Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline | S.E.C.R.E.T. Series
Other books in the series:
Author: L. Marie Adeline
# of Books: 1+ (S.E.C.R.E.T., S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed)
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Chick-Lit
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating in sequel books
**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series with the exception of the third book.**
Ever had a book that just seemed to be everywhere that you looked? That was the case with this one. It seemed like every place I search for books (Kobo, my library, Chapters) was telling me I had to read this book–so I decided to give it a try.
The plot idea intrigued me but also made me weary to read this book. I definitely thought this book was going to turn into some BDSM society plot but it doesn’t get even close to that type of sexual fantasies–so that’s a plus! Cassie’s sexual fantasies are nothing that you wouldn’t read in any other contemporary romance so that is the type of sex you can expect in this book. In other words, it’s very “vanilla” 😉 (That changes a little in the sequel book but nothing overtly kinky.)
However, I still felt uncomfortable reading these books for two reasons: my age and the society itself.
I’ll start with my age. I am 10 years too young to be reading this book. I haven’t reached my midlife so I really couldn’t relate to Cassie’s character in that sense. This book is definitely catered to the 30+ crowd or women who have been in a similar marriage events as Cassie. I think that they would enjoy and get more out of Cassie’s journey to self-discovery than someone in their early 20s like me.
The second issue was the S.E.C.R.E.T. society. It seemed extremely cultish to me so that creeped me out. Especially as the book progresses and you realize that the society is everywhere. I totally get the purpose of the group and I support women helping other women to raise their self-confidence, but I felt like a majority of Cassie’s problems could have been solved by being on TLC’s What Not to Wear since her biggest problem was seeing that she was beautiful and worth something.
When I picked up this book, I thought it was a stand-alone. It wasn’t until I reread the plot summary on Goodreads before I read the book that I learned it was a series. Seeing that, I wondered how it was going to end and as I read I thought I saw how it was going to end but the ending surprised me and I have to say that I am interested in seeing where the sequel will go now.
UPDATED (October 1/14): To be completely honest, I wouldn’t have picked up S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared if the first book in the series hadn’t ended on the cliffhanger it did. I still felt really uncomfortable reading this book because again, I can’t relate to the characters. I’m nowhere near to where they are in life so I just can’t connect to them. The writing also really got to me in this book in the sense of the words used to describe the “sexy” times. It just made it awkward. I did like that we get introduced to a new character and get to watch her evolve because I don’t think I could have taken a whole novel of Cassie again. Nothing really happened in this book other than your typical bridge to the third and final novel of the series.
If you want to take a step into erotic contemporary romance but don’t want BDSM-like storylines, this is a great book to pick up. It’s a quick read and has an actual story to it! But I would say that people 30+ would probably enjoy this book more so than 20-somethings.
Similar Reads: Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks (Sweet Series) however, this has elements of BDSM
Synopsis for S.E.C.R.E.T. (from Goodreads):
In S.E.C.R.E.T there are…
No Judgments. No limits. No shame.
Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.