This exquisite little novella packs a solid punch of sass and feels. I love the frank narrative voice of Ronnie, “gay country boy” and ex-footballer, who acknowledges his naivety but goes the hell after what he wants. And that’s the sassy, eyeliner-and-lipgloss-wearing Sang — elusive, effervescent, Ronnie’s own “freaky, funky beauty”, who gives his “sugar cookie” a run for his money.
The language in this novella is wonderful. Liv has totally nailed her descriptions with witty images and clever details that are just spot on. And the banter between all the characters is saucy and honest and very real. The naughty scenes are hot and written at just the right level, and there’s no mistaking the depth and growth of feeling Ronnie and Sang have for each other across only 40 pages. Normally I find this length too short for strong character/emotional development, but not here.
There’s also a couple of well-drawn supporting characters, and a nod to the Washington state Referendum 74 to approve or reject the February 2012 bill to legalize same-sex marriage.
Overall the novella is a really neat little package with depth and diversity and satisfying levels of emotional intensity. The “secret” aspect of the title isn’t all that difficult to pick, but this is not a mystery story, so who cares. It’s about love and acceptance and fighting for what you want — and quirky fashion.
I love this one rather a lot. Highly recommended for m/m (in fact all romance) fans!
Ronnie Durand is a country boy who transfers to the University of Washington after two years at Central. He’ll have to give up playing football, though finishing his education at a major university in Seattle — and being out and proud without having to look over his shoulder — makes the sacrifice worthwhile.
But finding friends at a huge school is tough, especially when the hottest guy Ronnie meets makes him doubt his own sanity.
Sang’s been on his own a long time. He’s only a couple steps away from living on the street, and he’s got dreams so big they don’t leave space for a steady boyfriend. Then he meets Ronnie, who just might be strong enough to break through his barriers… as long as Sang lets him in on one big secret.