Series: Deadly Secrets #2
Published by Macmillan on 2015-07-21
Ignite presents an all-new romance you won't want to miss...
Some secrets are worth dying for...
Undersheriff and former Marine Rick Trelane had one constant his entire life - his friendship with Whitney Peterson. Through thick and thin, she has never faltered. Never blamed. But when her former lover turns up dead, Rick must look past the walls he's built to the woman he thought he knew inside and out...and discover he was wrong.
Whitney has secrets, deadly ones. The deeper he digs, the more he sees her as a woman he desires. And suspects. But as bodies start turning up, so does the evidence against her. Now the air is thick with secrets and shadows and giving into the longing could turn both their worlds upside down. Because this killer is just getting started...
FTC : I got this from the publisher for an honest review.
NB This is the second in the series and I do recommend that you read the first. There is backstory to both the series ARC and the characters that helps put some of the characters reasoning into context.
I’ve always like Dee Tenorio’s writing and this one was another win for me. This friends-to-lovers story is set in the back-drop of a town recovering from years of domination by a motorcycle gang who did what they wanted to who they wanted. Both our main characters are scarred from the battle for freedom; Rick physically and Whitney both emotionally & physically from an abusive relationship by a twisted accomplice of the MC gang. Neither thought they had anything to offer the other, but events soon mean that they are thrown towards each other in a bid to clear Whitney’s name.
In book one of the series, Rick caught my attention. Gruff, tough and a bit of a hard ass, I knew he was going to be my kind of hero and I was completely correct. Rick is one of those hard-ass heroes who melts for the right heroine and turns into a nice-guy hero. As much as he wanted to stay away, his affection for her mean’t that he couldn’t let her go down for a crime he knew she didn’t commit (we knew as well … WTF Cade, I had respect for you going out of book one #dumbass) so he had to spend more time with her. That mean’t he couldn’t run from their chemistry and pretty soon there was smoochin’ and stuff 🙂 it’s not smooth sailing though, as he honestly thinks he is broken by events from his past and he fights like hell to make her see that. The only complaint I actually have about this book is the way Rick’s past was dealt with. I felt that it deserved a bit more page time and depth, although I know that isn’t easy without detracting from the romance of the book. It just felt a little rushed.
Whitney I adored. That woman literally broke herself protecting those that she loved and she spends the entirety of this book trying to put herself back together. She had a strength that I think is typical of all Dee Tenorio’s heroines and I loved her and her unwillingness to give up. As the scars all stemmed from an abusive relationship, she did seem to think that a successful one would somehow “fix”her (I personally hope to see them both going to a therapist in the next book but this is romance-land so…) and she was determined that Rick was the man for her. I wanted her to win, I wanted the nightmares to stop and I knew that it would take a special kind of man to deal with her trauma…. I was so sad for them both when we finally found out all her secrets.
There is a strong suspense plot underpinning this romance as Whitney becomes a suspect in a string of murders in the town. I have read reviews about this book that state it was easy to figure out who the real killer was but I only figured it about 75% in (I may be slow on the uptake though). I thought it brought the story together nicely.
Overall, I do like this series. The bad-guys are obvious arseholes, the heroines are strong and the heroes are all brooding, damaged Alpha’s who just need a good woman to prove that they aren’t bad-news like they think they are. I recommend this but only if you read book one.