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Reviewed by Alysia George

Most people don’t share all aspects of their lives upon meeting someone new. Some are more private than others, but where is the fine line between not sharing personal information and keeping secrets? There often comes a point when new friends are getting to know each other and might wonder whether it’s time to disclose some personal history that is generally kept private. Sometimes figuring out the right time can be tricky, but if the window passes without sharing the pertinent information, problems could arise in the relationship.

Tess and Joe, the main characters in Secrets, by Freya North, each have their fair share of secrets when they first meet. Joe places an ad looking for a house sitter and Tess is the one to arrive at his country estate; Tess is ready to leave her city life behind and start fresh. They are perfect strangers and surely they are not required to tell each other everything. But as they get to know each other, first becoming friends and then playing with the possibility of something more, it becomes clear that there are certain things they should really know about each other. But the longer they put off sharing their secrets, the harder it is to do so without hurting each other.

For the most part, the secrets Tess and Joe are hiding are revealed to the reader as they share them with each other. This makes for compelling reading. The characters are likeable and the story is believable, but some of the secrets have a rather contrived feel to them. And I’m not entirely sure I like the ending, as Joe seems to get away with quite a bit more than he should. I love the vernacular of Brit Lit and enjoyed the development of the story, and would recommend Secrets as a quick, light read.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Alysia lives in Metro Detroit with her husband and four children. She writes about family life, parenting issues, and other things of interest to her on her blog, Michigal.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Landmark. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.