Just a heads up, do not start this book unless you plan to stay up all night and read. This is one that you cannot start and put down to come back to later. You are going to be stuck until you know the absolute truth. Ms. Willig's writing reminds me of Daphne du Maurier.
Georgie has no illusions about the future, and what might be waiting for her. Memories of the past are just that, and she is determined to keep as far ahead of them as she can. Not all memories are good, and the ones that Georgie is running from would make another person cringe with fear. Not that she is not afraid, but she built up a wall - refusing to allow anything to get under her skin. She thought she could handle anything, but she did not count on Bayard Van Duyvil. When this sweeping young man comes into her life, she is anything but gracious. That he is rich is one thing, but men are always after just one thing. Bay is determined to prove her wrong, and over the next several weeks courts her quietly. While she wonders why he really is interested in her, her own feelings overwhelm her rational. Before long, they marry and prepare to return home, to face his formidable mother.
While they settle into their new lives, Georgie has restyled herself as Annabelle Lacey. While she hopes to meld into society easily, she is not one for normal convention, and neither is her husband. Having grown up under his mothers withering glare, he is slowly discovering his own independence. Stuck at home with their mother is his sister Janie. She has yet to find her means of escape. But when Bay is found bleeding to death on the ground of his new home, and his wife missing no one knows what is going on. Wild rumors spring to life, and the papers are running with the story.
Janie, as quiet and mold-able as she is, has a hidden stubborn side. While her mother has relegated her to the background as unimportant, Janie is determined to see that her brother gets justice, and his name cleared of the rumors that are swirling around him and his wife. Enlisting the help of one of the journalists, they embark on a journey of truths, mystery and dark secrets that have been lurking in the shadows for far to long.
While they begin to untangle the webs that have molded their family name, the truth might be something that no one can deal with, and leave some newfound truths in their wake...
Seriously enjoyed this book. There are some adult themes in the book, so not something that I would recommend to anyone under 18, but this story draws two worlds together and fleshes them out. Secrets, lies and half truths have been overlooked, and squirreled away all to protect a family name. The matriarch of the family is one that will go to any length to protect their good name - and perhaps even some lengths that others are not aware of - all to keep their standing within the community.
As I stated above, do not start this book if you have any plans on sleeping, it is one that will draw you in and keep you turning pages until the very end.