This title is included in Audible Escape

Shattered Secrets

Cold Creek, Book 1
Narrated by: Chandra Skyye
Series: Cold Creek, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
Categories: Romance, Erotica
4 out of 5 stars (94 ratings)
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This Story Is Sexy

Publisher's Summary

Returning to Cold Creek, Ohio, is an act of courage for Tess Lockwood. Abducted and held captive as a young girl, she is unable to remember anything about the crime that destroyed her childhood and tore her family apart. Now a grown woman with a bright future, she feels that she has put the past behind her. But when she inherits the family home, Tess must confront the demons that still haunt her and the town of Cold Creek.

Gabe McCord has always blamed himself for what happened to Tess. He had been a teenager when she was snatched from the group of children he was responsible for watching. Now Gabe has taken on the role of sheriff and hopes to shed new light on the cold case, especially given his growing feelings for Tess.

Tess isn't ready to recall what happened to her, and she has no intention of digging up any details that might remind her of the truth. But when another child in the town goes missing, she's certain that it's related to her return to Cold Creek. Together, Tess and Gabe will have to work to unlock their painful memories in order to save another child and heal their damaged souls for good.

Contains mature themes.

©2014 Karen Harper (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Characters come to life on the page and nail-biting suspense makes this a book you won't put down." (RT Book Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

I chose this book to listen to as a part of my romance package thinking that it sounded like all the key elements that make me love a good story. Strong female protagonist struggling with a haunted past? Check. Rural town full of secrets? Check. Hot sheriff determined to find the truth? Check. A high stakes crime that needs to be solved amidst sexual tension? Check.
Sadly, the reality was anything but the promise of the above. It was a very disappointing case of having all the ingredients there, but assembled by someone who did not know how to use them.
Within the first couple chapters what stood out to me was not only the blatant and unnecessary fatphobia, but the writer’s clear disregard for pacing and strange approach to trauma. The side characters who are heavier are immediately criticized and vilified for having “let themselves get so big” (direct line) and the lazy writing around the thin, needy damsel in distress contrasting w the fat, dumb townsfolk was jarring.
I finished the book because I wanted to see how it ended, and with the exception of some clearly cinematically imagined scenes, I ultimately could not get over the writing. The characters were all painfully two-dimensional, and the “romance” felt not only forced, but out of place in the context of the story. I love a good unexpected first kiss, but this one was so unexpected it was disturbing. Every instance of “heat” between them seemed like it was an attempt by a high schooler of pushing two people with no chemistry together.
I have loved so many novels produced by Tantor as audiobooks, but this one was barely romantic at all. After sharing maybe two kisses, a traumatized and scared protagonist is already contemplating what it would be like to marry the man and have kids with him??? No thank you.
Beyond the completely unnecessary, offensive, and harmful fat-shaming, the story as a whole just fell absolutely flat. It was like eating dry, unseasoned chicken breast when you were promised delicious fried thighs.
I would not recommend this book for anyone looking for a compelling story, a spark of romance, or even a cohesive narrative. I LOVE chicken, but this cook just really didn’t know how to prepare or season it correctly. Such a shame.
The narrator tried her best, but there were many lines that were written with clear disregard to hearing them spoken out loud. I am not from Appalachia, but I would imagine anyone from that region would have an issue with how certain things were pronounced and how the accents were portrayed. But that’s just being a stickler, because honestly the narration was not the worst thing about this book by far.
I did really like the concept of the story and the attempt at suspense and intrigue. The town and environment were well-imagined but again— it consistently went from high potential to underwhelming reality.
Romance novels can be written very well with great finesse and talent. I would hope that this novel is not used as a benchmark for the kinds of novels audible continues to include in their romance package.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful story, horrible narration.

Loved the storyline and the development of the mystery and relationship. It would have been a shame to skip it due to bad narration but I almost didn't make it through the second chapter.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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loved it

seemed to me that tess needed to go back home to not only help with her memory loss or find the kids. she also needed to find herself

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Ok. Nothing special.

The narrator was not very good. She.sounds like a drone. No romance. No suspense. Uneventful.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful