06/08/2013 --Free TODAY ONLY on Amazon -- I LOVE THIS AUTHOR! This book is just what you need to round out your Nia Forrester library. She will have a sequel to this one out very soon too!http://www.amazon.com/Secret-ebook/dp/B00ASP8UAO/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1365641637&sr=1-3&keywords=nia+forrester++++++++++++++++++++++++03/08/2012 --Overall Rating = 3 StarsBook Cover / Book Blurb = 2 / 3 = 2.5 StarsWriter’s Voice = 3 StarsCharacter Development = 4 StarsStory Appreciation = 3.5 StarsWorth the Chili = 4 Stars [$2.99 Amazon – not available B&N]SPOILER ALERT -- This review may have spoilers.UPDATED: I wrote this long review trying to get to the meat of my issue with this book. I think it boils down to "too mainstream for me". What do I mean? Well, when you read other books by this author; example: [bc:Commitment|15765067|Commitment|Nia Forrester|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1343332358s/15765067.jpg|21468495], you appreciate the unique storyline and POV of this author. Secrets was just too mainstream for me.REVIEW: This book just wasn't what I expected. When I read the blurb, I had no idea the "secret" shouldn't be a secret at all. That the life of this girl would be the whole story. She was abused and then was trying to put herself back together again. Nothing to be ashamed of unless you haven't received the therapy needed to get back on track.I'll list a few things that stood out for me:1 -- Key characters in this book were well drawn. An example is Trey. We find out early on Trey is a horn dog. He is so responsible in his "public" life, his private a bit irresponsible. He makes no excuses. It is what it is. He has taken care of his sister since he was almost too young for the responsibility, so we cut him this slack for this. We still like him, but he definitely isn't perfect.2 -- The root of Shayla's issue we find out in rich detail. I didn't necessarily like how this played out, but her loss of self is well drawn by this author. Almost as a warning about how it can happen to even the most secure of us. It is so easy to follow your desires into a dark place where you may never find your way out. We see some of Shayla's journey back to the light.Things that didn't work so well for me:1 -- Shayla bothered me. Shayla starts out almost like a shadow. Then we get to know her, but this happens so quickly. She goes from being this shadow, almost unattractive person, to this vibrant "look at me" person. We understand later that this was really the end of a journey for her, but I didn't feel this and ended a bit confused. Also, I thought she was still very damaged in the beginning. Knowing that she worked as a volunteer and was so damaged herself, bordered on unrealistic. This hasn't happened for me before with this author and was a bit surprised. I think Shayla's journey is incomplete. There is a second in the series, but more could have been done for her in this one.2 -- I really don't like the blurb for this book. First of all, it didn't pull me to read this book. I wasn't intrigued by the promise of a secret. Then, after reading it, the "secret" shouldn't be the pull for the book. I think it should be resurrection of Shayla. How do you go from here to there. The secret almost pisses me off. The events shouldn't be something to be ashamed of. Not at all and I had this little ball of anger through most of it. Hoping that the author would at some point let the reader traverse the shame to the shining place through Shayla. It just didn't happen.3 -- This is going to be a series, and I have to commend the author for avoiding the cliffhanger, but I'm also not really excited about reading the next one. The characters to be highlighted in that one just weren't that interesting for me. I'll definitely read it, but if this had been my first book by this author, it may stay on my TBR pile for a long time.You know, I did like this book. I think I'm just spoiled. I LOVE [a:Nia Forrester|6447432|Nia Forrester|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1344386635p2/6447432.jpg]. She is a new find for me, but this book isn't my favorite. Enough said...Happy Reading!