The Secrets She Learns by Jacqueline Diamond

The Secrets She Learns by Jacqueline Diamond
(Sisters, Lovers & Second Chances Book 4)
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Shocking secrets, unexpected love, a cold-case mystery—and a nosy beagle!

At the age of 50, nurse Anni discovers she has two half sisters, both of whom were hurt by a con man who has disappeared. Determined to bring her new family together and unravel the past, she hires a handsome P.I., and gets more than she bargained for. That includes his newly adopted dog, who isn’t shy about fostering a romance or digging up evidence.

Former police detective Jon, now in business for himself, is frustrated by the one who got away, a swindler who tricked folks including Jon’s own mother out of their savings. His new neighbor, appealingly warm-spirited Anni, is more than the perfect client. She’s also a woman who sends the barriers around his heart crashing to the ground.

It’s never too late to make things right again.

The dialogue was realistic and well done. It made sense to me to see the many similarities in speech between the characters since so many of them had grown up in the same community and never left it. Little details like that are part of the reason why I look forward to seeing what Ms. Diamond has come up with next. When added together, they have such a positive influence not only on character development but also on the reading experience.

I was intrigued by the mystery storyline in this tale, so it was a little disappointing to see how much space was actually dedicated to it. While I understand that this series is a romance first and foremost, there was so much more the author could have done with the mystery the audience was introduced to. I would have gone with a higher rating if she gave it a better opportunity to shine.

Just like in any small town, everyone was connected to each other in all sorts of different ways. I once again enjoyed figuring out what those connections were and what the characters really thought of each other. One of the benefits of growing up in such a small place is that many people have known each other since childhood and have a lifetime of memories, both positive and negative, to draw upon when running into friends, relatives, enemies, and exes while out and about in town. Ms. Diamond always does a good job of including these sorts of complicated webs of relationships in her stories that both push the plot forward and explore how complicated and political small town life can be.

This is the fourth book in a series. While it technically can be read as a standalone work, keeping track of the large cast of characters will be easier for readers who have read everything in order so far.

The Secrets She Learns was an interesting mixture of themes and genres.

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