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Secret Sister by Emelle Gamble
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Secret Sister

by Emelle Gamble

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Ms. Gamble has created a storyline that kept me glued to the pages. I read this book in a day in a half (I had to work and cook dinner for my family!). I enjoyed the way the characters were developed, the way the drama played out and how the story was drawn together in the end. The writing style is easy to read and follow. I'm looking forward to reading more Emelle Gamble books!!! ( )
  Jpress1206 | Apr 24, 2014 |
3.5 stars

Secret Sister is about two women drawn together as children, lifelong friends, so close that they see themselves as Secret Sisters. It's about seeing people for who they really are, not just what they look like on the outside. It's about secrets and why we keep them. It's about trust and believing in the unbelievable. It's about asking yourself what if. It's about marriage and the special connection between partners. It's about love.

When the synopsis said that there was a paranormal twist to this story I was intrigued and when I read it I wasn't disappointed. I don't usually read full on paranormal books but this was a really good balance for me. It blended the paranormal with the normal well and the blending of the two worked well.

I don't want to give away any spoilers so suffice to say that from the first chapter this story made me feel for the two female characters. In one instant, everything changes forever, and I felt their connection and then the emotions as events unfolded. It is really hard for me to judge what I would do in the same situation so I understood some of the choices that were made and others made me ask "what-if". I have to be honest and say that while I felt for Nick's situation, I didn't "feel" his emotions as much as I would have liked. I felt that the internal dialogue and the dialogue between the characters didn't give me the gripping heartfelt connection I was looking for.

It was interesting seeing all the twists and turns play out and it kept me turning the pages wanting to see where this would all go. The various relationship dynamics and connections between Nick, Cathy and Roxanne kept me guessing for most of the book and it was intriguing to see how the author wrote the unfolding story. The supporting characters really balanced this whole story, particularly Seth and Bradley, and they were an important part of the storyline.

Overall, this book was well written and I enjoyed it.

copy kindly provided by Netgalley and the publisher ( )
  Artfullee | Apr 8, 2014 |
Wow! This is such an unusual concept for a book. The depth of character dilemma's that run through this book keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. To say it was a page turner would be a disservice, because it is an adventure. It definitely is a mystery, it definitely is a love story, but you won't find out how all of the threads intertwine until you reach the end.

Mesmerized, is how I would describe my time reading Secret Sister. I was mesmerized by the depth of all of the characters, by the reality of the situations they found themselves in. As I read, it was like becoming a part of the background watching all the action unfold before my eyes.

I would gladly give Secret Sisters 10 stars if I could! ( )
  KatrinaH | Jul 31, 2013 |
Originally published on Tales to Tide You Over

If I had to describe this book in one word, the word I’d choose is intense. It has a twist that takes the characters beyond normal life, but at the same time this doesn’t change the focus of the story. Secret Sister is about love, life, choices, and fate. Cathy has found her soul mate in Nick and her best friend in Roxanne, but neither of those relationships stands still. Sometimes growth can be rocky, especially when not everything is known.

Trying to avoid spoilers, so I’m going to have to be quite vague on the elements of the story. Instead, I’ll talk about how it affected me.

Reading Secret Sister was a bit like being on a bullet train when you know there’s track out right ahead. It’s hard to stop reading, it’s hard to walk away, because everything is happening all at once, or more to the point, everything that happens has a hundred potential consequences. I needed to know how Nick would respond to something Cathy had to tell him, or why Roxanne behaved the way she did, or whether or not something else would break them apart, with them being Cathy and Roxanne, Cathy and Nick, and even Roxanne and Nick, not to mention the tangled relationships with half a dozen other characters.

I’ll give an example in Seth because he’s a minor character and his story is only used to help the main characters work through their issues. Here’s a man that all of the main, and many of the secondary, characters have seen in a professional setting. He counsels, but not as a psychologist. He is more a spiritual advisor without the religion requirement who meets with clients and sees through to the heart of what is happening, no matter how unbelievable it might be. Ironically (though not really because it’s controlled by the author) he is blind. He lost his sight in an accident as a young boy and is disfigured. Why this is worth mentioning is because he has found true love in a woman who could have been on any modeling platform in a heartbeat. She looks at him and sees the person he is rather than being distracted by his blindness or made shallow by her own beauty. The book looks at these types of questions, what attracts one person to another, and what meaning, and power or pain, is hidden in beauty.

That’s the kind of book this is. It looks at the heart of people, and at the real cost and benefit to traditional beauty, especially where love is concerned.

This is not a flashy, action-oriented thriller. There’s no clear villain who must be defeated or a world to save beyond the personal one. This is an intimate visit into the complicated lives of people who all seem to have everything in one definition of “everything” or another, when the truth shows they have flaws and weaknesses, that below perfection is doubt and conflict, but there is also love.

The twist is critical to all of this, and not mentioning it is killing me, but I want you to be able to experience the journey yourself. It didn’t come as a surprise to me when it came, so it’s well seeded, but knowing ahead might influence how you let this story absorb you. All I can say otherwise is this novel touches on the hard questions about love, marriage, and dealing with what life throws at you in a compelling and incredible way. It asks the question of what would you do if you had a second chance, but more to the point, explores the consequences of that chance and how it affects everyone around you.

P.S. I read this title as a NetGalley ARC in return for an honest review, and though I chose it for the wrong reasons (or with different expectations) I’m glad I did. ( )
  MarFisk | Jul 24, 2013 |
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