Tessa King, the main character of Adams' last novel, The Godmother, is now the girlfriend of James, who has three daughters and an ex-wife, Bea. Tessa hasn't met the girls at the story's start, but when she does, she realizes that she faces an uphill battle to get them to accept her. This is especially true of fourteen-year-old Amber, who seems to be in direct competition with Tessa for James' affections. Tessa also has to deal with the fact that James and Bea have an amiable relationship and that people (James' family included) consider Bea to be a great mother. Bea, however, is barely hanging on. She has presented the front of a strong mother, but inside she's a mess--overweight, unhappy and wanting James back. Of course, she doesn't realize her love for him until he announces that he's met someone he wants to marry--Tessa. In The Stepmother, the reader gets to see both women's points of view on their entangled lives. Is there some way for everyone to find happiness?