Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT+
Publisher: Entangled: Crush
Publication Date: August 22nd 2016
2 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Riya is thrilled to attend summer camp and have a chance to practice her volleyball skills. The last thing she expects is to meet ghosts from her past – Colt and Courtney Chastain. Their friendships didn’t end on a good note. Courtney broke Riya’s heart and it’s hard to believe things could ever be good between them again. Courtney harbours her own secret – Riya changed her. She’s queen bee at the camp and can have any boy she chooses but all of them pale in comparison to Riya. Will the girls be able to let go of the past and fall in love all over again?
Romances told from both points of view always seem to fall short. It isn’t thrilling to watch two characters pine over each other when you know both characters want to be together. It’s frustrating to watch them fight when neither one wants to. A book told from just Riya’s perspective would have been much stronger. It would have allowed her to deal with her issues while creating tension. Courtney’s POV just ensures that there’s no stress.
The romance itself isn’t terribly interesting. The main characters already know each other and already have developed feelings. The steamy scenes are more stilted than sexy. There’s no thrill because both characters have POVs every chapter so readers know exactly how things will pan out. There are a lot of empty threats about Courtney’s parents and her friends that generally turn out to be very mild inconveniences at best.
It is cute at times, but mostly it feels like it’s trying too hard. It’s not touching, dramatic or erotic. It’s a romance novel where no one falls in love because that has already happened. It’s empty fluff. Even the parts that are trying really hard to be sad are still very light. It’s like cheap candy: too sugary and without substance.
Keeping her Secret is a saccharine story that’s predictable and bland. There’s no real conflict, the girls are in love from beginning to end. Very little happens over the course of this book. Verdict: fluffy and forgettable.