4 star

Dirtiest Secret

S.I.N., Book #1

By J. Kenner

ISBN# 9781101967454

Author’s Website:  www.jkenner.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

*Beware of Spoilers aplenty*

dirtiest-secret-j-kennerDallas and Jane fell in love with one another when they were just kids.  When they were too young to even understand the feelings they had.  But even then they knew it was wrong.  They were doomed from the start, but they could never go back, there are no do-overs in life, and they were unable to rewind time and do it in a different way.  Let’s face it, they wouldn’t do it differently even if they could.

Then Dallas got into too much trouble and got sent away to boarding school.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say, and it couldn’t have been truer for this pair.  And, Dallas jumped at the chance to see her when she called and said she was coming.  He snuck out of his dorm to spend a few hours with her.  But that’s when their lives changed forever.  That’s where the masked men grabbed them, drugged them, and took them away from everyone they knew.  That’s where they were thrown into a dark dungy room, where the only light they had was each other.  They were eventually rescued, but it changed their lives forever.  Broke them in ways they could never heal from.  And when they were free from their captivity, it drove a wedge between them, one they couldn’t remove no matter how badly they both wanted to.

Wow!  This book was pretty amazing!  I almost didn’t read it, but I’m so glad the synopsis captivated me enough to give it a try.  I thought it was going to be a simple second chance at romance novel, but it was so much more than that!

Before I delve too far into this review, I feel it’s important to tell you something that the synopsis did not reveal.  This forbidden love in this book as a whole deals with incest, kind of.  Dallas and Jane do not share any blood, but due to an adoption and marriage they are siblings.  It’s not only against the law for them to be together, but their father will disown them, as he had warned Dallas at a young age when it became obvious that Dallas had more than brotherly feelings for his sister.  He didn’t care then, but now that he’s dark and dirty, he never wants to force his beloved Jane into that dark place.  So instead he builds his reputation as the King of Fuck, building his persona of the rich playboy so nobody sees what’s really going on.  If only the world knew his deep dark secret, they’d know how laughable his moniker really is.  But it’s a great cover for his covert operation to find the six kidnappers that took them as kids.  He promised Jane to always protect her, and he won’t rest until all six kidnappers have been found and dealt with.

“You want me to stay with you tonight?”

She nodded. “It’s not scary anymore–I mean, I’m home and it’s all over. But I think it will be scary in my dreams, and I don’t want to have nightmares.”

“Okay then.” He sat up straight, looking every bit the determined bodyguard. “In that case, I have to stay. And you don’t have to worry because I’ll protect you. I’ll always protect you.”

Dallas is getting close to finding the final kidnapper, but his beloved Jane on her anti-vigilante crusade is on a mission to destroy his operation, not knowing that he’s behind it all.

This book was really heart-wrenching.  The author painted this beautiful picture of Dallas and Jane’s budding delicate relationship.  Then tainted it with the knowledge that they could never be together.  They’re siblings after all.  And, as much as they both want each other back, they know it can never be so they live their lives tortured.  Doing whatever they can to just survive.

But Jane can’t take it anymore.  She wants to live!  So, she pushes Dallas, but he refuses to give in to what can never be.  But she won’t give up, she knows he wants her as much as she wants him.  She knows the Dallas that the world knows isn’t the real him and she will do whatever it takes to get the boy she fell in love with all those years ago back once and for all.  So, they play … in this scene the game is Resident Evil, but the games they play later on get much dirtier. 

“Fortunately, Dallas takes pity on me and gives me a little tutorial, walking me through the first scene of the game, letting me get used to turning and shooting and punching and all that good stuff. 👿

He also lets me have all the health bonuses we find. Not to mention the ammo.

“Told you I’d always protect you,” he says with a grin.

I smile back but, honestly, his words make me a little melancholy. And when he looks sideways at me with a crooked smile, I know he realizes it.

“Should I apologize?”

I shake my head and grab a handful of popcorn. “Just play.”

He does, and since we’re partners against the zombie horde, I can’t actually say he beats me. What I can say is that I died four times in the first fifteen minutes, and by minute seventeen Dallas is laughing his ass off.

“Do I need to tell you how pathetic you are at this game?”

“You really don’t,” I say as the screen flashes death number five.

“Remind me to come rescue you when the zombie apocalypse happens. Without me, you’re zombie food.”

But Jane doesn’t realize just how broken and fucked up Dallas is, and he doesn’t want her to see him for what he’s become.

But when they finally find a way to push through all the bullshit, will Dallas’s secrets coming to light bring it all crashing down.

I loved Dallas even if he is a little whore at times … or at least appears to be.  My heart is shredded with his inner turmoil and what the kidnappers took from him.  I appreciate him wanting to keep his Jane from his ugliness, not wanting to contaminate her, but it’s a big part of why he’s so tortured.

There is a bit of a cliffhanger to this book, and their romance isn’t complete.  It appears this series will continue their story and I really can’t wait for the next installment.  They have a lot of struggles ahead of them and I can’t wait to see them tackle everything together and come out on the other side.

This book was, dark, forbidden, taboo, and heart-wrenching and I loved every moment of it.  It’s a wonderfully well-crafted novel that I couldn’t get enough of!

“Being together came close to destroying both of us once already,” he says. “But I don’t fucking care. You are the memory that gets me through my days, and the fantasy that saves me in the night.”



photo credit
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*