Reviewed by Jaimie
I have completely enjoyed the other books in the Secrets and Sins series by Naima Simone but this is the one I have been waiting for! One of the things I really enjoy about Ms. Simone’s writing is that she writes in a way that you can actually picture someone thinking that way or talking the way it is set out in the scene. Often books have inner dialogue, and really even actual dialogue that has you thinking who the hell talks like that? But with lines like “Damn. Why didn’t he just go home, pop in the last season of Vampire Diaries, and bedazzle his toenails”, you can actually picture someone thinking that. Another favorite was “men who looked like hot-monkey-sex-on-a-stick.” I love her style of writing and I was not so patiently waiting for this story.
Every day of his life, Chayot Gray lives with guilt, anger and embarrassment after his darkest secret came to light. If you’ve followed the series you know that in the first book, Secrets and Sins: Gabriel, it is revealed that Chayot killed his mother’s boyfriend when he was a teenager and his friends had helped him cover it up. Because of his actions, his best friends now have criminal records, his mother not only lost her boyfriend, but her second husband as well, and his life has become tabloid fodder. As a part-owner of the security firm he owns with best friend Rafe (you can read my review of his story on the site), Chay has a comfortable financial life. He moves to the suburbs to escape the media scrutiny and spots a peeping tom checking out his extremely beautiful neighbor.
After being stalked and attacked by a deranged fan, Aslyn Jericho is recuperating in Boston while trying to return to her first love – the piano. After her too hot neighbor chases the creep away from her window, Aslyn, who has a tendency to blurt out whatever comes to mind, speaks her thoughts about Chay’s good looks in front of everyone. When her manager insists that Aslyn beef up her security, she goes to Chay’s company and they agree to take her on as a client.
It quickly becomes clear that lightning has struck twice and that Aslyn has another stalker, and the threats escalate rapidly. Although Chay and Aslyn begin to grow closer, he believes that she is too good for him and pushes her away at every turn. When she is attacked, Chay moves her to a safe house and he moves right on in with her, while telling himself that she is strictly a job. The duo give in to the building sexual tension and the result is some seriously hot sex!
I loved Chay. From the beginning of the series it was clear that his story was going to be highly emotional and it delivered on that point for sure. When Chay finally opens up to Aslyn about the truth of the night so many years ago when he killed his mother’s boyfriend, it was so sad and heartbreaking. He had never told anyone the full story, not even the three friends that had helped him cover the crime up, and he had done so despite believing there could be no future between them.
I will preface this next part by saying I really loved the book and the entire series, but there was a scene missing that I waited the entire book for and even went back to read the last little bit to ensure that I hadn’t missed it. I was waiting for a scene between Chay and his mother, especially after the couple of references to his relationship with her at the beginning of the book. That never came and I really felt like something was missing to close the series off.
The book and the epilogue wrapped the series up well and there was one particular moment that makes your heart melt for Chay all over again. Both the hero and the heroine were lovable and the chemistry between them is sizzling. The story is one of survival and I really enjoyed seeing Chay get his happily ever after. I really enjoy Simone’s writing style and I will not hesitate to check out more of her work.
*ARC provided by publisher for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Naima Simone
Release Date: August 4, 2014