Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5/5)

Genre: Dark Romance

Available On: Amazon

Dangerous Secrets, by Amy Barnett, caught my eye on Bookstagram, that forbidden embrace on the cover giving off vibes of shadows and secrets. Then, those words: ‘dark mafia.’ My pulse quickened. My finger trembled as it hit the “buy now” button. You see, I have a penchant for the mysterious and seductive, and this book promised all that and more.

As I dove into the world Barnett had crafted, I found tantalizing elements that had me gripped right from the start. This was a fast read, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Arranged marriages, falling for a bodyguard, and the dark thrills of mafia romance. My imagination was sparked, thoughts weaving and dancing, almost expecting a reverse harem situation (and wouldn’t that have been tasty?). Take a sexy bodyguard (technically Sage’s father’s right hand, and the ‘bodyguard’ thing is a joke, but he certainly acts like one), an arranged marriage to a mobster, and throw add the fiancé’s brother into the equation and the mind rather reels with possibilities.

But alas, the story remained steadfast in the romantic suspense genre, with the intriguing Mafia princess Sage at its core. No RH today. That didn’t stop this being a great read. The way in which she fell for her bodyguard, knowing the strings of her destiny were tied elsewhere, was a dance of emotions I couldn’t tear myself away from. Sage’s character is sculpted – strong yet vulnerable, full of surprises – in a way that really resonated with me.

Now, the plot. Twists, turns, deceptions, and an intensity that mirrors the gaze of Alexei himself (the brother of Victor Rushkoff, the fiancé to whom Sage DeMarco is promised through an arranged marriage). Ah, Alexei, that unpredictable wild card. His scenes are scorching, his chemistry with Sage a raging fire that burns across the pages. The other characters, each bearing the weight of their own secrets, act as the pillars of a story that never ceases to amaze.

Somewhat psychopathic and unpredictable, Alexei’s intensity, particularly in his interactions with Sage, adds a complex layer to the story. His scenes are filled with tension, and his relationship with Sage ignites a burning chemistry that resonates throughout the novel.

Though not the central romantic interest, Alexei’s dangerous and unpredictable nature makes him a significant and intriguing presence in the book. His character adds to the suspense, thrill, and dark romance that characterize the novel, and his actions play a crucial role in the unfolding plot.

And Nick (the bodyguard), he’s an enigma too, sweet yet dangerous, much like the winding path this book took me on. The ending? A devastating masterpiece. It left me breathless and yearning, waiting with bated breath for what’s to come.

The one complaint, the ending’s shock was so intense it left me a bit disoriented. But perhaps that’s the beauty of it? It intrigues me enough to want to delve deeper, to see where this battle will take me next. It’s a game of chess, a love triangle, rivalling families, bodyguard intrigue, and twists that will leave you gasping.

If you’re like me, and your soul thrives on the dangerous, the suspenseful, and the romantically thrilling, Dangerous Secrets is an adventure you must embark upon. In the realm of dark romances and Mafia games, it’s a wild ride that doesn’t disappoint.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must pour over its pages once more, reliving the passion, the suspense, and the thrill. The anticipation for the next book is a fire in my veins, a desire I must satiate. The secrets may be dangerous, but oh, how they entice.

How Spicy Is Dangerous Secrets?

Spice Rating: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

The book does contain scenes that smoulder, moments where the chemistry between characters ignites the page, and yet, it is not overwhelmed by these fiery encounters. The spice is there, subtle and lingering, like the taste of a forbidden kiss, but it’s not the main dish. The true essence of the book lies in its intrigue, suspense, and the emotional whirlwind it stirs.

So, in the grand scale of spiciness, I’d rate it a mild to moderate level. It’s a teasing dance, a flirtation with the senses, but not a full plunge into the inferno of desire. It’s a spice that adds flavour without overpowering the complex layers of the story, a seasoning that complements rather than dominates. If you’re seeking a dark romance that tantalizes without scorching, Dangerous Secrets may be just the taste you’re looking for.

What Romance Tropes Are In The Novel?

In the intricate web of Dangerous Secrets, several romance tropes converge to create a compelling tapestry of intrigue, romance, and suspense. These narrative devices, far from being mere clichés, are expertly woven into the plot, character development, and thematic exploration, adding depth and texture to the story. From forbidden love to complex Mafia dynamics, these tropes serve as both familiar anchors and tantalizing hooks that pull the reader into the world of Sage DeMarco, a Mafia princess caught in a dangerous game of passion and power. Let’s explore these thematic threads that contribute to the novel’s undeniable allure.

Arranged Marriage: The main character, Sage, is forced into an arranged marriage, setting the stage for much of the drama and tension.

Falling for a Bodyguard: The romance between Sage and her bodyguard adds a complex and forbidden layer to the story.

Dark Mafia Romance: With rivalling Mafia families, bodyguards, and complex relationships, the novel includes various elements typical of dark mafia romance.

Love Triangle: The romantic entanglements between the main characters form a love triangle, increasing the emotional stakes.

Enemies to Lovers: The development of relationships from adversarial to romantic adds depth and tension.

Revenge Plot: The underlying theme of revenge drives the characters and the plot, adding an additional layer of intensity.

Strong Female Lead: Sage’s strength and complexity make her a standout character and align with the strong female lead trope.

These tropes combine to create a rich and multi-layered story that is full of intrigue, suspense, romance, and unexpected turns. It’s a blend that resonates with many readers, particularly those who enjoy dark romance with a strong narrative drive.

What Genre Is The Novel?

Dangerous Secrets falls into the genre of dark romance, with strong elements of romantic suspense. The novel’s themes of arranged marriage, falling for a bodyguard, rivalling Mafia families, twists and turns, and a love triangle place it firmly within this category.

The dark romance genre often explores more intense and sometimes taboo subjects, and the inclusion of Mafia elements and suspenseful plot twists adds complexity and tension to the story. The combination of these elements creates a thrilling reading experience for fans of dark, suspenseful romance.