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Everything We Keep

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Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.


First published August 1, 2016

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About the author

Kerry Lonsdale

10 books2,850 followers
Kerry Lonsdale is the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Amazon Charts & #1 Kindle bestselling author of standalone and series-based emotionally charged domestic drama with over twenty-seven foreign language translations. She lives in Northern California with her husband, college-aged kids, and two cats.

Hang out with Kerry inside her private Facebook group, Kerry's Tiki Lounge.

Connect with her in Instagram: @kerrylonsdale

Get her latest books news right in your inbox: Kerry's newsletter

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5 stars
37,186 (34%)
4 stars
36,661 (33%)
3 stars
24,025 (22%)
2 stars
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1 star
3,778 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,575 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
July 15, 2017
What was that?!

I was told this was a mystery.

It is not a mystery.

Everything We Keep is an extremely long-winded "getting over someone" story, complete with the logistics of opening a cafe and a boring romance. Well, two boring romances. It's like After You, except it doesn't follow on from a book that was actually good.

Aimee Tierney's fiancee, James, dies during a boating accident in Mexico. She attends his funeral, buries him, and spends the next two years opening a new restaurant and refusing advances from guys who keep asking her out. That's the fist two hundred pages of the book. Aside from a strange encounter with a psychic at James' funeral, who claims James is still alive, nothing else happens for more than half the book.

It took forever to go anywhere. I cannot believe how many pages I sat through of Aimee talking about food and art and maybe opening a cafe and how she could date if she wanted to but she's not ready to let go of James.

Plus, Aimee is a chronic blusher. She is the standard blushing white romance novel heroine who feels her cheeks heating every time a guy talks to her. Mention anything sexual and she's red from the roots of her hair down to her *cough* lady parts. I lost count of how many times she blushed.

How much do you want to read a slow tale of cafe management? Because that's a large percentage of this book. In "Part 2", we start to finally get somewhere as Aimee digs deeper into the possibility that James is still alive. This takes us away from the cafe at last, but it's still dull. There is very little drama or tension; no climax either - Aimee's story simply seems to end with a shrug that says "Oh well, that's it then."

The problem is that the book isn't thrilling or fast-paced enough to be a mystery, but it also lacks the detailed characterization and excellent writing required for a successful family drama. I am fine with slow character studies like A Spool of Blue Thread and Everything I Never Told You, but Everything We Keep is nowhere near strong enough to sit among those either.

I found it to be a bland romance without a single memorable character.

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Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.7k followers
March 10, 2017
My thoughts and feelings were a constant ebb and flow. One minute I was enjoying the story and the next I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes. I'll admit there were some great moments mixed in, things that made me swoon, but they were overshadowed by the things that felt too convenient. Too contrived. Too unnatural.

My biggest issue with the entire story was Aimee. A lot of her decisions didn’t make sense to me. Her thoughts and actions were confusing. One minute she’s convinced her fiancé is still alive, that the body she buried on their wedding day wasn’t him, and the next she’s opening a café and vowing to move on. She was adamant, she couldn’t start anything with Ian until she had concrete answers about James. Her solution, keep Ian at an arms length, for an entire year, and then sleep with him on the trip to Mexico. Of all the times to give in, she picks that one? When she knew what she was after was literally a few blocks away? I don’t get it. I was pissed off at the way she handled things and pretty unimpressed with the way things played out.

“Fall for me, Aimee. I’ll catch you.”

The entire James storyline and the ensuing drama was completely ridiculous to me. I’m sorry, I just can’t get on board with what happened. Any of it. And again, I’m back to Aimee’s decision making. So many times she would be right there, about to get the truth and it’s like she would change the subject or ignore the elephant in the room. All in an attempt to enjoy the moment? Are you kidding me? I wanted to shake her and get her to pay attention. To focus.

I feel like the majority of the plot rested on convenience. On things that just seemed to “happen” or work out in Aimee’s favor. I would have appreciated a bit more development. With more development, comes more depth and in turn, a more engaged reader.

If I haven’t made it clear by now, I found this book to be kind of a mess and so was my head while reading it. Only to be compounded by the epilogue. I mean, seriously? That definitely tanked my rating a bit. There might be a second book in the works, but I won't even consider picking it up.

*Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,334 followers
September 28, 2016
While I didn't love this book, I do have to say that it had an original storyline and kept my interest. There were some highly predictable elements, but many things that also surprised me. The what didn't surprise me as much as the why did, if that makes any sense.

The story centers on Aimee, a lady that finds herself burying her fiancé on what should've been their wedding day. In the year that follows, she tries to piece her life back together. She opens a business, spends time with her girlfriends and gradually begins to form a friendship with Ian.

All the while, she has this niggling feeling that James isn't really dead. Right from the start, Aimee had her doubts about the story she was told. She never saw the body and things just don't add up for her. Add to that a self-proclaimed psychic that keeps seeking Aimee out and telling her that James is very much alive, and you've got a big mystery.

As Aimee works her way through the clues, she discovers far more than she bargained for. Although some parts were predictable, others I found pretty surprising. In the end, I have to say I can't remember reading another story quite like it.

All in all, I thought it was a good story. I would've liked to have felt more of a connection to the characters. Also, some of the "twists" were too far-fetched and convenient to be believable.

The closing scene leaves this one wide open for a sequel. I'd probably read it. I have to admit I'm curious to see how things will work out now that the game has changed again. However, it won't be at the top of my TBR list.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,483 reviews79k followers
February 9, 2017
I’m absolutely floored that this was a debut novel. Kerry Lonsdale writes with the confidence and precision of a seasoned author, and its quite clear I’m not the only one who thinks so. After numerous glowing reviews prepublication, in addition to publishing 2 more books in the upcoming year, I think it’s safe to say that Kerry is here to stay. I can state without a second thought that I’ll be chasing down anything she publishes in the future and will not be able to get my hands on her work fast enough. Just for the record, I didn’t include this one in the genre of “Women’s Fiction”; although I think it fits nicely in that category, I fear it would scare off a number of guys who would enjoy this one as well.

The characters are what makes this read a 5 star experience. Sure, the story is intriguing and suspenseful, the cover art is pretty, and the book wasn’t too long nor too short, but these characters and their development over a period of many years are what sealed the deal for my ride alongside. I felt a wide range of emotions for and with Aimee; I began with feelings of sorrow and horror for her immeasurable loss. As Aimee progressed in her grief cycle, she and I started to disagree a bit. Why was she so bent on not moving on from James? She continues to push away everyone who cares for her, to the point where I almost disowned her during the Mexico escapades. Don’t worry, I hung in there because I cared for Aimee and wanted the best for her, but it wasn’t easy. I finally felt relieved in the end, even after that plot twist in the epilogue.

This story was a nice break from the dark thrillers and disturbing mysteries I tend to gravitate toward. I really enjoyed how it had all the thrilling elements of those former books I mentioned without feeling as heavy. Sure the pages were flying and the content wasn’t exactly fluffy, but it still felt lighter than most mysteries and crime fiction dealing with the same type of story. I would highly recommend giving this one a try; Kerry shows tremendous potential to grow in her future work, although I’m not sure how that’s possible based on Everything We Keep. She knows how to weave together a suspenseful story with deep characters in meaningful relationships, romantic and platonic. I’ll be remembering this story for awhile and cannot wait to get my hands on her next novel!

*I received my copy from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you Lake Union!
Profile Image for Molly Ison.
138 reviews14 followers
February 9, 2017
Every now and then, a book comes along where I start gleefully anticipating my Goodreads review.

There was this Carolyn Hax advice column a while back where a man complained that he’d found out that a woman he’d dated had been calling other women “basic britches” on Facebook. (https://live.washingtonpost.com/carol...) And I thought, that is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard; who actually says “basic britches”. I take it back; that phrase is perfect. This book is basic britches. The main character? She is… the least interesting woman in the world. I don’t always like art, but when I do, I like photographs of sunsets. (Edited: Basic Britches is much more fitting that Basic Bitches, because Aimee isn't a bitch in any way - she is the human equivalent of a pair of Belk khakis.)

Was it ever said explicitly that the story was set in the 90s? Capped sleeves and sheath dresses. New World fusion (said completely unironically). Speciality coffee shops as a creative business idea (“Aimee’s Cafe”, seriously). I kept trying to put myself in that mindset, but it didn’t feel like the fun kind of nostalgia.

If a Thomas Kincaid painting has ever made you tear up a little, this book is for you. Someone reading this is saying, “A Thomas Kincaid painting HAS made me tear up a little, you hipster asshole”. I’ll own it.
Profile Image for Deanna .
691 reviews12.5k followers
September 14, 2016
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

3.5 Stars

Everyone is supposed to be excited and happy on their wedding day. All that waiting until they walk down the aisle to their beloved. However, twenty-six year old Aimee's wedding day has turned into a nightmare. Instead of walking down the aisle to marry the love of her life she is mourning the loss of him at his funeral. It's not just her fiance, James in the casket it's also all of their hopes and dreams that will be buried along with him.

"Same Church. Same flowers. Wrong Ceremony"

Meeting when they were eight years old, Aimee and James were first best friends then childhood sweethearts. After all those years together, they were the perfect couple. However, even though everything appeared to be perfect in their lives, things weren't exactly as they seemed. James and Aimee had a secret and James had secrets of his own, secrets that could devastate Aimee.

At the funeral, Aimee feels like she's about to break down and decides to slip away from the mass of people offering their condolences. As she leaves she's approched by a woman who gives her some shocking information about James. She wants to tell her more but Aimee's friends come along and whisk her away...

"Don't be naive, Aimee. People will take advantage of you."

It was supposed to be a quick business trip. James said he would be back in less than four days. Instead...James was gone. After missing for two months apparently his body washed up on shore.
What really happened on this business trip? Is James the man she thought he was? And what does this stranger know about what happened?

Will Aimee be able to move on without James or will she be pulled back into the past? The secrets that are revealed have the ability to break Aimee or make her stronger, and she will have some very difficult decisions to make.

I thought this was a pretty good debut novel. It flowed fairly well and it was a quick read. We get to see just how James and Aimee's friendship started and developed over the years through flashbacks. I can't imagine how heart breaking it would be losing someone and burying them on what was supposed to be your wedding day. How hard it would be to go on after spending so many years together.

The story had a decent amount of suspense. I was intrigued and really wanted to know what happened to James. With many twists and turns I wasn't even close to figuring out what actually happened and was quite surprised. However, I did find some of it to be a bit far-fetched.. Some of Aimee's decisions seemed a bit bizarre to me. But all in all I thought it was still an enjoyable story.

When I read the book I didn't realize there was going to be a sequel so I was a bit frustrated with the ending. Now that I know there's going to be another book I'm not as irritated. "What we leave behind" is the sequel to this novel and will be published in 2017.

Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Kerry Lonsdale for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
149 reviews5 followers
December 22, 2016
Preposterous. Absolutely preposterous. While I rate books on goodreads, this is the first time I have felt compelled to actually write a review and it is because this book is just so darn awful. The storyline is absurd, the characters are extremely one dimensional, the plot is contrived and the writing is so poor. A fellow reviewer commented that the writing seemed to be that of an 8th grader - I think she was being generous there! I grimaced my way through the book. I can't even recommend it as a fast, fun beach read, it is just that bad!
Profile Image for Erin.
44 reviews9 followers
August 9, 2016
This might be the dumbest book I've ever read but damn it I couldn't put it down.
Profile Image for John.
224 reviews11 followers
July 19, 2016
Upon completing this book, it dawned on me the reason for its tedium and superficiality. It appears that the writer had, in her opinion, devised a very clever way to end a novel, but had no story to complement the ending. Consequently, she needed to create approximately 300 pages preceding her ingenious conclusion (something like a college term paper). The result is a dull, simplistic, empty and clichéd yarn narrated by a very confused, indecisive and foolish character due to the book being first person. Of course, I could be wrong, but many readers will find it so. Notwithstanding what I have already stated, I have several concerns with this novel.

First, I wonder about the inconsistencies of the book including its writing style such as the use of obscene language. For example, the "F"word is used only once in the first 50% of the book, but in the second half of the book it is used about 30 times. It is as if the writer discovered the word and started using it as her favorite adjective. Another example relates to one of the characters. He is a "successful" photographer who states that he knows nothing about painting (really?!). I'll stop there because some of the other inconsistencies are related to the "surprise" ending.

Second, the book frustrates the reader because the characters spend so much time "waiting" instead of "doing." For example, the primary character of the story waits for over a year before she does something to discover what befell the most important person in her life. Rather the reader is forced to wander through pages describing how she starts a cafe. It seems as every time characters decide to do something they are "waiting for luggage", or waiting for tomorrow because they just missed seeing another character, or being convinced by friends to wait for a better day. Eventually the reader becomes frustrated with all this inactivity.

Finally, and maybe this is just me, the book is simply not literature. Yes, it tells a drawn out story, but the characters don't really explain "why" they do things even though the story is primarily told in first person. The reader never knows how characters feel when, for example, they see a sunset. The use of metaphors and similes is rare or even non-existent. It's just a story and that's all, and one that is much too long for what it tells. When it comes down to it, the writer would have been much better off to offer up a 20 page short story for her "clever ending." It would have had as much impact, and the reader would have been more satisfied with the quick conclusion.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
476 reviews32 followers
July 16, 2016
This book...I'm not sure how to review it. I mean, I didn't exactly hate it, but at the same time I kinda did. I'm not sure that makes any sense, but it's how I feel.

It started out well enough, and then about 2/3 of the way through, it just got so convoluted. Like really convoluted. The writing was uneven, sometimes it flowed really nicely, and at other times it was really choppy. The ending felt rushed, because it took the main character so long to act on her suspicions. Once she did, all these hidden secrets came tumbling out, mostly via flashback, and it was just...so quick.

Had the book ended before the epilogue, I'd have probably been a bit more generous and rated it three stars. Because, while I did have some issues with it, for the most part I was enjoying it. Oh, but that epilogue. It angered me. I deducted a star because of it. I won't go into it because of spoilers, but suffice it to say, I wasn't happy.

Looking at the author's website, it appears she has a sequel planned for next year. Not sure if I want to read it or not.
Profile Image for Barbara White.
Author 6 books1,121 followers
February 10, 2016
I was fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of EVERYTHING WE KEEP and wow. I inhaled it in two sittings while my life went on hold. It's hard to decide what I enjoyed most: Aimee's journey, the author's style (no words wasted), the suspense elements, the twists (yes, there's more than one), the psychological bent, the romance… It's a thumping good read, a perfect book club pick, and one of those gems people pass around with, "You don't need to know anything about the plot. Just read it and then we'll talk."
Profile Image for Randi.
617 reviews4 followers
May 21, 2019

It did keep me interested enough to want to find out what happened. But...

1 - so much of what the characters do is not how a real person would act. After 2 years you think you are in the same town as your husband who was declared dead... so you go have a couple of drinks at the hotel, and then take a stroll to the place you think he will be? Hell no, you take a cab from the airport directly there.

2 - the whole book she just can't understand what could have happened, then at the end she recounts a conversation she overheard where he was talking about bringing in the DEA or dealing with things himself. Is she stupid?! It never crossed her mind that could have had something to do with it?

3 - Incest. Really?! And it wasn't even necessary to drag that in. Just make him a jealous cousin and that's fine.

4 - An angel, or wth was Laney/Lacey/Lucy supposed to be? If she is just a person, what a convenient coincidence that she was part of Ian's early life and then shows up for Aimee.

In summary, a lot of things in this book just made me shake my head.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
89 reviews1 follower
July 7, 2016
This book read like a Mary Higgins Clark novel or the written version of a Lifetime movie. Some of the scenes are so cheesy that I found myself rolling my eyes. The so-called talented photographer shoots sunrises and sunsets which sounds a bit cliché. Also, when talking about artist styles the author mentions Monet and Kincaid in the same sentence. I'm pretty sure that's blasphemy. Anyway, despite all of that, I enjoyed this book and was curious to see what would happen next.
Profile Image for Catherine McKenzie.
Author 30 books4,662 followers
July 3, 2016
In Everything We Keep, Lonsdale’s protagonist, Aimee is forced to attend her fiancé’s funeral on what was supposed to be her wedding day. James died tragically a few weeks before in a boating accident in Mexico. But as Aimee starts to rebuild her life, she can’s shake the feeling that James may not be dead. When some of his paintings mysteriously goes missing, and then appear in a gallery in a beach town in Mexico, she risks everything she’s gained in her new life to find out the truth. Is her first love still alive, or is she simply holding on to the past. A perfect page-turner for summer.!
Profile Image for Deborah Whipp.
605 reviews6 followers
August 14, 2016
I'm supposed to believe in this overwhelming love Aimee had for her dead fiancé, but even after hearing he might be alive the day of his funeral, she waits a year to start to investigate? And Ian - a gorgeous, successful photographer - falls instantly in love with Aimee and is willing to put his job on hold to be a barista in her café and is satisfied with being friends for a year?! Ridiculous. On top of that, the writing appears to have been done by a overly dramatic teen with heavy reliance on a thesaurus. By 40% in, Aimee had gasped so often and/or become breathless in one way or another that I began to suspect she had asthma. Usually I finish books in a day or two, but this is so plodding and poorly written, I kept reading other books in between. Over half way done and one week in and I'm going to throw in the towel on this one and declare CNF.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Wendy.
1,681 reviews569 followers
August 13, 2018
Childhood sweethearts Aimee and James have a perfect plan for their perfect life together.
But when James disappears in a boating accident in Mexico, Aimee finds herself at his funeral on the very same day that she was to walk down the aisle.
Leaving her unsettled she delves deeper into James disappearance uncovering secrets and lies that make her question everything about their life together.

A wonderful debut novel that I didn't want to put down until I turned the very last page. And then I wanted more!

Ms. Lonsdale gives us a unique storyline, a mystery full of twists and turns and an "OMG" epilogue that I didn't see coming at all.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Haniyeh.
88 reviews18 followers
April 14, 2023
داستان در مورد زنی به نام "ایمی" هست که نامزدش "جیمز" دو ماه قبل از عروسیش گم میشه و در تاریخ عروسیش، اونو به خاک میسپرن.
ایمی به جیمز وابستگی زیادی داشته، اونا از بچگی با هم بزرگ شده بودن و ایمی در هر کاری جیمز رو کنار خودش داشته. این باعث میشه مدتی ندونه چطور باید زندگی کنه اما بالاخره تصمیم میگیره کاری رو شروع کنه. به دنبال خرید یک ملک برای راه انداختن یه کافه میگرده و با مردی به نام "ایان" دوست میشه.
اما همه چیز با دیدن و شنیدن حرفهای زنی به نام "لیسی" به هم میریزه. اون از زنده بودن جیمز صحبت میکنه و میگه حقیقتی هست که ایمی ازش بی خبره.

نتونستم تمومش کنم چون بنظرم خوندنش از حوصله‌ام خارج بود. بعلاوه که یکم غیرمنطقی بود. از یک طرف از وابستگی زیادش به جیمز و سالها کنار هم بودنشون میگفت و از طرف دیگه هنوز یک سال از مرگش نگذشته بود که به یه مرد دیگه اهمیت میداد. از یه طرف دوست داشت درمورد جیمز بدونه که آیا واقعا زنده هست یا نه و از یه طرف دیگه الکی مشغول کارای دیگه بود. بنظرم از عمد داستان انقدر کش اومد و دلیلش هم جلد دوم و سومی هست که باید نوشته میشد.
بعضی دوستش داشتن اما برای من اینطور نشد.
Profile Image for Diane Yannick.
569 reviews763 followers
October 10, 2016
Oh dear heavens above. This book was not well written AND the plot was totally ridiculous. I gave the author a star for completing her first novel and me a star for completing the danged thing. I'll start with the overwrought writing which stopped me in my tracks. Here are a couple examples: "A gentle breeze scented with wet pine and wood smoke whispered against my flesh, puckering the skin. I fisted my hands. "Cold here."

"Then reality let itself into the room, and the euphoria of last night's lovemaking dissipated like water on a hot griddle. I'd betrayed my feelings for James. I'd betrayed myself."

Then there's the plot which tries so hard. Why is everyone trying to write another twisty plot like Girl on the Train? Aimee's behavior was unrealistic. James' situation was absurd. There was a mix-up with names that was confusing. Bad guy Phil was underdeveloped. I need to stop. It's crystal clear that I'm not a fan.
Profile Image for Laura Rash Wonderchick.
1,306 reviews147 followers
May 24, 2016
First off, thanks to Kerry for sending me an early copy of her book!
WOW! Just wow! This book grabs you with the first sentence & takes you on a roller coaster ride til the very end! I loved every word & couldn't read it fast enough!
Don't miss this book!
Profile Image for lucie.
507 reviews638 followers
September 14, 2016
On our wedding day, my fiancé, James, arrived at the church in a casket.

Holy bananas, what a book!!


I liked it since I have read the opening sentence. In the middle I was just curious but by the end breathless with anticipation. After first chapter I knew what kind of story it will be, but the resolution was way to different than I expected. I would like to say, that I need sequel (you just cannot end it with such a prologue, Kerry!), but it would ruin the mystery I would like to keep.

If you like mystery thrillers, add this to your TBR.

I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Tina.
541 reviews923 followers
September 3, 2016

I just finished this one! Wow, kudos to Kerry Lonsdale on a terrific debut! I'd like to thank Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with this advanced reader's copy. Once again, Lake Union Publishers does not disappoint. I'm thinking this one will be a big hit.

The story begins as Aimee is burying her fiancee on the day she was supposed to marry him. I didn't know much about this book and just went into it pretty blind. I think that's the way to go with this one. James disappeared off the coast of Mexico while on a business trip before his wedding. Aimee begins a quest to find out what really happened.

I was so enthralled with this book as Aimee grew closer and closer to what happened. Never, ever would I have guessed it. Just read this book. It's amazing and I'm so happy to hear there will be a sequel coming out in the summer of 2017.
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book142 followers
August 29, 2018
Wow! The twists and turns in this book had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't put it down. I was invited to read Everything we Keep via Netgalley. Romance novels are my usual read, but I try to avoid sad stories. I'm so glad I gave this one a chance.

Aimee's life is about to fall apart before her very eyes. Her family sold her future job, and her husband to be is going to be buried on her wedding day.

This book is about the future you didn't see coming. I don't want to give anything away so that's all I'm saying.

Fantastic suspense novel with romance and mystery. 5 stars out of 5.
Everything We Keep is a must read!

*Netgalley readers copy given in exchange for a fair review*
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,683 reviews376 followers
August 2, 2016
A very special thank you to the author, Lake Union, and NetGalley for an ARC (paperback) in exchange for an honest review. Also my July "Kindle First" Pick (e-book).

Kerry Lonsdale delivers a riveting debut EVERYTHING WE KEEP, a woman who attends her fiancé’s funeral instead of her wedding. From intrigue, mystery, secrets, and betrayal; being true to oneself. 4.5 Stars

Aspiring Dreams. Second Chances. From letting go, to healing, forgiveness, and love.

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has been planning a perfect wedding and perfect life with her childhood sweetheart James Donato (Donato Enterprises -import/export business). James had made promises- they would grow old together. They had been together since they were eight years old as best friends; inseparable.

They each had their own dreams. Aimee’s to open her own restaurant. James' passion was art. However, his family would not hear of this career from an early age. Aimee helped him hide in her own house as a child, to find solace, offering a place for painting without his parent’s approval.

Claire the mother had wanted James and Thomas working at the dad’s company, when they grew up, and James painting pictures was not part of her plan.

However, James disappears while on a trip to Mexico, right before the big wedding day. A tragic boating accident. She never saw the actual body. When he returned they had decided he would quit Donato Enterprises and pursue art. Painting was his passion. If she had insisted he stay home, they would be married and on their honeymoon in Saint Bart’s.

Aimee is devastated and many answers still unsettled. In addition, she receives more bad news when her parents sell their restaurant (The Goat) due to financial reasons, and she had planned on buying it. She had worked with them for years, and had envisioned buying it when they retired. They owed too much money on the business.

Over the years, while she helped her mom craft new recipes for the restaurant, James painted, and his talent and their friendship flourished turning into much more. Sous chef and restaurant manager, Aimee is at odds with her life and cannot figure out why her husband was taking off at the last minute; and the events leading to the death. She had so many memories connected to both.

Things become even more complex , when a psychic named Lucy (Lacy) shows up at the funeral and says James is alive. An enigma, she remains a mystery to the very end. Readers cannot imagine how she is connected.

Thomas, James brother (his beneficiary) shows up with money saying she was entitled. The check was dated the same date as James’ funeral. With no job and no restaurant, she is tempted to take the money. Are these two connected?

Should she use the money to start her own restaurant? Something was drawing her to Joe’s, a special place she and James frequented, to find it for lease. Joe’s Coffee house was closed. The café was empty. Gone forever. Just like everything else in her life.

Five months later, Aimee’s designer friend, Nadie wants her to attend a gallery opening for Wendy V Yee Gallery (international photography). The photographer was Ian Collins. Nadie had created a beautiful space for the artistic talent. They soon become friends.

She also starts thinking about turning Joe’s into "Aimee’s Café." James had even suggested the name. A place where they spent their Sunday mornings. Her friend, Nadie had told her she needed to move forward. Now at age twenty-seven could she be the proud owner of a business with no plan, no employees, or no product? A boutique coffee shop and gourmet eatery.

Aimee receives many clues through paintings that leaves her wondering if James may still be alive. She does not want to tell anyone-they would think she was crazy. She has to find out. She had buried her fiancé and mourned him. She missed him something fierce, and that longing only fueled the seeds of doubt Lacy had planted. Until those went away, it wouldn’t be fair to let Ian assume she wanted anything more than friendship.

After fourteen months since James left for Mexico and one year since she buried him, Aimee’s search leads her to Mexico, with clues from the mysterious psychic, and the art gallery post card from Mexico.

Ian Collins whose wife died five years earlier, comes along- he too has suffered a painful past. Aimee’s heart reached out to him, as she knew exactly how he felt. Hollow and incomplete. Loss left an empty cavity in the chest.

If James were alive, it meant something bigger and more sinister had been going on around her and she had been too naïve to see it. However, when Ian’s sister opens up to Aimee, she learns he too has suffered a great loss and this journey with Aimee may be what he needs, and at the same time capturing his photography.

Lonsdale takes readers on a suspenseful and emotional journey, to an intense mystery of the past about James’ childhood, his accident, and how each character is a connecting puzzle piece.

Part Two takes us to The Emerald Coast to Puerto Escondido, Mexico, to a boutique beachfront resort, and a gallery to meet the artist, Carlos at this mysterious gallery. Did the postcard and painting prove James was alive, or was she wasting her time, looking for answers for the last nineteen months.

As the Belize Sunrise, true artists elicit an emotional response through their work, whether art or cooking –could Ian be the man for her, to catch her, or can she give up James’ ghost? Aimee’s heart was divided from James to Ian.

“The worst feeling in the world is never to be remembered by the one person I can’t forget.”

Does Aimee know whom she can trust? Was she losing her grip on sanity? From James, Imelda, Thomas, Lacy, James missing paintings, a death, and now Ian; opening her heart to him. It was all to to much. Who were the victims? Can perfection be an illusion?

A splendid debut, complex, multi-layered mystery and suspense, keeping readers glued to the pages to learn the dark family secrets, and the whereabouts of James’ missing paintings.

“The pain of rejection, the pain of betrayal, and the pain of everything that had been lost to us.”

When you reach the halfway mark, there are many unexpected twists, 75% intense, and the best part is the Epilogue- Twisty and surprising (Loved it)! Contemporary fiction, mixed with suspense, romance, and intrigue. Not only a physical journey traveling thousands of miles, also an internal journey.

From mental illness, DID dissociative identity disorder, fugue, emotional trauma, assault, and forgotten memories—being true to oneself. When life cannot be forced upon someone, against their will. Discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear, and the lengths they will go to protect. Would make for an entertaining movie.

Can’t wait for the next two books: All the Breaking Waves, Dec, 2016 and What We Leave Behind June, 2017! An author to follow!

Amazon Kindle First (Prime) readers, you can read this title early, before, August 1 release date. BTW, it is 3:06 am just finishing. After reading, dying for a delectable scone and an espresso! When reading, you will relate.

For all you fans of (2015) James Hankins The Prettiest One, you are going to love this smashing new name in contemporary domestic suspense!

5 reviews
July 4, 2016
I really wanted to like this book. Based on the high reviews it got, I built an expectation...sadly, that expectation was not met. If you have ever suffered a terrible loss, the kind of loss that Kerry portrayed (best friends for over or about 20 years, lover, partner, fiance), then, if there is the slightest chance, that the person is alive, you will explore it; no matter how slim, no matter how insane you might look. It took Aimee 19 months to get on a plane and walk to the gallery! I couldn't get over that. Also, I couldn't get over the logic behind Thomas' actions. It just didn't make enough sense. This is your brother that you have a 'good' relationship with. How could he just leave him there and deceive everyone that loved him; including his own mother! And the danger..? The danger was Phil. Not the Mexican cartel. Just an older cousin with evil intentions. That was enough reason to deceive the whole world? And not because James had this big information that could bring Phil down. He just didn't want to mess up the DEA investigation. It just doesn't add up. And Aimee just walked away. Without talking to a doctor. She just took Ian's google research as the gospel truth! How preposterous. How do you walk away from the 'love of your life'? Your best friend? And then James' friends? Nick and Kirsten (also childhood friends). It was almost like they didn't want him to be alive. At some point, I was certain that they were they ones that tried to kill James or had a hand in his disappearance.
Good writing and for the most part, I enjoyed how easy it was to read this book. Unfortunately, the pieces didn't just work.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ghazaleh.
160 reviews108 followers
July 30, 2018
با اسم تمام خاطراتی که نگه میداریم. اول از همه اصلا نمیدونم چرا همه چیز تبدیل شده به همه خاطرات؟😐
دوم اینکه واقعا فکر میکنم نویسنده هیچ ایده ای از نویسندگی،داستان پردازی،تخیلات و ... نمیدونه وگرنه کتابی به این مزخرفی(با عرض پوزش)هیچ جور دیگه ای قابل توج��ه نیست.
شخصیت های غیر قابل باور،داستان مسخره و تخیلات بی جای نویسنده :|
واقعا بهم بگید چجوری ۴ستاره گرفته؟ شایدم من خیلی بد سلیقه شدم؟که بعید میدونم :))))
Profile Image for Parnian.K.
33 reviews58 followers
January 31, 2022
چند سال پیش که خوندمش، با اینکه تا اواسطش ریتم کند و تکراری و مسخره‌ای داشت، اما بعدش جذاب‌تر شد برام و خیلی هم از پایانش خوشم اومد. الان که فکر می‌کنم، انگار به نظرم میاد ک�� روند داستان چندان م��طقی و معقول نبوده. شایدم به خاطر این اینجور فکر می‌کنم که جزئیات خط داستانی رو یادم رفته.
اگه بخوام از روی حس لحظه‌ی تموم‌کردن کتاب بهش نمره بدم، ۳ ستاره و حتی شاید بیشتر می‌گیره (اونقدر که همون‌ موقع‌ها برای تولد دوستم بهش هدیه دادمش). ولی حس امروزم بیشتر از ۲ نیست.
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,219 reviews
July 22, 2016
Ever since P.S. I Love You cured me of my apprehension over widow novels, I’ve devoured a bunch of them. Some have been heartbreaking and others inspiring. Then there are the ones that stand out above the others, and Everything We Keep is in that category. While the book starts with a funeral and then moves into the lead character trying to pick up and move on, there’s more to the situation that is keeping her in a rut. When she gets to the bottom of things, readers will be shocked, to say the least. It definitely leaves you contemplating all the “what ifs” in life.

Like some other debut novelists I’ve read books from recently, Kerry Lonsdale also comes off as someone who seems like they already wrote a few novels prior to this one. The story is so beautifully written and polished, with genuine dialogue and vivid descriptions that only enhance the narrative. I love how she fit in scenes from Aimee and James’ past to show how important their relationship was.

I can’t even get into a lot of details as to why I love this book, as I don’t want to give anything away. It is definitely on my 2016 favorites list! It is begging for a sequel and thankfully there is one in the works. Finishing it is like finishing a season of your favorite seasonal TV series (after binge watching) and knowing you have to wait until next year to find out what is going to happen to the characters.

I definitely recommend this book as I want to discuss it with as many people as possible. I know it is going to be talked (and raved) about for quite some time.

I had a hard time casting the lead (and some secondary) roles, but hope my choices will work. I’d love to hear other choices too! All I know is that I’d rush out to see a movie of this book.
Aimee: Hallee Hirsh
James: Skylar Astin
Nadia: Vanessa Hudgens
Kristen: Kristin Cavallari
Ian: Emile Hirsch
Thomas: James Wolk
Profile Image for Mandy.
320 reviews333 followers
February 19, 2018
Aimee is a woman with her whole life ahead of her when she finds out her fiancé has been found dead. After she buries him a woman comes to her and tells her that James isn’t dead and that she can find out where he is? But is that the truth or is this woman leading her on and lying?

Over the course of 2 years Aimee must find herself and find out who she really is without James. She has friends and family to help her along the way but she must venture to the ends of the earth to find who she really is.
2 reviews1 follower
August 1, 2016
The book's synopsis promised an exploration of loss, and I indeed feel devastated for the time I lost. As the book suggests, if after a few chapters you're not feeling it, don't be afraid to let go.
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