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Secret Beau, The by Annette Mahon
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Aug 22, 10

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Review posted on RomancingThePage.com by Laura Lynn

http://www.romancingthepage.com/2010/...

A few days ago I came across the name of Annette Mahon. I had never read her work, but was interested in the themes of her books, so I headed to the library and checked a stack out. The first in that stack, “The Secret Beau” was a good read and at 182 pages I finished it in one evening.

Annette writes sweet romances, which basically means she focuses on the emotional relationship and not the physical one. As I don’t need graphic descriptions interfering with the story, I was greatly pleased by her ability to convey the emotion of the relationship without the smut.

“The Secret Beau” revolves around two friends from high school who meet again as adults in the small town they grew up in. Centered in Hawaii, the characters have cultural diversity and seem a little more real than the average romance characters.

In romance novels you have a general idea how the story will go, even before you open the cover. There will be two people and they will fall in love. There will be something that gets in their way, and they will overcome it. There will be insecurities along the way and they will have to face their old demons. “The Secret Beau” follows just that pattern, but the Hawaiian small town charm adds realism and warmth.

Having a dear friend from Hawaii, I was pleased by the author’s use of common Hawaiian terms, such as haole, which is used by many locals to identify foreigners, mainly non islanders. The cultural expectations of the area, as well as the universal expectations of family were incorporated flawlessly. I found the main characters, Kim and Greg, to demonstrate common feelings and fears, making them likable and realistic.

That said, “The Secret Beau” is a lovely read for a mindless afternoon. It is great for curling up with a blanket and hot cocoa. It is not a mind bender, and it is not going to stretch your understanding of humanity. It will bring a smile to your face, help you remember the romances of your youth, and help you pass a lazy afternoon. I applaud Annette Mahon for bringing culturally diverse characters to a sweet romance that I could enjoy.
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