Secrets and Sins: Gabriel by Naima Simone
Publication Date: June 24th 2013 by Entangled Suspense
About the book: Twenty years ago, Leah Bannon’s beloved Uncle Richard vanished without a trace. Leah, now a private investigator, begins to suspect it was murder. When she reopens the cold case, Gabriel Devlin—-the man she loves but can never have—-inexplicably stands in her way.
Only four people know the truth about Richard’s mysterious disappearance—-Gabriel and three childhood friends...who have all sworn to take that secret to the grave. But a hidden enemy wants those shocking secrets brought to light...even if he has to kill to make it happen. After experiencing an unimaginable loss two years ago, Gabriel refuses to put himself through the pain of loving someone who could be gone in an instant. But as he thwarts Leah’s investigation at every turn—-both to keep his friends’ pact, and to keep her safe from danger—-the sexy PI makes it impossible for him to protect his secrets. Or his heart...
Secrets and Sins: Gabriel was a combination of all the things I love in a story, mystery, suspense and romance. The theme of this romance is one that usually breaks my heart a bit: unrequited love.
Leah has been in love with Gabriel since she was a teenager. She has it bad for him, and always has:
She doubted even the talk-show doctor with his decades of experience could cure her of this love. Over the years she’d witnessed Gabriel date, marry another woman, and start a family. She’d seen him bury his wife and his heart. And still, she loved him.
She’s tried to move on with her life, more so when he was married, but after the accident she put all her plans on hold to help Gabriel get through his pain, whether he wanted the help or not. When an investigation of a beloved “uncle’s” disappearance falls into her lap twenty-three years later, Gabriel is intent on helping her with the investigation.
Gabriel lost his wife and toddler son in a tragic accident two years ago. He still grieves and has gone through times where he just wanted to be buried in the casket with them. But lately his thoughts of Leah, his best friend, fill him with confusion and shame. He can’t get lusty thoughts of her out of his mind. He knows he can’t act on them because he wouldn’t be able to give her anymore than a fling or one night stand and then everything would be ruined between them. The investigation of Richard, Leah’s stand in uncle has all his warning bells ringing. He and his childhood mates have secrets that bear on the investigation and he doesn’t want Leah discovering what they are. When it becomes apparent Leah’s life is on the line, the feelings he keeps shoving aside burst out and cannot be ignored. His urges to protect her are too strong to deny.
This story took me a bit to get into. The mystery didn’t get exciting to me until about half way through. Once it did though, I was eagerly turning pages to find out who was behind all the danger now, and in the past. The romance took a long time to develop because Gabriel kept fighting his feelings. I have to say, Leah had way more patience than I would’ve. My heart went out to her pining away for Gabriel for so long. The way he treated her in the beginning ticked me off! I know he went through horrible loss, and maybe I should’ve had more compassion for him, but I guess I just kept putting myself in Leah’s shoes, and I wanted to smack him! I wanted to give Leah a little shake, too!
The one good thing to come out of the danger and harm Leah experiences is it wakes up Gabriel’s feelings for her. It was a relief for him to come out of the fog! I’m a sucker for an unrequited love that finally gets some response!
In spite of some of my issues I did enjoy this and read it basically in one sitting. The mystery, once it gets going was exciting and I kept trying to guess who could be responsible. It was nice for a change not to immediately know or suspect. This is an excellent story if you’re looking for a bit of a thrill ride and romance in one.