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Key to My Heart, Book 1 in the Key Series by Judy Kentrus is a Book Series Starter Event pick #99cents #romanticsuspense #99c #bookseries #giveaway

Title:   Key to My Heart, Book 1 in the Key Series


Author:    Judy Kentrus


Genre:     Romantic Suspense


Book Blurb:  


Matilda Hennypenny is content, running her B&B and raising her three adopted daughters, Faith, Hope, and Charity. She was engaged, but her fiancé’s death has left a lot of unanswered questions. Her life changes when she gets a special skeleton key and a riddle from her late, eccentric grandmother. Does the key open a door or a box, or is it a symbol for something? She has two months to unlock the secret before her next sister’s birthday.


Virginia, Ginger, and Irene, her stepsisters, will receive the same special gift in the month of their birthdays.


Hudson Rhoades has been living a lie for over a year. He’s been staying at Hennypenny’s B&B while working in Beacon Pointe. Fear for Matilda and her daughters has been all-consuming, and he can’t tell her why.  As she starts her birthday quest, he’s forced to reveal the dark secret he’s been hiding. 


Page-turning, romantic suspense. 




“This is all a big mystery,” Matilda said.


            “As it is to us,” Nancy Jean said just as Sean moved to the other side of the office and picked up a wooden chest and set it on the table.  “These arrangements were overseen by my predecessor.”


            Matilda traced the letter H engraved in the cherrywood box. “This box has to be over a hundred years old.”


            “This is the second reason we needed to talk to you,” Nancy Jean opened the lid and took out another small box along with a letter. The stationery had yellowed over time.


            “According to the letter left by Margie, your late, eccentric grandmother, she’s instructed her legal representative to read this. Sean is here as my witness.”


My dear, sweet girls, I’ve requested this letter be presented to you on the occasion of my 100th birthday in the year 2023. You gave us so much happiness, I’ve decided to give you something in return.


On your birthday in the year 2023, you’ll each be given a gift. Follow the instructions.


 You’ll be rewarded with a treasure beyond your dreams.




            “How was she able to accomplish this? She suffered from dementia until the very end,” Ginny said.


            “She wasn’t always confused,” Nancy Jean reminded them.


            She slid the box to Matilda. “It’s April, the month of your birthday, the same month as your grandmother.  You were both born on the twenty-third.”


            “In the year 2023, on the twenty-third. She was quite clever. Do I have to wait until the actual date to open it? That’s the date of the grand opening of Bessie Troy’s Museum, so I won’t have time to celebrate my birthday that day.”


            “Since your birthday is in another week or so, you should open it now. The rest of you will have to come back to get your individual box when it’s time: Virginia in June, Ginger in August, and Irene in October.”


            Matilda stared at the four-by-four treasure box of secrets. Lately, her life seemed to be besieged by mystery and secrets, but now wasn’t the time to think about it.


            “Aren’t you going to open it?” Virginia pressed.


            “I feel like I’m opening Pandora’s box.”


            Sean spoke up. “But Pandora was given the box as a wedding gift and was ordered not to open it. Curiosity got the better of her, and she unleased death, evil, and misery into the world.”


            Oh, just do it. With a trembling hand, she lifted the lid.


            Inside was a folded piece of paper. She picked it up to reveal a skeleton key that wasn’t the least bit unfamiliar. She held out the brass key. “This looks like it would fit any of the thirty doors in my bed and breakfast.”


            “Oh my God, what a killjoy!” Vinny said. “Read the damn letter.”


            The parchment had yellowed over time, so she carefully unfolded it.


            Happy Birthday, Matilda. Life isn’t always kind, but you’re strong and will make the best of it. This is a special key. Discover what it opens, and you’ll get the next clue. Happiness is what you make of it. Love, your grandmother.


            Matilda turned the key around, looking for something unique about the design, and shook her head in confusion. “I don’t get it. Does this fit another box, the door to a room, a treasure chest, what?”


            Irene tapped on her pad to get their attention. “Does this mean we have to open all the boxes before we get the answer to her riddle?”


            “In that case, let’s open the others right now,” Ginger suggested.


            “Ladies, remember what curiosity did to Pandora,” Sean reminded them.


            Matilda’s eyes were drawn to the bow window. Outside, the sky had darkened, and the streetlights had come on. They’d been here a lot longer than she’d planned and she had to get home to her little girls.


            “Let’s all sleep on this puzzle.” She stood up and put the small box in her purse. Her sisters followed.


            “Thank you both,” she said to Nancy Jean and Sean. “This meeting has been enlightening, to say the least.”


            Matilda waited until the others had left before twisting her hands together, showing her true reaction to what had taken place. “You sure know how to plan a party.  Are you sure you told us everything?”


            “There’s much more, but I’m not at liberty to reveal it now. It will have to wait until Virginia opens her box in June.”


            “So that I understand. We won’t get the answer to finding the treasure until Irene opens her box in October?”


            “That’s correct,” Nancy assured, “but my question is, what kind of treasure?”


            “Finding everlasting love can be considered a treasure,” Sean added, looking at his wife.


            Matilda immediately recalled one line in her grandmother’s note. Happiness is what you make of it.


            So my quest begins…


Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):


Grab your e-copy on sale for only 99 cents!









What makes your featured book a must-read?


These are just two comments from reviewers.  The suspense builds from the very beginning and book 4 in the series won the best romantic suspense book of the year from NN Light's Book Heaven.


…..The first book in the Key series was a page-turner that has me already excited for the next story. There is a vast cast of characters, which all play into this romantic suspense mystery.


…..This contemporary romance is page-turning with exceptional world-building and realistic characters who are embarking on an enthralling journey.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the books.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $40 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs January 9 – January 21, 2024.


Winner will be drawn on January 22, 2024.


Author Biography:


I write Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Sweet Romance, Rom-Com, Later-in-Life Romance, and Historical Romance.


I’ve always been a romantic at heart, and I married my high school sweetheart. I make my home in the Poconos of Pennsylvania. I’m a mom with two grown children who have given me six grandchildren. 


We love to travel. Many of the places we’ve visited have inspired me to use them as a storyline. I never know what will give me inspiration, but my mind is always working. 


When I’m not giving couples their happily-ever-after, you can find me in the kitchen, baking, especially cookies.  I’ve been dubbed the cookie queen by my family and friends.  You’ll find a new recipe every month on my website.


Want to find out more about my books and what’s coming?  Be sure to sign up for my newsletter via my website.  My stories are fun, sexy romances that will make you laugh, cry, and fall in love.


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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jan 17

Thank you, Judy, for sharing your book in our Book Series Starter Bookish Event!

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