Jennifer Lane's Reviews > Seven For A Secret

Seven For A Secret by Rumer Haven
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Secret Lives, Secret Deaths

"There's souls not at rest here. It's a troubled place, this."

A historical romance set in Chicago, one of my favorite cities? Sign me up! The classy cover also drew me in.

In the year 2000, 25-year-old Kate moves into an apartment complex that used to be a 1920's hotel. She meets a cast of quirky elderly neighbors who report they didn't find the former tenant Olive in the apartment until three days after her death. *shudders* Then Kate gets locked in her bathroom, and it feels like she's not alone. Eek!

Kate works at a museum with her boyfriend Dexter. While Dexter is sweet, he's no Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles. (The 80s and 90s references make me happy.) Kate also feels intrigued by her hottie neighbor and wants to take a break from her relationship with Dex. (Anyone who knows the Ross/Rachel saga from Friends worries this won't turn out well.)

As Kate gets to know spunky Vera and kind-hearted Leo from the geriatric crowd, they tell her more about the ghostly Olive and her older sister Eva from the well-to-do 1920's Hughes family. The story then travels back through time to the scene of a decadent house party, full of flappers and moonshine. Bachelor Lon meanders through the crowd with cynical distaste, until he comes upon an "exquisite nymph" of a woman, Eva.

Lon first notices Eva's eyes:

They burned with a jade green he'd once seen in a great bonfire, the hottest of flames devouring all they came into contact with.

A bit of foreshadowing, perhaps? Sadly, Eva is betrothed to a man from another of Chicago's socially elite families. But Lon won't give up easily.

The historical romances in the 20s and 00s gradually pulled me in deeper to the point that it felt like I lived in Camden Court myself. The descriptive writing style authentically captures the proper debauchery and impending sense of doom from the twenties. This is a long novel, which allows both stories to unfold at their own pace (unlike my dissatisfaction with jamming two stories into one in Ugly Love).

One story has a happy ending and the other ends on a tragic note, but a common thread woven throughout is the search for love with the right partner, no matter how tangled the threads (or bonds) of life become. Kate's friend Blair tells it so well:

"Kate, trust me. When a guy's genuinely into you, the rules don't apply. Real love isn't a game, and that's how you'll know it when you see it. You'll recognize The One when you aren't overanalyzing him. You'll just ... be, and it'll play out organically."

And Kate responds:

"Why do I always feel like Enya should be playing in the background of your advice? I can almost smell herbal incense spraying out of my phone." Hehe.
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Reading Progress

July 24, 2014 – Shelved
July 24, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
October 21, 2014 – Shelved as: forbidden-romance
October 21, 2014 – Shelved as: omnific-publishing
October 21, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary-romance
October 24, 2014 – Started Reading
October 29, 2014 –
page 25
6.65% "I'm already spooked by Kate being locked in the bathroom."
November 1, 2014 –
page 98
November 1, 2014 –
page 90
23.94% "I'm betting the baby isn't real."
November 1, 2014 –
page 90
23.94% "I'm betting the baby isn't real."
November 5, 2014 –
page 135
35.9% "Aha, I think I know why the ghost wrote "Mine". *shudders*"
November 8, 2014 –
page 160
42.55% "This is heating up. Wish I had more time to read lately!"
November 10, 2014 –
page 280
74.47% "Well THAT went pear-shaped."
November 12, 2014 – Shelved as: dysfunctional-family-fun
November 12, 2014 – Shelved as: historical-romance
November 12, 2014 – Shelved as: male-pov
November 12, 2014 – Shelved as: mystery
November 12, 2014 – Shelved as: wounded-hero
November 12, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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message 1: by Blue (new)

Blue Jennifer, I would love to read this one.

message 2: by Lucia (new)

Lucia Great review, it sounds interesting :)

message 3: by Karla (new)

Karla Love the quote at the end! Well done Jennifer!

Jennifer Lane Hattie, I think you'd love it!

Jennifer Lane Thanks Lucia. Definitely a unique story.

Jennifer Lane Hey Karla! Thank you. :-)

message 7: by Paige (new) - added it

Paige  Bookdragon I snooped around your shelves and so this.. Hehe. Sorry. But I love the title and the blurb.. :D

Jennifer Lane Snoop around anytime, Paige! :-)

message 9: by Paige (new) - added it

Paige  Bookdragon thanks!

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