This is a book review, but it's really more than that when you really think about the concept that this book revolves around.
S.E.C.R.E.T by L. Marie Adeline
In S.E.C.R.E.T there are…
No Judgments. No limits. No shame.
Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S.E.C.R.E.T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S.E.C.R.E.T is a world where erotic fantasy becomes reality.
This book has been marketed to those who really loved the Fifty Shades phenomenon, and really that's' what it's become. The difference in this book is that Cassie is not with one partner, there aren't even shades of kink in this book and the only real similarity between this book and Fifty Shades of Grey is that it has sex scenes in it. If you are coming to this book to get your tie-me-up-and-spank-me fix, you'll be disappointed. If you are looking for a book that has the sexual scenes you enjoy but with a feminism meets personal liberation theme, you'll love this.
From the very beginning I loved this book because Cassie is like so many women. She was married, her husband passed away and she finds herself in a rut, just like a divorced woman would be. When she is approached by someone who subtly highlights her lack of anything feminine, she begins on a journey that literally changes her life. What starts off with her writing down nine fantasies that over the course of a year are acted out in order for her to face certain things about herself, she transforms. Let me tell you something, this is something I would have eagerly signed up for as a 20 year old and honestly, if someone knocked on my door to give me this opportunity, I would do it. I really think there are things about yourself that you can really only learn through intimate acts that I would never have understood with my first boyfriend/fiance. Which not to say anything negative about him, but when you are only with one person you have nothing else to compare it to. Then when I was with Matt it was like a complete awakening. FINALLY, I understood why people loved sex and what the hell an orgasm was. Finally I felt like I had a partner who would show me things about trust, generosity, and love that I never would have seen if I had stayed with my first boyfriend.
Some of the scenes Cassie goes through in order to get her charms (she gets a charm for her bracelet with each completed task) are kind of amazing, a little terrifying, and honestly I don't know if I could have done. Get fingered by a guy in a bar? Um, no thanks. Would it be exhilarating and sexy as hell? Yes. Terrifying? You bet your ass. One part of the book was really great because when she's asked what her fantasies are, Cassie says she doesn't have any, which would be my response. But when you get down to it, that's not really true because I found that a lot of the things Cassie experienced are things that I found would be a huge turn on for me. Which in the end, is why I read a lot of romance novels with similar plot lines, because hello- sexy as hell.
So what if I want to be banged against a wall by a muscled up secret agent? Don't act like that isn't hot as hell.
So overall I really liked this story a lot and had a hard time putting it down. While Cassie is discovering herself you feel like you are on the journey with her. One thing about the book that I don't know if I love or not is the ending. Like, I get why it ends like it does. I get it. I understand why she makes the choice she does, but I'm also torn on whether I wanted the happy ending instead. Because I see Cassie happily married to one guy who loves the hell out of her and gives her hot sex on the regular, so is that not how the author sees her? And why? It'd actually be interesting to see if there is a sequel because there easily could be with the seemingly unfinished ending with Will (her boss who loves her, maybe, and who she loves, maybe), and then what happens with Cassie's choice at the end. What happens to her beyond? Also I'd like to know why the women behind the club haven't chosen life partners? Is this a salute to feminism's "I don't need a man" or something more?
You can purchase the book HERE, otherwise, leave me a comment on this post and one reader will win a copy (US/Canada only). I'll draw a winner on Monday, so good luck!