The beginning of the book is similar to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Marlie meets Daniel, a wealthy widower. The two are complete opposites--Marlie a liberal social worker from California and Daniel a conservative state senator from Tennessee. Still, they fall in love and decide to marry. That's when the intrigue begins as Marlie unravels the mystery of Daniel's former wife Gentry's death.
The book takes off in unexpected directions. There are some science fiction and political elements that intrigued me. Without giving anything away, I'll just say that one of my favorite plot elements has to do with a secret society.
Maybe it's because I'm a Southerner living in the West, but I loved the insights into the Southern lifestyle. The book is set in Tennessee. Marlie's descriptions of Southern etiquette, weddings, and family quirks made me laugh. Julie's great at describing settings and characters in a way that helps the reader feel like she's actually there.
This is a mainstream novel, so it contains a few elements that may be offensive to some of my readers--a little marital steam, some teenage drug use, etc. It was clean enough for me, but it would be too racy for my daughter. If you prefer a squeaky clean read, check out Count Down to Love, another of Julie's books.