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Quick summaryMaisey Lazarow returns home to Fairham Island following her failed marriage, writer s block and need to reconnect with her troubled brother, Keith She wasn t prepared to be reunited with her high school fling, Rafe Romero who s a very different man from his teenage persona What workedThe story was interesting as Maisey s story unfolded slowly, filling in the blanks as she first seemed elusive She was frustrating at times as she appeared to lack conviction, especially when confron Quick summaryMaisey Lazarow returns home to Fairham Island following her failed marriage, writer s block and need to reconnect with her troubled brother, Keith She wasn t prepared to be reunited with her high school fling, Rafe Romero who s a very different man from his teenage persona What workedThe story was interesting as Maisey s story unfolded slowly, filling in the blanks as she first seemed elusive She was frustrating at times as she appeared to lack conviction, especially when confronting her cold, controlling mother and her screwed up brother Maisey s developing romance with Rafe was also confusing as she often ran hot and cold without warning I really liked him as he was honest and the most transformed from being a difficult teen I loved his daughter, especially that she was drawn with special needs It added a level of realism that distinguished the story from others featuring children The most interesting aspect of the story was the mystery surrounding the secret sister, including whether or not she even existed Unraveling the clues and pursuing the leads kept me in the story The resolution was powerful with a twist that ends up creating aintriguing foundation for the series The narrationI really liked the narrator s performance Carly Robins livened up the story when there were lulls and her pacing was perfect This is my first experience with her work and hope she continues the series The bottom lineIt s a solid start to a new series with an interesting mystery, even if it lacked tension and scary suspense While Maisey was often a challenge, Rafe and his daughterthan over compensated I m looking forward to the next book I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review 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 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 The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak is a 2015 MIRA publication I found this story to be very fascinating, with Gothic undertones, which is right up my alley Reeling from a series of emotional punches, children s author Maisey Lazarow returns home to Fairham to be closer to her brother, Keith, a man suffering from addictions, who recently attempted to take his own life But, Maisey refuses to stay at the sprawling manor she grew up in, due to the torn relationship with her overbearing and control The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak is a 2015 MIRA publication I found this story to be very fascinating, with Gothic undertones, which is right up my alley Reeling from a series of emotional punches, children s author Maisey Lazarow returns home to Fairham to be closer to her brother, Keith, a man suffering from addictions, who recently attempted to take his own life But, Maisey refuses to stay at the sprawling manor she grew up in, due to the torn relationship with her overbearing and controlling mother So, instead she moves into a bungalow, which happens to be right next door to Rafe Romero, the guy she had an awkward sexual encounter with, in her teens Determined to make it up to Maisey, Rafe tries to be very neighborly, but Maisey is determined to avoid him, knowing her life is too unstable to even think about getting involved with him However, the discovery of a box of old photographs dislodges buried memories of a little girl she believes could be her sister But, how could this be Determined to get to the bottom of things, Maisey will have to confront her mother and risk unearthing a very dark family secret Although it takes a little time for all the pieces to start clicking into place, once the mystery begins to unfold, the story takes on a different tone, which reminded me of a good old fashioned Gothic tale I loved all the sinister undertones that made the story so atmospheric It s hard to imagine a parent so formidable her grown children are still afraid of her But, Josephine is a figure that loves having power over people, and isn t afraid to pass out harsh punishments if you don t fall in line She s hard, cold, insensitive, and quite villainous So, it was no wonder her children were intimidated by her, or that they are underdeveloped emotionally Maisey was hard to warm up to initially, although her fragility is palpable, and it s obvious she needs time to heal I didn t like the way she ran hot and cold with Rafe, who was a terrific guy from start to finish But, it was wonderful watching her slowly learn to let go of her fears, to give love a second chance, and to finally grow a backbone and take charge Rafe is my kind of guy patient, sensitive, and rock solid He is also the father of an adorable special needs child, who all but stole the show While I enjoyed seeing the romance develop between Rafe and Maisey, it was the mystery that took center stage This story is riveting, shocking, and could spark a little debate in regards to the moral dilemma of the situation presented Josephine s parenting style seems to harken back to a different era, where basic physical needs are met, but emotional issues were rarely addressed Being raised in such an environment would certainly have a profound effect on the children So, there is an interesting character study at play here as well The conclusion, left me with a great deal of optimism about all the characters, so I m going to go out on a limb and say everyone will become better, stronger, and happier, especially now that they have solved a mystery that has brought them all closer together 4 stars ..but secrets don t remain secrets forever Well, wow The Secret Sister is full of intensity that I did not fully expect From the second chance romance that kept me asking forto the nail biting mystery, The Secret Sister is perfect for every readers looking for an engaging and thrilling read Maisey went home in chance of helping her troubled brother What she didn t expect to wait for her though is a web of secrets that surrounds her family And Rafe, who she didn t expect..but secrets don t remain secrets forever Well, wow The Secret Sister is full of intensity that I did not fully expect From the second chance romance that kept me asking forto the nail biting mystery, The Secret Sister is perfect for every readers looking for an engaging and thrilling read Maisey went home in chance of helping her troubled brother What she didn t expect to wait for her though is a web of secrets that surrounds her family And Rafe, who she didn t expect to interact with either But Maisey must face all of this, not only for her own sake but also for the people she loves Maisey was a delight to read and I enjoyed being in her head She was far from perfect and she still make mistakes that can frustrate me so much and just makes me scratch my head but I adore how she s aware of it and owns her mistakes Just like us, fictional characters commit mistakes too And that s what I love about Novak s characters in The Secret Sisters They never lose their authenticity in every page Whether its rage, sadness or just their simple joy, every character s emotions just keeps rolling over at every page and their realness never get lost on me Brenda Novak really impressed me by how she weaved the story of The Secret Sister She kept me on my toes She kept me guessing and engaged Her writing really captured me from the first chapter and she really has her hold on me throughout the whole book Onething that needs to be praised is the very sweet and right kind of hot chemistry between Rafe and Maisey It was undeniable Its so hard not to root for them from the very first chapter even though each of them finds reason to fight it Rafe s little girl was mixed in as well and I can t help but say that it is another reason why Rafe looks irresistible, not only to Maisey s eyes but to the readers as well I can t wait forfrom this series The Secret Sister is an excellent opening to a series that I know will keep us on our toes Although I had a fun time with Rafe and Maisey, I can help but be excited about Novak s new and upcoming characters I highly recommend The Secret Sister for readers who wants to be impressed After her divorce and the loss of her child Maisey Lazarow returns home to the small island of Fairham in hopes of helping her brother who has had some problems of his own However, Maisey has not been looking forward to the reunion with her controlling mother after all the years that had passed Instead of staying in the family home Maisey moves into a cottage but finds herself living next to Rafe Romero who has been contracted to fix up the cottages Maisey has a history with Rafe and finds he After her divorce and the loss of her child Maisey Lazarow returns home to the small island of Fairham in hopes of helping her brother who has had some problems of his own However, Maisey has not been looking forward to the reunion with her controlling mother after all the years that had passed Instead of staying in the family home Maisey moves into a cottage but finds herself living next to Rafe Romero who has been contracted to fix up the cottages Maisey has a history with Rafe and finds herself still attracted to him but too broken to risk her heart When Rafe finds a box of old photos Maisey finds herself in the middle of a mystery and trying to uncover old family secrets The Secret Sister was another nice read from Brenda Novak that crosses over from just a romance read into a mystery thriller plus a lot of family drama all wrapped in one It was easy to get interested in Maisey s story rather quickly and really enjoyed the book Maisey s family in the story are the rich as in owning most of the island but have all of the secrets to go along with type Most would expect that with being rich and comfortable would bring for an easy life but there s always things that go on that bring for one dysfunctional group Overall, with lots of twists and turns along the way this romantic suspense had me engaged the entire read I won this book from Goodreads First Reads Forreviews please visit This story started out really strong It sof a contemporary romance with a bit of mystery thrown into it I was hooked and couldn t wait to see what would happen My favorite characters were Rafe and his adorable daughter Laney She definitely stole the show for me in this book I wish there werescenes involving her I love single parent romances I didn t know what to think of Maisey She couldn t make up her mind and that resulted in me not being able to make up my mind about her This story started out really strong It sof a contemporary romance with a bit of mystery thrown into it I was hooked and couldn t wait to see what would happen My favorite characters were Rafe and his adorable daughter Laney She definitely stole the show for me in this book I wish there werescenes involving her I love single parent romances I didn t know what to think of Maisey She couldn t make up her mind and that resulted in me not being able to make up my mind about her There were a couple of times that she really annoyed me Rafe was in my opinion an amazing guy that no woman would want to miss out on He was such a great dad to Laney and very supportive towards Maisey He respected Maisey boundaries but he didn t let her walk all over him.The mystery part in my opinion wasn t really strong Towards the last 25% of the book I was already bored and started skipping pages to find out what was going on I was satisfied with the ending but didn t feel like Rafe and Maisey s relationship fully developed So the ending wasfocused on the mystery than their relationship I would ve liked itif it waseven I ll probably read the next book in the series but not right now This book was a solid five star read It was the perfect combination of mystery and romance At times it felt like I was watching an episode of CSI, I kept coming up with theories of what could ve happened What I loved most was that in the end, I didn t see it coming Sometimes books can be a little predictable but not this one The Secret Sister kept me guessing until the very end when all the loose ends came together perfectly The conclusion was satisfying and it left me feeling really good This book was a solid five star read It was the perfect combination of mystery and romance At times it felt like I was watching an episode of CSI, I kept coming up with theories of what could ve happened What I loved most was that in the end, I didn t see it coming Sometimes books can be a little predictable but not this one The Secret Sister kept me guessing until the very end when all the loose ends came together perfectly The conclusion was satisfying and it left me feeling really good I was worried this might not be the case The romance between Maisey and Rafe was lovely I enjoyed their interactions so much and the chemistry between them was off the charts Rafe was pretty amazing because he still had some of the bad boy in him from when he was younger he could be flirty and confident but at the same time he also matured so much and became this truly good man How adorable was it for him to be a single dad Him and Laney were a perfect fit for Maisey in her current situation, like it was meant to be They complemented each other beautifully I highly recommend this book, I guarantee you will not be disappointed I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review That was not an enjoyable read Everyone was so hateful and selfish Not a single person was remotely like able And the story wasn t much good either Total and utterly MEH in an annoying way Another series by BN that left me fuming Still, her Whiskey Creek series takes the cake for most irritating characters story lines Book 2 next, maybe Of Course NOT Reading is my happy place And I m not happy when I m fuming So, thanks but H3LL TO THE BELLS NO. Well That was INTENSE Very good read. Mysterious Read Makes you feel like Sherlock Holmes trying to uncover the secrets and mysteries There is also an adorable little girl and father that makes your heart melt After a horrible divorce, Maisey returns home to recover and rebuild This is what I don t understand You know for a fact your brother and mother are whackadoodlecertifiable Yet, Maisey goes back home for solace So, why is she shocked when her mother is evil to her and her brother neglects her It s not like they acte Mysterious Read Makes you feel like Sherlock Holmes trying to uncover the secrets and mysteries There is also an adorable little girl and father that makes your heart melt After a horrible divorce, Maisey returns home to recover and rebuild This is what I don t understand You know for a fact your brother and mother are whackadoodlecertifiable Yet, Maisey goes back home for solace So, why is she shocked when her mother is evil to her and her brother neglects her It s not like they acted any different towards her when she lived away from home Also, I didn t like the entire book shrouded under this mysterious cloud That cloud was too thickand not in a good way I know, I know, the title is The SECRET Sister, but whatever.Other than the complaints mentioned above, I moderately enjoyed the story The mom s turnabout at the end was too much, too quick, but I m glad I read it Although, I don t think I will read book 2 LOL I am doing a horrible job of encouraging others to read this