Conner Burke never expected Sofie Callahan to come back.Where she’s been for the last two and half years is a mystery, and so is the reason she left in the first place. Now, though, she’s back in their hometown of Shelton Bay, South Carolina, at the same time Conner’s band Dirty B. is home on a tour break.
Sofie Callahan has spent the months since her father’s death avoiding anything to do with her hometown. But with her brother in Afghanistan, she has no choice but to return and sort out her father’s house, even if it means facing the boy she fell in love with and revealing the reason she left.
Conner has questions, and when his broken heart and her guilty one collide, Sofie has to start answering them. Their present is rocky, their future unknown. Only one thing is certain: Sofie’s daughter will change everything.
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*I received an eARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Dirty Secret is a second-chance romance featuring Conner Burke, lead singer of Dirty B, and Sofie Callahan, the girl next door. Sofie disappeared 2 years prior without a trace, leaving Conner heartbroken and confused. Now that she’s back, Conner is determined to find out why she left in the first place and if they can mend what’s broken.
I liked Dirty Secret, a lot. There were many times I was left breathless from the chemistry between Sofie and Conner, and many times I wanted to throw my Kindle against the wall because of them. I love when a book can make my heart race from equal parts excitement and anger.
I have to admit, I was not a huge fan of Sofie for the majority of the book. I think her actions were immature and irrational and I really wasn’t on board with her reasoning. I also could not for the life of me understand why she would be upset when Conner was angry with her. I think he had every right to be angry and I think he treated her more respectfully than most people would in his situation. I think her saving grace for me was that even though I didn’t agree with her logic, I could on some level understand it and forgive her naiveté.
Conner, however, was another story. He’s a rock star with a down-to-earth attitude which is seriously hot. I found him to be endearing and although he was pretty quick to forgive Sofie, I think he was the more mature of the two characters and I respected that. I loved his Southern charm and I loved the way he loved Sofie and Mila. His interactions with Mila may have been what made this book for me. I could feel myself smiling and my heart swelling with every interaction between the two.
My favorite part of reading a new series from Emma Hart is meeting all the characters. I think she is fabulous at creating characters with distinctive personalities. I have never found one unmemorable. I am so excited that this will be a series because I cannot wait to see more form the Burke brothers, especially Tate. I found Tate’s stand-offish behavior to be intriguing and I was ecstatic when Mila was able to deflate his tough guy persona. I was also a really big fan of Leila, the Burke sister. She was such a spit-fire and I loved that she had no problem telling Conner and Sofie when they were being childish. I know this series is called The Burke Brothers but I would be more than happy to read Leila’s story. (hint, hint)
Dirty Secret is chock full of romance, drama, and hilarity. I was furiously turning pages to find out what was going happen next between Sofie and Conner, would they or won’t they? Although I struggled with Sofie as a character this didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story itself. I don’t have to like a character but I need to be able to at least know the why of their behavior. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next Burke Brothers book!
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That kid that could be mine. I get up and let the empty bottle drop to the floor. The woods are eerily quiet, as if it can sense my anger. As if it knows the bitterness that lingers in my veins, as if it knows the burn of not knowing anything.
Like the woods, I’m left in the dark. Completely.
Branches and twigs crunch under my feet as I increase my pace to a gentle jog. And again, to a slow run. Then to a sprint.
The need to know increases with every footstep, as evenly paced as the ticking of the clock. It doesn’t matter that I’ve probably drunk too much beer to be here or that we’ve only been back for a matter of days.
I can’t be in this shithole full of memories without knowing. I can’t move on until I know. I can’t forgive her for a single fucking thing until I know—and even then, maybe I won’t be able to.
Maybe she’s unforgivable.
Instead of knocking on the back door like I did yesterday, I round the side of the house to the front door. The front room light glows softly through the curtains, but the rest of the house is dark.
My chest heaves with the exertion of my run here and I grab the doorframe to balance myself. I’m definitely too fucking drunk for this conversation, but what the hell.
I bang on the door, once, twice, again and again and again. “Sofie! Open the fuckin’ door!”
“Shut up!” she hisses, yanking it open. “The hell’re you doing here?”
I smirk, leaning against the wall. “Shouldn’t I be askin’ you that, princess?”
“Are you drunk?” Her voice rises a little at the end, and her eyes widen.
Those eyes. Fuck, those baby blues that have always undone me.
“Drunk? No. If I was drunk I’d be sitting at home like a miserable bastard and not here facing the cause of my misery.”
“You’re being an asshole. I don’t have to listen to this.”
She pushes on the door, but I wedge my foot in front of it. I let go of the wall and grab the edge of the door.
“Actually, you do.”
She can’t overpower me, and she knows it, because she lets up and the door swings open. “Why are you here, Conner?”
“You have a kid.”
She smacks her lips together. “Yep.”
“When? When did you have her?”
Sofie takes a deep breath in and presses her hands to her stomach. They’re shaking, even as she links her fingers to hide it. I can see that fucking tremble.
She whispers something but I’m too pre-occupied by her hands to hear it.
“August last year,” she repeats, still a whisper.
August. Last year. My stomach clenches as I meet her eyes. “When? When in fuckin’ August, Sofie?”
“August fifteenth.” Her voice hitches halfway through the ‘fifteenth.’
Almost seven months to the day she walked out on me and the rest of Shelton Bay.
Adrenaline hums through my body, and I stare at her. At the tears building in her eyes, the quiver of her lips, the bob of her throat as she swallows harshly.
It’s no different from the burn in my chest, the twisting of my stomach.
“Is she mine?”
She shudders and a tear drips from her eye.
“Sofie. Is. She. Mine?!”
About the Author:
By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.
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