily), Lauren leaves for Florida where Brian has been critically burned. Emily and Jessica first meet her at the airport. Soon after they all arrive in Florida, Brian is pronounced dead. Steve, Brian's law partner (?) and best friend was also there to help out with arrangements.

At the funeral Rick and Carl (undercover cops) muse over who does attend and who doesn't. 

As the reader finds out, both Lauren and Jessica need funds from Brian's estate and/or owed money to him from previous cases. Steve becomes quite unavailable. Eventually, Brian's trusted administrative assistant, Peggy, meets with Lauren with some revealing information. Unfortunately, Lauren, Jessica and Emily become amateur sleuths and they may be are heading for trouble. There had been more than meets the eye going on with Brian and the also elusive Jordan Connor...

A very interesting read. The characters come to life. Wait until the conclusion! 

Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for a thrill of a ride.
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