Dirty Little Secret by Kendall Ryan Review

Kendall Ryan - Dirty Little Secret cover image


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The start to a sexy new series from New York Times bestselling author, Kendall Ryan…

She’s much too innocent for me, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting the sweet, young librarian. I’m dominating and possessive, and my control streak runs a mile wide.

The way she looks at me—like I’m one of the heroes in the books she loves, like I’m broken, and she wants to be the one to piece me back together—it only complicates things further. I’m nobody’s hero.

But there’s no denying my tragic past reads like one of her favorite literary classics. It’s raw. Visceral. Captivating. And together, we’re a perfect mess.

How can I resist when the sexual sparks zapping between us set me on fire? The need to control, and claim her force my walls to come tumbling down, but when she learns about my dirty little secret, will my world come crashing down with it?

The story continues in Dirty Little Promise, releasing October 9.


I love Kendall Ryan’s work, and I’ve read and enjoyed many of her books. But Dirty Little Secret is, in my opinion, her best work yet. Written in the same vein as her Filthy Beautiful Lies series, this new series from Ryan, Forbidden Desires, is off to one heck of a thrilling, edgy, sexy start.

Emma Bell, a shy, girl-next-door-sexy librarian, is almost a year out of an abusive relationship when the handsome and smoldering Gavin Kingsley catches her eye…and her imagination. Months pass, however, before one day, out of the blue, he gives her a small opening, and she charges right through. Emma had no idea at the time what she was truly getting into, but one thing she did know for sure was that nothing would ever be the same.

“…like a lightning flash through the darkness, I was undone.”

Brooding, private, high-end escort service CEO Gavin Kingsley is an intense and dominant man. Months of surreptitiously observing the sexy brunette has caught up to him, and his iron-fisted control slips ever so slightly when he finally makes a move. It turns out, though, that Gavin was as utterly unprepared for the unconsciously submissive Emma Bell as he was captivated.

What begins as an unconventional arrangement, quickly develops into much more. Gavin struggles with letting Emma in, and she’s never quite sure which version of him she’s going to get—the sweet and romantic man or the cold, closed-off, commanding one. It doesn’t really matter, though, because despite the warning bells going off in her mind, she’s falling for both of them. In him, Emma finds the darkness she secretly craves, and in her, Gavin finally finds the light he needs. It’s unfortunate that he’s not the only one who is taken with her, though.

“…I was there in the middle of it all, stoking the flames and praying they didn’t take me down with them.”

Everyone has secrets, and some are darker, deeper—dirtier—than others. Gavin’s secrets, however, have left him a broken man, but in Emma he finds a balm for the wounds of his past. Emma has her own secrets, though, and with Gavin, she finds herself exploring them. Secrets always to reveal themselves at the most inopportune times, and when Gavin’s secrets are exposed, Emma is left reeling, panicked and wondering if perhaps her past, or Gavin’s, is repeating itself.

This book was positively riveting! Dirty Little Secret was one of the most intense, exciting, sexy books I’ve read this year. I could not put it down—I devoured it in a single sitting and was left on the edge of my seat, practically panting for the conclusion, Dirty Little Promise. Kendall Ryan’s Dirty Little Secret was absolutely fantastic, and it’s definitely a favorite of the year! Five smooches from me!

~ Danielle Palumbo