Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tangled Lies

Tangled Lies
(The Harlequin Famous Firsts Collection)
By Anne Stuart
Published by Harlequin
Reissue edition; Published in March 2009
ISBN-13: 9780373200016

Synopsis from back cover:
Surrounded by greed and treachery, Rachel Chandler feels completely alone in the world--until her brother, who's been missing for fifteen years, is spotted in Hawaii. Rachel will stop at nothing to find him... But when she arrives at her brother's cottage, she encounters a stranger. A man haunted by his past. A man looking to use Rachel for his own purposes. A man Rachel wants as she's never wanted another....

Chapter One, First Sentence: With an almost detached glance Rachel Chandler looked down at her strong, pale hand grip the armrest of the 747 that was gleefully soaring through air pockets and the most god-awful turbulence to the peaceful paradise of Hawaii.

Can you imagine having romantic notions for your own brother? This is what happens to Rachel Chandler when she finally found Emmett, the man who is supposed to be her missing brother, in Hawaii. She feels deeply and strangely attracted to him. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Fifteen years ago, Emmett Chandler was involved in a radical group that was responsible for the bombing and death of a teenage girl. That girl happened to be Emmett’s girlfriend. He fled the scene and away from the authorities’ radar for many years. Rachel had only been twelve when her brother disappeared.

When there is news saying that Emmett is last seen in Hawaii, Rachel overcomes her flight phobia, determined to see her brother and never to lose him again. She receives birthday gifts from him every year during his disappearance, so she has never believed him to be dead, as many have speculated. True enough, she finds Emmett in Hawaii, but there is something different about the man, but she could not quite put her finger to it. After all, she was only twelve when he went missing. To back track a little bit, interestingly during the flight, a priest by the name of Father Frank befriends Rachel. He even accompanied her to the cottage where Emmett is supposed to be staying.

Rachel’s arrival at the cottage unannounced did shake Emmett. He gives in to her persistence to stay with him, but half the time is indifferent to her presence. Or so it seems. He feels an attraction to her. By now, readers would smell something fishy about Emmett. And rightly so for indeed, “Emmett” has a hidden agenda and a conspiracy with Rachel’s uncle regarding a family inheritance. Will the real Emmett please stand up? At this point, Rachel still have not got a clue.

The relationship between Rachel and “Emmett” becomes complicated as they fight the attraction to each other. Her presence will complicate his plan and all the hard work that he had put in so far—there is something that goes back into history and is more than just the money. As for Rachel, she is guilt-ridden for having incestuous thoughts about her brother. “Tangled Lies” is an apt title for the story. Nobody has ever stir up his feelings like Rachel did, but is he willing to risk it?

One thing for sure, Anne Stuart did stir up my feelings for "Emmett" and I was for him even though he may be a dubious character. The author writes good romance scenes with a good dose of suspense. The pages just fly; Tangled Lies is an easy and fast read. I have read a few of her later works such as the Ice Series and found their 'voice' to be quite similar, but definitely with improvement. I am glad I picked this up!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: I would like to thank Melody and Julia, my joint-reading buddies. It has been great fun reading this exciting story with both of you. I am also grateful that you have waited for me to get this book as Acmabooks took longer than usual to deliver it to me. I can't wait for our next read-together! Please also check out the reviews by Melody and Julia.

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