A new book by Luanne Rice is always an occasion for me to rush right out, buy the book and then wait a few weeks before I read it. Why do I wait to read it? Perhaps its because I'm waiting for just the right mood or knowing that once I finish this book I'll have to wait a bit till Ms. Rice writes another one. And while my wait wasn't that long this time since I recently read the Firefly trilogy which included Firefly Beach, Safe Harbor and True Blue almost back to back, The Secret Hour is Luanne Rice at her very best. As she has accomplished in so many of her novels I loved, Ms. Rice introduces us to characters who have suffered tragedies in their family structures and find healing within themselves and through others.
John O'Rourke, a defense attorney and his children 14 year old Ted and 11 year old Maggie, are still reeling from the accidental death of their wife and mother Theresa. Now two years later, John is desperately trying to save his client from the death penalty. Isolated form his neighbors and community for representing this convicted killer, John and his family suffer greatly particularly the children who have barely begun to deal with their mother's passing. Then one day a new woman, Kate Harris, arrives in town. The family mistakes her for a new housekeeper/babysitter whom they have been advertising for in the local papers. But Kate has her own reason for being in Connecticut and wanting to get to know the O'Rourke family. Thus begins a reader's journey and adventure where once again Rice's plots are filled with the themes of love between siblings, love between a man and a woman and happiness after tragedies.
Although not always a fan of the genre of romantic suspense, I loved this book. I found that Rice's writing was emotional and heart rending without being sappy as characterized in books by Nicholas Sparks and others. Her characters are well portrayed and I think about them now weeks after I finished this title.
While I always wait patiently for a new Luanne Rice book,this time my wait is almost over. Her new book, Dance With Me, is due out in February and I for one can't wait. I will purchase it immediately, put it away and read it at just the right time, which for me is almost any time. I do hope you will enjoy this book as much as I did.