I’m excited to welcome everyone to my tour stop for The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak. This is the first book in her Fairham Island series. It is a women’s fiction novel that released July 28th. The tour runs July 27- Aug. 7th. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
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?
You shouldn’t wish to be any different from exactly the way you are, remember? That was the message of the book.
This is my first novel by Brenda Novak and it’s safe to say that I’m very pleased with this introduction to her work. The Secret Sister was so engaging. I literally could NOT put this book down. This was one of those reads where you find yourself glancing at the clock flashing some ungodly early hour and say to yourself, “just one more chapter,” only to find yourself turning to the back cover and realizing that you have work in an hour. One hundred percent worth it.
Maisey, our protagonist, is so easily relatable. Personally, I really related to Maisey’s relationship struggle with her mother, Josephine, the austere matriarch of Maisey’s wealthy family. Also, there’s the whole feeling of not knowing what to do with her life after her painful divorce, which is a feeling I’m all too familiar with. The struggle is certainly real.
There is so much balance to this book, the mix between the suspense of Maisey’s search for the truth and her budding romance with hunky, neighbor Rafe is perfect. Hell, Rafe is perfect and definitely swoon worthy. Novak sure knows how to write the perfect man. I wouldn’t mind living next door to this attractive, loving father. The interactions between Maisey and Rafe were equally adorable and steamy, I was for sure rooting for them the whole book.
The main reason I couldn’t put down The Secret Sister was my need to know the truth along with Maisey. I had so many questions and theories! Was there another child? What really happened? Will everything turn out alright for Maisey and her brother Keith?
I was very excited to learn that The Secret Sister is the first of a series about Fairham Island. Novak writes these complex characters that I’m very happy to get the opportunity to revisit.