A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules? Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley. After all, he was her first love when she was fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment. Now, seventeen years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity and a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter, who know nothing of what happened before. Yet when he runs into Jessica, neither of them can ignore the emotional ties that bind them together. With so many secrets to keep hidden, how long can Jessica and Matthew avoid the dark mistakes of their past imploding in the present? From debut author Rebecca Done, This Secret We’re Keeping is a powerful and provocative novel about the ties which can keep us together – or tear us apart.
Taboo romance books can be a difficult subject to write about and keep an authenticity and sincerity about them. Rebecca Done did a fabulous job of keeping to both. The dual time POV was a great way to parallel the characters’ account of their relationship both past and present.
The story is set in a small waterfront town in England. I’m always a sucker for an English backdrop and I absolutely love the British slang.
The characters involved, Matthew (aka Will) and Jess were both very well written and developed into an equally matched storyline. Never did I want to put down the book or skim pages. The story never veered into the cheap and cheesy student/teacher relationship. It was definitely a story of intense blurred lines but viable and deep emotions and feelings. There was never a question of love rather if it was enough.
The present tense story balanced out the forbidden secrets of the past story. I most enjoyed seeing the relationship evolve and regress. It changed but it didn’t through the years that the story takes place. Rebecca Done did a beautiful job of taking this story beyond the ‘dirty’ relationship and made it more about the ripple effect of keeping secrets.
Throughout the story I found myself constantly wavering on how the story would end. It most definitely ended how the story should have ended being dynamic, heartfelt, and sincere.
This is one book that needs be on your TBR. Available this spring (April 2016)