Secrets by Freya North
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Length: Full Length (471 pgs)
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Peppermint
Joe has a beautiful house, a great job, no commitments– and he likes it that way. All he needs is a quiet house-sitter for his rambling old place by the sea. When Tess turns up, he's not sure she's right for the job. Where has she come from in such a hurry? Her past is blank and she's a bit of an enigma. But we all have our secrets. It's just that some are bigger than others.
This story features a slow simmering burn that starts in Tess and Joe's hearts until it eventually consumes their entire being. This is not the type of love story that would traditionally interest me but the notion of an Englishman falling in love with his housesitter piqued my interest. I'm very thankful that it did. While this type of story may not be something I would normally read, Secrets is definitely a book that I would read again.
Tess and Joe seem to have much similarity, yet many differences as well. Both seem to have a stubborn streak in them, and a quick wit that makes their banter truly entertaining. They both harbor secrets they are not willing to relinquish while still seeking to learn what the other is hiding. Tess has a stronger inner strength within this story than Joe does. She is willing to throw caution to the wind and see where it takes her. It is one of the reasons she took the housesitting job in the beginning. Joe however, seems to be a little more reluctant to change, and clearly has demons in his past that continue to taunt him.
The love story between Tess and Joe is not the immediate mind numbing attraction that many love stories have. I actually appreciated this different type of growth and it made this story stand out from many others I have read. I like that Tess and Joe start off as acquaintances who eventually grows into a friends that graduate to becominging lovers. While this may sound like it may be a little too slow or drawn out it actually read very well and keep me interested and wanting to find out more. Even after I completed the book, I remembered the characters' names, which with the amount of books I read is a feat within itself.
This is a story that I would recommend to anyone who loves a good love story whether it be a traditional romance or a more contemporary one. I think that all fans of romance could really curl up on the couch or in the bed and loose themselves for hours while learning Tess and Joe's secrets.