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Closely Guarded Secret

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Many might envy Alixandra Quinn. She rubs shoulders with the rich and famous at glitzy society balls and fund-raisers as a photographer for a popular magazine. But, do the envious notice Ali always goes home alone? She has cut herself off from personal relationships and emotional entanglements. It’s a strategy to cope with her past, and for ten years, her strategy has worked.

That is, until she meets Bryce Steede, a young and bold Silicon Valley entrepreneur. When Ali becomes the center of his attention, suddenly her world gets turned upside-down. She may have convinced herself that life is fine the way it is, but he is determined to break down her carefully constructed walls, free her mind and body, and show her pleasures that she couldn't have imagined.

As Ali navigates through this uncharted journey of self-discovery, she must find the balance between her head and her heart. Is Bryce just another heartache waiting to happen? Will a secret from her past come back to haunt her? Or will Ali make peace with her past and find true happiness...

302 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 4, 2015

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Natalie Money

1 book120 followers

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Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
49 reviews1 follower
August 30, 2015
I enjoyed reading as the characters visited some of my favorite spots in San Francisco. The protagonist was strong and her life has had some interesting twists and turns.
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739 reviews42 followers
June 21, 2015
3.75 Stars


I am so frustrated as I sit down and write this review that I want to spit. Let me explain.

I really like this story even if the main character, Alixandra Quinn, does make some decisions that had me mentally slapping some sense into her. After the first few pages the pace picks up and the story flows smoothly. The hero in the story, Bryce Steede, is a great guy. He is successful, hot, and has a lot of potential to be a great book boyfriend, unfortunately it is obvious that he has secrets and trust issues too.

The couple have issues individually and as a couple. Ali had a bad experience in the past and avoids dating altogether. For ten years she concentrates on her career and is a star photographers. Bryce has a lot of woman but none of them are keepers except for Mara who continually shows up where ever he is but Bryce doesn’t want anything permanent with her.

Bryce and Ali meet at a photo shoot. There is an attraction and they both want to act on the attraction even if it isn’t something they normally do. Their tentative dating is fun to experience. For the most part I can relate to the couple and their caution. The story held my attention. There are ups and downs as the couple get to know each other and I really want their relationship to succeed. Both of these people have secrets that they aren’t sharing and I found myself captivated to find out what the secrets are.

Then the big SLAP in the face came. I'm really into the story and loving it then I look down and see that I am ninety-six percent through the book. I know immediately that too many questions are unanswered for the book to end in the remaining four percent. Why do authors feel they have to be dishonest about what they are selling? I understand the appeal of writing a serial. I understand why some readers like them. I understand why a cliffhanger is often a good tool to get readers to buy the next book. What I don’t understand is why an author can’t say book 1 of 2 or book 1 of 20 and then let the reader decide if they are ready to read part of a story now or, if a reader likes the entire story, to wait until there is an ending in sight.

I want to know what Bryce isn’t saying about Mara. I want to know more about Thomas Bane and how he hurt Ali. I want to know how this couple is going to resolve the lies of omission and lack of trust with each other. What I don’t know if I want to know bad enough. Thinking back some of the hidden secrets could be revealed with a little less deceit between the main characters. Also I’m wondering if the author could have added seventy five to one hundred pages and given us a good standalone. A good standalone book will bring me back to an author faster than pulling me into a serial unaware.

Closely Guarded Secret is a well written story. The characters are interesting and hold the readers' interest. There are sections with a little more filler than necessary but the story is well worth the read. What worries me is that I’m not sure I’m sufficiently invested in this couple to remember to look for the end of the story and that is a shame. This is a great first book by Ms. Money and I hope in the future she will inform readers that the whole story isn't between the book covers. If you like serials with cliffhangers you will enjoy this book. If not wait and see if there is going to be another book. As of this post I don’t see an anticipated release date.
Profile Image for Danielle.
Author 1 book33 followers
June 19, 2015
This book had its ups and downs, but mostly left me pretty confused.

The main character, Alixandra Quinn, is a local photographer working for a small magazine. She moved from Seattle to San Fransisco to live out her career as a photographer, living with her gay best friend Stephen Hart. She has a deep, dark past and is trying her best to keep it out of the forfront of her mind.

It all works out okay, until Mr. BigShot himself, the one and only Bryce Steede, literally sets his eyes on her and makes it his mission to make her his. He's hot, sexy, illustrious, powerful, a CEO millionaire, all the women want him, and all the men want to be him. Even his crazy ex-girlfriend Mara, who will find every opportunity to find him, even though he clearly doesn't want him. But he only has eyes for Ali, which is sweet. Ali knows she's attracted to him, and wants him too, but her insecurities and messed up past won't let her enjoy what's right in front of her. It's been 10 years since she's been in an intimate relationship with a man, and she's holding back a lot. She also has scars across her abdomen to prove it. She has recurring dreams of a man named Thomas Bane hurting her, but she doesn't divulge into that until the very end of the book, which to me is very frustrating. She talks to Stephen, his boyfriend Sampson, her mother, even her therapist Dr. Hunter about her issues, but it got to the point where I just wanted her to make up her own mind for herself, instead of letting everyone elses' opinions control her life...

Read more of my review: here
Profile Image for Judie.
1,156 reviews
June 15, 2015
*An ARC was provided in exchange of an honest review*

Great read that had me wondering how it was going to end! I was hooked and had to keep reading this roller coaster of a read! Def worth checking out.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 reviews

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