”The Secret of You and Me’ is the latest book by Melissa Lenhardt.
Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she left home, and her broken heart, far behind her. But now tragedy calls her back, where she must finally come face to face with ex-boyfriend Charlie, and best friend Sophie. Only now will she be able to confront her past―and reconcile her future. Sophie seems to have everything. Married to Charlie, with a wonderful daughter and a successful career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. A secret that ripped through their town and destroyed her friendship with Nora. 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 first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites and old feelings resurface. As the forces that once tore them apart begin to re-emerge, both Nora and Sophie must accept that true love is something worth fighting for.
Founded in 1908, Mills & Boon is the UK’s number one publisher of romantic fiction and publish over 700 new titles a year and ‘The Secret of You and Me’ is their very first LGBTQ novel.
The story is written in the past and present tense between once best friends Nora and Sophie. Nora has returned home for her father’s funeral and to tie up a few loose ends including facing up to Sophie, her first love and best friend. Nora left home estranged from her father and joined the army, leaving her old love and life behind. She’s comfortable with her sexuality, whereas Sophie has hidden hers and had a traditional life, married with her daughter.
As the story progresses, both women confront their past and try to move on but their old feelings have returned. Even though they have hurt each other with their decisions in life, they are unable to stay apart.
Mills & Boon’s first step in the LGBTQ genre, is a tender and tentative one hat made for sweet reading. An exploration into first love, the story focuses on the issues of prejudice and homophobia as the small town are religious and against gay relationships. Life is particularly hard for Sophie, being married to an upcoming politician and pillar of the community, she has an image to maintain even though she is deeply unhappy.
The interactions between the 2 women made for heartfelt reading as they tried to ignore the feelings between them and Nora was feisty to point out her opinions, particularly when it came Sophie’s close-minded mother called Brenda.
Sweetly written, this book was a tender and sensitive read from start to finish. A story that recognises the hardship of coming out as well as the pressures of trying to lead a secret life, ‘The Secret of You and Me’ is a story of love overcoming all and new beginnings and is a triumph of a love story.
You can buy ‘The Secret Of You And Me’ from Amazon is available to buy from Amazon and other good bookshops.