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Love, From A to Z by Robin Alexander

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆ Robin Alexander books are like a carefully hoarded treat that we dip into when we feel rather deserving. Though this one was...

The Secret Chord by Virginia Hale



⭐⭐⭐⭐☆★


Kate and Tilly attended the same Catholic school as kids where they shared a dorm room and also a few kisses. But that was twelve years back. At that time Tilly was determined to become a nun. Twelve years thence, both of them are back in the same school as teachers now, sharing their living quarters once again. Their respective terms overlap for only three terms after which Kate plans to move out. Tilly is also now engaged to a Vicar with two little kids. During the twelve years, Kate has also embraced her sexuality and finds that she is as attracted to Tilly as she was when they were sixteen.

The book is written entirely from Kate’s PoV. So we are with her every faltering step in navigating her relationship with Tilly, every tortured thought of tamping down her want and her love, every inconsolable feeling regarding Tilly. It is easy to understand, empathise with and ache for Kate. The book is written for that.

However, in their current reality, Tilly is the only one who is taking all the risks, who is laying herself out and bare for the relationship. She has to reconcile her feeling for Kate with her faith, discover her sexuality – in fact, she has never been touched by anyone till now, struggle with changing her beliefs and realities. And she has to do this all entirely by herself, because Kate has a sense of victimhood as she carries her own feelings for Tilly like a chip on her shoulder. It is like Kate feels that because out and willing, carrying a flame for Tilly forever her commitment is obvious. But it really isn’t.

Tilly is tentative and timid but she is the one who initiates conversations and contact. She carries a whole world of greater emotion and depth of emotion for Kate. Kate doesn’t particularly answer any of Tilly’s words or emotions. In fact, the only thing Kate responds to and with is lust. When Tilly needs Kate to fight for her, Kate says Tilly needs to figure out things for herself – a constant refrain from Kate. We can’t imagine how scary and lonesome this whole relationship must’ve been for Tilly and the courage and bravery it must’ve taken to make the leap of faith and commit herself to Kate who has not done overtly done anything to make Tilly feel wanted or secure (as a reader we see where she is, but she doesn’t let Tilly know any of it). 

But this is just our rant of protectiveness for Tilly. If a book can evoke such strong emotions, it is quite a read. And this one just draws you in totally.

This is a long book but makes you actually live the story. The slow burn creates constant eroticism in every touch and look that the MCs exchange. The bubbling sexual tension has you longing for the first kiss to happen already. It is a great read and highly recommended.   

PS: This would’ve been a five but loses a star because of Kate’s unspoken (and sometimes spoken) demands from Tilly while giving nothing. Kate’s approach towards Tilly really hurt us. 

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆★


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