REVIEW: Dirtiest Secret by J. Kenner

Posted April 12th, 2016 by in Blog, Erotic Romance, HJ Recommends, Review / 6 comments


In Dirtiest Secret (S.I.N. #1) by J. Kenner, Author Jane Martin has Dirtiest Secretspent the last seventeen years trying to get past the event that changed her life, and that of her childhood best friend Dallas Sykes’ life, at the tender age of fifteen. An age that should have been filled with wonderful new experiences but instead was sullied with fear and torment. Dallas was always a constant in Jane’s life and a source of strength until they gave in to their powerful attraction which was considered taboo. But after remaining apart for as long as she could stand it, she’s now determined to give their romance one more try, no matter what anyone says.

‘I’m not haunted by pain, but by passion. I feel denied. I feel cheated. Because what was perfect and right and saved us in the dark is forbidden in the light.’

Dallas may be known as one of the wealthiest and most womanizing men around, but no one would guess that he’s actually been holding onto the dream of one day making Jane his very own. And it’s a secret that has to remain hidden for the sake of his family and his and Jane’s careers. What happened to them as teenagers has definitely molded who Dallas has become, until he feels like an empty shell of a man. The only time he feels truly alive is when he is near Jane. So when she amps up her game and tries to convince him to be with her, how is he going to be able to refuse?

“Being together came close to destroying both of us once already,” he says. “But I don’t fucking care. You are the memory that gets me through my days, and the fantasy that saves me in the night.”

Dirtiest Secret is perfectly titled. Filled with dramatic family issues, a controversial romance and secrets galore, this was one complex and seriously naughty book.

‘Apart, they were safe. Together, they were combustible.’

So this is going to be a really tough one to review. Most of what I want to discuss I can’t because it would spoil the story. What I can say is that no one can write twisted, complicated, sexy romances like J. Kenner. From the taboo subject matter to the ever-evolving plot, Dirtiest Secret definitely kept me on my toes and held my attention. There was a wide range of emotions I felt as Jane and Dallas’s history and current situation was uncovered: disbelief over where they now found themselves; sadness about their horrific past; and a teensy little small glimmer of hope for their future.

The main focus was on Dallas and Jane’s forbidden relationship. The event in their teens that shook them and their loved ones to the core both brought them closer together and pushed them apart, if that makes sense. (It will when you read the book) I think the reason that Jane and Dallas’s romance is considered taboo may be too much for some readers to get past. For me, it did hamper my ability to empathize with them at first but once I read the flashback scenes about the traumatic event in their teens, I was a bit more okay with it.

I did think Jane and Dallas were very well-developed characters. They each had their way of dealing with the past, neither being right or wrong in what they did. Jane seemed like she had the most hope in them being able to at least be friends again, if not lovers. I liked her strength and how she was forthright in admitting she still had issues to overcome. Dallas was a bit harder to read, but was quite compelling. I wanted to know where his head was and why he acted like a ladies man when he only wanted Jane. Thankfully this was told from both Dallas and Jane’s POVs so we were able to get the reasoning behind the character’s actions. Eventually. 😉

Seduction and tangled emotions led the way in this first book of the Stark International Novels (S.I.N.) series. With a happy-for-now ending that had a twist at the end, I can’t wait to see what happens next in Jane and Dallas’s intriguing story.


Book Info:

4SPublication: April 19th 2016 | Bantam | S.I.N. #1

It was wrong for us to be together, but it was even harder to be apart.

The memory of Dallas Sykes burns inside of me.

Everyone knows him as a notorious playboy, a man for whom women and money are no object. But to me, he’s still the one man I desperately crave—yet the one I can never have.

Dallas knows me better than anyone else. We bear the same scars, the same darkness in our past. I thought I could move on by staying away, but now that we’re drawn together once more, I can’t fight the force of our attraction or the temptation to make him mine.

We’ve tried to maintain control, not letting ourselves give in to desire. And for so long we’ve told ourselves no—but now it’s finally time to say yes.

Dirtiest Secret is intended for mature audiences.



6 Responses to “REVIEW: Dirtiest Secret by J. Kenner”

    • Michele H

      It was! I think some people won’t be able to get past why their romance is forbidden and/or how Dallas comes across as such a playboy. Plus the ‘dramatic event’ might be a trigger issue for some. But boy can J. Kenner write down & dirty, emotional romance. *whew*