This story completely took me by surprise and reminded me of the age old saying “never judge a book by its cover”. ~ Alyn, Guilty Pleasures
**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for 17+ due to language, violence, and sexual content.
Just one tiny secret has the potential to ruin everything.
Being the daughter of the sheriff in a small town like Holden Ridge means that eighteen-year-old Danielle “Dani” Marks’ life is under constant surveillance. She’s made a habit of staying under the radar by being a floater among social circles at school, which has kept her out of trouble—until now.
After a missing persons case stirs up the entire town, Dani finds herself caught right in the middle of the scandal. When she’s labeled a possible suspect, things quickly go from bad to worse. The sudden return of her old flame, Parker Reed, manages to make her whole situation even more complicated.
When an elusive unknown person begins to blackmail Dani by threatening to reveal her deepest secrets, Dani refuses to play along. That is, until the person’s actions take a violent turn. Holden Ridge begins to lose its sense of quaint town security, and Dani is caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Who can she trust when anyone around her could be a suspect?
One thing’s for certain though: Never underestimate the power of one tiny secret.
This story completely took me by surprise and reminded me of the age old saying “never judge a book by its cover”. When I received my copy of One Tiny Secret, I was excited to dig in, but unfortunately found that my schedule grew too hectic for me to give it the time it deserved. Finally sitting down for my literary fix, I found that I could not put this book down but for a different reason than my usual steamy romance novel. Looking at the cover, a beautiful blonde with her finger shushing onlookers, one would think One Tiny Secret has something to do with a secret affair. But if you look a tad bit closer, her skull and cross bone earrings hint of a different type of story. I quickly realized I was sorely mistaken and found myself in the midst of a murderous Halloween mystery combined with a New Adult twist of romance. What a perfect read for the season!
In this story we are introduced to Dani, a high school student who is gearing up for the latest Halloween Bash and how to hide it from her Sheriff father. As the resident graphic artist, she is tasked with putting the flier for the party together but is interrupted by a few friends and a reminder of a few blasts from the past. Revealing a few of her past indiscretions, Dani is reminded of her friend Janice who lives across the street but has rarely been seen for over a year due to homeschooling and the fact that Janice’s mother despises Dani. Acting on a whim, Dani reaches out to Janice to see if she wants to sneak out to the Halloween bash and the plot begins. The party is a hit, and everyone is there. Complete with a mysterious “drink me” cocktail as they enter the mysterious location, Dani and Janice are in their sexiest costumes, ready for some fun and some pumpkin spiced beer to toast the occasion. Off into the woods to get the refreshments, Dani returns to find that her friend is not where she left her but instead encounters a hottie dressed as the Big Bad Wolf to her Red Riding Hood. Spilling her beer but still drinking what she could salvage, Dani is surprised to find the man behind the mask is none other than her ex-boyfriend Parker Reed. Realizing he still has the ability to turn her into a puddle of goo, she falls for him all over again but then literally begins to fall as dizziness and darkness come over her. Unsure of what happened or her whereabouts, Dani wakes up hours later in a boy’s bed and no recollection of her evening. After a few questions and some help from her rescuer, Dani heads back to get her car only to be confronted by her father. What shocked her even more was the fact that not only were her memories of the evening gone, but her friend Janice was gone too. As the suspicion piles up and accusations fly, Dani is trying to figure out what happened. It isn’t until she gets a text, that she realizes there is more to Janice’s disappearance than a simple hangover. “Want to know a secret?”
As more mysterious texts come in, Dani realizes that someone is watching her closely. Attempting to let her father in on her problem only seems to make things worse, and as bodies pile up, Dani doesn’t know who to trust anymore. All of this because of one tiny secret!
This story kept me guessing right to the end. Every time I thought I knew who the killer was or what their motivation was, I was wrong. One can never underestimate the power of a motive and the lengths a person will do to prove their point. At least that is what I learned in this story.
I love Dani’s character! She is a strong female but is not afraid to follow her heart. While some may perceive this as week, I believe that it takes a strong person to have the guts to give a person a second try knowing that heartache is a possibility. Then again, love comes with heartaches regardless. The relationship between Dani and Parker comes with a lot of loose ends that Dani has to deal with. Parker was Dani’s first love but is also the half-brother of Phoebe; one of her best friends. When Parker suddenly left over a year earlier, it was difficult for Dani to get over and it took time but she and Phoebe made it work. Janice was Dani’s other best friend and the pair were inseparable until Janice’s mom took her out of school as a result of bullying issues. The two were always alongside their third partner in crime, Kevin; who was sweet on Dani throughout their childhood. She also has her current team of trouble makers in Rory and Alex. The pair are always there to make Dani laugh, help her make decisions that may or may not get her into trouble, and of course, bash ex-boyfriends that break her heart. Sound like a teenage drama?
Of course within all of the drama and potential heartache with old boyfriends there is a killer on the loose. Adam Kunz paints a vivid picture of a small town gone scary without creating so much detail that it is portrayed as gory. It almost reminds me of the movie Scream (seriously, if you liked that movie you will love this story) and that is one of my favorite scary movies!