THE SECRET SISTER
by Brenda Novak
New Release and Review
Release Date July 28, 2015
Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?
After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who's asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.
Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she'd prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He's back on the island, and to her surprise, he's raising a young daughter alone. Maisey's still attracted to him, but her heart's too broken to risk…
Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must've been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.
Maisey's convinced that child existed. So where is she now?
4.5 out of 5 Stars
This thrilling suspenseful book will keep you at the edge of seats trying to solve the secret of a sister that may have existed and nobody talked about.
Maisey returns to the place of her birth seeking to heal after her gut-wracking divorce. Her brother is using again and cannot get cleaned up. His call for help came just in time for Maisey to consider going back to Fairham, North Carolina is the right decision. The biggest deterrent is that she will have to deal with her mother. Josephine is an autocratic, controlling, verbally abusive woman. She has lived her life selfishly, acting entitled due to the immense power and fortune she has inherited. Maisey can only imagine how destructive her mother's attitude and words will be regarding her recent divorce. Her ex, Jack, was never a favorite of her mother, and now that he has abandoned their marriage, she can only imagine how hurtful her mother's comments will be.
To add to Maisey's troubles, after she chooses not to move in with her mother, but rather stay at one of the vacation bungalows owned by the family, she finds she will be living next to the man to whom she lost her virginity. Rafe has grown up to be a mature super hottie and the chemical reaction between them notes that all the feelings they felt in their youth have not died away.
But this book is more than a romance and a "mother from hell". Photos found hidden within a wall are discovered and as Maisey looks at them, she realizes there was an older child with their family when she was only two years old. Who is this child? What happened to her? Why is it no one ever mentions her? Digging into this mystery can only upset the delicate balance of Maisey's and Josephine's relationship. Josephine controls everything and everyone surrounding her and within her sphere of influence. Digging into her secrets is bound to bring emotional fireworks... and it does.
True to Brenda Novak's amazing style with mystery and suspense, this is a gripping story of the search for truth and honesty. Money, although necessary to survive, and pride of birthright are not priorities that outrank love, affection, and nurturing as far as Maisey is concerned. This is in direct opposition to her mother who seems to live only to control everyone and preserve her good name. Yet appearances can be deceiving... loved this story!
About the AuthorIt was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.
“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”
However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.
Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer.
“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….”
Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.
Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.
When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking--she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!
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