by Mlyn Hurn

December 2002
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The adage “when it rains, it pours” certainly applies to Carissa’s week! Though every family has its secrets, Cari’s family’s skeletons in the cupboard are a bit more dramatic than most – and certainly life-changing for Cari.

Not only did Cari find out the truth about her mother and father, and her current fiancé, she’s also managed to find the love of her life – and obviously it’s not the guy to whom she’s engaged! Cari’s discovery of her parents' dirty laundry inadvertently drew her closer to Jake, the handsome, rich, older fellow whom she’s found during her time of need.

Cari is unassuming, a little shy and a lot conscious of the fact that she’s far from a size two. Her own mother isn’t any help – in fact, she’s the source of Cari’s insecurities! Who needs enemies if you have a mother like hers?! And her own fiancé is mostly absent so he isn’t integral to the story – well, maybe as added baggage to Cari’s unfolding drama.

On the other hand, Jake isn’t that pivotal as a character either – he only serves to put some sort of balance and guidance through Cari’s crises. Family Secrets is by no means “chick lit”, but it does only focus around Cari and how she deals with her cagey family. (Though, to point out, she must have been very naďve indeed if she didn’t catch on to her parents’ goings-on a lot sooner!) Without Jake, it would seem that Cari would fall apart in face of all her new discoveries - for every action she takes, she’s become dependent on Jake for encouragement and support.

Family Secrets is rated Hard-R, so it does have its sexy moments, though it’s just as easy to get caught up in Cari’s soap opera-like life than her romance with Jake.

Reviewed in December 2002 by Veronica.

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