No Secrets Needed
Author: Ann Anderson
Title: No Secrets Needed
Series: New Beginnings 2
Rating: Three Petals
On the Author's Website: I was unable to locate an author website. Here is the publisher's website instead:
After bidding farewell to his family and Trint, the man he's come to care for, Rafe heads out to sea, free to be himself for the first time in his life—free to learn himself, away from the constraints and trials of his mother, away from the terrible person he believed himself to be while forced to live with her.
When Rafe returns home his family is waiting for him—but there's no sign of Trint. With a little push from his ward, Rafe decides to be bold and go after what he wants, though he fears in the end that all his efforts might still not be good enough to overcome the past and the secrets that have controlled so much of his life.
I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
To be completely candid, I picked up this book only because I had an empty slot on my review calendar. I also like the continuity of reviewing the next book in a series I've reviewed in the past. Otherwise, I honestly had zero interest in reading this book. If you remember my review of the prequel, I wasn't overly enamored with the writing style and lack of description and I expected little better in this second book in the series. I'm happy to say that I've been proven slightly wrong. This book deserved three stars, which is one more than the prequel squeaked by with.
Rafe, the main character in the book, was the biggest issue I had in the story. He's boring, spends most of his time moping about some internal issue that was only halfheartedly described, and was generally unlikable. The other characters were much more engaging. They had personalities that were unique to each person and the way they learned to interact with Rafe throughout the voyage and trials they all had to endure together was nice to read.
The plot was where Anderson showed the most improvement. It flowed smoothly from Rafe being on the ship and trying to find himself to Rafe being off the ship trying to find his love. Admittedly, the only description of the reason Rafe is on the ship at all is in the summary, but it was good to see him trying to grow up even if he was boring through most of it. His internal monologue of pain versus growth needed a little more depth to pull me in, yet at the same time there was so much improvement over how he acted in the previous book that I couldn't help enjoying what I was reading. Was this book good? No, it really wasn't, but it showed improvement on the author's part. Given a few more books working with editors and building up their tradecraft, I think Anderson could become one of the better authors of the genre.
I don't recommend this book. It was boring and lacked depth. Yet, I saw so much improvement over the author's writing between the prequel and this book that I can't help being hopeful for the future. Maybe Anderson's next book will be worth recommending.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.