Title: The Secret
Author: Stella Gray
Publisher/Year: Stella Gray 10/14/19
Length: 204 Pages
Series: Arranged #2
On the day I was married, I promised to love, honor, and obey my husband Stefan.
Little did I know how literally I would mean obeying.
Stefan tells me what to do, and I do it. There are questions asked, but I always submit in the end.
It would hurt less if I hadn’t started falling for him.
It was supposed to be pretend. But the secrets we now share are too real, and they’re crumbling every piece of who I thought I was.
If only Stefan was the man I thought he was.
If only I weren’t so powerless.
But there’s one thing I have that he wants.
And I’ll do anything it takes to right the wrongs I’ve discovered.
This story gets more twisted and complex as we go on. We know that there was such hopefulness and perhaps quite a bit of innocence in the first installment as we know that Tori really is just eighteen and doesn’t have much life experience. She really felt a connection to Stefan and hoped that he felt the same but what she saw throughout her time with him and on her honeymoon leads her to see otherwise and to realize that life is definitely not what she wanted so she has to forge her own path.
Throughout this second installment, we watch Tori get to find her own way – find her footing in school and really start to excel. She’s doing well in her classes and has friends that are willing to give her the benefit of the doubt even though her husband embarrassed her in ways that weren’t ok. She befriends a guy Gavin who seems to have romantic feelings towards her even though she holds true to the notion of being married and we watch how that brings out all sorts of problems through the book.
Stefan on the other hand continues to be everything that we expect from him. He’s working all the time and it seems like he’d rather be anywhere but with Tori. We’ve seen the insane chemistry and attraction that they have and we see how intimacy some how brings them together but there are so many times in this journey with them that it’s not quite enough.
Stefan feels the need to protect Tori at all costs and that means having her followed as well as tracking her. That breaks her trust especially when it brings out insane jealousy on his part and we see every little thread of this relationship unravel. Every time it seems like they’ve come to an understanding of what their relationship will be, they break it.
About half way through this story – we see that the come to a compromise – as a result of a night out gone wrong. Tori was out with Gavin and some school friends and drinks too much, essentially gets drugged and Stefan comes to her rescue. There’s thought that Gavin was the one who drugged her and that makes this story even more interesting. We don’t exactly know where things will go but i think that we can’t wait to see it.
Tori has moved into another bed room, then back in with Stefan….their lives are pulled apart and then brought back together. Their bond is now forged strong, and that is proven again and again, even with Stefan’s father comes at them, trying to strangle Tori and threaten her. It’s not until the closing scene of this second book that we get to see what he’s really capable of. Stefan has opened up to Tori and shared his secrets and as a result, those secrets are paraded in front of him now with an added unexpected surprise that we don’t yet know what it means and what the outcome will be.
Book 3 is called the Choice and clearly it’s obvious that there’s not just this one choice that has to be made, but several others that will be put in front of everyone in order to get us to a point that brings closure. We don’t know yet who’s on what side and who’s working against Tori (and Stefan for that matter) and we can only hope that it unfolds in a dynamic and exciting way. I’m excited to see where this story goes in this next book and i’m going to root for the romance of things that everyone ends up happy, but given this latest twist, i’m not sure that it’s possible. so on that note, i’m off to read the next installment and enjoy!