cover image The Best Kept Secret

The Best Kept Secret

Tawna Fenske. Entangled Amara, $8.99 mass market (364p) ISBN 978-1-64937-030-3

Loose lips alter the dynamic of a loving northern Washington family in Fenske’s placid finale to the Where There’s Smoke series (after Just a Little Bet). Leo Sayre has known for years that his 12-year-old son, Seth, is not biologically his, though he’s said nothing to his now ex-wife and amicable co-parent, Mandi. But while under the influence of pain meds following an oral surgery, he spills all to nurse Nyla Franklin, his former sister-in-law, who’s known for her inability to keep secrets. Once sober, Leo scrambles to keep Nyla from telling the rest of the family. Their shared secret soon has them spending a lot of time together—and seeing one another in a new light. But when they learn that Seth is working on a genetics project for his science class, they must come clean about Seth’s parentage, confront Mandi about her infidelity, and reveal their own changing relationship. Fenske minimizes the ensuing drama, swapping tension for easy acceptance and familial loyalty that some may find anticlimactic. Still, the romance itself is a lovely mix of naughty and nice. This is a sweet send-off for series fans. Agent: Michelle Wolfson, Wolfson Literary. (Mar.)