Author: L. Marie Adeline
Publisher: Broadway Books
Published: October 15, 2013
I, Cassie Robichaud, solemnly swear to serve S.E.C.R.E.T. to the best of my abilities. I will do what is necessary, what is right and what is within my power to assist in the execution of sexual fantasies for our participant(s)..."
And so begins S.E.C.R.E.T. II, which opens with Cassie's initiation into this mysterious organization, one that helps women experience their most potent sexual fantasies. Cassie spends the next year as a "S.E.C.R.E.T. member-at-large," not quite a guide, she'll assist Committee members (including two new ones, Kit DeMarco and Angela Rejean) in recruiting men and helping to execute a new inductee's fantasies.
After a false start with the first potential inductee, Cassie makes the acquaintance of Dauphine Gray, a 31-year old who works at the Funky Monkey vintage clothing store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Geeky, gawky and easily distracted, Dauphine has no idea how attractive she really is because her face is forever in a book. Reading is her passion, music is her pleasure, and Dauphine's all but given up on sex, especially after a painful rejection that still haunts her. Then Cassie and the women from S.E.C.R.E.T. show her it's possible to reignite that flame.
Meanwhile, Cassie must work through her resentment over losing Will to Tracina and their future baby. But when paternity questions surface, Tracina threatens to expose Cassie's S.E.C.R.E.T. membership to the one man both women love. Will Tracina expose Cassie to Will, and if she does, what will he make of his secret love's S.E.C.R.E.T. life?
*Spoiler Alert* This is the second book in a series, so there is likely to be spoilers to the first book in this review.
S.E.C.R.E.T. ended rather shockingly. Just when you think Cassie was going to get what she wanted, it blew up in her face. In the second book, S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, Cassie is now a member of the S.E.C.R.E.T. organization and can assist new members. And right away she finds the perfect candidate. The first novel is all about Cassie, while this novel focuses on two perspectives: Cassie and Dauphine. I like the duel points of view.
Dauphine works at a vintage clothing store and is kinda a hoarder. Not in an over-the-top, appear-on-a-reality-show-sense, but in the fact that she holds on to things that she doesn't really need and has a hard time letting go. Cassie observes Dauphine at a restaurant and decides she is the perfect candidate for the program. Dauphine is just like Cassie is at the beginning of the first book, but decides she wants to take control of her life and S.E.C.R.E.T. is just the place to start.
Cassie is still reeling from the sting of learning that the man that she loves is going to stay with his ex. And to make matters worse, the man that she loves is also her boss and his ex, is her co-worker. Cassie is a glutton for punishment. I know that she had her reasons for staying, but I don't think any sane person would want to subject themselves to that on a daily basis. I am glad that the author shares Cassie's internal struggle with the situation or else I would have claimed Cassie wasn't human.
After the first book left me kind of stunned I was glad to continue with Cassie's journey as well as 'meet' a new character. I'm really enjoying this series. There are a few steamy scenes in this book that might be over the top for some. But for those of you who aren't afraid to give yourself over to a little indulgence and fantasy, this book is for you!