Author: Nadia Lee
Number of pages: 132 pages
Release Date: 17 February 2011
Purchasing Info: Author's Website, Goodreads, Kindle store
Grade: 5 stars
2011 Top Read
Goodreads appetizer: After a rapid change in management, Natalie Hall is surprised to find that she's being promoted so quickly. But when it becomes obvious that the new CEO is interested in her on a more personal level, she pushes him away -- she doesn't want to repeat her past mistake of giving her heart to the wrong man.A self-made billionaire, Alex Damon has his own reasons for pursuing Natalie. Her adoptive father, a powerful U.S. senator, is using his political clout to protect his friends the Rodales, who Alex intends to destroy for ripping his own family apart when he was a child. Furthermore, he suspects that Natalie is spying for the Rodales.What he hasn't planned on is her unflinching sense of loyalty and integrity, the sizzling attraction between them that threatens to turn into something much more, and the dark secrets that can destroy them both.
My thoughts: Both Lea and me jumped on the opportunity to review Carnal Secrets when we first heard about it (because the blurb sounded exciting), but we sure weren't prepared to what a terrific read it was going to be!
I can only tell you my story: on my way to an exam preparatory course I started reading Carnal Secrets, thinking it would be a good way to keep busy on the bus ride, well the story (and mostly the characters) sucked me in so intensely, that I only stopped reading while I went up the stairs, but unfortunately haven't heard a word in that course as I was too busy devouring Nadia Lee's novel in the back of the classroom. The outside world just ceased to exist for me I was so immersed in Alex and Natalie's world, I was possessed by Carnal Secrets and that's all thanks to Nadia Lee's wonderfully fluent and brilliantly intense writing!
Not only was the plot interesting and well structured, what won me over from the beginning were the amazingly fleshed out characters. Not only were they well developed, but Nadia Lee infused them with such vitality, such passion, that I, as the reader felt and experienced their every emotion right there with them! But before I expand on that let's go back a bit.
Carnal Secrets has a legitimate plot besides the romantic storyline and there are many other aspects to this novel which amazingly strengthen the romance as they shape the characters even better (there is some corporate espionnage, company restructuring, friendships, revenge, family history, and of course the inflammable chemistry between the H/H).
Natalie is an Asian woman, adopted by a wealthy, conservative, white American politician family. Not only does she know nothing about her heritage and biological parents, but sadly her adoptive family sounds much like Cinderella's: her mother is downright cruel and doesn't make it a secret that she can't stand Natalie, not only is there no sisterly bond between Natalie and her younger sister, she constantly does everything in her power to hurt Natalie and well her dad, as a busy politician, he isn't really present and when he is, he doesn't really care. So given is a young woman, whose childhood was lonely and loveless and add the fact that she doesn't really know who she is and where she stands in the world. But despite her difficult background Natalie managed to become a strong, independent and capable young woman. She is a wonderful character, one the reader cannot help but grow to love and care about.
Then there is the hero, the dashing Alex. *dreamy sighs* Not only is he every bit of the alpha male: strongwilled and determined, he oozes sexuality. His charisma is irresistible, like a force of nature, unstoppable, it could be felt even through the pages, my Kindle sizzled and caught fire! I can't recall another romance novel which made me react so strongly: I produced the very same reactions Natalie did: my heart fluttered, my pulse quickened, I started panting everytime Alex and his larger than life personality were on the scene.
Just a quote which really made my gut clench reading about Alex's passionate hatred and grief after he thought the woman he was in love with had betrayed him:
He would ruin the Rodales, and take the Halls down too, for good measure. He wanted them all to burn in hell, especially Natalie. That way, he'd have some company.
After all the praise (*cough* gushing *cough*) I think you can guess I'm giving the highest grade to Carnal Secrets: