If you like take control alpha males then you’ll like Knowing His Secret. It’s something that occasionally I like, although to be honest I prefer beta heroes more.
Summer civic theater in the Berkshires isn’t where you expect to meet hot mogul Tristan. But for Raina, recent college grad with an MFA in theater, that’s exactly what happens. Through bad blocking and whispered conversations they fall into lust and then into each other’s arms. It can’t last. Except that neither seems willing to let go.
So. this is a very by the numbers billionaire romance, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Tropes aren’t bad so long as they are woven together interestingly. Which is what happens here. I did like this story. I loved the use of the Summer Theater Program as the catalyst. And I loved that it wasn’t forgotten once the leads got together. That was unique since it wasn’t expected. I also liked the characters. Raina was a good pov character and we did get a Bechdel test pass…rare in romance and novellas. Even better, there were side characters who didn’t feel like cardboard cut outs.
My only complaint was that Tristan was a very typical controlling rich man with a tragic past ™. He took what he wanted. and that meant that he didn’t ask permission to kiss or have sex with the heroine. I know that some people find that hot. I am not one of them. I find consent sexy. It’s a thing.
Technically, the novella could have used a good proofreader with an eye to commas and dependent clauses. It’s enough that I noticed it. It wasn’t as bad as other books I’ve read, but combined with the lack of asking for permission, it did drop the book down a star. The story ends on a happy for now ending, which is totally acceptable. There’s enough here to satisfy readers who only want to read the one, but still encourages readers to buy the next novella. If you want to split books up to get more money, because let’s be honest that is what this is, this is the way to do it.