Secret Star is the third and final book in The Stars of Mithra trilogy. This book ties up all the loose ends from the first two books. For a quick review, the Stars of Mithra are three large, blue, priceless diamonds. Someone believes the legend - whoever has the diamonds will have great power - and he is trying to get the diamonds. So far his plans have failed, but he is not giving up. Bailey was in a position to take the diamonds to protect them and she did, separating the diamonds to keep them safe. Secret Star picks up after the end of Captive Star, when Grace was still missing.
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When the book begins Seth Buchanan is looking at a portrait of Grace Fontaine,thinking it was too bad that she is dead. Seth is a homicide detective investigating Grace's murder. She was pushed from the second floor, through a railing, and landed on a glass coffee table. Seth is convinced her death is related to the Stars of Mithra. He knows Bailey sent one of them to Grace. He is annoyed because Bailey and MJ didn't go to the police, they just tried to handle the problem. He also doesn't like private detectives. Seth knows about the history of the Stars of Mithra. Some things about Grace are revealed - she was an heiress who inherited millions. Stories about her and men she was supposed to be involved with were always showing up in the papers and tabloids. Seth knew the press would have a field day with reports of her death.
Seth returned to Grace's house after telling Bailey and MJ about Grace's death. They were devastated. Seth returned to the house to look for the third diamond. It was still missing. He was drawn to her portrait several times. He is searching the house when guess who turns up alive holding a gun, calling him a stupid thief? That's right, Grace. She had been out of town for several days and just returned.
Seth tells Grace what happened, and that they thought she was dead. Grace figures the woman was her cousin Melissa. Melissa resembled Grace a little, and did everything she could to enhance the resemblance - same hairstyle, clothes, etc. Melissa made it her mission to be Grace, to look like her. She had made a copy of Grace's house key so she could make herself at home when Grace was gone. She didn't care that Grace didn't want her in the house when she was gone. Grace thought it was just a robbery that went wrong until Seth brought up the diamonds. She pretends not to know what he is talking about at first. Then she is worried about Bailey and MJ. Seth takes her to them. They are thrilled to see her. The three woman catch up on what happened to each other over the last few days. Grace then goes with Seth to answer some questions. They clash a lot. Seth is still trying to track down the man that was after the diamonds and responsible for several other deaths.
This is pretty much the plot, though other things happen. Seth and Grace are attracted to each other, but they continue to clash. Seth has some preconceived ideas about Grace because of things she has done in the past, and things she actually didn't do, but were reported in papers as facts. Grace is wealthy, and a member of a prominent family, so that is why things about her always show up in the papers. I'm not saying what those things were. If you want to know you have to read the book. Grace does a few things, like act a certain way around Seth, that reinforces his belief that she is a spoiled rich girl that uses men and then dumps them. Grace is a complex person, and we find that out during the book. She doesn't care what most people think of her. Some of the things she did in the past she did just to annoy her family. Grace must deal with her feelings for Seth, and how he sees her. She must also deal with her family and how they blame her for Melissa's death. Her aunt, Melissa's mother, is dumping loads of guilt on Grace for that, and says horrible things to Grace. The man that was after the diamonds still wants them. Now he decides that he must have Grace too.
I haven't included any spoilers in this review. The fact that Grace was thought to be dead, but then turned up alive, was on the back of the book - at least my copy of it anyway. There is more stuff that happens in the book.
This book solves the mystery that started in Hidden Star. Bailey, Cade, MJ, and Jack are all in this book, but Grace and Seth are the main focus of it. Those two characters are developed pretty good considering the short length of the book. Grace is more developed than Seth because things about her were mentioned in the first two books. Seth is mentioned briefly near the end of Captive Star, but no details about his life or past are given then. Over the course of the book, Seth has to deal with his feelings for Grace, over come the misconceptions he has of her. Grace has to learn to show her true feelings and be herself with Seth. This book does have a showdown with the bad guy.
This book, like the other two in the series, is a romance with some mystery and suspense. This book isn't as complex as Roberts' longer books, but if you consider all three books as a whole, the over all story is more complex than each book by itself. All of the books show just how important friends can be to each other. This series is similar to some of Roberts' longer trilogies, how the main characters are three friends. The main difference is that these three books are shorter, and therefore not as complex. Secret Star is predictable at times - all three of these books are - but unpredictable things happen too. This is a very enjoyable book that is worth reading.
Grace Fontaine - One of the main characters. Friend of Bailey and MJ. She is an heiress. She was raised by her aunt, who treated her horribly, after her parents died. Grace doesn't get along with her family. They blame her for everything. For example, when Melissa's marriage fell apart, she said it was because her husband slept with Grace, which he did not, but everybody in the family believed Melissa. Grace keeps her true feelings and emotions hidden. She is good at acting how people expect her to act. She keeps the things that are really important to her secret. She is a very loyal friend to MJ and Bailey.
Seth Buchanan - Other main character of the book. He is a homicide detective working on the murders caused by the man who is after The Star of Mithra. He is annoyed when he finds out that Bailey and MJ didn't go to the police over what was happening. He is strictly by the book. He has feelings for Grace but he fights them.
The characters from the first two books, Bailey, Cade, MJ and Jack are also in this one, but they are minor characters in this book.
This is a good entertaining book. Anyone who likes Nora Roberts books should enjoy this book, especially if they have read the first two book in the trilogy. The books should be read in order, Hidden Star, Captive Star, and Secret Star. This book, like the first two in the series, is short. It has 248 pages, so it is a fast read.
This book can be hard to find how, but if you look you should be able to find a copy. I got my copy just a few months ago from Half.com. It was reasonably priced.
After I first wrote this review - almost two months ago now, I just didn't get it typed up before now - I saw all three books in my local bookstore. The books have been released again, which should make it easier to find them. There were only a few copies of each book, but since they were just released again, a bookstore should be able to order them for you if you want, or you could check some online bookstores.
Here is some information from the book for anyone who would like to try to find a copy. This information is from my copy, which is the original copy published a few years ago. I'm sure the price will be a little higher now.
Silhouette Intimate Moments # 835
Published in 1998
ISBN # 0-373-07835-8