Review + Excerpt: The Lucky Ones - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

They called themselves “the lucky ones”

They were seven children either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and chosen by legendary philanthropist and brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello to live in The Dragon, his almost magical beach house on the Oregon Coast. Allison was the youngest of the lucky ones living an idyllic life with her newfound family…until the night she almost died, and was then whisked away from the house and her adopted family forever.

Now, thirteen years later, Allison receives a letter from Roland, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, warning her that their father is ill and in his final days. Allison determines she must go home again and confront the ghosts of her past. She’s determined to find out what really happened that fateful night — was it an accident or, as she’s always suspected, did one of her beloved family members try to kill her?

But digging into the past can reveal horrific truths, and when Allison pieces together the story of her life, she’ll learns the terrible secret at the heart of the family she once loved but never really knew.

Book Type:

Romantic Suspense

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Review + Excerpt: The Lucky Ones
By Tiffany Reisz

Review + Excerpt: The Lucky Ones

Tiffany Reisz delivers a chilling mystery which centers on the seven children who were taken in by a philanthropist doctor after being abandoned. They were called “the lucky ones,” as they’d found a home in an idyllic mansion off the Oregon coast, cared for by brain surgeon Dr. Vincent Capello.

Allison Lamarque was the youngest of the bunch when she arrived at The Dragon—the home’s nickname. There, she found a family, a place to belong. It was wonderful and magical until the day she was pushed down the stairs and almost died.

After that, she was whisked away to live with her aunt. Thirteen years later, she receives a letter from her older “brother” informing her Dr. Capello is terminally ill and that she ought to go home.

Despite lingering fear and doubts, Allison returns home to say goodbye to her ailing father and finally face the ghosts of the past.

Once there, Allison rekindles old feelings and unearths truths she was never meant to know… about her family, about Dr. Capello, and about what really happened the day she almost died.

The story really felt like a slowly unravelling mystery. Secrets are revealed gradually with the story’s pacing punctuated by an unfolding romance. There’s a chilling, gothic undertone to the narrative, but I think I needed something more, something to help speed up the pace along the way… to make the twist feel more impactful. Overall, despite my issues, it’s a solid read, especially for romantic suspense fans.

Chapter 1

Louisville, Kentucky, 2015

All Allison wanted was for this conversation to be over. That and she hoped the heavy gray clouds would part and the sun would appear. It could go either way today—sun or rain. She stood at the kitchen window, peeling old white paint off the sill as she waited for the Kentucky sky to make up its mind. Meanwhile, sitting behind her at the table, her lover, Cooper McQueen, gently ruined her life.

Then, a small mercy—the clouds split wide open. The sun shone bright enough to momentarily blind her. She exhaled in her relief. Allison had always loved the rain. She could for­give McQueen for leaving. She would never forgive him if he’d ruined the rain for her.

“She’s pregnant,” McQueen said. “She’s due in April.”

“You’re happy about it,” Allison said, working another strip of paint off the edge of the frame. She felt a silly sort of tri­umph when it came off in one long white ribbon.

“Cricket,” he said softly, apologetically. “Look at me.”

Allison wanted to walk out right then, walk out and look back. She should have, she knew. Instead, she turned around and faced him. He’d just ended it and here she was, still obeying his every command.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

“It’s all right, McQueen,” she said, shrugging. “We knew this would happen eventually. Not you getting some strange woman you picked up in a bar pregnant, I mean. But…”

“But…” He sat back in the chair.

“You are happy about it, though, aren’t you?” she asked. “You can be honest with me. I’d appreciate it.”

She was lying. She was lying through her teeth. She didn’t want him to be honest with her. She wanted him to lie to her, lie as hard as she was lying to him. She wanted him to tell her he wasn’t happy about it at all, that he didn’t want to end it, that his hand had been forced, that if given the choice he’d throw caution to the wind and marry Allison tomorrow, even if it did cause a scandal, even if it meant his kids might never speak to him again…

“Yes,” he said. “I’m happy about it.”

“I’m happy for you, too, then.”

Another lie.

Allison had sensed that morning that today was going to be the day. Instead of calling her to let her know when he’d drop by—for sex, of course, there was no other reason he ever called her—he’d called instead to tell her he had some mail of hers he was bringing over and a pair of earrings he’d found in his bathroom drawer.

“She has her own money. She’s thirty-seven. A little bit more age-appropriate than you,” he said. A joke. He was try­ing to make her laugh and, damn him, it worked. But it was a very small laugh. Her lover—or, she supposed, ex-lover—was Cooper McQueen, who was very possibly a billionaire if one got creative enough with the accounting. He was also forty-five to her twenty-five. She’d been his mistress for six years, although she’d known him for seven. The worst part of it all was what a cliché the whole tawdry thing was. At eigh­teen she’d gotten a job working for McQueen as his daughter Emmy’s weekend babysitter.

“Congratulations,” Allison said. He was trying to spare her pain by not admitting how thrilled he was to have child number three on the way. He and his wife had divorced after two kids, and he’d confessed to her a long time ago that he always felt someone was missing from the family. Not her. She wasn’t family. She was an employee.

“It’s going to be an adventure,” he said, his voice neutral.

Going to be… He was already seeing the future with this child, with this woman. There was no talking him out of end­ing things. It was already done and over. Now if she could only get through the rest of this conversation without fall­ing apart. She’d gone six years as the secret mistress of a very wealthy man without falling apart once in his presence. She hated to ruin her streak.

“Does she know about me?” Allison asked. An important question.

“I told her,” McQueen said. “After she told me.”

“She asked you to get rid of me, didn’t she?”

“No, in fact. She said I could be in the baby’s life if I wanted to keep you, but I couldn’t be in hers if you were still in the picture. For the kid’s sake, I thought we should try to make it work.”

“You should, yes,” Allison said. Even she couldn’t deny he was doing the right thing—finally.

“She told me to tell you she was very sorry,” McQueen said. “And she means it. She didn’t know about you. This isn’t personal.”

“No, of course it isn’t,” Allison said. “What’s her name?”

McQueen paused before answering as if weighing Allison’s motives in asking. “Paris. Paris Shelby.”

“Tell Ms. Shelby I appreciate that. And I understand.” Al­lison paused. “Must be special. You kept me through three girlfriends.”

“I’m crazy about her,” McQueen finally admitted. It was a knife in her heart. A small knife, but serrated. It did damage.

“And you’re sane about me,” she said.

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