Monday, March 16, 2015

Secrets and Charms by Lou Harper

Secrets and Charms
Secrets and Charms by Lou Harper

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Secrets and Charms was an enjoyable m/m romance with a twist of mystery for an added flavor. I really liked Olly’s character – he’s charming, friendly, loyal, and willing to give people more than one chance to make a good impression. And that last character trait is the only thing that helps Rich out when he tries to correct the first impression he made after his first encounter with Olly. As Olly is Rich’s sister’s friend who has agreed to help her with some of the renovations on her new house, Rich needs to learn how to play nice with “the fruit.”

Sadly, Rich is the homophobic product of his upbringing and is still reeling from the recent family troubles that necessitated him moving in with his sister, making it even more difficult than normal for him to interact with Olly in a civil manner. Actually, Rich’s father managed to do such a number on him that Rich appears to have been ignorant of his own homosexuality until he began spending time with Olly. Not surprisingly, this confusion causes Rich to lash out at Olly more than once. Fortunately for Rich, Olly is the kind of guy that fulfills his promises and continues to work alongside Rich on the renovations to Sandy’s home. I really liked the patience that Olly showed Rich after he realized that Rich was so far in the closet that he didn’t even realize he was in it. Even though Olly couldn’t relate to Rich’s situation, he made a conscious effort not to take Rich’s freak-outs personally and continued to encourage Rich to accept himself.

I liked the way is which Ms. Harper had Olly prod Rich without pushing him to accept his homosexuality, in part by posing questions in such a way that Rich was able to separate his emotional reactions from what he thought his father’s response would be from the logical acknowledgement that his father would not have accepted him either way. That Olly was the younger of the two was irrelevant in the situation because Olly had more experience in “living gay” and was more than willing to help Rich adjust to his newfound sexuality. In spite of Rich’s constant waspish behavior, the chemistry between the two was very believable in an opposites attract manner and made for some rather hot sex scenes. The subplots of blackmail and the impetus for Rich’s relocation just added to the whole Secrets and Charms experience and left me planning to go back and read book one in the Secrets series to see what else Ms. Harper has up her sleeve.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Secrets and Charms by Lou Harper blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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