SECRET Shared (Secret #2) by L. Marie Adeline
Released: October 15, 2013
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Broadway Books
Reviewed by Sarah
On the flap: Still wounded from a recent heartbreak over her boss and lover, Will, Cassie Robichaud throws herself into service with S.E.C.R.E.T., the mysterious organization that changed her forever by bringing her deepest sexual fantasies to life, one step at a time. Now, it’s Cassie’s turn to guide the group’s newest candidate, Dauphine Mason, recruiting men to execute a new set of fantasies.
At thirty-one, Dauphine is the proprietor of a New Orleans vintage clothing store. She’s been harboring a crush on Mark Drury, a local rock star, but is too shy to put herself out there with him. She turns to S.E.C.R.E.T. to reignite her sexual flame and find the confidence to risk her heart again with another man.
As Cassie worries that the right time will never come for her and Will, she finds inspiration helping Dauphine in S.E.C.R.E.T. Both women navigate the rocky path between their hearts and their passions, hoping to discover what they truly want in life and in love. S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared is a romantic, adventurous, and sexually charged sequel to one of the hottest new series in erotica.
This is the intensely anticipated sequel to the sensual phenomenon S.E.C.R.E.T. A mysterious committee of men and women choose a woman who is down in the dumps and needs to be retrained to look at herself in an empowered and positive manner. They give her the gift of 10 steps to reconnect with the lost woman within to fully realize her own potential.
This book primarily envelops the stories of Cassie Robichaud (the main character or the first book) and newcomer Dauphine.
Cassie is still broken up with her sorrow at the loss of romantic relationship with her boss and friend, Will. To get her mind off things she decides to be of service to S.E.C.R.E.T as a guide and sometimes accidental recruiter while trying to navigate her own dating life. Just in time she finds the group’s newest candidate, Dauphine.
Dauphine is the owner of vintage clothing story, Funky Monkey. She’s a bit obsessive about a life she hopes to one day lead if she can manage to get past the breakup of her relationship and a friendship from six years ago. She’s locked herself into a box that she just can’t get out of, allowing her fears of everything from rejection to flying to keep her in the same day-to-day patterns. Finally after being approached by Cassie with an offer to jumpstart her stagnant sex life, she decides to take her first risk and go for it.
When I started reading this book I knew it was a sequel and I hadn’t read the first which I almost never do. I’m a bit fervent about reading series in order. The prologue draws you in immediately. It is full of beautiful imagery which happens to an arousing way to start. I was hooked. Then comes chapters one and two, alternating the storylines for Cassie and Dauphine; these are so poignant and woeful, I was ready to stop reading all together. I read these types of books for the happy endings not to be depressed. I know there has to be some strife for the arcs to work but this seems like a lot. If you feel the same way just keep reading, it’s well worth it. The book claims to be erotica. I’m not sure I would put it in the genre; if so, it’s pretty tame for the category. Regardless of classification, it is an intriguing book which has enticed me to read the entire trilogy.
The story heats up quickly. Dauphine’s fantasies include a sexy pilot with a British accent on way to an extravagant trip, a cop who can’t get enough of her, a random stranger in a body of water, dancers in another country, and a local musician she’s been pining after for years. I do feel like as readers we get a bit cheated because she doesn’t complete all ten scenarios but am delighted she gets her happy ending.
Cassie seems to take one step forward and two steps back the whole time. She struggles to move on from Will but won’t leave him so she can. It’s a constant torture to herself and yet she slowly continues to date other men and try to put boundaries between her and Will. Finally, everything seems like she’s going to get her happily ever after as well and then BAM, we’re thrown a complete sucker punch in the last chapter of this installment. Will has found out her secret and categorically rejects her in a cruel way.
I was so mad, I had to wait to review…this is a testament to the author for the ability to evoke such emotions from a story. Once I realized this is the middle book of a trilogy, it was a little easier to swallow the ending because it’s really not the ending.
Rating: 4 Stars
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.