Secrets and Sins: Gabriel

Secrets and Sins: Gabriel

by Naima Simone

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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...

Each book in the Secrets and Sins series is a standalone, full length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1- Secrets and Sins: Gabriel
Book #2- Secrets and Sins: Malchim
Book #3- Secrets and Sins: Raphael
Book #4- Secrets and Sins: Chayot

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622660834
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 06/24/2013
Series: Secrets and Sins
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 254
Sales rank: 96,992
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She's a member of RWA's Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair.

Read an Excerpt

Secrets and Sins: Gabriel

By Naima Simone, Tracy Montoya

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2013 Naima Bryant
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-083-4


Charlestown, Massachusetts

"On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, fiiive golden rings ..."

With a smile, Gabriel hit the radio button on his dashboard. Mickey Mouse and the gang cut off mid-"Twelve Days of Christmas," and The Temptations' "Little Drummer Boy" spilled into the car.

Much better. He shook his head. He adored Ian, loved being his father, but listening to Disney's Christmas CD without his son in the backseat went over and beyond his parental duties. He chuckled and wondered what cartoon-inspired holiday music Maura listened to in the green car ahead of him. A meeting with his literary agent in New York, a late return flight back to Boston, and last-minute Christmas shopping that needed to be completed after leaving her parents' Christmas party had prevented him from sharing her fate.

He hated shopping. But with Santa making his visit in two days, Maura had charged him with picking up the eleventh-hour gifts Ian had requested. Given the choice between driving by himself or riding in the car with his family and spending those few extra moments, Gabriel would have chosen his wife with the ever- increasing "Honey, do ..." list and the boy with the high-pitched, off-key voice every time. But neither he nor his wife was strong enough to resist their son's pleas of, "I just gotta have —" How the boy remained so sweet-natured when both his mother and father spoiled him rotten remained a complete mystery.

Gabriel's fingertips tapped the steering wheel in time to the song's beat as he slowed at an intersection behind the family compact. Anticipation and delight streamed through him, lighting him up like the bright bulbs on the seven-foot tree in their living room. One week of nothing but family, friends, and relaxation. After he completed the enormous list of chores Maura had planned for him, maybe he'd go down to the pub and have a pint, soak up the atmosphere, and get another story idea brewing. The forecast called for several inches of snow in the coming days. Maybe he and Ian could get outside and build a snowman. Then he could convince Maura to take an afternoon nap. He grinned and eased his foot off the brake. God, he loved Christmas.

He slowed for the yellow light, then came to a stop as it blinked to red.

Maura didn't.

He yelled out a warning she couldn't hear as her car didn't brake but coasted through the light and into the intersection.

The world slowed until it moved through a transparent wall of glue.

A pickup truck slammed into Maura's car. The compact bowed around the truck's front fender like a steel embrace. The piercing screech of metal scraping metal. The shrill squeal of rubber on road. The scream. The horrible scream ...

In one painful instant, time warped from slow to Mach 3. "No!" Gabriel's bellow filled his car, bounced off the windows, and crashed in his head. With fumbling hands, he slammed the gear into park and reached for the door handle. Animal grunts scraped his throat as he jerked the handle over and over. The lock, a tiny, sane voice whispered. The door is locked. The part of his mind that hadn't given over to panic heeded the instruction and punched the automatic-release button on his armrest. He tumbled from the car and hit the pavement.

The impact scraped his hands and knees. The burn of grit and asphalt biting into his palms and legs rode a distant second to the horror that swamped him.

Lunging to his feet, he tore into the street.

Barely registering the pickup driver's hunched, unmoving body, he darted to his wife's car.

His feet skidded to a stop at the driver's side, and his fingers clawed at the door.

"Maura," he whispered. Her head was slumped against the window, her auburn curls pressed to the glass in a dark halo. "Sweetheart, no." A hard yank and the door shuddered open. His wife flopped into his arms, the seat belt a harness around her limp body.

In seconds, he had the belt unsnapped and her lying on the ground. Blood streaked her forehead and cheeks. A hoarse wheeze rattled from her chest.

Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.

He mumbled the litany over and over as he jackknifed to his feet and lurched for the back door. Christmas presents toppled from the car, spilling onto the street like gaily sprinkled confetti.

With a harsh curse, he yanked the last of the boxes out and crawled into the backseat.

Ian — oh, Jesus, Ian ...

* * *

Gabriel snapped upright, the bedcovers falling around his waist.

His chest rose and fell on the harsh breaths echoing like great blasts of wind in the shadow-shrouded room. Perspiration tickled the overheated skin on his neck, chest, and abdomen. Grief, a leaden weight in his gut, completed the trifecta of physical repercussions he suffered as a result of the nightmare.

Jesus. He moaned, scrubbing a rough palm down his face and then back up. He wasn't surprised the dream had come. He'd been up writing for over twenty-four hours and had been bone-weary when he'd stripped off his clothes and tumbled into bed around 5:00 a.m. He'd plummeted into sleep and had been unable to fight the night terror that had plagued him for two years now.

Two years.

And yet he continued to dream in high definition and Technicolor. Pain sliced through his chest with a rusty knife. Thoughts of Maura and Ian still maintained the power to bring him to his knees.

He glanced at the digital clock on the nightstand. 9:13 a.m.

He'd slept a little over four hours. And still felt like shit.

With a groan, he fisted the covers, then threw them aside. The sweat cooled on his chest as he shifted his legs over the edge of the mattress and rose. No point lying in bed. Sleep wouldn't come back to him — even if his eyes felt as though they'd been replaced with road gravel. Might as well shower, fix coffee, and write — the routine of his life. Eating was a crapshoot and showering could be iffy, too. But coffee and writing ... well, those two kept him sane. And out of the bottle.

He stood with a sigh and unbuttoned the jeans he hadn't bothered to remove before falling into bed. Before he shoved the denim down, he slipped a hand in his pocket and removed the small coin he was never without. He reverently placed the gold piece of metal on the dresser, his fingertip stroking the engraved etchings of a laurel leaf and lion. Inhaling a deep breath, he headed toward the bathroom, threading his fingers through his hair. Residue from the dream clung to him like wisps of fog, clammy on his skin, clouding his thoughts. He reached inside the shower, twisted the knobs until the temperature and pulsing of the water was hot and punishing.

The water sluiced down over his head, stinging his shoulders and chest. It cleansed his body but couldn't wash away the metallic scent of despair that coated his nose and mouth as if he'd sucked on a penny-flavored Tic Tac. The images of Maura and Ian couldn't be scrubbed away with soap and a loofah.

He flattened a palm on the wall and squeezed his eyes closed as if he could physically block out the images — twisted metal, blood, gasoline-soaked gifts. Those fucking presents. He curled his fingers, so they resembled talons against the wet, blue-tiled wall. To this day he hated Christmas.

With a low growl, he picked up a washcloth and the bar of soap, and ruthlessly rubbed his skin. More than once he'd wondered what had occurred inside the car in those few seconds before it entered the intersection. Had Maura been talking and laughing with Ian? Had they been singing carols? Had Ian been playing with that coin he'd received at the mall while out shopping? God, I hope so. Not for the first time Gabriel prayed to an indifferent God that his son hadn't seen the collision coming.

Anger sliced through him like a hot blade. Why hadn't Maura been paying attention? Why hadn't she heeded the red light and stopped? Hadn't she known he would be lost without them?

Shame rushed in, a hot, stinging salve spread on the wound of his rage. Of course she would have never voluntarily left him. Nor would she have caused harm to Ian. Her last words had been about their son. "Save our baby first."

And he'd been unable to save either of them.

Shit. With a vicious twist, he shut off the faucets. If he could, he'd have Memory Lane permanently blocked off and a damn Do Not Enter sign posted at its entrance.

Fifteen minutes later, he jerked on a fresh pair of jeans and a black sweater and padded out of the bedroom toward the kitchen and coffee. The hardwood floor was cool under his bare feet as he entered the large, open dining area. The bright beams of an early morning sun streaked through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room, bathing the condominium in a cheery kaleidoscope of gold and orange. It was beautiful ... and yet completely lost on him. The pricey condo could've offered a view of a brick wall spray-painted with the symbols of whatever gang dominated the area, and he wouldn't have given a rat's ass.

When he'd searched for a place to rent two years ago, the one selling point of the Charleston waterfront apartment hadn't been the incredible view of the Charles River. Nor had it been the spacious two bedrooms, two full baths, or grand fireplace that a full-grown man could stand in — why he would do that, though, beat the hell out of him. No, the lure had been the immediate availability. When his best friend, Malachim Jerrod, had suggested he move into the condo — one of the Jerrod family's many real- estate investments — Gabriel had accepted the offer and property, sight unseen. He hadn't cared. His main priority had been escape. Remaining in his former family home had been a blasphemy, and he'd moved out days after Maura's and Ian's —

The alluring scent of freshly brewed coffee permeated the air, and he gratefully grabbed a cup from the cabinet, cutting off that particular line of thought.

Silence was his companion as he retraced his steps down the hall and into the second bedroom containing a desk, chair, and computer. He waited, sipping coffee as the computer went through its familiar clicks and whirls, booting up for the next few hours' work.

Settling into his chair, he felt a desperate anticipation stumble through him. During those first six months after Maura's and Ian's deaths, he had almost believed he'd lost the desire to create.

But as if that part of his soul, too, had required time to heal, the need to write had slowly emerged again. Altered, darker, but also stronger. Probably because his damaged psyche realized if he didn't have the outlet of creating, he truly would have climbed into a grave and not come out.

His stories, his imagination ... they were his lifelines.

Here, at this desk, Gabriel was in control. No horrible tragedies could occur unless he willed it so. No one died unless he decided they did. Here, in this makeshift office, he didn't teeter on the edge of an alcohol-and-grief- fueled oblivion. Here, with his ass in the chair, he was all-powerful, not helpless or weak.

With a few taps of the mouse, he pulled up his work in progress and minutes later became absorbed in the dark world of suspense, treachery, and murder.


Several hours later, he heard the voice as if from a distance, like the insistent annoying drone of a bee. His mind resisted its call, waved the mental equivalent of a swat, and dug deeper into his story.

"The first slice sang through him like a beautiful, sensuous aria. The soft give of flesh hit him in the chest, a soaring first note that must be followed by another ... and another ..."

"Gabe." A pause. "I know you hear me somewhere in la-la land, and I'm not going away. So you might as well come up for air and answer me."

Damn it! With a growl, he jerked his head up, bared his teeth. "What?" he snapped.

Leah Bannon, his best friend and current pain in the ass, stood at the corner of his desk, a plate piled high with two thick sandwiches and chips in her hand, a pleasant smile on her lovely face, and a determined gleam in her fairy-green eyes. This wasn't the first time she'd shown up in his apartment unannounced and uninvited with meals, groceries, a broom, rag, or bucket of warm water. He tried not to dwell on thoughts of her sweeping out empty bottles of vodka from under his bed. Or how she'd broken down in the early days after the accident, screaming and weeping when she'd discovered a .45 automatic under his pillow.

The knowledge that she'd seen him at his worst humiliated and angered him. Over the last two years, he'd ordered her to leave, get the fuck out, mind her own business. Yet no matter how many times he barked, demanded, and yelled, she refused to go away. Refused to leave him. She was a cross between Florence Nightingale and Nurse Ratched.

"Good afternoon to you, too," she drawled, and set the plate next to the keyboard. The aroma of fresh sourdough bread, mayonnaise, and the sweet tang of ham tantalized his nose and elicited a demanding rumble from his empty stomach.

He frowned.

She arched a slender brow as dark as her midnight-black ponytail.

Shit. He hated when she was right.

"How many times do I have to tell you that key is for emergencies only?"

Leah smacked the heel of her palm against her forehead. "And here I thought saving your skinny carcass from wasting away any further counted as an emergency."

She smiled, easing the sting from her jibe, but not its validity. Her eyes flashed with a devilish twinkle as she playfully tousled his hair. Gabriel stiffened. And not because the juvenile gesture irritated the hell out of him.

He wished his reaction was that simple. But he knew why every muscle locked — understood why tension vibrated through his body like a plucked guitar string on the verge of snapping.

Because she'd touched him.

Awareness skittered over his skin, excitement twinged deep in his gut. His groin clenched as the slow, slumberous stir of arousal awakened and stretched like some great, sleeping beast. At the same time, the acrid mudslide of shame and self-disgust coated his throat and stomach, transforming the arousal into something bitter, unwanted ... resented.

Yet that didn't prevent his gaze from tracing the delicate but stubborn line of her jaw or the elegant column of her neck. He fisted his fingers on his lap, resisting the urge to have them follow the path his eyes traveled.

Her beauty never failed to take him aback — those almond- shaped emerald eyes set in such an exotic, lovely face of sharp cheekbones, full lips, and caramel-liberally-dipped-with-cream skin. She'd inherited James Bannon's Nordic height, but the striking features bequeathed from her Filipina mother made Leah a rare beauty.

Sometimes Gabriel resented her for making him notice her loveliness, her desirability. Resented her for reminding him that his heart could still thud with want, his stomach could still clench with need. His cock could still harden with desire.

He knew it was cowardly, blaming Leah for his own weakness and his body's betrayal. And on stronger days, he convinced himself his reaction was purely biological, a side effect of a two- year period of abstinence. Mentally and emotionally, he still belonged to Maura.

Panic flared in his chest.

So much had been snatched from him in the past couple of years. All he had left was the fidelity and love he'd pledged to his wife seven years ago. If he surrendered his body and heart to another, nothing would remain of Maura. She would truly be gone. And this shell of a man he'd been reduced to would crumble to dust.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, picking up a sandwich and biting into the thick bread and meat. He barely smothered a greedy moan.

"Besides making sure you don't waste away from starvation?" She tilted her head before leaning against the wall and crossing her arms and ankles.

The sharp retort on his lips died a quick death as the manners his mother had drummed into him since he was a kid reared their stubborn head. Belatedly, he rose from his office chair. The only seat in the barren room.

"No." Leah waved toward his plate. "Eat. I can't stay that long anyway."


Excerpted from Secrets and Sins: Gabriel by Naima Simone, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2013 Naima Bryant. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Secrets and Sins: Gabriel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
AvidReader2CR More than 1 year ago
I love Naima Simone books!  Gabriel was a terrific way to leave your everyday life and view it from the world of a a man mired in losses  from his past and his attempt to move forward to the future that awaits him if only he will take the chance. This book had such in depth  character development of the h/h that it was as if you knew them personally.  Lots of secrets, lots of deception and you see the lengths  that people will go to to both run from the truth and bring it to light. Good read and HOPING there will be stories on Gabe's 3 best friends.  One angel isn't enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I read the premise for the book, I was hesitant about reading it. Why? Because of the (secret) How would Naima make it work between Leah and Gabriel. Secrets can cause conflict and I did not want the couple to have to go through a long period where they had to resolve the issue of trust. I put that feeling aside and plunged in. The book was better than I thought it would be. The mystery was the heart of the story, while the romance was second. For some reason, the story made me think about old black and white detective shows.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Naima Simone's novels, I thought I knew what to expect when reading Gabriel. Well, I was only half surprised.  It didn't surprise me that I couldn't put it down and somehow managed to read it in one sitting.  Nor did it surprise me that the characters were like able and real, since they always are.  What surprised me was the depth of emotion I felt when reading Gabriel and Leah's story.  Their evolving relationship was not rushed - how could it be when there was so much pain?  Their coming together was hot but sweet and loving at the same time.  They were two desperate souls trying to find their way and I really felt their pain, anguish, indecision.  So well written and emotional.  A love story that touches your whole heart.  Thank you, Naima, for just getting better with every story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Secrets and Sins: Gabriel delivers solid characters and a good mystery. Though the reader might guess at why Richard disappeared, the circumstances and the process through which Leah learns the truth will surprise. Gabriel and Leah are both extremely likeable. I do think they took a little long to get it together. ;) When they do, it's explosive, of course. There is also a lot of emotion packed into the story, and a good cast of secondary characters. All in all, a short and satisfying read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was well written, steamy, and addicting. I couldn't put it down and ended up reading it in only two sittings. The characters are well drawn and realistic. This book is also unique. It isn't your run of the mill, predictable mystery. It kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing all the way through the twists and turns. Not to mention the love story, which is to die for. It definitely took me on an emotional roller coaster. This book is a definite must read and I can't wait to read what Simone writes next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Secrets always have a way of coming out, even 20 years later. Gabe was a man hurting because of a devastating loss. He wanted to continue wallowing in self pity, knowing that this would not bring back his loved ones. Leah checks on him, the man she has loved for a long time. If only he could see that he could have a future with her if he would let her in. Leah is a PI and gets info about an uncle that disappeared years ago, and from that point on the story has so many secrets and lies that are uncovered and will leave you on a rollercoaster with all the dips and turns. You will enjoy Gabe, Leah and the best friends story. Loved the romance between them. As always happy to get an HEA for the couple. You have to know when to let go of the past and move forward. Awesome Naima!!
mary8808 More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review, so here it is. This is one of those stories that is hard to put down. It will take you on an emotional ride and in the end love will win. I am not sure if I would call it a love story with suspense from 20 years of secrets or a suspense story with romance added. Either way I loved it and highly recommend it. This is the first story by Naima Simone that I have read and I will be looking forward to reading more from her.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Gabriel's wife and son died in a car accident 2 years ago. The only reason he's still alive after losing them is his best friend, Leah. She was there to pull him out of the bottle, to make sure he ate, she cleaned his house, and made him start living again...a little. Mal, Rafe, Chay, and Gabriel all had a huge secret. When Leah started to investigate Richard's disappearance, she uncovered "the secret". It was devastating for her and for the guys. Throughout her investigation someone kept trying to kill her. When all the pieces came together, and after a gigantic plot twist, she survived, barely, but would her friends survive the official police investigation and the charges that are sure to be filed against them? Will Gabriel finally see the love she's been holding on to since she was 16? Is he ready to deal with his losses and look towards the future...with her? I love this series! The men in the Secrets and Sins series are totally swoon worthy. Gabriel's constant battle between letting go of the past and his feelings for Leah kept me in a nail biting state throughout the book. Leah's character is witty, funny and dedicated. Their relationship as best friends is amazing. I can't wait to read the next book in Naima Simone's Secrets and Sins series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't read this one because others in the series spoiled this plot. Read this series in order.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Lynn53 More than 1 year ago
Rating:  4 1/2 stars I received a copy of this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way. This book held my interest right from the beginning.  Once finished, I found that I needed to know if the mystery in this book is going to be carried through the rest of the series.  If you read carefully, you will get a hint about the four men in this series – this means that if you read too fast you may miss it.  The only part I hated was having to put the book down either to go to bed or go to work. I applaud our author in the amount of research that must have been involved in order for the villain in this piece to be so evil.  Plus, the story revolves around issues that are current today.  If you are a person who is very sensitive about certain subjects, this story may not be for you.  But if you really enjoy a great suspense, that has some great romance, and which shows that anyone can overcome atrocities then this story is for you.  And you’ll be happy to know that book two is just as good.  Malachim comes out September 23.
Denise23b More than 1 year ago
The first two chapterd were hard to get past. Once you, you msy end up liking it better than I.
shannschoice More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's been a long time since I've read a good mystery & a good cop story--this book was both. Yes, there was romance, but the parts I really enjoyed were the ones that kept me in suspense. Naima Simone does a great job of throwing us readers some hints along the way--just enough to make us feel in the loop--without giving anything away until the end. Gabriel is suffering since the deaths of his wife and child. Luckily, he has his lifelong friends to help him survive the loss he feels. His childhood friends (3 other men named after angels since their moms became close when pregnant) do their best to help him, but it is Leah (another childhood friend of the 4 men) who refuses to give up on him and really holds a special place in his heart. This is Gabriel and Leah's love story for sure, but it centers around the mysterious disappearance of man that Leah knew as her uncle growing up. The disappearance occurred 20 years prior, but Leah is determined to find out what happened. Unfortunately, what Leah uncovers is much worse than anyone would have expected. I CANNOT wait to read the next book in this series. Simone has created characters that I want to know more about. I am hoping there is a little Gabriel & Leah follow-up in Mal's story too! I am hoping for another good mystery too. Reviewed by Joelle for Cocktails and Books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow….that’s all I can say is WOW. The latest book from Naima Simone was not at all what I was expecting. In fact, I had to check a couple of times to see if I was reading the correct author because while the book started off a little slow and it took me a while to really buy into the characters, once I gave it my full attention, it was full speed ahead. Gabriel was conflicted and tormented which was to be expected given the loss of his family, but I must say….he was an idiot for the way he initially treated the heroine. I was disappointed that it took them as long to get together and I felt NO heat between them. It was almost hum drum which was VERY disappointing given her past books. The intrigue surrounding the murder took unexpected twists and turns which was fascinating. As I’m a volunteer with victim assistance program, I was too aware of the potential issues and unfortunately was able to conclude pretty early on that all was not well in Denmark, but I did enjoy the suspense and the author did a fine job of weaving seemingly unrelated incidents together. It was more than a little interesting to see how the main characters stayed in the same home town and grew up together, particularly since that’s not the norm in 21st century U.S. with folks moving every few years. I would have liked to see the characters fleshed out a bit earlier because it seemed almost like playing catch-up to see how they were connected through their parents. I enjoyed the book and really hope the sequels come quickly so I don’t lose the momentum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books was and ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was my first Naima Simone book and it won't be my last. This novel had me on the edge of my seat from page one, the steamy tension between Leah and Gabriel is VERY hot and the mystery and suspense keep you up all night. Leah Bannon is a former cop, now PI and is investigating the 20 year old disappearance of a man she thought of as an uncle. Gabriel is a lost soul, losing his wife and son in a car crash two years ago has left him a broken man. Leah has been in love with him since she was 15 and won’t give up hope of saving Gabriel from himself. Gabriel and his three best friends try to protect Leah from finding out the hurtful truth about her so called uncle. Looking forward to the next book in the series!
crimsonfoxx More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of Naima Simone’s writing so I knew that when I picked up her latest ‘Gabriel: Secrets and Sins’ I would be in for a very enjoyable afternoon. From the opening paragraph to the end of the book I was glued to the page, soaking up every word. This was a complex story with many variables which kept the reader guessing as to who the culprit was behind all the chaos. It is a story of murder, suspense and unrequited love. The characters were very well developed and you as the reader felt invested in them. Gabriel Devlin, a loving husband and father watched as his life was ripped apart when he watched helplessly as his wife and son were taken from him in an automobile accident. Crushed beyond all hope, Gabriel is left to put the pieces of his life back together, a life he’s not sure he wants to put back. Leah Bannon is his friend who can see the pain he’s in so she does what she can to make sure he knows he is not alone. She loves him, has loved him for a while but she knows that she can never hope to have him because he is still in love with his deceased wife. Along with this, there was the mystery of what happened to Leah’s ‘Uncle’ Richard who had disappeared over twenty years ago and the letter she received asking her to reopen the investigation. The way the author connected each character to the mystery had this reader trying to guess who the real player was and coming up short when another twist was introduced into the story. All in all, Gabriel is a must read, it will pull you into the story and leave you wanting more at the end. My hat is off to the author Naima Simone for delivering another enjoyable story. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars  This book was an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I have read several of Naima Simone's books in the past and have enjoyed them. It took me a while to get into the story, but once the story picked up I couldn't pull myself away!  Leah Bannon is a former cop turned PI investigator who is investigating the 20-yr-old disappearance of her uncle Richard. Gabriel Devlin--Leah's childhood friend, and the man she secretly loves--comes along to assist, but he might know more than he's saying.  The mystery wasn't too hard to figure out, but the relationship between Leah and Gabriel is what really drew me. I definitely look forward to the next book in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Leah Bannon is an ex-cop turned PI investigating the unsolved murder of her beloved Uncle Richard 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 happen to all know our heoine, but have sworn to take that secret to the grave. A hidden enemy draws deadly secrets to the light, even if he has to kill to make it happen. Yass, this is so good. I heart words, prose, poetry, floetry and this book has all of that wrapped up in a good mystery with a not so typical heroine. I love that sweet, exotically beautiful Leah is the hardened cop, so strong, yet feminine. I like that Gabriel is falling apart, needing Leah, yet too stubborn to admit that it is time to move forward and take that chance before its too late. Wow, I enjoyed this book. Seriously- can't wait to read this again and again. p.s. my views were in no way influenced by the author or the publisher. Cause you know I try to keep things real! xoxo bookdevourblogspot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having read several other Naima Simone books I was totally excited to be taken away from my life. As I entered the world of Gabriel I found myself between wanting to root for him and wanting to shake him. At times I found myself loving the heroine but at the same time being like "girl please". I figure if I am talking to the characters the author did a good job.  Cannot wait for the other books in the series!! Loved Gabriel and would recommend for everyone that loves a good romance with a little suspense!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago