Title: Secrets on Cedar Key by Terri DuLong
Cedar Key Series Book Five
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
New York Times bestselling author Terri DuLong’s heartwarming new novel invites you to Cedar Key, Florida–a close-knit community that offers an easy pace, gorgeous scenery–and a whole new perspective on family and forgiveness. . .
In the wake of her husband Andrew’s sudden passing, there’s nowhere Marin Kane would rather be than back on Cedar Key. Marin plans to run the needlepoint store next to her mother Dora’s yarn shop, and settle once more into her tranquil hometown. Then a bombshell arrives: a secret daughter Andrew never revealed to anyone.
Now nineteen, Fiona was the product of a summer affair Andrew had when he was out of town teaching–while Marin was home with their two small sons. All Fiona wants is a chance to meet her half-brothers and Marin–and through them get some sense of the father she barely knew. Marin isn’t sure she can ever overcome her sense of betrayal. But buoyed by old friends–and a new love–the answers may unfold, guiding both Marin and Fiona to a true refuge at last.
Secrets on Cedar Key is a very charming novel about friendship, family, forgiveness and love. This fifth installment in Terri DuLong’s Cedar Key series is a beautiful journey for Marin Kane as she reconciles her hurt and anger over her now deceased husband’s long ago betrayal and opens her heart to the unexpected love she finds with Worth Slater.
Marin Kane is faced with two setbacks in the new life she has created in aftermath of her husband Andrew’s sudden death seven months ago. The first is relatively minor, easy to solve and brings a surprising friendship. Marin’s Christmas grand opening of her needlepoint shop is in jeopardy when the contractor has a heart attack but luckily her mom Dora knows someone who can finish the job. Marin strikes up an immediate friendship with his substitute, the handsome and very sexy Worth Slater. Their instant rapport leads an easy and surprising friendship that grows into something much deeper as the months pass.
The second and much more serious complication that Marin is forced to deal with is the irrefutable evidence that Andrew had a secret affair that resulted in the birth of a daughter, Fiona, who is now nineteen years old. Marin’s reflections on her sometimes troubled marriage are painfully honest as she tries to decide what to do with this newfound knowledge. Battling her feelings of betrayal and resentment, she continues to put off making a decision but an impulsive trip abroad provides Marin much needed distance to sort through her emotions and figure out how to handle the situation.
One of the aspects I found most appealing about Secrets on Cedar Key is the fact that Marin and Worth are an older couple. Both are widowed with grown children and in Worth’s case, grandchildren. Their maturity is a refreshing change of pace and their life experiences provided added depth to their characters. Their romance gently creeps up on both of them and their transition to lovers is a natural extension of their friendship. It is a truly delightful romance that avoids angst and anguish as they embrace their evolving relationship.
Secrets on Cedar Key is the first book I have read from the well-established Cedar Key series, but I had no trouble jumping right into the series. There are numerous guest appearances by characters from the previous novels, but Ms. DuLong provides enough back story that I never felt lost. I am intrigued by the glimpses of the characters’ stories and I will definitely be picking up the previous books in the series.
A timeless love story that will appeal to the romantic in us all, Secrets on Cedar Key is captivating story of forgiveness and new beginnings. The picturesque town of Cedar Key is warm and inviting and serves as a lovely backdrop for the unfolding story. Terri DuLong has an engaging writing style and an uncanny ability to create realistic characters that readers will find easy to relate to. It is a heartfelt and emotional addition to the Cedar Key series that old and new fans do not want to miss.