I jumped on the opportunity to read Carnal Secrets when I first heard about it (because the blurb sounded exciting), but I sure wasn't prepared to what a terrific read it was going to be!
I can only tell you my story: on my way to an exam preparatory course I started reading Carnal Secrets, thinking it would be a good way to keep busy on the bus ride, well the story (and mostly the characters) sucked me in so intensely, that I only stopped reading while I went up the stairs, but unfortunately haven't heard a word in that course as I was too busy devouring Nadia Lee's novel in the back of the classroom. The outside world just ceased to exist for me I was so immersed in Alex and Natalie's world, I was possessed by Carnal Secrets and that's all thanks to Nadia Lee's wonderfully fluent and brilliantly intense writing!
Not only was the plot interesting and well structured, what won me over from the beginning were the amazingly fleshed out characters. Not only were they well developed, but Nadia Lee infused them with such vitality, such passion, that I, as the reader felt and experienced their every emotion right there with them! But before I expand on that let's go back a bit.
Carnal Secrets has a legitimate plot besides the romantic storyline and there are many other aspects to this novel which amazingly strengthen the romance as they shape the characters even better (there is some corporate espionnage, company restructuring, friendships, revenge, family history, and of course the inflammable chemistry between the H/H).
Natalie is an Asian woman, adopted by a wealthy, conservative, white American politician family. Not only does she know nothing about her heritage and biological parents, but sadly her adoptive family sounds much like Cinderella's: her mother is downright cruel and doesn't make it a secret that she can't stand Natalie, not only is there no sisterly bond between Natalie and her younger sister, she constantly does everything in her power to hurt Natalie and well her dad, as a busy politician, he isn't really present and when he is, he doesn't really care. So given is a young woman, whose childhood was lonely and loveless and add the fact that she doesn't really know who she is and where she stands in the world. But despite her difficult background Natalie managed to become a strong, independent and capable young woman. She is a wonderful character, one the reader cannot help but grow to love and care about.
Then there is the hero, the dashing Alex. *dreamy sighs* Not only is he every bit of the alpha male: strongwilled and determined, he oozes sexuality. His charisma is irresistible, like a force of nature, unstoppable, it could be felt even through the pages, my Kindle sizzled and caught fire! I can't recall another romance novel which made me react so strongly: I produced the very same reactions Natalie did: my heart fluttered, my pulse quickened, I started panting everytime Alex and his larger than life personality were on the scene.
Just a quote which really made my gut clench reading about Alex's passionate hatred and grief after he thought the woman he was in love with had betrayed him:
"He would ruin the Rodales, and take the Halls down too, for good measure. He wanted them all to burn in hell, especially Natalie. That way, he'd have some company."
Every emotion was heightened with Alex in the picture: the fights, the passion, the heartache, everything was explosive!
I have difficulty telling you everything this novel made me feel. I loved every single minute of reading it! I love emotionally intense and charged stories and this one didn't spare the reader! I love to be involved in the story and Nadia Lee pulled me in right from the start. Even after I have finished and turned the last page, I kept feeling the lingering aftermath of the story, and even now, just thinking about Carnal Secrets, I get goosebumps. Yes, it was that good! *dreamy sighs*
So I think there's nothing more for me to say: you absolutely HAVE to read Carnal Secrets and you will find a new favourite novel, author, hero and couple. *double sighs* lol
After all the praise (*cough* gushing *cough*) I think you can guess I'm giving the highest grade to Carnal Secrets! :-D