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The Dirty Secret

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2017 Romance Writers of America RITA© Finalist in Erotic Romance

...From the Desk of Donna Edith:

My services are unconventional. My clients come to me with needs and I match them to other clients with needs of their own…

Promising young architect Killian Fitzroy: Driven, clever, eager to prove himself. Starved for sex, though he’s come to me for professional assistance, not personal. Needs: Someone unique, creative and fast. An artist with a feminine perspective to breathe life into a house he’s built.

Aspiring scenic designer Vessa Ratham: Sensuous, spontaneous, but secretive. Recently returned to Vermont armed with an art degree that qualifies her for little more than waiting tables. Needs: An opportunity to shine.

Yes, Killian and Vessa will satisfy each other nicely—in more ways than one.

221 pages, Kindle Edition

Published March 28, 2016

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About the author

Kira A. Gold

5 books146 followers
Writing strange things when no one is looking. Still in a blue bathrobe. Repped by Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 63 reviews
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,855 reviews846 followers
March 26, 2016
I enjoyed the relationship parts of The Dirty Secret. The building of chemistry and the sex scenes were sensual, and extremely hot, beautifully written. I liked that the problems this couple face never reached an angsty drama filled level, where I’d roll my eyes and want to throw my Kindle out, but the conflict still captured my interest and kept me on the edge a bit.

Where I had some major issues was the amount of time spent on interior design. I do love home decorating shows on TV, but I don’t expect that level of detail in my romances. It was actually more detailed than a home improvement show, IMO. Such a high percentage of this story was devoted to color, design, and technique that I found myself skimming those parts and just reading any character interactions. Far too much detail and too distracting for me. Had the author edited much of that out my rating would’ve been higher because, as I said, the romance was very erotic and beautifully written.

A copy was kindly provided by Carina Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Gio Listmaker .
294 reviews90 followers
May 16, 2020
Low Angst

Boho Artist Designer Heroine Vessa Has A Secret

Dark lilac hair. I love this hair! I want my purple hair back.:

"“It looks like the room of someone trying to hide.” Vessa’s breath caught in her throat. She’d forgotten that under his office clothes and his manners, he was still an artist, a designer with a sharp focus. “Maybe she’s new in town and a little overwhelmed with how fast her life is changing.” “It’s hard not to be curious,” he said. “I wonder if she’s a bank robber, needing all those disguises.” Oh, he was clever, with his seductive sentences and flirty grin, leaning a little sideways to look into her eyes"

Killian The Architect Our Hero Needs A Decorator/Love Life

Image result for ian somerhalder suit messy hair

Vessa And Killian Have Chemistry And Unspoken Depth

Interior Design Meets Magical Prose And Romance

Image result for bohemian girl interior design gif

“she came out—dancing around in a white shirt with nothing underneath, the rosy coins of her nipples visible under the thin fabric—asking for a wood saw and spackle, he’d been jumpy as a jackrabbit sniffing Easter candy. He could have looked in the bedroom when she left to sleep, to go to Brass and Bones, to go wherever sex-witch art-fairies go. She came back every day with packages from the Indian import store, bags from the pagan crystal shop, boxes that smelled like incense and old wood. But he didn’t look because deep down he liked the mystery, that a woman had claimed a space in the house he’d designed, made it hers to reveal on her terms.”

My Only Two Complaints Killian's Character Doesn't Get Fleshed Out Enough For Me
OW Drama Is A Mild Misunderstanding

Thanks To My Friend Mindy For The Recommendation
Looking Forward To More From This Author
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,082 reviews862 followers
February 22, 2016
OMG. I love when a random book ends up being such a sweet surprise! I loved this book. I loved EVERYTHING about it. The writing was so fucking beautiful that I just wanted to read about the author describing pretty much anything and everything. What a breath of fresh air!

When Killian and Vessa both seek out the help of Donna Edith, a woman with a certain knack for pairing folks, (she’s a trip of a character) they get more than they bargained for.

Killian needs a designer and Vessa, beyond a paycheck and a place to hide away – she needs to design. Fresh out of college without experience to land a job, this is the perfect chance to build up her portfolio up without anyone asking too many questions.

But once these two meet and spend time discovering each other, the chemistry is off the charts. And as much as this got steamy – and it did – it was so poetic that it felt like you were reading about so much more than just skin on skin contact. Only a few authors really paint a picture with their words, creating something much larger than just the words on a page, but this author did that and so much more.

Even though the idea of design really holds no appeal to me, I couldn’t help but fall directly into the story. The flow of everything was just so beautifully done that I just couldn’t seem to get enough.

As much as I can get lost in an ordinary book, every now and then I read something that is really extraordinary and for me, right at this moment. It was this book.

Profile Image for Mindy Lou's Book Review.
2,669 reviews627 followers
March 12, 2016
I had no expectations going when I started reading this book and I am so very pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. It was sweet, romantic and whimsical! Vessa was whimsical and a delight to read about. You know she's hiding a secret but not what that secret is for the first half of the book. She mysterious but you drawn to her character. Killian was taken with her right from the start. Both of them meshed really well together. There was so much understanding between them just from a look they would give each other. Donna Edith, the woman that introduced them together was a small part in the book but yet made a big impact. I can see this becoming a set of standalone series. A series I would be happy to keep reading.

ARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Joy (joyous reads).
1,468 reviews291 followers
January 19, 2016
This is one for the ages, folks. I don't usually give out five stars that easily, but I felt like this book deserved it. There are so many reasons and, or criteria as to why a book warrants a high rating. But for me, I simply go by how much enjoyment I derived from it. And this book is pure fun. Plus, I may be a little jealous of the author's writing.


Donna Edith is a matchmaker. Though you probably shouldn't say that to her face if you ever want to hire her services. Because that's far from what she does. Her company places people with the right employers. It just so happens that this woman has a knack for giving them what they need when they need it the most. Though in the case of her two clients, they didn't even know what they needed when they each decided to avail of her services.


Killian Fitzroy is a man on the verge of greatness. He's a brilliant architect well on his way to success. But he is a man starved for relationships - sex, in particular. With the long hours that he puts in and the demands of a job that he loves (on most days), he doesn't have the time to make real connections.


Fresh off graduation, Vessa Ratham moved back to Vermont to be closer to her family. Without any real experience as a designer, she needed actual clients to start her portfolio. With Donna Edith's help, she was seduced by a house and a man - both in need of her touch.

Truth be told, had I not been familiar with the author, I'd have bypassed this book in a heartbeat. After all, the matchmaking romances I've read in my lifetime is simply too many to count. I have not read a book by this author. I did, however, read her fanfiction work. At the time, I was already in awe of her writing. There is something magical, lyrical and beautiful about how she strung her words together. She writes pretty prose that are far from pretentious. It feels natural and easy. She gives her characters personalities that are unique that you'd think they are made from a form of magic. Vessa is a strong character who picks and chooses her battles. She's determined and headstrong; vulnerable and courageous. It's difficult to explain. The secondary characters were also far from ordinary. There's her stoner friend who was far more aware than any lucid person you'd know; her landlord who shares her love for antiquities and interesting things; and Killian's friends who made his lonely existence a bit more tolerable before he met Vessa.

But if there's one thing I can complain about is the wild designs Vessa came up with. I'm not going to lie, I could not imagine myself living in that house because damn. I don't deal with brightly painted, wildly decorated rooms. I just can't. I'm a huge follower of the minimalist movement, so the very idea of living in a house where a room is decorated with red walls and Chinese lanterns makes me want to break out in hives.

I love that this book is pure romance. It's relatively angst-free, unlike most NA romances nowadays. If you're a fan of NA, chick lit and contemporary romance, Kira Gold is an author to watch.
Profile Image for Brandie.
707 reviews221 followers
January 30, 2016
I don't think I was in the right mood for this one. Or maybe it was all the decorating and design stuff that distracted me from enjoying the book fully. Those parts started to bore me after awhile. I liked the book, but at times felt myself skimming because I just wanted to finish. Probably a case of wrong book at the wrong time.
Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,510 reviews269 followers
March 21, 2016
If there's one thing I wish I had it would be artistic talent. I am so unartistic it's not even funny. So when I first started reading this book, I was enthralled with the superior creativity and description the author treats the reader to. The Dirty Secret is an amazing read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Richly with detail, this book is a beautiful read. The imagery and the way the author created this story makes it a memorable and impressionable read. I love a free spirit and that's exactly what you get with these two main characters.

I'm not sure if this is part of a series, but I hope that it is. If so, it's going to be an interesting one. With the use of a go-between who connects people with Services needed, the sparks fly in a fun and interesting way when placing people together with similar needs, tastes, and desires.

I was so completely wrapped up in this story. I love the rich detail and the intricate descriptions that the author created. The passion and intense need these two felt for each other was addicting and so hot.

This is the first time I have read this authors work but I know it's definitely not going to be the last. I absolutely love this book and I'm looking forward to many more in the future. This author knows how to write about passion, heat, and romance in a beautiful, memorable way
Profile Image for Carlene Inspired.
931 reviews244 followers
March 29, 2016
Oh my God. This book. The words. It was the prettiest thing I have ever read.
For more of my reviews visit Carlene Inspired and Carlene Corrupted.

Full review posted 03/29/16:

The Dirty Secret is the kind of book you highlight endlessly, the words speaking to your heart and soul, the images coming to life in front of your eyes. I've never described an adult romance or erotica novel as beautiful before, but this book is just that. I read passages aloud, I would flip pages back just to re-read scenes, and I read it at every free moment I could. I couldn't put Vessa or Killian away, nor the beautiful house they blossomed in. The Dirty Secret reads like it is based in some beautiful fairy-tale world, the love between a hiding fairy princess and a wayward traveling soul, while it's really based in Vermont and is a story as real as any a person could live. Kira A. Gold, an author unknown to me until now, has a way with words that make them glitter and come alive. It was more than just the descriptions of feelings from the two main characters, but the way she described a bed, a wall color, or skin against skin. I felt the feelings with Killian as he watched the elusive Vessa decorate, I felt the kiss of her lips against his skin, the feel of their rug under their undulating bodies, all because of the incredibly descriptive style Gold uses to build the story to climax.

"She pushed him backward, wishing she could crawl inside his bones, wanting to be inside his structure, his strength."

Aside from the words, I loved the characters and their distinct characteristics and POV's. Trustworthy Killian sees things analytically and he's so career driven he hasn't even managed to get his own place. Bewitching Vessa is an artist through and through, determined beyond anything, finding hope in the dying leaves of a flower and connecting colors into feelings. Their meeting, though meant for business purposes, brings fiery chemistry and unsettles Killian in such a way that he just cannot let her go. Vessa carries secrets though and has her trust held so deeply in her heart that no one can pull it from her. When they finally give in to one another though, that's what the romance of this book comes to life. They become like other characters; they're lively, their sexual, they whisper secrets on their breath, however as soon as the moment ends the secrets are locked away again. It was enchanting to watch these two on the slow, drawn out path they were on, giving and receiving, but not giving enough and finally growing and developing from the shadows they were. I loved getting to know both of them in bits in pieces, sort of like the house they were putting together from scratch. Then there's the secondary characters, the co-workers, the landlord, Donna Edith the Matchmaker. Each character was so unique and played significant roles into how each character acted in different situations. It wasn't just rainbows, butterflies, and smut, but their careers, their moments when separated, that made the characters and the story feel realistic.

"'Oh, are we up to no good?' she asked, turning in his arms. She kissed his mouth. He chuckled and kissed her back. She tasted like her coffee and the sweetness that was just her, and as always, he rose to the occasion, cock hungry, hands grabby."

Finally, is the home that Killian and Vessa meet in. Set up by reknowned Matchmaker, Donna Edith, she knows there's more than meets the eye when it comes to both characters, more than just a house. What begins as an architect needing an interior decorator, and an artist needing her first big break, soon grows into both recognizing their true wants and the desire they find in one another. The home is outrageous, it's gorgeous, it's everything I would want by myself and just like Starla said, nothing I would ever admit to. It was such a magical setting for the relationship to grow, a secret place, a place made of glitter, romance, and all things good. As a huge fan of interior design, the parts of the book that related to each individual room, and the acts that took place in them, were my favorite.

"He sat down on the fourth stair still holding the rail, listening to his heartbeat, absorbing the whimsy of the walls, lighthearted and welcoming and sexy-Vessa all over-and happy. Relief washed over him in slow waves."

This lyrical book was a complete surprise, the kind that leaves a mark on your heart. This wasn't the kind of erotica that makes you feel like you need a shower or need another book to get you out of that single-mindedness, no this is the kind of erotica that had a backbone, it was more than two people meeting for a quickie or finding their sexual tastes. Every moment in this book was hot, sultry, clothes on, clothes off, main or secondary characters, because everything felt monumental when I read. It's a story of art, architecture, friendship, family, honest, and love and it was a complete joy to read. This unique, flirtatious novel is absolutely one I suggest you one-click.

I would love to read more about Donna Edith and the people she matches.
Profile Image for Kara-karina.
1,658 reviews252 followers
March 16, 2016
Honestly, while sex is pretty steamy in this book, mostly it's written as an interior design p*rn! I love whimsical, fairytalish, vintage look in design, and this chick who is a theatrical designer is asked to decorate a show house marketed for single older businesswomen who are comfortable staying on their own. So, she goes wild.

Each room is so vivid and gorgeous and bright, that I was drooling. The whole book has a fab fairytale feel to it as well. The architect, Killian, is like a sleeping beauty who waits for a prince to show up and wake him up. He lives to work and works like a man possessed, and when he is recommended Vessa as an interior designer and she shows up with her crazy make up and flowing skirts, she unsettles and charms him straight away.

She is fragile and secretive and elusive. When they both give into their wild attraction for each other and christen every room she decorates with monkey sex, they are bright and lovely together and everything just clicks, but as soon as Killian tries to get to know Vessa beyond between the sheets, she locks all her emotions away.

Vessa herself has good reasons for her secrets and this project is a huge step in gaining independence and finally doing what she wants with her life, so she is desperate not to screw up. She really likes Killian, and when their feelings for each other deepen, she has to work on herself to open up to him.

They are an adorable couple, and with the addition of their friends, this is a lovely, cozy read with a satisfying HEA. I enjoyed it very much, and recommend it to you, dear readers, especially if you are craving something comforting.
Profile Image for Cassie R. (cassie_in_the_void).
109 reviews36 followers
March 19, 2016
This book was incredibly hot, steamy, sexy, erotic, and any other word that you can think of to fit with those four. The chemistry between Killian and Vessa made all the sex scenes amazing and just left you wanting even more. The plot was simple and the 'twist' was a little predictable but that didn't make this book bad in any way. The balance between sex and plot was well done so it didn't feel like you're just sitting there reading pure smut. The romance happened fast but it does develop from 'insta-lust' into an actual relationship which allows the characters to develop and not seem one dimensional. The two main characters makes this book worth reading, and don't be surprised if you walk away from it with a need to redecorate everything in your life.
Profile Image for Deb M.
312 reviews11 followers
April 27, 2016
Oh, how I adored this book! If it were a painting I’d sit and stare at it for hours, drinking in every gorgeous detail. Ms. Gold has created a thing of beauty using words as brush strokes and paper as the canvas. The Dirty Secret is breathtaking. It’s like the first time I saw Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. I wanted to dance around the museum like a kid who has just tasted her first bite of chocolate.

Donna Edith’s character sets the tone for this charismatic story. Elegant, ageless, intimidating, and sexy, she is in the business of matching up clients. Clients with all sorts of needs. Let your imagination go wild, I’m sure she’s handled it. Donna Edith peers into your soul and immediately knows your deepest secrets and desires. She instinctively understands what you need better than you do. She may play a small part in this story, but her words of wisdom are the axis around which this magical world spins. When she matches up Killian Fitzroy and Vessa Ratham it is fairy magic gone wild.

The moment Killian sees Vessa on the doorstep of his model house he is enchanted. He’s hired her, sight unseen, based only on Donna Edith’s recommendation, to design the interior of the house. The house which his career as an architect is riding on.

She’d looked like she stepped out of one of those intellectual art magazines from Europe, disheveled and remote, ultra-feminine, her dark tousled hair streaked with violet and light blue.
…she was gorgeous as black butterflies and pure midnight sex and yeah, she was hot as hell.

Killian knows without a doubt that Vessa will transform his house into the home it needs to be; feminine, quirky, artistic, and above all, sensual. Something the likes of which no one has ever seen. Once Vessa crosses the threshold there is no looking back. The stark, lonely spaces call to the set designer in her blood. And the tall, handsome, disheveled architect stirs up…everything. She’s metal shavings unable to resist the magnetic pull that is Killian.

He was an enigma, face always the opposite of what she expected, brows twisting together as he gave her compliments, laughing when she’d done the wrong thing… She had no filter when she was near him. He made her manic, hypersexual, stupidly aware of his proximity, caught up in the creative impulse in his charming little house.

Vessa sees each room as a living thing, and sets about designing and furnishing it according to its unique personality. Walls washed in the rich, vibrant colors of a Klimt painting. A lion’s head knocker on the washroom door. Chinese silk lanterns adorned with dragons. Twinkling constellations in the night sky reflected from a ceiling. Antique books, trompe l’oeil details, a decadent sleigh bed mounded with a kaleidoscope of silk pillows. Day after day, room by room, Killian and Vessa become addicted to each other. Donna Edith was right; you’ll have difficulty keeping your hands off her. But Vessa doesn’t want Killian to keep his hands to himself. Their arousal is born of Vessa’s whimsy, their lust a consequence of two artists bursting with passion. The sex is H.O.T. It’s passionate, urgent, reverent, and at times uncontrollable. Like I said…HOT!

The Dirty Secret is redolent with dreamy lines of dialogue and description. I wanted to roll around in this book and let it sink into my skin! Art, architecture, and quirky creativity, combine with intense chemistry and erotic sex for an incredible read. I felt like a naughty voyeur and loved every minute of it. This is a book you’ll want to read more than once if for nothing else but the sheer erotic brilliance of it. Ms. Gold’s voice is incredible, her style is captivating, and The Dirty Secret is truly a treasure I’m thrilled to have found.
***** Reviewed for Xtreme Delusions *****
Profile Image for Leslie.
Author 27 books1,299 followers
June 4, 2016
I got kind of obsessive about this book, and I think it's because it was so quirky and different. While I've certainly read plenty of sexy books, this one felt so unusual. This author's unique voice really came shining through. I ended up falling in love with Killian and Vessa and all the descriptions of the colors used to fix up their house. I don't think I've ever read a book like this one.

And it was so damn hot.

(Thanks, Deb Markanton, for the suggestion to read.)
Profile Image for Brenda.
769 reviews137 followers
March 4, 2018
It was weird first. It seemed like they were turned on by decoration O.o
He was so sweet, clearly in love with her since the beginning. But she was so dull... she was like a massive meh.
The sex scenes were amazingly hot but the story, very flat.
Profile Image for Steph.
993 reviews84 followers
January 21, 2016
Listen up folks, you MUST read this phenomenal book the moment you can get your filthy little hands on it. I'm not sure how she did it, but Ms. Gold has created something seriously magical here and left me panting for more.

When scenic artist Vessa Ratham is referred to Donna Edith, she's not sure what to expect from someone she assumes is a mixture of matchmaker and headhunter. What she finds is a very intimidating woman who reads her like a book and places her with promising architect Killian Fitzroy. Killian is in need of an artist to help set him apart from his colleagues, and Vessa needs to start to build her portfolio with a respected clientele. It doesn't hurt that the two of them are incredibly attracted to one another, a bonus of Ms. Edith's varied services.

Vessa gets straight to work on the über feminine, girly designs that Killian wants, and time and time again he's blown away by her sensual, eclectic and completely unique spaces. As the two spend time working together, the eroticism of the space envelops them and they quickly become addicted to each other. But once the house is finished, will the incredible desire for one another come to an end as well?

Ho-LEEE mother of pearl, this book is spectacular!!! I can't even adequately express what it is about Ms. Gold's dirty, sensual story that had me so turned on. Maybe it was the way she used decorating and color and architecture in such a base, sensual way, or maybe it was the almost mystical sense of otherworldly attraction between Killian and Vessa, but she had me wrapped around her little typing fingers from page one. I stayed up late into the night reading this, afraid that some of the magic would dissipate in the light of day and it wouldn't be nearly as all-consuming. But it is. It really, REALLY is.

On the surface, there's little character development of Vessa and Killian, but at the same time you somehow feel like you know these two intimately and are as wrapped up in them as they are with each other. It's so bizarre, the way this book took seemingly mundane paint samples and antiques and mirrors and cups of coffee and turned them into scenes so fabulously erotic that I was literally holding my breath. Even the secondary characters carried an air of humor, understated sexiness and normality that served to bring even more depth to this story. This book is unlike any I've read before, and I LOVED it!

Bottom Line: It's erotic, it's filthy dirty sex at its most elemental level, it's finding a kindred spirit when you weren't looking, it's nothing short of brilliant. Get. This. Now. - See more at: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/v...

The Romance Review - See more at: http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/v...
Profile Image for Maria11.
1,857 reviews37 followers
March 22, 2016
Sexy read with lots of plot, but for some reason I just didn't feel the burn between the H and h. They seemed so aloof to me. I didn't get that "I have to keep turning pages so they are together." Vibe that I want so desperately to have.

The sex was hot, but again missing that spice to take it over the edge. I felt like when I went to see Fifty Shades of Gray, it was meant to be hot but fizzled because the H and h just didn't have "it"

Received a ARC from the publisher for a honest review.
Profile Image for Nay Denise.
1,529 reviews81 followers
January 20, 2016
Received an ARC through NetGalley.

This book gave me a few good feels! The characters were amazing and the romance was a hit for me. It was sexy, sweet, mysterious and so rich with texture, color and imagery. I loved the aspect of an architect with a designer. It bought so much life to the story as a whole. Kira A. Gold is phenomenal in her writing and has a knack for drawing the reader into the setting and emotions with her wording.

Donna Edith is a matchmaker, but not your typical one. She places people with the right employers, but she also makes sure to really see into each individual. She has a way of not just placing people with a great employee or employer, but also by putting the two people together to form a personal, romantic relationship as well. I loved Donna because she could see through her clients and perspective clients. She always knew what to say and what they truly desired. She never seemed to be wrong. She was always positive, especially when it came to Killian and Vessa.

Vessa Ratham is a hard working, sexy woman, but has a secret that must be held. She is an aspiring scenic designer looking to get her foot into the business. She returns home to Vermont after her grandpa has a stroke, but she has to keep quiet about it. I totally loved Vessa because she decided to live her life on her own. She didn't allow anyone to knock her down or stop her from achieving whatever she wanted. I loved how in charge of her sexuality she was as well. She was phenomenal.

Killian Fitzroy is promising architect looking for a professional assistant to give the house he built a feminine touch. Killian is sexy, driven, hardworking and so respectful. I enjoyed learning about Killian. He may have had it good at work, but always wanted to work hard to prove he earned everything just as everyone else. He has a strong appetite for sex, but hasn't divulged into it for over two years. He doesn't think about women, up until he got the call from Donna about an interesting woman.

The romance between Killian and Vessa was absolutely perfection. I loved the instant connection they felt when they first met. I loved that they took things slow at first until Killian initiated things. I enjoyed seeing Vessa take control when she wanted to. She had some serious power in their sexual arrangement. The way their relationship grew was just amazing. Donna knew exactly what she was doing when she paired the two of them together.

The dirty secret that was revealed was shocking to me. I never would of thought who her father really was. I love how she got tired of being a secret and decided to stick it to Celeste. I loved that her father never gave her up or even tried to deny her. He always stayed in contact no matter. Learning who her half-sister was had my mind going in circles because they both had a thing for Killian. Amazing!

I enjoyed the secondary characters such as Starla, Bengzt, Deb, Seth and the grandparents. They were all awesome. I couldn't stand Celeste and how rude she was towards Vessa. I don't think she needed to be that rude to her ever.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a ton. I definitely plan to read more from Kira A. Gold.
Profile Image for Nicole.
172 reviews37 followers
April 1, 2016
Vessa Ratham hasn’t been able to afford getting close to anyone in years because she’s been keeping a big secret. Fresh out of college she moves closer to the only place she might call home – Vermont, where her paternal family lives. All out of job opportunities and desperate to gain some independence, Vessa turns to real-life fairy godmother Donna Edith for help, who has an agency that ‘places people’. Convinced by Vessa’s talent and eye for color, Donna Edith gets Vessa a job decorating talented young architect Killian Fitzroy’s model home. Killian is pressed for time finishing his project before the open house and welcomes Vessa’s feminine approach to decorating. Will the two connect in more than a professional way?

I did not expect to like The Dirty Secret as much as I do. It is full of colors, from Vessa’s hair, the amazing rooms she creates in the house and her personality to the colorful characters that populate this book. The descriptions made my fingers itch to create something myself. The secondary characters are all very well written, have their own stories and quirks, and surpass the roles of props or sidekicks on every level.
The novel pulled me in and didn’t release its grip until the end. It felt like the pacing of the development of Vessa and Killian’s relationship was tied to the progress of the model home, which worked very well for the story and gave it a unique and interesting structure.

Killian’s dirty talk, emotional depth and maturity combined with Vessa’s sensual and vulnerable approach to almost all things made for a very hot and emotional erotic aspect of this novel. The descriptions dipped into all senses, painting textured pictures and making the story tangible. Vessa’s work always reveals something about herself and Killian instinctively picks up on the subtleties of her character and moods from appreciating the rooms she creates. It was a pleasure to accompany them on their journey of discovering each other both physically and emotionally.

Killian and Vessa are very special and unique characters that I couldn’t liken to anyone if I tried. They are complex, creative, different from each other but compatible, appreciative of their surroundings, longing for companionship and instinctive in their brilliance. I could see Vessa through Killian’s eyes, wandering his world like a fairy he’d wished into existence and I saw Killian through Vessa’s eyes, the surprisingly sensual, non-judgmental, trustworthy rock that she needs.

I can only wholeheartedly recommend reading this special story that plays with your senses so you can see for yourself how Kira A. Gold makes Vessa and Killian’s sensuous world come alive with her beautifully written novel.

I received a free copy of The Dirty Secret from the publisher via NetGalley.
Profile Image for SynergyQuest.
1,749 reviews6 followers
January 4, 2016
Sexy, sensual and so rich with texture and imagery that you'll want to touch every fabric and roll around on each flat surface mentioned.

Killian and Vessa are wonderful characters. Passionate, sensual and yet not quite all they can be until they finally meet each other. I'd willingly hang out with these folks, and those are the type of characters about whom I like to read. You won't find any contrived conflicts here. There are no catty women vying for the same alpha man who's more muscle than anything else. Or a bevy of women who doubt their own beauty, worth and strength. No, here you'll only find real people who struggle with, work toward and dream of all the things we do -- imbalances in life, professional success and recognition of our talents, and a personal life that is whole, happy and rewarding.

Kira A. Gold, where have you been all my adult life? You are new to me, but I am now a forever fan. You're knowledge of textiles, obvious aplomb for non-traditional style, and talent for describing what an eye would see is really remarkable. I walked each room with your characters and was captivated by all the treasures and reimagined elements that graced their floors ceilings and walls.

Here's to hoping this is a very lengthy series chock-full of more equally yummy goodness.

I received an ARC of this book, via Net Galley, in exchange for a fair and honest review.
1,222 reviews29 followers
March 30, 2016
I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review and here it is--I'd give this novel 10 stars if I could!

This is an erotic romance about, an up and coming architect, Killian, and a scenic designer, Vessa, brought together by the very mysterious and seemingly all-knowing, Donna Edith, to fulfill the needs of each of her two, only-by-referral "clients."

Killian has been given an unusual task for a young architect--to build a spec house, a privilege seldom granted to a relatively untried architect. Donna Edith has sent him Vessa, to design and execute the decor for all of the interior space. Vessa too, is mysterious, almost never volunteering any information about herself. The secret is hers. To say these two people are attracted to one another is like calling an exotically beautiful white tiger a simple house cat.

What follows is perhaps the most beautifully written, romantic, sensual, touching, magical, erotic, visually rich, emotionally stimulating, and heartbreakingly lovely novel I have read in at least several decades. The writing is absolutely brilliant and this novel was an utter joy to read.

I don't know where Ms. Gold has been hiding, but this reader will be seeking out her backlist and recommending this novel to absolutely everyone.
14 reviews4 followers
January 6, 2016
This is the kind of steamy romance I've been waiting for for years. YEARS. Sexy and sensual and tender all at the same time, the writing is literary and lush without being difficult, and completely redefines what quality means in this genre.

I love romance, but I'm sick of weak, virginal women who don't know what they bring to the table, and alpha males whose machismo gets in the way of everything else in their life. If you're like me, then you'll LOVE the fresh take on the genre tropes in this book, which are familiar, yet completely unexpected at the same time.

I can't wait to read the next one!
Profile Image for Carolamex.
241 reviews
May 17, 2016
I loooooooved this story. Grabbed me from the very beginning and could not stop reading it. I loved their relationship, the whole process of designing the house, so much so that I want visuals of each and every room. Kira is a terrific author and can't wait to read more from her. Another home run!
Profile Image for Cecilia.
208 reviews5 followers
June 3, 2018
I know that it sounds melodramatic but this book is like a miracle in words. The story is amazing, the characters swoonworthy and wonderful but the words are the miracle, Every one evoked emotion and pulled me deeper into the need to see these two get to their HEA. The words telling this story were perfect and poetic and -best of all - interesting. There were some surprises that, looking back, I saw that the breadcrumbs had been laid for them but I was still surprised. The characters are ones that I would love to know. Killian and Vessa (oh, especially Vessa) are weighed down by their family history but manage to be amazing, artistic, and just really GOOD people anyway. I was completely invested in them. My favorite aspect of this book is how the author used the house and and Vessa's decorating to let us see and feel just how Vessa was feeling and who she was. I know that the author is a set designer herself and I would love to see her work because the decor she brought in was unique, evocative, perfect, and added so much loveliness to this story. I read a lot of romance and most of them are fun, easy to read storys and I enjoy them. It's wonderful to find a story like this one that uses words that I had forgotten about (and occasionally have to look up) but that are perfect and bring out the intended emotion - but it's still a steamy read! Once I started reading, I could not put this one down!
Profile Image for Ruby Lynn.
11 reviews
January 19, 2017
I haven't been reading as much as I usually do. Sad, but true. However, after getting a copy of The Dirty Secret, I dove right in. I couldn't stop reading, so I stayed up most of the night to finish! Kira manages to make each new chapter intriguing enough that you have to keep reading to see the next room done, to see the next steamy scene that unfolds. You begin to root for them early on... the chemistry is built up slowly, but you can tell they really do make each other happy, they just needed time to see it.

While I normally prefer darker/harder reads, this one was sweet with a bit of spice, and kept me well entertained until I finished at 4am. The details help make the story. You can almost visualize each room like a movie, the rich elements added and the overall feel of sultry seduction woven into each tableau. I adore the vision for the bedroom, it sounds simply hedonistic. I'll never look at pearls the same way again, that's for sure.

I especially liked the premise of Donna Edith's consultations. How neat would that be, to go in with no clue what you really need, and have someone pair you with exactly what your life has been asking for all this time? I want a Donna Edith of my own!
Profile Image for Anne.
253 reviews11 followers
January 13, 2020
3.5 stars (I think)
This is an odd book. For the first 50% or so, I couldn’t get enough of it and was racing through the pages. But then it started to drag and I felt I was reading more to find out how it would all end than to enjoy the experience.

I actually loved all of the artistic and design detail; although it does admittedly weigh the story down somewhat and wouldn’t be to every romance reader’s taste. The erotic scenes began to get a bit repetitive (a bad sign!) and this is certainly somewhere that edits could have been made - more judicious editing would have helped to keep the chemistry and intrigue more finely tuned. I think this is where the writer’s fanfiction habits needed to be reined in.

The title does this book no favours either. It’s not inaccurate per se, but it reduces the book to one note and it has more depth than that. It’s flawed, but this book exceeded my expectations - I just can’t help but lament what it could have been.
Profile Image for M.J. Compton.
Author 13 books121 followers
August 27, 2017
A friend gave me this book in a bag with many other books. I needed to read Erotica for a Book Bingo Challenge, and this seemed to fit the bill. Instead of a quick, sexy read, I found myself drawn into the world of Vessa and Killian. The textures in this book are everything that make a book a keeper for me. I want to move into the house Killian designed and Vessa defined. Well drawn secondary characters were a plus.

My only negative thought about the book is that some of the transitions were not only awkward, but confusing.
Profile Image for Anna.
9 reviews1 follower
September 4, 2020
This book needs more readers and more reviews. It was so good. A bit of angst, some steamy steamy, and some fantastic chemistry. It’s poetic prose and incredibly descriptive phrasing had me picturing everything Vessa did. I need to go dive into more Kira Gold.
Profile Image for Bruna.
3 reviews1 follower
August 16, 2018
I read this author’s fanfiction years ago.. and stumbled upon this book randomly after rereading it... LOVED IT.. live how her characters seem to always be so creative.. she is an amazing writer!!!
Profile Image for Julia.
280 reviews15 followers
May 23, 2017
Very slow start

This book was almost a DNF for me. Female hero has secrets, but the reveal took too long. Felt frustrated for most of the book. End was acceptable, but not really satisfactory.
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