Book Review: All The Finer Things by Stephanie Connelley Worlton

Sometimes money costs too much.

Married to one of the most lucrative and sought after plastic surgeons in SoCal, Megan Hamilton has it all. Her posh life, designer clothes, and stunning penthouse leave her wanting for nothing… or do they? Controlled by his obsessive pursuit of perfection, Doctor Matthew Hamilton will stop nothing short of breaking his young, spirited bride into a subservient trophy wife. But when parenthood enters their picture, the entire game changes. How far will Megan have to go to escape Matt's obsessive control and abuse? And how much will she have to lose before she gets there?

Doctor Matthew Hamilton has everything he loves - money, power, reputation. Or at least he thinks he does, until his spoiled wife decides to leave and unknowingly blows a hole right in the heart of his carefully laid plans. With Megan gone, he faces to lose everything and he won't stop until he finds her.

When a fancy car and its equally fancy owner take up residence next door, Ammon Carter's life of solidarity gets turned on its head. His quiet orchard community is no place for a pampered princess, but as a Scoutmaster, his deep moral code doesn't allow him to be anything but courteous to the young mother. Content as a bachelor, he does his best to keep his distance from the misplaced beauty and her son... unfortunately, his dog has different plans.
Release Date: March 3, 2014
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
Stephanie Connelley Worlton writes clean fiction, which is a rare thing these days.  Her previous novel, Hope's Journey, was about a young Mormon couple who navigate an unexpected pregnancy (read my review here).  I like that Worlton's books are clean reads with a Christian message.

All the Finer Things is an adult book and very different from Hope's Journey.  Megan is a prominent surgeon's wife, with a picture-perfect life---from the outside.  In reality, her husband is controlling and abusive, and she fears for her and her son's safety.  Finally, she takes a stand against Matthew and leaves him.  She ends up in a quiet, small town and finds unexpected solace there. 

I was hooked on Megan's story from the very first page.  There is just something about the premise of an abused woman turning her life around that draws me in.  I simply had to know if Matthew would be brought to justice, and if Megan would find some much-deserved happiness.  I was very pleased with how Worlton resolved the story, and while it wasn't necessarily the ending I expected, it was a perfect one for Megan and Matthew.

Carter, the neighbor/love interest, was practically the perfect man.  I loved how he treated Megan---like she was precious and special.  He was great with Megan's baby son, and a Boy Scout leader to boot.  He was charming without being suave or too polished.  Matthew, in contrast, Megan's abusive husband, was so easy to hate.  He is driven by all the wrong things: greed, lust, and power.  Matthew was a terrible person and confess to hoping for his demise!

Worlton did a great job developing the secondary characters and their storylines.  Their stories were just as interesting as the main story, and they added a lot of depth to the novel.  I loved the character growth exhibited by many of the major and minor characters.  

The one thing I didn't love about this book was the fact that it's a third-person narrative.  With a contemporary story, I prefer a first-person perspective.  It allows the reader to get to know the characters so much more intimately.  I found myself wishing several times for a dual narrative, with Megan and Carter as the main voices.

Overall, I really enjoyed All the Finer Things.  I'd recommend it to fans of contemporary fiction, Christian fiction, or anyone looking for a nice, clean read. 


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