Sheyla ✎'s Reviews > Best Kept Secrets

Best Kept Secrets by Sandra Brown
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2020, arc, disappointing, favorite-authors, not-for-me, small-town

** spoiler alert ** This was a massive disappointment.

I’m a huge fan of Sandra Brown’s work but this book is, by all means, my least favorite.

To be honest, I can’t believe she wrote this. Although, she did write it in the 1980s.

The Best Kept Secrets is about Alexandra Gaither, a lawyer who comes to her birth town to uncover the truth about her mother’s murder when she was a baby.

Celina, Alex's mother, was stabbed to death in a barn stable and a man, Gooney Bud, who had a learning disability was blamed for it. Alex is sure this is not the case since the doctor who treated the man said he never showed any aggressive behavior and in his professional opinion, he had no doubt he was innocent.

Meet the suspects:

Angus, the patriarch.
Junior, his son, the charmer.
Reede, the town’s Sheriff and Celina's ex-boyfriend.

Alex wants justice and she has been given a month to prove it.


I found many things wrong with this book. Let me share a few of my thoughts:

First, the men and the treatment of women:

Angus has sex with his unwilling wife while thinking about his mistress.

"That she responded to him out of a sense of obligation rather than passion didn't stop him from wanting her; it might even have enhanced his desire. Angus enjoyed a challenge."

"She winced slightly when he entered her. He pretended not to see her grimace. He tried not to sweat or make a sound or do anything that she would consider nasty and unpleasant. He saved all his raunchiness for the widow lady he supported in the neighboring county."

Junior has sex with his ex-wife in a rough manner and feels elated that he has power over her and that he is hurting her, so basically rape.

"Her dismay, her debasement made him feel powerful. His release came from subjugating her, not from the sex itself."

The hero of the story, Reed, throws disgusting comments at the heroine all the time. Also, he's having sex with the town’s madam while he shows interest in the heroine. Lastly, he was Celina's boyfriend but he has no problem having sex with Alex despite having known her as a baby.

"You thought I was hot enough last night," he sneered.
"Or did you stay a technical virgin this long by going down on all your dates?"


I’m shaking my head. How can anyone think he was romantic?


Second, the heroine:

Alex is immediately taken by the Sheriff despite his nasty attitude towards her. He’s rude, arrogant, dismissive, and aggressive with her. Yet, she has stars in her eyes from the moment she meets him. Furthermore, Alex is self-serving, immature, and a push-over.

I won't ever understand the premise that because he mistreats you, he must love you. Alex kept on coming back to Reede and pretty much has to beg him to tell her he loves her. Give me a break!


Third, the mystery surrounding Celina’s death:

The killer was a no-brainer. It was spelled in big letters if you ask me.

I have no idea how I was able to finish this book. So many times I wanted to DNF it.

I’m glad I’m done with this backwoods place and all these cruel men.

Cliffhanger: No

1/5 Fangs

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Reading Progress

November 7, 2020 – Started Reading
November 7, 2020 – Shelved
November 7, 2020 – Finished Reading
November 13, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020
November 13, 2020 – Shelved as: arc
November 13, 2020 – Shelved as: disappointing
November 13, 2020 – Shelved as: favorite-authors
November 13, 2020 – Shelved as: not-for-me
November 13, 2020 – Shelved as: small-town

Comments Showing 1-25 of 25 (25 new)

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❤️ Paulette  Alphas Review Hope you enjoy this book, Sheyla.


Sheyla ✎ ❤️ Paulette Alphas Review wrote: "Hope you enjoy this book, Sheyla."
Thank you, Paulette.


❤️ Paulette  Alphas Review Sheyla ✎ wrote: "❤️ Paulette Alphas Review wrote: "Hope you enjoy this book, Sheyla."
Thank you, Paulette."


My Pleasure💖💋


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael David Yikes! Don't think I'll be reading this one. Great, honest review!


Sheyla ✎ Michael wrote: "Yikes! Don't think I'll be reading this one. Great, honest review!"

Yes, it is not worth it, Michael.


Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews Sorry this was so awful. Hope you love your next book!


Sheyla ✎ Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews wrote: "Sorry this was so awful. Hope you love your next book!"

It was terrible, Lindsay!


message 8: by Debra (new) - added it

Debra shoot : ( I hope your next book is more enjoyable.


Sheyla ✎ Debra wrote: "shoot : ( I hope your next book is more enjoyable."
I hope so too. It's the new TJR.


message 10: by Regina (new)

Regina Oh dear. 😕


message 11: by Jonetta (new)

Jonetta Excellent review, Sheyla💜 I learned to beware these older books by my current era favorite authors for this very reason. There was something about the 80s where publishers believed women liked this rape-like culture.


message 12: by Kathi (new)

Kathi Defranc Hate when you think you'll be reading a good one,and your expectations are Destroyed!!! Hope your next on is fantastic!! Thanks for steering me clear of this!!!


preoccupiedbybooks Wow, reading that would make me so mad!


Sheyla ✎ Regina wrote: "Oh dear. 😕"
I know. IT was bad!


Sheyla ✎ Jonetta wrote: "Excellent review, Sheyla💜 I learned to beware these older books by my current era favorite authors for this very reason. There was something about the 80s where publishers believed women liked this..."

You're so right.


Sheyla ✎ Kathi wrote: "Hate when you think you'll be reading a good one,and your expectations are Destroyed!!! Hope your next on is fantastic!! Thanks for steering me clear of this!!!"

Thank you, Kathi. I wouldn't recommend it.


Sheyla ✎ preoccupiedbybooks wrote: "Wow, reading that would make me so mad!"

I was mad for sure.


message 18: by Farrah (new)

Farrah Jeez.... Sounds brutally bad!


message 19: by Sherri (new)

Sherri Thacker Oh no. I love her books but think I’ll pass on this one! Hope you’re next read is much better!


Sheyla ✎ Farrah wrote: "Jeez.... Sounds brutally bad!"
It was!!!!!!!


message 21: by Meredith (new)

Meredith This sounds awful. Thank you for reading this so I don't have to, lol!


Sheyla ✎ Sherri wrote: "Oh no. I love her books but think I’ll pass on this one! Hope you’re next read is much better!"

She is one of my favorites too. She is a one-click for me but this one was terrible.


Sheyla ✎ Meredith wrote: "This sounds awful. Thank you for reading this so I don't have to, lol!"

I'm taking one for the team :)


message 24: by Yun (new)

Yun Eeep! Sorry to hear this was a disappointment, Sheyla! I'll definitely pass on this one, thanks for the warning!


Sheyla ✎ Yun wrote: "Eeep! Sorry to hear this was a disappointment, Sheyla! I'll definitely pass on this one, thanks for the warning!"

Yes, I don't think you will enjoy this one.


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