Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Secret Sisters

Rate this book
No one does romantic suspense better than Jayne Ann Krentz. Now, the New York Times bestselling author of Trust No One and River Road delivers a novel that twists and turns into a read that will leave you breathless.

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother's hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn't be bothering them anymore...ever. Still their lives would never be the same. 

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother's mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts...and wants. 

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack's brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....

336 pages, Hardcover

First published December 8, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jayne Ann Krentz

387 books6,531 followers
The author of over 50 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
2,794 (26%)
4 stars
3,878 (37%)
3 stars
2,843 (27%)
2 stars
683 (6%)
1 star
206 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,015 reviews
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,938 reviews789 followers
September 24, 2017
Madeline and Daphne were once the best of friends until a terrible event took place. A man attacks Madeline and, despite the fact that the man would never again bother anyone did Madeline's grandmother close up the hotel she owned and moved with her granddaughter far away.

Now 18 years later Madeline is back at the hotel. Her grandmother is dead and she has to decide what to do with the old hotel. But she must confront the past when the old caretaker of the hotel is brutally murdered. Madeline and Daphne must face the past and find out who is behind the killing and could this person know the truth about what happened 18 years ago?

I was quite looking forward to reading this book as I enjoy reading the historical novels Jayne Ann Krentz writes under the name of Amanda Quick.

I found the beginning of the book interesting, with a dark secret that is kept by a little group of people and how someone out there is apparently out to know the truth. What is the secret and who is after Madeline and Daphne?

And, at first, the book was good, easy to get into and a bit intriguing. Unfortunately, the book didn't turn out the way I thought it would. For one thing, everything points to one suspect in the book, and that made me quite sure that all this is a big red herring and that made me look for someone else that could be the big bad wolf instead. Secondly, the couple thing, two men, and two women. That bored me. It was so predictable and utterly uninteresting to read about. Perhaps it would have worked better if the characters had been a bit more interesting, but they were flat and their romance just made the reading less engaging.

The story was just not imaginative or suspenseful. It was predictable and it felt like something I read several times before. I was hoping for a story that would enthrall me, but it simply never really did that and the last 50 pages were a real struggle to get through. This book was just not for me.

Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,728 reviews465 followers
November 12, 2015
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

This book was good. Really good, actually. When I saw that I had a chance to get my hands on an advanced copy of this book, I snatched it up quickly before anyone could change their mind. As a long time reader of romantic suspense, I somehow have missed Jayne Ann Krentz and all of her pen names. She has always been somewhere in my TBR pile but I just never actually sat down and read one of her books. This was the perfect opportunity to try one of her books and I am completely impressed. I am not sure if all of her books are as good as this one but I think I may have made a huge mistake by skipping this author's work as long as I have.

This book grabbed me right from the first page and I didn't really put it down unless I absolutely had to until I reached the end. That feeling of getting lost inside a story is exactly what I look for in a book. I love it when I can't get a story out of my mind and I keep going back to it because I have to know what happens next. The attack on the young girls at the opening of the story really opened everything with a bang and set the pace for the whole book.

Madeline's grandmother has recently passed away. Madeline is now in charge of her grandmother's chain of hotels. When she is summoned by the caretaker of an abandoned hotel, she goes to meet him and learns that there may be some danger on the island. Jack, the hotel's security expert, comes to assist her with the situation right away. They quickly find Daphne who was a witness to the attack on Madeline when they girls. The group soon learns that the events in the present may be linked to the things that happened at the hotel many years ago. Madeline, Jack, Daphne, and Abe all work together to solve the mystery that is tied to the past, the abandoned hotel, and the island.

This is one of those stories where the romance and the suspense compliment each other perfectly. There was never a moment in the book where I felt like the romance had taken over. The feelings between the characters grew as they worked together to solve the mystery. They learned to work together and trust each other which naturally built the foundation to a relationship. This book was actually able to balance an incredibly detailed mystery and two romantic relationships much better than I have seen in a long time.

The pacing of the story was well done. There was a perfect amount of action to keep things really interesting. I was completely surprised by some of the twists and turns. The characters were very easy to like. I ended up really liking all of the main characters. I also really disliked some of the people in the story and applaud the author for creating characters that were so fun to dislike.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense. The writing in the story is fantastic and plot is fast moving. This is the first book by Jayne Ann Krentz that I have read but I plan to pick up some of her other works very soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group - Berkley via Penguin First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me guessing until the very end. The romance was nice but the complexity of the mystery was the strength of the book.
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,088 followers
December 16, 2015
I enjoyed Secret Sisters, the latest book by Jayne Ann Krentz but there were a few things that missed the WOW factor for me.

The story started off really well. Intriguing and mysterious!!! Something that happened 18 years ago in the rather scary Cooper Island that has since remained a secret between the people involved.

But halfway through the book I kept thinking……are these people for real!!! Look, don’t get me wrong………I actually kept turning the pages and read it in one go…….but …yes, another but…..the characters didn’t feel real to me. All their problems and baggage….Hell, I just wanted to tell Madeleine & Jack to get their shit together and just do it!!!! Instead, they pussyfooted around each other most of the time.

A huge amount of red herrings… we get to know the evil and rich local family with their eyes set on political power and their sociopath son………just when I had the villain in sight…….no….wrong!!! In fact, I was wrong a lot of the time….because when the true villain is exposed……WOW!!!! Never expected that.

One of the things that I liked was Abe, Jack’s brother and partner and Daphne, Madeleine’s “secret sister”. They were such a cute and adorable couple.

This was a solid and…yes….despite all my “gripes”, a rather enjoyable romantic story filled with suspense, secrets and loads of baddies!!!!!
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,855 reviews846 followers
January 3, 2016
Madeline and Daphne were best friends, “secret sisters,” when they were young. They parted ways when a horrific event set them going their separate ways, but they are thrown together again when the nightmare resurfaces. Eighteen years later secrets thought long buried have somehow been unearthed and Madeline and Daphne are once again in great danger. They’re not alone, though. Madeline’s head of security, Jack Rayner and his brother Abe are there watching their backs. And Madeline feels safe with Jack in her corner.

Eighteen years seems like a long time to be apart, but it feels like nothing when they’re reunited and have a mystery to solve. I appreciated the positive female bond between Madeline and Daphne, and liked the support and healing they provided for each other.

Sometimes, with a mystery the events of the past are kept hidden with only small bits of information parsed out, and this can be very frustrating. I’m happy it was revealed, almost from the beginning, what happened with Madeline and Daphne in the past. The main part of the mystery in the present is trying to figure out who is stirring up the past. Who knows what happened back then besides the five sworn to secrecy? As the killer takes aim over and over, it becomes imperative to flush this person out before they all end up dead.

There was plenty of danger, twists and turns in Secret Sisters! I’m happy that the drama and thrills came from the mystery instead of the romantic relationships. Jack and Madeline were each strong-minded, with romantic issues, but this made it easy to relate to each other. They understood and didn’t pressure. I liked Jack’s take-charge, protective nature, and Madeline appreciated his expertise in the dangerous situation they found themselves in. Jack was the more experienced one in their predicament, but he never diminished Madeline’s strengths or smarts, and he took her counsel to heart. Abe and Daphne’s romance was more on the back burner, but I enjoyed it as well. They were an odd, but cute match-up.

This is my second Jayne Ann Krentz romantic suspense novel, and I plan on reading more from her. Secret Sisters was a highly entertaining and satisfying mystery!

A copy was kindly provided by Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

This review is also posted at The Readers Den.
Profile Image for Jacqueline's Reads.
2,772 reviews1,472 followers
December 14, 2015
3 Suspenseful Stars

This is my first book by Jayne Ann Krentz. I was seduced by the cover and summary. I love picking up new books and I love suspenseful reads. Secret Sisters isn’t a romance book, but there is a love interest. It kind of reads like K.A. Tucker’s Burying Water series. The plot is very developed and there are many twists and turns along the way.

The beginning starts off very dark and to my surprise that isn’t the tone for the rest of the book. So, if you can’t stomach dark reads, you will be fine. Years ago Madeline was almost kidnapped. She’s moving on with her life. The other girl involved is Daphne and they have lost ties with each other over the years.

Now, Madeline is dealing with her grandmother’s death and she has to handle her grandmother’s hotel.

Madeline and Daphne have a unique relationship. I have a sister so I thought Madeline would have this unnatural connection with Daphne, but they act more like best friends. I do like the relationship they have and it adds something to the story.

“You’d be amazed at what people will do when they think they’re doing it for the good of the family”

Jack is the guy that is helping Madeline through her mess. Both have issues with relationships and both don’t want a relationship with other, but the attraction is there. Like I said, the attraction is mild and is at the background, but the chemistry is cute and I like Jack. I found Jack very masculine and basically the guy that wants to save Madeline.

"I won't shatter"

"I know that... But I sure ...will fracture into a million little pieces if I [mess] this up"

The man that tried to kidnap Madeline is back and we never know who he is, but there are plenty of side stories to build it up and all is revealed in the end. It’s a shocker, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are into suspenseful reads, this one is for you.

AN ARC was provided

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz AMAZON
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,890 followers
November 29, 2015

When it comes to writing romantic suspence, Jayne Anne Krentz (who also writes as Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick) is clearly one of the best. You can’t possibly go wrong with one of her books – they are all exciting, romantic and excellently paced. She does, after all, fall into the same category as Nora Roberts, queen of the genre; and let me tell you, as much as I worship Nora, Jayne Anne Krentz has just as much to offer.

In Secret Sisters, Krentz brings us the story of two former best friends with a horrible secret that’s come back to haunt them after almost twenty years. The story mostly focuses on Madeline and her security consultant Jack, but a secondary story (and romance) is developed between Daphne and Jack’s brother Abe. Both these couples find each other right in the middle of so much danger and the bonds they create might just last a lifetime… if they somehow manage to survive.

Krentz knows how to pace a story, how to make us sit on the edge of our seats. Slowly and masterfully she builds suspense to almost unbearable levels. I had my doubts about the killer and I saw the red herring precisely for what it was, but I didn’t know for sure until the very end and it turned out that I wasn’t entirely right. It takes a lot to surprise me, and yet somehow, this book did.

The two main characters and the romantic relationship that developed between them took some getting used to. They are both fairly unlikeable people, hard and troubled, driven and very closed, but they saw each other precisely for what they were and they fit incredibly well together. Seeing two such introverts open up to each other was wonderful.

Jayne Anne Krentz (or Castle or Quick) is pretty much an auto-buy for me. She hasn’t disappointed me even once, and with dozens and dozens of novels behind her, that’s no small thing at all.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.
Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews443 followers
December 2, 2015
Holy Twists and Turns, Batman! This book was just one thing after another! It started off strongly for me with a dark mystery, and a little fear. The kind that's not over done, but is realistic and more than enough to catch my attention. Then, it jumps into the life of Madeline, a strong, take-no-nonsense woman—the kind of woman you find yourself liking out of respect for her authority. As a character, she had to grow on me a bit, had to finally show some of her inner self that was hiding deeply behind a cold, confident exterior. I loved seeing the world through her eyes. The courage, the determination, and most of all, her take charge attitude, be it regarding sex, love, danger, or mystery.

Jack was a little tougher to crack. His big, dark secret eating away at him, while definitely a heartbreaking secret, didn't seem enough to motivate all his actions. It's not until he explains the selflessness behind his actions that you really understand what that secret has cost him. It was obvious that the two were going to spontaneously combust before it was over with. The sparks, oh, they burned my eyes as I read about these two dancing awkwardly around each other.

The secondary characters really helped make the story. Daphne shares so much of Madeline’s past, including her secrets, and she steps into the story with suspense and grace. The friendship between the two was so relateable. How they reconnect instantly despite years of not talking. It always seems to happen that way between the truest of friends. Her own difficult times during their separation gave Madeline a chance to show her strengths as a friend, giving honesty and confidence, the two things Daphne seemed to need the most. Abe, Jack's brother, was a likable guy. He lacked his brother's gruff exterior, and helped keep the story from always delving off the dark end.

This whodunnit though… I stayed up all night to finish this one in a single sitting. The suspense! It was non-stop! Just when you think you've got something figured out, another clue comes along, another new player comes on to the scene. As soon as you let your guard down, BAM! Another twist comes crashing into you. It really never seemed to end. I wanted to scream at each new development. Would these characters never get a break? Who was it? Who was it going to be? Who was left to betray them? The depths to which this tale was woven is something to marvel over. Absolutely masterful.

I highly recommend this read, just make sure you start it when you've got a bit of time. You won't want to put it down! ~ George, 5 stars
Profile Image for CD {Boulder Blvd}.
963 reviews91 followers
December 20, 2016
I have mixed feelings about this one. On one hand I really liked the set up of the plot with Daphne and Madeline brought back together after 18 years of keeping a secret from the past. And when that secret also leads to secrets that the town's controlling family, the Websters, have kept it should have been good. It was well paced and there were some good parts that kept me reading.

Some of the items that didn't work for me:

Madeline and Jack felt flat and way too much like all the other H/h that Ms. Krentz has written. Their romance didn't sizzle and I found myself more interested in the secondary couple of Daphne and Jack's brother, Abe. Although I do have issues when all the lead characters gets perfectly matched up.

I actually reached a point where the whole Webster clan felt a little "too" much. It felt almost like a parody of a family of evil people. It was just a little too unbelievable.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books334 followers
December 4, 2015
My first encounter with the suspense-filled world of Jayne Ann Krentz and it won't be my last. I was hoping for a mystery I could sink my teeth into and some romance as well. I got way better than I was expecting. Just when I thought I had things figured out, a new twist would happen to send that theory careening away. What a fantastic blend of romance and suspense.

The story was a standalone and that had appeal for a first-time encounter.

Beginning in the past with a brutal encounter that set things in motion that for eighteen years seemed to lie dormant before forcing their way into the light, the story gets off to an exciting start with a murder and an attempted murder for Madeline Chase when she is called back to the old, memory-filled hotel in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.

Madeline inherited her grandmother's hotel and hospitality empire after her recent death. Madeline has always had issues in relationships and likes to be firmly in charge. But she meets her match in her hotel's security firm owner, Jack Raynor. Jack is nothing like the men she usually goes for and he ruffles her feathers, but when a present murder, a murderer who came after her, and the past threatening to surface again, Jack is the one person she wants by her side to help sort it all out.

Jack is attracted to Madeline, but he has his own issues that keep him from wanting to try for anything lasting. But he can't help rushing into action when the stubborn woman gets herself into danger and won't back down from the truth. He admires this even as he uses all his former FBI profiling skills and intuition to solve the case that connects to several other people who may or may not be involved.

The threat brings on the reunion of Madeline and Daphne who were best friends since Daphne seems to be in the killer's crosshairs, too. With the help of Jack and his brother, the foursome work fast to expose the secrets of the past and how it bares on the present even as danger strikes again and again.

As I said, this one was very satisfying and delivered on my need for a gritty, engaging romantic suspense. The story is told from multiple points of view by all the key players. This both kept me close to the action and muddied the waters so I was never sure if my narrator was reliable or not. I found this exciting and worked well for stirring up the mystery and increasing the suspense.
This shifting of characters and scenes was not confusing and the main narrators were Madeline and Jack.

The pacing was steady with blips of excitement. At first there are puzzle pieces everywhere for possibilities, but slowly the pieces lock together and the bigger picture emerges. The tone was that of tightening and loosening tension which kept my interest throughout. I had part of the mystery figured out, but there were enough surprises so that I didn't have the whole answer. I liked that Jack's past was a secondary mystery that kept teasing me and making me wonder whenever hints were given.

The main and minor characters were colorful and engaging. Even the ones I didn't like were still interesting.
The heroine is a tough cookie. She is strong, confident, knows her own mind, and naturally takes charge. She trusts few and relies on herself. But she is also out of her depth in this situation which opens the door for her to experience something with Jack that she never would have had otherwise.
As to Jack, he was wounded by some of those closest to him which makes him set aside relationships and focus on his business. He exudes capability and skill at what he does. He is rough and tough with no bend in him. He sees Madeline well and accepts her just as she is. It's himself that he can't see clearly.
Jack's brother, Abe, and Madeline's childhood friend, Daphne, are very present secondary characters with their own subplot going on. I think Abe was my favorite character in the story. I liked him from the first description, but then wow, he is so much more than at first he appeared.
The villainous suspects are done well. The author was able to make me understand the motivation and the background while seeing that clearly there is evil intent. And man, there was most definitely some evil that gives one the shivers.

The romance was a twofer deal. Madeline and Jack were the main relationship with Abe and Daphne more of something hinted at. For me, it felt more like a suspense with a thread of romance weaving through it. The focus is on solving the case to save their lives, but as they go Madeline really sees Jack and wants him while Jack has to open up for the new chance. They are both forthright people so they get right to the point. There is some passion, but it is near the end due to the barriers between the two.

In summation, my first encounter with the author will not be my last. I loved this dark twisting tale and the balance of the blended romantic suspense. I can recommend this to romantic suspense fans who want a challenging mystery, a great cast of characters, and a slow-build romance.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for fleurette.
1,359 reviews114 followers
September 30, 2018
I generally like books from Jayne Ann Krentz, however I admit that some of them are better than the others. This one is a good one, thought not the excellent. If you read some books by Jayne Ann Krentz, you already know the pattern.

When Madeline was a kid somebody tried to rape her, her grandmother and a housekeeper stopped the man and killed him. After that Madeline and her grandmother left the island for good. Now, after her granny's death, Madeline comes back to this place to found the dying housekeeper. With a help from her security expert Jack she needs to find out what was in the suitcase of the rapist and who is trying to keep the secrets.

Like I said, it is not a really innovative read but it's definitely fast. Jack is not an overbearing alpha hero and Madeline is not a silly and naive heroine which is a plus.
Profile Image for Glory.
350 reviews49 followers
December 10, 2015
Удаленный остров, заброшенный отель.
Мэдлин и Дафна - внучка хозяйки отеля и дочка одной из работниц - в детстве были лучшими подругами. Но после жуткой ночи, когда двенадцатилетнюю Мэдлин чуть не изнасиловал один из постояльцев, все изменилось. Та ночь закончилась трагедией и клятвой - никому и никогда.
Восемнадцать лет спустя, после смерти бабушки, Мэдлин вынуждена вернуться на остров, дабы разобраться с собственностью. И не успев приехать, она натыкается на истекающего кровью смотрителя - одного из тех, кто знал страшную тайну прошлого - и выясняет, что не все скелеты похоронены.

Мэдлин сопровождает владелец фирмы, отвечающей за безопасность в гостиничной сети, коей владела бабушка - Джек Рэйнер. Он же, узнав о событиях восемнадцатилетней давности, решает, что необходимо найти Дафну и разобраться со всем, пока не появился очередной труп.


Ну что сказать...
Наверное, стандартный для Кренц роман. Хотя начинала я с большим энтузиазмом, чем заканчивала.
У нас имеется 4 разноплановых героя: замкнутая и строгая Мэдлин, мягкая и нежная Дафна, суровый и немногословный Джек и его брат-гик Эйб.
Некое ограниченное пространство.
Тайна прошлого, которая весьма быстро раскрывается.
И злобный убийца с неясными мотивами.

Вот с этой злобностью автор и промахнулась. Она так яро демонизировала одного из персонажей, намекая, ну вот же он, вот, что я невольно начала подозревать подвох и оглядываться по сторонам в поисках менее явной кандидатуры. И нашла.
Вообще, вся детективная линия хоть и крепкая, но поверхностная.

За развитием отношений наблюдать было много интересней. Возможно, героям не всегда хватало глубины, но они не переставали радовать рассудительностью.
Хотя никаких крутых поворотов и неожиданностей ждать, наверное, не стоит.
Все так ровненько, не особо напряженно.

Самый спорный для меня момент в романе - первый звонок Мэдлин подруге после 18 лет эфирного молчания. Она представляется, слышит ответное "Привет" и что-то вроде "О, я так рада слышать твой голос. Сколько там прошло? Лет восемнадцать?" Угу, рада слышать. В последний раз они виделись и общались двенадцатилетними соплячками, а теперь тридцатилетние женщины. Чужие люди. Практически незнакомки. Разговор вышел дюже легкий, и я в него не поверила ни на грош. Потом автор выровняла все при встрече, но осадок остался. Какой-то поверхностный подход...

В остальном - крепкий середнячок для любителей жанра в целом и Кренц в частности.
Без потрясений и мурашек.
Profile Image for Lizzy.
305 reviews166 followers
February 6, 2017
I so enjoy Jayne Ann Krentz’s stand-alone romantic thrillers! Secret Sisters was everything I could imagine, for a book I picked just to pass the time. The pace was fast and steady from the very beginning, with excitement and suspense growing up to the very end. There is a breathtaking blend of romance and suspense, which complement each other perfectly.

It all started 18 years ago, but the past comes back to haunt almost everyone involved, especially the ‘secret sisters’ Madeline and Daphne. The death of Madeline’s grandmother triggers everything that is to come.

Madeline is tough, strong and confident. Her issues all relate to trust; she learned from her past that she should rely only on herself, relationships and commitment are her Achilles’ heel. Jack Rayner, wounded by those he trusted most, has issues not that different from Madeline’s. He is capable, dependable in his job as safety consultant; but harsh, obstinate and hard to bend. Despite their difficulties, in the beginning, the danger only brings them together and as they get together to solve the mystery can help each other and slowly grow up to make a hell-of-a-couple. I loved them! But this is a two for one love affair deal, although Abe and Daphne’s romance is more a sideline, they are great secondary characters and integrate nicely in the overall plot as they help together to figure out the puzzle.

Ah, the villains are most definitely evil enough. Ms. Krentz is excellent in building them up, allowing the reader to understand their nature and catalysts, both individually and as a group. I could taste their motivations, quickly fear for each one and cheer for their downfall or demise. The suspense is always on the brink, unwaveringly taking twists and turns, so the reader is kept on the edge and unable to anticipate the outcome.

Secret Sisters is an awesome page turner! A great entertaining read, approved and flat out recommended if you are a fan of mystery-suspense with a twist of romance. Enjoy!
Profile Image for Lost In My Own World Of Books.
563 reviews176 followers
September 16, 2017
Um livro sobre segredos escondidos e sombrios e alerta muito para o real, quanto mais as pessoas têm poder mais anseiam por poder e mais cruéis ficam.
Profile Image for Julie .
4,029 reviews58.9k followers
February 28, 2016
Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz is a 2015 Berkley publication.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher and the LibraryThing early review program for the nice audiobook set of this novel.

It has been a very, very long time since I read a romantic suspense novel by this author, more famously known for her paranormal crossovers writing under the pseudonyms of Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. However, Ms. Krentz did write RS novels without paranormal elements as well as regular contemporary romance once upon a time. So, I was pleased to see her return to her roots here with “Secret Sisters”

Madeline and Daphne were best friends as children, but after escaping from a harrowing situation, they drifted apart and lost all contact. Now, Madeline’s grandmother has died, leaving her in control of her hotel chain. Before she died, though, her grandmother hired a security firm for the hotel, and Madeline must honor the contract.

Enter Jack, the head of said security firm, a man starting all over from scratch and in dire need of keeping his first big job.

After laying down the law with Madeline about not using him for personal background checks, he feels bad when Madeline leaves town alone, to see tie up loose ends at an old abandoned hotel her grandmother still owns, and discovers the caretaker near death and Madeline nearly becomes a victim herself.
Once Jack arrives in Washington, he and Madeline quickly discerns that old Tom’s death relates back to the crime she and Daphne barely escaped, which means Daphne could be in danger too.
Once Daphne arrives at the hotel, she and Madeline rekindle their old friendship, and a few romances heat up for the ladies too. But, an old and powerful family in the area are not too happy to see Madeline return and are trying to convince her to leave, by any means necessary.

Was the death of Madeline’s grandmother due to foul play? Who killed Tom? And what secrets will Madeline and Jack discovers about a local politician and a potential cover-up? But, most of all, how does all this connect back to what happened to Madeline all those years ago?

Most people have heard me say romantic suspense is my ‘go to’ genre because it combines my two favorite genre’s – mystery and romance-into one book. I have watched romantic suspense evolve over time and while I always enjoy these stories, no matter which way they are told, I always long for the more traditional style, which is how this book is written.
With a veteran author at the helm and the writing style in place, I was ready for a real treat, especially since I made numerous attempts to get a copy of it, with no success, and the library waiting list has over hundred people waiting in line ahead of me. This book has to be good, I thought, or else why would everyone be requesting a copy?
I even accepted this audio version, which isn’t my first choice, just to get a chance to read this book.
So, under the circumstances, it’s possible my expectations were a little skewed. But, despite that possibility, I found this story lacking, in both the romance department and with the suspense elements.
The story is just too implausible, the dialogue was plain, had no humor, or emotion, and the connection between Daphne and Madeline that was supposed to be so strong, never rang true for me. The relationship between Jack and Madeline was rushed, although I did like Jack, and his backstory could have been interesting, but lacked enough details to really make a lot of sense.
The plot was somewhat murky and just didn’t flow well, jumping from one scenario to another and with entirely too many suspicious fires, with a paper thin, anticlimactic conclusion.
The truth is, I’ve read better RS novels by new authors who didn’t have the luxury of a big time publisher, and expensive editors to back them up. So, I was pretty disappointed with this one. As I stated earlier, this is the audio version and since I am not a regular audio listener, I’m not sure how to rate the narration, but compared to the other Audiobooks I’ve listened to, it wasn’t all that impressive, which is a real shame, since it’s obvious this is a very nice and probably expensive set of audio disc.

I feel bad giving this author such a low rating, and I see this book has been well received and enjoyed by everyone else for the most part, but it is what it is. 2 stars
Profile Image for Anna's Herding Cats.
1,274 reviews308 followers
September 26, 2016

Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OUuUml

Mystery, romance, intrigue. Krentz rocks them all. Secret Sisters was everything I love about her books. Easy romances, strong characters and a mystery that kept me guessing. I fell in love with her books years ago--totally binged on them--and it was so fun getting back to the swing of it and falling in with her characters again.

The quick of it is that 18 years ago Madeline and her best friend went through hell. And the adults in their lives covered up a murder and then everyone dispersed. But now, 18 years later, someone has brought the dark secrets they all kept back to life and is coming after everyone who knew the secrets.

Aaaaand that's why I loved Jack. lol Madeline and Jack were both fantastic and so good together. They're no-nonsense types, have commitment issues (totally understandable) and when they're determined and focused on something...watch out! The owner of a chain of specialty hotels and the former FBI profiler turned private security man she inherited with the company...and tried to fire. ::snort::

They were just great together and so what the other needed. I loved their connection and that they got each other's thoughts without them always needing to be said. The romance was light as they worked well together too as they tried to figure out the threat that was after them but it worked. A little tension and sexy times. All on board with that.

The the suspense/mystery was nicely done too. The main focus was them trying to figure out the truth behind the death of the caretaker for one of her properties and then unfolding the decades old mystery and threats that were hounding them because of the secrets from so long ago. It kept me curious and guessing for quite a while on the who, how and whys of it all. Danger and excitement abound and it was thrilling.

The only thing of note for me was it took me a bit longer than normal to finish this one. I think probably it was just my mood and the time of year but I was easily distracted by other things and was able to put down the book without that strong omg I must read pull.

All in all, though, Secret Sisters was classic Krentz and deliciously so. Mystery, romance, friendships and danger...it was an interesting ride and left me wanting to do a reread of all my favorite Krentz titles.
Profile Image for Steph.
226 reviews38 followers
February 16, 2016
I didn't care for this book. The suspense was predictable The characters were annoying at times and unoriginal, there were humorous parts but not enough to keep it going, The relationship between the two main character women we're supposed to be profound and like sisters I found them to be superficial and unreflective of what I thought the book was supposed it was also too long and I was just expecting something different than what I got.
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,038 reviews647 followers
December 1, 2015
Five reasons to grab Secret Sisters and snuggle

Jayne Ann Krentz weaves a suspenseful tale with plenty of twists, suspects and red herrings to keep the reader caught up in the world she creates. The story begins eighteen years ago when a man attempts to harm Madeline in the most horrific way imaginable. The girls left and never returned. Four people carry the secrets from that night and now two are dead.
Madeline’s grandmother has recently passed and she is now the head of their hotel empire. When she suspects foul play in the death of their caretaker she brings in her hotel security specialist and former FBI Agent Jake Rayner. She and Jake have a volatile relationship creating an interesting dynamic. Beneath their business dealings, you can feel the chemistry shimmering. There is a grace abou Madeline making her appear strong and confident but if you look closely enough her cold reserve, masks her frailty. Daphne and Madeline have not seen each other since that night, and the past two years have been some of the darkest for Daphne. While she and Abe were not the focus, I love that Krentz gave us her story. Seeing these friends reunite lightened the story.
Jack Rayner, security specialist, profiler and protector struggles when it comes to Madeline. He feels an overwhelming need to protect her, but has self-imposed rules regarding business and relationships. His former fiancé and business partner betrayed him leaving him guarded. Jack comes off initially as hard, and maybe a little aloof, but Krentz slowly peeled back his layers revealing a complex, sensitive hero. When Jack realizes Madeline and Daphne are in trouble he brings in his brother Abe. Abe is quiet, but I adored the attentions he gave Daphne.
Krentz always spins a good mystery and Secret Sisters delivered as she weaved the events from the past into the current threat. Villains and those in power created an interesting suspect list as Jack, Madeline, Daphne and Abe begin to piece things together. We cross paths with a sociopath and those eager for power and wealth creating suspense and ah-ha moments. All of the threads, clues and questions are answers as Krentz notches up the danger before wrapping the story and romance up in a carefully constructed bow.
The romantic aspect in Secret Sisters was served as a side dish but provided character growth, and tender moments. It also served to increase the suspense as they faced danger. I was delighted that Krentz gave us not one but two romances. While the second is not as developed she still managed to give me the warm and fuzzies.

Copy provided by publisher. This review was originally posted on Caffeinated Book Reviewer
Profile Image for Shannon.
2,330 reviews166 followers
December 8, 2015
Secret Sisters is a perfect blend of mystery and suspense, full of unexpected twists and turns, with a little romance thrown in to round off what is an excellent story.

Madeline and Daphne are the "secret sisters", friends from childhood who are reunited as a long hidden secret starts to unravel. Madeline is called home to Cooper Island, the small island in the Pacific Northwest where everything began. The death of her grandmother, and now the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the caretaker of her abandoned family hotel, have brought the secret sisters back together again. With the help of Jack Raynor, security expert for the chain of hotels Madeline inherited at her grandmother's death, and his brother Abe, the foursome works to figure out who is behind the murders and why everything is coming to a head after 18 years.

This is a book that will pull you in and keep you guessing right up until the end. It's gripping and engaging...you'll think you know where the story is taking you, but then Ms. Krentz throws in another twist to keep you on your toes.

While the plot of this book is captivating, the characters are what hooked me. Madeline is such a strong female lead, with just a touch of vulnerability that she does her best to keep hidden. Jack is gruff, he doesn't mince words or use them unnecessarily, but he also has a side to him that he's not comfortable sharing. There's just something about the 2 of them together that brought out the best in each other. The secondary characters, Daphne and Abe, were a great addition- together they brought a little levity to the story and played off of Madeline and Jack perfectly.

If you're looking for a book with intelligently written characters, a locale you can picture, and a tension-filled plot, Secret Sisters will be sure to please.

*Reviewed for The Book Enthusiast, arc courtesy of NetGalley and The Berkley Publishing Group. Review posted-
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
781 reviews571 followers
January 6, 2016
SECRET SISTERS is an exciting novel of romantic suspense, and also the first book I've read by Jayne Ann Krentz. The blurb drew me in with the promise of a spooky abandoned hotel on an island in the Pacific Northwest, and it just got better from there. The main character, Madeline, and her grandmother fled the island twenty years earlier and left some dark secrets buried there. Now her grandmother is deceased, and Madeline is back on the island to confront her past. There, she reunites with her "secret sister" Daphne to try and solve a deadly mystery that began all those years ago.

I enjoyed the mystery in this book, and though this is romantic suspense, the romance part didn't take over the story, which for me is a good thing! Along with Madeline, there is Jack, her company's security expert. There's strong chemistry between the two, though both have scars from the past that make starting a relationship difficult. While Madeline's felt real and understandable, Jack's felt a bit forced and took a long time to come to the surface.

SECRET SISTERS is a fast-paced, suspenseful book that takes readers down a dark and twisted path. The Gothic, creepy hotel setting was a perfect fit for this story. Looking forward to reading more from Ms. Krentz.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher thorough NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,129 reviews262 followers
December 2, 2015
Secret Sisters was a gradually building story that reeled you in slow and easy and then you discovered you were completely hooked.

Madeline has successfully worked by her grandmother’s side for years. An unexpected accident leaves Madeline grandmother dead and Madeline the heir to the group of hotels her grandmother had acquired.

For some reason, right before Madeline’s grandmother’s passing she hires a security firm expert, Jack Rayner.

Within this group of hotels, there is one that had been abandon for years. This hotel holds a horrible memory and an even bigger secret. Madeline is called by the hotel’s care taker and told that she is needed on site right away.

When Madeline arrives she discovers the care taker recently murdered and still in the abandon hotel. Now two people involved in their secret are dead and the it is too big of a coincidence for Madeline to believe they are not connected.

Calling in Jack goes against her grain, but Madeline soon finds herself engulfed in a mystery that has turned deadly.

Secret Sisters is a great romantic suspense. But it’s the twists and turns that will keep your head spinning. Best part, it kept me guessing to the end.

I received this ARC copy of Secret Sister from PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication December 8, 2015.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Written by: Jayne Ann Krentz
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 8, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399174486
ISBN-13: 978-0399174483
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Reviews and More Check out: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Hope Decker.
156 reviews12 followers
January 27, 2018
I loved the setting of Cooper Island, a small blustery island off the coast of Washington State where this suspenseful story takes place. Inns, B&B's and hotels are great scenes for murder, mystery and mayhem. Madeline Chase and her childhood friend Daphne are reunited for the purpose of getting to the bottom of a family secret that has their lives in peril. With the help of a hired security detail consisting of ex-criminal profiler Jack Raynor and his computer genius brother, Abe, the secret sisters begin to piece together the mysterious chain of events that began 18 years ago when Madeline was attacked at the Aurora Point Hotel.

This wasn't exactly a romance, though there were romantic elements, and it wasn't exactly a thriller, though there were definitely suspenseful page-turns. I felt the characters spent a lot of time sitting around talking about solving the mystery, rather than actually getting out there and solving it.

Madeline and Daphne have a strong bond that began when they were spending the summer together at the Aurora Point Hotel at the age of 12. After a near tragedy that summer, the girls went their own seperate ways and lost touch. I was expecting a bit more on the angle of the girls' relationship, since the event that they endured left such a lasting impression on them, and is what drew them back to Aurora Point so many years later.

I can tell you that I won't be booking any rooms in old hotels or inns anytime soon!
Profile Image for Xana.
622 reviews37 followers
July 12, 2017
Merecia as 3,5* porque foi um livro que não custou a ler em momento algum.
Uma escrita fluída, uma história interessante, não sendo um policial fabuloso, lê-se muito bem.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books596 followers
January 12, 2016
Review posted on Got Fiction?

I really love Jayne Ann Krentz's paranormal series that she writes as Jayne Castle, but a lot of her stand-alones and romantic suspenses fall flat for me. It's not that I don't like them. I think it's more along the lines as I just don't love them.

This one has an interesting suspense plot, and some parts I didn't see coming, but Madeline really bothered me.

The beginning shows us what happened to Madeline and Daphne when they were younger, it's bad. And it causes Madeline and her grandmother to move away from the island they lived on, and it caused Daphne and her mom to move away as well.

But a phone call brings them back to the island, and back together. Their dark secret has kept them apart, but it's time to find out exactly what's going on, and why it's all coming up now.

Quick version, they are brought back because the caretaker of the old hotel Madeline's grandmother owned has called. While she's there, someone kills him, attacks her, and leaves her worried for Daphne. She calls in Jack, the owner of her company's security firm, so at least she isn't stupid. And the two of them begin to worry that this is bigger than they'd thought, and perhaps her grandmother's death hadn't been an accident either.

I can't say why I didn't love this, other than it seemed unrealistic. Not at first, the beginning and the first half were both interesting, and intriguing. But, with the hero being a former FBI profiler who started his own security business, his backstory seemed unnecessary and the fact that he left Madeline and Daphne with his parents but assumed the bad guys were gone seemed to be amateur hour.

The ending really killed it for me. Instead of finding the twist and turn exciting, I found myself annoyed. Like, seriously? That's where you went with that? It was too convoluted to make sense. I am absolutely willing to suspend belief for romance novels, but this was just ridiculous. This person is the bad guy, oh wait, he's not. Well, he was a bad guy, but not the main one. But that person over there? He's also the bad guy, and so is she...it was like Oprah.

You get to be a bad guy, You get to be a bad guy, everybody gets to be the bad guy!

It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great is all. I liked it, but I think the pyromaniac sociopathic brother was a great villain, and way too conveniently dealt with. I think the actual villain(s) made the book less than it could have been.

***ARC courtesy of Berkley

Profile Image for Ami.
5,812 reviews499 followers
December 6, 2015
Despite hundreds of titles that have been released, this is my first Krentz book. I have never read any of them, even under her other pen names. So I will not be able to compare whether this is her good one or her mediocre one. I can only form an opinion based on my reading experience of this one.

Secret Sisters is categorized as romantic suspense. I will try to give opinion on both elements ... romance and suspense (or mystery). In terms of the mystery, it is pretty intriguing. The first chapter is very intense and a very effective hook, in my opinion. Ms. Krentz offers some twists in order to get to the whodunit revelation, but I admit that they were getting both predictable and blatant. The revelation became a little implausible in my eyes. That everyone who are suspects end up, well, having faults of their own.

I also thought that the main characters, especially Madeline and Jack, were a little flat. I missed being ‘introduced,’ especially in regards to their first meeting, in order for me to feel the relationship build-up. There was none of that here. As a result, their romance feels bland. I was more convinced with the secondary romance between Daphne and Jack’s brother, Abe, because I was there when they first met and later on when they worked together helping Jack and Madeline solve the case.

There was no strong character build, in my humble opinion. Each of the characters are said to be having some sort of baggage, but I couldn’t feel it emotionally because they are not deeply explored. The one with Jack’s past, for example. Somehow around half-way through the book, he gets a nightmare, but then it is seemed to be forgotten until the very end. Only Abe seemed to be a bright enough character to cheer me up during the whole course of the story.

It’s not a bad book … Ms. Krentz writes quite well and like I said, the mystery is pretty intriguing. I find the pacing to be quite fast too. Meaning that I continued reading from beginning to end without having any major obstacles. However, it will not be a memorable book because nothing really stands out for me; neither the mystery nor the romance.

A Guest Review for The Blogger Girls

The ARC is provided by the publisher for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
161 reviews
November 13, 2015
I believe I have read most of Jayne Ann Krentz's published writings. I have watched her women characters become stronger and more complex as the decades have passed. When picking up one of her books, whatever the pseudonym, I know the main characters will be interesting and likable regardless of their faults and the environment, alien caverns or corporate boardroom, will feel rich and real. Secret Sisters is the culmination of years of growing storytelling talent.

This new novel really is a "stay up all night" read! I could feel the relationships , both positive and negative, between the members of each family. The main characters are well developed, complex, and trapped by past traumas. The contrast of the environment of sunny Sanctuary Creek to foggy Cooper Cove is so skillfully depicted I found myself actually reaching for a shawl. The mystery itself twists each time one thinks it is solved. Everything I could have asked for in a JAK book.

Having finished the book I realized the title says it all, but I didn't "get it" until the very end. Over all this is the best contemporary romantic mystery I have read this year. I finished the book a few days ago and will be rereading it this weekend to tease out more hidden layers.

Despite having read the uncorrected proof of Secret Sisters I was very impressed to discover far fewer typos than I generally find in the final copies of many recent books by other authors.

I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Emmy.
910 reviews146 followers
May 10, 2016
This wasn't bad as far as mysteries go (which many people know isn't my favorite genre, so I'm a hard grader), but there were a few things that kept this from being 4 stars instead of 3. I did like there was low angst on the romance side (especially given everything else going on) and I thought it was well written.

Now for the things I didn't:
For a book called Secret Sisters, I expected there to be more about Madeline and Daphne's relationship. But there was already a lot with the mystery and Madeline and Jack's romance. Besides their reunion and maybe one or two scenes, Madeline and Daphne don't spend any other time together without Jack and Abe. I was just expecting more about them as friends.

Now for the mystery.

And lastly (and this is just a personal peccadillo that keeps coming up), but why do contemporary books end with an engagement between two people who have been together for like a week? Most people date a while these days before getting married. Immediate engagements make sense in a Regency era book, but not in contemporary. I really wish authors would stop doing this.
Profile Image for Maggie.
Author 41 books393 followers
December 20, 2015
When hotel exec Madeline Chase gets a distressed phone call from the caretaker of the only decommissioned hotel in her family’s chain of boutique B&Bs, she screws up her courage and returns to the scene of her worst nightmare. After the caretaker suffers a dire fate on Cooper Island, Madeline calls the cops and her security team for good measure.

Jack Rayner rushes to Madeline’s side and together they try to solve the caretaker’s murder. Except the more they look into it, the more the answers seem rooted in the past, and tied to a powerful West Coast family.

Soon Madeline has no choice but to call her secret sister, but doing so escalates the danger. With a madman in the neighborhood and a killer on the loose in this island community, the question is will finding the truth, and all of the truth, cost Madeline and Jack their lives?

I truly enjoyed the twists and turns in this novel. It reminded me of Jayne’s novels prior to the Arcane story threads in most of her more recent work. I adore paranormal, but normal can be Out of this World too. Whatever she writes, it’s always a hit with me.

Maggie Toussaint and Rigel Carson for Muddy Rose Reviews
Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,510 reviews269 followers
December 5, 2015
Some days, I love to curl up with a good suspense read. I love the twists and turns; plus the gripping story-telling and writing skills, just like those by Jayne Ann Krentz. Add in a bit of simmering romance along side and I am locked in for hours.

I have had the pleasure of reading several of Jayne Ann Krentz books in the past and when this new release showed up, I knew it was one I would have to set aside several hours at a time to lock into the story. This author is wonderful at telling a spellbinding tale, with plenty of twists to keep you wondering up until the last minute "who really dun it".

Armed with strong characters that have a unique story to tell, this is a tale of the past that is dragged into today. Murder, secrets, family, tight friendships, deep anger, fear, and plenty of action to keep you turning those pages as fast as you can.

A novel for anyone that loves a thrilling read, Jayne Ann Krentz always delivers the goods with refreshing and unique stories that are entertaining and will leave you thinking about the story long after you close the cover.
Profile Image for Tammy .
940 reviews110 followers
May 26, 2016
At one time JAK was one of my go to authors. I'm beginning to think my tastes have drastically changed, or her writing style has changed. I don't know which is the culprit here but what I do know is, I just couldn't connect with these characters.

The romance between Madeline and Jack felt lacking. Their chemistry was flat. No if, and, or but about it. If you classify something as romance than it should contain romance. Not romance that is eluded too while the protagonists make a run for it each time. I ended up DNFing this around 35%, even the mystery couldn't hold my attention.

Thank you, PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW, for the complimentary copy of Secret Sisters.
Profile Image for Kelley.
1,157 reviews5 followers
January 12, 2016
Overall, this book was not that great. The writing was weak, (there was a lot of "telling" and not "showing.") and the "twists" in the mystery story just weren't that surprising or suspenseful. The characters were not very well-developed, either. The love story between Madeleine and Jack was very weak. They both seemed one dimensional and not very interesting. Plus the author must have used the phrases "intimacy issues" and "commitment issues" over 20 times in this book. Who talks like that? The story could have been pretty interesting, but when you are told who the bad guys are and the clues are fairly obvious, there is no suspense to keep you reading. I don't think I'll read another book by this author or either of her alternate pen names: Jane Castle and Amanda Quick.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,015 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.