A few weeks ago I got a message from Christopher Harlan on Instagram. He wrote me that he is an author of HEA romance books and asked me if I might be interested in reading one of his books. I usually decline such requests at the moment because of my pretty limited reading time (if you have three children at home, there is not really much time for reading). But in this case I was curious because I don’t know any other male romance authors. Can’t really remember ever having read a love story written by a man. So I just wanted to see how men write love stories and if there is a difference in writing.
That’s why I bought “Secret Keeper” by Christopher Harlan by 1-click and downloaded it to my Kindle. He wrote this book as part of the “Cocky Hero Club” of Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward. Which sounds quite promising. But before I start with the actual book review, here is the blurb (Link to the book on Goodreads):
She was the fruit of a forbidden tree, but nothing in this world was going to stop me from tasting her.
My name is Dylan Murphy, and I work for the rich and powerful of an exclusive Manhattan building. Graham Morgan was my first boss, but soon after I was working with some of the most famous entrepreneurs, business moguls, and movie stars in the city. They trusted me because I always followed the cardinal rules: Never betray secrets. And never, under any circumstance, get personally involved.
I’d never dreamed of violating my professional mantra. Not until she walked past me.
The look we exchanged that night set my body on fire, and I knew right then and there that no matter the consequences, she was going to be mine. But she was one of them—off limits and out of my league, but she was the kind of woman who I was willing to risk everything for.
I keep other people’s secrets for a living, but the biggest secret of all might be my own.
Well, as for my rating: I’m afraid I can’t give this book more than 3 stars. It was an ok read, but unfortunately nothing more for me. As I said above, I was really curios and wanted to get into this story. But it felt kind of off right from the beginning. I have to admit that I skipped a few pages and thought about DNF once or twice. It wasn’t necessarily the writing or the story itself, but somehow I felt that it didn’t really click between the two protagonists Dylan & Penelope and me.
They both had instant chemistry and it started to get hot quite fast, which was a bit too fast for my liking. The story was kind of predictable towards the end and not really original or surprising for me in any way. Oh well, I’m sorry, but this kind of book review is always really difficult for me, but it was obviously not my story. Simple as that.
On Goodreads the book has an average rating of 4.05 stars, which is not that bad. There are a lot of wonderful 4 or 5 star book reviews where people rave about the story. So this shows once again how different tastes are and that you can’t please everyone. In this case me. So I recommend you to take this book in your own hands and see for yourself.
Last but not least, I can’t say that I could find a difference in writing style compared to female romance authors. It wasn’t better or worse, and the approach to the story or the description of the thoughts and feelings of the protagonists didn’t strike me as different either. All in all, it was simply a book that did not appeal to me and probably won’t stay in my memory for long, regardless of who wrote it.