Book Review: Lora Leigh’s Secret Sins

Posted January 23, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Lora Leigh’s Secret Sins

Secret Sins


Lora Leigh

romantic suspense in Paperback edition that was published by St. Martin Paperbacks on November 27, 2012 and has 384 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Styx's Storm, Moving Violations, Cops and Cowboys, B.O.B.'s Fall, A Wish a Kiss a Dream, "Dragon Prime", Primal, Live Wire, Navarro's Promise, Forbidden Pleasure, Beyond the Dark, Black Jack, Tempting the Beast, Dangerous Pleasure, Maverick, Man Within, Midnight Sins, Wild Card, Tied with a Bow, Lawe's Justice, Legally Hot, Deadly Sins, Stygian's Honor, Surrender to Fire, Nauti Temptress, Submission & Seduction, Wicked Sacrifice, Nautier and Wilder, Shameless Embraces, Wicked Pleasure, Only Pleasure, Guilty Pleasure, Wicked Lies, Twin Passions, Nauti Enchantress, Shattered Legacy, Intense Pleasure, Knight Stalker, Enthralled, Secret Pleasure, Rule Breaker, "The One"

Third in the Callahans romantic suspense series revolving around the hard-done-by Callahan cousins. The couple focus is on Anna Corbin, John Corbin’s granddaughter, and Sheriff Archer Tobias.

I recommend avoiding this entire series. If you MUST read it, borrow it from the library. Borrow it from a friend stupid enough to actually buy this junk. Just don’t encourage Leigh to continue writing this. At least, puh-lease, Leigh, do a better job.

My Take

Two points for Leigh’s Secret Sins. One, we finally discover the horrible secret that has caused the Barons to destroy the Callahan boys. Two, this third installment is consistent with the first two — it’s bloody awful.

This has got to be the lamest, stupidest explanation for why these three boys have been reviled their entire lives. Why their parents were destroyed. Why the grandparents, the Barons, accepted these conditions.

I have the hardest time believing that Lora Leigh could possibly write such crap. Sure the erotic scenes were well done, but Leigh’s premise for all the horrible actions in this are stupid. The only other kudo I can give is how well Leigh stretched out the suspense of the why. I admit, I kept hoping that there was some truly incredible reason for it. For destroying all these lives. And not just their own families, but the women who were brutally murdered as well. And. No. There isn’t.

Then there’s the interaction between Anna Corbin and Archer Tobias. As I mentioned above, at least the love scenes were well done. If you could avoid the idiotic, immature, inane interaction outside the bedroom, it wouldn’t be so bad. But no, we have to read all the jumping to conclusions that Anna does. She gets pissy because Archer answers a call when Caine finds a dead body. Well, duhh, what does she expect the sheriff to do? She knows he doesn’t believe in love, and, awwwww, she gets upset when…oh, shock, he says he doesn’t believe in love. They can go from one extreme to the next in one conversation and seriously appear to believe what they’re saying. I wonder if Leigh had a silent partner in the writing of this story and neither knew what the other was doing.

Okay, Anna’s come home from college. Early. She’s told the family that they can either employ her on the ranch or she’ll take the job the Callahans have already offered her. So, Grandpop tells her she’ll leave the county or starve. They won’t let anyone employ her. Um, hullo, Grandpop has no pull with the Callhan boys who despise him and have succeeded at their lives in spite of the harassment Grandpop has dealt them. So just how is it that Anna won’t be getting a job in the county if the Callahans are already offering her one?

I’ve given up trying to figure out what happened to and how the dead Callahans figure in to all this. It’s too confusing.

Then there’s the bit where Leigh writes that Sorenson is sympathetic and has tried to help the Callahans, but he risked alienating his daughter when he found out she was friends with Cami, who was herself friendly with the Callahans AND insisted she stop associating with Cami. Because of her friendship with the Callahans. WTF.

With all the Barons’ power and supposed smarts, they could never figure out a way to keep family safe and expose the bad guy? Oh. Brother. Then there’s the reason they’ve been blackmailed. Just shoot me now. How. Incredibly. Stupid.

Well, now you know I’m irritated. Just call the damn things buttons. Discs?? Gawd. Then there’s the trap Archer falls into. Duhhhhh.

When Anna reconnects with Skye, I’m, well, I’m confused. Again. At first Anna is so excited that Skye has moved back to Sweetrock. Then she’s angry because Skye is hanging with the Callahans. Yup, the same ones Anna is working for and has been campaigning most of her childhood to be able to be friendly with.

There’s all this manufactured tension that is just so annoying. I have to confess I did a lot of skimming so I could get this story over with.

Now it comes out that the four families — Callahan, Rafferty, Corbin, and Roberts — laid claim to the land nine generations ago. This works out to about 180 years ago, or somewhere around 1820. At the same time a couple of pirates buried their treasure. In Colorado. Land-locked Colorado. Hundreds of miles from water. Of course, in earlier stories, I had gotten the impression that the grandfathers were the ones who settled in Corbin County. Silly me.

The Resnovas put their search talents to use and discover a lot. If any of y’all can figure out what they’ve discovered, I’ll be real impressed. I’ve gone over it several times and cannot figure out how it all works out. Leigh is back and forth between two hundred years ago, Vietnam, the 1930s and back again…and I just don’t wanna put that kinda effort into this.

Crowe’s grandmother has the nerve to take him to task for being, goodness, rude. It’s not as if his grandparents refused to have anything at all to do with him when his parents died when he was TEN YEARS OLD. It’s not as if they didn’t encourage every single person in town to revile the child. W.T.F. I’m sorry, but these people should be horsewhipped up and down frickin’ Main Street.

NOOOOO. No, please, not that…noooo…Leigh is threatening #4!!!!

The Story

If you’ve read the other two, you know what happens here. Boy rescues girl. Doesn’t want to love her. Emotionally. Does want to love her physically. Overriding need to protect her. Bad guys come after her. She gets pissy because everyone around her is making decisions about her life.

Ta-dah, happy ending.

The Characters

Anna Corbin has been shipped out of the county ever since she turned nine. Rarely allowed more than a week or so at a time at the ranch over the years. Despite her begging and pleading to come home.

John Corbin is one of the Barons who control Corbin County; Genoa is his wife and Anna’s grandmother. Robert Corbin is his son and Anna’s father; Lisa is her mother. Who are these people? I would never treat my child the way they do. Marshal Roberts is Rafer’s paternal grandfather and Saul Rafferty is Logan’s grandfather. I think JR and Eileen Callahan were the parents of the three Callahan fathers who were murdered when their car went off the road.

The original settlers were Patrick O’Hara Callahan, Douglas McQuire Roberts, Dennis O’Halloran Rafferty, and Augustus O’Ryan Corbin. Raider, a.k.a., Clavern Mulrooney, and his son Blood are the pirates. Edward Bosworth III was a partner.

Sheriff Archer Tobias sort of inherited the sheriff’s job when his dad got Alzheimer’s and the wound he got in the military sidelined him from active service. Oscar is his Maine Coon cat who doesn’t take well to intruders. Male or female. Deputy John Caine is one of Archer’s suspects. Callum Nash is the county’s new crime scene investigator. Madge is the sheriff’s secretary. And was I ever surprised to learn, later in the story, that she’s actually a reasonably young woman. Here I’ve had the impression she’s a much older person.

Wayne Sorenson is the county attorney and another suspect. His daughter, Amelia, is Anna’s best friend and has been working hard to track down information her father wants. Governor Carson Ferguson is getting mighty impatient that the murderer of his daughter has never been found.

Dr. Krista Mayan takes a personal interest in Anna’s health. Elizabeth Haley is a former Callahan lover.

Amory Wyatt has no record older than five years. He’s also a friend of the Corbin family. He hunts with Robert.

The Reviled Callahans
Rafer is engaged to Cami Flannigan. Crowe is still single. Logan is engaged to the pregnant Skye, a former FBI agent. Ryan Calvert is a hidden Callahan; his mother, Eileen, sold him to raise money to save the ranch. Oh, nice… Jack and Jeanne Thompson.

That bitch Kimberly Corbin had the nerve to marry David Callahan.

Ivan Resnova, his family, and the Callahans have opened up Brute Force, a private security company. Mikhail Resnova has just hired Anna as his personal assistant. Amara is Ivan’s daughter. Sophia is his sister and Gregor is their uncle. Thaddock, Stryker, and Brolen will be Anna’s new bodyguards along with Rory Malone, Jordan Malone’s kin (you’ll remember Jordan from Leigh’s Elite Ops series).

The Slasher has been operating in Corbin County for near on forty years. Brutally murdering any woman with a connection to a Callahan.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of reds to oranges with a close-up of Anna’s face turned toward the reader while Archer — a very young looking Archer — is in profile, glaring to the side.

The title is accurate enough. The Barons have their Secret Sins that have held them immobile.