THE SECRET SISTER (Fairham Island #1) by Brenda Novak #Review


(Fairham Island #1)
by Brenda Novak
Available July 28th 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 South 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 because 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.

She’s convinced that child existed. So where is she now?


My Review:

THE SECRET SISTER is the first book in a new series by Brenda Novak set on Fairham Island. The main character being Maisey Lazarow who has come back to her childhood home after suffering a terrible loss that ended her marriage. She’s been gone ten years and is hoping that she will be able to not only get her own life back on track, but her brother Keith’s as well. She’s looking forward to finding some peace back from spending time in a cottage in Smuggler’s Cove where she has wonderful memories of time spent with her deceased father. What she finds is the grownup version of a young man she has a crush on as a teenager and still finds hard to resist. Rafe Romero is a local contractor and Maisey’s neighbor who is more than willing to get to know Maisey better. But Maisey comes with a lot of baggage… childhood issues, her failed marriage, and a career slump, among other things so she’s resistant at first to the second chance at romance Rafe is hoping for with her.

What really drives this story is the mystery and the strong personalities of the characters. I definitely had a strong reaction and opinion of them all. Ms. Novak is a pro at making her characters come to life in a very realistic way. The mystery of what happened to the secret sister is built slowly as you get to know the various characters and their roles in the world of Fairham Island. There was so much going on in this well-written story as each character’s situation is woven together to reach that cohesive end and solve the mystery that I could not zip right through as I might other books. I can’t end without saying, my favorite parts of the story were those with little Laney, that sweet girl stole the show in every scene she was in! 3.5 stars


CONTEST from author Brenda Novak’s Facebook page:

THE SECRET SISTER is out!! I’m throwing confetti and taking the day off (NOT–but that actually sounds fun ). To celebrate, I’m going to add one more gift to the “Countdown to Release Giveaway” bundles that I’ve been doing on Facebook:

In order to be entered to win a $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, a FREE digital copy of HANOVER HOUSE (the 200-page kick-off to my new suspense series with St. Martin’s Press), an advanced e-copy of A WINTER WEDDING (the next Whiskey Creek book–months before the book actually comes out), the Welcome Gift Pack that everyone who comes to the physical launch party will receive (physical launch party is in Sacramento this Friday, July 31st), an autographed copy of LOVE THAT! Brenda Novak’s Every Occasion Cookbook AND an autographed Just Like Mom’s apron (from the fictional diner in the Whiskey Creek books), post something like the following to your Facebook page:

THE SECRET SISTER, New York Times Bestselling Author #BrendaNovak’s new book, is out! I’ve got my copy. Do you have yours? If not, you can find it at the following links:

Then comment that you posted so we have a nice handy list from which to choose the winner, which will be announced next Monday (in order to give everyone time to do it).

About Author Brenda Novak:



It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career. “I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.” However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business.Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of 20 in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer. “When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….” Brenda sold her first book, and the rest is history.

Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Write Touch, the Award of Excellence and the Beacon Award for Published Authors.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. She juggles her writing career with her children’s softball and soccer games, field trips, carpool runs and homework sessions.When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fundraiser for diabetes research—an on-line auction held at her website May 1st – May 31st. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, watching sporting events and biking–she rides an amazing 20 miles every day!


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