Review: The Designer's Secret
Small Town Secrets (Book #2)
Harlequin Special Edition
Cheryl McNeil (A)
REVIEW: Layla Price owns an Accounting firm. Her clients include her family’s retail clothing company, where her sister serves as Creative Director. She has been restless for a while and hoping to recharge during her two-week vacation.

Layla’s sister, Tyler, has hit a roadblock with their grandmother and brainchild of the business, getting her latest designs and other ideas approved.  As Layla digs deeper, she discovers a thirty-year feud involving her Grandma Ruby and Ruby’s former business partner, Charlotte. She tries to resolve the feud by visiting Charlotte in Bolan, Maryland. While in route, she encounters a sexy stranger after she ends up in a ditch due to bad weather. Sebastian (Bastian) Raynes is the “Good Samaritan” who comes to Layla’s rescue. Both of their travel plans are derailed and they find themselves in close quarters and discover similar interests in scary movies. They bond over snacks that remind them of “zombie dust”. Sebastian’s sexy smirk and a passionate kiss leads to more. Needless to say, Layla’s vacation kicks off with a bang!

Layla and Bastian are both experiencing transitions. Layla is doing some soul searching. After twelve years, Bastian ends his military career to explore other career options. Layla realizes she has more in common with Bastian through their grandmothers’ relationship but decides to keep that to herself. She is in the right place at the right time to help Bastian’s Grandma Charlotte after she is injured. Charlotte gives Layla confidence in her designing ability. She is trying to help Charlotte without sharing details about herself, help her grandmother and help her sister figure out the issue with her designs. She wants to cool things down with Bastian, but while observing the popular couples in Bolan, she longs for more. Being friends isn’t good enough for Bastian. He thinks they have something special. Layla starts envisioning what type of couple she and Bastian could be. Maybe she can have it all… She’s trying to please everyone, but something is bound to go wrong.

This new release by Nina Crespo is a cute, well thought out story about a guy and girl who bond over zombie movies and pretzel dust. It’s also a book about love, friendship and forgiveness. Making a wedding dress reminds Layla what she is passionate about. It was great to get brief updates on fun couples we’ve read about in prior works: Tristan and Chloe, Zurie and Mace and Rina and Scott are all still going strong.
THE DESIGNER’S SECRET is an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

4th October 2022 |