Secrets and Charms, Lou Harper
Review from jeannie zelos book reviews
A slightly unexpected book; as well as the romance there was a gentle who dunnit type mystery. It gave it almost a “Miss Marple” type feel in the slightly old fashioned way the drama unravelled to begin with, and then almost moved into comedic realms as the secrets were released. The mystery didn’t add to the book for me, but did provide a gentle backstory for the romance to unfold. I didn’t dislike this book but I didn’t get that – Wow, must re read this – feel from it either
Olly, he was cute and who couldn’t like him. One of those unfailingly polite and helpful characters, and even when Rich was being a total rude jerk he didn’t respond. All that of course meant that Rich then had guilty feelings, and realised he was downright rude to him, and his sister soon sets him straight – apologise, now! Its clear that straight boy Rich isn’t quite as straight as he wants to be, and when we learn more about his background its evident why he’s repressed any feelings of attraction to men. Olly though is something special, attracted to Rich, and sees through his bluster, and pretty soon they’re indulging in some hot and heavy moments. I’d have liked a slower build up – its that simmering attraction that has the magic for me, and when people get together quickly I feel a bit sad – I wanted more build up – it doesn’t matter what sex the couples are – its the slow start that I love.
Anyway, once they get together Rich is still trying to convince himself its a one off…still scared of seeing what he really is, feeling what he really feels. That’s kind of sad, but in reality I suspect its very commonplace. Given there’s little real interaction with other people though, and certainly not those who’d be shocked, it kind of negates his being “in the closet”. It’s really only his own mind that’s there…
The mystery, like I said its a strange feel to it, they really do stumble about treading where angels fear….and doing the opposite to what common-sense says. The blackmail issue was weird, and wouldn’t have worked I think if treated any other way than the two bumbling, amateur sleuths did. Although its kind of thin it suits the feel of the book, and the characters of the two men. They fear for Rich sister’s reputation but don’t want to upset her, and they end up making matters worse despite their good intentions. Its not a heart racing, can’t out down book, but one for those who want a gentle, easy read, something a bit light and fluffy, and aren’t too worried about the reality of blackmail, murders and police investigations…for me it was an ok book, not one I’d re read.
ARC supplied via Netgalley and publishers