The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris
(Stolen Kiss #2)
Published: 2-10-15 by Paper Lantern Lit
Get the book: Amazon
All Hannah wanted was a summer break from being “perfect Hannah Cohen” and a chance to forget about the devastating family secret that could ruin her seemingly perfect life. So when she takes off for her eccentric aunt’s house in the mountains of North Carolina and everyone makes one big (wrong) assumption about her past, Hannah figures that it’s easier to live a lie than have to face the truth.
She never expected to make any real friends, like the hilarious and spontaneous Kate and Ashton, who drag her to late night bonfires and ice cream marathons. And she especially never counted on meeting Jude Westmore, the brooding bad boy next door with gray eyes and permanent oil smudges on his fingers, or that he would ever take an interest in her.
Between moonlit movie nights in the bed of Jude’s truck and nearly romantic Ferris Wheel rides, Hannah’s old life seems father away then ever, but can she keep her secret, or is the truth worth the risk of losing everything, including Jude?
Design – Angela Velez Photo – Ondine Goldswain Rating – 3/5
This cover is fine but a little bland. It could be the cover of any romance. It’s strange how both faces are obscured by lens flare and water. I might like it better if the photo was different. The colors and photo composition are great. The shades of purple and the font choices are perfect.
The Secrets Between You and Me is a companion novel to The Boyfriend Thief, but it’s in no way necessary that you read both as they deal with different characters with very little overlap. This story is all about figuring out what you want by figuring out what you don’t want. Hannah needs an escape from living up to her parents’ expectations and dealing with the fallout of their issues. Jude needs a friend who doesn’t see his rocky past when they look at him. Hannah and Jude form a great friendship as they help each other deal with life and figure each other out.
- Jude + Hannah – I loved Jude and Hannah together from their very first interaction. They slowly become friends, and while they’re both feeling less than happy with themselves, they’re supportive of the other. Jude takes Hannah to places he visited as a child and shares his world with her. He helps Hannah deal with her fear of heights, but never pushes her with more than she can handle. Jude is sweet and Hannah helps him to come out of his self-imposed exile and show people that he’s a great guy.
- Aunt Lydia – Hannah’s aunt is wonderful. She introduces Hannah to a girl her own age, encourages her to be herself, and pushes her to talk to her dad. Lydia drops everything to help Hannah but lets her figure things out on her own. Sometimes she can try too hard to be nice and fun, because Hannah’s mom is her sister and she knows how harsh and controlling she is. Lydia is hesitant about Jude at first, but is really good at accepting him because Hannah likes him.
- Hannah – I really like that this story is more focused on Hannah and the things she wants to change in her life than on her getting a boyfriend. She and Jude aren’t aiming to be in a relationship, just to be friends and have someone to understand them. I love that they’re both more concerned with making themselves better people than with finding someone else to make them happy.
- dead vs. rehab – Hannah’s dad is away in rehab for an addiction problem. Of course, none of this is Hannah’s fault, but she’s deeply embarrassed by it. This general feeling I can understand. What I don’t understand is that when people misunderstand and assume that her dad is dead, Hannah just goes with it and doesn’t correct them. Maybe it’s so she doesn’t have to talk about him, but it does really hurt Jude that she didn’t tell him the truth.
- the moms – Hannah’s mom is selfish. She’s so focused on keeping up appearances that when her husband is unconscious, she doesn’t call 911 until her party guests leave. Her family is falling apart but she goes off on a trip to France to basically ignore both her family and her problems. Jude’s mother is dedicated to doing nothing to help Jude. She’s cruel and rarely sober, lashing out at Jude in anger instead of actually mourning her son.
“I’m not looking for a boyfriend,” I said.
He wrinkled his nose. “Neither am I.”
My neck flushed hot. “I mean, I’m not going out with you for changing my tire. Just so you know.”
“That’s a little presumptuous,” he said, leaning his tanned arms on the top of the open door. “What makes you think I’d want to go out with you?”
I sucked in a breath, stung. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
He looked me up and down. “Maybe you’re not my type.” – Hannah + Jude Loc. 159
“I take one day a week to free my mind.” She stopped and smiled. “You know, listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.”
Jude knocked again. “Hannah, are you in there?”
“Today, the neighborhood seems especially lovesick and whiny,” Aunt Lydia commented.
I rolled my eyes. “He’s not lovesick. We’re not in love. We’re not even dating or anything. We’re friends.” – Lydia, Jude, + Hannah Loc.1852