Blog Review: The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak

Title: The Secret Sister
Author: Brenda Novak
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mystery/Suspense
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? 
Rating:  ☕☕☕☕ 3 and 1/2 cups.  The story was gripping and mysterious almost edge of your seat suspense. The romance was at the start quite obvious and the heat level was steamy but it really took a backseat to the mysterious secret sister. The ending felt anticlimactic however with a lot of hanging elements that wasn't fully answered.  Overall it was a good suspense thriller with romantic elements thats guaranteed to keep you turning the pages.
Review:  The Secret Sister was quite a surprising read.  Although it felt like a romance initially, it was really about a woman whose recovering from a loss and finding solace in the arms of a man whose life seems more settled than hers.  It also evolved into a mystery in her family about a missing sister that no one seems to talk about.  It wasn't until a forgotten box of letters and buried photographs finds its way into her hands that starts her on the course of trying to find this sister.  This book will have you gripping your seat, trying to solve the mystery but it will also tug at your heart strings because of how real Maisey's family situation is like.  The characters were all engaging and captivates the readers with the vividness of their personality.  Maisey with her resilience, Keith with his troubles and Rafe who seemed settled but also has is own burdens.  The plot was tight the tone  coasting into a dark almost gothic approach but with episodes of laughter and light intermixed.  The Secret Sister is definitely not something to be missed.