Meet Brandy Alexander, a young woman from South Philadelphia, with a big mouth, an even bigger heart and a little problem with impulse control. It’s not her fault trouble seems to follow her around. Okay, it is her fault, but why quibble over details? When Brandy (a puff piece reporter for a local Los Angeles TV news station) returns to her hometown, after a four year absence, she is thrilled to be reunited with friends and family. But her joy is short-lived when her best friend, John, becomes the victim of a tragic accident. Brandy is alone in thinking that the death is no “accident,” and as she sets out to prove her theory, she stumbles upon a political scandal of major proportions. Things begin to heat up when it appears that her former boyfriend, police detective Robert Anthony DiCarlo, is involved in sabotaging the investigation. The one thing Brandy knows for sure is that people keep turning up dead, and if she doesn’t get some answers, fast, she could end up on the short list. As Brandy searches out the truth, she gains some unexpected allies, including sexy, dangerous, street-savvy Nicholas Santiago, and the now-married Bobby, who still holds a torch for his former girlfriend. With humor, guts and determination Brandy tackles each challenge, be it dodging a bullet or resisting that box of Tastykakes in the cupboard. Murder, mayhem and romance abound in Shelly Fredman’s novel, proving there really is No Such Thing as a Secret. – Goodreads
‘No Such Thing As A Secret’ is the first book in a series by Shelly Fredman. I happen to stumble upon a recommendation for this series on Goodreads and once I started this book I was immediately hooked from the first sentence.
“My name is Brandy Alexander. Swear to God. I wish I were kidding, but I’m not. What were my parents thinking? Apparently naming me after a cocktail and a porn star would somehow enhance my life.”
Brandy is hilarious from the moment we meet her. She has sass and spunk and everything that goes on in her head and comes out of her mouth is hilarious.
“I’m what you’d call a reluctant traveler and chocolate calms my nerves. It also clears up acne, prevents colds and builds strong bones, so I eat as much as I want and feel really good about it.”
Now who can argue with that logic?
Brandy having just left her home in L.A. makes the trip to her hometown in Jersey to stand up for her best friend’s wedding. Brandy had previously left 4 years prior after having her heart broken by her long-time love, homicide detective Bobby DiCarlo. From the moment Brandy and Bobby reconnect, you as a reader, feel the pain Brandy harbors in her heart, as well as the longing.
“It had taken me four years to screw up the courage to face him again. I’d dreamed about this moment since I’d first gotten on the plane. I was going to knock his socks off with my ravishing beauty, my daring wit, and my new found sophistication. I’d make him sorry he’d ever left me. My fantasies definitely did not include long, uncomfortable silences, and a yearning to rip his clothes off and pin him to the floor in a mad, passionate embrace. He was supposed to feel that way about me.“
To be honest what drew me to this series was the emotion and romance. I LOVE mysteries and adventure and Shelly Fredman takes us on some wild rides, but I love the characters more. Brandy has a knack for trouble finding her, well really she finds trouble. But Brandy where’s her heart on her sleeve. She is extremely loyal, brave and will not sit back and avoid helping people. This leads to A LOT of reluctance from her family, friends and especially Bobby, who she tries to get help from him. But Brandy finds a kindred spirit in the form of sexy bad boy Nick Santiago.
“Nicholas Santiago is trouble. Do you know how to spell TROUBLE?”
“According to Carla, Nicholas Santiago is Robin Hood, Al Capone and Che Guevera all rolled into one explosively sexy package. Part saint, larger part sinner and as elusive as an honest politician he is the the stuff neighborhood legends are made of.”
Nick is an intriguing mystery. He is a womanizer and makes no apologies for it. And despite Brandy’s family objecting to her contact with him, Nick is there for her anytime she needs someone.
“What changed your mind, Nick?” “Hell if I know,” he said quietly and he disappeared back into the studio.”
Now I won’t get too much into the story because I like to remain spoiler free as possible! But this book made me smile, laugh, anxious, and excited! There were moments where I felt butterflies in the situations Brandy was involved in, and then I would be worried for what was gonna happen next.
Shelly Fredman gives us characters we can relate to. Not only is Brandy one of my favorite heroines, but Bobby, Nick, John, Janine, Francine, Carla, Paul, Uncle Frankie and the rest of her family and friends give this book so much heart.
Amazon *Kindle Edition
Barnes and Noble *Paperback