I have read several of Diana Diamond's novels and throughly enjoyed them. In fact, while looking over my spreadsheet from last year, I read three of Diamond's novels and they all ranked as a 4.5 or 5's, which are really rare. So when I saw The Stepmother by Diana Diamond at the bookstore awhile ago, I couldn't resist. This one was all right, definitely my least favorite of all of those I have read so far, ranking a 3 out of 5.
Sixty-five-year-old multi-millionaire Steven Armstrong tells his three children that he is going to remarry. But his new bride isn't the stepmother they have in mind. Charlene "Charlie" Hendricks is his vivacious, 35-year-old personal trainer, the single mother of a teenage daughter. To Steven's midlife children, she is nothing but a gold-digger...
Days before her wedding, Charlie, training for a triathlon, decides to go for a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. Out of nowhere, a mysterious figure on a speeding Jet Ski shows up, making an attempt on her life. The children head the list of suspects- but which one plotted her death?
Then, after the wedding, a second attack backfires and mistakenly kills her husband, making Charlie a wealthy heiress. Now it is the children who accuse her of murdering their father. Is Charlie a ruthless fortune hunter, or the innocent victim of her husband's greedy heirs?
I think a main problem that I had with the story is that I wasn't very sympathetic for Charlie. I thought her reasons for marrying Steven in ther first place was absolutely crazy, and she really was a gold digger. She was claiming to do it for a better life for her teenager daughter, but I really do not like or think she was setting a good example for her. Then right after her husband dies, she jumps into another relationship. Throughout the whole story Charlie is so worried about her daughter, but I found it hard to believe.
I figured out the whodunit about 1/2 way through the story though I was not 100% sure I was right. The suspense aspect of the story was very well written, and the story moved along well. I did find the other characters hard to believe as well.
The other thing that really bugged me was the extreme use of exclamation points. It was so annoying, and at least 3 per page, on average. It was always used in dialogue and it just grated on my nerves.
Part of me worries that I was so sensitive to some of the things in the story because of reading 19 Minutes beforehand. I don't feel like it was a waste of time to read the story or anything like that, and I will continue to read more of Diamond's novels, however, this one just didn't do it for me as much as the others did.
One more note, Diana Diamond is a pseudonym for the author of William Kennedy. I have not heard of him before, or have seen his books at any bookstores, but if anyone has any information about him, I would be excited to hear about it.
Not sure what is up next... will grab something off of Mt. TBR. Now is homework, but I will grab something to read at least one chapter before bed.