[Reading] ➿ The Secret of You and Me By Melissa Lenhardt – Sisnlaw.co.uk

The Secret of You and Me The Secret of You and Me is a retelling of Persuasion, one of my favorite Jane Austen novels The main characters, Sophie and Nora, fell in love in small town Texas when they were in their late teens, but were separated when Sophie s conservative mother and Nora s hard nosed father found out about their forbidden amour For almost twenty years, Sophie has remained closeted, playing the dutiful wife to a man with political aspirations, while Nora has been out in the world, making a name for herse The Secret of You and Me is a retelling of Persuasion, one of my favorite Jane Austen novels The main characters, Sophie and Nora, fell in love in small town Texas when they were in their late teens, but were separated when Sophie s conservative mother and Nora s hard nosed father found out about their forbidden amour For almost twenty years, Sophie has remained closeted, playing the dutiful wife to a man with political aspirations, while Nora has been out in the world, making a name for herself When Nora comes home to bury her father, she must face the feelings she s thought she d left behind long ago I m so impressed by the complex web of relationships that Lenhardt creates in Lynchfield, and by the time we re a few chapters in, I was thoroughly immersed in the world building I m not surprised though, as I ve read a lot of Lenhardt s other books There s a full cast of intriguing secondary characters, including the lingering shadow of Nora s tough as nails father, and Sophie s tattooed, long haired AA sponsor By the time you finish this novel, you ve got a whole society in your head, and the author does it without taxing the reader.Lenhardt also has a knack for intense dialogue that often reveals the nastier side of the antagonist This, of course, means that it ssatisfying when the main character gets the best of them Then there s the love story The relationship between Sophie and Nora was full of the conflict that often comes with a lot of baggage, and it was quite a ride to see them figuring out situations that, from the reader s perspective, seem impossible to navigate If you ve ever wondered how hard it is to come out in small town Texas, this book will give you a glimmer of an idea.The Secret of You and Me is a keep you up late at night page turner Sophie and Nora s story reminds us that being honest with yourself and the world around you is the only way to be whole I could not put this book down It tells a truly beautiful and authentic love story that is fantastically written It has just the right amount of heat to be HOT but not graphic This would be a great access point for someone who hasn t read a queer love story before but is cool with it As a queer writer of queer fiction myself, I think it respects our community fantastically and with perfect insight that loves stories are just love stories regardless of the characters plumbing Stop reading m I could not put this book down It tells a truly beautiful and authentic love story that is fantastically written It has just the right amount of heat to be HOT but not graphic This would be a great access point for someone who hasn t read a queer love story before but is cool with it As a queer writer of queer fiction myself, I think it respects our community fantastically and with perfect insight that loves stories are just love stories regardless of the characters plumbing Stop reading my review and read this True Love Never Fades And Old Secrets Never Die Nora Hasn T Looked Back Not Since She Fled Texas To Start A New Life Away From Her Father S Volatile Temper And The Ever Watchful Gaze Of Her Claustrophobically Conservative Small Town, Nora Has Freed Herself She Can Live And Love However She Wants The Only Problem Is That She Also Left Behind The One Woman She Can T Forget Now Tragedy Calls Her Back Home To Confront Her Past And Reconcile Her FutureSophie Seems To Have Everything A Wonderful Daughter, A Successful Husband And A Rewarding Career Yet Underneath That Perfection Lies An Explosive Secret She Still Yearns For Nora Her Best Friend And First Love Despite All The Years Between Them Keeping Her True Self Hidden Hasn T Been Easy, But It S Been Necessary So When Sophie Finds Out That Nora Has Returned, She Hopes Nora S Stay Is Short The Life She Has Built Depends On ItBut They Both Find That First Love Doesn T Fade Easily Memories Come To Light, Passion Ignites And Old Feelings Resurface As The Forces Of Family And Intolerance That Once Tore Them Apart Begin To Reemerge, They Realize Some Things May Never Change Unless They Demand It Nora has never looked back since leaving her home town She has come home now as her father has died She has to face ex boyfriend Charlie, and best friend Sophie Sophie appears to have a great life She is married to Charlie, has a daughter Logan and a successful career but her life isn t a great as it appears and when Nora comes back their lives collide again This book is a story about a friendship that develops into somethingbetween two young women but certain issues spilts them up bu Nora has never looked back since leaving her home town She has come home now as her father has died She has to face ex boyfriend Charlie, and best friend Sophie Sophie appears to have a great life She is married to Charlie, has a daughter Logan and a successful career but her life isn t a great as it appears and when Nora comes back their lives collide again This book is a story about a friendship that develops into somethingbetween two young women but certain issues spilts them up but they meet up again when older and nothing with stop them colliding this time.The story was little slow to start but it did get going and the author weaves a heartfelt love story between two people and how they find their way back to each other The author addresses various topics in the books I never read a book from Mills Boon so this one was a first from the publishing company I received a ARC from Netgalley and Mills Boon an objection review, I stared at our hands, remembering all the times they d been joined, gripping each other, the panting breaths, the sweat slicked bodies, the whispers of love On my blog Rep bi mc with PTSD, lesbian mc, Iranian American Muslim lesbian side characterCWs homophobia, cheating, racism islamophobia, past alcohol abuse, biphobia, emotional abuse The Secret of You and Me felt a lot like a book of two separate stories One is the story of two women working through their fallout from eighteen yea I stared at our hands, remembering all the times they d been joined, gripping each other, the panting breaths, the sweat slicked bodies, the whispers of love On my blog Rep bi mc with PTSD, lesbian mc, Iranian American Muslim lesbian side characterCWs homophobia, cheating, racism islamophobia, past alcohol abuse, biphobia, emotional abuse The Secret of You and Me felt a lot like a book of two separate stories One is the story of two women working through their fallout from eighteen years previously, and sorting their current lives out to an extent The other is of their second chance romance The first workedfor me than the second.If you ve read any of my reviews, you ll know how much I struggle with finding adult sapphic romances that I enjoy And I really thought I had something here I was liking the writing, I was mostly liking the way the plot was going It looked like I was onto a win.Wellfool me.It s not that this book suddenly turned awful It was still a good book throughout It s just that certain things I was not enjoying got too much by the end and, yeah, the characters had some pretty shitty ideas at some points.I ll take this somewhat chronologically in the order of the notes I made First up, is that one of the main characters is ex military I don t mean in and of itself that was a bad thing necessarily , but I did feel as though it leant a little on the side of glorification of the military, or at the very least, no judgement on it Which, okay, this is a US book and a US novelist, so that s kind of to be expected Doesn t mean I had to like it.But I tried to put that aside, or at least not let it affect how I read the book so much and really, the whole thank you for your service crap dropped off within the first few chapters so it was easier And then we came to the next bit Everyone in this book is cheating Okay, so not everyone Emmadean is not But that s a single character of the ones who have most page time I guess it makes it easier for your relationship between a married woman and a single woman to be okay when the married woman s husband is already cheating God but it got tiring though Because the single woman is also in a relationship with another married woman Genuinely I felt like I was following some kind of soap opera Real housewives of wherever this book was set.This took me up until the halfway mark, at which point I was still thinking I might like this book And then the relationship between Nora and Sophie started.Both of these characters had a sort of pattern At the start, they ostensibly forgave each other, or said, let bygones be bygones But throughout the book, they oscillated between being genuinely friendly again, and snapping at each other, and particularly snapping about past behaviours and so on Which does not seem very forgiving to me But okay, fine, I thought Maybe they just need to work on the forgiveness part Maybe there shurt there than either of them expected Except the pattern goes on until all but the end of the book, and it got a little hard to root for them together when, to my mind, they clearly weren t good for one another.And then, the kicker Sophie s husband figures something out but Nora tells him it s all on her part and that Sophie rejected her Charlie the husband then confronts Sophie about it, who blows up Nora s lie and tells him everything But in the meantime, she is unable to meet with Nora, who was expecting her So Nora gets pissed instead of, you know, wondering whether Sophie is okay and basically claims like she did Sophie this huge favour by not outing her to her homophobic husband Wow, thanks Nora In a town you know is massively homophobicon that in a sec , you have so magnanimously not outed someone She claims this lie is not only her being magnanimous, but also putting Sophie before herself And, while she gets called out for actually being selfish in this situation, no one says to her that even thinking about outing someone like this is shitty, that choosing to out someone in a situation where they would be endangered is enormously so.And this is when I really stopped rooting for this romance.I mentioned how the town was homophobic briefly I don t have anything against showing homophobia and showing gay folks overcoming homophobia, per se But the homophobia in this book was so constant it became genuinely exhausting There was very little respite from it If it wasn t the casual and overt homophobia of the side characters, it was the main characters discussing it and having to deal with the aftermath of it In the end, it just didn t feel very sensitively handled, to be honest.And all that meant that this book went from one that I thought I might have liked, to yet another that disappointed me DNF 20% The Secret of You and Me promised to be a great beach read with a second chance f f romance finally Sadly, I found the writing to be clumsy and the dialogues were extremely unconvincing Characters would say things that didn t really rang true to life or they would make these very random comments that didn t really fit with the type of character they are.One of the main characters, someone who is presented as having been wronged by her family and community, who is ex military and in DNF 20% The Secret of You and Me promised to be a great beach read with a second chance f f romance finally Sadly, I found the writing to be clumsy and the dialogues were extremely unconvincing Characters would say things that didn t really rang true to life or they would make these very random comments that didn t really fit with the type of character they are.One of the main characters, someone who is presented as having been wronged by her family and community, who is ex military and in her late thirties thinks the following I d rather be waterboarded than offer an ounce of sympathy Even I, with my dark sense of humour and preference for imperfect characters, did not find that amusing to be honest, when I read it I felt disgusted This thought doesn t belong to someone who has no idea of what waterboarding entails And I m supposed to like this woman Then again, just because the writing in this book struck me as somewhat amateurish doesn t mean that it is I encourage others to check outpositive reviews but if you do find that waterboarding joke to be incredibly insensitive you might want to approach this book with caution Sometimes I like to read a good love gone wrong, but maybe we can forgive type of romance This one was really good The largest strength was in the character development I found myself caring a good deal about the leads I also liked that the author made it hot and romantic without bordering on smutty It is sometimes nice to read a romance that focuses on the feelings over anything else. This is well plotted and paced, but what struck me most was how Lenhardt captured the setting so vibrantly a few words of slang, goose bumps as air conditioning hits sweat, or a character wearing turquoise earrings and red cowboy boots In addition to having a crush on Nora now, I m desperately hungry for fajitas I really enjoyed living in this world. To My Readers,The Secret of You and Me is my first Women s Fiction novel It s a love story about two women, Nora Noakes and Sophie Russell, who were torn apart in their youth by prejudice and hate, and now two decades later, after life has taken them in very different directions, are given a second chance to find love when an unexpected tragedy brings them back together.The Secret of You and Me is all about looking back at the choices you ve made, or the choices forced upon you by friends, fami To My Readers,The Secret of You and Me is my first Women s Fiction novel It s a love story about two women, Nora Noakes and Sophie Russell, who were torn apart in their youth by prejudice and hate, and now two decades later, after life has taken them in very different directions, are given a second chance to find love when an unexpected tragedy brings them back together.The Secret of You and Me is all about looking back at the choices you ve made, or the choices forced upon you by friends, family society, and how those choices have changed your life and shaped your personality It s also about looking to the future, the one you have versus the one you want and the sacrifices you will have to make for happiness I ve loved all of my books, but every author will tell you there comes a point in the writing editing publishing process where you don t ever want to read another word of the manuscript for as long as you live I ve never felt that with TSoYM I was creating a PDF from the word document so my husband could read TSoYM on his tablet and I immediately started reading it and was about 30 pages in before I stopped myself and said, Stop wasting time You have another book to write, Lenhardt I m looking forward to sharing Nora and Sophie s story with all of you, and hope you love them and their story as much as I do.Happy Reading Mel Nora returns to her childhood home after eighteen years, for her father s funeral She was sent away from her family when she was caught in bed with her best friend Sophie.Sophie is now married to Charlie who used to be Nora s boyfriend and has a daughter Logan When Sophie sees Nora again all her old feelings for her return This is such a beautifully written love story The turmoil of Sophie living a lie and trying to hide her feelings for Nora, growing up in a religious small town where being Nora returns to her childhood home after eighteen years, for her father s funeral She was sent away from her family when she was caught in bed with her best friend Sophie.Sophie is now married to Charlie who used to be Nora s boyfriend and has a daughter Logan When Sophie sees Nora again all her old feelings for her return This is such a beautifully written love story The turmoil of Sophie living a lie and trying to hide her feelings for Nora, growing up in a religious small town where being gay is frowned upon and considered a sin I was so completely hooked with this story and absolutely loved the two main characters I may have shed a tear at the end Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review

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