The Secret She Keeps
by HelenKay Dimon
Series Whitaker Island
Genre Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Books
Publication Date December 30, 2019
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.
“You’re reasonably good- looking.”
“That’s so flattering.”
“And you seem to make friends fine.”
“How would you know that?”
The women. The staring. All that whispering.
Come on. He had to know . . . right? “Women lined up to talk with you at the Lodge.”
He frowned at her. “We were at the same Lodge?”
She might call him McHottiePants in her head but some of the things the women in the Lodge said out loud . . . wow. Married. Single. None of that seemed to matter. Connor sat in a room and the gazes zoomed in on him. She noticed. He had to notice.
“So, of all the choices to run after, why pick me?”
His eyes bulged. “Run after?”
“Enough with the self- deprecating crap. Answer the question.”
He whistled. “If you insist, the answer is I’m not sure . . .”
Another good–if slightly murderous–time is had by most on Whitaker Island! (Obviously the dead body and concussed/shot people might feel slightly differently about that.)
Connor Rye’s (yes, Hansen’s brother from the first book) intro to the island is…well, less-than ideal. You might think that from the start, someone is out to get him–oh, and the whole island keeps comparing him to his brother (the eternal problem of younger siblings everywhere) and expects him to fix random stuff for them. And walk their dogs. Which he does, because he’s a good guy.
But what most draws him in on the island is the mysterious Maddie Rhine–how many secrets is she hiding? When the bodies start to pile up and more mysterious people show up on the island, what won’t he do to keep her safe?
I liked Connor and Maddie–they gave some pretty good banter–and figuring out what ultimately was going on was a challenge. The actual villain seemed to take things a bit far toward the end (an issue I think I had with the first book too, if memory serves) but still, this was a fun story. It could work as a standalone if you haven’t read the first book, but if you have you’ll be happy to find some of your lingering questions are finally answered here.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
HELENKAY DIMON is a divorce lawyer turned full-time author of over forty romance novels and novellas. Her award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues, including the Washington Post, and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” in Cosmopolitan magazine. She is an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award winner and RITA® Award winner in romantic suspense. You can learn more at her website: www.helenkaydimon.com.