today’s book: Big Secrets, Little Lies by Pat Nichols
We are moving right along on our summer-long Road Trip Reads Giveaway where we will be visiting all 50 states on the pages of recently released books. Because road trips are always better with friends – and books – right? So grab your fave snacks, a cold soda or bottled water, an upbeat playlist and come visit me in Georgia for a bit!
today’s stop: Georgia
BIG SECRETS, LITTLE LIES by Pat Nichols
SERIES: Butler Family Legacy #1
GENRE: Contemporary Women’s Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Armchair Press
RELEASE DATE: January 17, 2023
When Daisy Butler is forced to confront her family’s dark secrets, she’s left to wonder if the truth will destroy her career or break her father’s heart.
In Daisy’s world, recruiting her grandfather’s Savannah-based business for a prestigious New York law firm is her ticket to a partnership. Except she’s never met her grandfather whose name her father forbids spoken in his home. When an investigative journalist petitions Daisy to solve her maternal grandmother’s thirty-five-year-old disappearance, Daisy is thrust into another moral dilemma. Alongside her mother, Poppy, who struggles with embarrassment over her birth-mark stained cheek, Daisy embarks on a journey to uncover the truth and in the process, learns the shocking reality behind her father’s contempt for his estranged parents.
A gripping story of family, secrets, and discovery.
Daisy Butler’s heart pounded as her eyes darted back and forth between six elevators. Every junior associate understood that a summons to the top floor in the Manhattan high-rise office building meant something significant had taken place. Sometimes positive, other times not so much. Hopefully four years of undergraduate work and three of law school, plus two more years accumulating an insane number of billable hours for barely enough salary to cover her rent had paid off. Unless—
A ping. The second elevator door on the left yawned open. Daisy stepped inside and pressed the button for the fiftieth floor. Sweat beaded on her upper lip and dampened her palms. What if an associate had stumbled on the truth about the assumption she had failed to correct and forced the senior partners to send her packing? Back to Georgia. A fraud. A failure.
Another ping. The door slid open.
Daisy breathed deeply and tucked her shoulder-length, dark blonde hair behind her right ear, revealing a faux-emerald earring a shade darker than her eyes. She squared her shoulders, held her head high, and strode into the lobby for the second time since the day she’d first arrived in the city.
A smartly dressed, attractive woman smiled from behind a tall, granite-top reception desk. “Ms. Butler?”
The young woman’s left brow raised.
Why did some women balk at being addressed as ma’am? Grateful she hadn’t called her honey or added y’all to her response, Daisy pasted on her best smile. “Yes, I’m Ms. Butler.”
The woman’s brow relaxed. She stepped from behind the desk and motioned Daisy to follow her down a short hall and into a room warmed by wood paneling and a crystal chandelier. “Mr. Warner will join you shortly.” She strolled out, leaving the door ajar.
Daisy eased toward the massive conference table holding center stage, encircled by fourteen plush-leather chairs. She ran her fingers along the smooth-as-glass dark wood surface. Nothing like the hand-hewn table in her parents’ humble kitchen, marred by nicks and spills from years of family meals and school projects.
Grateful for a moment alone, she strolled to the wall of windows and gazed down at the iconic Plaza Hotel and beyond to the oasis awash in autumn colors floating amid a sea of buildings. Central Park’s massive outdoor space appeared far more magnificent from the Warner Law Firm’s inner sanctum than from the cramped office she shared with two junior associates. At least if today marked the end of her career, she’d spend the last few moments in a room lower-ranking attorneys seldom entered.
“One of the best views in the city.”
Daisy turned toward the deep male voice. Her breath hitched at the sight of Mr. Warner, the senior partner and founding member of the prestigious law firm. Michael, his handsome son and heir to the family fortune, accompanied him.
“Daisy is an interesting name for a corporate attorney.” Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, and solid blue tie, the silver-haired senior Warner approached.
“All the women in my family are named after flowers.” She pressed her damp palms to her skirt. Why had she uttered that bit of irrelevant information? “On my mother’s side, sir. I suppose it’s a southern thing.”
Mr. Warner stood ramrod straight at the head of the conference table. “We’re fortunate a bright, young corporate attorney from a prominent southern family accepted a position with us.”
“I’m the one who’s fortunate, Mr. Warner.” Had the senior Butler’s reputation cinched the employment offer? Daisy stole a glance at Michael, touted as one of the city’s most sought-after bachelors. What about the morning three months earlier when he’d bumped into her in the ground-floor coffee shop and spilled cappuccino on her blouse? A mishap or an excuse to invite her to dinner to apologize? One evening at a trendy, high-dollar restaurant followed by five more—the last two ending with a kiss.
“Our corporate division represents an impressive number of successful companies.” Mr. Warner’s tone exuded confidence. “Curtis Butler’s business empire is highly respected.”
Sweat trickled between Daisy’s shoulder blades at the mention of her grandfather and the truth she had failed to reveal during her first interview. The fact she had never met the eighty-year-old man, or that no one in her family dared mention his name in her dad’s presence. The wealthy, powerful grandfather who most likely had no idea she existed.
“Another reason we’re pleased to promote his granddaughter to the position of senior associate.”
Daisy blinked. Had she heard Mr. Warner correctly?
Michael edged closer. “The partners are impressed with your work, Daisy. Which is why we’ve made the decision to fast-track you toward a partnership.”
She gazed into his hazel eyes and breathed in the musky scent of his cologne. Had her efforts and work ethic led to this moment? If word about dinners with Michael or her family-connections leaked, would associates tag her as an opportunist profiting from her grandfather’s reputation?
Michael smiled. “We’re expecting a lot from you, Daisy.”
“I won’t let you down.” She swallowed a sigh, grateful she remained employed.
Mr. Warner glanced at his watch. “Michael will share the details of your promotion.” He pivoted on his heel and headed toward the door. “One more thing.” The senior partner paused and peered over his shoulder. “Michael will escort you to an event at our Southampton home this coming Saturday.” He walked out and pulled the door closed behind him.
Daisy’s chest tightened. How many attorneys promoted to senior associate had he commanded to appear at his private residence? Her eyes landed on one of three paintings adorning the paneled walls. Rumor among the associates claimed the partners had insured the firm’s artwork for untold millions. Was the same true of the Warner’s private residence? “Does your father know we’ve had dinner a few times?”
Michael leaned his hip against the conference table’s round corner. “You mean that I’ve dined with a southern beauty who’s ambitious and as smart as any Ivy League-educated attorney?”
Daisy’s eyes narrowed at the not-so-subtle remark about her southern education. “You didn’t answer my question.”
“Here it comes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury. A cross examination from our newest senior associate who’s high-heeled clad feet are firmly planted on the path to the big prize. Partnership in a world-class law firm.”
Daisy turned away and meandered to the window. A stretch limousine pulled in front of the Plaza Hotel’s entrance fifty stories below—a symbol of wealth and position. Everything her mom wanted her to achieve. Everything her dad detested. “At what cost, Michael?”
He strode to her side. “Why the suspicion?”
“Call it curiosity.”
“Yes, my father knows we’re seeing each other socially.” He touched Daisy’s shoulder. “Trust me, your promotion is based on merit and what you bring to our firm.”
She faced him. “You mean my family connections?”
His brows raised. “Is that a problem?”
More like a landmine. Daisy squared her shoulders. “Of course, it isn’t.”
“Good. Now, about your promotion …”
As she listened to Michael outline details about her new salary and responsibilities, one all-consuming mission took root. Before the truth about her grandfather surfaced, she had to find a way to make her connection to her dad’s elusive family count for something without breaking his heart and dashing her mom’s dreams for her future.
Pat Nichols, Big Secrets, Little Lies
Armchair Publishing © 2023. Used by permission.
Pat Nichols is offering an ebook or signed print copy of Big Secrets, Little Lies to one of my readers! (US only for print. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Big Secrets, Little Lies by Pat Nichols? Have you ever visited Georgia?