Advanced Reading Copy
Published: October 15, 2013, Random House
It was only a year ago that that Cassie Robichaud had found herself drawn into S.E.C.R.E.T., an organization by and for women helping them flourish and grow in confidence through fulfilling their sexual fantasies. Cassie had come through all the steps and chosen to join their ranks after some unwelcome news broke off the budding romance between her and her boss and longtime friend, Will. Cassie's role with S.E.C.R.E.T. would be to guide the new subject of the organizations benevolence, Dauphine Mason.
Owning a shop just next door to the restaurant Cassie works at, Dauphine has never really recovered from a brutal break up eight years ago and hides herself in the vintage clothing she sells in her store. The only time she ventures out is when a certain band plays in a local venue, and the main attraction is their front man, Mark Drury, who Dauphine has been eyeing from safe distance. Eager to make a change in her life and tired of living in the shadows, it doesn't take a lot of convincing to have Dauphine sign up with S.E.C.R.E.T..
Cassie gently guides Dauphine along her first steps in finding herself, while she slowly starts exploring her own newfound sense of liberation. Even though her heart still aches for Will, it seems their timing may never be right, and she no longer wants to stay on the sidelines waiting for her turn. She is determined to go out and take what she needs.
Dauphine has struggled to relinquish control, but with every step she takes in the program, she feels herself loosening up more and more, as she gives herself up to the moment. Her self-confidence returns, her self-image improves and she slowly steps out of the shadows until she discovers she was never as invisible as she thought.
S.E.C.R.E.T. SHARED is the sequel to S.E.C.R.E.T. and not a standalone novel. This again is a beautifully written, very empowering erotic novel geared toward strengthening women's self-worth.
I remember when I read the first book, I couldn't help but wish there were an organization like this that truly exiisted and would take me under its wing. I think I wouldn't be the only woman who would benefit from an injection to her sense of value and worthiness. But even just reading the books, provided me with a 'surrogate boost', so to speak. The concept of such a sisterhood is a beautiful thing.
I feel for Cassie, having things fall down on her and Will so immediately after finally finding each other, but she has become so strong through her involvement with S.E.C.R.E.T. that she handles it amazingly well. Despite the fact that I want to hit Will over the head with one of the two by fours he is working with from time to time!! If he cannot keep his mind (or hands) off Cassie, then why is he not looking at alternate solutions to his problems? This day and age there are plenty! He disappointed me a little.
Dauphine makes such a jump, from tight and rigid self-doubting wallflower, to sensuous and warm-hearted, trusting her instincts and believing in herself by the time she is almost done the program. She still has a bit to go, but when her final step turns out to be her ultimate wish, it looks like she has reached her full bloom. She is not afraid to grab on to what she has in front of her with both hands.
Fantastically uplifting, and yet oddly disturbing to think that we might be such simple creatures that some 'petting' and attention, in short, could have such an impact on our emotional well-being. And yet I believe it to be true....... why else would so many of us be reading or writing all the varieties of romance. We all crave it. Need it. I wonder how many of us ever find it.....
An absolutely unique concept from L. Marie Adeline, with personable characters, a wonderful rhythm and quality writing. There is obviously going to be a next instalment, since we are left with a slight cliffhanger, and I am looking forward to it.
✨Deliciously sensual, highly empowering, emotionally real.✨