Author: Brooke Moss
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alicia—he wants Vi to be his best man.
Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.
With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.
Is this a good book? Yes, yes it is. The story is compelling, the characters are well developed, the good guys are great and the bad guys are unredeemable and horrible. The secondary characters even have moments where they steal the show with their witty banter…you know I love some witty banter! I love the Nancy Drew expedition Violet and her roommates take to dig up Alicia dirt…well done ladies.
Is this story frustrating? Oh hell yes. Very much so. At some point in the book, every single character, save Landon, made me want to throttle them. I was really concerned we were going to get into a love triangle with some cheating but for those of you who hate that like I do…read on sisters…there’s no bed hopping! There’s some emotional hopping and a good guy gets hurt but, I’m thinking you’ll see that one coming. I’m concerned with why it took so long for Violet to share her secret with her life long best friend but on some levels, I get it. What I don’t get is why Violet keeps pining away for Gabe. He’s kind of a dick…I get that he’s missing a huge chunk of Violet’s history but still, they’re best friends. I really wish they’d found a way to be honest with each other sooner but then again, if they did that, we wouldn’t have the angst necessary for a fun book, right?!!? There is angst aplenty. I guess I wanted Violet to not seem so desperate. She doesn’t have the best role model of a mother, and she’s really had some shitty cards dealt her way but the unrequited love thing didn’t sit well with me. Maybe it’s because Landon, her “rebound” romance really is a good guy – he didn’t deserve to get his heart broken but in the end, their relationship teaches Violet to believe in herself a little more. It makes her stronger…finally! Give Keeping Secrets in Seattle a try, it’s a fast read. It’s more of an emotional ride than a scandalicious sexy tale but it’s still worth a read. I really enjoyed the old journal entries at the top of each chapter – they offer excellent insight into the way Violet’s brain works, why she is who she is and why she makes the decisions she makes. In her heart, Gabe is the only man for her – she just needs to have him realize she’s the only one in his heart, too.
One thing I have to throw in, shocker, it’s on a personal note. It’s kinda’ related to Keeping Secrets in Seattle but kinda’ not. In the book, Violet has plenty of reasons to hate on Alicia, body type aside. Alicia is a bitch and all sorts of nasty regardless of dress size. Alicia is a bag of shit left on your front stoop but damn. As a skinny girl (naturally skinny, not skinny by way of strict diet and intense exercise), I’m kinda’ tired of being written off as a conniving, hungry, gold digging shrew all the time. Do curvy women really just hate skinny women at first glance? Is it just a given? Hell, I have friends who are heavier than me…shit, the whole world is pretty much heavier than me and there’s not much I can do about that. Unlike Alicia in the story, I eat…a lot…a lot, a lot. Now, you can hate me for that or you can chose to look past my bony arms and pass the fucking potatoes. I have to wonder if it would be okay to talk about a woman’s fat ass as brazenly as it is to constantly refer to someone as a skinny bitch. (FYI, “fat” is considered worse than a swear word in my house so don’t bring that shit in here!) It’s just a trend I’ve noticed a lot lately. Personally, I think we women need to stick together and stop tearing each other’s physical appearances down – hell, we’re all bitchy enough without bringing ass size into the picture. Now, I’m off to eat second breakfast. Yes, that’s a thing I do – I get up wicked early with the kids so by about 10 AM, I need to feed the beast again, waiting until lunch is not an option, not unless you enjoy me going all shaky, irrational crazy on your ass. True story.
So, to sum it up, Keeping Secrets in Seattle will make an excellent book club discussion book. I think it hits on some polarizing issues that will generate some really awesome and heated debates. Let me know what you think.