The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed

The Secrets We Keep by Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full length (195 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Play
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Jasper Warren is a happy-go-lucky young man in spite of the tragedy that’s marred his life. He’s on a road to nowhere with his roommate, Lacy, whom he adores, and a dead-end retail job in Chicago.

And then everything changes in a single night. Though Jasper doesn’t know it, his road is going somewhere after all. This time when tragedy strikes, it brings with it Lacy’s older, wealthy, sexy uncle Rob. Despite the heart-wrenching circumstances, an immediate connection forms between the two men.
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But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

Jasper and Lacy are best friends and despite the difficulties in their lives they have such a good time together it’s impossible for either of them to remain sad for too long. But when Lacy tragically dies Jasper’s world is thrown into chaos. Jasper meets Lacy’s Uncle Rob and despite both their regrets and deep sadness the two men connect on a level neither had ever experienced.

I found this to be a really emotional, deliciously complex and realistic full length story. I was thrilled when I connected and became very quickly invested in Jasper’s character and it helped me sink right into the story. I thought the author was exceptional in his handling of some deep and not easy situations – readers should be aware that while suicide is shown in the story I strongly feel it’s tastefully and well written, not glorifying the situation nor dwelling too deeply on the actual action itself. I can understand though that even with the light and delicate touch from the author this might not suit all readers tastes.

Jasper really struck me as a normal, regular and highly relatable young man. I was nervous at a few of the less-than-ideal choices the young man made, but was pleased the tone and overall writing of the story was hopeful and optimistic. I also really enjoyed how the complexities of the plot slowly unfurled – I was really impressed with how the author managed to slowly lead me along as the reader and soon enough I realised that nothing was really as it seemed; layers covering layers. This made me really excited and intrigued to continue reading long into the night. While a few of the twists in this plot didn’t feel particularly realistic to me I did think they wove together exceptionally well and made the story a real delight to read.

While steamy and sexy, I found the interactions between Jasper and Rob were well-paced (no immediate jumping into bed together, which I wouldn’t have enjoyed considering the circumstances that they met in) and I thoroughly approved of how the plot was not just a second thought or half-baked. This story had a bunch of all the things I love in a longer length book – strong and interesting characters, a complex and well-thought out plot, good pacing and some steamy M/M romance. For me, this book ticked all the best boxes.

Complicated, relatable and really well written, I loved this story and will eagerly be searching out more by this author.

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