Monday, November 30, 2015

Secret Sisters by Jayne Anne Krentz

The publisher provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Madeline "Maddie" Chase has inherited a B&B empire upon her grandmother's recent death. As the contemporary portion of the book opens, she's breaking up with her current boyfriend with backup provided by her security consultant, Jack Rayner. If you've read JAK before, you can probably figure out who the boyfriend at the end is going to be as well as how the roles for the rest of the main players will fall out. The first chapter shows an incident in her past that ended in death so she has reasons for trust issues in the present. And then the caretaker at the site of that incident calls and says he needs to talk to her. When she gets to Cooper Island, the caretaker has time to gasp out his dying words before he expires. And then it all goes down hill from there.

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann KrentzOkay. So-- the title. The phrase seems to imply girls that would have a) at least stayed in touch with each other over the years and been very close or b) had more interaction in this book, or maybe even c) been newly discovered siblings after a parent died, but no. Or we could have had some more explanation of how that came to be-- was it actually tied to the opening chapter? But, no, none one of these occurs. It was annoying because throughout the whole book, I just kept trying to figure out why this book was given this title since that part of the story is such a small aspect (though it is occasionally shoe-horned in). Even Maddie's suggestion of "Nightmare at Aurora Point" would have been better-fitting.
I have and always will auto-add any of JAK's books (under any of her pen names) to my TBR books because they're usually so enjoyable. This one... just didn't work as well. I liked both Trust No One and River Road (the latest two new (i.e. not re-released) contemporaries) better. (Actually, that's just based off of my reviews. I'm off to re-read those as well. Just for research ;-) )

There was a LOT going on in this book and it did get a bit hard-going.The B plot of Daphne and Abe was rather well glossed over and I would have liked to see more of it. On the second reading, it was a little easier to pick up all the threads of the plot, but will every reader have a chance for a second reading?
First read for me was 3 stars, second bumped it up a bit higher. And, after working out and thinking about it a bit more, I'm going to bump it up to 4 stars. I really liked Maddie and Jack. I just really wish we had seen more of Daphne and Abe. Maybe a novella from their point of view...?

For all that this is a rather long review, I think that regular JAK readers will enjoy this story. And the excerpt from "'Til Death Do Us Part"? ... I can't hardly wait!

Secret Sisters comes out Dec. 8, 2015

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