Title: Stolen Secrets
Author: Cayce Poponea
Genre: Romantic Mafia Suspense Standalone
Arianna Covington’s world is turned upside down after the tragic death of her fiancé. Her friends watch as she tries to put the pieces of her life back together, only to fall further into the depression and seclusion her loneliness creates. To them, a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras will somehow make the demons, which haunt her, vanish into the sweltering heat of the night.
What they don’t know is, Arianna has been living a lie, a spider web of secrets she keeps in order to stay alive. Using the city’s reputation for lost inhibitions and excessive celebration, she vanishes into the sea of spectators. She emerges with a new look and endless choices, leaving behind the secrets and lies she never wanted or earned. How can one night of burying your past, turn into a war with Dominick Santos? A man even the devil himself fears.
Stolen Secrets is full of twists and turns, taking us on a wild ride with Arianna and Dominick.
Arianna hasn't had an easy life, things she thought were true, she learned quickly were not at all what she thought. She was stuck in a life she had no desire to live, until it all changed and she took her chance to escape that world. She did what she had to do to ensure she could have the life she wanted, in a new place far away. Picking a big city like New York was a big part of her plan for her second chance - but she didn't expect to have an unknown connection to people in the big city she wanted to get lost in. She's a sweet, smart girl, she knows the things she's willing to accept, and what she isn't and she's never going to let a man dictate or control her again.
Dominick will take over for his family's business, THE BUSINESS, as in Mafia, one day. He'll be the big boss, and his family is trying to get him in the right place for that take over. They've given him a deadline, a time frame to find a proper wife and wed her, but Dominick isn't really looking, until he steps into his mother's shop and sees her new employee. Ari is different than other women he's known, and something about her just stuns him, and grabs hold of his thoughts. For the first time ever, Dominick is having a hard time getting what he wants, he's got a woman who isn't bowing at his feet or eager to give him a chance. He's total alpha, blustering with authority, but also has a good heart hidden behind the outer layers.
As Dominick tries to win Arianna over, there's a lot of things that go on that work against him making it a little harder. But there's also moments where Arianna sees the Dominick she'd be willing to get to know more, and its those small glimpses that give her a more realistic impression of just WHO the man is. I really loved how the whole thing played out and we got so see different sides to Dominick and we got to watch Arianna work through her thoughts/feelings as well.
As expected with this book, there were a lot of hidden truths, a bunch of twists and turns, some I anticipated, others I hadn't. I really enjoyed how each twist built on the story, hooking me further, and making me not want to put my kindle down. The characters are fun, they have a lot of depth and really made me feel as if I knew them and could understand their motives. There's also a bit of steam that really shows further the chemistry between these two people. There's humor, there's a very nice familial bond between Dominick and his family, though they don't always agree, there is loyalty.
I really enjoyed all of the characters, Sophia and Gabby made wonderful coworkers and friends for Arianna, and I liked how they engaged with her. There were also those characters that I didn't like, at all, but the fact that I had such a strong reaction to their actions, to the character they owned, shows how fabulously Cayce wrote their despicableness.
Overall Stolen Secrets was a book that I jumped straight into, and loved the wild ride it took me on. It made me feel, it made me laugh, rage, and above all else, it made me have hope that things could work out and that Love can happen anywhere.
Cayce Poponea currently resides in Southern Georgia, with her three dogs and wonderful husband. A true romantic at heart, she writes the type of fiction that she loves to read. When she isn't setting behind her computer screen, creating yet another heart stopping, page turning novel. You can find her enjoying down time with her family.