16142262Well, this year’s Ja No Read Mo was a smashing success.  Tripled the number of books I read last year, and met my goal for this round.  Same time next year folks?

So the last casualty for this year’s Ja No Read Mo is the up and coming S.E.C.R.E.T by Canadian author L. Marie Adeline.

Firstly, the fact that it’s being touted as the “Canadian Fifty Shades of Grey” is misleading.  The only thing Canadian about this book is the author and one ski trip that the main character takes to Whistler B.C. as the entire story takes place in New Orleans.  So for those of you keeping track and read my last post, I apologize.  I was just repeating what my bosses told me.

But that’s not to say that the book is bad or anything.

In S.E.C.R.E.T, we meet a 30ish widowed woman named Cassie living in New Orleans.  Her husband was the kind of bad you read about and hear about on the news.  He drank a lot, liked to boss her around, tell her what to do, put her down, and even hit her a few times.  The guy dies about five years before the book takes place, and ever since his death Cassie has been living in a kind of limbo both personally and sexually, until she stumbles upon/is drawn into a society of women called S.E.C.R.E.T who’s sole purpose is to help women find/get back in touch with their feminine, sexual side.

S.E.C.R.E.T has ten steps: Surrender, Courage, Trust, Generosity, Fearlessness, Confidence, Curiosity, Bravery, Exuberance, and The Choice.  The Choice being weather or not to remain in S.E.C.R.E.T for a year and guide a new member through the steps, or to leave the society and apply everything learned to a single, loving relationship.

The book itself was fabulous.  A lot of similarities to Fifty Shades of Grey, mostly in the whole female sexual empowerment/liberation theme, only with less props and hella better writing.

And that’s what this book is about.  Female empowerment in all aspects of life.  Cassie goes through these steps, applying them to sexual situations, but it changes her personality and emotional well being as well.  She becomes more outgoing, more confidant, her self esteem raises half a dozen notches, and by the end of the book even though the ending is completely not what you expect (and in my case not what I wanted for her) you can’t help but be happy for Cassie because she’s happy for herself, for the first time in a long time.  This book is also totally relateable for most any woman of any age.  How many of us have felt unattractive, unwanted, unsexy etc etc?

I think what I like most are the first nine of the ten steps of S.E.C.R.E.T.  They’re such simple words, but they convey so many different meanings and you can apply them to all aspects of your life and with these ‘steps’ I feel you can overcome most any obstacle in your life.

Wow, that sounded way too much like one of those self-actualization seminars.  Sorry folks.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book was the ending, because it was not what I wanted for Cassie and it was so abrupt.  You see her heading down this one path, leaving S.E.C.R.E.T at the end of her ten steps and finding a loving relationship with a man in her life, and all of a sudden that man turns out to be a total ass (which btw is totally out of character from what I’ve seen of him) and she does a complete 360 and The End.  Wait, what?  What happens to her now?  What about him?  Are they happy with their choices in life?  Do they wind up together in the end?

If the author had thrown in like an epilogue that took place a year or so after the events of the book it probably would have wrapped up a bit better.  Other than that, I quite enjoyed it.

And just an fyi ladies and gents, we’ll be playing catch up for most of February.  I had this whole slew of posts ready and rearing to go for January of books and such that I had gone through in December and only remembered at the last minute “Oh….right….Ja No Read Mo….”

So tomorrow we’re starting our catch up with the third installment of the Resident Evil series, City of the Dead by S.D. Perry.  See you then folks!

90578A rookie cop and a resourceful young woman in search of her brother venture into Raccoon City on the very night that a horrifying viral outbreak has transformed every man, woman, and child into one of the living dead.Save