Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “This. Was. War.”
Violet Murphy has loved her best friend, Gabe Parker, since kindergarten but one terrible night changed all that and led them to remain friends only. Violet knew the day would come when Gabe would marry but her heart breaks when he proposes to his perfect girlfriend, Alicia, and he asks Violet to be his best man.
When Violet meets Landon Harlow, her heart begins to mend as he shows Violet she is perfect just the way she is. But when Violet learns that all is not right with Alicia, she finds herself at a loss on what to do. Does she risk losing Gabe’s friendship by telling him everything or let him marry Alicia and risk getting his heart broken? As Violet struggles to come up with a viable solution, her own terrible secret begins to unravel and suddenly she finds herself being buried under all the lies.
With Gabe’s wedding approaching and Landon demanding more commitment from her, Violet has to decide whether to leave her past behind and start a new life with Landon or face the past and risk it all for a chance at happiness with Gabe.
Brooke Moss has become one of my go to author’s when it comes to romantic contemporaries. She has a definite gift for combining love, heartbreak, and humor to create a story well worth reading again and again. Keeping Secrets In Seattle is a romantic and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and second chances. Filled with plenty of humor, snark, and eccentric characters, we get a ringside seat as we see and feel Violet’s heartbreaking struggle as she watches her best friend and the love of her life prepare to marry someone else. Extremely character driven, it’s very easy to submerge yourself into the lives of these characters and the stories they have to share. Fast pacing and a smoothly written story makes for a quick yet poignant read. There is a dark side to the the story that was unexpected but it is handled well.
Violet, our heroine, is a delightfully quirky person who deals with life’s many obstacles with dry wit, intelligence, snark, and a lot of patience. It requires a lot of humor to accept being the love of your life’s best man at his wedding and to play nicely with his fiancee, whom you can’t stand.
Gabe, our hero, was harder to connect with. While I enjoyed Gabe’s character, this is 100% Violet’s story. I have to say I honestly felt more of a connection with Landon then I did Gabe. We see everything through Violet’s POV so every time Gabe inadvertently hurts her…it hurts us. Landon, on the other hand, treats Violet like a princess. He is attentive, doesn’t take her for granted, and you can feel he truly loves her. At times I wanted Landon to steal Violet’s heart away from Gabe but I knew it wouldn’t happen. Her love for Gabe is ingrained in her soul. Every breath he took, she exhaled. She gave Gabe her heart along time ago. At times Gabe annoyed me because I KNEW he loved Violet but was scared of that love. So he chose to marry someone else but also tries to keep Violet by his side in the “best friend” role. I felt he was clueless with his careless handling of Violet but there were times I felt he knew what he was doing and was still punishing Violet for what happened in the past.
Violet’s pain is a palpable presence throughout the entire book. Her life was perfect when her and Gabe dated in high school; until one night’s tragic events ruins it all. Violet has never fully recovered from that night nor the betrayals that occurred afterwards. Each chapter starts with a entry from Violet’s childhood journal. Through these bittersweet entries, we learn the extent of Violet’s love for Gabe and exactly what led to Gabe and Violet’s break up in high school and why the pain from it settled so deep in Violet.
Gabe and Violet’s second chance at love progresses slowly throughout the story. It’s not an overly emotional tear jerking journey and it felt more real for that reason. Everyday life doesn’t normally have a tragedy occurring every 10 minutes. They do hit plenty of bumps in the road and there are past issues that need to be resolved because only then can they both be free to love one another again. The only part I didn’t like was Gabe had a habit of burying his head in the sand and not seeing what was in front of him. Or perhaps, it was his fear of what he saw that had him keeping Violet at arms length. I loved that Violet was strong enough to make him listen…and strong enough to walk when he won’t.
“I would rather be alone forever then beg the man I love to be with me.”
The supporting characters are all well developed personalities with a vibrancy that flatters our protagonists and the story. Violet’s room mates had me in tears as they tease, cajole, snark and cry, right along with Vi. They had Vi’s back through it all-even when they dispensed advice that they knew Vi didn’t want but needed to hear. Violet’s relationship with her mother is tremulous and Ms. Moss does a fabulous job of allowing them to work towards forgiveness at their own pace.
The ending is tense and heartbreaking yet gratifying as everything and everyone finds their place and settles in beautifully. It isn’t an easy ending but it’s a well won ending for Vi and Gabe. I love the tiny epilogue added that is told from Gabe’s POV. It wraps everything up nicely and left me with a huge smile.
“She is my best friend.”
Overall Rating: B