When American doctor Julia Gallo is kidnapped in Afghanistan, the terms of her ransom leave the president with only one course of action: send covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath to free the man the kidnappers demand as ransom--al-Qaeda mastermind, Mustafa Khan.
What would life be like with the one who got away? From the author of My Husband’s Sweethearts—hailed as “a laugh-and-cry novel”* that’s “whip-smart, tender…an undiluted joy to read”**—comes this bighearted, funny, fiercely perceptive tale about a happily married woman and the little white lie that changed everything.…
For Gwen Merchant, love has always been doled out in little packets—from her father, a marine biologist who buried himself in work after her mother’s death; and from her husband, Peter, who’s always been respectable and safe. But when an old college boyfriend, the irrepressible Elliot Hull, invites himself back into Gwen’s life, she starts to remember a time when love was an ocean.
What does Elliot want? In fact, he has a rather surprising proposition: he wants Gwen to become his wife. His pretend wife. Just for a few days. To accompany him to his family’s lake house for the weekend so that he can fulfill his dying mother’s last wish. Reluctantly Gwen agrees to play along—with her husband Peter’s full support. It’s just one weekend—what harm could come of it?
But as Gwen is drawn into Elliot’s quirky, wonderful family—his astonishingly wise and open mother, his warm and welcoming sister, and his adorable, precocious niece—she starts questioning everything she’s ever expected from love. And as she begins to uncover a few secrets about her own family, it suddenly looks like a pretend relationship just might turn out to be the most real thing she’s ever known.
At the annual church chili supper, Reverend Schrock falls face down into his bowl. It seems someone put peanut butter in the chili, knowing full well that he was allergic. As Pennsylvania Dutch Innkeeper Magdalena Yoder investigates, she finds plenty of people who wanted the reverend dead, including a serial monogamist with a grudge and a wrongly-accused man whom the reverend testified against. As more motives emerge, Magdalena struggles to find the truth amidst evidence that is all too quickly becoming a five-alarm frenzy.