by Claire Contreras
Series: Secret Society
Published by Independent
Release Date: October 21st 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Format Read: ARC
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You've heard of these groups - the secretive ones that only the crème de la crème are invited into, the ones outsiders speculate about for centuries - I'm the second in my family invited to attend, but to them, I'm fresh meat. New blood. New money, too.
They think they'll elbow past me, that I'm here for their amusement, for them to walk all over, they'll find out soon enough that I'm not.
I may look like one of them, with my designer bags and clothes straight from the Parisian runways, but I'm not. I'm here for answers, to take revenge for blood spilled on their centuries-old Persian rugs.
I transferred here in search for answers about what happened to my older brother, who hightailed out of here, and my friend who seemingly disappeared into thin air. I certainly wasn't here for the attention of the star hockey player, regardless of how much he willed my eyes his way. I wasn't here for his scrutiny or his judgment or to read into his mysterious aura. I was here for the society, because only they held the answers I needed. That was, until I found out that in order to get those answers, I needed to to go through him. He's saying if I want in, I have to play by their rules, follow their lead.
It's a game I'm willing to play.
I may be the second person I know of to be invited into their society, but I'll be the first to make it out intact.
I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Actual footage of me when Claire announced a book with Secret Societies:
I know I go on and on about how amazing Claire Contreras is every time she release a new book, and I’m not going to stop now. I was SO FREAKING EXCITED to get my hands on this, and once I had it I basically devoured it in one night. Claire has previously written romantic suspense, so I assumed it would be just as great as the first series I ever read by her, the Darkness series. (another action packed one I love by her is Because You’re Mine)
This book follows Amelia (AKA Mae) as she changes colleges her senior year to seek answers in regards to what happened to her brother, as well as what happened to a missing girl whose search and rescue efforts seemed to just dry up with no questions answered and no one left to care. Well… Mae cares, which lands her in all kinds of trouble in her quest for truth.
Along the way she meets Logan (AKA Fitz), who starts as the typical gorgeous, jerk of a jock, who cant seem to stay away from Mae and shows up everywhere she goes, and who she cant keep out of her head. She also manages to make a few friends, however questionable they may be. Actually, due to the nature of a suspense novel I found everyone questionable at one point or another, for various reasons.
Amelia is great. She is sassy and smart, and determined. But she is not without flaws. I feel like she trusted people way too easily. I kept wanting to yell at her to stop talking to everyone she came in contact with about secret societies and Lana, because in these situations you inevitably ask the wrong person, which leads to deeper and darker secrets and answers than Amelia ever expected.
I loved how exciting things got as she got closer to the secret society, The Eight. There were some seriously intense moments and our first sign of real heat between Logan and Amelia. Logan – SWOON! He was so into her, and he easily became protective and loyal to Amelia. She let her jealousy and initial impressions of Logan cloud her judgement of him at first, and boy if I had to hear about his “harem” one more time from her I would reach into the book and slap her. Logan was just as sexy, charming and brooding as I wanted him to be. The right mix of all those things.
“If?” He sounded offended. “We’re staying together.” “I don’t like to jump to conclusions. For all I know, I’m just a footnote in your college experience.” “Oh, Mae.” He sighed into the phone. “How could you be a footnote when you’re the whole damn textbook?”
As much as I love Logan and Amelia together, this book is not simply a romance. The balance between suspense, romance and build up to big moments and reveals is so wonderfully balanced. It was so well paced that I was excited to continue turning pages well into the night, with never a dull moment to complain about. There is time spent introducing characters, slowly stumbling upon answers, learning about and becoming a part of the secret societies, focusing on family, falling in love, and racing through heart pounding action scenes.
I cannot wait to read the next book in this series (so excited its becoming a series!!! AHHHH!!!), and spend time with more of the characters, especially either Nolan or her brother, Lincoln. Claire – I love you, you beautiful, brilliant woman. You never cease to amaze me and continue to grow as an author with each book I read. This is definitely one of my favorite books this year.