Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Secrets by Jude Deveraux

When Cassandra Madden was twelve years old, she fell in love with Jefferson Ames, a young man she met at one of her mother's business conferences. She was a lonely child, with a cold mother, and holding onto her love for Jeff helped her cope with her isolated life.

When she grew up, she went to college and even met a man she thought she'd marry, but Jeff was still in her head. She broke off her near engagement and went to Williamsburg, Virginia, where she secretly got herself a job as a nanny to the widowed Jeff's young child.

Even though Cassie was living in Jeff's house, seeing him every day, she still couldn't seem to get his attention. But then, one day, she heard shots coming from the mansion of Althea Fairmont, a woman the world called “the greatest living actress.” Cassie ran to investigate and in an instant, her safe little life was turned upside down. She began to learn that all the people around her weren't who they claimed to be. Everyone had secrets, and until Cassie unraveled those secrets, there was no chance for happiness between her and Jeff.

I'm usually a hit or miss Jude Deveraux fan. Some of her heroines start off so damaged that it's hard for me to identify with them or root for the romance. In spite of that I do have a few favorites, but this one is not going to be joining them. I picked it up at the library book sale where it was $5/bag because even if the plot didn't sound fantastic I was essentially paying nothing for the book.

And I had such hope for it too! It started off well with a so-so back description that turned into an engaging first half of the books. I liked Cassie, Jeff wasn't a total doofus, and it looked like it was going to have just a bit of intrigue due to Jeff's CIA job; in fact, looking back at it now, I think it reminded me a bit of a Diana Palmer book.

But then it happened.

This hugely complicated plot thread turned into a thing that not only overshadowed the romance, it overshadowed everything! I didn't care enough about this random historical murder (or why Jeff was drawn into it) to understand why all of these people were brought together for this one weekend to reenact one particular scene. And I didn't like the fact that when Cassie gets frustrated by Jeff's blindness that she goes and starts working out and then curves that she's been so proud of the entire book are changed! Either way, it had potential, but I just didn't see that potential come to fruition. Oh well.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs down. It started out so well but the complicated and unnecessary side plot just killed it for me.

Series - None