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Secrets and Sins: Raphael: A Secrets and Sins novel

Secrets and Sins: Raphael: A Secrets and Sins novel

4.7 19
by Naima Simone

When Greer Addison finds her future husband in bed with another woman, she runs…right into the arms of dark and dangerous Raphael Marcel. Angry and hurt, she throws caution to the wind and spends a hot night with the sexy security specialist. But when her fiancé is found dead, Greer becomes the main suspect of a crime she can't remember.



When Greer Addison finds her future husband in bed with another woman, she runs…right into the arms of dark and dangerous Raphael Marcel. Angry and hurt, she throws caution to the wind and spends a hot night with the sexy security specialist. But when her fiancé is found dead, Greer becomes the main suspect of a crime she can't remember.

Raphael is stunned and suspicious when Greer shows up on his doorstep claiming she's carrying his baby. Worse, she's the target of a stalker bent on making her pay for a murder she doesn't recall. As Raphael begins to trust Greer, they must race against the clock to uncover a killer. Because Greer's memory is returning...

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

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Entangled Publishing, LLC
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Secrets and Sins
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Secrets and Sins: Raphael

By Naima Simone, Tracy Montoya

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Naima Bryant
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-536-5


When a little girl fantasizes about who she'll be when she grows up, she envisions a mother, wife, doctor, teacher, lawyer. Even a princess.

She doesn't see herself bellied up to the bar of a neighborhood pub a week before her wedding day because she caught her now ex-fiancé in bed with another woman.

But then again, Greer Addison reasoned, smiling at the bartender who set down a napkin and glass in front of her, dreams had the tendency to shift into nightmares. One minute life was expected, stable, a black-and-white montage of predictability. Then the next it was chaotic, confusing, a Technicolor whirlwind of lies, betrayal, and humiliation.

"Isn't that number three or four?" her brother, Ethan, asked, arching his brow as she lifted the glass to her lips for a sip. "You don't think you should slow down? Besides, you're going to get sick on that. At least switch up to a vodka tonic."

Greer hummed in pleasure as the sweet chocolate flavor and the tart vodka flowed over her tongue. Wow, she swirled the alcohol in the glass. That's awesome. "It's number three, my pace is just fine, and I like this." She smacked her lips. "Tasty."

"Sweetie." Ethan covered the hand on her lap with his. "Greer." Concern and a terrible sympathy softened his handsome features. The compassion in eyes as green as her own sliced into her heart like the most skilled surgeon's scalpel. "He didn't mean it."

She downed another gulp, heedless of the velvety burn the large swallow of alcohol blazed down her esophagus. If only she could smooth away the jagged edges of her memories so easily.

Her father's vicious tirade assaulted her brain like shards of broken glass — sharp, cutting ... drawing heart's blood.

What good are you? The one thing you've done right — the one time you were useful to me, had finally done something to make me proud — and you screw it up. Your brother's a fag, and you're a failure. A useless failure.

"Oh, he meant it," she murmured, setting the glass down on the aged, scarred bar top. She stared down into the cream-colored drink with the chocolate swirl she'd almost obliterated with two healthy sips. "We both know how sincere he was."

Ethan's mouth momentarily tightened, as did the fingers gripping his bottle of Corona. He wasn't a stranger to Ethan Addison II's — no "Jr." for him — "tender mercies." After years of painful denial and struggling to conform to the inflexible, rigid Addison mold, Ethan had finally come out to his family. She'd been aware of his sexual identity ... always had been. But Ethan had always been her protector, her rock, her confidant. Whom he loved and slept with had never mattered to her.

Their father had not been so open-minded. Or forgiving.

Three years later, and the last words he'd uttered to his son were, "I raised a son, not a daughter. When you come to your senses and remember that, you will be welcome back in this house and family. Until then, get out."

That Ethan had actually stepped inside their parents' home to lend her his support when she broke the news about calling off her engagement to Gavin M. Wells revealed how much her brother loved her. Or maybe he'd known she would need someone after their father finished slicing her into pieces and put her out like day-old trash.

Probably both.

"It doesn't —" The cell phone in her jacket pocket vibrated. Maybe it was Mom calling to tell her Dad had calmed ... She dug it out and glanced at the screen. Her stomach clenched, twisted. Gavin.

Quickly, she stashed the cell back in her pocket, lifting the glass from the bar with her other hand. The alcohol hit her stomach like a leaden weight.

"Let me guess," Ethan said with a nod toward her pocket. "Gavin."

She nodded her head, emitting a short, brittle chuckle. "I only have one thing to say to him, and since it's anatomically impossible, there's no point in my answering and wasting my breath."

"Actually, I saw this video —"

She flicked her palm up. "Stop right there. T-M-freaking-I."

Ethan snickered, and a reluctant smile curved her lips. So her humor button hadn't been permanently smashed to smithereens. Good to know.

"Sweetie." He sobered, his gaze solemn and filled with compassion. "You have to talk to him sooner or later."

"Not now." She shook her head. Hurt and the greasy glide of humiliation pitched and rolled in her belly. She turned her head, stared out the latticed windows. The red and orange electric flame effects from the fake fireplace danced in the dark windows, adding to the multicolored flicker of Christmas lights from the office building across the street. She loved this time of year. People were kinder, the world was prettier, more joyful. Her love for the holiday season was the reason she'd chosen December 23rd as her wedding date. It'd seemed perfect.

What bullshit.

"We were friends," she murmured. "Before the dating, the engagement, and wedding plans, we were friends. If he didn't want me, he could've come to me, been up-front. Instead ..."

The images of "instead" rose in her head, wavering, solidifying, then evaporating so another picture took its place. Aubrey straddling Gavin, her auburn hair streaming down her bare back as she undulated on top of Greer's fiancé. Gavin rising, face twisted in sensual pleasure, passionately kissing the woman Greer worked with at her father's bank. His blank eyes and gaping mouth as his gaze connected with Greer's in the doorway of his bedroom.

"Instead he was a cowardly sack of shit who couldn't keep his dick in his pants," Ethan snapped, disgust dripping from his ice-cold tone. Again, championing her.

She sighed and rubbed a fingertip over the old, tiny sickle-shaped scar on her chin. A childhood habit she'd acquired and never rid herself of.

"Pretty much," she murmured. "But you know what hurt me most?" she asked, meeting the concern and anger simmering in her brother's eyes. "Yes, the lies and the cheating. But if I'm brutally honest with myself, I'd admit his quick capitulation with the six-month no-sex agreement should've been my first clue something was wrong."

Noah Granger, her best friend, had scoffed when she'd told him about her idea of a period of abstinence and rededication so she and Gavin could experience a true wedding night. He'd warned her no sane man would go for it, and when he'd learned of Gavin's acquiescence, he'd bluntly informed her he smelled a rat — and the rat wore Gavin's toothy Colgate grin.

"Greer, it's not your fault."

She shrugged a shoulder. "I know that here." She touched the side of her head. "But here?" she asked, placing her fingers over her chest. "Well, it's taking a little time catching up with logic. I know Gavin and I didn't have this grand passionate affair." And she hadn't desired that from him. All her life, she'd stood by and watched her mother demean herself out of "love" for her husband, a distant, cold man who wouldn't know affection if it sidled up and peed on his Brooks Brothers pants leg. "Our relationship was built on sincere friendship, compatibility, and respect. I honestly liked who he was. How many people can say that about the person they're involved with?"

"I can," her brother said quietly. "And I want to jump his bones every time he walks through the door. Sorry, sweetie. But what you described you can find at the pound." A sneer tipped the corner of his mouth. "And at least if a dog humps the wrong person, all you have to do is swat him on the nose to get him to quit."

"Nice," she drawled, but the quick moment of levity faded, and the pain and disillusionment rushed back in, eager and greedy to reclaim its stake. She sighed. Rolled her shoulders back as if she could shed the weight of her fiancé's and father's betrayals as easily. "Jesus," she muttered. "Next thing you know I'm going to be crying in my cups. Literally."

"You should probably eat. Y'know, to float on top of all that alcohol you've downed. Here." He slid a battered laminated menu toward her across the bar top. "Pick something out. I'm going to step outside to return Jason's call, okay?"

She nodded, shooing him away as she bent her head over the bar's offering for dinner. After a few moments, she growled low in her throat, frustrated. When she was this tired and stressed, her concentration was nil to none. Trying to read the list of dinner food was pointless. Shoving the menu away, she reached for her glass again.

"Why, Ms. Addison," a voice heavy with amusement drawled from behind her. "A dive bar?" A taunting tsk. "I do believe you're slumming."

She stiffened. Closed her eyes. She knew that voice, its owner. She'd only met him once — the week before — but the rumbling, sexy timbre that hinted at all kinds of dark, hot secrets and promises had been etched in her memory like initials carved into a school girl's desk.

She inhaled a breath. Turned around on the barstool.

And still wasn't prepared for the gut punch that was Raphael Marcel.

A teasing smile that carried the faintest hint of mockery curved his mouth — a mouth she had no trouble imagining sensual and inviting or hard and cruel. Or maybe both at the same time. Especially as he leaned over a woman, a diamond-hard glitter in his dark-blue eyes while he drowned her in pleasure ...

That thought had her expelling the breath from her lungs in a soft gush of air. So not going there. But once introduced, expunging the image from her mind was akin to stemming up a flooding fissure with a wad of tissue. Pointless.

Raphael Marcel was an intimidating blend of sex and danger. Both had her leaning back against the bar's edge. And tipping her drink up for a healthy sip.

"So, princess, give," he said, sliding onto the stool Ethan had vacated. "What brings you down from the lofty tower to grace us lowly peasants with your presence?"

Princess. Not an endearment coming from that mouth curved in a mocking smile. But ... not an insult either. Not with that deep voice with its hint of sensuality. As if he concealed some sexy, naughty secret — about her. She blinked. They'd met once in his office for forty-five minutes a week ago. Why did he feel free to be so familiar with her? The answer immediately came on the heels of her question. Because she doubted Raphael Marcel acknowledged boundaries or protocol. No. The man with the bad-boy piercings and attitude to match probably manufactured his own set of rules.

"A drink," she shot back, scrambling for the composure that had been ingrained in her since she'd been in Pull-Ups. "And it's Beacon Hill. Hardly slumming."

"I hate to break it to you, but that's just geography." He peered at her drink, a pierced dark eyebrow arched high. "What the hell is that you're drinking?"

"I think the bartender called it a Peppermint Patty."

"A Peppermint Patty," he repeated, disbelief heavy in every word. "Um. Wow."

She couldn't help it; she chuckled. It sounded as if a rusty spoon had scraped her throat raw, but it was genuine. And the warm glow in its wake was welcome and needed. Desperately needed.

He leaned an elbow on the bar, his beer bottle with the blue-and-white Sam Adams label dangling between his fingers.

"I have to say I'm a little disappointed, though." He dipped his head toward the bar's front door. "Seeing you here with another man. Kinda ruining my Ken and Barbie image of you and your fiancé."

And that fast, the glow was snuffed out. She cleared her throat, toyed with the stem of her glass. Everything but look into this man's eyes and admit the humiliating truth.

"That was my brother," she murmured.

"Ahh." He splayed his fingers over his chest. "Thank God. My faith in love is restored." He grinned, and the mortification in her belly gave way to something else. Something she had no business feeling toward an almost-stranger when the man whom as of one week ago she'd been about to marry hadn't inspired the same leaping-off-a-high-dive sensation.

"Somehow I doubt that," she said, the observation popping out of her mouth before she could reconsider the wisdom of engaging him in a verbal fencing match. Intuition warned her he was a master.

With his long dark hair, eyebrow and ear piercings, graphic long-sleeved shirt, and black cargo pants, he resembled a rocker, not a security specialist. But unable to quash her curiosity after meeting him in his firm's office after a home security consultation, Greer had Googled Raphael Marcel. Not only was he a partner and half owner of the successful and respected firm Liberty Security Services, but apparently he was a brilliant computer programmer and information systems expert. Her search had pulled up several articles that had heralded how his skill and talent had saved several Fortune 500 companies from losing money, clients, and their reputations by detecting the weaknesses in their security and IT systems.

He might look like a sexy rock guitarist, but he possessed the mind of Steve Jobs.

"Y'know, when the two of you left after your consultation last week, the office was teeming with how cute you were as a couple." His smile widened, turned just a tad bit more wicked. Okay, way more wicked. "Gavin and Greer. G&G. Greervin." He snickered, tipping his beer bottle up for a long sip. "Where's Ken, anyway?"

"We broke up."

"Oh." He blinked. "Well. Damn."

She coughed. Chuckled. Then bent over clutching her stomach, laughter spilling free as if a balloon had been punctured in her chest. And if her hilarity contained the barest tinge of hysteria, well ... There wasn't much she could do about that. Wiping moisture from her eyes, she straightened, an arm still wrapped around her middle. Raphael studied her, the corner of his sensual mouth quirked even as what appeared to be sympathy darkened his eyes.

"I'm sorry," she gasped, smoothing her palms over her hair, suddenly restless, antsy.

"No need to apologize," he murmured. "But I have news for you, princess. If your intention is to get drunk, that frou-frou drink isn't going to cut it. And ..." As if time slowed to half speed, he shifted to the edge of his barstool, lifted his arm, and brushed a knuckle down her cheek. He silently studied her with an intensity that seemed not just to see her, but peer deep past the perfect social-butterfly persona to the flawed, sometimes scared woman beneath. "For the record, I already figured out your ex had a stick up his ass. Now I know he had his head up there, too. Because if he let you go, he's an idiot."

Her breath stuck in her throat, captured by the fist of need lodged there. And as his gaze roamed her face and the echo of his gentle caress hummed under her skin, the hunger strangling her was more than physical. Yes, he was wildly sexy like an exotic, untamed, unpredictable creature. His confidence and I-don't-give-a-damn attitude were as alluring to her as his hooded, knowing stare and lean, muscled body.

Yet there was something behind the sex and swagger. The simmering desire he didn't even attempt to conceal as he lingered on her mouth before returning to her eyes. That heat touched her, stroked her battered spirit and bruised self-esteem in ways that put her two steps above pathetic and only one above a Bachelor contestant.

But there it was.

"You don't know me," she murmured, and if there was a shade of desperation tinting the protest then she couldn't erase it.

Another gentle caress stroked under her bottom lip. "You're right," he agreed simply. "I don't know if you like the crusts on or off your PB&J sandwich. I don't know if you prefer to fall asleep to the sound of the television or total darkness and silence. But even an idiot — including that lackwit you were engaged to — can't deny your beauty, elegance, sweetness, and intelligence."

With any other man, she would've scoffed, waved the words aside as blatant flattery — blatant bullshit flattery. But not with Raphael. She wasn't well-acquainted with the idiosyncrasies of his personality, but she sensed he didn't do smooth sweet talk. Not because he couldn't — she didn't doubt he was more than capable of enticing a woman out of her panties. Most likely he just wouldn't bother. And that made his words that much more precious.

"I don't eat peanut butter and jelly."

His eyes rounded as his lips parted on a loud, exaggerated gasp. He slapped a palm to his chest as if her admission had wounded him.

"What the hell? Are you American?"


Excerpted from Secrets and Sins: Raphael by Naima Simone, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2014 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.

Meet the Author

Naima Simone's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda
Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt
at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her
love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—
and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire,
the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.

She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the
most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the
southern United States.

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Secrets and Sins: Raphael: A Secrets and Sins novel 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How many reviews can one person leave? Look at these reviews. It looks like the same person wrote about 10 of them. I guess if the author and her friends all leave good reviews the book will have a high ratings. Let's try honesty & 1 review per person.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Tough as nails and the supposed scary one of the four best friends, Rafael has a lot of issues from the past. After meeting and later spending quality time with Greer Addison, Rafael gets a surprise from Greer and those old issues come flooding back with a vengeance. Can he trust her or will she leave him just like the last one? Loved it! Raphael is definitely in the lead for book boyfriend of the year. He's the bad ass of the group but underneath he's a big teddy bear. Greer went to the right person when she needed help. The chemistry between them was so amazing that the pages were smoking. Naima Simone has written a fantastic series with sexy alpha men and the women that are meant to be theirs. I can't wait to read more from the Secrets and Sins series! Received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Greer Addison has lost her way. She is accused of killing her unfaithful ex-fiancée. She knows she didn't do it but she can't remember what happened when she found his body. Her parents have turned their back on her. Her one-night stand with a stranger left her pregnant. Now she's the target of a stalker. She needs help. She goes to Raphael Marcel, her lover for one night. He's part owner of Liberty Security Services. He'll be able to help her, but first she must tell him about the baby. What happens now? Raphael's story is the third book in the Secrets and Sins series. It's a wild ride filled with passion, danger and death. I loved Greer and Raphael. These characters are well-written and complex. Their sexual chemistry is immediate and off the charts. Both have secrets that they keep deeply buried. I loved seeing them learn to trust and give their hearts. The secondary characters, some old and some new, add to the depth of the story. The suspense keeps building and the identity of the culprit is well-concealed. I was blown away by the ending. This series keeps getting better. I'm looking forward to reading Chayot Grey's story this summer. Naima Simone writes a sensual and moving novel that will leave you breathless.
MTSmith More than 1 year ago
***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review*** Greer just can’t catch a break. First, she discovers her fiancé cheating on her, literally. Second, her parents’ reaction to her breaking off their engagement was not what she was hoping for. Third, she discovers her ex-fiancé’s body in her apartment after having the best sex of her life with the hottest man she ever met. Fourth, she gets pinned with her ex-fiancé’s murder. Fifth, she receives creepy notes. Sixth, she finds out she pregnant with hot guy’s baby. My heart ached for Greer, not because everything was going wrong but because of how she was treated by her parents. She was a socialite princess with the world at her feet and everything literally at her command. But the one thing she needed and could never have was her parents’ approval. Her father was a selfish, ruthless bastard without an ounce of compassion for his heartbroken daughter. His concern was image, not her. How pathetic. And her mother? She might as well be absent for all she was worth. She wasn’t strong enough to speak out against her husband, to stand up for her daughter. Silence in the face of cruelty is no better than inaction. Raphael. He was Greer’s best sex partner, her baby’s daddy, and partner and half owner of a successful security firm. Oh, and he’s got that bad boy thing–tattoos, piercings, long hair–going on despite all the success and money he has. He’s the opposite of Greer’s ex-fiancé but he’s perfect for her. Too bad he’s got a hangup about being her baby’s daddy, thanks to a woman who played him wrong. I loved the fast-pace of this story, love that I wasn’t given the chance to become bored with any part of this story at all. The highs and lows of their relationship, of the investigation, of who each character is and their respective pasts, were fascinating to read about. There was a terrific blend of suspense, attraction, romance, disappointment, hope, revelation, and love that just…really spoke to me and had me really, really wanting them to have the HEA they both deserved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story but read this series in order.
ToryMichaels More than 1 year ago
For some reason I fully expected this to have paranormal aspects. Probably the who "sin" and "Raphael" thing, angels and all. Well, there's a tie-in to angels (he and his friends all have angelic names, though they're far from actually angels). However, there was no paranormal, just a lot of wondering "who did it". Greer - can't say I blame her, running and looking for a hot one-night stand after she dumps her fiancé for sleeping with another woman. I loved the encounter between her and Raphael in the parking lot. I'm not an exhibitionist at all, nor do I like books where it takes place, but this just teases the possibility of getting caught, and that was great. Her parents are jerks, and I honestly don't understand why anyone would have children if they're not willing to accept them for who they are and what mistakes they might/might not make. Raphael - He has good reason to distrust women who claim to be pregnant with his baby, and I thought this aspect was surprisingly well done, the way he gradually came to see Greer in a different light after he started helping her track down who was trying to torment her with the murder of her ex-fiancé. The only reason I didn't fully love (in other words, give it five stars) was the predictability of who the real murderer was AND I was just speechless at how clueless Raphael was. I mean, once one little detail is revealed, how the HECK didn't they put two and two together? As soon as a name comes out in a background check, it became crystal clear, and neither Raphael (a security expert) nor Greer (who knew the individual) connected the dots. I was practically screaming at the book about this issue and in fact flipped back a couple pages to see if maybe the name hadn't been said out loud, so Greer wouldn't have heard it, but no... ARGH. Anyway, I liked this book a lot and recommend it for anyone who wants a great romance between two strong characters, and a nice secondary cast to round things out. Four stars for this! Book provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
This is the 3rd book in the Secrets and Sins novels and I admit I have not read the first two but was still able to follow the story easily. After having read this wonderful story I do plan to read the other as well, you may want to just do that right away as there are some spoilers from the other books. Greer walks in on her fiancé in bed with another woman. After canceling her wedding she ends up in bed with a sexy security specialist Raphael Marcel. When Greer comes home from her one night stand with Raphael, she find her fiancé dead, she is left unconscious and no memory of what happened. The only person she can turn to is Raphael, does he trust her enough to help? Action packed and sexy. A wonderful read I couldn’t put it down and am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Lisahelo08 More than 1 year ago
This is the fist book I've read by Naima Simone, but I will definitely be going back to read the rest of this series because this book is fantastic! It was a great combination of suspense and romance. The chemistry between Raphael and Greer was HOT.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
Secrets and Sins: Raphael, Naima Simone Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews I missed the first in this series, but loved the second, Malachim, so was pleased to get book three for review. I love the way the four men are so close, their childhoods were all different, and yet they each had problems that brought them together, cemented by an incident in which they all helped cover up a man's death. Awful you think – but it was self defence, and when it finally came out many years later they were cleared of murder. Raphael is determined not to get caught a second time in a pregnancy trap – last time he thought he was the father, then a DNA test proved the woman he thought he loved had been lying to him all along. He's not going to get fooled a second time, so when Greer comes to him after their one hot night and says she's pregnant and its his child he isn't convinced, though she says she hadn't been having sex with her fiancé. He's been murdered, and for a while she was the main suspect, now someone is targeting her with threats and she's concerned for herself and the baby. She's hurt that he doesn't believe her, but not surprised. She knows nothing of his history but can see from his look that he isn't convinced. Still, he is in the business of security and takes her into his home for protection. The threats escalate from letters to car vandalising to attempts to kidnap her...and all the while she and Raphael are fighting a sizzling, sensual attraction. Greer doesn't want to rely on yet another person who will let her down, the only ones so far not to have done are her brother and her best friend Noah. She low on self esteem, and thinks Raphael will get tired of her, bored with her and let her go. She knows that will leave her broken hearted, already she has deep feelings for him, so she's trying to keep herself detached. Its tough though with a sensual, hot man helping her, especially when she sees a kinder, softer side to him. I loved Greer, she was tough – she'd had to be with parents like hers, and strongly independent and yet she accepted help for the sake of the baby. Sensible balance between relying on someone for everything and being so stubborn she's risking danger. Raphael, wow – hot or what! That one night in the back-seat of his truck was far hotter and meant more to Greer than anything she'd experienced before. She knew she didn't love her fiancé, nor he her, but thought they had enough respect and closeness to make a successful marriage, plus she'd finally done something her domineering father was proud of. She didn't want to be like her mother, so obsessed with love she ignored her children and let their dad emotionally abuse them. Raphael is protecting her as best he can while his friends help him untangle the mystery of who and why Greer's life is being threatened. He lets Greer help where she can without getting into danger, and respects her as an intelligent person. He's getting to know her too, and finding she's not the shallow socialite he thought she was, like the lady who let him down before, but still he's trying to keep himself from getting attached. Its a great read, sensual and seductive with elements of danger that need to be solved. I didn't guess “who dunnit” - got that very wrong....and that's great as it shows how well the mystery was covered up. Sometimes its obvious who the perpetrator is and I'd much rather be kept in suspense til the end. Stars: Five, its a great read, one for the keeper files for re reading. I look forward to the next story. ARC supplied via Netgalley
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Donna_Hok79 More than 1 year ago
Love, loss and mystery This was a great story, very original and well written.  You have a little of everything from love   and betrayal, friends and enemies, an unexpected pregnancy and a murder to solve. Along with someone trying to tie up loose ends.  Even though this is the 3rd book of a series, it’s also a self contained book.  Though reading the first two would have given more background on some of the main player, it did not distract from this story and the enjoyment of reading it.   Very good plot and characters interaction along with surprises at the end of the story.   Great job to the author.  I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of an honest review and was not compensated.
RuralMom More than 1 year ago
When the past and the present collide, doubts and old insecurities surface; gear is a demon that feeds on such emotions. When Raphael and Greer are forced to face their separate pasts, will they find the strength to overcome, or will the danger that's looming drive them apart for good? Raphael is an intense and irresistible mixture of power and sensuality. His long hair, piercings and intricate tattoos accentuate the lethal energy his toned body exudes. Raised by a single mom on the rough side of town, he built walls around his heart at an early age, designed to protect him from the pain of betrayal. He does not give his trust easily, but will defend those he considers family to the death. Greer came from a wealthy background, nothing was more important than protecting her family's social status and perfect image. The vivacious beauty is determined always be honest with herself, and has no desire to lose her identity to the twisted example of love her parents set for her as a child. When Raphael and Greer meet for the first time, the physical attraction each feels for the other ignites a sensual chemistry that neither has experienced before. It quickly becomes clear that one night isn't going to be enough to burn through their passion, but a series of devastating events keeps them apart. When Greer turns to Raphael and his security firm for protection, they quickly realise that neither has forgotten their previous encounter. Even the most amazing sexual experiences don't always lead to balanced relationships, and the emotional cost of their previous experiences causes them to hesitate to reach for more. Greer feels cared for and protected by Rafael, and he admires her strength and determination. Will they be able to overcome the past and open their hearts to each other? Secrets and Sins: Raphael, is a fast paced and well written romance that packs a punch. The complexity of the main story line was expertly developed. A host of supporting characters added additional layers of depth to an already memorable storyline. I was invested in this story from the very first sentence. Third in the series, it can be read as a stand alone story, but well loved characters from previous books do make brief appearances that fans will enjoy. A sensual and breathtaking adventure, this is an example of Naima Simone's story telling is at it's best! A copy of Secrets and Sins: Raphael was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
This book is a great read. Greer and Rafe story is having one night with someone you barely know, can lead to many possibilities.
Mennina1 More than 1 year ago
Greer is engaged to a man whom she finds in bed with another woman. Funny thing is she is upset because she thought she was making the right decision to spend her life with this man, but she really didn't find any passion. Then she meets Raphael...tattooed and hunky. A one night stand ends up with her fiance dead, she is a suspect, and someone is stalking her. Loved this book. Couldn't put it down. This is a series book, but I didn't feel like reading it out of order made that big of a deal. I could pick up the book, latch right into it, and enjoy the characters.
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars Sometimes when you read a book you just instantly click with the characters, and for me this was one of those books. Greer was everything I look for in a heroine – she was strong, determined, resilient, honest, and kind. What I most loved though, was that no matter what life was dealing her – and she often was given the short straw - she dealt with it head on, never backing down, and usually with a great sense of humor. And Raphael…well let me just tell you that he is definitely in my top three when it comes to fictional characters that I would want guarding me! He is honest, real, and a sexy as sin bad boy who has done good for himself. And did I mention the tattoos? From his first interaction with her at the bar, to him going all uber-protective alpha-male on Greer when she comes to him for help, I couldn’t help but fall in love with him. Even though Raphael has some trust issues and has been scarred by a previous relationship, he couldn’t help but do whatever he could to help Greer. It was fun to watch the two of them together try to fight the attraction (which doesn’t even begin to describe the sparks jumping between these two!) that they had going on, and it was wonderful to see them finally give in and begin to trust one another. The story itself was great – I loved the mystery surrounding who was setting Greer up and the why behind it. Just when I thought I had it all figured out there was another twist or turn that kept me guessing or adding another piece to the puzzle. The relationships of the characters were great – Raphael and his friends were so tight and I loved how Greer and her brother were so close despite growing up in household that didn’t contain much love. Even the bad guys had personality – which sometimes doesn’t get well developed in books. Naima Simone has written a fabulous book that had me from the first page. Her writing sucked me and had me living the book with the characters. Her dialogue was spot on and I just loved being able to read the emotions of her characters on the page… “In the past four months,” she said, suddenly very tired, “I’ve discovered a man I respected and trusted – a man who was not just my fiancé but a good friend – betrayed me. A woman I also called a friend was screwing that fiancé behind my back. And when I was accused of his murder, my parents abandoned me. They were never affectionate, but still…they were my mother and father. I expected them to at least stand by me even if it was to maintain the image of a loving family. Instead they threw me to the wolves. People I knew, loved, relied on…believed in. And they deceived me, hurt me, threw me away. Raphael, if one more person I trust turns out to be…” She didn’t finish the thought, but inhaled a shuddering breath, shaking her head. “I think it would break me. So yes, I was happy when I didn’t recognize the man on the video. Because it means one more person I love doesn’t resent or despise me.” I can’t wait to go back and read the first two books in this series and then get my hands on the next book when it comes out. I received a copy of the book from the publisher for an honest review.
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
When Greer Addison finds her future husband in bed with another woman, she runs…right into the arms of dark and dangerous Raphael Marcel. Angry and hurt, she throws caution to the wind  and spends a hot night with the sexy security specialist. But when her fiancé is found dead, Greer becomes the main suspect of a crime she can’t remember.  Raphael is stunned and suspicious when Greer shows up on his doorstep claiming she’s carrying his baby. Worse, she’s the target of a stalker bent on making her pay for a murder she doesn’t recall. As Raphael begins to trust Greer, they must race against the clock to uncover a killer.  Because Greer’s memory is returning... Review: Always a sucker for unexpected pregnancy story, I was very happy to read this book and really liked it. I found out this is the third book in the series, but I was totally not lost.  I think the Author did a great job building the story so we understood Raphael's friends and his past. I really liked the mystery surrounding Greer and her dead ex-fiance.  The Author did a great job of keeping the mystery going/keep me guessing until the very end.  But I felt so sorry for one of the supporting characters who got caught in the the crossfire (not telling who to keep the mystery going for those who have not read the story yet). Rafe and Greer have great chemistry, but they both have pasts that get in their way of trusting and loving each other.  The Author makes the story more believable in that Rafe does not immediately go all instant family when he finds out the news.  I also liked the whole from the opposite side of the tracks love aspect to the story too. Great Book!  will definitely pick up more of Ms. Simone's work 4.5Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Raphael and Greer's story is a romantic suspense novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Raphael is book 3 in the Secrets and Sins series, but it reads as a stand alone novel. If you read this one first, you will definitely interested in checking out the first two books! Naima Simone is a wonderful author and I look forward to more of her stories!
In_My_Humble_OpinionDA More than 1 year ago
This is more than a case of a one night stand between an uptown girl and a boy from the wrong side of the tracks made good.  Someone is stalking her and they are escalating.  Greer runs to Rafe and whether he believes her or not about the baby he will protect her. This is always a fun trope.  Add in the wonderful mystery and super sexy hero and I’m all in.  I really enjoyed watching Greer grow. She loses some of her naiveté but gains self-assurance.    Although this is the third in the series it can be read stand alone.  The author gives you what you need to know from the past books and just enough tease to make you want to run out and buy them (Secrets and Sins: Gabriel and Secrets and Sins: Malachim). Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review