Cam and Jade Lasky are the picture of success. He’s a celebrity chef and owner of five restaurants in Atlanta, known as the steak king, and she’s the beautiful stay at home mom to daughter Beatrix and son Baxter (the Bees). They live in a beautiful home in an affluent neighborhood so what could be wrong? Life for them changes when Jade comes home with the kids and is confronted by an armed, masked intruder.
This story gave me some serious heartburn! I kept shutting off my headphones because I couldn’t stand the suspense but then turning them back on as I had to see how the next scene turned out. The points of view are provided by Cam, Jade and the intruder (Sebastian) who I came to loathe. What makes things even more intriguing is Cam’s narrative being delivered through an interview with a reporter who’s not going easy on him. It’s obvious he’s doing the interview in the aftermath but there’s not one single clue about the outcome until the end.
I’m deliberately omitting more details because you should read/hear them firsthand. Sebastian was chilling and I took his threats seriously, as did Jade, which made things more ominous given the two children involved. And speaking of the children…I came to adore Beatrix, the true hero of this story. I think you will, too. Thank goodness multiple narrators were used for the audio version as it was important to give the main characters their own distinctive styles and voices. It mattered and they were outstanding. There are twisty turns and bends throughout and the ending felt right, leaving some things to my own imagination. This turned out to be much more than I anticipated (a good thing) but I’m glad it’s over! Put on your adult pants because this is an uneasy ride.
- Release Date: December 28, 2021
- Narrators: Natalie Duke, Seth Podowitz & Charlie Kevin
- Audio Length: 10 hours, 8 minutes
- Publisher: Harlequin Audio
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Q & A with Kimberly Belle
Q: Your cover really draws you in. Are you involved with the cover process? What do you hope this cover tells potential readers?
A: Thank you! And I agree; the designers at Park Row really nailed this one. Typically, I don’t have a lot of involvement with the cover until it’s nearly finished, which means it’s already gotten approval from my editorial team as well as the folks in sales and marketing before I get to see it. That moment when the email lands in my inbox – A sneak peek at your cover! – is always so exciting.
In my mind, what makes the My Darling Husband cover so strong is that it gives us a view of Jade’s face but none of her husband Cam’s, only a slice of his shoulder. For me, this makes Cam feel somewhat elusive, and it hopefully puts the reader on alert that things with him may not be what they seem. Especially in combination with the title, the image lets the reader know that the husband in this story may not be so darling after all.
Q: What research did you need to conduct for this book and how did you do it?
A: I did a lot of research around a couple of plot points that if I mentioned them here, would give a big chunk of the story away. What I can mention is my research around raising a child prodigy and the kinds of stresses that degree of talent can put on both the family and the child. Beatrix is nine and has played violin since she was a toddler, when she picked up one in the toy aisle at Target. As amazing as her talent is, it’s also a daily hurdle. Lessons, practice time, the drive to succeed, the pressure to not “waste” your talent by frittering away your time with normal childhood pursuits – it can all feel very isolating. She’s a brilliant, brave kid who is much more mature than she should be, as illustrated with this line: “Most parents want their children to grow up. Cam and I should have spent more time coaxing Beatrix to grow down.”
Q: What is your elevator pitch for My Darling Husband?
A: My Darling Husband is the story of a mother held captive with her two children in their own home while her husband scrambles for the ransom, and the masked invader who’s about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.
Q: Which came first, the story or the title?
A: I turned this book in as “Book #7” so definitely the story came first. Seven books in, and not one of my titles has ever stuck, so I’ve stopped worrying about what the story will be called when I’m writing it. My publisher has a fabulous team of experts who are so much more versed in the process than I am. While I’m only thinking of the story, they’re looking at big-picture items like comparable stories, market trends, which words are hitting a collective chord (remember all the books with “girl” in the title?). All this goes to say, they know what they’re doing, and I am happy to let them work their magic!
Q: What is your favorite season and why?
A: My favorite season has always been fall. I never mind the shorter days and cooler air, all the more reason to light a fire and wrap myself up in an oversized sweater. For me, fall has all the bests–the best fashion and the best food (soup season!) and the best festivities, ones that are centered around family. That’s hands-down my favorite part of fall, when all my people are gathered under one roof.
About the Author
Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of seven novels, including her latest, My Darling Husband (December 2021). Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and a #1 e-book bestseller in the UK and Italy. She’s sold rights to her books in a dozen languages as well as film and television options. A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.
(Thanks to Harlequin Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)