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Book & Poll Discussions > Book Chat - A Perfect Secret

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message 1: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 635 comments Mod
I have been waiting SO long for the release of this book. I read The Guise of a Gentleman for the first time in May 2010 and was hooked on Hatch's books ever since. I guess having been waiting for so long for its release, my expectations were pretty high.

I thought the writing and story telling was well done, no surprise there. I guess it was just the series subject matter that took my by surprise. It was darker than her other novels and the things our heroine has to live through are quite traumatic. While I was grateful Hatch didn't go into details, its easy to imagine the horrible experiences she has gone through. I read to escape and I like happy stories, so I wish this aspect had been toned down.

The reason for Genevieves marriage and the unhappy union that it was brought the story down a bit for me. [ The evil Lord Wickburgh is attempting to blackmail her father, if he doesn’t agree to a marriage with Genevieve he will turn him over to the authorities for treason. I found it very hard to believe that two very loving parents would agree to the marriage. They know what a wicked man Wickburgh is and it’s doubtful any loving father would make his daughter pay for his crimes in such a way. But, I guess if he had said no we wouldn’t have had a story. A year passes and it turns out Wickburgh is even worse than Genevieve could have imagined. After abusing her for a year and having a miscarriage she has had enough and decides to end her life. Again, this was another plot device that kind of had to take place for other things to happen later in the story (her husband can declare her dead and then actually kill her without being caught, pretty good plan actually). While I am glad Ms. Hatch didn’t go into any details about the abuse, it is implied and not hard to imagine what horrors she had to endure. So, that tainted the story for me. I guess the kind of abuse is just so evil that it’s hard to enjoy the rest of the story.

Since she is still married and in hiding from her husband the romance between Christian and Genevieve felt a little off. They were truly in love before and it was nice to see them reunite and learn to trust and forgive one another. If it hadn’t been for Genevieve’s past and the fact that she was still married (albeit, very unhappily married), I think I would have enjoyed their courtship more.

So, what are your thoughts? Did the series plot pull you in or turn you off? Because of the authors past books were you expecting something lighter?

Grant has always been a favorite of mine, although I didn't like him as much in this book. Maybe since his relationship with Christian is more negative. I am very curious to hear his story. I'm a little nervous it will have a more series plot like this one did. I hope its lighter though and that his heroine has a happy disposition that can pull out his softer side. :) Just had to throw that out there...

message 2: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 166 comments Mod
Ugh. I wish we would of discussed this book right when I first read it, because I was so much more "worked up" about it. LOL

I don't even know where to start there was so much I didn't love about this book. I guess I could pretty much just Dito Kath and call it a day but here are my two cents:

I did NOT like the fact that Jen married that horrible man. HATED. IT. It would of been so much better if she would of just endured his engagement and Christian found a way to help her out of it or something. Even though there was no detail of her marriage you could still imagine the horribleness that it was. For Heaven's sake when Christian saw her again she was trying to kill herself! That is not a sweet romance in my book.

Also, what was wrong with her parents? I have four(maybe five daughters...not sure what number 5 is yet) and I can't even think about letting one of my girls marry some yucky man like that. I would pretty much go to jail before I would let that happen. So right off the bat I was not a fan of the story line.

I did love Christian and Jen. They really were "MFEO." But, I have kind of pet peeve. Whether you are married to someone horrible or not, you are still married. You don't get to kiss other people(or do more then that, IMO). So when it came time for Christian and Jen to finally have that moment, it was kind of lost on me because she was still married. Some might disagree with me, but when that moment comes I usually sigh and feel so happy that true love is finally happening. This time I just kind of signed is resignation that nothing about this book would be what I would write.

I will say though that I still enjoyed the writing. I truly do love Donna Hatch, this story was just a little too dark for me. It did get me to turn pages and I did pretty much read the whole thing in one day. It also made me even more curious to read Grant's story and now the two Sisters as well. We actually got to know one of the Sisters a little more in this book and I was grateful for that. It also is always nice when ever we get to catch up with this whole family. I really do enjoy it!

With all that being said, I still will buy the next book the first day it comes out because I really am a big fan! :)

Can't wait to hear what ever one else thinks...

message 3: by Jessie (last edited Nov 23, 2013 08:19AM) (new)

Jessie | 198 comments When I started reading A Perfect Secret, I remember thinking, "Whoa, wait a minute she's already in love with Christian? They already want to get married?!" I realized if they were already to that point, then the story was going to be about whatever obstacle came in their way, and how they had to overcome it. I wasn't so excited anymore, especially when I read about the blackmail. I wanted to shake Jen and tell her to confide in Christian. We all know that he and his brothers could have come up with a plan. In my opinion, the shorter story that would have resulted would have been much better!
I agree with Deb and Kathy, that it was hard to get excited about Jen and Christian's romance (and kiss), when she is still married! The abuse doesn't excuse that.
That being said, it was interesting to see "the perfectly perfect Christian," and what made him tick, and I'll be curious to read Grant's story.

message 4: by Deborah (new)

Deborah | 166 comments Mod
Jessie- I could not agree more! I too, wanted to shake her and say "TELL CHRISTIAN ALREADY!!" I love the idea of Christian and his brother's coming together with a plan.

It just makes you kind of sad for what could of been. You know?

message 5: by Katie (new)

Katie (Hiding in the Pages) | 188 comments Mod
I always feel like I'm a step behind with these discussions, but I finished the book last night and had some very similar thought to the rest of you.

I loved that Christian and Jen were in love, but I wanted to read about how they fell in love. That's one of my favorite parts of a romance. I couldn't even enjoy the kisses, knowing she was still married!! Yes, we got to see them strengthen their love and rediscover their feelings for one another, but I'm not a person big on all the horrors of life--I read to escape and like happy, fluffy stories. :) I wanted to see things from the beginning.

On one hand, this wasn't my type of story, although I totally love the writing style, language, characters, etc. But on the other hand, sometimes characters come off across as too "perfectly perfect" and it's nice to know that they're normal and just trying to deal with what life hands them. I really had mixed feelings about it. It was darker, but I thought Hatch did a good job in not crossing the descriptive line, as she could have done.

It was hard to understand how Jen's parents let her go through with the farce of a marriage, but (at least to me), it seemed that they were against it (at least her dad was), but she was very stubborn and insistent and there wasn't anything they could do to stop her. I wish she would've trusted Christian to help her though. If they were at the point of a pending engagement, you'd think they'd love and trust one another enough to withstand everything. You know, "for better or for worse" and all that.

I was glad to see things end up the way that they did, but wish it was a little different.

Grant--he did come off across as quite...villainous, almost? I wasn't sure what to think of him this time around, but it is fun to get different perspectives of the brothers while reading their individual stories.

message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol | 17 comments I've really enjoyed this series and I like Hatch's writing style, right up until I started reading "A Perfect Secret". I am about 25% into the book and have become side tracked for the last several weeks. I'm finding it difficult to get back to the story for the same reasons you have listed so far. I was frustrated that Jen married the horrible Lord Wickburg and even more frustrated of the romance between her and Christian while she was still married, that really brought the romance to a stand still for me. I was looking forward to Christian's story and so after reading your thoughts on the book I will continue to trudge through the rest of the story to the bitter end.

message 7: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 635 comments Mod
I think part of the problem for me was I was just expecting a different type story from Hatch. Makes me a little nervous for her next book. I like happy books and hope the next one will be more upbeat.

message 8: by Katie (last edited Nov 25, 2013 09:16PM) (new)

Katie (Hiding in the Pages) | 188 comments Mod
I agree, Kathy!! I hope her books are back to their darling format, full of romance and happy endings. :)

message 9: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 635 comments Mod
On a side note... I haven't had the chance to research holiday books for next months chat. Any suggestions in cute Christmas romances you'd like on the poll?

message 10: by Katie (new)

Katie (Hiding in the Pages) | 188 comments Mod
Here are some I've been wanting to read, but do NOT feel that you have to add any of them to the poll:
A December Bride by Denise Hunter, Love Inspired Historical December 2013 Bundle: Mail-Order Mistletoe Brides\The Wife Campaign\A Hero for Christmas\Return of the Cowboy Doctor, The Christmas Star by Diane Darcy, Kissing Santa by Heather Horrocks, Holy Night: An Aloha Reef Christmas Novella by Colleen Coble, and All I Want.

message 11: by Sharon (new)

Sharon | 81 comments I know I am way far behind on this story and I did finish it earlier but just wanted to say I agree with all of you. Playing devil's advocate though I have heard from a lot of people that some of the stories we read in series tend to start sounding like each other. I wonder if she threw this plot line in because she wanted something different from the other two. Just saying. I too hope Grant's story is more fun and compelling.

message 12: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 635 comments Mod
Hi Sharon,
It's never too late to comment! :) I agree, she probably wanted to make it a little different. I imagine it would get old writing the same type story. And they probably like to push themselves, you know?

I hope Grant's story is awesome! He is so serious I hope whoever his girl is brings out a happier side. I can't wait to see what makes him tick and why he's so grumpy all the time. :) I just hope we don't have to wait too long to get his story.

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