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Thursday, August 20, 2020

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: The Secret of You and Me by Melissa Lenhardt (Women's Fiction)


THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME
by
Melissa Lenhardt


Genre: Women's Fiction / Romance
Publisher Graydon House (Harlequin)
Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
Number of Pages: 352


SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!







True love never fades—and old secrets never die . . .

Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she fled Texas to start a new life. Away from her father’s volatile temper and the ever-watchful gaze of her claustrophobically conservative small town, Nora has freed herself. She can live—and love—however she wants. The only problem is that she also left behind the one woman she can’t forget. Now tragedy calls her back home to confront her past—and reconcile her future.

Sophie seems to have everything—a wonderful daughter, a successful husband, and a rewarding career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. She still yearns for Nora—her best friend and first love—despite all the years between them. Keeping her true self hidden hasn’t been easy, but it’s been necessary.

So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it. But they both find that first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites, and old feelings resurface. As the forces of family and intolerance that once tore them apart begin to reemerge, they realize some things may never change—unless they demand it.

PRAISE FOR THE SECRET OF YOU AND ME!

“A compelling story of second chances and being true to yourself.” —Harper Bliss, bestselling author of Seasons of Love

“Lenhardt convinces in her portrayal of the conflict between desire and control.” —Publishers Weekly


CLICK TO PURCHASE!
(Personalized/signed copies available through Interabang)

A portion of royalties are going to the It Gets Better Project
Click for more details.







Wow! What a heartfelt and hopeful second chance love story that is definitely one of my favorite reads this year!

Following the death of her estranged father, Nora returns to her childhood home after eighteen years away to settle his affairs, and in doing so must confront those she so suddenly left behind. As her former best friend, Sophie's feelings for Nora are complicated, but so is her life, and seeing Nora after so much lost time, reignites a spark that had dulled when Nora took off with no explanation. Where Nora is fierce, unapologetic, and downright stubborn, Sophie is kind, supportive, and altogether too accommodating. Together, they become complements and bring out the best in each other, which this stunning cover does a phenomenal job of symbolizing! 

The story alternates perspectives between Nora and Sophie, which provides amazing insight and depth of understanding into their overall conflict, while also giving genuine justifications for all of the decisions that were ultimately made. Every moment and emotion of this redemptive tale was vivid, richly portrayed, and masterfully relatable, casting a magical spell over me while reading that made it incredibly difficult to put down! The author's writing style is so graceful, welcoming, and introspective that I felt as though I was coming home right along with Nora. The whip smart dialogue flows naturally and adds such a richly cinematic experience! Each voice is strong, and you can't and won't want to take your eyes off the page! 

This is an emotionally complex and intensely dynamic love story between two women that recognizes and respects how imperfect relationships can be. There is also a dark comedy vibe that works well as a coping mechanism for so much drama and grief, yet a sense of compassion is never lost. Every character is flawed and entanglements with one another abound, crafting a masterful character study in family interactions especially as it relates to mother-daughter relationships.

While it can be hard to pave a positive path when it's filled with so much misunderstanding and bad decision-making, this story is a true testament to the power of forgiveness, grace, and unconditional love. As a contemporary debut, I was overwhelmingly impressed and can't wait to read what the author has next!

Many thanks to the author and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for providing me with a copy of the book for free. This is my honest and thoughtful review.




Melissa Lenhardt is a women’s fiction, mystery, and historical fiction author. Her debut mystery, Stillwater, was a finalist for the 2014 Whidbey Writers’ MFA Alumni Emerging Writers Contest, and Sawbones, her historical-fiction debut, was hailed as a "thoroughly original, smart and satisfying hybrid, perhaps a new sub-genre: the feminist Western" by Lone Star Literary Life. The New York Times called her sixth novel, Heresy, “An all-out women-driven, queer, transgender, multiracial takeover of the Old West." The Secret of You and Me, her seventh novel and her first contemporary women’s fiction novel, was published on August 4, 2020. When Melissa isn’t writing, she’s thinking, “I really should be writing,” and eating Nutella or peanut butter straight out of the jar. A lifelong Texan, she lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two sons, and two Golden Retrievers.

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TWO WINNERS!
Each get a signed hardcover copy of the book and their choice of either a FaceTime call or virtual book-club visit with the author!

 August 11-21, 2020
(U.S. Only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway  BEST OF LUCK!

Many thanks again to the author and Lone Star Book Blog Tours! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!
FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY. 

Or, visit the blogs directly:


8/11/20
Author Interview
8/11/20
Review
8/12/20
Review
8/12/20
BONUS Post
8/13/20
Review
8/14/20
Top Six List
8/14/20
Review
8/15/20
Excerpt
8/16/20
Guest Post
8/17/20
Review
8/17/20
Review
8/18/20
Audio Spotlight
8/19/20
Review
8/19/20
Review
8/20/20
Review
8/20/20
Review

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1 comment:

  1. This is a great review, and I agree that the dialogue was "whip smart." Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete