THE HIGH PRICE OF SECRETS - Yvonne Lindsay
The Master Vintners , Book 4
Harlequin Desire #2272
New Zealand - Present Day
Over the past few months, Tamsyn Masters has learned that so much of her life has consisted of lies. After an accident when she was three, Tamsyn's mother, Ellen, left, and Tamsyn and her brother were raised believing that Ellen then died. It was only with her father's death that they learned Ellen is still alive and living in New Zealand. Tamsyn grew up at the Masters Vineyards with her extended family, and learning that the aunts and uncles that have been so much a part of their lives also lied about it, and even her brother Ethan waited more than a month to tell her after finding out, is difficult for her to get past. When she walks in on her fiancé having sex with her personal assistant, Zac, it's one too many betrayals for Tamsyn, and she sets out for New Zealand to find her mother. When the man who lives at the address they have for Ellen unfortunately informs Tamsyn that he doesn't know anyone by the name Ellen Masters, Tamsyn decides to stick around until she finds out something.
When Finn Gallagher lost his father at twelve years old, it was Ellen and Lorenzo Fabrini who took him in. He knows of the heartbreak Ellen lived with, having to leave her two children behind, and that even when those children were old enough to seek Ellen out in spite of their father, neither Ethan nor Tamsyn tried. When Tamsyn arrives, Finn isn't about to give her any information about the woman who has been like a mother to him: Ellen isn't well, and he's not about to throw her world into chaos for the spoiled woman he believes Tamsyn to be.
Finn's initial thought is to protect the people he loves, but in THE HIGH PRICE OF SECRETS, as he gets to know Tamsyn, he begins to see that he was wrong about her. For Tamsyn, home—which has always been the Masters Vineyards—has seemed stifling lately, and the latest betrayal is too much for her to bear. She's determined to meet her mother, and find out why she left, and why she stayed away. Tamsyn's a little shocked to find herself attracted to Finn: he wasn't the friendliest guy the first time they met, and she's just ended a two-year relationship with a man she planned to marry. True, the relationship had been lacking, and learning that her fiancé is gay and was using her to hide that fact from his ultra-conservative employers explains a lot, but she's not ready to get involved with someone else yet, is she? Finn has always known who Ellen's children are, and their family is well-known enough that information wasn't hard to come by, so he's already formed an opinion of Tamsyn before they ever meet. His attraction to her is a surprise, and when he learns of the lies Tamsyn has lived with, he wants to tell her the truth, but Lorenzo overrides him. Ellen's health and mental state are too fragile right now, and Finn isn't about to make things worse.
Though part of the Master Vintners series, THE HIGH PRICE OF SECRETS steps away from the Masters family a bit and focuses almost exclusively on Tamsyn and Finn. You don't necessarily have to read the stories in order to know what's going on in this one, but it may help to give you background information on the family. An emotional tale, look for THE HIGH PRICE OF SECRETS.