Published by HQN Books on August 25, 2020
Genres: African American, Romance, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon
Can they do what’s right…without betraying their hearts?
Senatorial candidate Byron Robidoux always does the right thing. And, after years of focus and dedication, his life and campaign are going exactly to plan—until a blackmailer jeopardizes everything. No one is supposed to know that thirteen years ago, Byron told a lie to protect a college friend. And now that lie could destroy his career…and threaten the woman he never stopped loving.
Zoe Hammond hardly recognizes the refined and handsome politician Byron has become. The last time she saw him, he was the friend who saved her life by claiming to be the father of her unborn baby. For that, she’d do anything for him. Except Byron’s world of wealth, reputation and deceit isn’t a place where Zoe or her daughter belong. But when a menace from the past comes calling again, staying with Byron is best for them all. And, as the searing attraction between them builds, they soon realize some things are worth fighting for…especially love
Scandalous Secrets is the latest book in Synithia Williams’ Jackson Falls series. In this book, we get to see the brother and Senator hopeful Byron Robidoux’s journey to love.
Running for Senator and having a secret baby that’s not really yours can be a potential disaster, especially if the public gets a hold of the news. While the truth isn’t necessarily one to elicit major scandal, with the wrong spin and the wrong people it can definitely put a serious dent in political aspirations.
Byron had been in love with Zoe Hammond while in college, and that was partially agreed to lie for her when she asked her a huge factor when she was in a dangerous situation. He has never regretted his decision though he has been upset, and hurt, at the way Zoe left him when he was willing to make a life with her.
Zoe did what she thought was best and Byron’s family definitely weren’t fans of their decision making and, not so delicately, helped push her in the direction they thought was best.
When someone threatens to expose the truth behind Byron and Zoe’s actions, they are forced to come up with a solution and therefore see each other for the first time in many years. Things are quite complicated and what turns into a solid PR plan to spin this news turns into a lot more. Zoe has never quite believed that Byron’s feelings for her were real, but more time together shows that desire (and love) is there on both sides. However, Zoe is hesitant to believe and trust any man after her past relationship. Byron’s family and advisors don’t make it easy for her either and there were a few times when their love was almost over before it really started.
I do wish Byron had put his foot down a bit earlier in the story. Very early on, I was waiting on him to be like “Hold on, I got this.” I clapped my hands at every missed opportunity! Smt. I mean, he did it, but he was a little late. He let his father dictate quite a bit of his life though it didn’t seem he wanted to admit that at first. Grant, his dad, has a firm hand and believes that everyone should do as he says for the good of the family and its reputation. Damn your feelings or the fact that he has made his own shitty decisions.
I liked Scandalous Secrets a lot better than the first book and felt that both of these main characters had reasons for you to both like and dislike them. There were definitely times when I wanted Zoe to open her eyes and see things at face value and not let her past cloud her decisions. But I understood why she was like that.
The family dynamic here was solid and it was good to see a little bit of the inner workings of politics within this family and how they interacted with each other. As I mentioned before in my review of the first book (on Goodreads and Amazon), this definitely gives me the soap opera vibes and I like that a lot!
Careless Whispers is up next and features Elaina, she intrigues me a lot and I will be reading that story.