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Harlequin’s Super Romance “Her Sister’s Keeper” by Julia Penney

Review of Harlequin’s Super Romance

“Her Sister’s Keeper” by Julia Penney

by Stacey Mazur




            Harlequin’s “Super Romance” story “Her Sister’s Keeper” by Julia Penney is more than a simple romance; it is a riveting detective story spiced up with an enormously compelling love line. It keeps you guessing till the very end.

            After the first few pages, you feel absolutely captivated by author’s compelling writing and the eloquence of her style; you are completely absorbed by it: you simply cannot put the book down. It is a breath taking read.

            The plot is completely unpredictable, always twisting, holding the reader’s attention to the last, totally captivating.

            The first twist strikes when a dead body is discovered in one of LA’s hotel suites registered under the name of Ariel Harris, Melanie’s sister and the rising star in town, who is missing along with her new-born baby. But, as it turns out, the dead body actually belongs to another woman…

            From that moment on the narrative is full of breathtaking turns, twisting all the way throughout the story.

            Truly, the book leaves you feeling overwhelmed; the twists of the plot  breathless… It manages to successfully combine love drama and detective story.

            Surely, after reading this, you will be longing for more of Julia Penney.

It keeps you guessing till the very end.

A mind-blowing read, a compelling story.  This book really absorbs one… 

The book is written so eloquently… Totally moving… truly absorbing…

Reading this book, you cannot fail to be totally absorbed by its compelling writing and the awe-inspiring twists of the plot that leave you gasping… for more.

It is a one-sitting read.




            The main theme of this book is the kidnapping of the main character’s sister, Ariel, along with her newborn baby, by the old, childless and emotionally unstable Russian immigrant.

            The first two chapters describe the acquaintance of the two main characters, Melanie Harris and Dr. Mattson (or simply Kent).


            The story is set in the Los Angeles district.

            Dr. Kent Mattson is juggling two jobs, one in LAPD as a police officer and a forensic psychologist, another as a shrink in order to have a ‘healthy bank account’ and to be able to support his family estate in Chimeya; he lost his wife Susan seven years ago to an accident and still hasn’t moved on with his life.

            Melanie Harris is a Hollywood actress attending Dr. Mattson to keep a promise to her best friend, Stephanie Hawke, in receiveing help from a professional. This should help her forgive her sister for what the latter had done to her in the past, thus releasing her demons. She won’t forgive her sister Ariel for hiding her past-affair with her fiancé until the very last moment.


            The events of the past linger in M-264765977elanie’s’ mind as she seats herself comfortably in Kent’s office. The session’s drawing to a close, and she still hadn’t uttered a single word. However what lingers on the Doctor’s mind isn’t a way to help her either: his mind keeps returning to the crime scene he had witnessed that morning. As Melanie continues to insist on paying for the session in full, Kent receives a phone call from his LAPD boss, Carolyn Murphy, — there’s another crime scene yet to observe.

            He rushes to the spot, but it turns out that his car had been stolen, and luckily there’s Melanie to give him a ride. As her car’s stuck in the parking lot, she follows Kent to the hotel, and there, in a two-bedroom suite, she discovers a dead body… of her friend Stephanie… Her sister Ariel who checked in last night under the surname Harris was with an infant, and they are both missing…  and this is just the beginning… of this truly captivating story. — That will take your breath away, leaving you literally… gasping… for air.


            There are two main lines of relationships in the book: the first is the developing relationship between the main characters  Melanie and Kent — themselves; the second  Melanie’s relationship with her family  the one that’s present and missing, and that which has passed and is now in her past. Confronting the demons of her past does, indeed, mean saving her sister.

            As they’re struggling to unpuzzle the mystery of Ariel’s disappearing, the relationship between the two main characters is constantly developing and transforming. As they go exploring each other throughout the whole story  during and after the investigation of the case.

            What is more, the story gives an exclusive insight into the adrenaline-filled life of an LAPD officer and the whole department he’s working for, which alone, being the proverbial-and-everyday antonym of boring, is beyond the ordinary, on a daily basis.


           The main characters are most likeable, convincing and believable…

            What is it that makes them so?

            Apparently, the author’s literary talent: the narration shifts from one character’s point of view to that of another  providing an insight into their inner worlds. You simply dive into the diverse, controversial worlds of the main characters, thus exploring them from the inside.

            The description of the events taking place in the story is woven eloquently into the narrative. Such an exquisitely involving literary technique adds a certain flair to the overall writing style.

            Plus, it’s an exceptionally emotional read, appealing to a wide range of human emotion. Exploring the deep and complicated relationships between characters, complex in themselves, with each other as well as with their own selves, a reader (no matter how wordly) can always find something to relate to.


            One of the best things about this book yet is undoubtedly the way the author unfolds the story, unveiling the characters before us, bringing in new details on their lives and the case as they are being uncovered by the main characters themselves,  holding the intrigue of ‘her sister’s keeper’ up to the last page, up to the very last minute, up to the last awe-striking moment, up until the final breathtaken sigh…

            Truly, the book leaves you feeling overwhelmed; the twists of the plot  breathless. It manages to successfully combine love drama and detective story.

           Surely, after reading this, you will be longing for more of Julia Penney.

            What comes to this book, I personally enjoyed it to the fullest and would recommend it to anyone fond of exploring a detective story and a novel with an enormously compelling love line, all melted into one great piece of literary art…..

Now, sit back and relax, letting the whirlwinding world unfold before you, swallow and enthrall you, inviting you for an exhilarating read of a lifetime.

Fasten your seatbelts.

— And finally 

Prepare to be blown away by Julia Penney’s compelling novel…

For it will

— Completely

 blow your mind



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