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Lies That Bind: The House on Poppin Hill    by Barbara McMahon order for
Lies That Bind
by Barbara McMahon
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

This second in a trilogy focuses on April Jeffries, a model working in Paris. She returns home to Maraville, Mississippi to visit her former foster mother, Maddie Oglethorpe. Both good and bad memories fill her mind and heart - when she was last home, she and her foster sisters, Eliza and Jo, were split up without explanations and told never to contact each other again. In the previous book, Eliza found her foster sister April in Paris, and asked her to return home because Maddie had suffered a major stroke and needed their help.

April never expected to come home again, and didn't expect to discover she had missed being there. She does have an agenda - she wants to find her biological parents. While Eliza and Jo were from broken homes, April had been given up as a baby and was never told who her parents were. She believes she was born in Maraville. Jack Palmer, a CNN reporter on medical leave, helps her trace where she was born. Slowly but surely, they unravel the mystery of her birth mother.

Jack's career as a CNN reporter may be over. He was injured in Iraq, and is recuperating in Maraville. Just as April was used to a life of glamour and fame, Jack was accustomed to regular travel and adventure. The two have one thing in common - both have vowed not to get into a serious relationship. Already married twice, April knows she can't deal with a third failure. And while she is falling for Jack, she expects that he will soon be bored with her.

Maddie is slowly recuperating in the hospital, barely able to communicate with April or Eliza. When April asks Maddie to help find her biological parents, Maddie seems on the verge of yet another stroke. April wonders what is agitating Maddie so, and what secret she is hiding. The answers to that question will shock the reader. Though I expected a different outcome, the resolution to April's search was much better, and made sense.

The third book in the trilogy will cover Jo's story. I am enjoying the saga of the three foster sisters, now women, and how they fared after having been separated from each other and their foster mother all those years before. I will be interested to see how this trilogy ends.

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