March 16, 2011

After a rapid change in management, Natalie Hall is surprised to find that she's being promoted so quickly. But when it becomes obvious that the new CEO is interested in her on a more personal level, she pushes him away -- she doesn't want to repeat her past mistake of giving her heart to the wrong man.

A self-made billionaire, Alex Damon has his own reasons for pursuing Natalie. Her adoptive father, a powerful U.S. senator, is using his political clout to protect his friends the Rodales, who Alex intends to destroy for ripping his own family apart when he was a child. Furthermore, he suspects that Natalie is spying for the Rodales.

What he hasn't planned on is her unflinching sense of loyalty and integrity,
the sizzling attraction between them that threatens to turn into something much more, and the dark secrets that can destroy them both.

Title: Carnal Secrets
Author: Nadia Lee
Series: For now it’s a stand-alone novel but I hope there will be more in this setting and with these characters
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-published
Year of release: 2011, March 1
Format: eBook
Source: Received a digital copy from the author for review

First line:
Natalie shook her umbrella, sprinkling cool water droplets everywhere, as she entered Damon Defense Engineering headquarters in Tysons.

Memorable Scene:
- the picknick scene > loved how romantic it was and how well the mood change-moment was brought into it and changed the whole vibe of the scene.

CARNAL SECRETS can be quickly summed up saying it’s a novel about revenge, corporate espionage, a baby scare, horrible family members, a conniving godmother and family secrets. Combine that list of elements with a wonderfully written love-story that’s set up very well and keeps you reading and there you have starting point of my review of CARNAL SECRETS. The hero and the heroine of CARNAL SECRETS are Natalie Hall, a financial analyst and Alex Damon, Chairman and CEO of the company Natalie works for.

Natalie has strong work ethics, is ambitious and a strong woman who tries not to let her female family members’ vicious behavior and remarks towards her get to her. She tries this but underneath her bravado I felt the hurt she felt and the longing to be accepted and loved.

Alex was the typical corporate hotshot. He is a confident and intense man, equally charming and ruthless and on a quest to avenge the wrongdoings against his family. There were things Alex did I didn’t quite like but all in all I loved him as a character and as the hero of this book.

Natalie and Alex were very alike in a few things. They are both masters of self-control and they both are iron-willed. Despite their mutual attraction this also caused them to clash a few time and that gave their romance a very nice tension-filled vibe throughout the book.

I really enjoyed reading CARNAL SECRETS. The start (first chapter) felt a lot like a category romance (Presents/Blaze-like), complete with the corporate setting and the revenge trope. As I went into this read fairly blank I was pleasantly surprised by this and was immediately curious about the rest.

And the rest absolutely did not disappoint. It was the perfect combination of pace, story and details/descriptions. Normally I'm not a fan of descriptive writing but the balance with the dialogues in CARNAL SECRETS was so good I really enjoyed it. Throughout the book, the back-stories of the main characters come across loud and clear without being intrusive with the romance and this is something not all authors that I read achieve easily.

The secondary characters were subtly portrayed and they all contributed to the story and the back-stories. Some I really liked as characters, others I disliked with gusto. There were a few very intriguing secondary characters of which I hope Nadia Lee will have the opportunity to write their story.

In conclusion, CARNAL SECRETS is a rich and layered read, subtle in the sexual scenes but intense in the romance and emotional parts. I really enjoyed reading it and look forward to more contemporary work of Nadia Lee, preferably in this setting/group of characters.

Favorite Quotes:
When he sat across from her, barely enough personal space remained to be polite. She could feel a delicious heat coming off his body, smell a whiff of spicy cologne. Something stirred in her, sexual and dangerous. She stomped on it. This wasn't the time, this wasn't the place, and he definitely wasn't the right man to be attracted to.

She was nothing but a trembling mass of overly sensitized nerve endings. He was ruthless, as if he was trying to brand her as his. And she didn't care. Her brain had ceased to work a long time ago, and there was only her body and its insatiable need for the sensation only Alex could give her.


Nadia Lee said...

Thank you so much! :-)

Patti (Book Addict) said...

This sounds good - I like "enemies to lovers" and it sounds like Ms. Lee writes good characters. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Lori said...

I just got an email for this book yesterday, and thought it looked interesting. Thanks for the confirmation!

Nadia Lee said...

Patti -- Thank you.

Lori -- How interesting. Do you mind telling me how you got that email / who sent it to you? My newsletter went out in February, and I haven't paid for any advertising, etc. Thanks! :-)

Aurian said...

It sounds like a nice read Pearl, great review. I nice change from the mountain of paranormals I have been reading lately.

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39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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GR Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.

On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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