House Of Secretsby Elizabeth Blackwell
The house is special. Alissa Franklin knows this from the moment she walks into the run-down structure. Aided by carpenter Danny Pierce, she launches a restoration project to turn this place into her home. As each layer of decoration is stripped away, they grow closer. They also uncover the century-old mystery surrounding the original owners and a private love affair.
The secrets aren't restricted to the past, however. And the ones between Alissa and Danny could jeopardize their relationship. Now she must choose to either walk away or find the courage to embrace a future with him.
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The previous family, the renowned affluent Brewster clan who has a Baltimore street named for them, owned the dilapidated Oak Hill house. The large Brewster mansion was built in 1904 and remained used by the family for decades until a death drove them away. Perhaps the finality to her on and off for four years relationship with Brad represented by the house is the impetus, but designer Alissa Franklin is intrigued with the tale of those occupants. Her contractor Daniel Pierce assists Alyssa on her investigation into the Brewster clan, but he hides from her his real reason in assisting her. As they fall in love, each conceals truths that if revealed could end their relationship while both realize there is a lot more to a deadly accident than they first realized while putting together the puzzle of the Brewster family and what was once their magnificent house. This is an enjoyable contemporary romance with an engaging amateur sleuth investigation into the history of a house and its previous occupants. The story line works on both levels; that of a tale of love and secrets, and a mystery of love and secrets. Elizabeth Blackwell provides an entertaining novel as the hunk handyman and the delightful designer bring love back to the HOUSE OF SECRETS. Harriet Klausner