I'm one of the publishers of All About Romance. I love reading romance, as well as mysteries, fantasy, history and historical fiction, and all kinds of other things. Staying on Goodreads for now but trying this out in case I decide to switch.
Holy melodrama, Batman! Seriously, if you have ever wanted to know what the term "kitchen sink plotting" means, check out this book. It starts off well enough, but then events and crazy coincidences just keep snowballing and it's really an out of control mess by the end.
The book opens with newly widowed Lydia Sellers preparing for the reading of her husband's will. We learn that she was basically forced into an abusive, unhappy marriage as a teenager and now, in her late 20s, she is finally free. The adult children of her husband's first marriage can't wait to turn her out of her house, but she's free of her husband.
By a weird quirk of the will, though, Lydia ends up with the entire estate. She decides to leave her estate in the hands of her lawyer and make a new start (far from the wrath of the in-laws - smart move) by going to live with her aunt in Alaska. This is all an interesting start and up until this point, I was completely sucked into the book. However, then we start having all kinds of coincidental, odd happenings. I'll try to leave out spoilers, but let's just say that even though a journey to Alaska was an arduous undertaking in the 19th century, the in-laws don't exactly stay in the Midwest where they belong. Oh, and the preaching. I've read worse but I could have done without some of the sermons disguised as dialogue. I've read some great inspies over the years, and the best of them don't have their characters speaking in platitudes and sermonettes.