Book Review: S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline
March 3, 2013 § 8 Comments
“Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.”
I had a personal revelation followed by an impulse to check out the latest issue of Shelf Awareness, and I saw this review on S.E.C.R.E.T.: “a promising new erotic series with a far more feminist bent than many of its genre peers.” Now that’s what I’m talking about. I downloaded this to my Nook as soon as I got home. Here is a line from S.E.C.R.E.T. that pretty much states the theme and what this story meant to me:
“liberation through complete submission to your sexual fantasies.”
S.E.C.R.E.T. is well written, funny, refreshing, and makes you re-think what is possible in female (and male) sexuality.
Cassie Robichaud’s plight resonated for me:
“I often thought of this accidental celibacy like it was a skinny old dog, left with no choice but to follow me.”
I really appreciated reading about a character who just shuts down after a romantic trauma, because I can relate to that. It was exhilarating to watch her shake things up by making a bold move, daring to break free from the societal mores. Here, women help women, and the woman chooses her experiences and her men. That was exciting, making me feel like some doors are about to swing wide open.
I loved the descriptions of New Orleans, the perfect setting for a story about exploring and crossing sexual boundaries.
The only flaw I found while reading the book is that the sex scenes, while descriptive, were not as evocative as I like. The reader is forced to use her own imagination to “get there.” Now that I’ve finished the book, however, I think that very quality makes the scenes linger in my memory. And makes them more empowering.
Four out of five stars
What do you think about the idea of a woman exploring her sexual self to achieve liberation?