At one point in her life, piano prodigy Venus Arinellis career looked limitless, but that was before the anti-government sentiments of her father Max caught up with him. Implicated in the murder of a federal judge, Max suffers a fatal heart attack, leaving his daughters Venus and Ella to handle the aftermath. Stripped of everything, they struggled for years to make ends meet by performing in small clubs across the country.

By tracking down the Arinelli sisters, Ex-Secret Service Agent Gib Cameron is fulfilling the wishes of his great aunt Olivia Cameron. A year ago, Gibs older brother Simon was killed in a horrible accident. Simon and his wife Min ran the family-owned hotel Cameron Hall, but following Simons death, the hotel has remained closed as the family struggles with its grief.

Thirty years ago, Max Arinelli and Sheri Kirk were the Halls first guests; they even married on the premises. The Cameron family has always considered the Arinellis their good-luck charm. Desperate to heal her family and save Cameron Hall, Olivia decrees that Gib must find Venus and Ella.

While gentle Ella readily accepts offers of friendship, battle-toughened Venus always looks a gift horse in the mouth. The Camerons and Arinellis seem fated to intersect. Having suffered greatly in the past, they are perhaps due to heal.

The power of drafting words to evoke images and emotions is a talent that Ms. Smith has in abundance. Her stories generate such sorrow, passion and joy, they are bound to touch readers hearts. (Nov., 448 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith