Book Review & Giveaway: The Secret Sister (Fairham Island #1) by Brenda Novak

Posted July 27, 2015 by Melissa in Book Review, Giveaway | 17 Comments

Book Review & Giveaway: The Secret Sister (Fairham Island #1) by Brenda Novak

About The Secret Sister
Book Review & Giveaway: The Secret Sister (Fairham Island #1) by Brenda NovakTitle: The Secret Sister
Series: Fairham Island #1
Also in Series: The Secrets She Kept
Author: Brenda Novak
Publisher: Harlequin, Mira
Publication date: July 28th 2015
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: 400 Pages
Source: Publisher
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
My Rating:

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?

Book Quote

“She told herself she was relieved. And yet she couldn’t forget the vision of Rafe holding his daughter so tenderly as her walked back home. It reminded her of the safety she’d felt in his arms, of how easily he’d carried her to his place, and what he’d done to her–and with her–after that.”

My Thoughts

The Secret Sister is my second novel by Brenda Novak and I can guarantee it will not be the last. Her writing style is perfect for an easy read that doesn’t feel easy. Her backdrops are well fleshed out and add so much dimension to the tales. And her character’s are surprisingly complex. I think that it is this last element of her writing that draws me in the most.

In this story Maisey is a fairly straightforward character and it’s hard not to connect with her early on. She’s adrift in her life and hopes that coming home to Fairham Island will not only help her ground herself and find direction…but will also enable her to help her brother Keith. Rafe…well…Brenda writes swoonworthy guys well. From the first moment that we see him interacting with his daughter Laney, we are hooked 🙂 We are really left wondering throughout about many of the other key players, though. Can we trust them? Can they trust themselves?

I wouldn’t quite call this a second chance romance…but it was close. Close enough that I didn’t mind the speed with which the romance progressed. Sometimes I really just think it’s all in how it’s orchestrated…and this one I believed. There was an almost love triangle and I was immensely pleased that The Secret Sister did not go in that direction.

Although it took me about one third of the book to really get drawn in…I could not put it down after that point. I really needed to know if there was another child and what happened to her…and I really needed to find out what made Josephine tick.

At least I got one of those answers. I am assuming since this is only the first Fairham Island novel that we’ll eventually get more of those answers that we were left hoping for at the end of The Secret Sister.


Five (5) copies of The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak (US/CA)
Ends Aug. 12th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Brenda Novak


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she’s won The National Reader’s Choice, The Bookseller’s Best, The Bookbuyer’s Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

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17 responses to “Book Review & Giveaway: The Secret Sister (Fairham Island #1) by Brenda Novak

  1. anne

    A captivating and wonderful story which appeals to me greatly. Thanks for this delightful feature and great giveaway.

    • Melissa

      I’ve always loved romantic suspense…this is a little more mystery than suspense but still delightful!

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