If You Must Know (Potomac Point, #1)
Life turns upside down for two sisters in Wall Street Journal bestselling author Jamie Beck’s emotional novel about how secrets and differences can break—or bind—a family.Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.

If You Must Know (Potomac Point, #1) Details

TitleIf You Must Know (Potomac Point, #1)
Author
ReleaseJun 1st, 2020
PublisherMontlake Romance
ISBN-139781542008716
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit

If You Must Know (Potomac Point, #1) Review

  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    My Rating: 3.5 StarsThey grew up as sisters distanced by their own style of seeing and acting out life. Amanda followed the rules, lived for the rewards of being the perfect daughter, wife and mother-to-be. Then her life took a shocking and painful spin out of control. Erin lives a Bohemian lifestyle, more colorful, more visionary than her black and white sister. Their differences caused tension in their family, but now as adults, deceit, loss and betrayal may be what brings them to a new unders My Rating: 3.5 StarsThey grew up as sisters distanced by their own style of seeing and acting out life. Amanda followed the rules, lived for the rewards of being the perfect daughter, wife and mother-to-be. Then her life took a shocking and painful spin out of control. Erin lives a Bohemian lifestyle, more colorful, more visionary than her black and white sister. Their differences caused tension in their family, but now as adults, deceit, loss and betrayal may be what brings them to a new understanding and acceptance. Family secrets, petty jealousies and selfishness mark this tale of two sisters who may find they have more in common than DNA. IF YOU MUST KNOW by Jamie Beck has all of the makings of a truly deep and soul-level read, one that readers could say, that’s me or I know someone like that, but for me, it fell short.I’m not sure if it was the portrayal of the mother, as being feeble at a young age, even before she did seem to have problems or perhaps the whining of Amanda, who quite frankly, put me off really enjoying the powerful message of this tale. Instead, I felt her own insular ideals of the perfect life made her less real to me.Erin had her share of ups and downs, too, but her break up with her boyfriend seemed almost too contrived, too convenient, other than that, she made this story for me.Not a fast-paced read, filled with heavy angst and surface resolutions, but not a lot of growth for all of the characters. This just missed the mark for me in the family saga department.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Montlake Romance! This is my honest and voluntary review.Series: Potomac Point - Book 1Publisher: Montlake Romance (June 1, 2020)Publication Date: June 1, 2020Genre: Women's Fiction | Family SagaPrint Length: 362 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Jamie Beck
    January 1, 1970
    ***Note from the author***Thank you for considering reading and reviewing my next novel, IF YOU MUST KNOW. This book is special to me because it’s my first foray into writing mainstream fiction. When I decided to pivot away from romance, my goal was to craft something entertaining and a bit escapist while also maintaining some heart. Like most of my previous books, this one involves a complicated family. But while many family stories trade in material secrets or substantial betrayals, I’ve chose ***Note from the author***Thank you for considering reading and reviewing my next novel, IF YOU MUST KNOW. This book is special to me because it’s my first foray into writing mainstream fiction. When I decided to pivot away from romance, my goal was to craft something entertaining and a bit escapist while also maintaining some heart. Like most of my previous books, this one involves a complicated family. But while many family stories trade in material secrets or substantial betrayals, I’ve chosen to explore the ways common sibling rivalries and petty jealousies affect family dynamics and individuals’ perceptions--of themselves and of one another.I drew inspiration for elements of this sister story’s plot from two sources: my mother’s best friend, who, at 74 years old, sold her house and now sails the East Coast and Caribbean year-round on her trawler; and the many stories my best friend’s husband, a forensic accountant, has told us throughout the years. For the bit of whimsy needed to lighten up the fictional family’s grieving of their fallen patriarch, I turned to my mother-in-law, a medium, to thread in the possibility of this trio of women communicating with the dead. My research took me everywhere from speaking with multiple law enforcement professionals to learning to make homemade sugar scrubs, so I had a lot of fun while writing this novel. I hope that joy bleeds through and adds to your reading experience.In the end, I want the message most people take away from the story to be that our attitudes toward others often determine their attitudes toward us. And don't worry, there's still a little love story woven into this tale!XO-Jamie B
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  • Antonella
    January 1, 1970
    If You Must Know is women fiction book that follows lives of two sisters Amanda and Erin, when they lives implode after certain things come to light. These two are very different. Amanda is married one, kindergarten teacher, the introvert, always doing the right thing. On the other hand Erin is free spirited, yoga instructor, taking life how it comes, tells it like it is. The whole family is dealing with still fresh loss of their father. But everything is worse when Amanda finds out that her hus If You Must Know is women fiction book that follows lives of two sisters Amanda and Erin, when they lives implode after certain things come to light. These two are very different. Amanda is married one, kindergarten teacher, the introvert, always doing the right thing. On the other hand Erin is free spirited, yoga instructor, taking life how it comes, tells it like it is. The whole family is dealing with still fresh loss of their father. But everything is worse when Amanda finds out that her husband is having an affair. Erin love life is no better after her ex boyfriend steals her valuable music records. They all have to come to terms with all the trouble they are facing individually and together as a family. Pros; * good writing & pace of the story* interesting story line * Erin and Amanda opposites makes for good points of view from both sides* family relationships; I am glad that Amanda and Erin worked on their issues and sister bondCons; * ending is more of happy for now which is subjective thing that I didn't like very much * besides main issues with Amanda's husband nothing really resolved with certainty, which again can be my subjective thing * I am left curious did I miss what is going on with their mother health * I am unhappy how relationship between Erin and her mother is dealt with, through out the book she is awful to her and than everything is good in one sentence * very little romance Overall, this is a solid novel. It is a first in a series and I am not sure which characters will next book be about but Potomac Point is excellent small town setting. I read this author before and her work now it reminds me of the transition that Kristan Higgins did years ago. I'm excited for what is to come. 3,5 starsThanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion
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  • Sarah Prendergast (lifeandbookswithme)
    January 1, 1970
    If You Must Know by Jamie Beck - 2.5 stars - Amazon PublishingA special thanks for @amazonpublishing sending me this ARC in the mail. Sisters Amanda and Erin have never gotten along. They live extremely different lives and don’t seem to have much in common. Their father passes away suddenly after a stroke, leaving them to sort out their new family dynamic without him. In the midst of their grief, they come together to support each other and their mother. Amanda’s perfect marriage is upended when If You Must Know by Jamie Beck - 2.5 stars - Amazon PublishingA special thanks for @amazonpublishing sending me this ARC in the mail. Sisters Amanda and Erin have never gotten along. They live extremely different lives and don’t seem to have much in common. Their father passes away suddenly after a stroke, leaving them to sort out their new family dynamic without him. In the midst of their grief, they come together to support each other and their mother. Amanda’s perfect marriage is upended when she discovers her husband hasn’t been being honest with her about basically anything. Erin tries to help Amanda as she navigates being pregnant and restarting her life while dealing with her own issues. There is still a secret left between them and Erin is terrified of the damage that could occur to their relationship if Amanda finds out.I don’t usually read this genre so that may be part of the reason why I didn’t enjoy this novel. In fact, I would love to hear from other people who read it. Amanda and Erin’s personalities are clearly described and the tone of the writing is very casual, making it an easy read. However, I found the climax to be unrealistic as well as the resolution to the problem. It was also dragging a bit at the end and I found myself skimming the pages. If it was a little bit shorter with more action in between, I think I would have enjoyed it more. The complexity of relationships within families was definitely the main theme in this novel and I just needed to be portrayed with a little bit more of a deeper significance.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/ 5 starsIf You Must Know is the first book in the Potomac Point series. It can be read as a standalone.I would categorize this book as Women's Fiction. The book is a family drama with some romance.There are two female narrators who are sisters: Amanda and Erin (1st person POVs).These sisters could not be any more different. Amanda is married and pregnant. She is a nursery school teacher. She likes everything tidy and organized. She thinks things through carefully.Erin is a yoga teacher. And 4.5/ 5 starsIf You Must Know is the first book in the Potomac Point series. It can be read as a standalone.I would categorize this book as Women's Fiction. The book is a family drama with some romance.There are two female narrators who are sisters: Amanda and Erin (1st person POVs).These sisters could not be any more different. Amanda is married and pregnant. She is a nursery school teacher. She likes everything tidy and organized. She thinks things through carefully.Erin is a yoga teacher. And has an Etsy business. She is the complete opposite of her sister. She is carefree, spontaneous, disorganized and messy.I found the beginning to be very strong. Each sister had an interesting story. I was equally invested in both narrators.Honestly this book was not what I was expecting at all. For some reason I thought that this book was a contemporary romance. And that it would be sexy. It was nothing like that. This was an emotional and compelling read that focused on two sisters and their dynamic with their widowed mother.There was a lot happening with this family. And I could not put this book down.There were definitely a few things that happened to each sister that I saw coming. And there were a few reactions especially from Amanda and the mom that just made me roll my eyes. But other than that I really enjoyed this book a lot.I'm not exactly sure if book two has any connection to this book (maybe just where the stories take place). But I did not recognize the name of the woman who is the narrator of book two.This book does not end in a cliffhanger and can be read as a standalone.Thanks to netgalley and Montlake Romance for allowing me to read this book.
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  • LianaReads blog
    January 1, 1970
    If you must know is a great story about two sisters and their mother that are trying to support each other through some very difficult situations. The suspense kept me on edge at all times and I enjoyed the point of view of each character and their so different life story. The deceitful husband, the thought decisions that Amanda has to take to protect her unborn child, the mental health issues raised by their mother and the finding her way in life of Erin , all together made for a great few hour If you must know is a great story about two sisters and their mother that are trying to support each other through some very difficult situations. The suspense kept me on edge at all times and I enjoyed the point of view of each character and their so different life story. The deceitful husband, the thought decisions that Amanda has to take to protect her unborn child, the mental health issues raised by their mother and the finding her way in life of Erin , all together made for a great few hours of a Sunday afternoon reads. 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
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  • Hiba Ibrahim
    January 1, 1970
    I think I'm one of the few that wasn't crazy about the book. Some parts were good but I just couldn't get behind the two main characters. It felt inauthentic to me. I was bored for most of the book and only completed the book because I wanted to know how the author would wrap it up. It's in between a chick lit and a drama and fell short on both counts
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first book Jamie Beck that I have read and it was a good read. I like books about family relationships. Two sisters, Amanda and Erin. The sisters were total opposites of each other, who had totally different lives, Amanda married and Erin a kind of free spirit who lives life on the edge , but when push comes to shove the sisters come together and do what they can to look after their mother and help each other when Amanda who is pregnant and whose husband has left her for another women This is my first book Jamie Beck that I have read and it was a good read. I like books about family relationships. Two sisters, Amanda and Erin. The sisters were total opposites of each other, who had totally different lives, Amanda married and Erin a kind of free spirit who lives life on the edge , but when push comes to shove the sisters come together and do what they can to look after their mother and help each other when Amanda who is pregnant and whose husband has left her for another women. The sister’s show each other just how strong their love for each other is and what they can forget and forgive each other to build a stronger and healthier and loving relationship where they have to learn to trust each other. I like the dynamic of families, growing up without a sister, I am always fascinated by the relationship of sisters, I have seen other sisters in my family and how they respond to each and I think Jamie Beck did a wonderful job of expressing the feeling of these two sisters and also their relationship with their mother. That is something I do know about. So, this dynamic was very relatable for me. Thank you, Jamie Beck, and Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book and I look forward to my next book by Jamie to reach my TBR shelf.
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  • Jeeves Reads Romance
    January 1, 1970
    Solid but kinda slowLet me start off by saying that if you're a fan of Jamie Beck's romances... this isn't that. If You Must Know is very much women's fiction with little to no romance. Her writing always has a serious tone to it, so that wasn't unexpected here, but without the added elements of romance, this just had a sort of dry, slow feel for me. It's still well done and if you're a fan of women's fiction then it may work better for you, but definitely don't expect it to be like her past wor Solid but kinda slowLet me start off by saying that if you're a fan of Jamie Beck's romances... this isn't that. If You Must Know is very much women's fiction with little to no romance. Her writing always has a serious tone to it, so that wasn't unexpected here, but without the added elements of romance, this just had a sort of dry, slow feel for me. It's still well done and if you're a fan of women's fiction then it may work better for you, but definitely don't expect it to be like her past work.Essentially, the story follows two sisters, Amanda and Erin, who are at different places in their lives. Amanda is married and pregnant, but her seemingly perfect life comes crashing down around her when her husband's affair is exposed. And Erin is disheartened by her own relationship, so neither one is in the best place. As Amanda and Erin navigate the changes, they're forced to reevaluate the lives they've been leading.There were definitely things that I enjoyed, and Beck's writing is as solid as ever. It's got some poignant moments and characters you can relate to. Family plays a pivotal role, which was heartwarming. This one was just too heavy and serious for me - I needed a little bit of lightness to peek through (and maybe just a glimmer of romance). While there are moments of lightness, I just needed more to hold my interest.
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  • Sally Kilpatrick
    January 1, 1970
    Amanda's perfect marriage isn't so perfect.Erin's happy-go-lucky life can't continue as such indefinitely.If you must know is a story of two sisters who can't seem to get along for all of the reasons that families have difficulty functioning. It takes two tragedies--the death of their father and the betrayal of Amanda's husband--for the two sisters to reconcile. Along the way they help their grief-stricken mother as well.I enjoyed reading about how these two sisters come together when the going Amanda's perfect marriage isn't so perfect.Erin's happy-go-lucky life can't continue as such indefinitely.If you must know is a story of two sisters who can't seem to get along for all of the reasons that families have difficulty functioning. It takes two tragedies--the death of their father and the betrayal of Amanda's husband--for the two sisters to reconcile. Along the way they help their grief-stricken mother as well.I enjoyed reading about how these two sisters come together when the going gets tough--and it gets really tough, y'all.Special bonus to Jamie for creating a throwaway character named Brad Peyton. I chuckled.
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  • Kerry
    January 1, 1970
    Love, betrayal, sisterhood, family...this books has it all. And it's fantastic. IF YOU MUST KNOW was my First Read selection and my first Jamie Beck book. It won't be my last because I whipped through this very enjoyable and entertaining story. It was perfect. Exactly what I needed in the moment. Loved it.
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  • Anoeska Nossol
    January 1, 1970
    Amanda Foster and Erin Turner are totally different. Two sisters who seem to have a perfect life that suits them the best. Until a certain moment... When lies seem to take the overhand, the truth tries to find its way.The writing style was okay. Sometimes I felt like the word choice was a bit off. As if the characters changed from mentality and way of speaking. I did like the way this was portrayed. It made the setting full and enjoyable. I also loved how there were playful moments in the way of Amanda Foster and Erin Turner are totally different. Two sisters who seem to have a perfect life that suits them the best. Until a certain moment... When lies seem to take the overhand, the truth tries to find its way.The writing style was okay. Sometimes I felt like the word choice was a bit off. As if the characters changed from mentality and way of speaking. I did like the way this was portrayed. It made the setting full and enjoyable. I also loved how there were playful moments in the way of writing. It wasn't all stiff.The characters were well written. I loved how Amanda tried to be the perfect one, while Erin was a little more adventurous. The contrast between both characters was needed to make the story interesting. I felt like the plot was built around this difference between them both. For me, those characters where the most interesting thing about the whole story. I loved the way they interacted with each other. The writing style emphasized the difference between the two sisters extra.However, I felt like the story didn't stick with me. It's a good one, but it didn't blow me away. I wasn't able to keep concentrate. Felt like some parts were a little slow. It didn't catch my attention enough to truly adore this story. Which I why I went for a three-star 'it's okay'-review. Because it totally is. I want to read more books from this author in the future. I just wasn't convinced about this storyline.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    When devastating truths are revealed, a family leans on one another, breaking down walls between them and seeking their perfect revenge.Amanda Foster thought she had the perfect life.A loving and devoted husband.A home to grow old in.And a baby on the way.But one phone call and letter, change everything. I won't go into what is revealed, but I will say I hated Lyle with a passion. Each page his name appeared on had my blood boiling. What was even maddening was how Amanda initially handled this n When devastating truths are revealed, a family leans on one another, breaking down walls between them and seeking their perfect revenge.Amanda Foster thought she had the perfect life.A loving and devoted husband.A home to grow old in.And a baby on the way.But one phone call and letter, change everything. I won't go into what is revealed, but I will say I hated Lyle with a passion. Each page his name appeared on had my blood boiling. What was even maddening was how Amanda initially handled this new reality. This story explores how Amanda and her family deal with Lyle's deception. Of all the family members, I liked Erin, Amanda's sister, the best. She's a little flighty and very impulsive, but she was the perfect counterbalance to Amanda and her mom, who were so focused on their reputations, they didn't look at the big picture. Erin became the voice of reason, even if they dismissed her half the time."You've spent your whole life chasing perfection - with school, food, this house - but it's time to wake up to reality. There is no perfect. There’s only messy truths.'This was a very angsty read for me, mostly because of my hatred for Lyle. But there was a silver lining in the story, and that is how it brought this family closer. It wasn't an immediate change, but gradually, they each opened up, trusting one another for advice or a shoulder to cry on.Given everything the author puts these characters thru, I love how they rose to the challenge and got some payback. Erin was amazing, and it was great to see how far she came in this book. In addition, Amanda eventually took Erin's advice, and made the best of a bad situation.This is a well written and emotional story, but was a great women's fiction read, with the bonus of a new romance.For more reviews, visit
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  • Jenea
    January 1, 1970
    I featured this one as my Can’t Wait Wednesday pick a few weeks back and I picked it as my First Reads in Amazon when it came up to choose from. I’m happy that it turned out to be a good as I was hoping it would be. If You Must Know is a story of a family who is still reeling from the loss of their patriarch William, Amanda and Erin’s father. Their mother’s grief is debilitating and these two very different young women are each are going through their grief and other problems as well. I adored t I featured this one as my Can’t Wait Wednesday pick a few weeks back and I picked it as my First Reads in Amazon when it came up to choose from. I’m happy that it turned out to be a good as I was hoping it would be. If You Must Know is a story of a family who is still reeling from the loss of their patriarch William, Amanda and Erin’s father. Their mother’s grief is debilitating and these two very different young women are each are going through their grief and other problems as well. I adored these two sisters and their differences. Amanda is a woman who strives for perfection. The perfect house, the perfect husband and life. While Erin is a carefree spirit who loves her life day by day. Their mother Nancy was a lot like Amanda which is probably why she and Erin had such a strained relationship. But this family come together when they need to and that I loved. In the course of a just a few days Amanda’s life is turned upside down when she learns of her husbands treacherous action, actions that affect her unborn baby and the entire family. Erins life isn’t going much better either. Her long term relationship has hit a stalemate. Their mother is so lost in her grief that she looks for any way to be close to their father again. Through it all this family comes together to fix problems that Amanda’s husband Lyle has set in motion and even mended some fences along the way. This story touches on some pretty heavy issues like betrayals, family secrets and loss. But it also touches on forgiveness and moving forward. These beautifully written characters pull you in their world and it was so easy to root for them to find some harmony in their lives and maybe a little bit of romance along the way too. if You MustKnow was such a wonderful read for me, yes, it has some emotional moments but the growth in this family warmed my heart. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a heartfelt book. This story about two very different sisters was extremely relatable to me in many aspects. I could see myself in both sisters at different times and I felt for them both. Amanda is that one who has to have everything perfect and the ultimate people pleaser. You have Erin who is the black sheep and does what she wants and doesn't conform to what her sister does and what her mother wants. I definitely saw myself in both characters. This book made me cry as much as i This was such a heartfelt book. This story about two very different sisters was extremely relatable to me in many aspects. I could see myself in both sisters at different times and I felt for them both. Amanda is that one who has to have everything perfect and the ultimate people pleaser. You have Erin who is the black sheep and does what she wants and doesn't conform to what her sister does and what her mother wants. I definitely saw myself in both characters. This book made me cry as much as it made me smile. You have family intrigue, a marriage on the rocks, new friendships, and new sisterly / motherly relationships going on in If You Must Know. You will get the title of the book once you finish this book as well. This was an all around good feel book once it's all said and done. You will want to hug your family members closer once you finish the last page of this beautiful book. #avidreaderbookblog #readingislife #bookblogger #arc #review #bookaddict #booklover #newrelease #comingsoon #books
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  • AJ's book-reMarks
    January 1, 1970
    If You Must Know is an endearing story about a family who lost a key person that held them all together, the man of the house, the husband, best friend, and father of three adult children. The story starts with a flashback on how each child was treated by their loving father and their reaction to his death. The Turner sisters have more dynamics going on with each other since there are some jealousy issues and unsettling between them and then their relationship with each of their parents. The sis If You Must Know is an endearing story about a family who lost a key person that held them all together, the man of the house, the husband, best friend, and father of three adult children. The story starts with a flashback on how each child was treated by their loving father and their reaction to his death. The Turner sisters have more dynamics going on with each other since there are some jealousy issues and unsettling between them and then their relationship with each of their parents. The sisters, Amanda and Erin are complete opposites in their personalities, reactions, and feelings which in turn complicate their current situation. Amanda is straight-laced prim and proper; while Erin is more Bohemian, a left-over hippie from the seventies, carefree, and loving music, yoga, and life. One sister gets dumped while the other dumps her relationship, secrets are shared, hearts are broken, memories are made, and relationships are mended after much ado.
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    I love books about sisters, and this is one of the best books I’ve read about these relationships, which can be contentious, but with a bond that is unbreakable. Amanda and Erin are the sisters in this heartfelt story—two sisters that couldn’t be more different, each harboring wounds, slights, and judgements. Their relationship felt so true and so layered, I could feel their trepidation and distrust, but I also believed in their love for each other, and I cheered for them to find their sisterly I love books about sisters, and this is one of the best books I’ve read about these relationships, which can be contentious, but with a bond that is unbreakable. Amanda and Erin are the sisters in this heartfelt story—two sisters that couldn’t be more different, each harboring wounds, slights, and judgements. Their relationship felt so true and so layered, I could feel their trepidation and distrust, but I also believed in their love for each other, and I cheered for them to find their sisterly connection. The story itself is very compelling, an emotionally-driven plot that I found unputdownable. I’m happy to know that this book is first in a series, and I look forward to reading what comes next!
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  • ROBIN RUIZ
    January 1, 1970
    “ You could learn a thing or two about how to make the best of bad situations, and how to believe in yourself despite flaws and failings”Meet the three Turner woman , all three at different turning points in their life, all three with a different dynamic to their individual relationships with each other and the people around them. Amanda needs to be more like Erin, Erin more like Amanda and their mom is trying to navigate life without her husband. These three will evolve and reshape their paths “ You could learn a thing or two about how to make the best of bad situations, and how to believe in yourself despite flaws and failings”Meet the three Turner woman , all three at different turning points in their life, all three with a different dynamic to their individual relationships with each other and the people around them. Amanda needs to be more like Erin, Erin more like Amanda and their mom is trying to navigate life without her husband. These three will evolve and reshape their paths all while learning to have a stronger, better relationship with each other. Realizing that ... “roots matter because they keep the tree safe and that it’s like that in families”.Written only the way Jamie Beck can write, with such insight into the inner family workings. I enjoyed this book so very much and I recommend it. I laughed and cried and read way past my bedtime ! Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and The Author for my advanced reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Holly Westbrook
    January 1, 1970
    Basic summary you have two sisters (Amanda who’s currently pregnant & Erin) & their widowed mother Madeline navigating life after their dad/husband passed away, while simultaneously dealing with recent problems with Amanda’s husband Lyle. I went into this with high hopes the synopsis sounded good to me, although I feel it was misleading with the “big secret” making it sound like it could be somewhat of a suspense book. The first chapter started off well it had me interested right off the bat but Basic summary you have two sisters (Amanda who’s currently pregnant & Erin) & their widowed mother Madeline navigating life after their dad/husband passed away, while simultaneously dealing with recent problems with Amanda’s husband Lyle. I went into this with high hopes the synopsis sounded good to me, although I feel it was misleading with the “big secret” making it sound like it could be somewhat of a suspense book. The first chapter started off well it had me interested right off the bat but it quickly went downhill. Super easy reading (borderline felt like a YA book), definitely more of a chick lit type book. The book starts off with Amanda’s POV & alternates between her & Erin. It started off with the ingredients to a good book with the writing style & my initial first impression of the characters but man oh man did this book drag like no other. Felt like it was 800 pages. Normally I can bust through a good book in a couple few days of reading at night but this took me a week and a half roughly because I kept putting it down & playing on social media instead because I was so bored with this.How in the world this story was strung over the entire book with no real action or anything interesting happening really beats me?! What’s funny (because in real life she’s not someone I’d hang out with-very earthy hippy, yoga & oil type) is I did really like Erin’s character (& some of her storyline like Eli) which made the book tolerable but other than that it was like watching a family drama tv series in slow motion. The entire book pretty much was Amanda, Erin & their Mom “dealing” with things & watching their family relationships/interactions. Yes it was as painful (to read) as it sounds. The ending didn’t even make up for it & frankly the way they did deal with Amanda’s husband Lyle was highly unrealistic. Many times I thought about just not finishing but I don’t like giving up on books, and I wanted to see how they’d resolve the issues with Lyle. Bleh don’t bother, definitely wouldn’t recommend this to anyone & although the synopsis to the Potomac Point #2 book sounds good after reading this book I will not be reading anymore by this author unfortunately. I feel terrible writing such a negative review & I could absolutely see her being a good romance author but this book if I could go back & have a do-over would be a hard no.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I want to say thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this advanced copy. There are times when I do read a romance and of course it's apparent it is, even if it is a little smutty. On those rare occasions where a story is said to be a romance, but I'm having a hard time seeing it because there wasn't much to it. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, on the contrary, I rather liked this story even though I wouldn't categorize it as a romance.Two sisters I want to say thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this advanced copy. There are times when I do read a romance and of course it's apparent it is, even if it is a little smutty. On those rare occasions where a story is said to be a romance, but I'm having a hard time seeing it because there wasn't much to it. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, on the contrary, I rather liked this story even though I wouldn't categorize it as a romance.Two sisters tell a chapter in this story. We have Erin, who just kicked out her mooching boyfriend and the douche takes all of her father's old rock records and sells them so he can go gamble. Thankfully, she does get them back that is where Eli comes into the picture.Then there is Amanda (rarely do I ever see my name in a book, so yay!) who is pregnant and is given the news that her husband has fallen in love with someone else and needs space to think - umm, okay. Yeah there's a hell of a lot more to that than just 'I love someone else'. Now, Amanda is faced with the possibility of divorce and raising her child on her own. I actually really adored Erin. It made me sad that her mother kind of favors Amanda over her and kind of is more critical toward Erin. I never understood that, but her mother came around...very slowly. But I had to roll my eyes at the mother wanting to get a medium so they could communicate with her dead husband. I, myself, do not believe in that, but hey, some people do. The story was a fun read. I didn't think about how a story like this could really end. I almost thought it would end with the husband coming around and realizing what he was about to lose, but THANK GOD, it wasn't like that at all. I won't go more into it for fear of spoilers. From the description, it's a first in a series, so I'm anxious to see if maybe the second book goes into Amanda raising her child and the family trying to band together. With some added humor of course. Enjoyable read for when you have to sit in your house away from people...or not. Either way. A good read to have.
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  • Ashley *Booksbrewsandbarks*
    January 1, 1970
    This was an extremely pleasant read that did a great job examining the relationships between siblings (namely sisters) as well as parents and those children.. The two narrators, Amanda and Erin, were relatable on many levels, even if Amanda was much more naive than she even ever admitted. I adored the spunkiness that Erin brought to the table and her journey overall, especially romantically. Even though Amanda's storyline was much more dramatic, the lack of a true romance on her end really helpe This was an extremely pleasant read that did a great job examining the relationships between siblings (namely sisters) as well as parents and those children.. The two narrators, Amanda and Erin, were relatable on many levels, even if Amanda was much more naive than she even ever admitted. I adored the spunkiness that Erin brought to the table and her journey overall, especially romantically. Even though Amanda's storyline was much more dramatic, the lack of a true romance on her end really helped to gauge her independence by the end of the book. The book definitely covers the spectrum of human emotions, including grief, which all three of the main women in the book are going through as they are dealing with the loss of their patriarch. They all handle this in different ways but I wish that more time was spent examining this part of the story from Amanda's point of view. I really loved the growth shown between the two sisters as well as the relationship that was finally formed between Erin and her mother after years of refusing to understand each other. This seemed natural and well suited for the characters. If I could sum up this book, I would say I truly appreciated it from start to finish. It was a super fun ride, what with dealing with Amanda's narcissistic and criminal husband as well as the slow to start but worth the wait romance between Erin and Eli. Their mother was a lot to take at times throughout the book as he character seemed somewhat exaggerated in comparison but, then again, what mother isn't at times? This is my first novel by this author but it will definitely not be my last as it was a perfect comfort read to sink into. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    William Turner was the glue that held his family together. When he died a year ago, everything seemed to fall apart. His widow was trapped in her grief, unable to move forward. Her only solace was a medium that she hired hoping to get in contact with her late husband. Her daughters, Amanda and Erin—never the best of friends during good times were on each other’s case even more.Then in the course of one weekend, what was left fell apart. Erin broke up with her wastrel boyfriend, Max. When he move William Turner was the glue that held his family together. When he died a year ago, everything seemed to fall apart. His widow was trapped in her grief, unable to move forward. Her only solace was a medium that she hired hoping to get in contact with her late husband. Her daughters, Amanda and Erin—never the best of friends during good times were on each other’s case even more.Then in the course of one weekend, what was left fell apart. Erin broke up with her wastrel boyfriend, Max. When he moved out, he stole the valuable vinyl record collection that was Erin’s only connection to her father. Meanwhile Amanda, midway through her pregnancy with her first child, discovered that her husband, Lyle, had not gone to Florida to close a business deal, but had headed there with his new girlfriend, Ebba. His plan was to buy a yacht with money borrowed from his mother-in-law and was planning to sail to Venezuela. Could matters get any worse for the family of William Turner?This excellently written book is about these three broken women finding a way out of the morass that engulfed them. They discover that the only way forward is to mend the fences that they had erected between them and work together toward a new future. The author did an excellent job of painting the slow, small steps each woman made toward change in their own life giving the book a believable, real-life quality. The “happy-ever-after” that they sought was won only through hard work and personal growth.I highly recommend this book. It was given to me as a gift with the promise of an honest review, and I am extremely grateful for the chance to read it. I highly recommend the book.
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  • Aimee Crant-oksa
    January 1, 1970
    If You Must Know by Jamie Beck was my first book by her and not a typical romance book. This was the author’s first foray into fiction. I will definitely read this author again as I enjoyed her writing style, characters and overall theme of the book.At the heart of the book is the relationships involving the Turner Family. Sisters Amanda and Erin love each other, but do not see eye to eye on life and have not been as close as sisters can be. Add in their relationships individually and with their If You Must Know by Jamie Beck was my first book by her and not a typical romance book. This was the author’s first foray into fiction. I will definitely read this author again as I enjoyed her writing style, characters and overall theme of the book.At the heart of the book is the relationships involving the Turner Family. Sisters Amanda and Erin love each other, but do not see eye to eye on life and have not been as close as sisters can be. Add in their relationships individually and with their parents, and dysfunction is apparent amongst them all. When an unfortunate event leaves Amanda pregnant and alone, family bonds will help them all to heal and rebuild a better life, a better family and show the strength that they each possess.The book tells the story of Amanda showing her “perfect” life, the cracks that she didn’t know were there and the image she wants everyone to see. Erin is more carefree, living life on her terms and feeling at odds with her mother and sister. All feeling the loss of the patriarch of the family, they charter the waters in their own way to find a way to move on.I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters, and how they learned to understand and accept each other in a different and better way. There was a growth amongst them all, and an acceptance for the other that they couldn’t see before. The story is told from both sisters point of view letting you get inside each’s head and know the whys of their decisions and actions. I also enjoyed the supporting characters in the book, and would love to see Eli and Erin’s story developed more.I definitely recommend this book.
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  • Judy Christiana
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great story! The opening sentence is a gem; There ought to be a warning anytime you wake up on a day that will forever change your life. Isn’t that a great thought, and I definitely wish that were true. Amanda strives to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect teacher and was well on her way to be the perfect mom, until the perfect world she made, completely crumbled. In learning more about her situation, as the story unfolds, we meet her mother, who is strong on the out This is a great story! The opening sentence is a gem; There ought to be a warning anytime you wake up on a day that will forever change your life. Isn’t that a great thought, and I definitely wish that were true. Amanda strives to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect teacher and was well on her way to be the perfect mom, until the perfect world she made, completely crumbled. In learning more about her situation, as the story unfolds, we meet her mother, who is strong on the outside and fragile on the inside. In addition, we meet her sister, Erin, who is at the other end of the personality chart from Amanda and their mom. Their lives become closely interconnected as they try to handle the obstacles that life has thrown upon them. Their past relationship is in the forefront, and now as all adults, the dynamics have changed. The characters are wonderfully crafted. I loved reading about the growth that happened during the course of this book. The plot is believable and very emotional due to the superb job the author did in creating this world. I am very excited to see that this is Book 1 of the Potomac Point series. I definitely want to read about what happens next. There is much more to I want to know about these strong women and I want them all to find happiness.I am a huge fan of Jamie Beck and this is definitely another great addition to her collection. I recommend this book highly. I think it will become a choice for many book clubs. I want to thank NetGalley and Montlake Romance for allowing me the pleasure of reading If You Must Know. I enjoyed this book so much and wanted to share my opinion in hope that other readers will discover this wonderful new series. My review is my own opinion, not influenced by receiving the advanced reader copy.
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  • Darlene
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect as I have never heard of the author, but I ended up really enjoying this one. The characters and plot are both well developed, and the writing style is very easy to read. I'm giving this one a 4.5 star rating.I really like the characters in this book. The plot revolves around two sisters and their mother. One sister, Amanda, has been duped by her husband, and his treachery is impacting the whole family. As they deal with the fallout This book was a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect as I have never heard of the author, but I ended up really enjoying this one. The characters and plot are both well developed, and the writing style is very easy to read. I'm giving this one a 4.5 star rating.I really like the characters in this book. The plot revolves around two sisters and their mother. One sister, Amanda, has been duped by her husband, and his treachery is impacting the whole family. As they deal with the fallout from his betrayal, they must face their own limitations and learn how to be better versions of themselves. I particularly like the two sisters. Amanda and Erin are very different, and they have struggled to have a good relationship because of it. Their current struggles bring them closer and help them to recognize that their differences are not a barrier. In fact, they are able to make each other stronger. I do not care for their mother, however. She is overly concerned with appearances and gossip, so much so that she is willing to lose all her money and act illegally just to keep from being the center of scandal. I do not understand that. She frustrated me throughout the book. By the end of the book, I felt attached to this family and their story. The story itself moves at a nice pace with no boring or tedious sections. The chapters are a little long at times, but it wasn't really an issue. It kept my interest throughout. It looks like this will be a part of some kind of series, so I am interested to see what comes next. I will definitely continue to read books by this author.
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  • Gail Chianese
    January 1, 1970
    It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Jamie Beck’s, and with her newest book, If You Must Know, that hasn’t changed. Jamie Beck is a master at the inner workings of relationships, especially those between friends and families. In her newest and most definitely women’s fiction, is a story of two very different woman who seem to have one thing in common, their sisterly bond, weak as it is. But as we get into the book, we learn that deep down they both have so much more, like insecurities, regrets, It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Jamie Beck’s, and with her newest book, If You Must Know, that hasn’t changed. Jamie Beck is a master at the inner workings of relationships, especially those between friends and families. In her newest and most definitely women’s fiction, is a story of two very different woman who seem to have one thing in common, their sisterly bond, weak as it is. But as we get into the book, we learn that deep down they both have so much more, like insecurities, regrets, hopes and dreams and the real desire to be closer to each other. However, a lifetime of misperceptions and differences can’t be wiped away overnight. Each woman is struggling with her own issues, plus dealing with their mother who is going through her own problems. None are great at communicating with each other, because as is true in real life, no one cuts as deep as those we love the most. The author does a phenomenal job of demonstrating this in the story. Some of the things I loved about this story were how realistic the characters read, how realistic the family dynamics were, and I loved the small humorous moments that kept what could have been a very sad story from going to the dark side. I also loved Mo (everyone will love Mo). Overall this was a fantastic book. A bit of suspense in the storyline dealing with Amanda’s husband (loved the ending). A bit of sweet romance for Erin. And a happy, satisfying ending for the Turner women and this reader. As usual, I look forward to Jamie Beck’s next book!
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  • Leslie
    January 1, 1970
    This book is somewhat of a departure for the author. It is not her typical HEA romance. They are all wonderful (read them all) and my question about this change/surprise is what took so long?? This is a fantastic read. maybe the best thus far and I have truly loved all of her other books. It’s about a complicated family, warts and all. The story revolves around two sisters. They are so very different that it is shocking that they are related. They couldn’t be more different even if they put fort This book is somewhat of a departure for the author. It is not her typical HEA romance. They are all wonderful (read them all) and my question about this change/surprise is what took so long?? This is a fantastic read. maybe the best thus far and I have truly loved all of her other books. It’s about a complicated family, warts and all. The story revolves around two sisters. They are so very different that it is shocking that they are related. They couldn’t be more different even if they put forth herculean effort. Amanda what always been a rule follower. When you follow the rules there are no surprises and people tend to like and accept you. Then there is Erin. She lives a total bohemian free spirit existence and dances to her own tune even at her sisters expense. Their relationship has never been easy and has caused tension in the family forever, but that is mostly due to their mother. When their father dies they all must come together to support each other as well as deal with all of the other things going on in their collective lives. The writing is stellar, the character development wonderful and so much drama. It brings out all kinds of feelings while reading. Much realistic, but the way things changed in one sentence with the mom left me scratching my head. No one would be so accepting nor should they be. Go treat yourself to a copy of his book. I am very much looking forward to the next in the series.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a great change up of stories for Jamie Beck. The differences between each character was so interesting. Amanda, who is a by-the-books kind of person and Erin, who is the free-spirited person. But, their differences finally come together, at a time that is needed. They are all dealing with the death of their father and then Amanda finds herself in a horrible marriage, and, expecting her first baby. Both Erin and Amanda end up moving back in to their childhood home with their mom. It This was such a great change up of stories for Jamie Beck. The differences between each character was so interesting. Amanda, who is a by-the-books kind of person and Erin, who is the free-spirited person. But, their differences finally come together, at a time that is needed. They are all dealing with the death of their father and then Amanda finds herself in a horrible marriage, and, expecting her first baby. Both Erin and Amanda end up moving back in to their childhood home with their mom. It ends up being a blessing in disguise as it gives them time to reconnect with their mom and keep an eye on her as she hasn't been herself since her husband passed away.There is a lot of intrigue with this story. The story with Amanda and her husband, and the story of Erin and her new relationship with Eli. As a reader, you find yourself rooting for both girls, in that you want them both to be happy.It was a great start to this new series. I would love to read a book about Erin and Eli!This story also hit a bit too close to home for me. I too, lost my dad to a heart attack. Totally unexpected. I also have a sister and brother. We are now keeping "extra" eyes on my mom and helping her as much as we can. I initially thought I wouldn't be able to read the book when I started reading of this background, but I'm glad I didn't stop. It was a great story.Thank you to the publisher and to NetGalley for this ARC.
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  • Vicki
    January 1, 1970
    My rating 3.0Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-product My rating 3.0Sisters Amanda Foster and Erin Turner have little in common except the childhood bedroom they once shared and the certainty each feels that her way of life is best. Amanda follows the rules—at the school where she works; in her community; and as a picture-perfect daughter, wife, and mother-to-be. Erin follows her heart—in love and otherwise—living a bohemian lifestyle on a shoestring budget and honoring her late father’s memory with a passion for music and her fledgling bath-products business.The sisters are content leading separate but happy lives in their hometown of Potomac Point until everything is upended by lies that force them to confront unsettling truths about their family, themselves, and each other. For sisters as different as these two, building trust doesn’t come easily—especially with one secret still between them—but it may be the only way to save their family.Although this book was entertaining enough to read, it wasn't memorable or particularly significant. I enjoyed the relationship exploring and character development when Amanda's life is turned upside down, but the story didn't feel realistic to me. Do women's husband's really leave them without any notice to join their mistresses in a foreign country? It is hard for me to believe any woman is this naive........
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  • lauras.always.reading
    January 1, 1970
    "Having a family to lean on made me lucky." This is the biggest takeaway I got from Jamie Beck's, If You Must Know. This book surrounds two sisters, Erin and Amanda. Each are going through their own difficulties, along with their mother. The book is told from both sister's points-of-view as major life changes come their way. They all need to learn to handle things they cannot control. Throughout the story you learn about their relationship whether they will come together or grow further apart. T "Having a family to lean on made me lucky." This is the biggest takeaway I got from Jamie Beck's, If You Must Know. This book surrounds two sisters, Erin and Amanda. Each are going through their own difficulties, along with their mother. The book is told from both sister's points-of-view as major life changes come their way. They all need to learn to handle things they cannot control. Throughout the story you learn about their relationship whether they will come together or grow further apart. They also learn things about themselves along the way.I really really liked Erin. She's fun, resilient and has a positive attitude. She made me laugh many times throughout the book. Amanda took longer for me to like but I did feel for her. The mother I really never grew to like and is probably why the book gets 4 stars from me. While I do really enjoy Beck's writing and like that she acknowledges that not everything is roses and sunshine, If You Must Know ran a bit slow for me at times, mostly because I just wanted to get away from some of the characters. But that's life, right? Plus, there's a really fantastic dog named Mo and who doesn't love a book with a dog.All in all this is well-written book about relationships, sisters and family. I would recommend it for sure with a solid four stars.
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