The Essence of Love

Intimate Secrets

A Mother's Love

Tender Escape

With this Kiss

Shattered Illusions by Candice Poarch
(Arabesque/BET, ISBN 1-58314-122-7 $5.99, PG)
Delcia Adams worked alongside her brother and late husband to create an idyllic campsite on the North Carolina coast. The site attracted visitors from around the country. When Richard Connelly first visited Coree Island, he was attracted to the widowed campsite owner as well. He returned on several occasions. The two became friends and later lovers. When Richard left to work in Africa, Delcia discovered she was pregnant. She later discovered that Richard was not who or what he seemed. He returned to the campsite as David Washington. Before the visit ended he was dead.

When Shattered Illusions begins, Delcia is in the midst of a massive clean-up job. A hurricane has destroyed parts of the campsite. She is also maneuvering around the remnants of her relationship with her father. Once close, her father was unable to come to grips with the fact that his daughter had given birth to a child out of wedlock.

And, while Delcia regrets the loss of her father’s respect, she does not regret her daughter’s birth. The baby, Ranetta, is the only bright spot to emerge from her ill-fated liaison with Richard/David. Throughout her nearly nine-year-marriage, Delcia and her late husband were unable to have a child together.

As the family is making internal and external repairs, Carter Matthews arrives at the campground. He has come to Coree Island as just another tourist. However, Carter, a former Navy Seal is in search of answers. David Washington was his foster brother. Carter wants the truth about how he died. He suspects Delcia may somehow be involved and he is determined to find out how.

Carter discovers a number of things that shock him. First, that the brother he has known and trusted for many years may have led a double life. Second, that David fathered a child with Delcia, despite his assurances to the contrary. However, it is the third revelation is the most shocking to him. He is attracted to a woman who was involved with his brother, a woman who may be responsible for his death.

Delcia is also attracted to Carter. However, given her experience with David, she is not about to get involved with another stranger passing through - particularly not her daughter's “uncle.”

Candice Poarch’s Shattered Illusions is a multidimensional romantic suspense novel that will keep readers guessing. Things are not always as they seem as Delcia and Carter join forces to discover the truth. Poarch has created a feisty heroine who is determined to work as part of a team to find out what really happened. Carter has his work cut out for him on all fronts. Their relationship develops naturally and realistically within the confines of their backgrounds.

Poarch’s novel seeks to unravel another mystery: family relationships. The result is a poignant look at love, loyalty, hope and disappointment.

There is other good news to report. Candice Poarch announced that Intimate Secrets was to be the last story in her popular Nottaway, Virginia series. However, as a result of overwhelming reader requests for a story about Katrina and Phoenix Dye’s precocious triplets, the author is planning a story for the Fall of 2001. The untitled novel will visit with “The Terrible Trio” - Kara, Karl and Karlton Dye - shortly after their high school graduation. There will be a romance featuring Mrs. Jones’ son, Emmanuel.

--Gwendolyn Osborne

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