Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
Max Monroe’s Winslow Brothers stories are next-level for them. Their newest romance, The Secret, introduces us to one of the Winslow rabble-rousers, Ty. Like his younger brother, Jude, Ty is a playboy, a professor by day and a ladies’ man by night. He’s fun-loving, never meets a stranger, talented in both the classroom and the bedroom, but not interested in the type of commitment Jude and Flynn have found for themselves. In fact, he seems rather allergic to it.
Enter the powerhouse of Max Monroe’s story: Rachel. Set aside Rachel and Ty’s instant chemistry, move past the sultriness of their $ex, skip over Ty’s attractiveness, and you find the heart of this story in Rachel. In order for Ty to ever consider commitment and a future as a married man, it is imperative that he finds a woman who brings him both figuratively and literally to his knees. She must be intelligent, strong-willed, and willing to put him in his place when he’s out of control. And Rachel is a powerhouse. I loved her the most in this romance because her difficulties felt real. Living in her mother’s shadow, which is created by your father, plagues her. It causes her to doubt herself and lose her shine. Max Monroe gifts us with a woman who feels very, very real through her characterization: she’s buxom, curvy, and struggling to stand up to a parent who doesn’t quite see the real her. She’s also relationship-shy, given her father’s criticism of her life. Add to that the fact that Ty is the professor she TAs for…and it’s all kinds of forbidden feeling. This makes The Secret deliciously dirty.
I will admit, though. Of the first three books of this series, The Bet, The Pact, and The Secret, Flynn is winning, having edged Ty slightly. I suspect that I will adore Remi’s story the most. Especially as we are given a bit of a sneak peek into his potential love interest. However, the Winslow family continues to add humor and sentimentality to The Secret just as it did with the first two books of the series. I saw a comment in Max Monroe’s Facebook group that asked for a Mama Winslow story. That might not be a bad request.
If you love forbidden romance speckled with rom-com humor, some serious eroticism, and a wily MMC and FMC who seem to steady each other, then The Secret by Max Monroe is your next read. If you’re a Max Monroe fan, Ty and Rachel feel like Thatch and Cassie-lite.
In love and romance,
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