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Secret Smile

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  5,326 ratings  ·  390 reviews
Miranda's sister, Kerri, has a new boyfriend. He's a raven-haired, handsome charmer who seems to dote on Kerri. But Brendan isn't the man he says he is. Miranda should know, because she broke off her own affair with him just a few weeks ago when she found him reading her diary.

Now Brendan claims that it was he who ended their short-lived relationship—and everyone believes
Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,326 ratings  ·  390 reviews

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Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but after finishing it, I can't help but feel like there's something missing. The end is rather abrupt and rushed, like something else was originally supposed to happen, but at the last minute, it was changed. I don't know how I expected the story to end, but I just expected *more*.

The story itself (girl meets boy, girl dumps boy, boy turns out to be a psycho) is interesting, no doubt. Of course, it's been done so many times that it's hard to make the idea fresh or new, thoug
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Definitely not one of Nicci French's best books... most of the book you just feel outraged at how dumb the main character is and how badly she's handling situations. You almost don't want her to prevail in the end. ...more
Oct 15, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good book in the sense that it got under my skin, it annoyed me a lot ;) ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Why why why did I read this book?! The whole point of reading reviews is to ascertain whether books appeal to me or not and LOADS of people said the main character is annoying and stupid.
Well, the main character is REALLY ANNOYING!
Sorry guys, I feel bad giving a rubbish review but I hated this book - thank goodness it is short else I would never have made it.

EDITING ME FROM 2021 : Although this book wasn't for me I have since read several books by Nicci French and really enjoyed them so don't be
WOW – what an intense book! I don’t think that Nicci French books are good for my blood pressure! Anyone who chats with me on Instagram may have read my rant as I was halfway through this book and in the grip of some very strong emotion:

“I feel so outraged right now. Shocked. Sickened. Physically ill. I have such a bad feeling about this!”

This was around the 50% mark and I have to say that the feeling persisted until the very end, and I am still not totally vindicated.

Miranda may have believed
Alex Cantone
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, read-2018
They stopped outside a door between a bicycle shop and an all-night grocery and broke apart while the girl fumbled in her pocket for the key. Her flat then, I thought. That made sense. Brendan was the cuckoo in other people’s nests...

Miranda works as an interior decorator in her uncle’s London business, and meets Brendan through friends at the ice rink. They date a few times, but when she returns home to find that he has let himself in to her flat and is reading her diaries, she throws him out,
Miss Hartigan
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who's been or knows someone in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Recommended to Miss Hartigan by: I loved the BBC misineries so much, I just had to read it.
I read it in one sitting. I just couldn't put it down. It was like reading a manual on emotional/psychological abuse. The authors depicted it so clearly you could just go back and underline every instance yet see clearly why only the reader and Miranda are the only ones to notice. The characters are FRUSTRATINGLY realistic, I wanted them, specially Miranda, to do more, but it's always easy to blame the victim for their circumstances instead of concentrating on the psychopath who wormed his way i ...more
Sep 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is an early novel by the crime writing duo Nicci Gerrard and Sean French. An addictive read that is a fast paced page turner. I found quite a few of the characters annoying but made an interesting read all the same.

Kerri has started dating Brendan, an handsome man who can charm the birds off the trees’ They are getting along famously but the problem is Brendan was going out with Kerri’s sister Miranda just a few week’s ago. Miranda broke off the affair when she caught Brendan reading her di
Aug 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I’ve read several Nicci French books in the past, but nothing prepared me for this. The other books I’ve read have been good but fairly standard crime novels, but this, about the aftermath of a short relationship, was totally different. I found the main character, Miranda, very believable and I wanted to yell at her every time she failed to assert herself or took a wrong turn. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me wonder how I’d missed this book before – turns out it was made into a TV se ...more
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I REALLY want to give this five stars because I so loved it! I was immersed from beginning to end. Very suspenseful, very great writing! I enjoyed it thoroughly! I adore suspense and this is one of the very best I've read in a long time.
However, a few things really got to me. One, Miranda was an idiot during a large portion of the book. I was so angry with her so many times for being such a doormat! Since I want to think this book is perfect, I attributed her behavior to differences in culture.
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm thoroughly irritated with Miranda. Instead of investigating her creepy 2 week week ex, she seems to spend her time drinking and sleeping with men that she just met, while the creepy 2 week ex is whispering creepy vulgar things to her. It seems Miranda didn't think to google creepy 2 week ex or to hire a private investigator. Miranda's entire family seems stupid and naive. Apparently, her family members would rather take the words of a man they just met a month ago over their own daughter.

2014 view Miranda has a brief fling with a man, Brendan and then dumps him. The problem is, he takes it personally, real personally and sets about exacting revenge, starting with dating her sister, and that's just the start. 6 out of 12.

2009 view: Another Nicci French almost stress inducing suspense thriller… with a smart charming amiable yet psychotic protagonist that smashes people's lives, and mean utterly messes up people's live completely... and gets away with it. The writing pair that is N
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've read this book some years ago and I really liked it.

Just read it again and I still like it.

The settings for Brendon's obsession with Miranda is creepy, bad and wonderfully written.

Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the books I had not read by the husband-wife team of 'Nicci French", but I thought it was a very good story. Miranda Cotton is out at a pub with friends when she meets a handsome man, Brendan Block. On a whim, she decides to hook up with him. Their romance lasted exactly nine days when she came home to find him reading her personal diaries. Feeling violated, she threw him out and thought that was the end of it. A few weeks later, imagine Miranda's surprise when her older sister, K ...more
Toria (some what in hiatus)
Miranda has very short lived relationship with Brenda before she call quits but very soon after he gets tougheter with her sister Kerry and nestle in with the family. Only Miranda realize how twisted he really is. It had me hooked for the majority of the book but the ending lacked badly in my opinion. To much loose ends and no good explanation on what happened. I was frustrated (like many others) by Miranda but also people around her and hoped it would end up with a satisfying conclusion but tha ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
This was basically a read-it-in-one-gulp book for me; so I can't give it less that 3 stars. Can't give it more than 3 stars, however, because it's a very formulaic first-period Nicci French, and it's not the best of that subgenre. I think that French's new series about Frieda Klein (which I guess we can call second-period NIcci French) is significantly better. ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Secret Smile by Nicci French is a compulsive read. So engrossed was I in the book that the pages seemed to turn by themselves.

It began when Miranda had a chance meeting with Brandon Block at a skating rink. It led to a few dates. But when Miranda caught Brandon reading her personal diary, she was incensed and finished their very brief relationship. She thought that was the end of him. But she was wrong!

One day, her sister phoned. She said she had some exciting news and wanted to tell Miranda in
Hmm..really wanted to rate this book higher and love it more as I think the sexy husband and wife writing duo of Nicci French do an amazing job of building suspense, creating the tension and making you want to know what is going to happen next..however I felt the tension didnt meet the ending and ultimately when there should have been a brilliant novel I was kinda let down..Okay so the story follows hardenend smartass Miranda as she does what she wants, is a female painter that loves to be dirty ...more
Kim BookJunkie ~ Editor & Proofreader
STORY: 2.5-3 stars
SECRET SMILE is just the tip of the iceberg on what could've been a much more intriguing, in-depth, story had Ms. French put more into it. What is supposed to be a gripping, sinister story is more of a suspenseful tease. It was entertaining yet because of the way it is written, everything feels rushed and unnecessarily abbreviated.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by A. Ando. Ms. Ando did an excellent job narrating this book from start to finish to fini
Listened to in audio format.

I am a little conflicted by this book.

Secret Smile started so well. interior designer Miranda had dated Brendan 8 times.
However Miranda split with Brendan when she left work early and caught him reading her diary. Brendan was upset and said he had read Miranda's diary as a teenager and knew she had betrayed her older sister Kerri.

Brendan started dating Miranda's older sister Kerri and started charming her parents. Brendan lied and said he broke up with Miranda and s
Rebecca Hock
May 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was just okay. It was a pretty quick read. I enjoyed the basic idea of the story but I found that I did not really like the main character, Miranda. She did not stand up for herself enough throughout the book. |I found her and her actions frustrating. But I did enjoy the ending of the book.
Karen Jarvis
Feb 28, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Found Miranda very frustrating.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Although I enjoyed this book, I found the main character quite annoying, I wanted to shake her for some of the decisions she was making. The ending was a bit rushed and left me feeling like some unanswered questions were left.
L.E. Truscott
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so engrossing that I started reading it late one evening and then couldn’t stop. I finished it in one sitting as I kept thinking, “Just one more chapter,” and then not being able to stand not knowing what was going to happen next. By the time I was finished, six hours and 310 pages had gone by and so had most of the night, as well as any opportunity for sleep.

Secret Smile is the story of Miranda. She’s been dating Brendan for just over a week when she comes home from work to find h
Feb 16, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have never been so glad to finish a books as I am to finish this one, I hated this book. I have had Nicci French books recommended to me not only by goodreads but friends and other books sites. So when I was at the local library and saw this book and read the back I thought it sound good so of course I added it to my pile. As soon as I started this book there was already two things that started to annoy me, the first once was the chapters are so short that they made the story choppy and dysfun ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I like Nicci French's (a husband and wife writing team) books as they always are just a little off-kilter in plot and character development. In this rather unnerving story, I wanted to kick the main protagonist, Miranda, right in the mouth for being so stupid. She has a short but unsatisfying relationship with Brendan but breaks it off when she catches him reading her diary. So he takes up with her sister, Kerry, and convinces her and the parents that he broke off with Miranda and that she is sh ...more
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Bain
Mar 25, 2013 rated it liked it
The whole premise of this book was great. Girl meets guy, breaks it off, he then inflitrates her family and life. I couldn't wait for the suspense to start. Too bad it never did.

That being said, I did keep reading to see how she would get him out of their lives. Too bad I found her family to be naive. It wouldn't take much to know this guy was a user. He never had a job the whole time they knew him. Come on people.

I did like how the ending worked out, though I would have liked it to have been
Sabrina Grounds
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-thriller
This was my second Nicci French book which I enjoyed almost as much as the first. It made for a really good "holiday read" as it grabbed my attention pretty much from the outset. I did find it a little annoying that no-one was prepared to believe Miranda's side of the story, not one person from her family, still I guess this is what a stalker can really be like. It did seem a little unlikely that even Detective Rob Pryor was taken in by him. Anyway, I particularly liked the twist in the final fe ...more
Eman AbuKhadra
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the BEST books I’ve ever read. A beautiful story with easy-to-relate-to characters.
Smoothly written, this book will hook you in easily. You’ll taste suspense, and will feel the teasing the story offers.This book would make one hell of a movie!
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Note: (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French also write separately.)

Nicci Gerrard was born in June 1958 in Worcestershire. After graduating with a first class honours degree in English Literature from Oxford University, she began her first job, working with emotionally disturbed children in Sheffield. In that same year she married journalist Colin Hughes.

In the early eighties she taught English Literature

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