The Secrets We Keep Book Cover The Secrets We Keep
Rick R. Reed
LGBT Romance
Dreamspinner Press
September 17, 2019
191

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.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love... or encourage it to grow?

Review by Madison Davis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Before I started reading ‘The Secrets We Keep,’ I wanted to read the book blurb to get prepared to what I am going to read. This is the first book of Rick R. Reed I had in my hands, and I was curious.

The book blurb says: 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.

But the secrets between them test their attraction. Will their revelations destroy the bloom of new love… or encourage it to grow?

I admit, the blurb led me into an entirely wrong direction. I had expected Lacy, Jasper’s roommate would introduce the two men; Jasper and Rob. In a way she did, yes. But it was far more tragic than I expected it to be.

Jasper, indeed, is a modest guy in a retailer job. Together with Lacy, he can pay his rent and occasionally go out to pick up his ‘common one-night-stand.’ Lacy keeps an eye on him, and sometimes the two get all snuggled up, sleeping together, in a purely platonic way. Jasper and Lacy love each other like they were family.

Even though Jasper thinks Lacy should come out of her ‘goth-phase,’ he never tells her that. He accepts her the way she is, without conditions or restrictions.

And then, unexpectedly, one night, Lacy leaves him.

Shortly after that, he meets Rob, Lacy’s uncle. He is a sexy, warmhearted, and sensitive man. Together Jasper and Rob are trying to comprehend Lacy’s past and her emotional state. It doesn’t help that both Jasper and Rob feel equally guilty of not being there for Lacy when she needed them most.

Both men have their own backpack of tragedy to carry, and that doesn’t make things easier. And still, their connection is growing… does it help them unveil the truth?

Now: It isn’t easy to pick my favorite character here. I know it should be Jasper, but truth to be told, it’s not. I’m very much fond of Rob. He seems to be a sensitive character, carrying hard on the mistakes he had made in the past. To me, Jasper seems to be a bit flat and superficial. Sure, he’s young and still playful. And he does have his own past to digest… But I admit, I prefer Rob before Jasper.

I’m not sure I understand Lacy and her ‘problem’ that leads to such a drastic decision, considering someone is apparently mentally healthy, not on drugs, and not a drinker. But this is how the author created her, and I’m not going to criticize him. I just admit to me she didn’t seem to be unstable. Just in love with the imagination of what she wants and will never get.

I loved the book. It’s an easy read, which I had completed in about half a day. Even though there are a few psychological challenges to read about, I still consider ‘The Secrets We Keep’ a light romance. There are a few kisses, a little bit of sexy intimacy, and a wonderful ending to the story.

I admire Rick Reed’s way of writing. In my eyes, he’s a very talented author. I recommend that book to lovers of M/M romance. It’s an amazing story with a very strong character.