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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
In Katherine Tirado-Ryen’s The Secrets Inside, Connie had everything mapped out. A promising future with a scholarship meant boys never turned her head. She’d much rather have a new project to focus on. Chemistry was her passion, her love, until a different kind of chemistry happened. The last few months had been rocky, her home filled with drama from a sister who’d moved back in, a vibrant grandmother who doesn’t miss a thing, and last but not least, her father’s widowed friend. And therein lay the issue. He had been mourning for years. He was keeping to himself until she pulled him out of his shell and uncovered feelings he thought were best left to those who had the promise of a future. But the path looks rocky as choices and decisions descend and she must make a choice about which future path she should walk, and whether she is willing to accept the consequences.
If you’re looking for a slow-burn romance with conflict and turmoil while providing fleshed-out characters and real-life drama then The Secrets Inside could be right up your alley. Connie is a plan-driven young adult who has never known love but what she feels toward her studies. Paired with her best friend Dee, her polar opposite in every way, you will never be short of drama. Add that to a house full of people, each with their troubles and the unfolding events, and you have a recipe for an involved read. It was fun to watch the slow draw, the forbidden pull toward Nick, as Connie finally started to look at something other than her textbooks. She found a lot more than she bargained for, especially since theirs was a love fated never to be, at least not without driving a wedge between her and those she loves. Katherine Tirado-Ryen writes in a smooth style, paying attention to detail, allowing the reader to feel as fully immersed in the scenes and scenery as the well-developed characters. This is a tale to pull at the heartstrings, a coming-of-age story that breaks free of the normal mold to offer the reader a new and emotional journey.