I received this book via the author, Rachel Higginson. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Secrets We Whisper in the Moonlight by Rachel Higginson
Series: Decisions in Durham #2
Published by Reckless Siren Publishing on 2022-05-24
Length: 323 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
Reading Challenges: 2022 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2022 New Release Challenge, COYER 2022
Eliza English has grown up in the shadow of her two brothers, Will and Charlie. Protective, pigheaded and overwhelmed with the day-to-day of their co-owned bar, they get in the way of every romantic relationship she’s ever attempted. She would do anything for them. And for the bar. But lately, she wants more than a life grinding through every day with only her brothers to share her burdens. Lately the crush she’s had on her big brother’s best friend is demanding more and more attention.
Jonah Mason has known the English siblings almost his whole life. Will is his best friend, practically family. Charlie is the kid brother he never had. And Eliza… well, she’s nothing like a sister at all. Actually, lately, he’s been thinking about her way more than he should. Lately, he can’t seem to think about anything else but her.
Eliza and Jonah have always drawn firm lines between friendship and anything else. Sure, there’s always been attraction, but both of them have always known anything beyond that is strictly off limits. For the sake of their work. For the sake of her brothers.
Until one moonlit night when they share secrets they never meant to whisper out loud.
Mrs. Higginson has done it again! She has written a beautiful romance that sucked me in and robbed me of sleep. Secrets We Whisper in the Moonlight by Rachel Higginson is the second book in her series Decisions in Durham, which follows the English siblings. This story follows Eliza English, the youngest and only girl, and her best friend Jonah Mason. I’m a sucker for the friends-to-lovers trope, but y’all! This one exceeded all expectations. It is perfection!
Eliza English has had a crush on her brothers’ friend, and her best friend, for what feels like her entire life. She has spent the last decade firmly reminding herself that he is “like a brother” to her and keeping herself firmly in the friend zone. However, now that Will, her eldest brother, has found his one (see book one for details on that relationship), their group dynamic is changing. Eliza finds herself regretting and questioning her decisions regarding Jonah, her permanent friend zone status, and how she’d feel when he finds his one.
Jonah Mason is seen entirely through Eliza’s eyes in this book, and quite honestly I can see why she’s fallen for him. Jonah is an incredibly thoughtful, intuitive, and clearly smitten with Eliza, even if she doesn’t see it. Of their friend group, Jonah seems to be the one struggling with Will’s newfound happiness than anyone else. It isn’t that he’s not happy for his best friend, but instead facing his feelings head on.
This plot is largely character driven which I love! I enjoyed seeing this relationship evolve as Eliza and Jonah confront feelings that neither knew existed. If books could radiate heat, this one would be smoking from the chemistry. Perfectly balanced sweetness and steamy scenes. I could not have asked for a better romance!
Overall, I really enjoyed Eliza and Jonah’s story. Eliza is a beautifully flawed character, admitting her own insecurities and tentatively reaching for what she wants. I love the relationship with her brothers too, even if it can be volatile at times. If you enjoy realistic romance, I highly recommend this one.