Friday, November 29, 2013

Under the Boardwalk by Carly Phillips

This was a cute story about Ariana searching for her twin sister Zoe. She knows Zoe is not dead because she would feel it. Ari decides to get a job at the casino where Zoe worked when she went missing.  She meets Quinn and they start falling in love. Through this story, Ari finally realizes she needs to accept herself as she is so she can fit into her unusual family.

From the author's site:
Ariana Costas may be a college professor in Vermont, but she’s still a Jersey girl at heart—at least according to her lovable, eccentric Greek family. Then her twin sister, Zoe disappears and her Jersey roots tug hard. Soon Ari is back home, ducking bullets and, to her chagrin, getting rescued by a hunk in a black leather jacket. Detective Quinn Donovan takes one look at the windblown beauty—and then looks again. If this lady isn’t Zoe Costas, it’s someone who looks exactly like her. Suddenly, Ari’s in trouble deeper than the Atlantic at high tide, and Quinn is trying to protect her without spilling his well-guarded secrets … as déja vu just might become the love affair of a lifetime.

If walls could talk, the stories they’d tell.  Especially these walls, Ariana Costas thought as she glanced at the rows and rows of pictures leading down the stairs of her family home.  A true documentary of insanity if there ever was one, the infamous wall of shame, as Ariana liked to call it, portrayed her relatives at their conniving best.
Judging by the commotion she heard from the kitchen, her family was up to their usual tricks.  Her heart skipped a beat as she realized that sadly, nothing had changed in the five years she’d been gone.  Apparently not even a missing daughter could deter them from routine.  Pulling her black suit jacket around her like armor, Ariana stepped inside the kitchen and into the fray. Her mother’s sister who technically lived next door though you’d never know it with the amount of time she spent here, sat with the phone book, calling people at random.
“Hello? Do you need your chimneys cleaned?”  Aunt D asked in her high pitched voice.  “Winter’s around the corner and you can’t be too careful. You wouldn’t want to light a fire and discover there was an animal stuck inside, would you?”  After a short conversation she set up an appointment and marked it in her calendar.
Ariana was always amazed anyone fell for the scheme.  “What are you and Uncle John going to milk these unsuspecting people for once you’re inside?”  She asked as she walked over to the coffee machine.Aunt D merely winked at her before moving on to the next number in the book.
In the meantime, her handsome father sat at the rectangular table drawing posters.  A smile quirked her lips as she took in his clean-shaven head.  Prostate cancer seven years ago hadn’t sidelined him.  Instead it had started the family’s biggest money-maker, The Addams Family Act, derived from the old television show of the same name.  Her father had taken on the personna of Uncle Fester, her beautiful mother with her raven hair was Morticia, while the rest of her relatives rallied around.  Over the years they’d become the pride of Ocean Isle, her small coastal hometown, fifteen minutes outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Ariana was so grateful her father was healthy and still in remission, she kissed his bald head.  Over his shoulder, she studied his poster.  “Earn while you Eat! Join a weight study,” Ariana read aloud.  “And how much will this study cost each participant?” she asked her father.
“Only what they want to give.  You know that,” Nicholas said without glancing up from his work.
She rolled her eyes.  Ariana had seen this scam and ones like it before.  Every Costas relative conned their way through life with a wink, a smile and legendary Greek charm.  The only shocking thing was that her family members managed to avoid  doing hard time, something Ariana chalked up to luck.

To read more, click here.

Pages: 271
Published: 2004

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