A Lovely WLW Romance About Finding Your Way Back to Your First Love | Review: The Secret of You and Me by Melissa Lenhardt

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Everyone say thank you 2020 for doing one thing right: some really great books. The Secret of You and Me? ONE OF MY FAVOURITE WLW BOOKS OF THE YEAR.

The Secret of You and Me
by Melissa Lenhardt 

True love never fades—and old secrets never die…

Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she fled Texas to start a new life. Away from her father’s volatile temper and the ever-watchful gaze of her claustrophobically conservative small town, Nora has freed herself. She can live—and love—however she wants. The only problem is that she also left behind the one woman she can’t forget. Now tragedy calls her back home to confront her past—and reconcile her future.

Sophie seems to have everything—a wonderful daughter, a successful husband and a rewarding career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. She still yearns for Nora—her best friend and first love—despite all the years between them. Keeping her true self hidden hasn’t been easy, but it’s been necessary. So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it.

But they both find that first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites and old feelings resurface. As the forces of family and intolerance that once tore them apart begin to reemerge, they realize some things may never change—unless they demand it.

The Secret of You and Me by Melissa Lenhardt 
Rating: ★★★☆ 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

The Secret of You and Me was one of my most anticipated romances of the year for obvious reasons. You can never have enough WLW based releases. (There desperately needs to be more.) Fortunately, this year there has been a bit of an expansion when it comes down to more representation. And while we've still got a long ways to go, it's really great to see the publishing world broadcasting more and more voices

Love stories shouldn't be one size fits all and the fact that we're seeing more and more explorations of love is so very necessary. The Secret of You and Me takes us on a beautifully written ride of first loves reuniting, second chances, and embracing the past and present as one. It touches base on all the topics and tropes I love to see in romance; hints of angst, self-discovery and acceptance, nostalgia, and hope. 

The characters were easy to connect with and really, really sink into your veins as you read. The Secret of You and Me has this intensely personal quality to the way that the characters are developed that feels essential to the core of the story. I found that I couldn't shake them from my thoughts even as I took breaks from the novel, and especially after I finished it. There's just something about them that felt crafted in a way that is beautifully honest and deeply personal--like they became a part of you within a few pages.

My favourite stories are often rooted in ones that are character driven and The Secret of You and Me is very much so a character driven narrative. While there is so much to touch base on in the center of the novel, it's very apparent that the characters are the heart and soul. You watch as they live and grow, and there's this fondness that comes with it.

Ultimately, this is a definite standout in WLW romance this year. (Tied fairly equally with Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur.) And if you love second chance romance, you're definitely going to enjoy this stunning exploration of it.

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