Author: Christine Nolfi
Source: Received from the author for an honest review
Blurb: Cat Mendoza needs a win. After a business failure and years of dating the wrong men, she’s ready to turn things around.
First she must convince the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, that she’s taking her responsibilities seriously. As the events director of the newly restored Wayfair Inn, she has the support of her best friends, Linnie and Jada. But everyone else—including her overprotective mother and the well-meaning Sweet Lake Sirens—can’t help but chime in with advice about her plans, her apparently too-tight clothes, and her undeniable attraction to Ryan D’Angelo, the charming ad exec hired to promote the inn.
Cat knows she should keep Ryan at a distance, but she’s drawn closer by the heartbreak he tries to hide. Will uncovering his secrets derail the new life Cat hopes to achieve…or will she gain something to cherish forever?
"Family is about the people we choose to hold close in our lives."
When I came home to this book in the post I was beyond excited. I started it straight away (which I almost never do because my TBR is too ridiculous) and it did not let me down. Cat was a character I already loved, having read Sweet Lake, but I fell for Ryan from the moment he first appeared and my love for them as a couple just kept growing.
There were plenty of cute romantic moments and I loved how open both Ryan and Cat were about their attraction to each other, and eventually their love for each other. It's rare in romance to have so little miscommunication between the main pair and I adored it. The relationship development felt natural and realistic, perhaps as a result. And I was able to believe wholeheartedly in every stage of their relationship. As well as the romance there were, of course, the family and friend relationships of the close-knit town. I still love Cat, Jada and Linnie's friendship, the three are so different from each other but their friendship is so strong! And in this I loved getting to see Cat's relationship with her Mother which was just lovely.
And of course there are the Sweet Lake Sirens who are absolute goals for life! Their bonds and interactions made me laugh and smile and even tear up a little so whenever they appear on page I get excited - there's no knowing what will happen with them next!!
Plot wise there was plenty of tension and build up and I read it in almost one setting (with one break for food) because I just had to know what would happen next. Unlike in the first book, Sweet Lake, I had no sympathy whatsoever for the primary antagonist. I loathed him. So so much. In Sweet Lake part of my love for the book was my underlying sympathy for Linnie's brother but here it was nice to have someone to dislike. And the ending was suitably dramatic (and then very romantic).
Christine Nolfi is fast becoming one of my favourite romance authors. Sweet Lake and The Comfort of Secrets are both great reads with amazing characters - and can I please just be a Sweet Lake Siren already? If you like romances - particularly healthy, realistic but still sexy and romantic ones - then definitely pick up these books!
In The Comfort of Secrets, Christine Nolfi has dealt with some very serious issues. Including domestic abuse and depression/anxiety. Domestic abuse was, to the best of my knowledge, well handled. I really appreciated getting Julia's viewpoint in this especially and understanding why someone would stay in a situation like that as well as how they deal with the after effects. I would say that this is potentially very triggering for some people so do read with caution if abuse is a trigger.
The anxiety side of things I could go on about all day. I have social anxiety and depression and the perspective on that here, though different from my personal experience in many ways, felt very realistic and was almost comforting to me. Not just to see someone with many of the same problems as me in a book I loved but also to see how those who loved and supported her felt - which is often a worry for me.