The Secret Son

Title:  The Secret Son
Series:  Secrets of Cherry Lake #1
Author:  Joan kilby
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  August 25, 2015
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

A birthday card out of the blue from his estranged father sends successful Seattle marketing man Alex Chernoff on a detour to Cherry Lake in search of answers about his past. A day, maybe two, to tie up loose strings and he’ll be out of there, heading for Mexico, margaritas and blondes in bikinis.

Emma Stanhope is all too familiar with hot, rich, entitled guys like Alex. They never hang around for long, especially not for a Plain Jane like herself. No problem. She’s smart and logical, like any good scientist, and knows better than to lose her heart.

What Emma doesn’t count on is chemistry—of the romantic kind. What Alex doesn’t count on is meeting the girl who’ll make him want to change his ways. But when he learns that he’s a secret from his father’s real family, he can’t stay in Cherry Lake… even if he wants to.

Will love be enough to convince Alex to stay… for good?

Read on for my thoughts on The Secret Son.  No true spoilers, promise.

It’s ironic what a birthday card and an old photo can do to a man.  Alex was turning thirty, he’d already made partner in the marketing firm, he had the expensive toys of a driven man the apartment, the cars, the toss away relationships, otherwise known as one night stands.  Then that damned card from his father, the man who seemingly had abandoned him and his mother without much trouble.  Alex tried to toss them away and go on about his life.  He was headed for a two week vacation and ancient history was not on the agenda.

On the way to the airport the photo of a young Alex and his father in a cherry orchard kept pace with his fast driving.  Cherry Lake was only a few exits away, a few days of his time to look up the heartless man who suddenly decides to acknowledge his son – a chance to find answers that he had shoved into a corner of his mind.  A couple days… to finally know why.

Emma was heading home.  It was cherry festival time and she never, ever missed that celebration at Cherry Lake.  Her work with the Dept. of Agriculture meant that she could do some testing out at the Jackson orchards and be sure that their harvest was free of a recently reported infestation.  It was what friends in small towns did – look after each other.  It was on her way home that Emma first encountered Alex, and to say that their first views of each other went smoothly would be far from reality.  She never expected to see the owner of the high speed car at the Jackson’s, nor believed for one minute that this handsome, obviously wealthy city man really wanted to sign on as a cherry picker.  No, there was something going on here and attractive man or not, she’d be keeping an eye on Alex.

The Secret Son, the first story in the Secrets of Cherry Lake series is full of emotions, questions, and second looks at life.  It will show the integrity of Alex and of his father, Robert as well.  How does a man deal with finding out that he has a half-brother and half-sisters that he never got the chance to know about?  When does a man put aside his own need to know based on the harm that knowledge would do to the people he’s come to like and respect?  These and more are questions that Alex will have to answer.  And there is that attraction to small town girl, Emma.  So different from his usual female companions.  She’s the real deal and what he wants with her surprises him almost as much as finding his family.

I expected to enjoy The Secret Son, it is afterall published by Tule Publishing, a company that has delivered amazing series for a long time.  I was delighted to discover a new small town setting with characters that simply pull you into their world so easily.  I’ve loved the stories out of Marietta, Montana – I’ve a feeling with the large family that makes up Alex’s part of Cherry Lake that there are going to be some amazing stories from Cherry Lake as well.

If you enjoy a family based series with believable situations and characters then I would strongly suggest that you pick up The Secret Son and get started on a fun, sexy, intriguing and entertaining series now at the beginning.

*I received an e-ARC of The Secret Son from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Available for the Kindle