Title: Strict Confidence
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year: Amber Shah 6/15/21
Length: 292 pages
Series: Rochester Trilogy #2
Forbidden. Commanding. Mysterious. Beau Rochester has an entire house full of secrets. And those secrets are putting Jane Mendoza in danger.
She fell in love with the one man she can’t have. She should leave Maine to protect her heart, but the thread refuses to be severed. The brooding Mr. Rochester and his grieving niece are more than her job. They’re her new family.
She races against time to find answers and protect the people she loves. The cliffside grows dark with the misdeeds of the past. Her heart and her sanity fight a battle, but they are both at risk.
Will Mr. Rochester learn to trust Jane? And will that trust destroy her?
How dramatic is that summary? I mean, it does the story justice, but wow right? This second installment in the series takes us on a dark and crazy journey. IF you remember, we ended the first book with a house fire, with Beau trapped under a beam in the house because he went back in to find Kitten, and of course Jane goes back in for him. They’re both trapped now, he tells her that he loves her and then the world goes dark.
We pick back up in the hospital, and everyone is alive. Maybe not in one piece but alive. Paige was admitted likely for smoke inhalation but she seems to be doing ok. Beau somehow isn’t admitted – he’s at Paige’s bedside and when he’s not there he’s by Jane. Jane finally comes awake and she’s bruised and beaten up a bit. Thank goodness no one died – but the question that we have to answer is how was the fire started?
That’s the question of the book.
Beau finds some place for them to move to, and the coldness that she feels from Beau makes her wonder if she’s welcome in that new temp home. He blames himself for her almost dying and she still feels this connection to him that she doesn’t understand, and even more she doesn’t understand why she’s being pushed away. Until she’s not being pushed.
Their chemistry and bond is something that keeps them together even when it’s not smart. She loves him even though she knows that it’s wrong, knows that he thinks he dangerous for her, and yet they can’t help it. Beau wants to protect her and by pushing her away, he thinks that is how to do it. What happens though is that his dark side comes out and he hurts her more than pushing her away could. Words sometimes cut deeper.
We watch how the trauma affects Paige all over again. The house was the one thing that she had of her parents and now it’s gone. Her Monopoly game is gone and that was her fathers. She’s got nothing and that hurts more than the injuries that she could have sustained. We watch how Jane some how manages to get her back out of her shell and to start to be happy again, until something else happens to rip them all apart.
While the fire is being investigated, we see the appearance of a detective that has history with Beau (and not a good one) as well as a connection to Emily, Paige’s mom and Beau’s ex. He holds Beau to blame for Emily’s death and that’s something that he’s not willing to let go of. He uses Jane and the relationship there as a means to take him down, and it has an impact on our main characters life that he was expecting, but one that will have a far worse outcome.
On top of that, there’s this ghost of a woman that both Jane and Paige keep seeing. No one knows if she’s real, until you have no choice but to think that she’s real. As a reader, even before we are given the truth, we know what the ghost is, but the question is, why is she haunting them now? All the secrets seem to be out, so we don’t know the motivation there.
Where we are left at the end of this installment is no less dramatic than the first book. The characters are split up, things seem to be dying. Not from a fire, but from necessity. There are too many safety issues and obstacles in their way for people to truly be happy, so the only solution is to go their separate ways. What we find when that happens is the shock of a life time and we don’t know what that means for the safety and security of our beloved characters in the short and long run. It’s dicey, dynamic and hot, and I cannot wait to see how this all wraps up. Off to the next book – Enjoy!