The Secrets Between Us is your typical summer beach read. There’s a love interest, a ‘somewhat’ interesting history, a potential good story line and a lot of drama thrown into it. Nevertheless, I had difficulties finding anything actually enjoyable about it apart from the last few chapters (and that’s probably because I just knew it was coming to an end).
Lets start with the main character, Sarah. We first meet her in Sicily, where she’s recovering from the trauma of having a still birth and then finding out that her beloved partner was being adulterous with her best friend and work colleague. So far, all we feel is compassion and sorrow for her loss. But this quickly changes when Alexander comes into the picture. This is when we start seeing an extremely stupid Sarah. After only meeting the man for 5 minutes by the pool followed by one dinner weeks later, she meets him again in a little town in Sicily where in a burst of passion they have sex in public. The book gives no reason for this passion, it hasn’t given any reason why she finds herself attracted to him. One minute they’re talking, the next they’re having breathless sex by the trees. It doesn’t feel realistic or believable in the slightest.
Then comes the really unrealistic bit. Alex asks Sarah to move to Avalon to become his housewife. Yes, that’s right, a man she literally hardly knows has asked her to leave her life and become a housewife. Even when you are going through a rough time, would you leave everything behind to go to some town in the middle of no where with a man you don’t know, to become his housewife all this when you know he has a wife who is currently not present? No, I wouldn’t think any normal person would. But of course, Sarah says yes. The reason screams out because of Jamie, Alex’s son. She lost her son, so she’s replacing him with Jamie. Now I don’t think she’s stupid, I think she might be going through some serious mental issues. And who wasn’t their main protagonist to be a nutcase? Not me, that’s for sure.
This then leads us to Alex. Apparently Sarah is totally in love with him and trust’s him wholeheartedly. I wish knew why. Isn’t it up to the book to describe the life of these people, yet I have no idea why she loves him. Unless she loves men who ignore her for days. He treats her like a maid and has sex with her when no one’s looking. He is constantly keeping secrets from her and doesn’t allow her into his room or in his study. This is not my idea of a loving relationship.
But this isn’t the worse. The worse is, Genevieve, Alex’s missing wife. Like a typical book that has a romance element to it, the ex or the competition is always this amazing beautiful woman who the new love interest knows she could never compete with. Well this story followed that exact guidelines. Too predictable for my liking. But Louise Douglas tried to put a spin on it, with her coming back as a sort of spirit. I say sort of spirit, because she never actually appears, only is sensed by Sarah. Which just makes us believe that Sarah is even more obsessed and mentally deranged than we had thought. Either way, Sarah, got ‘messages’ or ‘instincts’ that revealed the truth in her disappearance and later led to saving her own life. So now this makes us wonder, wait is this romance book, now a paranormal book? Or is this a murder mystery story? Maybe it’s a thriller? Even after finishing it, I’m still unsure what this book actually was.
The only part I liked about it was the last few chapters, where the book took on a more murder mystery approach, with Sarah carrying out the research into who the true murderer was and taking risks with her own life to find out the truth. Hard to believe happening again, but was more exciting than the previous 450 pages. The only real character I got out of this book, was the character of the forest which the story was based in. She gave the surroundings a great gothic feel. If only she had worked as hard with the characters and plot as she had describing the forest.
As you can imagine, I would not recommend this book. I don’t like writing such bad reviews, but it feels like this book didn’t give me a choice.
Enjoy (or not in this case)