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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Family Skeletons is the third book in the Baker City: Hearts & Haunts series by Josie Malone, a compulsive romance that is emotionally loaded and psychologically rich. Sullivan Barlow is a first-class Sergeant who has served in Afghanistan and it was there that she lost her best friend. When she sleeps with a man one night, she doesn’t plan to see him again. Tate Murphy is a career soldier who is due to retire in three years. He is unable to forget the girl he met at the hotel bar and had sex with. Then three weeks after meeting Sully, he meets her again, and this time, he is not going to let her get away as easily as she did the last time. When he discovers that she is pregnant with his baby, he immediately proposes. The ride might not be as smooth as Tate had imagined.
I love complex and memorable characters, and I love it when an author justifies the complexity in their characters, and that is what Josie Malone does. Sully is a broken person, suffering from guilt, which is understandable after losing her closest friend. But then she discovers she is pregnant, everything changes. The descriptions of her emotions and her psychological state when she finds out she is pregnant are so real that I could relate, and the same can be said of every scene in the story. She does not want adoption and is ready to raise her child. But there are twists that I never expected would happen in the story. Family Skeletons is not just tightly-plotted but also written with such elegance that it becomes impossible to put down. The prose is charming, the characters adorable and sophisticated, and the whole story so impregnated with realism that it is so delightful to read. Tate and Sully are interesting to watch as they navigate their differences and confront their inner demons and past hurts. And the dead people they have loved seem to play a strong role in their lives. Now, I am looking for the next book from this author.