(ARC provided by the author for a fair and honest review. Click on the picture below to pre-order.)
“Chloe didn’t set out to be famous, but her marriage to Hollywood A-lister, Jason Vanderholt, made her a celebrity by association. Jealous and nosy fans heckle her in public and the tabloids portray her as cold, arrogant, and unworthy of her husband. As bad as that is, it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
Her brother, Chris, is being paroled from prison, where he has been serving time for shooting and nearly killing Chloe when she was a child. This is not a situation that she wants splashed all over the headlines, especially because this could incite her brother to try to finish the job.
When Chloe gets word of a string of crimes that might be tied to her brother, she finds she has yet another enemy: their father, Dr. Winters. He refuses to cooperate with Chloe’s security team and even gives the police a hard time when they try to investigate.
The one ally Chloe has in her own family is her half-sister, Beth, a public prosecutor intent on bringing Chris to justice. Her approach is so aggressive that everyone from Chloe’s security specialist to the police detective insists that she is doing more harm than good. Beth assures Chloe that her way is the only way that will work, which leaves Chloe to decide whether to trust the experts, or the sister she barely knows. The wrong choice puts her very life in danger.”
You know what the best thing is about being a reviewer, even one who's only been operating for a few months? ARCs (advance reader copies) of books that I am totally excited about from my favorite authors!
Take, for example, E.M. Tippets. I stumbled onto the Someone Else's Fairytale series after having read Paint Me True (click here for the Amazon link), a stand-alone LDS romance. Paint Me True is fantastic--compelling but slow-burning plot, an entirely different take on romance, and the character development is AMAZING. I love it and I've read it several times in the last year. So I nosed around Amazon to see what else Ms. Tippets had to offer. Someone Else's Fairytale is free (true story--click the link and see!), and free is ALWAYS a price that fits into my budget. The problem is that Ms. Tippets writes really, really well, and I'm addicted to good writing, so I ended up buying all the rest of her books. Bye bye book budget!
SO. Someone Else's Fairytale--the book and the series--are fantastic. Naturally, that would lead me to sign up to be on Ms. Tippetts mailing list and then she went and offered ARCs of My Wicked Half-Sister and I got one and I was impossible to live with for a couple of hours because I would giggle and clap with glee every time I thought about it. Yes, I'm a mature adult--a mom to four kids, even. Giggling is still not off my radar, though. Sometimes I'm an excitable human being.
My Wicked Half-Sister continues the story of Chloe and Jason. (IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED, GO GET SOMEONE ELSE'S FAIRYTALE AND READ THAT FIRST.) I was expecting more of a mystery, but instead the book focuses a lot on Chloe's relationships. Since these complicated relationships define her life, whether she wants them to or not, it makes sense to spend some time on them.
Chloe herself has a dispassionate voice, which can almost come across as mechanical, but it makes sense to me, since she's the survivor of severe childhood trauma. Emotional disconnect is a survival mechanism. And since she's so dispassionate and often confused about what she's actually feeling, I enjoyed seeing her think through her relationship with her mother and do some reaching out and forgiving of her own. Chloe and Jason also work hard on trying to find balance between their home life and his celebrity life, which is only just touched on, but is vitally important to the story. But what I really liked was seeing Chloe get closer to her half-sister, Beth, and the lengths Beth would go to to protect Chloe. The true sibling affection that grew between them through the story was enjoyable to read. I always like it when families go to bat for each other.
Sometimes the story got a little dialogue-heavy and I lost track of who was speaking. And occasionally I didn't feel like I was inside some of the characters' heads enough to understand their motives. But as the story is written from Chloe's perspective and she has trouble getting inside people's heads, it makes sense. Really, Ms. Tippetts is a brilliant writer and I love her books. GO READ THEM. SHARE IN THE JOY.
Gentle Reader Alert: I found nothing of concern.