Top critical review
Had great potential but....
on 8 March 2013
REVIEW: S.E.C.R.E.T. is the first storyline in L.Marie Adeline's new series focusing on a secret club for women only. The premise is such that experienced women who have previously gone through the ten-step sexual program will mentor one new recruit per year. The recruits are women who are deemed `worthy' of the S.E.C.R.E.T society.
S.E.C.R.E.T. is an acronym Safe, Erotic, Compelling, Romantic, Ecstatic and Transformative. The club is run by women for women who want to experience their sexual fantasies without fear of retribution or intimidation. Each step requires their acceptance and the sexual fantasy must be played out to its end. And for each successful conclusion, the women are `awarded' a gold charm symbolizing another step in their sexual transformation and liberation.
The reader is taken on one woman's journey through S.E.C.R.E.T.'s ten step program -35 year old widow Cassie Robichaud-as she struggles with her daily life. Accepting an offer to join S.E.C.R.E.T, Cassie endeavors to step outside of her comfort zone to experience the fantasies she has only ever dreamt of. We watch as each `step' brings Cassie closer to the realization that there is more to life than the daily grind.
The storyline had promise but fell flat in many areas. First and foremost, it has been described as a more mature Fifty Shades-but it does not come close to being in the same category or similar premise. The sex scenes are stilted and almost robotic; too quick to come to fruition; and the detail is limited. The sexual fantasy scenarios could have been played up with more energy, more descriptive narration and more steam. In the end, I was left `unfulfilled'. Another area not addressed are the men involved in the sexual fantasies. There is never any explanation as to `how' these men became involved with S.E.C.R.E.T. and in most cases we do not know anything about their characters. They are simply a means to a fantasy lover and a means to an orgasm. There are two willing men who have the potential for something more permanent, but rules of the `club' state that once a relationship is established off-side, the woman is forbidden to continue on her sexual journey with S.E.C.R.E.T.
The character of Cassis is searching for something in her life, and when she finally figures out who and what she wants, she is blind sided and suffers terrible heart ache at the expense of someone with whom she has fallen in love. The town of New Orleans is the setting for S.E.C.R.E.T. and many of Cassie's acquaintances are part of the club. She will meet up with the men and women who create her fantasy but in the end, it is Cassie who must make the decision about whom and what she wants.
S.E.C.R.E.T. is an interesting storyline that failed to reach its potential. I can only hope that the author L.Marie Adeline (not her real name) brings in a more descriptive storyline for the second instalment because the first book barely scratched the surface of what could have been a great story.
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