Winter Cottage
A gripping novel about family secrets…and coming home for the first time.Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.

Winter Cottage Details

TitleWinter Cottage
Author
ReleaseOct 16th, 2018
PublisherMontlake Romance
ISBN-139781503903883
Rating
GenreRomance, Contemporary, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction

Winter Cottage Review

  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis was a really enjoyable work of fiction that had elements of romance and mystery. Lucy Kincaid was raised by her single mother, Beth. After Beth dies, Lucy finds out she has inherited a house, known as the Winter Cottage, in the town of Cape Hudson, Virginia, which is where her mother grew up. Lucy knows nothing about her mother's past, and what made her leave her hometown as a teenager and never return. She stumbles upon some video recordings from the late 1980s of her then teenage 3.5 starsThis was a really enjoyable work of fiction that had elements of romance and mystery. Lucy Kincaid was raised by her single mother, Beth. After Beth dies, Lucy finds out she has inherited a house, known as the Winter Cottage, in the town of Cape Hudson, Virginia, which is where her mother grew up. Lucy knows nothing about her mother's past, and what made her leave her hometown as a teenager and never return. She stumbles upon some video recordings from the late 1980s of her then teenage mother interviewing the home's former owner, Catherine Buchanan, for a school project, and soon Lucy realizes this is a home filled with secrets of the past. The story alternates between Lucy in the present day, her mother in the 1980s, and Claire working for the wealthy Buchanan family in the early 1900s. Each of these characters brought something to the table in making this an interesting read however I really felt the most invested in Claire's story. There were a few things that I didn't particularly care for in the book. Some things just did not seem realistic in the year 2018. The whole this is a small town thing therefore things are done differently didn't ring true in a few instances. The other thing that bugged me was I thought the author tried to fill the story with too many twists to the point which it detracted from the characters and story. None of these things ruined the book for me though. They were just minor annoyances. Definitely a good read if you are looking for something with interesting female lead characters. I would definitely read something again by Mary Ellen Taylor who also writes books under the name Mary Burton.I won a free ebook in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it! Look for this review on the Harlequin Junkies website in the near future. www.harlequinjunkies.com
  • Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
    January 1, 1970
    EXCERPT: "Was it love at first sight?"Mrs Buchanan is silent for a long moment. The drumbeat of secrets grows louder. "Yes. But that love wasn't for my husband, Robert."Blue eyes are calculating like the fox's were when he sniffed fresh fish in the trap. "Who?""See you on Friday."ABOUT THIS BOOK: Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew ex EXCERPT: "Was it love at first sight?"Mrs Buchanan is silent for a long moment. The drumbeat of secrets grows louder. "Yes. But that love wasn't for my husband, Robert."Blue eyes are calculating like the fox's were when he sniffed fresh fish in the trap. "Who?""See you on Friday."ABOUT THIS BOOK: Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.MY THOUGHTS: The opening chapter of Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor drew me in, but then I felt that the book lost its way for a time, before finally getting back on track and reaching a satisfying conclusion. It all became a little confusing with the story split over two timelines and quite a large cast of characters. Each story has merit, and each could easily have stood on its own. But, in the end, the tying of the two stories together worked for me. We have all been guilty, at one time or another, of saying nothing when we ought to have spoken up, whether it was a matter of principal or something more personal. And it is the unsaid things in family relationships that are at the centre of this mystery. That, and settling for second best. Taylor has a lovely turn of phrase. 'Old pains bob like distant buoys.' and 'the drumbeat of secrets grows louder' are two examples that stuck in my mind. Lucy’s character struck a chord with me, as did that of Natasha, but I thought Hank too good to be true! The plot is not predictable, in fact mostly entirely the opposite. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. While not entirely enthralled by Winter Cottage, it intrigued me enough that I would read more by this author, and I intend to check out the books this author has written under the name of Mary Burton. 😊😊😊.5THE AUTHOR: Mary Ellen Taylor grew up in a southern family that embraced stories of all kinds, from a well-told anecdote to a good yarn or a tall tale. It may have been inevitable that Taylor would take her storytelling heritage to new heights, moving beyond the oral tradition to become a published author.Taylor, who finds cooking and baking to be important creative outlets, explores some of the challenges and comforts of those pursuits in her Alexandria set novels THE UNION STREET BAKERY, SWEET EXPECTATIONS, AT THE CORNER OF KING STREET and THE VIEW FROM PRINCE STREET. The novels, which explore themes of family, adoption, belonging and personal history, are influenced by her life and family. Both her grandmother and her daughter were adopted, as is Daisy McCrae, the protagonist in her first novel written as Mary Ellen Taylor, THE UNION STREET BAKERY. Taylor was born and has spent most of her life in Richmond, but also lived in Alexandria for four years. She received her degree in English from Virginia’s Hollins University, and worked in marketing and sales before she became convinced she could write and sell one of the many stories swirling in her head. Today, twenty-eight of her romance and suspense novels and five novellas written as Mary Burton have been published, earning praise from readers and reviewers and have made her a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. THE UNION STREET BAKERY was her first novel as Mary Ellen Taylor.When not writing or appearing at conferences and book signings, Taylor continues her culinary pursuits. She's been a kitchen assistant for more than fifty culinary classes over the past seven years at Sur la Table and earned her Baking and Pastry Arts Certificate from the University of Richmond's Culinary Arts program. In addition to spending time with her family and her three miniature dachshunds, Buddy, Bella and Tiki, Mary Ellen enjoys walking and honing her culinary skills. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Montlake Romance via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Winter Cottage by Mary Ellen Taylor for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my blog sandysbookaday.wordpress.com https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Well now, I suppose it’s a good thing I took a chance on Winter Cottage since I had no idea that Mary Ellen Taylor is also known as Mary Burton who writes romantic suspense novels that I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few. Now that I’m done I can definitely see the same strong writing that pulls a reader into the story.This story centers around Lucy Kincaid who has just lost her mother to a battle with cancer and wants to honor her mother’s last wishes of returning her ashes to her hometown of Cape Well now, I suppose it’s a good thing I took a chance on Winter Cottage since I had no idea that Mary Ellen Taylor is also known as Mary Burton who writes romantic suspense novels that I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few. Now that I’m done I can definitely see the same strong writing that pulls a reader into the story.This story centers around Lucy Kincaid who has just lost her mother to a battle with cancer and wants to honor her mother’s last wishes of returning her ashes to her hometown of Cape Hudson, Virginia. Lucy knows nothing of her mother’s past or any extended family, it’s only been the two of them against the world her whole life as her mother chose to leave and raise Lucy on her own.After arriving in such a small town Lucy becomes the talk of the town as she finds out that she’s been named in the will of a local resident leaving her to care for Winter Cottage. The home is a more of a sprawling mansion than a cottage and holds many secrets of the past, a past that also includes Lucy’s family lines. The home also comes with the appealing bank account holding millions for it’s upkeep so Lucy finds herself moving in and exploring her roots.Winter Cottage is told in 3 main timelines by switching the point of view within those times. In the present of course we have Lucy but there’s also a timeline with Lucy’s mother in the late 80s and then another with the home’s original owner in the early 1900’s. This may all sound a bit confusing but it really wasn’t the changes flowed wonderfully and fit well into the present of the story. Being one that loves digging into those old family secrets I quite enjoyed the tale and would definitely recommend checking it out.I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
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  • Mellie Antoinete
    January 1, 1970
    A generous thank you to #netgalley and #montlakeromance for an #earc of this novel in exchange for a fair review. “The tree branches, bent by years of bay winds, reached over the road as if they were lovers trying to clasp hands.”I thoroughly enjoyed this story about two pasts converging in the present under the roof of a Virginia winter cottage. Reminiscent of Lauren Willig’s The Ashford Affair, the dual timeline approach added some nice atmospherics to this cozy fiction tale of second winds, s A generous thank you to #netgalley and #montlakeromance for an #earc of this novel in exchange for a fair review. “The tree branches, bent by years of bay winds, reached over the road as if they were lovers trying to clasp hands.”I thoroughly enjoyed this story about two pasts converging in the present under the roof of a Virginia winter cottage. Reminiscent of Lauren Willig’s The Ashford Affair, the dual timeline approach added some nice atmospherics to this cozy fiction tale of second winds, second sails and second chances. The past may not be pleasant, but it always leads to the present. Centering around two main couples - Lucy is a firecracker to Hank’s quiet fire; Claire Buchanan was a quiet beauty who fell in love with a standout guy. One town’s past and present is directly impacted by their choices with a house, a vineyard and a construction gig hanging in the balance. It was interesting how much location and birthright played a huge role in the options available to the characters. I was fascinated that almost all of the characters didn’t so much follow in the footsteps of their ancestors as they followed the footprints of geography. I’m curious to see this author spread her wings. I’ll certainly be reading more from her.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    This book hit almost all the marks for me. I love books that mix the past with the present and "Winter Cottage" definitely provided me with a wonderful read! I have never read any books by this author and will definitely be seeking more books written by her in the future. The story is fairly simple. Girl's mother dies, she finds that mom had inherited a cottage near the Chesapeake Bay. Girl goes because she hopes to find her father there. The simplicity ends there. Lucy, the primary character, f This book hit almost all the marks for me. I love books that mix the past with the present and "Winter Cottage" definitely provided me with a wonderful read! I have never read any books by this author and will definitely be seeking more books written by her in the future. The story is fairly simple. Girl's mother dies, she finds that mom had inherited a cottage near the Chesapeake Bay. Girl goes because she hopes to find her father there. The simplicity ends there. Lucy, the primary character, finds more questions than answers. She also discovers a lot more. But the reader should discover that! I loved the story and the characters! The reason for the one star is that I kept getting confused with the names and dates. That may be just a "me" thing, but it put me off just a bit.Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book.
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  • Cassie-Traveling Sister-
    January 1, 1970
    Winter cottage is a beautifully written book about different generations of people with a house in cape Hudson. Lucy inherited the cottage which was not a cottage at all from a woman she had never met before . The only link she had was her recently deceased mother. With nowhere else to go she heads to the cottage to dig for answers. The cottage comes with conditions Lucy has to live there for a month and all the money is to go to renovations towards the house . It seems like she’s not the only p Winter cottage is a beautifully written book about different generations of people with a house in cape Hudson. Lucy inherited the cottage which was not a cottage at all from a woman she had never met before . The only link she had was her recently deceased mother. With nowhere else to go she heads to the cottage to dig for answers. The cottage comes with conditions Lucy has to live there for a month and all the money is to go to renovations towards the house . It seems like she’s not the only person interested in the house as well. The story was amazing and I was eagerly turning the pages and I loved so many characters in this book!
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  • Joan Schulhafer
    January 1, 1970
    Mary Ellen Taylor is back! Or will be at the end of August 2018. I work with Mary Ellen and have had the opportunity to read an early version. If you enjoyed Mary Ellen Taylor's previous books (The Union Street Baker, etc.) as much as I did, you won't want to miss this. It is not connected to her earlier Alexandria books, so don't expect more about the McCraes--though I miss them, too. It's a wonderful blend of disparate lives, past and present, capturing the rhythms of Virginia's eastern shore, Mary Ellen Taylor is back! Or will be at the end of August 2018. I work with Mary Ellen and have had the opportunity to read an early version. If you enjoyed Mary Ellen Taylor's previous books (The Union Street Baker, etc.) as much as I did, you won't want to miss this. It is not connected to her earlier Alexandria books, so don't expect more about the McCraes--though I miss them, too. It's a wonderful blend of disparate lives, past and present, capturing the rhythms of Virginia's eastern shore, and the push and pull of the ties that bind---the ties that make home, home. 8/10/18 NOTE: Pub day is now a little later--October 16, 2018.
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  • Elsie Broadbent
    January 1, 1970
    My first read under the name Mary Ellen Taylor and a delightful book it was. I am so used to reading this author as Mary Burton that it took me by surprise how gentle and interesting it was. Lucy has come to bring her Mother's ashes back to her small hometown, not wanting to stay as she loves her life in Nashville, but there is a hero called Hank and things go on from there. I particularly liked the time shift, going backwards to Claire's story and retold to Beth, Lucy's Mum, by Mrs Buchanan who My first read under the name Mary Ellen Taylor and a delightful book it was. I am so used to reading this author as Mary Burton that it took me by surprise how gentle and interesting it was. Lucy has come to bring her Mother's ashes back to her small hometown, not wanting to stay as she loves her life in Nashville, but there is a hero called Hank and things go on from there. I particularly liked the time shift, going backwards to Claire's story and retold to Beth, Lucy's Mum, by Mrs Buchanan who had her own love story to tell. All in all, different but well worth a read.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    Original review can be found at https://kristineandterri.blogspot.com...** I received an advanced readers copy from Montlake Romance via NetGalley in exchamge for an honest review. Thank you!**Winter Cottage was the story of different generations of people with a house in Cape Hudson in common. It weaved back and forth in time to connect the dots to present day. Lucy inherited the cottage, which was not a cottage at all, from a woman she had never met in a town she had never heard of that had a Original review can be found at https://kristineandterri.blogspot.com...** I received an advanced readers copy from Montlake Romance via NetGalley in exchamge for an honest review. Thank you!**Winter Cottage was the story of different generations of people with a house in Cape Hudson in common. It weaved back and forth in time to connect the dots to present day. Lucy inherited the cottage, which was not a cottage at all, from a woman she had never met in a town she had never heard of that had a direct link to her recently deceased mother. With nowhere else to go and in the hopes of getting some answers she travelled from Nashville with her mother's dog to do just that. The cottage came with some conditions though. Lucy had to live there for at least a month and and all of the money attached to it was meant only for renovations to the house. On top of that, she wasn't the only one wanting the house or land attached to it. Also, she seemed to unintentionally inherit a young girl as well.I was all in with this book. This was the type of book that I generally always enjoy. A story with secrets that span generations that unfold to make sense of the present. I wanted to know what Lucy's connection to the past was and why she was gifted the house. The house swept me away and I was enjoying all aspects of it. In this type of story I normally enjoy the past story the most but I found myself enjoying Lucy and the present day story equally as much. I especially enjoyed her relationship with her unintentional house guest and I wanted to know why her mother left and never looked back.The story flowed nicely and it was easy to get caught up in the plot and the setting. I found Cape Hudson and it's characters so charming and easy to like. I almost felt like I was there and experiencing everything with Lucy in the present and Beth and Claire in their respective pasts. It was no wonder that I was able to finish this book so quickly. One sitting was all it took.This was the first book for me by Mary Ellen Taylor but judging by how much I enjoyed it, it certainly won't be the last. I very much look forward to what she comes out with next and will be sure to check out her previous work.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsChallenges:♥ RRRC October 2018 Monthly Challenge #3. Featured Author Challenge
  • Yeni
    January 1, 1970
    I have read books by this author and have always enjoyed her Mary Burton books. This was a nice change for me. I have always preferred books that deal with police procedure. This book is nothing like her other stories. I do recommend it if you are looking for a story that has mystery but without the gruesome murder. There is a murder but it is not as detailed as the ones from her other books. The characters are interesting and you are hoping for the best in the end for each one. It is a sweet st I have read books by this author and have always enjoyed her Mary Burton books. This was a nice change for me. I have always preferred books that deal with police procedure. This book is nothing like her other stories. I do recommend it if you are looking for a story that has mystery but without the gruesome murder. There is a murder but it is not as detailed as the ones from her other books. The characters are interesting and you are hoping for the best in the end for each one. It is a sweet story that changes between different time periods. I enjoyed the various characters, but felt sympathy for them because they all endure so much heartache. You are hoping that by the end they can find the happiness that they all deserve. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet romance. -Yeni
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  • Cheryl
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first time reading Mary Burton's alter persona, Mary Ellen Taylor. This "softer" side of Mary is nice. A very good change from the thrillers. Although, my favorite will be the thrillers. I enjoyed this book a lot that I will have to check out other books from this persona. The duo storylines were good. Yet, I was more partial to the past time period of 1988 and Claire. Instantly, the emotional connection that I formed with Claire was strong. Whereas; with Lucy, it took a bit longer fo This is my first time reading Mary Burton's alter persona, Mary Ellen Taylor. This "softer" side of Mary is nice. A very good change from the thrillers. Although, my favorite will be the thrillers. I enjoyed this book a lot that I will have to check out other books from this persona. The duo storylines were good. Yet, I was more partial to the past time period of 1988 and Claire. Instantly, the emotional connection that I formed with Claire was strong. Whereas; with Lucy, it took a bit longer for me to warm up to her. However, as the story progressed and I learned her story, I did feel for her. The more I read; the more invested I became in the story as well as the characters. Thus, making this an easy and quick read. Mary Ellen Taylor pens a heart warming story that will touch readers in the heart with Winter Cottage!
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  • Lisa Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this story by Mary Ellen Taylor. I have read numerous books by Mary Burton who also writes as Mary Ellen Taylor and Ms. Burton is a must read for this reader. The author does a great job of conveying the fear, heartache and joy of the characters through multiple generations and difficult circumstances such as class differences, the onset of World War I and how the loss of a parent/s is dealt with by children of all ages from young teens to adults. This was a truly entertaining r I really enjoyed this story by Mary Ellen Taylor. I have read numerous books by Mary Burton who also writes as Mary Ellen Taylor and Ms. Burton is a must read for this reader. The author does a great job of conveying the fear, heartache and joy of the characters through multiple generations and difficult circumstances such as class differences, the onset of World War I and how the loss of a parent/s is dealt with by children of all ages from young teens to adults. This was a truly entertaining read and I will definitely be reading more of Mary Ellen Taylor’s work.
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  • TheHauteBookworm
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! I was hooked immediately! So captivated and intrigued I couldn’t put the book down, reading from beginning to end in one sitting. The two main characters Lucy and Claire, generations apart, tell their stories. We visit each era and character’s life simultaneously while being held to the edge of your seat needing to know the answers to the unsolved mysteries. But the story line doesn’t stop there! You find you also need to know who Lucy’s father is, will Claire finally reconnec I loved this book! I was hooked immediately! So captivated and intrigued I couldn’t put the book down, reading from beginning to end in one sitting. The two main characters Lucy and Claire, generations apart, tell their stories. We visit each era and character’s life simultaneously while being held to the edge of your seat needing to know the answers to the unsolved mysteries. But the story line doesn’t stop there! You find you also need to know who Lucy’s father is, will Claire finally reconnect with the love of her life, and the biggest question…how Claire and Lucy are connected. The author weaves the multiple story lines wonderfully. The story includes history, mysteries, tragedy, and love. It was well written and definitely worth the read!I read an ARC of this book via Netgalley. My fair and honest review is voluntary.
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  • Janet Friesner
    January 1, 1970
    Great book. Great new author. Saw this book advertised on Facebook for 4.99 and the blurb sounded really good so bought it and read it and it was extremely good. A page turner that you did not want to put down nor did you want it to end. Checked out the book store and saw that she had written a couple other books that I will definitely buy and read. Highly recommended.
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  • Kathleen Gray
    January 1, 1970
    When is a cottage not a cottage? That's the surprise waiting for Lucy when she arrives in Cape Hudson, Virginia. It sets her off into an exploration of her family and a search for answers. A dual time line novel, it's primarily set in 1916 and the present day but there's also an interlude in 1988 when Beth interviews Catherine about her past, which leads us to Clare. This sounds confusing but it's not. This is not a romance (although there are love interests) but an intergenerational tale of wom When is a cottage not a cottage? That's the surprise waiting for Lucy when she arrives in Cape Hudson, Virginia. It sets her off into an exploration of her family and a search for answers. A dual time line novel, it's primarily set in 1916 and the present day but there's also an interlude in 1988 when Beth interviews Catherine about her past, which leads us to Clare. This sounds confusing but it's not. This is not a romance (although there are love interests) but an intergenerational tale of women. Thanks to NEtgalley for the ARC. For fans of family sagas.
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  • Owl._.
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this story. Well-written, with well-developed complex characters. The whole story was wonderful from start to finish. This would be a great book club selection.Thank you #netgalley and #montlakeromance for the eARC.
  • Romancing the Book
    January 1, 1970
    Reviewed by JoAnneBook provided by NetgalleyReview originally posted at Romancing the Book Winter Cottage was not what I was expecting at all. A multi-generational story that takes place in Cape Hudson, Virginia mainly in the past in 1916 as told by Claire and in 1988 by Beth and Mrs. Catherine Buchanan as well as in the present in 2018 as told by Lucy. There were many characters and they all played an important role even if it didn’t seem so at first. There were a lot of twists to the story bu Reviewed by JoAnneBook provided by NetgalleyReview originally posted at Romancing the Book Winter Cottage was not what I was expecting at all. A multi-generational story that takes place in Cape Hudson, Virginia mainly in the past in 1916 as told by Claire and in 1988 by Beth and Mrs. Catherine Buchanan as well as in the present in 2018 as told by Lucy. There were many characters and they all played an important role even if it didn’t seem so at first. There were a lot of twists to the story but by the end all the connections were made. My only complaint was that the story ended too abruptly for me. An epilogue would have given me the closure I was looking for.Beth is interviewing Mrs. B for a high school history project and I think she got more than she bargained for. Mrs. B, is close to one hundred years old but still holds her memories fresh. Lucy is Beth’s daughter but until her mother was dying and told her she wanted her ashes buried in Cape Hudson she had no idea that was where her mom was not only from, but ran from while a teenager. Not knowing who her father is or that her grandfather that she never knew or knew about only died a few years before leaves Lucy with a lot of unanswered questions. The people she meets in town, love to gossip, and help her fill in the blanks especially about her mother. They know everything that happens almost as soon as it occurs. As Lucy learns about the Winter Cottage , which is so much more than a cottage, and the stipulations that come with it, she wonders why it was left to her grandfather, then her mother and now her.There are family and friends, many secrets, the wealthy and their servants, the water and boats, the lighthouse, the winery, orphans, treasures to be found, sadness, fear, anger, hurt, small town life, truths told and lots of dalliances. There’s an undercurrent of unhappiness throughout along with the potential for ghosts. The characters had a depth to them that we learned about a little at a time. Lucy’s dog, Dolly, that she inherited from her mother went everywhere with her and seemed to understand what was going on around her. She helped ground Lucy and also the neighbor child, Natasha, who had her own story unfold. There was a potential happily ever after in the offing but it didn’t go far enough. The Reader’s Group Questions were a nice addition but didn’t go deep enough. I liked the inclusion of the two recipes in the back of the book, desserts that had been mentioned a time or two in the book.Ms. Taylor is a new to me author. I look forward to reading more of her books but hope for better closure. She’s also written suspense novels under the name of Mary Burton.Favorite Quote: “She dated a lot of boys. Very popular girl, your mama.” The woman leaned in, studying Lucy. “Can’t say you look like any of the boys I knew back in the day. It’s as if your mama made you all by herself and just spit you out.”
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  • Connie Fischer
    January 1, 1970
    Cape Hudson, Virginia - 1988Mrs. Catherine Buchanan, age 100, is sitting with Beth Jessup who is recording Catherine’s stories as part of a school project Beth is working on. Catherine was born in Cape Hudson in 1888. When her mother died giving birth to her seventh child and when Catherine was just age 12, the children were sent various places. Catherine went to work for the Buchanans and they book her to New York. She helped the ladies maids and soon became personal maid to Miss Victoria Bucha Cape Hudson, Virginia - 1988Mrs. Catherine Buchanan, age 100, is sitting with Beth Jessup who is recording Catherine’s stories as part of a school project Beth is working on. Catherine was born in Cape Hudson in 1888. When her mother died giving birth to her seventh child and when Catherine was just age 12, the children were sent various places. Catherine went to work for the Buchanans and they book her to New York. She helped the ladies maids and soon became personal maid to Miss Victoria Buchanan who would one day be her sister-in-law. Catherine is intrigued by Beth who is interviewing her and Beth agrees to return to talk to her. They do a number of recordings as Catherine relates the history of the Winter Cottage and the Buchanan family.Cape Hudson, Virginia - 2018Lucy Kincaid has arrived in Cape Hudson with an urn holding her the ashes of her mother. Beth. Just before she died, Beth had inherited property which now belongs to Lucy. It is a very large home called Winter Cottage. She has driven her rickety car from Nashville bringing her mother’s dog, Dolly. She had promised her mother that she would take care of Dolly and bury her mother’s ashes in the Buchanan family graveyard at Winter Cottage. Beth is surprised how large the place is. She meets with Hank who is handling the estate. By rights, it should have been left to him. But the will states that Lucy must life in the house for a short period of time. If she wishes to remain, she can and use the monies to fix up the place. If it’s not where she wants to live, Hank will buy her out for significantly less than the worth of the house and she must leave.Beth had told Lucy some of the history of the place and she is intrigued to find the tapes that Bath made. Lucy is hoping to learn more about her mother’s past and maybe even find out who her father is.The Cottage is located not far from the water and the town is small. Because there is not a lot of employment, many people have left. However, there are still those who remember Beth and word quickly gets around that Lucy is is town and people want to meet her.The story switches back and forth in time as all of members of the wealthy Buchanan family spend some time at the house. We learn about their romances and their secrets. Even today, Beth is still trying to find the secrets that have been kept for many years.I grew up in the Tidewater, Virginia area and am somewhat familiar with this area. The story is well-written depicting the different time periods. There is love, hate, romance, and death. If you like a small town story with secrets, this may just be the book for youCopy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Jani Brooks
    January 1, 1970
    Cape Hudson, Virginia – 1916, 1988, 20181988 - Catherine Buchanan allows teenager Beth Jessup to video her interview for a school project, but she will always keep a secret that she hopes will never be known. Catherine’s past is tied to Winter Cottage and the former owners, her husband’s parents, who never approved of her marriage to their son. And Catherine’s young love for another town member will not be mentioned to Beth either.2018 - Lucy Kincaid is on a quest her dying mother sent her on. W Cape Hudson, Virginia – 1916, 1988, 20181988 - Catherine Buchanan allows teenager Beth Jessup to video her interview for a school project, but she will always keep a secret that she hopes will never be known. Catherine’s past is tied to Winter Cottage and the former owners, her husband’s parents, who never approved of her marriage to their son. And Catherine’s young love for another town member will not be mentioned to Beth either.2018 - Lucy Kincaid is on a quest her dying mother sent her on. Wild, unpredictable, but loving Beth wants her daughter to return to Beth’s hometown to claim an inheritance. Beth had always kept her past a secret, especially as to who Lucy’s father is. Now, with Beth’s ashes and her young German Shepherd in tow, Lucy is in Cape Hudson to find the house that was left to her mother. The small town is well aware of who Lucy is and the citizens remember Beth very well.When Lucy contacts Hank Garrison, the lawyer handling the house transfer, she discovers quickly that, as friendly as Hank is, he is not exactly thrilled about her getting Winter Cottage. He reveals to her that he is trying to rebuild the town’s standing by expanding his vineyard, and that includes land around the house. Lucy isn’t sure she’s ready to settle in such an insulated community after growing up in Nashville, but she’ll make that decision soon. Once she is settled in the house, Lucy begins to research its history as well as her own family background. She finds video tapes done by her mother when she was in high school of the woman who owned Winter Cottage, and a saga begins to unfold.Lucy takes in Natasha, a twelve-year-old girl she finds hiding in her house, knowing exactly how the child must feel. Natasha lost her mother too, and her ne’er do well father’s violent and drunken behavior has left the brave little girl with a chip on her shoulder. Lucy understands Natasha’s vulnerability, and between Lucy and Hank, they want to improve her life. But how will that happen if Lucy decides not to stay in Cape Hudson? The more Lucy discovers the facts of her past, the more confused she is about her feelings for Winter Cottage, her first real home, and the friends she’s making in the small town.WINTER COTTAGE is a very entertaining and well written story of family, friendships, and a mysterious house. The characters are realistic and honest, and the mysteries are solved eventually. WINTER COTTAGE is an excellent way to end the summer.
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  • Helyce
    January 1, 1970
    Lucy Kincaid has just lost her mother Beth, to cancer. She is surprised when her mother’s last request is for Lucy to take her ashes back home to Cape Hudson, Virginia. As far as Lucy knew, home was Nashville; Beth had never mentioned Cape Hudson in much the same way she’d never told Lucy who her birth father was. Lucy also learns that she’ll inherit some property there, a home on the lake called Winter Cottage. With nothing keeping her in Nashville and her mother’s last request to fulfill, she Lucy Kincaid has just lost her mother Beth, to cancer. She is surprised when her mother’s last request is for Lucy to take her ashes back home to Cape Hudson, Virginia. As far as Lucy knew, home was Nashville; Beth had never mentioned Cape Hudson in much the same way she’d never told Lucy who her birth father was. Lucy also learns that she’ll inherit some property there, a home on the lake called Winter Cottage. With nothing keeping her in Nashville and her mother’s last request to fulfill, she bravely makes the trip in hopes of getting some answers.Once Lucy arrives she learns just how small the town is. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows who she is due to her resemblance to her mother. She meets with Hank Garrison, the attorney handling the estate of Catherine Buchanan, but he has no idea why Mrs. Buchanan left her home to Lucy. As Lucy meets people in the town, people who knew her mom, she starts to form a picture of her mother as a young girl. She asks questions and reads old newspaper clippings, and when she finds a box of vhs tapes in Winter Cottage and begins to watch them, she learns so much more than she bargained for.In 1988, when Beth is just 16, she visits Mrs. Catherine Buchanan and asks to interview her for a history project. Mrs. Buchanan agrees and begins to tell the story of a young woman named Claire Hedrick who was a lady’s made to Victoria Buchanan in 1904. As Mrs. “B” tells her story, we meet an interesting cast of characters, and witness how lies and secrets affect those who come after them.This story is so much more than just a romance. There is mystery and intrigue as the author weaves a tale that pulls you in. We meet three women from three different time periods who are somehow connected by something that happened in the past. I was completely enthralled as I read, trying to figure out just what had happened to get us to where this story begins. I literally began to create a family tree as characters were introduced because I love to try to solve the mystery before the author chooses to reveal everything. This is a story of strong women, who persevere in spite of the hand they are dealt. Who had to make difficult decisions to protect the people they loved and who suffered the consequences of those choices. It’s a love story, the truest, deepest kind, the kind that is just meant to be, but is never realized for reasons beyond anyone's control. And its the story of a woman who years later was able to right a wrong and give a home to the people who really needed it.I really enjoyed how this story unfolds. It’s layered brilliantly, hints are revealed subtly, allowing the reader to form conclusions and fall in love along with Claire. It is deep and sad, and you’ll feel angry too, because life is just so unfair sometimes. In the end, though, I felt some satisfaction by all that is revealed and was pleased to see the choices Lucy makes.
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  • Marti
    January 1, 1970
    Mary Ellen Taylor is a new author to me and I really enjoyed her book, Winter Cottage. The novel starts out as a seemingly simplistic story that morphs into three storylines that draw you into the novel. Lucy Kincaid was asked by her mother to bring her ashes back to her home for burial. Lucy also found out she was the owner of a place called Winter Cottage. Lucy had no idea that this was the town her mother came from. The story moves between the present, the near past and the past. I enjoyed ho Mary Ellen Taylor is a new author to me and I really enjoyed her book, Winter Cottage. The novel starts out as a seemingly simplistic story that morphs into three storylines that draw you into the novel. Lucy Kincaid was asked by her mother to bring her ashes back to her home for burial. Lucy also found out she was the owner of a place called Winter Cottage. Lucy had no idea that this was the town her mother came from. The story moves between the present, the near past and the past. I enjoyed how the story was laid out and found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next. I think one reason I enjoyed the book so much was the drama in the past and how that information played forward into the present. I think one of my favorite characters was the unexpected visitor, who ended up staying. Having said that - I also felt that was unrealistic for this present time period. I also enjoyed have the story be centered around women within differing generations - seeing the strength of character. Mary Ellen Taylor is an author I will look for and read again. Winter Cottage was a good read.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Winter Cottage review - no spoilers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.I got major Kate Morton vibes while reading this one - which isn't a bad thing! Take a mysterious house, multiple time periods, and mix in some family drama and you've got the makings of a great book. Winter Cottage crosses three timelines which all link together to tell the story of the winter cottage and what it means to the main character, Lucy Kincaid who has recently returned to her late mother's hometown to honour her wishes. .Upon her arrival she Winter Cottage review - no spoilers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐.I got major Kate Morton vibes while reading this one - which isn't a bad thing! Take a mysterious house, multiple time periods, and mix in some family drama and you've got the makings of a great book. Winter Cottage crosses three timelines which all link together to tell the story of the winter cottage and what it means to the main character, Lucy Kincaid who has recently returned to her late mother's hometown to honour her wishes. .Upon her arrival she is told she has inherited the Winter Cottage (which is more like a mansion) and under certain circumstances can keep it with zero cost. .However Lucy, used to her Nashville life, isn't certain she wants to stay in this small town but there are questions she has and this is the place to get them answered. Who is her father? What is the connection between her mother and the original owner of the winter cottage? And whose ancient bones were found at the bottom of the well on the property? .As answers are unearthed is it too much for Lucy? Will she stay or will she go?You gotta read it to find out. Lucky for you, it's released this month so you don't have to wait long !..Many thanks to #netgalley and #montlakeromance for this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Yvonne Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    This book was Great!! Told by two different women in different times. As Lucy's mom is on her death bed she tells her she wants her ashes to be taken home.Home? Lucy has no idea what she is talking about. She always thought Nashville was home.Lucy leaves Nashville to head for Cape Hudson, Virginia where she has just inherited a winter cottage.Lucy is not sure what to think when she arrives, and finds out that this is not some small cottagebut a large estate. She also learns that she must live in This book was Great!! Told by two different women in different times. As Lucy's mom is on her death bed she tells her she wants her ashes to be taken home.Home? Lucy has no idea what she is talking about. She always thought Nashville was home.Lucy leaves Nashville to head for Cape Hudson, Virginia where she has just inherited a winter cottage.Lucy is not sure what to think when she arrives, and finds out that this is not some small cottagebut a large estate. She also learns that she must live in the house for a certain amount of time or the home forfeits to the next heir. Next in line just happens to be tall and handsome Hank. He has been leasing part of the land from Lucy's grandfather for years, and now the lease is up, and Hank has big plans for the property and keeping the town of Cape Hudson alive.Lucy has never known any family besides her mother. Returning to Beths home town, will she learn who her father is? There is so many secrets, and the this book keeps you guessing until the very end.I will be thinking about this book for a long time.I would like to Thank NetGalley for letting me read an early copy, to review.
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  • Lovey Dovey Books
    January 1, 1970
    Published on Lovey Dovey BooksMary Ellen Taylor's latest read is a compelling drama that finds Lucy Kincaid accepting her mother's inheritance in a small Virginian town only to find that the secrets that brought her there might just be her undoing.Winter Cottage is a unique, fast-paced romantic mystery that will completely captivate readers. I was happy to dive into this story, not only because it's set near my hometown, but because it has a gothic vibe perfect for an autumn night reading sessio Published on Lovey Dovey BooksMary Ellen Taylor's latest read is a compelling drama that finds Lucy Kincaid accepting her mother's inheritance in a small Virginian town only to find that the secrets that brought her there might just be her undoing.Winter Cottage is a unique, fast-paced romantic mystery that will completely captivate readers. I was happy to dive into this story, not only because it's set near my hometown, but because it has a gothic vibe perfect for an autumn night reading session. Lucy's exploration of Cape Hudson leads her to it's residents. Some who knew her mother, and remembered her fondly, and others filled with hope for the resurrection of their dead town. I loved that her decision to stay was up in the air until the very last few chapters. It gave her time to decide what she wanted and whether she could truly put down roots there, something she's never had to contemplate before now.The back and forth from past and present is balanced and makes solving the mystery a unique experience. The videos that gave Lucy insight into Winter Cottage's past residents were full of secrets that pulled me further into the novel. It's so easy to get wrapped into the lives of the characters because they're realistic and full of juicy secrets! If you enjoy Mary Ellen Taylor's novels as Mary Burton, then you'll definitely enjoy Winter Cottage.*ARC provided in consideration for review*
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    This is a first for me by this author... but certainly not the last. I loved her writing style and the way the dual timeline weaved back and forth was brilliant.The story starts with an interview... the original owner of the Winter Cottage, Catherine Buchanan, as part of a school project by Beth Jessup and continues with Lucy Kincaid returning to Winter Cottage to claim her inheritance. Lucy inherits the cottage, which is not a cottage at all, from a woman she has never met in a town she has nev This is a first for me by this author... but certainly not the last. I loved her writing style and the way the dual timeline weaved back and forth was brilliant.The story starts with an interview... the original owner of the Winter Cottage, Catherine Buchanan, as part of a school project by Beth Jessup and continues with Lucy Kincaid returning to Winter Cottage to claim her inheritance. Lucy inherits the cottage, which is not a cottage at all, from a woman she has never met in a town she has never heard of that has a direct link to her recently deceased mother. She travels from Nashville with her mother's dog in the hopes of getting some answers.The cottage comes with some conditions though... Lucy has to live there for at least a month. All of the money attached to it is meant only for renovations to the house. On top of that, she isn't the only one wanting the house or land attached to it. Hank Garrison, the lawyer handling the house transfer is not exactly thrilled about her getting Winter Cottage. He reveals to her that he is trying to rebuild the town’s standing by expanding his vineyard, and that includes land around the house.Also, she seems to unintentionally inherit a young girl, twelve-year-old Natasha has lost her mother too, and her ne’er do well father’s violent and drunken behaviour has left the brave little girl with a chip on her shoulder.Lucy and Hank want to improve Natasha's life. But how will that happen if Lucy decides not to stay in Cape Hudson? The more Lucy discovers the facts of her past, the more confused she is about her feelings for Winter Cottage. A story of family, friendships, a mysterious house that will have you hooked until the end.Thank-You Netgalley for my ARC.
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  • Desirée
    January 1, 1970
    “This house wasn’t bricks and mortar for her, but a tangle of memories...”Winter Cottage is easily one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year! Everything about this book was enjoyable; the plot, the setting, and the characters. The book is about a woman, Lucy Kincaid, inheriting a house after her mother passes. Lucy never even knew about the house located where her mother grew up, nor did she know much about her mother’s past. Lucy journeys from Nashville to Cape Hudson, Virginia with her “This house wasn’t bricks and mortar for her, but a tangle of memories...”Winter Cottage is easily one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year! Everything about this book was enjoyable; the plot, the setting, and the characters. The book is about a woman, Lucy Kincaid, inheriting a house after her mother passes. Lucy never even knew about the house located where her mother grew up, nor did she know much about her mother’s past. Lucy journeys from Nashville to Cape Hudson, Virginia with her late mother’s dog, Dolly. Cape Hudson is a small town so naturally everyone knows everything about everyone and the whole town is anticipating Lucy’s arrival to see what she is like and wonder if she will keep the house known as Winter Cottage or sell it and leave. And Winter Cottage, is hardly a cottage, it is a grand estate that holds the key for Lucy to find answers about her family and possibly put down roots she’s never really had.This novel flips between past and present time periods, but it’s written well so it doesn’t get confusing and it flows well. I really enjoyed each character’s stories in the different time periods (I especially loved reading the stories told by Claire, which were set in 1916.) Overall, it was a very enjoyable read. This was the first book that I have read by Mary Ellen Taylor and I look forward to reading more. Thank you NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the opportunity to read and review this.
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  • Kimberley
    January 1, 1970
    Every story needs a little bit of intrigue. Winter Cottage absolutely delivers on that and more. While technically a “romance” novel (published by Montlake Romance) I wouldn’t deem it that. Yes, there are definitely romantic scenes and undertones, but this story is so much more than that. Ms. Catherine Buchanan is the central figure in this story. The woman who brings it all together. We first meet Catherine in 1988 when she agrees to share her history with young Beth Kincaid, a high school seni Every story needs a little bit of intrigue. Winter Cottage absolutely delivers on that and more. While technically a “romance” novel (published by Montlake Romance) I wouldn’t deem it that. Yes, there are definitely romantic scenes and undertones, but this story is so much more than that. Ms. Catherine Buchanan is the central figure in this story. The woman who brings it all together. We first meet Catherine in 1988 when she agrees to share her history with young Beth Kincaid, a high school senior. Beth is doing a video project to record Ms. Buchanan’s life history, which is nearing its 100 year mark. Catherine has amazing stories to share, and Beth, who has her own history, is eager to soak them up.Beth and Catherine live in the small town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. Both women have spent most of their lives in this small town. Beth is dying to get out of it. Catherine has never wanted to live anywhere else. Catherine hooks us right away with her story of Claire and the Buchanan family.Spin forward thirty years and we meet Lucy Kincaid, arriving in Cape Hudson to who knows what. She brings with her a dog named Dolly Parton, a Jeep on its last legs, and an urn holding her mother’s ashes. She has no idea why she is in this tiny town or her connection to it. Her mother, on her deathbed, revealed that she had inherited a property in Cape Hudson, and Lucy was to go their after her mom’s death. And so the mystery begins.These characters of Catherine, Beth & Lucy are all such unique and full people. You can truly picture Catherine, elegant and wise at nearly 100 years old. Beth, young and full of life, truly believing that the grass was greener somewhere else. And Lucy, young and tough due to the circumstances of her life. These three women captured my attention and kept me turning pages until I could reach the end of their stories. Taylor masterfully crafts these full characters and weaves each story so beautifully. I was captivated by it.Again, while classified as a romance novel, and yes, it contains some romance, it is more a story of the three strong women who share a tangible connection to life and love. The romance is secondary to their intriguing stories about life.
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  • Gail Chianese
    January 1, 1970
    Definitely a great read! Mary Ellen Taylor did a fabulous job of weaving interconnecting stories from the past and present. If you’re a fan out Downton Abbey, then you’ll like WINTER COTTAGE. The story starts out in the not so distant past as a young girl begins her senior project by interviewing long-time resident and centenarian, Mrs. Catherine Buchanan: owner of Winter Cottage. I was immediately drawn in by these two characters; so very different from each other, but clearly kindred spirits. Definitely a great read! Mary Ellen Taylor did a fabulous job of weaving interconnecting stories from the past and present. If you’re a fan out Downton Abbey, then you’ll like WINTER COTTAGE. The story starts out in the not so distant past as a young girl begins her senior project by interviewing long-time resident and centenarian, Mrs. Catherine Buchanan: owner of Winter Cottage. I was immediately drawn in by these two characters; so very different from each other, but clearly kindred spirits. What tales did Mrs. Buchanan have to tell, what secrets of the rich and powerful did she have to spill? We then switch to the present with Lucy Kincaid returning to her mother’s hometown, a place she’d never even heard of until her mother was dying, and to a property that no one knows why was willed to her mom and now her. So we have that mystery. Plus, there’s the mystery of why her mom ran away the day before graduation and who is Lucy’s father. If all of that weren’t enough to draw you in, you have wonderful, witty, charming characters like Arlene (Lucy’s mom’s high school best friend), Hank Garrison (I completely fell for this guy with his honestly and a streak of integrity a mile wide…so refreshing), and of course, twelve year-old Natasha. The story bounces back and forth from the distant past (1916) to the near past (1988), to the present as you learn about these women’s lives and the choices they’ve made. I was totally taken by the story of “Claire,” a seamstress working for the wealthy Buchanans. Oh, how different life was a hundred years ago, and not necessarily for the better. It was a fascinating and believable tale of life and relationships between the upstairs and downstairs residents. And just as I was captivated by Claire’s story, so was I with Lucy. The characters are well developed and the plot is solid, with good characters that you like, love or in some cases, hate. It’s a tale of home and ties that bind, and of family and one not to be missed.
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