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This Secret We're Keeping

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  902 ratings  ·  163 reviews
A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules? Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley. After all, he was her first love when she was fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment. Now, seventeen years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity and ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published April 7th 2016 by Penguin
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3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  902 ratings  ·  163 reviews


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Dana Kenedy (Dana and the Books)
This review can also be found on my blog, Dana and the Books.

This Secret We're Keeping is a student/teacher romance done right!

The story is told with two narratives: Matthew's POV in 1993 (the teacher) and then Jess's story (the student) in the present time.  We get to see how the relationship came to be, the scandal surrounding out, and the emotional turmoil when they meet once again seventeen years later.

It's definitely a character driven story and thankfully the characters were wonderfully fl
...more
Jules
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, romance
The Secret We’re Keeping is an emotional and heart-breaking tale of forbidden love.

This book is about a relationship that develops between a teacher and one of his fifteen year old pupils. Before reading it, I was a little cautious about it. There are so many potential things that could have made me dislike this book, but almost instantly I fell in love with this story.

I loved the style it was written in, the way it moved back and forth between the 1990s and present day, filling the reader in
...more
Paromjit
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an emotional roller coaster of a story which I adored. It is a character driven novel, and the author has created two superb and realistic characters and developed them well. The relationship between the two of them is seen through the lens of two time periods. The two of them have an intense, deep and emotionally involving affair. Matthew as a teacher goes to prison for having a relationship with 15 year old Jess. 17 years later, Matthew has a new identity, Will, when the two of them me ...more
Julian Lees
Mar 23, 2016 rated it liked it
I am torn. Don't get me wrong, this is a very well written book but the story of Matthew (a teacher) having an affair with his fifteen year old student left me feeling morally and emotionally drained.
This is a book that would not have been published if written by a man methinks.
~♥Sumi♥~
Ending is very disappointing.
Daphne Sharpe
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This debut novel is a very emotional and thought provoking read. As I read this book I was constantly reminding myself that Jess was a child, aged 15, yet she made all the moves and was the strongest character in the book. Was it true love , infatuation or just a 25 year old teacher taking advantage of a vulnerable girl? Jess had a mother who was too heavily dependent upon drugs and drink to pay her any attention and Matthew was the one person she spoke to who listened to her.
Matthew Langley is
...more
Bookphenomena (Micky)
The blurb and premise for this book really attracted me to it. The idea of a student/teacher situation decades on was an interesting concept. There's a thread of tragedy sliced with a little hope running right through this book but you dread an impending car crash situation.

Jess was the seducer at 15 years old. Matthew was the weak, misguided and prosecuted maths teacher. Decades have passed, names have been changed and secrets are the name of the game. Clearly the context of this book makes for
...more
Olivia McMullan
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked it. Unfortunately I thought it would have a better ending, I'm not saying in anyway that it wasn't a good ending because it most certainly was, I just wasn't expecting that ending to happen, I had envisioned a completely different happier one. I also knew what the other secret that was in the book before it was even mentioned, I mean come on, it wasn't that difficult. Of course Rebecca had to put that as a plot twist or at least a side one if anything in to the story, that didn't surpris ...more
Shannon
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018-reads
I finally finished this book, two stars because the characters were good and so were the final chapters. Except for the last chapter though, what even was that. I'm so angry with this ending, honestly. This book was so long-winded, everything was elaborately described which was somewhat boring. I just needed this book to end. Like really end, not how it ended. Also the characters were quite good but I liked Jess and Will/Matthew the best when they were together. Thus, two stars and I'm glad I fi ...more
Marie Johnson
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great book but I was a little disappointed with the ending
Liz
Oct 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
In my opinion a very well-written novel with two totally believable main characters. I liked the way that the story unfolded and that the narrative switched between both Matthew/Will and Jess. I also liked that the reader could make their own moral judgments without any directives from the author. I was definitely drawn into the story emotionally even though it made uncomfortable reading at times. Disappointed with the ending but maybe there's to be a follow-on book.
Tink Magoo is bad at reviews
I really really hope that that is not the end and that there will be a second book!
Tante Zoe
Aug 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Why on earth has this book garnered positive reviews on GR? Apologies if the writer or editor is reading this, but TSWK is simply a bad book. The characters are 2-dimensional, utterly immature, delusional and self-absorbed.

Matthew is a predatory and unpleasant character, who embarks on an affair with a very vulnerable underage girl. He pursues her, and persuades her to have risky sex, sometimes in public places. He is caught and imprisoned for statutory rape. So far, so unromantic. When he and J
...more
Sherin
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An emotional and heart-wrenching read ... A tough topic to write but considering it is written by a first time author ... the depth of emotions and twists and turns the book offers is surprising. If you can overlook the taboo subject and look at the emotional aspects and the love between the two individuals you would be rooting for their HEA ... In my opinion they both deserve a HEA after what they went through and still being worried and feeling for each other after all this time .... and I sin ...more
Bookread2day
Jun 04, 2016 rated it liked it
The Day school Maths teacher Matthew Landley entered fifteen year old Jessica's life, he nearly killed her. When Jess sees Mr Landley with his girlfriend and daughter she wants to stop him and steps out in front of Matthew Landley's car. If Natalie finds out about him and Jess, then Matthew will never see his daughter again. As I like reading all books by Rebecca Done I'm following Rebecca on Goodreads.
Renita D'Silva
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this beautifully written, emotional book.
Lauren
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really easy read, and enjoyed the story. Would have been 5 stars but was devastated by what happened with the dog Smudge. Otherwise was worth picking it up and giving it a go. Found it very hard to not end up liking Matthew
Lauren (My Expanding Bookshelf)
Actual rating: 3.5/5

This Secret We're Keeping is a strong debut novel that I just couldn't put down. It's an emotional rollercoaster and a fairly quick read for its size, about a major taboo subject - a romantic relationship between a student and teacher and the aftermath years later.

This Secret We're Keeping is told both in the present from Jess's point of view (the student) and through a series of flashbacks in Will/Matthew's point of view (the teacher). I enjoyed both main characters and they
...more
D
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Taboo romance books can be a difficult subject to write about and keep an authenticity and sincerity about them. Rebecca Done did a fabulous job of keeping to both. The dual time POV was a great way to parallel the characters' account of their relationship both past and present.
The story is set in a small waterfront town in England. I'm always a sucker for an English backdrop and I absolutely love the British slang.
The characters involved, Matthew (aka Will) and Jess were both very well writte
...more
Julie
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was spellbound by this book. On the one hand every moral bone in my body is screaming that what Mathew did in having an affair with his fifteen year old pupil is wrong on every count, yet on the other hand I couldn't help but root for them both when they meet up ten years later. The path of destruction and damage has been laid, however and neither of them are the same people that they were back then. I really enjoyed reading this book even though it was disturbing at times - a pleasant change ...more
Kirstie
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
An unsettling read. I didn’t feel comfortable reading this teacher pupil romance. It felt wrong and I didn’t feel it was a love affair when they met again years later.
I didn’t want them to end up together. It all felt wrong
Shelley
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
It’s not very often that a book leaves me speechless, but I can honestly say that I had to take some time to gather my thoughts before writing this review. It’s hard to believe that this is Rebecca Done’s debut novel. This book was superbly written, the characters were extremely well developed, and the storyline moved at a lightning fast pace, giving it the distinct feel of the work of a seasoned author.

This Secret We’re Keeping is the story of a romantic relationship that develops between a twe
...more
Vicky-Leigh Sayer
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This secret we're keeping is a controversial novel covering the ultimate taboo subject; a pupil - teacher relationship.

And what a brilliant novel it is!

Jess Hart is a successful business woman with her own events catering company. She has a loving boyfriend Zak who wants her to move to London with him, but her roots and history are in Norfolk and she is reluctant to leave.

Will Green has recently returned to the area with his partner Natalie, and daughter Charlotte. Natalie is renovating a house
...more
Laura
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed on www.snazzybooks.com

So I really didn't know what to expect from this book; I had purposefully not read much about it but the synopsis really intrigued me. As I carried on reading, I got even more intrigued - and then, by the time the 'secret' is revealed, I was really engaged and interested in the characters.

Rebecca Done has done a really great job of creating characters you care about, but that are also flawed and realistic. They seem like real people, and that's why I really enjoye
...more
Jo
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well, what a secret!

A 15 year old student, Jess Hart, and her 25 year old maths teacher, Matthew Langley, embark on a secret affair. Make no mistake, the consequences should their relationship be discovered would be disastrous; Matthew's teaching career would be ruined forever, and he would face criminal prosecution and imprisonment as a paedophile. Yet still, Matthew, as the adult, gives in to Jess's advances, knowing full well he should know better. The 'devil's advocate' in what is straightf
...more
Anthea
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, 2016-reads
having mixed feelings about this book.

Basically a male teacher fell in love with a female student. Got caught. Went to jail. 17 years later, they reunited by some chance. However they have both had their separate lives (spouses/kids etc) but they somehow rekindled their romance and began their forbidden love once again.

Character development was well done, I feel. However the part when the student and teacher fall in love with each other part was rather weak. There wasn't any rhyme or reason to i
...more
Chloe Lynn
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This Secret - an incredibly well-written book that was hard to put down. The two lead characters - Jess and Matthew/Will - were so well realised and the time switches told from both characters' perspectives was very engaging. The writer never overtly judges her characters, but allows the reader to come to their own conclusions and yet the protagonists are held to account by ghosts of the past and their own conscience. It not only examined the nature of taboo age-gap relationships (compounded by ...more
Michelle
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is about 15 year old Jess Hart and when she turns up on the doorstep one snowy Saturday night to visit her 25 year old Maths Teacher Matthew Langley. This visit then, starts a affair between them. This ends when they get found out and Matthew is sent to Prison a convicted Paedophile. Then the story turns to present day when Matthew now named Will accidentally hits her in a car accident that brings back the memories of the past, Was it love between them or just infatuation? Whatever it ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a very sympathetic account of a love affair between a 15 year old school girl and her 25 year old maths teacher. The split narrative is set 17 years ago when the affair took place and in the present when the protagonists meet again.

The prose is well written and the main characters have a chemistry between them that leaps off the page, but the minor characters are stock types: the hysterical woman trying to get pregnant, the cold bitch of a girlfriend, the up-himself boyfriend, the crazy
...more
Craig Allen
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that I was very much looking forward to reading and it didn't disappoint. This is the story of Matthew, a high school math teacher, and Jess, one of his students, who have a torrid affair in 1994 and are caught. Seventeen years later, Matthew is out of prison living a new life and runs into Jess, literally, and so begins the tale of love lost that might could be, but should it ever have been...especially since both have all new lives with new partners. Matthew even has a child. To ...more
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Rebecca Done lives in Norwich. After studying Creative Writing at the Norwich School of Art & Design, she worked for several years as a magazine editor. Currently a copywriter, Rebecca is also a keen runner, fair-weather surfer and one-time marathon canoeist. This Secret We're Keeping is her first novel.