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September 4, 2020

Secret Crush Seduction by Jayci Lee ~ a Review

by MK French

Adelaide Song wants to be a fashion designer, and not seen as a pampered heiress. Michael Reynolds is her brother's best friend, and she had a crush on him for years. She needs his help and is drawn into a liaison with him. Doing that just might ruin her plans, however.
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Secret Crush Seduction
September 2020; Harlequin Desire; 978-1335209351
audio, ebook, print (224); romance
Secret Crush Seduction
is the second book in the Heirs of Hansol series, after The Temporary Wife Temptation (read my review). We get a nice glimpse of our hero and heroine there, to see that their happily ever after is still going strong. Here Adelaide feels sidelined and belittled, treated as the young girl whose mother just died. Her father and grandfather don't give her praise for awards won and aren't demonstrative when proud; we only hear about awards from the design students who are in awe of her work at the school, not the party girl persona when she started college. Adelaide knows that she should remain professional at all times, but her childhood crush is just as enamored of her and the proximity is too much to ignore.

I like that Adelaide's dreams involve creating a line of sensory clothing for people with autism, so that they're not stuck with the one or two things that might be acceptable for their sensory issues, but aren't acceptable for business or party situations. It's an area often ignored out in the real world, and few places acknowledge that autistic kids grow up to be autistic adults. Adelaide has real enthusiasm and drive for this project, and really cares how people on the spectrum think and feel. She has such passion for her clothing line, and it's the same drive she has to join the family business. She also loves with the same kind of intensity, and that is never looked down upon in the text.

I'm going to spoil Michael's big secret because it might be an issue for some readers. He's infertile and knows that Asian families are focused on generations, legacy, and tradition. He automatically assumes that Adelaide and her family won't accept him as a permanent love interest, and breaks things off. This internalized guilt might set off readers that have issues with infertility; Adelaide and her grandmother amazingly enough take it in stride, so it's clearly Michael's issue and not something that the author believes at all.

This wouldn't be a romance without a happily ever after, but I won't spoil that part. I'm sure that Michael and Adelaide have a lot of discussion in their future together, though it's not the sexytimes that are the fun of watching people fall in love and become a couple. As long as they actually communicate, I'm sure we'll see how they work it out in future novels within this series.

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Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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