by Mariah Stewart
Series: The Hudson Sisters #1
Genres: Women's Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
From New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart comes the first novel in her all-new series, The Hudson Sisters, following a trio of reluctant sisters as they set out to fulfill their father’s dying wish. In the process, they find not only themselves, but the father they only thought they knew.
When celebrated and respected agent Fritz Hudson passes away, he leaves a trail of Hollywood glory in his wake—and two separate families who never knew the other existed. Allie and Des Hudson are products of Fritz’s first marriage to Honora, a beautiful but troubled starlet whose life ended in a tragic overdose. Meanwhile, Fritz was falling in love on the Delaware Bay with New Age hippie Susa Pratt—they had a daughter together, Cara, and while Fritz loved Susa with everything he had, he never quite managed to tell her or Cara about his West Coast family.
Now Fritz is gone, and the three sisters are brought together under strange circumstances: there’s a large inheritance to be had that could save Allie from her ever-deepening debt following a disastrous divorce, allow Des to open a rescue shelter for abused and wounded animals, and give Cara a fresh start after her husband left her for her best friend—but only if the sisters upend their lives and work together to restore an old, decrepit theater that was Fritz’s obsession growing up in his small hometown in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. Guided by Fritz’s closest friend and longtime attorney, Pete Wheeler, the sisters come together—whether they like it or not—to turn their father’s dream into a reality, and might just come away with far more than they bargained for.
I devoured THE LAST CHANCE MATINEE by Mariah Stewart on a rainy and cold Friday evening. While sipping hot cocoa in my favorite chair Stewart quickly transported me to a small town nestled in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. There I quickly became caught up in Cara, Des and Allies’ story. I love when a good story pulls you in and allows you to connect. THE LAST CHANCE MATINEE did just that!
Recipe review of The Last Chance Matinee
Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Coffee – 1 cup of brewed coffee, 3/4 ounce of cocoa (single serving envelope) 1 tablespoon of marshmallow whip or cream, a dash of cinnamon. Stir coffee and cocoa together until well mixed. Top with marshmallow and cinnamon. Serve hot and pair with a good book.
The Coffee- THE LAST CHANCE MATINEE is about three sisters with the same father. Fritz Hudson married Honora and had two daughters, Allie and Des. The marriage was a rocky one, and after the birth of Des, Fritz met Susa Pratt and married her. They had one daughter named Cara. Somehow Fritz managed to keep both families a secret. The girls meet at the reading of Fritz’s will. To gain their inheritance, they must live together and restore an old movie theater in their father’s childhood town. While the premise isn’t unique, Stewart weaved in elements to make it her own, adding quaint touches and complex characters.
- Allie is the oldest. An out of work actress with a vibrant teenage daughter. At the time of her father’s death, she was putting her beloved home up for sale. Allie is troubled and comes off cold and uncaring. She was hard to like, but there are moments where we catch glimpses of something special. Stewart did a great job of showing Allie’s many sides and sharing her secret. Interaction with the local law was interesting, and I am looking forward to seeing what develops.
- Des is a former child movie star and is the quietest of the bunch. She loves nothing more than taking care of abused animals and finding them their forever homes. Des is easy going, low maintenance and someone I quickly identified with. However, she doesn’t have any close personal ties, and her relationships are superficial at best. Could her desire to help local animals, lead to more with a local politician?
- Cara, daughter of Fritz’s secret family. She grew up well-adjusted and is a yoga instructor. She is recovering from a divorce. She is very inquisitive and rather than be angry at her father; she longs to learn more about him. Their handsome and reliable contractor has his eye on Cara, but can she learn to trust again? Cara was easy going and the most vibrant of the sisters.
The Marshmellow- I loved the small Pennsylvanian town where the sidewalks roll up at dusk and everyone attends the monthly town hall meeting. From the old buildings to the gorgeous Victorian home that was the Hudson homestead, I felt right at home. The old Art Deco theater and the rich descriptions of the decor were delightful. I enjoyed hearing about its use during its heyday. Stewart had me wanting to travel back in time. We learn about the locals, the falls, and the Hudson family who have a deep history with the town.
The Cinnamon- Fully developed secondary characters from the girl’s aunt to Allie’s daughter added touches that gave the story depth and the town to life. I got caught up in their enthusiasm, the project, and politics of small-town life.
Mix all of these ingredients together and THE LAST CHANCE MATINEE delivered a warm, satisfying tale that pulled me in and left me craving a second serving. With a hint of romance, this story of family, history, and new beginnings made Mariah Stewart and author whose books I will explore further.The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart-a tale that left me craving a second serving Click To Tweet