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The Immortal Rules
Julie Kagawa
J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout
Diamonds in the Rough
Portia Da Costa
S.E.C.R.E.T.: A Novel - L. Marie Adeline Oh my, where do I start with this one? Throughout the entire read, I wondered how I was going to rate this book. While there was much that annoyed me with this, there were parts of it that weren’t bad. But really, it was the ending that totally disappointed me and made me want to throw my kindle across the room.Cassie is a waitress. She’s a widow that hasn’t had sex in five years. Her life is lonely. She’s floating through life, her one pleasure watching restaurant patrons. When one of her customers leaves a diary behind, she reads it and realizes just how much she wants a different life. In walks Matilda, a guide for a SECRET society devoted to helping women on a journey of sexual self discovery.This SECRET society, which is composed of all women, was my first problem with the story. Sorry, but I couldn’t believe that women are that sexually benevolent. Women just aren’t that nice to each other. It did not work for me. Sorority or not, I couldn’t believe it.Next came the “steps” that were supposed to fulfill Cassie’s fantasies. They were relatively tame as erotica goes, but that was reasonable considering Cassie’s circumstances. The purpose of these steps, self-awareness, learning to accept a one night stand without judgement , that was okay too. But when fantasy guy says, “I could do this to you forever” that doesn’t sound like a one nighter thing to say, it sounds like a “creep” thing to say. The first time she has sex in five years, there is a mere less-than-fifty word paragraph to describe what that’s like. Coming back from a five year drought surely deserves more page time. There was very little conflict or tension in this story. Cassie goes through the steps, learning as she goes along, never really getting into a situation that she can’t or won’t handle. It was all very safe. I would have liked a little more tension and conflict here. There was very little testing of SECRET’s motto-- No judgements. No limits. No shame.Even so, I did find Cassie a very likable character. At first I thought her experiences were good for her. When she gets to the point where she says,”My head was saying yes, my body was saying now, and my heart was near to bursting with the wonder of it all.” I cheered that she was going to get her HEA.Then came the ending...I can’t spoil it for you if you decide to read it. But it was a disappointment. If you are looking for a book that isn’t very deep, then this might be the book for you. It wasn’t for me.I’m rating this a 2.5, and rounding down to a 2 because this could have been a much better book with some minor adjustments, like ending the book before that final scene.Thank you Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a review copy in exchange for an honest review.