by Laura James

September 2003
ISBN: 1-59286-414-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Publish America
Trade Paperback

Gabrielle is on the run for her life and the life she used to know, as her aunt is pressuring her to marry someone she doesn’t love; let alone like, after her fathers disappearance and presumed dead. Gabrielle makes it to a castle that is like a fairytale. Well, in a way it is a fairytale, any tale that a man wanted to participate in or think up. Gabrielle had ended up in a bordello, run by Helena and different than anyone has seen, as Helena takes care of the people in the keep.

James arrives at Helena’s, searching for Kathleen, as he is on a mission to bring her back to Kevin in Scotland. Kathleen is in love with Kevin and is going to marry him but, he didn’t show up so he sent James in his place. James is not happy about bringing a prostitute to Kevin or about their getting married. But he also meets a woman that he is infatuated with and wants to spend time with in a fantasy.

There are many misunderstandings between Gabrielle and James, that takes almost the whole story for them to get figured out and try to make a heads-way into a relationship. They are on a search for Gabrielle’s father and the papers he left behind, while still trying to stay out of trouble with the people that are after her.

The secondary characters bring the story to life with their added flair and caring for each other as well as Gabrielle and James. But some of the secondary characters play a major role in the story as well as Helena’s. Not just the people in the keep, but all they do and how it all comes about.

Secret Illusions is just that, a book of illusions, in more ways than one. We have a story that has many twists and turns and bumps along the way. The story has kidnapping, major misunderstandings and a thief among other things. Sometimes it could be a little confusing as to what was happening with whom and the surrounding scenes and secondary characters. I had a hard time reading the book because at times, I just wanted to put the book down as it seemed to drag on with all the descriptions and some of those we just did not need to know, in my opinion. Even with all of this, the story was good even with a few errors that I found along the way. Ms. Laura has a follow up story to the twist at the end of Secret Illusions that I am waiting to read as well and find out what has been happening with the characters of Secret Illusions.

Reviewed in February 2004 by Pam.

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