Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I've been in love with him forever.
But to him, I've always been off-limits. Until the night that changed everything.
Maybe it was the alcohol. Maybe it was the secrets we shared. Maybe he finally opened his eyes and saw me.
By the time the sun rose, I’d lost him again, my heart shattering on his parting words: “It was a mistake.” So I ran. Ran until I was thousands of miles away, in a country I didn't know, surrounded by people who only made me miss him more.
I never expected him to follow me … or to pry more secrets from my soul. In exchange, he gave me more of his secrets too.
How was I to know it was the secrets we didn’t share, the words we didn’t dare utter, that would tear us apart?
The Sounds of Secrets, a Standalone Contemporary Romance, is a beautifully written poignant read. As the title implies, there are many secrets Lotte and Samson are hiding from their families and each other that are kept deeply guarded. It’s told from alternating POV, an added plus, that makes you feel their pain. While it had me crying a few times, don’t be afraid of burying yourself in the story, it ends with a HEA that makes up for any tears shed.
Three years ago Lotte was still feeling the loss of her mother when her sister, Mal, died tragically, three months later, leaving what little family she still had shattered. Her father became a shadow of his former self, leaving Ames, Mal’s widow, to run the family owned pub. Lotte considered Ames her brother and was happy that he’d found someone, and allowing himself to love again, after so much time mourning Mal’s loss. It was also when Samson, Ames’ best friend, had shattered Lotte’s heart. She’d been in love with him for ten years, from the first time he’d shown up at their London home with Ames, and he didn’t have a clue how deep her feelings for him ran. Her mother had always told her that secrets were to be closely guarded, never to be let out, and she’d taken that advice to heart.
“Your secrets are what make you a woman.”
Now, at twenty-four, Lotte had decided to sell her dance studio, an inheritance from her grandparents, and use some of that money to do something she’d dreamed of for years. She was going to travel to the United States, Colorado specifically, to go camping and witness the majestic mountains for herself. And getting away from Sam was an added plus. She hated to admit it, even to herself, but she still loved him.
“If he doesn’t know your feelings, how do you ‘win’ anything? You’re protecting yourself by not admitting your feelings, but what do you gain from that secret? What if he feels the same way about you, and you’ll both never know because you don’t talk about it.”
Samson wasn’t as immune to Lotte as she thought. He was more afraid of Ames’ reaction if he made his feelings for her known. Ames knew him better than anyone and knew he was a player, so he wouldn’t be thrilled about Sam going after his little sister. Just one more secret he’d have to keep close to his chest. As long as no one discovered the one he was most afraid of getting out he could go along and act indifferent to Lotte. Which is why he’d broken her heart three years ago, he knew the pain she’d felt by his betrayal, but thought it was for the best. And now that she was leaving, and who knows if she’d be back at all, he still couldn’t admit, even to himself, he loved Lotte.
“No one wins in love, because it’s a gift.”
This is a story that will stay with you days later. It plays on your heartstrings and makes you want to reach out and comfort Lotte. Sam’s not the brute he likes everyone to think, his actions speak louder than his words, and his love and loyalty to Ames and his family are so touching. When the secrets are revealed everyone can finally have a huge sigh of relief almost like a very deep cleansing breath.
I was going
to throw up from the nerves.
No, I told myself. No throwing up. Not
when you’re expecting Sam to come into your room any second.
feeling was so strong. I popped a mint from my bedside table in my mouth, rolled
it around my tongue a few times, but the urge was still there.
Was this a mistake? Was inviting Sam into my room a big fat problem? I was
leaving for America tomorrow.
itinerary, neatly stacked on my chest of drawers laughed at me. What was I
going to do? I couldn’t let Sam come up here.
fisted in my hair as I berated myself for telling him to come. What was I
thinking? I wasn’t some sexual nymph, skilled in the way Sam surely was. I
wasn’t a virgin, but I hadn’t actually messed around with a bunch of guys.
know what to do.
I walked to
the door, pressed my palm flat to it. I’d lock it. Then he couldn’t come in.
He’d walk away, and we’d forget this ever happened.
Look how well that happened the last time you
kissed him, my
memory taunted me. Three years later, and
you’re still wondering ‘what if.’
no reasonable escape from this situation. And, if there was, there was no
escape that would make me not obsess over the ‘what if.’
okay, I told myself. Of course it would. Sex was nothing, right?
didn’t even believe my own thoughts. My nerves battled with my own desire. I
couldn’t process a single thing.
I ran my
fingers over my eyebrows or, what was left of them that wasn’t colored in, at
least. I’d pulled so many out in the days leading up to the trip, needing some
control over this impending trip.
my fingers to the sides of my face, tugging on my earlobes to ground me, and
then, in tandem, I pulled out a hair with each hand. The immediate relief was
nearly as intoxicating as the alcohol I’d consume in how it numbed my fears.
It would be
I took in a
cleansing breath, looking around my room for anything potentially embarrassing.
were open, so I closed them, leaving my room in soft, muted grays aside from
the yellow lamp that lit up my dressing table.
My hand was
on the back of the lamp to turn it off when my door creaked open.
in the threshold, nearly taking up the entire space.
the light off.
It was only
a few loud heartbeats before he said, “Turn it back on.”
see him, but I heard the creak on the floor by the door. “Turn it on, Lotte.”
hard, I did.
was illuminated again in soft light, casting shadows into the angles of Sam’s
face—making him look exactly as he was: dangerous.