Let me start by saying I love this cover for Hot Secrets! I was attracted to the cover right off the bat, and interested in the storyline. This is jus...moreLet me start by saying I love this cover for Hot Secrets! I was attracted to the cover right off the bat, and interested in the storyline. This is just the type of book I go for, so I really wanted to love it. I really did....but I just didn't. There were just too many things that were off for me during the book.
The hero Royce and heroine Lauren meet up right at the beginning of the book and it's go time from there. Their relationship develops pretty quickly, which seemed fine to me, reading about Royce's feelings for Lauren. She sees him as just a one night stand at first, just a hot guy to mess around with, while Royce wants into her life. It was kind of interesting to have a role reversal scene where the heroine actually admits this to the hero, and he's hurt by it. Why you would blurt that out anyways, I don't know? Royce seems like quite the catch romantically that's for sure, while he comes off lacking in the bodyguard role. Royce is acting as potential boyfriend/bodyguard to Lauren, being that he owns a security company with his brothers. Caring about her he wants to protect her from threats that she's receiving and strange occurrences going on, while she's working on a high profile case for the District Attorney's office. But right from the start Royce isn't as vigilant as you'd expect a security expert to be. He dismisses an open window in Lauren's apartment too easily, concluding it must have been building maintenance men who did it. And he never thinks to really check out her apartment afterwards, which a camera had been planted in. There were other issues like this where I thought he was just too careless to be a security expert/protector. And then Lauren seemed too concerned with the press finding out about the threats to her, and not about her actually safety, at one point refusing to go to the hospital after she'd been injured. I prefer a more believable, tougher, sharper bodyguard/hero.
I thought the writing was good overall; I just didn't come to love the characters or their actions. I was glad this was a shorter story, allowing me to feel out this author and see if her writing appealed to me. This was my first book by Lisa Renee Jones, and I would give her another try for sure and probably read the next book in the series. Hopefully the next one will check all the boxes for me.
And a last note: there is a sort of prequel to this series, Secrets Exposed, which doesn't seem to need to be read in order to understand anything in Hot Secrets. There's just a brief appearance by the main characters of the prequel in Hot Secrets. (less)