Carley Winsted has always wanted what she has right now in her life: a husband, two children, and a wonderful home. She even enjoys spending time with her in-laws, Russell and Annabelle.

But when Gus dies unexpectedly from a heart attack, her life is turned upside down. Not only does she discover that she now has financial problems, due to her husband’s bad investments, but her in-laws have displayed a tendency to try to control her life.

Living on Nantucket Island year round is a challenge. And trying to conjure up some kind of income, while staying at home, requires a lot of initiative and creativity. But Carley does manage to turn her beautiful old home into a Bed and Breakfast, and with her talent for homemaking and cooking, she has a winner on her hands.

I enjoyed the characters in this book, especially the friendships between Carley and her best friends Maud and Vanessa. But then something happens to create a rift between the three friends. How will the friends who define themselves as La Tres Enchiladas repair the conflicts? And what will Carley do when she begins a new relationship that is sure to raise some concerns from others in the small town?

Some unexpected twists in the plot had me grabbing some tissues, but I loved the way most of the story came together. I was curious about what happened to the in-laws, who had been a thorn in Carley’s side at times. They seemingly disappeared from the canvas.

A fun story, Heat Wave: A Novel is full of great descriptions and settings, but with some loose ends. Four stars.


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