I love Lulu Taylor's books so I was thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of The Winter Secret. It has all my favourite ingredients: a dual timeline, an old house, a famous movie star - and a mystery to solve.
When a character in a book has a too-perfect life, you know everything is soon going to go horribly wrong! In the present day, sweet-natured Buttercup has been whisked off her feet by a handsome millionaire and now lives a glamorous but idle life at the beautiful Charlcome Park. While back in the 1940s, the mansion was home to Xenia Arkadyoff, who is the daughter of a movie star and a Russian Prince, and the envy of all her school-friends. But while Buttercup can have everything she wants, apart from the one thing she is desperate for, Xenia's life is a myriad of secrets no one can find out.
The reason I love Lulu Taylor's books is that they remind me a bit of those glitzy books that were popular in the 80s and 90s. The characters are glamorous and wealthy, but obviously not happy! The Winter Secret combines 1940s Hollywood and the lost world of the Russian tsars, with a touch of modern-day psychological thriller. I loved the mystery surrounding the old house and its sinister 'curse'. It wasn't hard to work out what was happening in Buttercup's life, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of her story, and I did like the way she tried to fight back. Whereas I wished Xenia had made more of her opportunities! There were also some twists I didn't work out, which I always enjoy!
This was a five-star read for me, and I'd recommend it to anyone who loves dual-time line mysteries about big old houses, and for fans of authors such as Eve Chase and Kate Morton.
Thank you to Lulu Taylor and Pan Macmillan for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.
Review: Her Frozen Heart by Lulu Taylor