Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris

The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris
Release Date - February 10, 2015
Publisher Website - The Studio, A Paper Lantern Lit imprint
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 247 pages
My Rating - 4/5
Companion Novel To - The Boyfriend Thief 
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis

4 wheels on a rusty truck * 2 gray eyes * 1 secret that could ruin everything...

All Hannah wanted was a summer break from being “perfect Hannah Cohen” and a chance to forget about the devastating family secret that could ruin her seemingly perfect life. So when she takes off for her eccentric aunt’s house in the mountains of North Carolina and everyone makes one big (wrong) assumption about her past, Hannah figures that it’s easier to live a lie than have to face the truth.

She never expected to make any real friends, like the hilarious and spontaneous Kate and Ashton, who drag her to late night bonfires and ice cream marathons. And she especially never counted on meeting Jude Westmore, the brooding bad boy next door with gray eyes and permanent oil smudges on his fingers, or that he would ever take an interest in her.

Between moonlit movie nights in the bed of Jude’s truck and nearly romantic Ferris Wheel rides, Hannah’s old life seems father away then ever, but can she keep her secret, or is the truth worth the risk of losing everything, including Jude?

The Secrets Between You and Me is a companion novel to The Boyfriend Thief and the second book in Shana Norris’s Stolen Kiss series 
A girl running from the truth. A summer to find her way. A romance that was unexpected. Shana Norris' takes a character that I didn't think had a story to tell, and delights in this feel good, sweet summer-y read.

This book, and it's writing, bring to mind lazy summer days. Ones filled with ice cream, sand, and campfires. You'll immediately want to be curled up with someone watching fireworks as heat from the day slowly cools. It's a tranquil setting that serves the story, and it's characters well. It's the place Hannah needs and that is captured through the writing.

The pressure to be perfect, and need to be who everyone else thinks you should be, haunts Hannah. She's weighed down, exhausted, by the stress and constant struggle. Her life is not perfect, and the more she tries to fake it, the more cracks begin to show. Her life is a set of rigidly controlled rules, and Hannah is frozen, unable to break free. I think everyone, at some point, has felt this way. As you grow into the person you are, you may feel you're letting people down. Choices you make may not be the choices others hoped you would make, and you may be led down a different path than expected. Hannah's growing pains is something that everyone struggles with overcoming and that makes it instantly recognizable.

The bonds that Hannah makes with Jude, Kate and Ashton are refreshing. She feels like they know her for herself and that she doesn't have to pretend all the time. These relationships give her the strength and courage to start making choices for herself, rather than having them made for her. It's her growth that surprised me. It may not be a new story, but it's one that never stops being relevant and Shana puts on her twist on it, to make sure the impact is felt. It's really her character's journey that does this, as you do grow to care about them.

My favourite types of romances are ones where the people involve help to better the other. I am not talking about the notion of 'fixing' someone. I am talking about providing emotional support and being there for someone though a change. Being someone they can depend on during unstable times. Hannah and Jude are this for each other. Each of them have issues to work through, and together they push support and listen to each other. Combine this with some fun banter and swoon worthy scenes and I was easily swept up in their romance.

A novel that I enjoyed even more than the first one in this companion series. Hannah's character growth made her easy to root for. A sweet romance that makes for an enjoyable, light read and will leave you smiling.

Be sure to enter the giveaway below for your chance to win one of three iBook copies of The Secrets Between You and Me. These copies are meant to be read on Mac, iPhones, or iPads.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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