Aulay Buchanan has retreated to his clan’s hunting lodge for a few days of relaxation. But the raven-haired beauty he pulls from the ocean puts an end to any chance of rest. Though he christens her Jetta, she knows nothing of her real identity, save that someone is trying to kill her. As she recovers, it will not be easy for Aulay to protect her and keep her honor intact when she mistakenly believes they are man and wife…
Jetta sees beyond Aulay’s scars to the brave, loyal warrior she’s proud to call her own. But as the attempts on her life grow more brazen, Jetta realizes that not all is as she believes. And if Aulay is not her husband, can she trust the desire flaring in his eyes, or his promise to defend her with his life?
I was that girl.
You know, the highly intoxicated chick celebrating her thirtieth birthday with her two best friends—who are happily married. And the more I drank, the more I wanted to do something reckless to celebrate.
By reckless, I mean the sexy and alluring man dressed in a business suit standing near the bar. You know his type—tall, dark, handsome. I was sure he was out of my league, but I’d had just enough alcohol that things like that no longer seemed to matter. I’m not fat, mind you, but you can tell I like french fries, so there’s that.
He took me home, and I enjoyed the hottest birthday sex of my life. Well, until it came to a screeching and rather unwelcome halt.
There’s nothing quite like being interrupted mid-ride with a little voice asking, “What are you doing to my daddy?”
Just kill me now . . . or so I thought.
Come to find out, the man I rode like a bull at the rodeo is my new landlord.
"Sorry Christian and Gideon, there’s a new heartthrob for you to contend with. Meet Talon. Talon Steel." - Booktopia
"Hardt delivers a brand-new series with rugged cowboys and scintillating sex. Talon and Jade’s instant chemistry heats up the pages..." -RT Book Reviews
"This book is so raw and addictive! Hands down my new favorite series this year." -Meredith Wild, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author
"Ms. Hardt weaves magic with her keyboard and what remains is a beautifully written first installment about two people who are broken but not destroyed... How Hardt weaves the past with the present, while keeping the reader guessing about the secrets the brothers barricade from others, is flawless." -Heroes & Heartbreaker
"This one totally ignited a flame inside me and tore me to SHREDS....buried secrets and harsh realities that test this couple will leave readers gripping the edge of their books and hoping and praying for a miracle... " -Pretty Little Books
"Talon has hit my top five list... up there next to Jamie Fraser and Gideon Cross." -Angel Payne, USA Today Bestselling Author
"CRAVING is the jaw-dropping book, you NEED to read!" -New York Time Bestselling Author Lisa Renee Jones
"Talon is a sexy, intriguing leading man and Jade, our lady left at the altar is a sweet and relatable girl you just want to hug. Together they build a steaming hot relationship you really root for from the first chapter!" -CD Reiss New York Times Bestselling Author
After being left at the altar, Jade Roberts seeks solace at her best friend's ranch on the Colorado western slope. Her humiliation still ripe, she doesn't expect to be attracted to her friend's reticent brother, but when the gorgeous cowboy kisses her, all bets are off.
Talon Steel is broken. Having never fully healed from a horrific childhood trauma, he simply exists, taking from women what is offered and giving nothing in return...until Jade Roberts catapults into his life. She is beautiful, sweet, and giving, and his desire for her becomes a craving he fears he'll never be able to satisfy.
Passion sizzles between the two lovers...but long-buried secrets haunt them both and may eventually tear them apart.
"Helen has weaved a delicately balanced story of intrigue, secrets and passion, which practically melts the pages." -Bare Naked Words
"The love story between Talon and Jade continues in Obsession. An apt title to be sure, because everyone is obsessed. Dear Ms. Helen Hardt, I toss many profanities your way for making me wait. Though I give you my deepest gratitude for building the anticipation of what I’m sure will be an epic culmination to an amazing series. " -Heroes and Heartbreakers
"Talon and Jade's chemistry sizzles and the love scenes will melt your heart and your Kindle." -The Book Sirens
"I am loving this series so freaking much… The story line is one that will have you completely engrossed…" -Wicked Babes Blog
"Helen left my head spinning and my mind racing a mile a minute. I need to know what the secrets are... " -The Book Fairy Reviews
Jade Roberts is in love with Talon Steel but no longer welcome in his home. While she resolves to move on, she still longs for the passion she and Talon shared…and when her boss asks her to dig up information on the Steels, she’s only too happy to comply. Talon and his brothers are hiding something, and Jade is determined to find out what it is.
The moment Talon saw Jade he wanted her, ached for her, craved her…and now his desire has become his obsession. He knows she deserves better than his broken soul, but he can’t stay away from her, and he finally confesses his love. If he and Jade are to have a future, he knows he must make peace with the dark shadows and horrors of his past.
But as Talon begins his journey of healing, Jade uncovers some startling secrets…
"The chemistry in Melt is explosive!" - RT Book Reviews
"Melt has earned a solid place at the top of my MUST-READ list! " -Angel Payne, USA Today bestselling author
"Just when you have one question answered more are brought to life keeping you one the edge of your seat page after page." -Wicked Babes Blog
"Helen has given us a series with men that will not only Melt your heart, they will heat up your soul." -The Book Fairy Reviews
"Ms. Hardt has continued to weave her web in this installment, and the results are every bit as good…or perhaps better…than what we have seen so far. With every answer, there is another question. " -Bare Naked Words
"Melt. That is definitely a proper name for this book. Not only did I melt many times while reading it, I also went up in flames." -Tina at Bookalicious Babes Blog
Jonah Steel is intelligent, rich, and hard-working. As the oldest of his siblings, he was charged by his father to protect them.
He failed in the worst way.
Dr. Melanie Carmichael has her own baggage. Although the renowned therapist was able to help Jonah’s brother, she is struggling with feelings of inadequacy. When the oldest Steel walks into her office seeking solace, she can’t turn her back.
As Melanie and Jonah attempt to work through their issues together, desperately trying to ignore the desire brewing between them, ghosts from both their pasts surface…and danger draws near.
"Sorry Christian and Gideon, there’s a new heartthrob for you to contend with. Meet Talon. Talon Steel." -Booktopia
"Possession brings Talon Steel's story to a conclusion, wrapping up a thrilling mystery intertwined with some amazingly hot sex scenes... the buildup to the protagonists discovery keeps the pages moving at a rapid-fire pace. " -RT Book Reviews
"I'm dead from the strongest book hangover ever. Helen exceeded every expectation I had for this book. It was heart pounding, heartbreaking, intense, full throttle genius. " -Tina at Bookalicious Babes Blog
"WOAH. Helen Hardt has truly blown me away with this series. It is dark, emotional, intense, horrifying, and utterly beautiful all mixed together. " -Pretty Little Book Reviews
"Such a beautiful torment - the waiting, the anticipation, the relief that only comes briefly before more questions arise, and the wait begins again... Check. Mate. Ms. Hardt..." -Bare Naked Words
"The love scenes are beautifully written and so scorching hot I’m fanning my face just thinking about them." -The Book Sirens
Jade Roberts’s love for Talon Steel is the real deal, and she’s more determined than ever to help him come to grips with whatever is haunting him. To that end, she continues her investigation of the Steels…and unknowingly attracts some dangerous foes from their shrouded history.
Talon loves Jade deeply and longs to possess her forever, so he faces his worst fears and exposes his rawest wounds in an attempt to heal. The road is icy and treacherous, but if he perseveres and comes out whole on the other side, he’ll finally be worthy of Jade’s love.
The untamed passion between the two still blazes, but as the horrors of Talon’s past resurface, Jade and Talon aren’t safe…
"Helen has given us a series with men that will not only Melt your heart, they will heat up your soul."
-The Book Fairy Reviews
"Made my heart stop in my chest. Helen has given us such a heartbreakingly beautiful series."
-Tina at Bookalicious Babes Blog
Ryan Steel is known in Snow Creek as the handsomest Steel brother with the most jovial personality. Now that his busy grape harvest and winemaking season is over, he's happy to spend time with his family and help his brothers, Talon and Jonah, celebrate their impending nuptials. The Steels are taking a well-deserved break from the conspiracy surrounding them...until an unlikely woman and a long-buried secret shatter Ryan's world.
Detective Ruby Lee has been on her own since she was fifteen. When her past collides with the Steel family's mysteries, she's determined to find the truth. She has her own issues, and she's not looking for a relationship, despite her all-consuming attraction to Ryan Steel. The gorgeous dark-haired man gets under her skin anyway...and he needs her.Together they explore both of their histories, but those pasts could cost them a future.
"Made my heart stop in my chest. Helen has given us such a heartbreakingly beautiful series." -Tina at Bookalicious Babes Blog
"Each book unfolds leaving readers feeling immensely satisfied." -Pretty Little Books Blog
"Helen outdid herself with Burn." -My Girlfriend's Couch Blog
Jonah Steel is knee deep into trying to solve the mystery surrounding his family and his brother’s abduction, and the arrival of his best friend has complicated the situation…although not as much as his infatuation with his brother’s therapist, Dr. Melanie Carmichael. The quiet humility of the blond beauty has him enthralled, and he burns for her as he never has for any woman.
Melanie Carmichael is intelligent and driven, yet filled with regret. She has fallen in love with gorgeous Jonah Steel, but fears she may never be able to tell him. The demons from her past have come for her…and she may not get out alive.
"WOAH. Helen Hardt has truly blown me away with this series. It is dark, emotional, intense, horrifying, and utterly beautiful all mixed together. "
-Pretty Little Book Reviews
"The love scenes are beautifully written and so scorching hot I’m fanning my face just thinking about them."
-The Book Sirens
Jonah Steel has fallen in love with Melanie Carmichael but refuses to make a commitment until he has solved the mystery of his family’s past. A new threat has surfaced, and he needs to eliminate it.
Melanie loves Jonah but has yet to surrender completely to his needs. Still, she wants a promise that he can't yet make. While the ghosts of her past still hover around her, she joins him on his quest for answers. Together, they vow to find the truth.
But the deeper they dig, the more danger they uncover…
When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.
The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain . . .
Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.
For the Promise of Passion . . .
But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos and he must choose between everything he's ever wanted . . . and the only thing he's ever desired.
I was never supposed to be a rock star. I had my life all planned out for me. Play football in college. Go to the NFL. Marry my high school sweetheart and live happily ever after.
I broke both our hearts that day when I told her I was leaving. I was young. I made the right decision for me, but the wrong decision for us. I’ve poured my soul into my music, but I’ve never forgotten her. Her smell, her smile.
And now I’m going back.
After ten years.
I hope I can explain that after all this time.
I still want her to be my forever girl.
He came to me in the night, a cruel, darkly handsome stranger from the most dangerous corners of Russia. He tormented me and destroyed me, ripping apart my world in his quest for vengeance.
Now he's back, but he’s no longer after my secrets.
The man who stars in my nightmares wants me.
I used to believe there were lines in life you don't cross.
Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal.
Until I learned people don't always practice what they preach.
I turned in my badge and gun and walked away from everything.
Then I got the call no one wants, and I’m back in New Orleans.
What I don't expect is for her to be here too.
Another line you don’t cross?
Don't touch your best friend’s little sister.
She's always been off-limits.
Too bad I don't follow the rules anymore.
The entire Beneath series is complete and each book in the Beneath series can be read as a standalone.
Beneath This Mask, Beneath #1
Beneath This Ink, Beneath #2
Beneath These Chains, Beneath #3
Beneath These Scars, Beneath #4
Beneath These Lies, Beneath #5
Beneath These Shadows, Beneath #6
Beneath The Truth, Beneath #7
"Meghan March is a force to be reckoned with in the romance genre. She gets better and better with every new release, and I've quickly depended on her to be a GO TO author for me. " ~Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads
Safe in the ivory tower...
Gabriel Miller swears he'll keep me safe. Enemies lurk outside, waiting to strike. An army held back by these walls.
Except some animal instinct warns me the danger is much closer. It's already here. Is Gabriel my protector or my enemy? Is this house a castle or a cage?
There's nowhere for me to go, no one left for me to trust.
No escape from a past determined to capture its prize.
THE CASTLE is book three in the Endgame series from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love. This is the final novel in the story of Gabriel and Avery.
"Positively sinful, and outrageously sexy!" - Lisa Renee Jones, New York Times bestselling author
When the woman he’s already begun to care for ends up in the ER, Sawyer “Squirrel” McClay is livid—and ashamed. He should have insisted she accept his help long ago. Now, he’s not taking no for an answer. While his friends rally round Blythe, Squirrel’s bond with her grows stronger by the day, until he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her safe, healthy, and happy…even as his own lifelong insecurities work against him.
But despite leaving the streets behind, Blythe and Sawyer discover old dangers still linger, threatening to end the couple’s new bliss before it’s barely begun.
** Shelter for Blythe is the 11th book in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone, with no cliffhanger endings.
Read what others are saying about New York Times bestselling author, Susan Stoker:
"Riveting action and characters you'll love!” Elle James, NYT Bestselling Author
“Susan Stoker never disappoints. She delivers alpha males with heart and heroines with moxie.” Jana Aston, NYT Bestselling Author
“No one does military romance like Susan Stoker!” Corinne Michaels, NYT Bestselling Author
“Susan Stoker knows what women want. A hot hero who needs to save a damsel in distress…even if she can save herself!” CD Reiss, NYT Bestselling Author
“When you pick up a Susan Stoker book you know exactly what you’re going to get…a hot alpha hero and a smart, sassy heroine. I can’t get enough!” Jessica Hawkins, USAT Bestselling Author
“I love reading about men in uniform and Susan always delivers…the full package!” Kayti McGee
“Susan writes the perfect blend of tough, alpha heroes and strong yet vulnerable heroines. I always feel emotionally satisfied at the end of one of her stories!” Meghan March, NYT Bestselling Author
“One thing I love about Susan Stoker’s books is that she knows how to deliver a perfect HEA while still making sure the villain gets what he/she deserves!” T.M. Frazier, NYT Bestselling Author
Read the entire Badge of Honor romance series, starting with thevUSAT bestselling start!
Justice for Mackenzie
Justice for Mickie
Justice for Corrie
Justice for Laine
Shelter for Elizabeth
Justice for Boone
Shelter for Adeline
Shelter for Sophie
Justice for Erin
Justice for Milena
Shelter for Blythe
Justice for Hope
Shelter for Quinn
Shelter for Koren
Shelter for Penelope
Topics: contemporary romance, military romance, series, romantic suspense series, mystery, bbw romance, funny romance, modern romance, urban romance, Texas, Texas romance, wealthy, USA today, USA today bestseller, homeless romance, city romance, smart romance, mystery, dogs in romance, lighthearted romance, hot romance, susan stoker, susan stoker romance, proposal, proposal romance, engagement, engagement romance, new york times bestseller romance, NYT romance, new york times romance, sexy, heartwarming, heart-warming, family, love, love books, kissing books, emotional journey, contemporary, contemporary romance, romance series, long series, long romance series, army, army series, former military, cop, police officer, policeman, cop romance, wealthy hero, firefighter, fireman, fireman romance, sassy, strong heroine, captivating romance, hot, hot romance, forbidden love, sparks, loyalty, swoon, contemporary, rescue, shelter, protect, justice, claiming, defending, homeless,
Subgenres: contemporary romance, series, romantic suspense series, mystery, funny romance, modern romance, urban romance, friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, martha's vineyard, manhattan, new york romance, wealthy, USA today, USA today bestseller, NYT bestseller, billionaire romance, billionaire hero, city romance, smart romance, thriller, mystery, suspense, hot romance, p.t michelle, p.t. michelle romance, romance, NYT romance, new york times romance, sexy, heartwarming, heart-warming, family, love, love books, emotional journey, contemporary, contemporary romance, romance series, long series, long romance series, former military, bodyguard, security guard, security profession, wealthy hero, sassy, strong heroine, captivating romance, hot, hot romance, sparks, loyalty, swoon, contemporary, rescue, kidnap, heroine in jeopardy, handicap, justice, enlisted, family loyalty, family saga, defending, protect, damsel in distress, drama, action and adventure, action romance, veteran, disabled veteran, former military, romantic, navy SEAL, emotional, HEA, broken past, moody hero, alpha male, alpha hero, intense hero, alpha billionaire romance, romantic suspense, women’s romance, contemporary woman.
Our Love is Epic...
My name is Brie, and I am a submissive.
This is my HEA.
In a world of kinky passions, I have found true love with Thane.The sex is incredible, the level of passion unreal!
My heart completely melts when I look into the eyes of our baby.
This is the beginning of my happily ever after, but it will be a fight because there are those who seek to destroy it.
It seems my life is fated to reflect the sensual play I crave.
To enjoy the pleasure--I must face the pain.
If you are a fan of EL James or Sylvia Day, you will love Brie's Submission!
Tags: [Submissive Training, Dominant, Russian Dom, BDSM, girls becoming friends, Facing fears, desire, self discovery, Bondage, Shibari, Kinbaku, Wax play, Japanese Dom, Flogger, Cane, Two lovers, feather, edge play, Alpha male, navigating in a Vanilla world, Loving multiple men, Lover struggles, Mind over matter, rope, obsession, girlfriend time, forgiveness, happily ever after, baby, pregnancy, baby drama, suspense, romantic suspense, romance thriller, mother father, family, russian, alpha male fiction, menage love, multiple doms]
[bdsm, submissive in training, menage, sex, sexy, sinful, sinfully, sub, dom, bondage, discipline, domination, submissive, sadism, sadist, masochist, masochism, hot, sir, erotica, erotic]
Subgenres: contemporary romance, series, romantic suspense series, mystery, funny romance, modern romance, urban romance, friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, new york, manhattan, new york romance, wealthy, USA today, USA today bestseller, billionaire romance, billionaire hero, city romance, smart romance, thriller, mystery, suspense, hot romance, p.t michelle, p.t. michelle romance, new york times bestseller romance, NYT romance, new york times romance, sexy, heartwarming, heart-warming, family, love, love books, emotional journey, contemporary, contemporary romance, romance series, long series, long romance series, former military, bodyguard, security guard, security profession, wealthy hero, sassy, strong heroine, captivating romance, hot, hot romance, sparks, loyalty, swoon, contemporary, rescue, kidnap, heroine in jeopardy, handicap, justice, enlisted, family loyalty, family saga, defending, protect, damsel in distress, drama, action and adventure, action romance, veteran, disabled veteran, former military, romantic, navy SEAL, emotional, HEA, broken past, moody hero, alpha male, alpha hero, intense hero, alpha billionaire romance, romantic suspense, women’s romance, contemporary woman.
For the record, I’m not going to hook up with my boss.
I'm a lot of things—a screwup, a basket case, a flunky. But when I take a nanny job to be near my pregnant sister, I swear to myself I’ll walk the straight and narrow, which means I cannot fall for my insanely hot boss.
I don't want to be tempted by that rugged rancher. By his chiseled muscles or southern charm or the way he snuggles his kids at bedtime. Ethan Carter won't get the key to my heart, no matter how much I want him.
Between us, she's the last thing I need as I finalize my hellish divorce.
What sane man trying to rebuild his life wants a hot nanny with long, sexy hair, curves for miles, and a smart mouth? A perfectly kissable, pouty mouth that I shouldn't notice.
My focus is on my kids and my ranch, not the insufferable siren who sleeps in the room next to mine. It doesn't matter that she wins over my kids in a heartbeat or runs my life better than I do. Tori Duran is the one woman I can't have and shouldn't want, no matter how much I crave her.
Lady Murine Carmichael has known her share of bad luck. But when her debt-ridden half brother tries to sell her off in exchange for a few Scottish horses, it’s the final straw. If keeping her freedom means escaping through harsh countryside alone, so be it. She has barely begun her journey when she lands an unlikely escort—the brawny Highlander who just refused to buy her virtue.
Dougall Buchanan was disgusted by Lord Danvries’ shameful offer, but Murine tempts him beyond measure. Even bedraggled and dusty, the lass glows with beauty and bravery. Dougall wants to do more than just help her flee. He wants to protect her—with his life and his heart—if she’ll only let him. For Murine may be pursued by a powerful foe, but nothing compares to the fiery courage of a Highlander in love.
“A perfectly dark thrill ride of breathtaking action and scorching hot romance” —Skye Warren, New York Times bestselling author
“Yulia,” he whispers, staring down at me, and I know he feels it too, this pull, this visceral connection between us. He may have all the power, but in this moment, he’s as vulnerable as I am, caught in the grip of the same madness.
Forced to join a secret intelligence agency at a young age, Russian interpreter/spy Yulia Tzakova is no stranger to dangerous men. But she’s never known one as ruthless and compelling as Lucas Kent. The hard-edged mercenary frightens her, yet she’s drawn to him—to a man she has no choice but to betray.
Second-in-command to a powerful arms dealer, Lucas Kent has never met a woman he’s wanted as much as Yulia. Obsessed with the beautiful blonde, he’ll stop at nothing to capture her and make her pay for her betrayal.
From the icy streets of Moscow to the steamy jungles of Colombia, their dark, all-consuming passion will either crush them or set them free.
“Blazing hot, captivating, and fast-paced” —Josie Litton, New York Times bestselling author
Over 400 5-star reviews across individual books. Here’s what readers are saying:
• “Intense, dark, erotic, magnetic, captivating, suspenseful, thrilling, and deeply intriguing”
• “… page after page of longing and need, and danger, more longing, more danger, then erotic fulfillment, more need, then romantic bliss, then (Arrgh!) MORE DANGER! I just loved every minute of it!”
• “The intensity between Yulia and Lucas was electric and tragic in the best possible way”
• “Anna Zaires delivers another masterpiece, I can never get enough of her writing. Another dark hero of hers, Lucas has forever captured my heart and this trilogy will always be one of the absolute best dark romance stories that I've had the opportunity to read!”
• “… the kind of series that will stay in your heart forever”
Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.
His terms are simple:
- They will be husband and wife by night only.
- No lights, no kissing.
- No questions about his battle scars.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.
But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
- They will have dinner together every evening.
- With conversation.
- And unlimited teasing.
- Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…
A woman who defies her time
Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.
A man who breaks every rule
As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.
"This series is a MUST READ. "
-United Indie Book Blog
Dusty O’Donovan doesn’t fear a feisty stud bull deemed untamable. The accomplished rider knows life presents much more fearsome challenges. The animal’s owner, Zach McCray, is offering half a million dollars to anyone who can stay on him for a full eight seconds. That purse would go a long way to help Dusty and her brother rebuild their nearly bankrupt ranch.
Will Zach let a woman ride his bull? Not likely. Still, the headstrong Dusty intrigues him. Her father worked on the McCray ranch years ago, and Zach remembers her as a little girl when he was a cocky teen. Times change, and now she’s a beautiful and desirable young woman. A few passionate kisses leave Zach wanting more, but will Dusty’s secrets tear them apart?