Java Girl’s Review – All the Secrets We Keep (Quarry Road #2) by Megan Hart

These characters had me hooked, and I couldn’t wait to get back to this book. The relationships in this series are complicated, and the characters aren’t traditional heroes and heroines, but I really enjoyed Megan Hart’s All the Secrets We Keep. ~ Java Girl, Guilty Pleasures 

In the riveting conclusion to Megan Hart’s passionate new family drama, the secrets they keep are no match for the truths their hearts will never let go.

Still stuck in his small Central Pennsylvania hometown, Ilya Stern is used to feeling like a disappointment. After his high school girlfriend, Jennilynn, drowned, he married her sister, Alicia, only to divorce a decade later. The business they started together is threatened by a luxury development—and Alicia has already sold her stake. Now that Babulya, Ilya’s gentle Russian grandmother, has died, there’s no one left who believes in him. Or so he thinks.

Theresa Malone was Ilya’s stepsister for only a year, until his mother threw her pill-popping father out of the house in the middle of the night, forcing teenage Theresa to follow. Now she’s returned for Babulya’s funeral—and to facilitate the quarry-development deal. As she tries to convince Ilya to sell, she realizes her feelings for him have ignited—from sisterly into something more.

Working together closely, Ilya and Theresa struggle to define their intense attraction. When the details of Jennilynn’s death surface, will Ilya and Theresa’s deep connection keep their hope for the future afloat—or submerge them once and forever in their tragic past?

I found All the Secrets We Keep quite compelling. I hated to have to stop reading, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the book. I was surprised by my reaction, considering I found the first book a little slow and felt the main characters, Alicia and Niko were likeable, but a bit dull. Ilya and Theresa, especially Theresa, are both much more interesting characters. I found Niko and Alicia to be too passive, spending too much time contemplating past mistakes and decisions (or lack thereof). Theresa and Ilya are more active, even when their decisions aren’t the best, they’re moving forward with direction and concrete goals. I didn’t like Ilya in the first book, and he starts out as the same stubborn man here, but he finally realizes he’s fighting a losing battle. Letting go of the business he and Alicia had owned seemed to open the floodgates to take steps, with Theresa’s help, to move on from the past, and finally, grow up. Ilya was stuck emotionally, and I loved seeing his introspection and his efforts to make better decisions. Ilya’s growth and development are subtle, which makes them more believable and realistic. I did find the obstacle between him and Theresa to be minor, not a true obstacle, but I don’t think this series is a traditional romance, so I can overlook it. There was a shroud of mystery to Theresa in The Lies We Tell, and I was intrigued. As the details emerged, I wasn’t sure I agreed with how she handled her situation, however, I did enjoy this plot thread and where it eventually lead. I had my theory about the death of Jenni, Alicia’s older sister and Ilya’s former love, but I was wrong. Still, I found the conclusion very satisfying, and really liked this book.

ARC provided for a voluntary and honest review.

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