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The Dirty Secret

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  64 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published March 28th 2016 by Carina Press
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Gio Listmaker
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Wanna Be Hippie Designers With A Bohemian Fetish
Recommended to Gio by: Mindy Lou's Book Review
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
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 payc
Mindy Lou's Book Review
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 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 lo ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, read-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. ...more
Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
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 y
Carlene Inspired
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
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 b
Cassie  R. (cassie-loves-reading)
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 ...more
Deb Markanton
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.)
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 F
Mar 21, 2016 rated it liked it
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.
Nay Denise
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, netgalley
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 place
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 talent ...more
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 an
Donna Repsher
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 un
Laura Zats
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: erotica, ebooks, romance
Such a good book. I'm so glad that I have a cold and was able to spend the whole day reading it.

I adored Vessa and Killian. I am awed by Kira Gold's ability to make me see Vessa's designs. And, of course, I want that house.

And everyone should have a Tony in their life. The transaction at the drive-through was awesome.

Oh, and I'll never look at pearls the same way again. ;)
May 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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 th ...more
Ruby Lynn
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
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 somewh
M.J. Compton
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cnyrw-book-bingo
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
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has been sitting on by TBR pile for months, and WHY? It's amazing! ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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!!!
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-rita
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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