The Secrets She Kept

The Secrets She Kept

4.8 41
by Brenda Novak

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Exciting, emotional, intense. The thrilling follow-up to New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak's highly acclaimed The Secret Sister. The things that happen in families are always surprising and sometimes shocking!

The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it's suicide, but Keith, her estranged


Exciting, emotional, intense. The thrilling follow-up to New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak's highly acclaimed The Secret Sister. The things that happen in families are always surprising and sometimes shocking!

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…

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It has been five years since Keith Lazarow fled his personal demons and his wealthy, manipulative mother's crushing control and left Fairham Island to carve out a life of his own. Now, a self-made real estate mogul, Keith reluctantly heads back to South Carolina to lay some old ghosts to rest and deal with the aftermath of his mother's sudden—and definitely suspicious—death. But mystery and danger await, and as Keith searches for answers and an elusive killer, he is drawn once again to Nancy Dellinger, the woman he walked out on but hasn't been able to forget. VERDICT Buried life-changing secrets, realistic family drama, sharply drawn characters, and dynamic descriptions combine with an intriguing and twisty plot in this perfect sequel to Discovering You. A welcome addition to the author's latest series. Novak lives in the Sacramento, CA, area.
From the Publisher
"Buried life-changing secrets, realistic family drama, sharply drawn characters, and dynamic descriptions combine with an intriguing and twisty plot in this perfect sequel to Discovering You. A welcome addition to the author's latest series." ---Library Journal

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5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak has penned over forty novels, including the Bulletproof trilogy and the Last Stand series. A two-time RITA Award nominee, she has garnered the National Readers' Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Bookbuyer's Best, and many other awards.

Carly Robins is an actress and voice-over artist. She can be heard on commercials, video games, and promos. Carly comes to narration with a passion for performance along with the capability to span several genres, from romance to children's literature and thrillers.

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The Secrets She Kept 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous 1 days ago
This was the first book I'd read by Novak and it was great! I loved the plot. I like mystery.The relationships between the characters was very engrossing. I liked this book so much I immediatly bought the sequel.
Anonymous 6 days ago
This is the first time I have read a book by Brenda Novak. The book was awesome. I look forward to reading more of her books.
Anonymous 11 days ago
I enjoyed the visit to Fairham Island and the adventures and mystery. I am a reader of the Whiskey Creek series and Brenda Novak's creative writing style. She continues to share her talent with her readers. I plan to go back and read The Secret Sister and maybe re read the some of the stories in my library written by her. It has been a while. LA-TXN
ILuvBooks25 20 days ago
This is the second mystery/thriller of Brenda's that I have read and the second book that I have read in this series. First off, I think Brenda did a great job of developing Keith's character right away in the beginning so that you would understand why he was the way that he was. In addition, you were able to see Keith's character grow and mature through out the book as he investigated his mothers death. In addition, Brenda incorporated old characters like Maisey and new ones like their long lost sister. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was how Brenda incorporated mystery, intrigue and romance all into one book. From the moment that the reader starts the book to the very last chapter, Brenda has you on the edge of your couch wondering what really happened to Josephine. I am very interested to see where Brenda takes this story in the next book in the Fairham Island series as I am not sure how she is going to top this one. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend to people who enjoy mystery and romance and want twists and turns in their book as this book definitely had them.
Cheryl-S 3 months ago
WOW! This is such a fabulous romantic suspense novel. This is the conclusion to The Secret Sister and it packed quite a punch! There was plot twist after plot twist. Just when you thought you had it figured out, a new piece of the puzzle was falling to place. All while this mystery and suspense played out there was a sweet romance playing in the background. The characters were perfectly developed and the story line flowed with the expertise only Brenda Novak could deliver. I can't wait to see what's next for this amazing author. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
LEH0644 4 months ago
Keith Lazarow left Fairham Island five years ago and hasn’t looked back. He moved as far away from his mother as he could and ended up in California where he became successful and wealthy. He is shocked when he receives a call from his sister Maisey telling him that their mother committed suicide. Keith returns to the island and meets with the sheriff and tells her that he doesn’t believe his mother committed suicide. An independent autopsy proved that Josephine did not drown but was suffocated. This meant that she was murdered and put a whole new light on the investigation. Keith is determined to get involved even though the sheriff tells him not to and he finds evidence of the identity of the murderer. Another part of the book deals with the relationship between Keith and Nancy Dellinger. When Keith left five years ago, he left Nancy without any warning even though she had saved him from his serious drug problem. Now that he is back on the island, he wants to resume their sexual relationship but Nancy knows that she will be alone again when he leaves. He is the only man she will ever love. Should she be with him for the short time he is here or should she move on?
KelliJo 4 months ago
WOW!!! Just when you think Brenda Novak could not get any more brilliant, she does, and surprises you with The Secrets She Kept. All the way through the end, you learn The Secrets She Kept. Families are often torn apart after the death of a loved one, and this newly reunited family fights hard to stay together - despite the truths that they uncover. So, if you love a great mystery, with strife, forgiveness, loss, surprise, and a great love story, this book is for you!
Anonymous 4 months ago
I love all Brenda Novak books so I may be a little bias!!!! This is a great book, great mystery with a few twist and a great love story!!!!
bal64 4 months ago
When Josephine Lazarow is found dead of an apparent suicide Maisy calls Keith. She is worried but afraid that this will trigger a relapse of his drug addiction. Keith questions whether their mother actually killed herself and launches his own investigation. While the police and Keith are trying to get all the facts secrets that have been hidden for years are uncovered. I loved the way the story unfolds and the relationships deal with the findings.
belle7171 5 months ago
Although I like Ms. Novak’s sweet Whiskey Creek series, I look forward to her Suspense Romances, and The Secrets She Kept does not disappoint. The follow up novel to The Secret Sister follows Keith, the estranged brother, as he comes back home to Fairham Island to deal with his mother’s death, which he immediately suspects as a murder. He reconnects with Nancy, who he hurt badly the last time he was in town 5 years before. As the murder investigation progresses, secrets are uncovered, and there appears to be many people who may have wanted his mother dead. There are twists and turns, culminating with the revelation of what happened the night Keith’s mother died. Some relationships are made, and some may be completely broken. What can I say? Loved it.
MasonCanyon 5 months ago
This is a story that pulls you in with the first few pages. From there, you’re on a roller coaster ride of emotions until the surprised ending. The characters are well-developed and realistic. The author has given the characters traits, faults and hardships readers can empathize with. The secondary characters add depth to the story. Moving at a steady pace, the story flows smoothly with twists to keep you wondering. THE SECRETS SHE KEPT is a stand-alone book even though it’s the second installment in the series. New readers aren’t left in the dark. The author takes intense emotional issues and combines them with a touch of romance for a well-balanced story. Readers will feel the emotions as the characters face their past and present. The mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat. Filled with family drama and mystery, this is a must read book. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to let go. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
BooksAndSpoons 5 months ago
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
faerea1968 5 months ago
Oh my gosh, I loved this story. This is the second book in this series, and although I loved the first book, I liked this one even more than the first. Brenda does such a great job engaging the reader and pulling you into the story. The characters are so well developed and the cast in this book sucks you into their lives. This book centers around Keith, involving his siblings, his mother, and a myriad of others. There are several twists and turns, as well as intrigue and scandal. I was riveted f Oh my gosh, I loved this story. This is the second book in this series, and although I loved the first book, I liked this one even more than the first. Brenda does such a great job engaging the reader and pulling you into the story. The characters are so well developed and the cast in this book sucks you into their lives. This book centers around Keith, involving his siblings, his mother, and a myriad of others. There are several twists and turns, as well as intrigue and scandal. I was riveted from the beginning to the very end. I love Brenda Novak's writing, and I think she just gets better and better with every book she writes. This book is an absolute MUST READ!
carol223CS 5 months ago
Brenda Novak's The Secrets She Kept Secrets, suicide or murder, suspense, drama, loss and grieving, mystery, captivating writing, vivid descriptions, an unpredictable, engaging plot with many twists and turns plus some romance makes this book an entertaining read. The matriarch of Fairham Island, Josephine Lazarow is dead. The police write it off as suicide until Keith returns to the Island. Keith needs to let go of the past demons that haunt him with his mother. Keith believes she was not capable of suicide as she enjoyed the life she was living. He set out to prove that Josephine was murdered. He proves she had many, many secrets that were hidden away from the family. So who could be her killer? While the book covers deceit, betrayal, viciousness, greed, hatred , the reader will also fine friendship, trust, faith, forgiveness and love. Thank you to the author for this eBook. My opinion is my own.
gamom56 5 months ago
Another Great Read From Brenda Novak! Wow, I really loved this book, but now I have a problem. THE SECRETS SHE KEPT, is the second of the Fairham Island trilogy, which means I have to wait for the next one! Don't you hate that? This book is Keith and Nancy's story, with a really good "who done it" murder mystery, mixed in for good measure. I loved seeing Keith, who we met in THE SECRET SISTER, get his act together. He is drug free and a successful business man. He returns home, after hearing of his mother's death. Nancy, is the lady he had a relationship with five years before. He treated her badly and walked away. They rekindle their relationship, but it is difficult for Nancy to trust Keith again. You will have to read this book yourself to find out what happens, because I'm not giving away any spoilers. I will say, it will be worth your time! I love catching up with the characters from the past book. Maisey's family is charming and we get a chance to know Roxanne's family better. I think you could read this as a stand alone, but why would you want to? THE SECRET SISTER was a wonderful read too!
AmyHiggs 5 months ago
The Secrets She Kept takes place 5 years after The Secret Sister and we find Keith has changed a lot. He comes back to Fairham Island because of the death of his mother Josephine. This story was an amazing blend of family drama, suspense and romance! Who was Josephine Lazarow and what secrets will her death reveal? Trust me, it is worth reading to find out! I would recommend that you read The Secret Sister before reading this book.
kdjohnston73 5 months ago
The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak is wonderful!! I was hooked by the first page and just didn't want to stop reading!! The perfect blend of drama, suspense and romance!! Definitely another winner by this author!!!
grandmareads102 5 months ago
Keith left Fairham Island 5 years ago. His relationship with his mother was destructive and he needed to save himself. Now Josephine Lazarow is dead. Did she take her own life as the police think or was it murder? Keith believes the latter. His mother was a narcissist and would never reveal any weakness to the world. Now that he's back, he'll find out the truth. He and his mother may have been estranged but he owes her justice. Keith is a damaged soul. His mother was cruel and demanding. He bears the physical and emotional scars. I loved his strength. His dedication is amazing as is his courage. He's protective of his sisters and their families. I wish that his past didn't keep him from being in a committed relationship. Nancy Dellinger is an island girl. She was Keith's lover when he walked away. He broke her heart. She still cares deeply for him, but she knows that becoming involved with him is a bad idea. However, her love for him runs deep. She can't keep away when he pursues her. Their interaction is real and passionate. I enjoyed their romance, but I cheered when Nancy walks away when Keith told her that their relationship was temporary. She won't put her dreams on hold. Brenda Novak has written a powerful story that has it all. There is romance, murder and emotional drama. I was hooked from the first page. The characters are well written and the plot is filled with unexpected twists and turns. There are multiple suspects who wanted Josephine dead. I sympathized with Rocki and shed tears at her betrayal. The Secrets She Kept is a riveting story of getting a second chance to make things right. This book shows how devastating keeping secrets can be. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
perriknows 5 months ago
I read the first book in this series, The Secret Sister, enjoyed it, and was waiting for the next book in this series to debut. A great read, although the ending seemed abrupt, so that's why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. Josephine is the matriarch of the family and is found dead of an apparent suicide. Maisey, Josephine's daughter, calls her siblings, Keith and Rocki, to let them know their mother is gone. Keith, comes back to the island to help with the arrangements, but then realizes that, no matter what, his mother would never had committed suicide. The number of suspects at the outset of the book is daunting, once the death is ruled a murder. The rest of this story revolves around those who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit this act...and some romance! I did have an inkling to who did it about three quarters of the way through the book, but there were enough twists and turns to the book, I really was guessing! Loved all of the characters, but as in the last book, I didn't care for the things Josephine did. She was not a nice lady! Her grandchildren did love her though, so she couldn't have been completely evil... Now, why I didn't give it 5 stars...I felt like the book just died in the last couple of chapters. Once there was a confession, we went from a romantic thriller, to a quick way to tie up all of the ends. I felt like there could have been more to the book, and I wouldn't have been sorry if there were another hundred pages or so...but then I always feel that way at the end of one of Brenda Novak's books!
KerryACroucier 5 months ago
Lots of Twists and Turns! Keith Lazarow has finally gotten his life together. It only took 5 years and moving across the country from his Mother. When he receives his sister's call telling him his Mother is dead and the police are ruling it suicide, he knows it is time to return home to Fairham Island, despite the memories and the threat to his sobriety. Keith knows his mother wouldn't commit suicide, and, once they have time to think about it, his sisters agree. Josephine Lazarow was too proud and narcissistic to contemplate ending her own life. As Keith investigates, all sorts of secrets come out, leading to all sorts of twists and turns. What starts as s short trip home, becomes longer for Keith and he knows he has to make things right with Nancy, the one person who accepted him for who he was, addictions and all. When he left town, he knew he had to make a clean break, and in that, he hurt Nancy. Nancy has tried to move on, but no one has captured her heart like Keith did. She tries to keep her distance, feeling she can't compare, but Keith keeps trying to make amends. As secrets start unraveling, Keith realizes that his feeling for Nancy are stronger and more permanent than he thought and that having her by his side can get him through anything. All he has to do is convince her to give him another chance. The characters in this novel were extremely well developed, and the story was full of twists to keep the reader in suspense. It can be read as a stand alone, though it is the second in the series. If you are looking for suspense and mystery, with a great story and interesting characters, this is for you. **I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
sbart84 5 months ago
A gripping emotional read of family secrets with plenty of suspense, dysfunctional family dynamics and a rekindling of a romance. A roller coaster ride of who done it, many people have reasons to have killed Josephine but first Kieth, her son, needed to prove her death was not a suicide. Kieth has returned to Fairham Island upon the death of his mother but only to settle his mother's death. As he is discovering things of his mother's, so many secrets she kept, WOW!!! I must say, I was not a big fan of Josephine, so I can see why many people wanted her dead. While Keith is on the island, he rekindles a relationship with is past girlfriend, Nancy. Nancy has had continued feelings for Keith, even though he hurt her in the past, can Keith finally learn to love. I highly recommend this read full of suspense, family dynamics and a romance makes it for the perfect summer read.
MaryJoMI 5 months ago
Josephine has always been a ball-buster. She ruled her family and life with an iron fist. When she suddenly dies, her family has to cope with the loss while digging through her secrets, and boy did she hide some huge ones. Keith had left his mother’s rule 5 years ago and rebuilt his life so needing to return to deal with his mother’s estate is a struggle. He knows his mother didn’t commit suicide so as he pushes to find answers, he unravels a long history of secrets, and will this push him back to drugs? Or will he find true peace in his life? Nancy was heartbroken when Keith left. She was in love so how does she protect herself now that he’s back on the island. Can they just be friends? I love how this story is told, it’s not just from Keith and Nancy’s POV, we also get chapters told from other significant characters viewpoints which really helps drive the story and show how one woman’s death impacts so many individuals. A fabulous romance-mystery that kept me guessing to the very end.
adwest 5 months ago
Another amazing book by Mrs. Novak! While I don't always read romantic suspense books, this series has easily drawn me in. It's so well written that you easily begin to care for the characters. While we met Keith in book 1 of the series, a lot has changed in the past 5 years, and for the better. When he returns to settle things with the death of his mother, he becomes closer with family and a past love. Another great book leaving me wanting more!
heathercm2001 5 months ago
This book had so many intriguing secrets! It kept me guessing and surprised me too many times to count. I absolutely love how much Keith and Nancy changed over their five years apart. I also loved how Brenda Novak brought Keith back to town. Seeing him step up to handle everything after he was such a mess in the first book was very interesting. It was also very interesting to find out so much about Josephine. Novak always seems to have very unique ways to reveal her characters' secrets, and this one was full of fireworks. There was a mystery, romance, and suspense all blended into a wonderful story. I'd recommend this one if you are looking for something with a little bit of everything. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.