We all have secrets. Some are insignificant, even silly. Most entail some level of shame or embarrassment—warranted or not. The secret may be linked to a dark corner of family history, poor choices made in the past, or a deeply hidden desire.
Sometimes, keeping the secret becomes more destructive than any damage that might be caused by its revelation. Such secrets influence the choices we make.
When we meet someone new, especially romantically, we present our best selves. It’s human nature. However, as the relationship develops, the shields come down. Usually this happens slowly, creating the dilemma of what to reveal and when. Because when it comes to secrets and matters of the heart, timing is everything. Reveal too much too soon, and it can destroy the relationship before it begins. Wait too late, and the other party’s trust is completely shattered.
Characters also have secrets—big and small. It’s fascinating to watch those secrets unfold in a story. The revelation of secrets can instantly shift the balance of power and transform the nature of relationships. Friendships and uneasy alliances are forged. Others are shattered. Revealing secrets in an intimate relationship can either bring the couple closer or drive a wedge between them.
Say a character has a huge secret, like Matt Shaw in Inez Kelley’s Take Me Home. When should he reveal his secret? Revealing it at the outset might damage any prospects with the heroine from both a business and romantic aspect. Once a relationship begins, the hero knows he must come clean, but he feels a deep sense of shame in relation to the secret. Has he passed the point of no return? Is it too late to reveal the secret and still salvage their relationship?
Then there are family secrets and those held by characters other than the hero and heroine, as in Slow Ride Home by Leah Braemel. This steamy contemporary romance served with a heaping side of family drama features the respected ranching family, the Gradys. At the outset of the story the Grady ranch is in jeopardy when a claim is made against it by a rumored, unknown heir. As the hero and heroine try to discover whether this heir is fact or fraud, other secrets begin to unfurl that could either bring them closer together or destroy any possibilities for a second chance at love.
In my latest release, Love Me Not, the painful secrets of the past have taught my heroine, Jamie Charles, not to let anyone too close. So when it comes to relationships, she doesn’t believe in playing for keeps. Yet, Miles Copeland is determined to have her heart. When Jamie is revisited by her past she gets the opportunity to loosen her grip on the painful burden that stands in the way of finding happiness with Miles. But is she prepared to take it?
How do you feel about stories in which secrets are revealed? Share your favorites in the comments, but don’t reveal any spoilers. Then be sure to enter the Love Me Not Blog Tour giveaway below.
About the Book
Abandoned by a mother who chose drugs over her, Jamie Charles barely got out of her own addiction alive. Now, she pours her pain into her art while pouring drinks at a local bar. To Jamie, love is a four-letter word—until she meets Miles, a charming ad exec with piercing blue eyes who makes no secret about his desire for her.
Miles Copeland has family demons of his own, but his unhappy upbringing drove him toward hard work and success. He’s determined to win Jamie over, and when he finally does, it’s worth every moment he spent waiting. But when he confesses that he’s falling for her, she panics. Sex is one thing, but love requires more than she can give.
Jamie can’t deny her feelings, but she’s haunted by her past. Miles knows his heart, but Jamie’s lingering doubts have him questioning their future. It might take the threat of losing him forever for her to realize that refusing to let love in is the worst mistake of all.
About the Author
Reese Ryan writes sexy, contemporary fiction filled with colorful characters and sinfully-sweet romance. She secretly enjoys torturing her heroines with family and career drama, reformed bad boys, revealed secrets, and the occasional identity crisis, but always rewards them with a happily ever after. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now resides in Central North Carolina.
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