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Sunday, 25 November 2012 12:01

Review: Secret Sins

Written by Jennifer Porter
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SecretSins“Secret Sins” by Lora Leigh (romantic suspense, St. Martins, December 2012, $7.99, 384pp)


Series: The Callahans, book 3


Sheriff Archer Tobias has watched the Callahan family struggle to find peace and acceptance in the community—despite the murders that continue to haunt them. But his darkest suspicions grow worse when Anna Corbin, a member of one of the country's most influential families, becomes the next target…


Anna knows she’s in danger. She knows she’s on a trail of secrets and lies that could lead to a dead end. But no matter what, she’s determined to learn the identity of the killer—even if it’s someone she loves…




Torn between duty and desire, Sheriff Tobias cannot allow Anna to put herself in the path of a deranged murderer. But as the investigation pulls them closer together—and deeper into the nightmare—he realizes that he cannot save her from this legacy of blood and vengeance…without putting his own life on the line.


I somehow missed that the Callahan books would be a quartet rather than a trilogy – and that “Secret Sins” was not Crowe’s story (I believe this is where I got this impression - http://www.loraleigh.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&layout=category&Itemid=142). So, I was surprised when I received this book in the mail yesterday and read the blurb. Turns out that “Secret Sins” is not Crowe’s book, but his cousin Anna’s – with Sheriff Archer Tobias. Once my confusion was cleared up, I dug right in. After all, a new Lora Leigh book is a chance to update my spurt chart, and I adore her books, warts and all.


“Secret Sins” is Anna and Archer’s love story. Anna has finally returned home after six years of college (you have to read the details of why she’s been in college for six years out of an anticipated eight years), and she has her sights set on Archer, the man she has loved since she was sixteen. Archer doesn’t believe in love or fairy tales, but he can’t resist Anna. The two begin a torrid affair when Anna is thrown out of her grandfather’s house and disowned for refusing to return to college or accepting a job in France.


Why was she disowned? I’m not sure that I can explain even a little bit. The Callahan books are tied together by a suspense arc that pits the Callahans against everyone else in Corbin County. They were abandoned after their parents were murdered, and Anna, as cousin to one of the three Callahans, is also a target of whatever scheme some random and evil person devised. The entire series revolves around the Callahans and those who risked their lives to support them attempted to discover what plot has beset them for their entire lives.


Readers would have to read the first two books in this series to have any hope of understanding how convoluted this suspense plot actually is. A good deal of the evil plan is finally revealed in “Secret Sins,” although I’m sure that more is in store in Crowe’s book which should be the end of this series. I was stunned, amused, awed and even more confused by the explanation. There are pirates and treasure involved – seriously – in a plot that goes back at least nine generations. I actually took 4 double-sided pages of notes on the plot in order to help me work through it. I was tempted to wrote both a timeline and a family tree for the Callahans and other founding families of Corbin County to help make sense of it all. However, I would have to go back and read the first two books to do this justice, and I don’t have that kind of time now.


Lora Leigh is my crack. I love her books whether I understand them or not, whether they have errors or not. “Secret Sins” is pure Lora Leigh. Archer is a dominating, alpha hero who goes all caveman-like once Anna comes to his bed. He tries to avoid loving her, but can’t help himself especially once she is taken hostage by the evil doer. Anna is a typical Leigh heroine with a curl-free nether region (although the curls seems to grow back as upkeep isn’t in the cards) and berry-like nipples. And PS. Archer is also curl-free in his nether region. This might mean he straightens his pubic hair, but I took it to mean that he was hair free as well.


Are there trademark Lora Leigh errors? Absolutely. On page five Crowe is referred to as Crewe. There are several incidences where tenses are messed up (the verb tense doesn’t match the noun) and several times when the last names of characters are messed up (Corbin used when it should be Callahan, etc). Did they ruin my enjoyment of this fantastically outrageous and over-the-top story? Not in the least. Fans of Leigh will feel the same way.


“Secret Sins” is a wild, wild ride that is filled with hot love scenes, deep emotions and an unforgettable suspense plot. Relax and just enjoy the ride. Don’t think about it too closely or you won’t be able to suspend your disbelief and just go with the flow.


For those following my Lora Leigh studies, there are only four uses of the word spurt which is slightly under Lora Leigh’s average. The heroine is curl-free (not through entire book though). The hero is curl free too, and this might be a first. I will have to investigate this. There are a couple of “sweet like candy” references in relation to the heroine’s assets. The heroine is a virgin. There is no back-door action, but the hero does threaten to paddle the heroine’s posterior.


Buy this book on Amazon now!
Author Link: http://www.loraleigh.com/


Book Disclosure: A book was provided by the publisher.

Last modified on Monday, 26 November 2012 20:22
Jennifer Porter

Jennifer Porter

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