Where The Wicked Read.... My Spot To Talk About, Review, Share My Love Of Books, and Anything Else That Comes To Mind..

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



Title:Secrets and Sins: Gabriel
Author:  Naima Simone
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Release Date:  June 2013
Imprint:  Entangled Suspense

Twenty years ago, Leah Bannon’s beloved Uncle Richard vanished without a trace. Leah, now a private investigator, begins to suspect it was murder. When she reopens the cold case, Gabriel Devlin—-the man she loves but can never have—-inexplicably stands in her way.

Only four people know the truth about Richard’s mysterious disappearance—-Gabriel and three childhood friends...who have all sworn to take that secret to the grave. But a hidden enemy wants those shocking secrets brought to light...even if he has to kill to make it happen.

After experiencing an unimaginable loss two years ago, Gabriel refuses to put himself through the pain of loving someone who could be gone in an instant. But as he thwarts Leah’s investigation at every turn—-both to keep his friends’ pact, and to keep her safe from danger—-the sexy PI makes it impossible for him to protect his secrets. Or his heart...


Secrets and Sins: Gabriel is a great start to a series. The author did a great job pulling you in with a fantastic plot, and characters. It started off a little slow for me, but once it took off I couldn't put it down.

I really liked Leah's character, she was strong, compassionate, and tough. I love how she dealt with everything that was thrown her way, and took it in stride. She has real love and compassion for Gabriel, she tries hard to show him that he's not alone in his pain.

Gabriel was a mess in the beginning, and I didn't like how he treated Leah, but he redeemed himself. He really grew as a character throughout this book. He was tormented by his memories , but he finally got it together with Leah's help.

The mystery and suspense concerning Leah's uncle was intriguing, and was filled with unexpected twist, and turns. It was very exciting to read, and I thought Ms. Simone did a great job with that. You never really knew where the story was going next.

All in all Gabriel is on my keeper shelf, and I'm looking forward to the next book in this series. If you enjoy Mystery, suspense, and romance this is the book for you.

4 STARS / 4



Several hours later, he heard the voice as if from a distance, like the insistent annoying drone of a bee. His mind resisted its call, waved the mental equivalent of a swat, and dug deeper into his story.
“The first slice sang through him like a beautiful, sensuous aria. The soft give of flesh hit him in the chest, a soaring first note that must be followed by another…and another…”
“Gabe.” A pause. “I know you hear me somewhere in la-la land, and I’m not going away. So you might as well come up for air and answer me.”
Damn it! “What?” he snapped.
Leah Bannon, his best friend and current pain in the ass, stood at the corner of his desk, a plate piled high with two thick sandwiches and chips in her hand, a pleasant smile on her lovely face, and a determined gleam in her fairy-green eyes. This wasn’t the first time she’d shown up in his apartment unannounced and uninvited with meals, groceries, a broom, rag, or bucket of warm water. He tried not to dwell on thoughts of her sweeping out empty bottles of vodka from under his bed. Or how she’d broken down in the early days after the accident, screaming and weeping when she’d discovered a .45 automatic under his pillow.
The knowledge that she’d seen him at his worst humiliated and angered him. Yet no matter how many times he barked, demanded, and yelled, she refused to go away. She was a cross between Florence Nightingale and Nurse Ratched.
“Good afternoon to you, too,” she drawled, and set the plate next to the keyboard. The aroma of fresh sourdough bread, mayonnaise, and the sweet tang of ham tantalized his nose and elicited a demanding rumble from his empty stomach.
He frowned.
She arched a slender brow as dark as her midnight-black ponytail.
He hated when she was right.
She smiled, and her eyes flashed with a devilish twinkle as she playfully tousled his hair. Gabriel stiffened. And not because the juvenile gesture irritated the hell out of him.
He wished his reaction was that simple. But he knew why every muscle locked—understood why tension vibrated through his body like a plucked guitar string on the verge of snapping.
Because she’d touched him.
Awareness skittered over his skin, excitement twinged deep in his gut. At the same time, the acrid mudslide of shame and self-disgust coated his throat and stomach, transforming the arousal into something bitter, unwanted…resented.
Yet that didn’t prevent his gaze from tracing the delicate but stubborn line of her jaw or the elegant column of her neck. Her beauty never failed to take him aback—those almond-shaped emerald eyes set in such an exotic, lovely face of sharp cheekbones, full lips, and caramel-liberally-dipped-with-cream skin. Sometimes Gabriel resented her for making him notice her loveliness, her desirability. Resented her for reminding him that his heart could still thud with want, his stomach could still clench with need.
He knew it was cowardly, blaming Leah for his own weakness and his body’s betrayal. Mentally and emotionally, he still belonged to Maura.
Panic flared in his chest.
So much had been snatched from him in the past couple of years. All he had left was the fidelity and love he’d pledged to his wife seven years ago. If he surrendered his body and heart to another, nothing would remain of Maura. She would truly be gone. And this shell of a man he’d been reduced to would crumble to dust.


The Wicked Hero

A couple of months ago I spent a relaxing Saturday night with a Cherry Coke, Kettle Corn popcorn, and the Superman/Batman: Apocalypse DVD. Short synopsis: Darkseid, Superman’s arch enemy, brainwashes Supergirl, and brings her back to his home planet Apokolips to head up his elite guard. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman travel to Apokolips to rescue her. The movie was all kinds of Super Hero Goodness, yet all these weeks later one part really stands out to me. Toward the end of the movie, Batman flew in to face Darkseid. The Dark Knight had cracked the code on the hell spores, and every last one of ‘em was set to detonate and destroy the entire planet if Darkseid refused to let Supergirl go. At first Darkseid didn’t believe him, and after smashing Batman around a bit, Darkseid realized the Batman wasn’t bluffing. Suddenly, Darkseid smiled, dropped Batman and said, “Well played. Had the Kryptonian or the Amazon taken that gamble, they would have lost. They do not have the strength of character to destroy an entire planet to achieve success.” Needless to say, Darkseid released Supergirl and only then did Batman deactivate the code!

What is the purpose of relaying this story other than exposing that I’m a too-damn-close-to-forty-for-her-own-comfort woman who still gets up on Saturday mornings to catch Justice League, and a mother of two who considers the DVD set of Thundercats the most romantic gift ever? Well it’s to show how much I love heroes. I have a thing for them. But not Superman, Green Lantern or Captain America. They’re cool, but it’s Batman, Green Arrow, and Iron Man who make my heart sigh…and make me wish I’ll be reincarnated as a pair of tights. Each of them are human with indomitable wills. They’ve suffered tragedies, but instead of breaking, they came out on the other side forged in steel. They’re brilliant, cagey and possess their own moral code they strictly adhere to, but a code that sometimes doesn’t match up with society’s. Torture isn’t beneath them—not if it means their end goal is achieved. They are the ones who make the hard—sometimes unpopular—decisions. Like Darkseid said, Superman or Wonder Woman were too “noble” to threaten, and carry out, blowing up an entire planet to save one person they loved. Actually, both of them knew it. Which was why they sent the Dark Knight in! Dark, ethically-ambiguous anti-heroes rock!

In my recent release Secrets and Sins: Gabriel from Entangled Publishing’s Entangled Suspense line, Gabriel is that kind of hero. He’s had to make tough decisions since he was a teen and has willingly lived with the consequences through adulthood. Even when it comes to Leah, his best friend and the woman he has this sudden, resented desire for, he must decide whether to help her or keep a secret that protects the three men he considers brothers. Protecting them means lying to, and maybe, losing her. Do the means justify the end? That’s a decision only he can make. Aaand I’m not telling! You’ll have to read Secrets and Sins: Gabriel to discover if Gabe is Superman…or Batman.

A huge thank you to Wicked Readings for having me here today and letting me ramble on! LOL!

And for readers, don’t forget, through July 24th you have a chance to enter a giveaway for a $30 Amazon Gift Card and a “Boston Strong” swag pack! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!


Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair. Come visit Naima on her website, Facebook,Twitter  and Goodreads

Secrets and Sins: Gabriel buy-links: 

 A $30 Amazon Gift Card and a “Boston Strong” swag pack! You can enter through the Rafflecopter below!





  1. Thank you so much for your review and for having me here at Wicked Reads! I'm so glad you liked "Gabriel" and appreciate you sharing the book with your readers!
    Thank you again, and have an awesome Tuesday!

  2. Thanks for sharing the wonderful excerpt and your review. It sounds like a really good book.


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