What the Bride Didn't Know by Kelly Hunter (Review)

Shh…it’s a secret!

Special ops expert Trig Sinclair is a man’s man, and that means he knows the cardinal rule of the bro code—no matter how dynamite Lena West is, as his best friend’s younger sister, she’s strictly off-limits!

But when a secret mission to Istanbul sees Lena and Trig pretending to be married (and sharing a bed!), he finds himself in a whole new world of sweet torture…. But if Trig thinks playing the honor-bound hero is tough, it’s got nothing on how Lena feels when she discovers what her “groom” is really hiding….

Australian born Kelly Hunter writes short contemporary romance for Harlequin Mills &Boon and even shorter contemporary romance for herself. First published in 2007, Kelly’s books have finalled once in the Romance Writers of Australia‘s RUBY award, six times in the Australian Romance Readers Awards, twice in the Romantic Times Readers Choice Awards and have been nominated three times for a RITA. Thus inspired, Kelly keeps writing them.

 Why short category romance and not a bigger word count? Aside from a deep and abiding admiration for the shorter form, Kelly has a three-month book-writing attention span. If she ever learns to write faster or pay attention longer she may write longer books.
Connect with Kelly at: http://www.kellyhunter.net/

My Review:

I have read a number of really good books lately and this is definitely one of them. Although I was surprised by the language (I had no idea I was reading work by an Australian author) I was able to follow the story.

WHAT THE BRIDE DIDN’T KNOW was a great story and offered a little different spin on the romantic entanglement. It’s all about best friends admitting to each other that they are in love. The author gradually clues the reader in on the back story and it only adds to the suspense. I enjoyed the humor sprinkled throughout the book. I am finding that I really enjoy laughing with the characters and sometimes at them.

“There’s a moment in every friends-to-lovers story where someone has to fess up to being in love with the other person. It’s a moment laced with courage and fraught with peril. What if you lose your best friend? The one who’s been there for you since kindergarten? The one who’s already so entwined in your life that losing them would snap you like a kite string in a vicious wind? That’s the starting point for Lena and Trig.”

In reading the book, there is usually a stand-out phrase and for this book, this was that phrase: “But what if that’s where I’m meant to be? Water finding its own level and all that?” This phrase left me with food for thought and I wanted to share it in the review. I hope it gives you pause.

I am going to include a few more quotes from the book a little further down, but I think this book deserves a good rating and I am giving it four stars – four because of the awkward Australian slang that didn’t carry over into English translation for me. Other than that, I felt the book held its own and set the stage for books about the siblings that would help fill in the gaps left by this book.

Additional Quotes:

“These days I’m all about risk analysis and minimising collateral damage.” Well, hell. “When did you grow up?” “Twenty-second of April, twenty eleven.” The day she’d been shot.

“He needed to stop totally freaking out. “We’re after platinum rings,” she said suddenly. “With a brushed finish.” What did he even say to that? “And carpet. I wanted one of those too.” “A silk one,” he said, and condemned himself to hell for his sins. “Expensive?” “Oh, yes.” “And you had a problem with that?” she continued tentatively. “Not at all. I’m thinking we need two.” And a brain transfusion. For him. “Are we rich?” She wasn’t even pretending to remember stuff anymore.

“I remember this,” she murmured. “I remember the way you smell.” Trig didn’t need to die and go to hell. Hell had come to him. 

Why on earth would a bathing house have separate change-room areas when the bathing area was for males and females both? Like him, Lena had only one cloth. And she didn’t seem to know where to put it. Only half a dozen other people swam or lazed beneath the cascading water pouring from spouts in the wall. A few men. A few women. No one seemed to be paying much attention to anyone else. Didn’t matter. Lena stood butt naked with one tiny little cloth that she seemed to want to cover the worst of her scarring with. He crossed to her quickly and held out his cloth. “Here. Use it. Cover yourself up.” She seemed to find his glower amusing. “Which bits? Because these wash cloths? Really not that big.” Lena was making her way slowly down the steps, holding fast to the hand rail. “Relax,” she said. “This is working for me. Are you sure you don’t want your flannel back? Or mine as well, for that matter. Because, frankly, most of the women and some of the men in here are staring at you and salivating.” Her lashes swept over her eyes and she scanned him from head to toe. “And why wouldn’t they? There’s a lot to love.” “Keep the flannels. Use the flannels. What aren’t you freaking out?” “Too busy watching you.”

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My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. OSAAT. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

New Release November ’13: What The Bride Didn’t Know is the third book in the West Family series. It got a 4.5 stars TOP PICK from RT and a nomination for an RT Seal of Excellence. You can find the first two stories in the West Family series in the Harlequin Presents Extra imprint. Book #1 is called Flirting With Intent and follows Ruby and Damon’s relationship. Book #2 is called Cracking The Dating Code and is Poppy and Seb’s story.
New Release December ’13: A short story called The Night Before Christmas, also involving members of the West family (and a new couple). It’s set during a Christmas eve party on the beach in Australia – no snow on Santa here!  If you have the opportunity, try reading The Night Before Christmas before What The Bride Didn’t Know.
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