They told her one truth while hiding murder.
Knowing nothing more about her father than that he wasn’t the man she called Dad all her life, Diana wouldn’t have gone to claim her inheritance if her mother hadn’t insisted. To shut her up, she intended to do nothing more than to tell the lawyer to shove it. Step-siblings she never knew she had met her at the airport and misunderstood her suppressed demeanor as grief.
Telling her how happy they were that she was there, how they wanted her to stay and share their wealth, they tried to fool and manipulate her. The mansion wasn’t theirs left to them by their mother. The business that supported them wasn’t theirs. They were hers, left to her by her father. Furious over their deception, Diana planned her revenge with the help of new ally, Steven, but could he be trusted?
When Steven's lies come to the surface, Diana must decide if she should continue her plan for revenge or run for her life.
“High Vista! He didn’t! He couldn’t! It’s ours! It’s been in our family for years! No bastard kid of his is going to steal it from us!”
Finally losing his temper, Allen sprang to his feet. “Get out of here, you ungrateful idiot.”
“He won’t interrupt again,” Samantha stated.
Allen never understood her power over the others. Her words were a command. Joseph hunched over, his arms crossed over his chest, seething in resentment, but silent.
“There are a few questions I would like to ask, if you have the time,” Samantha stated.
“There seem to be several things you know that you never saw fit to tell the others. I don’t need to ask why. Anything you could twist or omit to cause more trouble, you used against a man that gave you everything you have. You would not allow him to be a friend to any of you for distorted reasons of your own.”
“I have no interest in your opinions.”
“I don’t give a damn if you do. Diana is not illegitimate, and you better make sure they understand that. If not, you had better explain the slander laws to him.”
“Where is this person now?” she asked, completely ignoring his warning.
“We haven’t located her yet,” he said, answering coldness with coldness and a lie.
“If you fail to locate her, what will happen to the estate?”
“It will be held in trust until we do.”
“If she is dead?”
“It will go to her heirs. As for your residence at High Vista, I haven’t the power to evict you. That is to be her decision. I hope she throws you out on your ears. In my opinion, whether you’re interested in hearing it or not, you’re getting far more than you deserve.”
“We will fight this,” she said, tapping a manicured fingernail against the will.
Ignoring him, she ordered, “Remember to be charming. They’re deplaning now. Do you see her?”
“No but look at that funny little creature. She looks more frightened than Betty.”
Highly amused, he tipped his head toward one woman, walking slowly, well away from the other passengers. Head down and hand held over her eyes, she pulled away when anyone came near her, and her skirt and blouse was shapeless. She wore cheap plastic sandals on bare feet and carried a cheap canvas bag. Her long straight hair was caught at the nap of her neck in a thin piece of ribbon.
Samantha’s lips curled in a nasty smile. “That is Diana.”
Joseph did a double take, looked at the photo he held in his hand, and roared with laughter.
“This is going to be a snap.” He pointed at the pitiful sight. “That is even more timid than Betty. Look at her, she’s shying from everyone.”
“Don’t be too overconfident.” She led the way, telling him in a whisper, “Remember now, be charming.” In a complete change of voice, she cried out, “Oh, Diana, darling.”
She threw her arms around the object of their scorn, dripping honey with each word and smile.
Diane flinched and backed away. “Who are you?” she asked in a whisper, twisting her head to look up at them instead of lifting it up.
“Samantha, darling, your family. Joseph, isn’t she lovely?”
“Adorable. Here, let me take your bag,” he said at his charming best.
“Oh, yes, and let’s get out of this press. Where are your claim tickets, dear? The chauffeur can get the rest of your bags.”
“This is all I have. The—”
“Oh, well, good. Good. We can go straight home. Betty and Godfrey are so anxious to meet you.” Diana shied when Samantha put her arm around her shoulders to lead her. “Oh, darling, you mustn’t be afraid of us. We’re family.”
Diana stiffened, but didn’t pull away. She made no comment, but when they stepped out of the terminal, she shaded her eyes again. Joseph made a face behind Diana’s back, and Samantha gave him a ‘behave yourself’ look as she hustled Diana into the car.
Retreating to the far corner, Diana balanced her head on her hand and listened quietly to Samantha and Joseph’s steady stream of chatter, all designed to convince her of their love for her father, and their desire to do anything they could for their dear, new, little sister.
With one brief glance at the mansion, she ducked her head, obviously too over-awed to look at it. When they went inside, she shied from Betty’s embrace and hesitated before accepting Godfrey’s limp hand.
“Well, here we are, dear, home-sweet-home. We do hope you’ll be comfortable. Would you like to see your room?”
“Yes, please, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to rest for a while,” she said in a subdued little whisper.
“Why, of course, darling. Tired from your trip?”
Diana nodded with barely a tip of her head.
“Poor dear, travel is so tiring to those who are unaccustomed to it.”
“I have a headache,” she answered in the same whisper and tipping her head to glance at Samantha.
“Ah, so you work for dear Samantha. Well, since I must adjust myself to servants, I may as well begin with you. Order me a cab.”
“So you can run away?” he asked hatefully. “Grab the money and run. The hell with—”
“They can take the money and shove it where it’ll do them the most good,” she said, pushing away from the fence to face him. She swayed unsteadily, holding her head with both hands. Her voice was still low in volume, but there was bite in it. “If I could find one person around here that didn’t kiss that bitch’s feet, I’d stay long enough to teach her a lesson. Since I can’t make a move without some faithful lackey reporting back to her, I’ll have to forgo the pleasure, but I’m damned if I’ll stay—” She ended abruptly and dropped to sit when a sway took her dangerously close to falling.
Steven, held in astonishment, stared at her several minutes before saying quietly, “You’re really sick.”
“Brilliant deduction, be sure and add that to your report. Dear Samantha will be sure to find a way to use that in her degrading campaign.”
“I don’t report to Samantha,” he said, kneeling beside her. “What’s wrong with you?”
“None of your damned business,” she said, but she gave up any pretense of hiding her pain. Pulling her legs up, she laid her forehead on her knees, holding it steady with both hands and hiding her eyes from the light.
“What can I do to help?”
“Take me to the airport,” came a muffled reply.
“You’re not well enough to travel. Should I call a doctor?”
“Just take me to the airport so I can get my luggage.”
“For crying out loud, a doctor won’t care how you’re dressed.”
“Listen,” she said, turning her head to look at him again. “I need the medicine that is in my luggage that some imbecile at the airlines lost, but swears they'll find and put on the next plane. Is that informative enough for you?”
“Where are your claim checks?” he asked, noting with one corner of his mind that if sickness was the only thing holding her in check, she could indeed teach Samantha a few lessons. Without speaking above a whisper or changing the tone of her voice, she had just made him feel he was an imbecile.
“On top of the wardrobe?” she said, turning her forehead back to her knees.
“I’ll be right back. Will you be all right?”
Tipping her head to look at him again, she asked, “Any chance of getting them without anyone up there knowing it?”
She shrugged and turned her head away. Buy it “I'd just like to turn that two-faced snob around before I leave. Forget it.”
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Can You Trust?
Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2018
Many thanks to the author / Painted Heart Publishing / Netgalley for the digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
She's inherited everything ... the mansion, the cars, the business, the money .. from the father she never met. Her father left practically nothing to the 4 step-children he left behind. Needless to say, none of them are happy with the situation.
When Diana meets the step-children, they all assure her how happy they are to meet her, how much they wanted her to stay and share the wealth. They also wanted to manipulate her and cheat her out of her inheritance.
How far would any of them go to get rid of her ... forever?
Diana plots her revenge on the money-grubbing group with the help of a man she actually knows little of. One of her siblings tells her that it was well-known that he had killed his wife.
Who can she trust? Now she doesn't know if she should stay and eke out her revenge .... or run for her life.
Story premise was a good one. No one is really who they seem to be ... even Diana. There's lots of twists when you wonder which one ... or more... are lying. You have beligerent maids, housemen, gardeners, drivers, lawyers on top of the family suspects.
I really liked Diana .. she's gutsy, and unafraid of confrontation. Stephen seems to be great guy ... but he, too, seems to be hiding things. Although this is listed as a romantic suspense, it's high on suspense with very little romance.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!
Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2021
As some called her Di, Diana didn't know what she was getting into when coming to see if her late father had loved her. But, the welcome she got from her stepbrothers and sisters wasn't what she expected. This book was impressive from the start and entertained me the whole time. Great read; if you want to follow along while sitting on the edge of your seat, this is a story that takes you on quite a ride.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic whodunnit
Reviewed in the United States on October 3, 2018
This book intrigued me just from the blurb and it kept my attention from beginning to end. I love a good suspense story and that’s what we get with this book. I loved how Diana was first presented and how the step-siblings jumped to their own conclusions about her. They thinkit’s Going to be a piece of cake taking everything from her, lol. Boy, are they in for a big surprise. This book will have you thinking whodunnit, but have you laughing in parts too. If you’re looking for a great read, I would highly recommend this book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2018
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and I’m voluntarily leaving a review.
This is 1st book I’ve read written by Larion Wills; she has done a great job at writing a good book. I can’t wait to read more of her books.
The story line caught my attention at the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2018
The book is a good romantic suspense read. The characters are good. The story has a suspenseful story line that is intriguing, and interesting read.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
4.0 out of 5 stars Die, Sweet Di
Reviewed in the United States on October 9, 2018
This book is a suspenseful storyline that is intriguing and interesting. She is amazingly strong. I do appreciate reading this book. I am voluntarily reading and reviewing an advanced reader copy of this book.
Layla 3 out of 5 stars mixed views
Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2018
I have mixed views on this book. I did like the characters, I thought she portrayed them really well but at the same time I found them really annoying especially the main character. She is shown as being tough but other times people walk all over her. Her mother is a great example. I found it frustrating at times.
Yes it is predictable and I felt it was longer then it should be but that could be just me.
Also, this was meant to be set in the 1970's but this was not shown. If we were not told when her parents met I would not have guessed it was set in that period. I would have liked a little reference, objects or anything that was the thing in that time so we know when it is set. I thought it was a contempary mystery. I think the cover does not help, if the girl was dress in that time period then I would have known before and during reading when it was set.
There is some violence and no sexual content.