Family Secrets

Debra St. John
Family Secrets
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The Wild Rose Press
Release Date
August 2014
Contemporary Romance

Even after the death of her husband, Erika Garrett is still close to his family. She vows they'll never discover he was cheating on her. She's content with her play-by-the-rules life until Chase Stewart re-enters her life.

Chase is divorced from Erika's sister-in-law and wants nothing to do with her family or they with him. If it weren't for shared custody of his precious four-year old twins, he wouldn't be a part of their lives at all.

He has no desire to marry again, so the only thing he can offer Erika is a secret summer fling. But when the secret is uncovered, can either of them ever face the family again?

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Oct 04, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
236 people found the following review helpful
When her unfaithful husband died before she could confront him, there was no way she could bring herself to tarnish a beloved son's reputation and risk alienating the only real family she'd ever had, no matter how much the secret festered within her soul. But as far as secrets went, it would be no less damaging to reveal her growing feelings for the family outcast.

Schoolteacher Erika Garrett has always felt a harmonious connection with Chase Stewart and he's always been there for her, but they'd rather lost touch since her sister-in-law divorced him and Erika's own husband Kevin had died. But when Erika bought an old row house in hopes of leaving the memories of Kevin's betrayal behind, she never expected to find Chase standing on her doorstep and creating a dilemma when he offered his expertise as a home contractor at a rock bottom price. Kevin's disapproving mother and sister would never stomach Erika hiring Chase, even if it eased her financial burden, and then, there was that little problem of the innocent little crush Erika had developed on Chase when he'd refused to let her remain alone the night of Kevin's funeral.

Chase knew he was only tolerated by the Garrett family because he shared custody of his young twin daughters with his ex-wife, but he was a little surprised and hurt to realize Erika had overlooked his skills and expertise when shopping for a home contractor. He'd always felt a special bond with his former sister-in-law, but he didn't like the idea of her refusing to hire him just because she remained tight with Kevin's family and didn't want to lose the Garrett family's love and emotional support. And surely, he and Erika could fight the new buzz of hyper-awareness sizzling between them, especially since Chase knew his daughters came first and he didn't want to get emotionally involved with another woman.

Circumstances lead Erika to hire Chase and swear him to secrecy, but denying what's between them may prove the best kept secret of all.

In FAMILY SECRETS, Debra St. John has created a well-paced, absorbing tale of divided family loyalties and moving forward in the face of adversity to grasp a second chance at happiness. The motivations of Erika, Chase, and Ms. St. John's secondary characters are understandable and believable, and the author weaves their complex relationships into a story that is sure to garner a mix of emotional responses in the reader.

At times, I definitely wanted to will Erika to just spill her secrets in spite of her fears, but each time I felt this way, Chase did something to distract and further endear me to him with his understanding and patience. It also wasn't hard for me to understand Erika waffling back and forth as I gleaned more information about Kevin's family, and I frequently caught myself examining how I might handle Erika's situation myself. Kudos to Debra St. John for weaving passion and family drama into a thought provoking and satisfying romantic read.
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