Book Review: Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Top Secret

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LobsterShorts, 21
Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.
SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.
LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?
SinnerThree: All the time. I’m an equal opportunity player. You?
LobsterShorts: [crickets!]
SinnerThree, 21
Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF. 

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?
LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.
SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries…
LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?
SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.
LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing…

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I just found out this book was releasing about a week ago and I was ecstatic because I love these two authors and their first collab together Him is one of my all time favorite romance novels. I have a feeling nothing will ever match the joy I feel when reading that book, but I still had high expectations from this one. And as I suspected, it didn’t completely live up to them nor did it disappoint in any way.

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Keaton is a rich third generation legacy kid at his college and knows his privilege, but he is not too much of a show off about it which I liked. He is also a biology major and complete science nerd which was such a refreshing change and I adored it. He is also not very freaked out about possibly being bisexual and is open to explore that side of him and I enjoyed this laidback attitude of his. He did seem to come across as pushover where his father was concerned, but being unable to handle parent’s expectations felt quite realistic in his scenario. Luke on the other hand is comfortable in his sexuality but has lived a hard life with a broken family, which makes him quite emotionally unavailable. But I liked that he was hardworking and very ambitious, sure of what he wanted to achieve in his future. I just felt I didn’t get to know him as much as Keaton.

They are mostly antagonistic towards each other in real life initially but the friendship starts off as anonymous on a hookup app and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions. The banter was fun and sexy, sometimes very hilarious which kept me smiling most of the times. It also takes time for their relationship to develop emotionally in real life and I was all for it. However, it didn’t work out very convincingly for me. There are also a few side characters, especially in the fraternity but I didn’t feel like we got to know anyone well enough. I really liked Keat’s ex-girlfriend Annika for being such a great friend and also being decisive in her choices. The biggest surprise definitely were Keat’s parents and I didn’t see that coming but I’m glad for how their arc played out.

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I love reading these authors’ books because I mostly know what I’m getting into and I love the comfort of predictability. This story is fun and fast paced, with lots of hilarious dialogue and some very emotional moments, making it a good complete package. I’m also a huge fan of books where the relationship develops through messages or emails, and I thought that part was written exceedingly well. And while I thoroughly enjoyed their sexual connection in real life, I didn’t feel like the couple’s emotional arc was given enough time to develop. I definitely would have liked to see more time spent on developing Luke’s accepting of his feelings for Keaton. The ending just felt a tad rushed and abrupt and while I totally wanted the HEA, I think it just suddenly happened. I have heard that there’s a wonderful extended epilogue for newsletter subscribers but it hasn’t showed up in my email yet and I’m eagerly waiting, hoping it will give me a little more satisfaction for this couple’s love story.

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Overall, I just wanna say that this love story was entertaining and fun and quite sexy, a very quick read for when you just want to breeze through a book. If you are a Sarina Bowen or Elle Kennedy fan, you should check it out. As this one looks like a stand-alone for now, it might also be a good choice for anyone wanting to newly explore the m/m romance genre. While it didn’t wow me like some of their previous works, it was quite enjoyable and I had a good time reading it.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Add yours

  1. I read this one recently and absolutely loved it, I actually read it in 1 day hahaha. I completely agree about the rushed ending and that it would have been great if we saw more of Luke accepting his feelings about Keaton. Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you… !! I had fun for the most part, especially when they were chatting…. but I guess I was just expecting more from these two authors…😊😊😊

      Like

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