For me, the mid-90s were great years for book hunting. I remember vividly how much fun I had perusing the aisles of many bookstores around the globe. I couldn’t get enough of trashy novels, to the point of collecting anything that struck my fancy. And that meant a lot of searching; and a lot of titles. One of which was this featured novel by JoAnn Ross which I found in Saint-Tropez, of all places. I knew zilch about her at the time, unaware that she was already an established author in the romance field. Judging from that book cover and the back synopsis, however, I knew I was going to enjoy the ride, and I obviously did since I’m babbling about it here today.
SECRET SINS (1991, St. Martin’s Press) tells the tale of two sisters who, throughout a rocky relationship that starts at a young age, end up being at each other’s throats, especially when one of them has a chance to make it big as an executive in Hollywood. Like any well-handled trashy read her path to success leads her to danger zone which involves past sins and unknown affairs. Of course there’s a big, big secret which ultimately is revealed with double gasp effect (not really, for I am an old pro at this game after all) but what precedes it is one heck of a ride. SECRET SINS is fun, an easy read to glamour city that focuses mainly on the possible romance between Ms. Executive and her hot actor slash screenwriter. And to tell you the truth I really didn’t mind all the lovey-dovey going on, for both turn out to be very engaging characters.
Not long after I was done I recall mailing a request to the publishers about other possible titles available by this author. Remember, this was before the easy accessibility of the Internet. I got a response a few weeks later saying that Miss Ross (yes, let’s call her that) had many titles under her name as the accompanying documentation suggested. I was floored. There were about a dozen titles, if not more. I’d love to tell you this was the start of a passionate relationship between the author’s work and I but other reads beckoned and I, like the trashy guru that I think I am, followed happily. Yes, SECRET SINS turned out to be the only title I buried myself in, but don’t let me stop you there. Since then the author has published many novels that I’m sure are as engaging as this featured one. It’s just that I’m not as hard-core of a romantic as I would like to be when it comes to my reading choices. So pick up SECRET SINS (still unavailable digitally) and indulge. You’ll be reminded of the late Jackie Collins and that’s certainly not a bad thing.
Until next post—Martin