“A spicy mixture of family scandal, mother-daughter betrayal, and good-for-nothing men” from the New York Times bestselling author of God Don't Like Ugly (Publishers Weekly).
Everyone from Louisiana to Florida knows Mama Ruby—a small-town girl who became one of the South's most notorious and volatile women. Now Mary Monroe reveals how Mama Ruby's past haunts the family she's left behind . . .
Mama Ruby has died, and Maureen Montgomery is finally taking charge of her own life. With her beautiful teenage daughter, Loretta, by her side, she returns to Florida and settles into a routine any other woman would consider bland. But for Maureen and her brother, Virgil, after Mama Ruby's hair-trigger temper and murderous ways, bland is good. Yet Loretta has other ideas . . .
Set on becoming rich and famous, Loretta convinces Maureen to let her start a modeling career with the help of a Miami photographer. But even as they move in promising new directions, they can't escape Mama Ruby—including Virgil, who's concealed one of her most shocking acts for most of his life. To make a future that's truly hers, Maureen will have to take on a bit of Mama Ruby's strength, forge new bonds—and face down the past.
Praise for Mary Monroe
“An exceptional writer and phenomenal storyteller!” —Kimberla Lawson Roby, New York Times bestselling author
“A remarkable talent.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“Monroe is a masterful storyteller.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
This latest installment in Monroe's popular Mama Ruby series is a spicy mixture of family scandal, mother-daughter betrayal, and good-for-nothing men. Our heroine is Maureen, whom Mama Ruby, a fearsome matriarch now deceased, kidnapped as an infant and raised as her own daughter. Maureen is all grown up now with a daughter of her own. And Loretta is more than enough daughter for one single mother. Only fourteen, Loretta decides she wants to model, seduces a handsome, sleazy photographer named Melvin Ross, then convinces him to marry her mother so that they can have easy access to one another until Loretta turns 18 and they can marry each other which makes for a complex home environment. Monroe is a quick study with a lusty scene, and she has many opportunities to exercise her talents Loretta, we learn, thinks about sex with Mel "every day and every night" and has it nearly as often, including on Maureen and Mel's wedding night. Add to this Maureen's instant attraction to a man who learns he was kidnapped as an infant and readers will start to wonder when this family will get its own episode of Jerry Springer. Though many of the characters lack psychological depth, particularly Loretta and Mel who are conscience-less villains who live only to torture the saintly Maureen, you can never accuse of Monroe of a dull moment.