Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Review: Secrets From a Happy Marriage by Maisey Yates

Secrets From a Happy Marriage by Maisey Yates
Publication Date: May 12th 2020 by HQN
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 11 hrs 28 min by Harlequin Audio
Narrator: Samantha Cook
Source: Publisher & Purchased Audio Book
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible | Goodreads

About the book:

New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates’s new novel introduces the women of the Lighthouse Inn B&B. They might not have it all together, but this summer they’ll discover that together, they might still have it all…

Rachel Henderson’s family is falling apart. Becoming a widow—especially at this age—is heartbreaking. With her teenage daughter, Emma, leaving soon for college, Rachel needs a friend—but local diner owner Adam is the last person she ever thought she’d lean on.

From the outside, her little sister, Anna, has a picture-perfect marriage. But the weight of it is suffocating her. The only way for her to breathe again comes at a high price, one she’s not so sure she can pay.

After raising two daughters on her own, their mother, Wendy, knows just how hard life can be. She’s done things she’s not proud of, things she desperately wants to keep from her girls—until keeping quiet is no longer an option.

As long-held secrets bubble up and their old lives unravel, this family will need all their strength to start again and open their hearts up to the possibility of more. But most of all, they’ll need each other…

My Thoughts:
Secrets From a Happy Marriage is a multigenerational story: Wendy the single mom who took her two daughters to the coast of Oregon after winning a bid to run a bed and breakfast at a historic lighthouse property. Now years later her daughters are grown and married, and mostly they’ve had a wonderful life, but things are changing. Rachel, Wendy’s oldest, is coping with the loss of her husband, a widow at just thirty-eight years old, Anna, Wendy’s younger daughter, is stuck in a loveless marriage, and Emma, Rachel’s daughter is feeling guilty leaving her grieving mother to go away to college. Plus, Wendy the “blameless” matriarch has some secrets of her own.

I felt for each of these women, was struck by each of their stories, and could really relate to one! Living in a small town their actions are scrutinized, and judged by some, and even by each other. At first, Rachel is so judgy with Anna, having grown apart over the years the sisters only see the surface and not really what each are struggling with. Rachel, realizing on an unconscious level she was jealous of Anna having a healthy husband. Anna for her part envied the real love and obvious connection Rachel had with her husband.  I enjoyed seeing them open up, understand and become close. Each providing solace and support instead of judgment. Each had their own romantic story, but I really loved Rachel’s.

Emma, Rachel’s daughter is very much finding her own way. After living with her father’s illness for several years, and now finally losing him she feels like was grieving for a long time, even before his death. Emma’s feels moving across the country, leaving her mother to cope with the loss when she receives an acceptance to her dream college to study marine biology. Then there’s also Luke, her longtime crush from afar who finally notices her.

Wendy’s story was a bit of a twist, upsetting her daughters view of her and the life they’ve had. Wendy had to come to terms with her past and forgive herself. I also enjoyed her romance.

I love lighthouses! My husband and I took a three-week road trip a couple of years ago and visited lighthouses all along the Pacific Northwest.  We were able to stay at one in Oregon: Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast and when I started reading this story, I was struck by how familiar the setting sounded. Come to find out Ms. Yates stayed there and based Cape Hope Lighthouse B & B after it! The place was gorgeous and magical, and I was so excited to find out it was featured in such a lovely story! It felt more personal to me. I included a few pictures below.

Secrets From a Happy Marriage was a heartfelt story about being yourself, accepting past mistakes, forgiving yourself and moving on; trying not to be hindered by what others think of you, and ignoring those determined to pass judgment. But it was also about supporting family and drawing strength from their love.  I loved every minute of it!

I alternately listened and read Secrets From a Happy Marriage. Samantha Cook does a wonderful job performing both male and female voices, and I listened at 1.3x-1.5x normal speed.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Bed and Breakfast below Heceta Head lighthouse
The B & B

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Lighthouse & B & B


  1. I love stories that focus on families, especially multi-generational ones. The photos of that lighthouse and B&B are so beautiful! And how cool that Yates actually stayed there and was inspired by it!

    1. I love stories like that too, and it was cool to find out she based it on a lighthouse we actually visited.

  2. I love the multi-generational stories, too. How cool is that with it being set at a place you visited and loved.
    Gorgeous pictures, Rachel!

  3. Oh this sounds so lovely. Great photos! I love the Pacific NW and hope to visit there again someday.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. Just that setting alone would be enough to pique my interest! I do think there is a real power in telling stories centered around a family like this one. We can all relate to some kind of the drama that unfolds, because no family is without its share of conflict.

  5. SO like lighthouses too. I have only ever been to one

  6. i love lighthouses too. mr wonderful and i took a couple of scenic drives heading east of rochester new york one day and west the next day. there are some wonderful lighthouses along the scenic trail
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I'd love to visit some of the East Coast lighthouses. More history over there. Someday!

  7. Beautiful pictures, and I love when I can picture a setting that vividly.

  8. I have a thing for lighthouses, I’d love to stay in one!

    1. I'd love to stay in one too. We stayed at the innkeepers house here, which was beautiful and historic too. The actual lighthouse was part of our view from our bedroom.

  9. There is something so unique about lighthouses and I love seeing them in romance, and what a beautiful setting it offers. Glad you hit off with this one so well.

    Great review.