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This highly readable thriller-cum-domestic drama tingles with intrigue when a single mother is drawn into a world of violence. Single mom Nicole Adams is approaching forty and entirely focused on her sixteen-year-old son, Justin, and her budding career as a ceramicist. Nicole’s story opens at a thrillingly pivotal moment in her life - the Contemporary Crafts Museum of Los Angeles has just offered her a place in their upcoming show. “This was my chance, an incredible opportunity. I was an artist!” she enthuses. Pivotal Moment Number Two takes place shortly after, when Justin brings home a girl for the very first time, Daniela, who was “as young and fresh and lovely as a rosebud from my garden”. A girl whose presence was also entirely unexpected, for Justin had never previously shown any interest in the opposite sex. More bombshells follow, first when Justin announces that Daniela needs a place to stay, and second when he reveals that she’s pregnant. Nicole does the only thing she can and takes Daniela in – she’s a big-hearted woman, 100% committed to doing the right thing, especially when it comes to doing the right thing by her family, including her grandchild-to-be. But, as a result of this, she becomes embroiled in the violence of Daniela’s family. Nicole is an appealing character many readers will for, and her predicaments pose some “what would I do in her position?” questions for readers too. It’s also well-paced, and includes engaging sub-plots around her sister and relationship history. Joanne Owen