The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it's suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn't believe it.
Keith bears scars—both physical and emotional—from his childhood, but he's worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he's built a new life in LA. He's also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother's death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again—and he's determined to find his mother's killer.
Problem is…coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left before. And digging that deep into his mother's final days and hours entails a very real risk.
Because the person who killed her could be someone he loves…
Truly a story filled with secrets, family drama, and a murder mystery that has everyone looking at each other with questions in their eyes. Josephine Lazarow wasn't the nicest of people, and now it's possible she was murdered.
Five years has gone, and Keith, the former cocaine user, has completely, surprisingly, turned his life around. Not only he isn't taking drugs anymore, he has gained back his good looks, is physically fit again, and built a multi-million dollar company from nothing. Looking at his background, it's a miracle he is where he is today, and not receiving heavy duty professional help, only the abuse in his childhood would have required that one could think. But he managed a turn around in his life.
And now he is back at the island and facing his old demons again.
I know this book is sold as romantic suspense, but in my opinion, it is more of an old fashion family saga, with hideous and hurtful secrets being revealed, mistakes are being made, and forgiveness is asked, and even granted, on some occasions.
The murder mystery brings people together, as much as it is pulling others apart. The mystery of Josephine's death is driving force for Keith, something he is determined to solve, and make the culprit pay. There's no intensity, danger, or action, just looking for clues, and dealing with the aftermath the reveal of the truth leaves behind.
When Keith was still living on the island and using drugs, Nancy was his escape. He isn't capable of deep feelings, commitments, and relationships, but with Nancy, he at times found a moment of peace. As soon as he has to face his demons at the island, he finds himself on Nancy's doorsteps. Like before, the codependent relationship takes fire again. Keith needs Nancy to distract him from the reality, from the cravings for drugs, for slipping back to the old life. Nancy has desperately been in love with Keith for years, never thought of herself as worthy of him, and now has one last chance to be with him again. Is there a physical attraction? Absolutely, but deeper feelings, connection, or something to built a future on? Not in my opinion. I would have needed so much more work in the relationship, much more depth, actual feelings of love and adoration, to believe they had a real thing going, with possibilities of future. I felt the relationship, as well as the characters, were left rather superficial and shallow.
As the romance and the suspense left me wanting, considering the story a family saga, where twists in the plot are as surprising as the secrets revealed, the behind the closed door relationships as tainted, as the off history of the family, and everything is unfolding while the core family does they best to hold on, I found it intriguing, like watching a train wreck, and couldn't look away. From the sort of a cliffhanger ending, I am assuming there's more to the saga to come
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me