For the first time in a decade, Maddie Chandler returns to her small home due to the unexpected death of her surrogate mother, her beloved “Aunt” Ceci. To deal with her overwhelming grief she finds herself relying on the steadfast strength of her high school crush, local attorney Zac Redondo. Though she scolds herself for depending on him so much, she can’t seem to find the strength to resist their mutual attraction.
While home, Maddie is haunted by childhood memories of her twin sister Angeline, who was killed at the age of ten. She is persuaded to investigate the unsolved murder only because she fears refusal will threaten her very sanity. Her mother eventually succumbed to madness in her grief over Angeline’s death, and Maddie is terrified she will inherit her mental illness. Her inquiries into her sister’s case uncover years of deceptions that were maintained to safeguard her from the brutal truth. Not only is her life threatened by her pursuit of justice for her twin, it ultimately causes her world to shatter.
Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, Maddie’s personal journey exposes her vulnerabilities as she learns the true meaning of family from a boisterous clan that is not linked to her by blood. Come along with her as she struggles to accept the love of the man who holds the key to her future happiness. And as she copes with the hostilities of her estranged father, she unwittingly strengthens the fragile bond with the one relative she was determined to say goodbye to forever.
This novel is intended for mature readers.
When Maddie Chandler is forced to return home she’s ready to deal with the naysayers and the family she left behind. However, she’s not quite ready to hear her sister’s voice in her head again—one of the many reasons she left in the first place. Not long after arriving her sister does indeed begin to speak to her, but this time it’s different. This time, her sister wants her to uncover the person responsible for her murder.
As Maddie follows the little clues Angeline gives her, she uncovers secrets so dark they twist her stomach. The truth behind Angeline’s death is far worse than she could possibly have imagined. Though Maddie is surrounded by people that love her, as the past comes back to haunt her, she begins to question their motives, pushing away the one person who wants to be there for her above others.
So much goes on in this book that it’s impossible to write a brief rundown without giving things away. The book really fouses on Maddie’s journey to uncover her sisters killer and her budding relationship with old friend Zac.
The romantic element to this book was A1 excellent. The growing relationship between Zac and Maddie was perfectly captured and the heat—wow. If the author ever steps away from women’s fiction to contemporary romance, there will be some very happy boyfriends and husband’s in this world! Rare is it that an author can capture a relationship and the tumultuous feelings within it as well as Sorell has. However, the author does such a food job making Maddie’s personal journey intriguing that I can’t wait to read more of her lovely style.
The mystery part to the plot was also very well done. I didn’t guess it, so when the reveal came I was wowed.
Mostly though, the poignancy to this tale had me in tears. One of the things the book explores is child abuse which I can say that I usually avoid at all costs – I just can’t cope with it. However, the abuse is not condoned in any way and treated with great care and it is only fleeting within the pages.
No part of this book left me wanting, no part left details out. Beautifully crafted with stunning clarity, this book will knock you on your ass with it’s attention to detail.
Maddie’s journey is both emotional and powerful. It was a real joy to read and I love the happy ending to the book, though it doesn’t reach a full conclusion. I will most certainly read the next installment and very much look forward to it.
If you want a book with depth, soul and a fantastic plot as well as a host of intriguing characters and a scorching hot love interest, this one’s for you. It is honestly one of the best books I have read this year. Have the tissues handy and set aside some time, it’s a real page turner and all round fabulous.