Monday, February 1, 2021

Book Review: Trading Secrets

By Sara Steven


Celeste Donovan, a high-powered finance executive, seems to have it all—the penthouse apartment, the supermodel physique with a mathematician mind, and a trail of beautiful men she has loved and left behind.

But when her boyfriend Theodore is killed in a mysterious accident, she discovers Omar, her abusive ex she had hoped would never resurface, is behind his death.


Now she’s caught in a game of cat and mouse, trying to anticipate Omar’s next move, as she realizes he will stop at nothing to get to her. She sets out alone on a whirlwind journey to entrap him, determined to put an end to Omar’s destruction.

Soon Celeste is thrust in the middle of the largest financial scandal in decades. This time, however, powerful government officials are in bed with some of the world’s most dangerous men.

When she discovers that those she thought she knew best are involved in a secret society warring with Omar and his coconspirators, she must decide how far she will go to avenge Theodore’s death and whether she is willing to risk her own life to save everyone she loves.
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

Trading Secrets was a high-speed, amped up romance that is immersed in mystery and intrigue. As mentioned in the synopsis, Celeste is a powerful woman, and I appreciated how tough and unapologetic she can be when it comes to her feelings. In many ways, it appears as though she is the anti-female, not written in a way that felt conventional. It created a nice stumbling block for when she meets Theodore, a strong man who can see beyond the image Celeste portrays to the outside world. The cracks in her armor help to soften her, in all the best ways. Through this newfound relationship, we get to see that Celeste really does care.

A two dimensional character would merely show the way a person is on the page, yet a three dimensional one describes it and explains it, so the reader has a better understanding of why the character is written the way they are. In getting glimpses into Celeste’s past, and her relationship with Omar, we have a better understanding of her life and how she has gotten to where she is, and why a relationship with Theodore could potentially be so hard for her. When Theodore is killed off in a scene that elicits a “whodunnit” sentiment, her first inclination is to believe Omar is behind it. And rightfully so. 

I spent much of Trading Secrets questioning whether Omar really was involved with Theodore’s death, if Omar really is chasing after Celeste or if it’s in her own head, if there is someone else behind the scandals. Just when I thought things would settle down, is when Celeste would end up somewhere else, completely out of her element, or plotting to do whatever she needs to in order to protect everyone she cares about, including herself. When she’s whipped around from one crazy situation to the next, I really never knew what was going to happen, and that created a really exciting element to her story.

While I felt part of the ending seemed too easy for the storyline and what led up to it, I still appreciated where Celeste ends up, and more importantly, that we get to see her evolve over the course of it. She’s not the same woman she’d been on page one, and that was part of the fun. It looks as though there is more to come, considering this book is part of a trilogy, and I look forward to reading the other two books when they’re available.

Thanks to Book Publicity Services for the book in exchange for an honest review.

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