ROMANCE

The Secret Sister

MIRA: Harlequin. Aug. 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780778317807. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781460382301. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
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Still reeling from the death of her infant daughter and a recent, difficult divorce, children's book author Maisey Lazarow returns to the South Carolina island where she was raised in order to put her life back together. Maisey wants peace and has absolutely no intention of staying with her icy, estranged mother in the family mansion, so she moves instead into one of her beloved seaside vacation cottages. Her neighbor turns out to be Rafe Romero, a successful contractor and single dad who was a brief part of a rebellious teenage past that Maisey would just as soon forget. A secret cache of family pictures found in the walls sends Maisey on a search for the truth about a sister she never knew she had, and her life becomes anything but peaceful.
VERDICT Skillful plotting, well-developed characters (a blind little girl is adorable), a delightful romance, toxic family dynamics, and a puzzling mystery make this story a rewarding read that will appeal to both romance and women's fiction fans. Novak (This Heart of Mine) lives in the Sacramento, CA, area.

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