Secrets and Charms (Secrets #2)

Secrets and CharmsTitle: Secrets and Charms (Secrets #2)
Author: Lou Harper
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 191
Reviewed by: Kristin
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


One hot ginger. One cool blond. The result is anything but lukewarm.

Out and proud from a tender age, Olly Blackwood is content with life in LA, working at a Hollywood gourmet grocery. There’s only one thing missing: romance. He’s had his fill of casual hook-ups. He wants a man for keeps, and he wants sparks.

He certainly gets them when he meets Rich Willson, who has the stormy temper to go with his fiery hair. But is he keeper material? He might be if only he’d come out of the closet.

After losing his disapproving father, his job, his girlfriend, and pretty much all his money, Rich packed up his secrets and moved to his actress sister s house to regroup and help her renovate. He doesn’t like the curmudgeon he s become, but something about the perpetually cheerful Olly rubs him in a way that should be wrong, yet feels pretty damned right.

Over paint buckets and sanding tools, Rich finds Olly getting deeper under his skin. But when an altercation with a paparazzo comes back to haunt him, he finds that sordid Hollywood secrets can be murder maybe his own.

Warning: Contains a hot-tempered ginger, a cool-headed blond, redecorating shenanigans, and sordid Hollywood secrets. Happy ending guaranteed or your ticket price refunded.

In the second installment of the Secrets series, the ever cheerful Olly is still pining for his chance at True Love. His best friend Jem hauls him to Mme. Layla for a fortune reading, and Olly ends up with obscure warnings and a charmed necklace. Meanwhile, he’s agreed to help his actress friend Sandy paint her house, and discovers her rather reticent brother in residence.

Olly’s getting weird vibes from the mysterious, cranky, ginger-haired Rich, but when the two discover Sandy’s being blackmailed, it’s friend and brother to the rescue. Or is it Olly and Rich who need the rescuing?

As usual with Lou Harpers books, these are pure “feel good” reads. Short, sweet, and can be gobbled down in a lazy afternoon. I find the plots to be engaging enough to keep me interested, a tiny bit of disbelief needs to suspended (again, it’s a “feel good” read people!), and the character’s dynamic and quirky enough that they don’t come across as cookie cutter. Olly has a great sense of humor that really balances Rich’s darker side.

My tiny complaint with the book was I really didn’t get a good feel for the circumstances that Rich left Chicago under. The reader is told X, Y and Z happened, but it felt rather anti-climactic. We know it was definitely traumatic for Rich, but I didn’t feel it.

Overall, Secrets and Charms is just a quick, fun, feel-good read with zinging barbs and hilarious innuendo.

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