I just came across this review by Manic Readers
Deirdre Clarke is running from a violent past with her ex-husband. Although he’s in prison the chains that bind her to him have been elusive and hard to break. Josh Tyler is looking for a tenant and in these economic times he cannot afford to be too picky. Josh has a law enforcement background and teaches martial arts. He is divorced and has a teenage son. Josh and Deirdre have met before but, like two ships that pass in the night, circumstances prevented them from getting together. This may be their new chance at love.
Bruce Braddock knows that his ex-wife Deirdre is meant to be with him. All he needs is to show this to her. In the meantime, he finds a playmate in Josh’s ex-wife Maureen, a vulnerable divorcee who is searching for affection. Bruce and Maureen develop a dominant/submissive relationship that is very violent—with Bruce pushing Maureen to the edge. It becomes an addiction for her, one she is powerless to resist that has deadly consequences.
As Deirdre and Josh rediscover their attraction Bruce and Maureen push all boundaries in a violent relationship that hangs by a thread. As Bruce sets up his plan to get Deirdre back will Maureen be sacrificed? Is Josh capable of protecting Deirdre and himself against a man bent on domination?
I found it a little hard to get into Deadly Secrets when I started reading. The characters were described well but there were several of them introduced together and I found myself a bit confused. There is a lot of back and forth in the plot—juxtapositions of the two stories and while they are perfect foils for each other it can be hard to make that shift all the time, particularly since they are polar opposites.
Overall, I think this is best read over several sittings—giving you time to organize your thoughts about the characters. I found Bruce and Maureen to be the more interesting couple because it is like watching an accident that you cannot stop—you know that someone is going to be hurt and you are just waiting with bated breath for it to happen all the while thinking that it won’t. This created most of the dramatic tension in the book. The Josh and Deirdre relationship was not as exciting. I spent a lot of time saying, “Move it along already,” for their parts.
With that said I still found much to like in this novel length book. There was more than adequate time for descriptions and this is very important and often over looked. The addition of Josh’s son provided a shift in perspective that was unique and added a lot to the story. Bruce is most definitely portrayed as an unsympathetic character which plays well with Josh’s much more sympathetic storyline.
This book would be a very good choice for those that like mysteries with some romance thrown in. It is drama and tension that is the strength of Deadly Secrets.