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SECRET: A SECRET Novel (Secret Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

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Length: 290 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian
E.L. James returns with a fresh perspective from Christian Grey on the story that enthralled millions of readers. See Kindle version | More "Fifty Shades" titles

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Editorial Reviews Review

Q&A with L. Marie Adeline

Q. What made you decide to write erotic fiction?

A. Quite truthfully, a week before I started writing S.E.C.R.E.T., I hadn't thought of writing erotic fiction. In fact, I'd never thought of writing erotic fiction. Writing sex is difficult for a lot of novelists, including me. Sex is so subjective, after all. And the few times I'd tried left me feeling queasy and vulnerable. But E.L. James did something rather remarkable. She showed writers that there was an incredible appetite for erotica, and I felt it was time to write a book people wanted to read as opposed to writing a book I wanted to write and hoped that others would read. Luckily, I found writing S.E.C.R.E.T. creatively satisfying; I couldn't have completed it otherwise.

Q. How did the Fifty Shades series influence your writing?

A. Fifty Shades was like a Zamboni that smoothed over the pocked ice so I could skate behind it rather safely. I owe her a debt of gratitude. And she also did something extraordinary, which was to commit to a love story amidst all the panting and sweating. That definitely influenced my approach as well. But the book that had the biggest influence on me was Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman. Her chapter about sex in pop culture was utterly brilliant and so true--especially how it can often be so devoid of human desire. I made sure that desire underpinned every single one of my sex scenes.

Q. Where did you get the idea for the concept of S.E.C.R.E.T.?

A. It's one of those things that came to me in an instant. I know it sounds insane, but it's true. I was talking to my editor about the Fifty Shades phenomenon, and she said that if I could come up with a concept and write it, she'd take a look at it. If it was good, she said, there was a chance they'd publish it, as the appetite for new erotic titles was so strong. How could I resist the challenge? I was, at the time, trying to finish a collaboration on a financial guide, which was vexing the hell out of me. Then Cassie showed up. So in a way, this book was born on a dare.

Q. Is the secret society within the novel based on a real group? Do you think this might inspire a few people to start one?

A. Again, this is something my editor and I darkly joked about--that people might be inspired to start their own S.E.C.R.E.T. societies. I don't know what to say about that except that the "S" stands for Safe. I've always been a fan of the step-by-step approach to fixing, changing or recovering from anything. I know people who've been helped by groups that consist of people who've gone through what they're going through, whether it's quitting smoking, over-eating, grieving, or drinking too much. When creating S.E.C.R.E.T., I imagined a group that could help a woman like Cassie, who is sexually deadened, come alive to herself again. So many women of a certain age feel that way, and I started from the point of change that Cassie arrives at and went from there.

Q. Why did you choose to write this novel under a pseudonym? How did you choose the pseudonym?

A. My original intention was to stay anonymous, not out of any notion of shame, but to let the reader develop a relationship with the book rather than the writer. Because with a book like this, which I hope people find immersive, the less the reader is thinking about the writer, the better. But then it grew and grew and became harder and harder to maintain the secret. Also, I'm a very private person. I had decided to write under a pseudonym to give myself permission to write about sex without thinking about the ramifications, or what my poor old (Catholic) dad would think. My previous novels are nothing like S.E.C.R.E.T. I hoped a pseudonym would help delineate the differences between the kinds of things I write--which include literary fiction, business books and now erotica. Adeline is actually my maternal grandmother's maiden name. She was born in 1899 and was quite prudish about sex. When I asked my sister if it would be mean or weird to use her name on an erotic novel, she said, "No. It'd be funny." So that's what I did.

Q. We'd all like to be introduced to the true-life Jesse. Are any of these men based on people you have known?

A. I've dated a couple of Jesses--guys covered in tattoos who push their fingers through their dirty hair, and can rock a tank top (even though that's just not a great look for most men, to be honest). Jesse is quite literally based on the character Jesse from the TV show Breaking Bad. (I hope the creators don't mind a little fan fiction from me.) I adore Jesse on that show. My friends and I talk about him, think about him, worry about him, hope he turns out okay. But wow, he'd be a crappy boyfriend. The rest of the men in S.E.C.R.E.T. are mostly of a type that I think most women will find attractive (sexually at least)--six-pack abs, wavy, thick hair, tanned, tall, and so on. I hope I'm right.

Q. What can we expect next in the series?

A. More sex of course, but what I'm looking forward to exploring is the inner workings of S.E.C.R.E.T. and what Cassie's role will be in the group. We'll see how all those fabulous men are recruited, and, of course, how Cassie's relationship with Will (and Tracina) evolves. There'll be some twists and turns, and there will be another woman going through the Steps, someone Cassie helps to guide. It will be sexy, empowering--and fun!

About the Author

L Marie Adeline is a pseudonym for a bestselling Canadian author and television producer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3127 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (February 5, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 5, 2013
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009Y4I52S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,203 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

L. Marie Adeline is a pseudonym for the bestselling author Lisa Gabriele. S.E.C.R.E.T., her first novel in this erotica series, was a #1 international bestseller. For more information on the S.E.C.R.E.T. series, visit and

For more information on books by Lisa Gabriele go to

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Dorothyanne Brown on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a Fifty Shades for grownups. Except well-written. And fun. And migods it would be cool to have this sort of thing available.
Instead of a quivering virgin awaiting the brutal manipulations of an uber-controlling damaged man, here we have a sensible 36 year old who has forgotten how to live. Yes, she's sexually dead, but she's also dead in the rest of her life, lacking confidence and zest after a destructive marriage.
And so the lucky lucky lucky (sorry, some envy here) lucky gal gets invited to join a secret society that seeks to enliven her again. With some of the most wonderfully written sexual fantasies I've read in a long time.
It helps that the book is set in N'awlins, post-Katrina, a town as damaged as Cassie was, trying to reclaim its life and sexiness. I adore New Orleans in stories and it is definitely a place of my secret fantasies.
Unlike the rape-oriented 50 Shades, the writer here has put the woman in charge of everything, her fantasies created for her (according to her requests) by a group of women. And instead of endless shouting of "Holy S***!" by a character as shallow as that phrase, the main character here has adult thoughts, feelings, some sense of normalcy, a desire to find richness in life as versus finding life in richness.
I heard about it on the Current on CBC and had to download it - read it over two days and it isn't a good thing as I have a date tomorrow and I may well leap on the poor guy like a starving wolf after spending time with Cassie. It's our first date. I may give him a heart attack.
It's cold out.
Read it.
Get warm.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A note from the publisher, Broadway Paperbacks of New York, about this book makes it clear why it got published: "The erotica genre continues to be hot, hot, hot. In the wake of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' female readers crave erotica..." And we're told that this manuscript had booksellers at the Frankfurt Book Fair salivating.

So here we have the story of Cassie Robichaud, 35 years old and widowed, living a dull, sexless life, working as a waitress in New Orleans. Of course, Cassie is also gorgeous, a cygnet waiting to blossom as a swan, only she doesn't know it. Along comes a society of women with inexhaustible financial resources, devoted to liberating folks like Cassie by providing them with guilt-free sexual fantasies brought to life. "We help women get in touch with their sexual side. And in so doing they get in touch with the most powerful side of themselves," explains Cassie's mentor.

There follow nine fantasies brought to life -- and they are so unimaginative as to beggar description. A massage that turns into a hand job, a surreptitious fondling under the table in a bar, a tryst with a hip-hop singer who leaves Cassie with a helping of gumbo helpfully stored in tupperware, sex on a boat during a storm in the Gulf, sex blindfolded (oohh daring!!), sex in a limo and sex with a ski instructor who enters Cassie "not where she expected" and slaloms her to heaven (it's jarring to find an author of erotica who resorts to euphemisms when describing her subject and dare not utter the word "anal."

All this makes Cassie a better person, stronger, fitter, more assertive, more confident, happier, more excited, more actualized.... etc etc. So that in the end when she has to choose between more anonymous sex and true love, she has the inner fortitude to go for the sex.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By kitkat40 on February 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, if you are the type who reads erotica for the sex only you will probably not like this book. This book is not so much about the sex as it is the journey of the heroine to help bring to surface her unknown sexual desires. Her knowledge of sex and her ability to enjoy it had been crushed by a bad marriage with a man who made her feel insecure. I felt the sex scenes were very appropriate to the level of experience the heroine had sexually and they occurred in a manner that helped her build confidence which was the point of the story. I think this is an excellent read for women who might be uncomfortable with the idea of reading erotica but are curious... it really is a light taste of erotica and nothing too extreme. I am a huge fan of sending out the message that the best way to challenge a fear is to face it and do it even if it scares you to do death. That is how we build courage and how we grow and become stronger. That is basically what the heroine was doing in this story. She was facing her fears head on and allowing herself to be open to things that were unknown to her. I enjoyed watching her become stronger and more independent with each task she was given by S.E.C.R.E.T. and in some ways maybe I saw a little of myself as I thought about some of my own personal journeys.

I was also a fan of this book simply for highlighting the following messages:

**Women can be sexually attractive and beautiful at any age. It is in the way you present yourself and has everything to do with confidence. I loved that the older women in this story were often described as beautiful.
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