If You Only Knew

Image of If You Only Knew
Release Date: 
July 20, 2015
HQN Books
Reviewed by: 

Every woman likes to think her life is perfect; she has the most wonderful husband, obedient children, and cleanest house. This is what Rachel Carver believes. Her lawyer spouse Adam is loving and an extremely good father to their triplet toddler daughters—children they waited long for and went through hell to conceive. And Rachel always greets Adam after a long day's work with a sumptuous meal, spotless house, and girls showered with unconditional love.

Imagine the shock Rachel experiences when she happens to spy a message on Adam's cell, finding a picture of what she believes is a half-dead tree. Why someone would send him that she wonders, only to realize in her naiveté that the photo is of a woman's privates. Shock is too calm a term when, after a few days she arrives at Adam's office and finds him in the arms of a sexy colleague. Astonished, yet outraged, Rachel departs believing the life she loves is over. How could Adam do this to her . . . to their family?

Rachel's younger sister Jenny knows only too well about heartache. Jenny lived in the city for school and a job as a bridal designer. She married  plastic surgeon, Owen Takahashi and resided in an awesome Manhattan apartment. Her life was euphoric. The only thing missing was a child, but Owen stated he didn't want children.

Some years later, Owen informs Jenny he's bored and wants a divorce, shattering her life. What is amazing is that not long after he divorces Jenny, he marries Ana-Sofia, a gorgeous entrepreneur. Also, Owen and Ana-Sofia befriend Jenny as though she is their BFFs or as if Owen never broke Jenny's heart. Jenny, unfortunately, still in love with Owen cannot stay away. She attends Ana-Sofia's baby shower when her water breaks. Who delivers a beautiful infant girl on their living room floor? Jenny. Something else to bind her to the couple and their adorable daughter. Jenny knows her attachment is pathetic. Who visits their ex in the home they once shared and cuddles their baby . . . a child that should be hers?

Jenny returns to her home town of Cambry-on-Hudson to open her own shop and be near the sister and nieces she adores. She rents a lovely apartment with dreams of one day owning it. On the day she moves in, she meets Leo, whom she later learns is her surly super. Though he is so handsome he takes her breath away, she fantasizes a life with him, but he clearly implies he is not interested. At first glance, Jenny's daydreams are such:

“He looks my way, and our eyes meet. He lives right next door in the gorgeous brownstone, and he's single, go figure, a chef who's just signed a contract to let his name be used on a line of high-end French cookware... We get married and buy a charming old farmhouse with views of the Hudson so our twin sons and little daughter can run and play while we harvest vegetables from our organic garden and we'll breed Jeter, our faithful Goldie, and the kids will all be valedictorians and go to Yale.”

It is sad Jenny envisions how she wishes her life to be, only to be disheartened by the reality of what it actually is.

The sisters dealing with their lives and problems are subjected to their mother still mourning the loss of her husband 22 years prior. Jenny and Rachel believed their parents were the ideal couple and the four of them the picture-perfect family; However, Jenny is withholding a long-kept secret that makes her wonder if she should disclose it. Would it help or hurt and ease her mother's long-suffering persona or make matters worse?

Higgins's ability to delve into the gut-wrenching, nitty-gritty of marriages going off the track is staggering. Both Rachel and Jenny offer their own point of view in separate chapters, adding depth to their innermost thoughts and anguish. This nail-biting novel speaks to the heart of infidelity and the pain it causes, while proving no one is exempt from heartache.