Our Beck Valley Books review of His Secret Life by +Kim Cano
"It was lovely to read such a different story on love and the difficulties faced by both sides. I'm aware of a couple of gay men who had previously been happily married for years before coming out, but I have never come across a gay man falling in love with a woman and consider changing his whole life, so I was completely intrigued by the story.
Philip works hard in the corporate world, his work and his separate life are completely separate, not really by choice but the fear of what would happen if they knew he was gay, regardless of his skills. A lot of pressure is put on his relationship with Jason as they are only allowed to enjoy their relationship behind close doors.
To make matters worse he now needs a female partner to accompany him on his works do to keep his secret going. Luckily for Philip his sister, Sarah, introduces him to her flatmate and jobbing actress Emily to play the part for the evening They hit it off straight way and the pretend couple keep the charade going for work commitments, but can it last?
Emily realizes that Philip is her perfect man only it's typical that he is gay and it can go nowhere. Philip starts to realize that she is so much more than a pretend plus one. Will the two fight against all the barriers they face to admit to each other how they feel and if they do will they have the courage needed to make a go of things?
Kim Cano provides another realistic storyline that is thought provoking as the reader follows their day to day life, their emotions and fears."
Gay men don’t fall in love with women. Do they?
Philip is a gay man working for a conservative corporation. After his recent promotion, he needs a date for a company function and asks his sister’s new roommate, Emily.
Emily is an actress, waiting tables while starring in local plays and hoping for her big break. She agrees to be Philip’s date for the party, and soon they are attending one event after another together.
Philip and Emily click on many levels. Lines blur as the people they pretend to be start feeling like the people they are, causing a rift with Philip’s boyfriend Jason.
When Philip no longer works for the company, he doesn’t need Emily to play the role of his girlfriend anymore, but to his surprise, he can’t let her go.
“Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when we first practice to deceive.”
This quote was fitting for this story.
‘His Secret Life’ by Kim Cano is a thought provoking story about finding love in the most unexpected place. It touches on the very sensitive topic of homosexuality. It is not your typical love story. It highlights the struggles, discrimination, and temptations that homosexuals face on a day to day basis.
This is a story about a young and upcoming professional whose main focus is establishing his career as an investment advisor. Phillip knows without a doubt that he is gay, however, he not comfortable letting others know about his sexual orientation, as he is afraid of the backlash that is likely to occur as a result of persons knowing. Added to this, he is a disappointment to his father because he is gay and as such their relationship is on rocky ground. Phillip deceived his employer, coworkers, and clients into believing that he was heterosexual, which did not go down too well with his current boyfriend. He carried out this deception by hiring call girls to act as his date for major black tie events hosted by his employer. When an unexpected event came up and he found himself without a date, his sister’s roommate Emily agreed to help him out. What follows is a series of intriguing events
The story, which was well written, was based on characters that were well developed and relatable. Phillip had difficulty reconciling his feelings for Emily with that of his attraction to men. How could he be gay and be in love with a woman? Is that even remotely possible? It was these issues that he had to face. His greatest fear in all of this was losing Emily. Added to that he had to deal with the issue of deceiving his employer which had far-reaching consequences. Emily had her own struggles to contend with. Falling in love with a homosexual for one and there was the fear that he may feel that he made a mistake and leave her for another man. She feels she has to go the extra mile to keep him interested in her.
‘His Secret Life’ demonstrates what can happen when we pretend to be what we are not. Phillip was not honest with his colleagues and it backfired. He was of the belief that they would not have treated him with respect, but there is no way he would have known that for sure. The story further shows that honesty goes a long way.
Another thing that this story highlighted was the power of love. Phillip is gay, but he never met a man who made him feel the way Emily did. What he felt for her went deeper than mere attraction. They connected on so many levels. In all honesty, I thought they were perfect for each other and at every page turn, I was hoping that he would not go back on his promise to her.
Verdict: I loved everything about this book except for the ending, which I thought was quite abrupt. It makes me wonder if there will be a part two. It is evident what his secret was but I would have loved to know if his love for Emily was strong enough for him to keep up the façade or did he give in to the temptations facing him every day.
This is my first time reading this author’s work and it was worth every moment. I can’t wait to see what next she has in store for her readers.
I received a copy of this book from the author courtesy of Beck Valley Books in exchange for an honest review/
Eighty and Out is about a pact that sisters Louise and Jeannie agree to after visiting a beloved aunt that is living out her years in a nursing home and that is that they will not live past the age of eighty. Louise is the narrator of the story and we grow right along with these two sisters through childhood, high school years, forbidden love, college years for Louise, marriages and the birth of a child.
Not only do we learn about the sister's and their lives we get a peek into the relationships with the men they choose, deaths of loved ones and how Louise copes with it all. With strict but loving parents the two women grow up to have their own dramas to face. A story about love, loss, grief and ambitions. There were a lot of similarities to my own life as I grew up in the late 50's and the 60's, what a woman's role was, discrimination and racial tension so it brought a bit of nostalgia back for me. A bond between sisters is something that is hard to break and when it does it is heartbreaking and can leave a person grief stricken to the point that the person can't go on, but most of us do go on.
I really enjoyed this novel, loved the time period it was written in from the 50's all the way through 2000's. Fast paced, well written except for a few grammatical errors that in no way took me from being interested until the end of the book, and in spots had me in tears.