The Secret She Keeps by HelenKay DimonThe Secret She Keeps on December 30, 2019
Pages: 374
Format: Paperback
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No matter where you run to…

Connor Rye seeks solace on remote Whitaker Island. When his first quiet evening ends with a blow to the head, it’s clear that nothing—and no one—is as it seems. Still haunted by his sister’s murder, he’s buried himself in work while trying to hold his family together. Now, when he has a minute to breathe, he knows better than to get involved with a stranger, but it might be too late to keep his distance.

Desire will find you...

For years she’s pretended to be someone else, but Maddie Rhine is done living in the shadows. Old habits are hard to kick however, and when her past follows her to Whitaker she’s forced to hide once more. Except with Connor. Effortlessly sexy Connor makes it difficult to ignore him. He sees right through her…and senses her fear.

Someone is watching her. And waiting for the right moment to strike. This time Connor vows to be ready.

Okay so I know I said I wasn’t all that into book 1 Her Other Secret, but I had this on hand, and now knowing it’s like Murder, She Wrote type vibe, I wanted to give it a shot.

Yeah this series is not for me. If the author continues on with this series, I don’t think I’ll be reading them. They aren’t bad, it’s just not for me, which is a shame as I really like the author’s voice. I don’t feel this is like Jessica Fletcher at all.

Connor Rye is the brother of Hansen Rye from the last book. He’s been holding down the fort while Hansen was sent to cool off for the past year, and now that he’s back in DC, they sent Connor on a well-earned break.

And within the first few minutes he’s in the cabin, his power goes out and he has a feeling he isn’t alone anymore. That feeling is confirmed when he’s bashed upside the head, and knocked down. Someone whispered in his ear, “Leave Whitaker Island.” And next thing he knows, he needs stitches and meets Ben, the island’s police officer.

Maddie is an unusual character. She is nice and answers the phones for the police, but she can do it from the comfort of her own home, and nobody really knows her. She hides, she stays away from friendships and conversation, and she keeps her head down. Until Connor.

He sees right through her tricks to stay distant, and when she admits she’s the one who hit him with a piece of firewood because he scared her, he’s…charmed. But Maddie was in Witness Protection. I thought she was still in it, hence all the hiding, but her behavior was odd considering she was out. But her previous handler has told her to stay on the down-low, so she does.

Meanwhile they all are trying to find out why dead bodies keep showing up on the island whenever a Rye brother is there. Is this Connor’s fault? Or is it related to Maddie?

This is where I feel it’s a lot less cozy mystery/Murder, She Wrote, and a lot more…slow. And serious. I expected fun and campy goodness. This is the second book of this series that did not meet my expectations. I thought the first book would be a darker Romantic Suspense, but it wasn’t. The author’s note mentioned Jessica Fletcher with more sex and more deaths. So I went into this one expecting more of a cozy mystery meets Romantic Suspense? I don’t know. Ultimately this is a book about grief for Connor and a book about learning to live her life for Maddie, with a Romantic Suspense vibe.

I felt that the villain’s motivation was…unusual. I’d say unbelievable, but seriously people are crazy, so who knows? But this series isn’t for me. I’ve asked around and a friend suggeted a different series by this author, so I won’t quit the author, but I’m done with Whitaker Island.

***Review copy provided by Avon Books