Brutal Secrets by Laurelin Paige

Laurelin Paige, known for her contemporary romances with a darker edge, takes a lighter turn in “Brutal Secret,” part of the Dirty Universe. As a fan of Paige’s work, I was excited to explore this venture into the Fixed On You/Dirty/Brutal Billionaire universe.

The initial chapters had me hooked with their seamless flow, remarkable chemistry, and the magnetic charm of Reid. The characters felt well-developed, and I found myself thoroughly invested in their journey.

However, the narrative takes an unexpected turn as the protagonists seemingly skip the crucial phase of getting to know each other, diving straight into physical intimacy. I am all for instant attraction, but this felt abrupt. As the story progresses, the forced nature of their interactions becomes apparent, and the once sizzling chemistry loses its spark.

This shift in character dynamics appears to compromise the depth of the relationship, with Reid showering the heroine with clichéd compliments that don’t align with her character. The reviewer expresses disappointment with the heroine’s perceived immaturity and annoyance, highlighting a significant discord between expectation and reality. 

Despite a promising start, “Brutal Secret” appears to falter in maintaining the initial momentum. My disappointment stems from the perceived forced nature of the character interactions, the decline in chemistry, and the unconvincing transformation of the hero. While the novel has its highs with the classic Paige-style twists and drama, the reviewer suggests that it loses its way on the journey from a superb beginning to a somewhat disappointing conclusion.

The audiobook performed by Vanessa EdwinJason Clarke was very well done. I enjoyed both narrators and what they added to the story.

Rating: 3/5
Series: Brutal Billionaires Book 2
Tropes: Billionaire, Forbidden, Curvy Heroine, age-gap
No 3rd Act Breakup