Review copy was received from Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Secret Life of Maggie Blake by Marilyn Brant
on May 17, 2022
Genres: Romantic Suspense
In an affluent Chicago suburb, Maggie Santori Blake, a clever stay-at-home mom with vivid daydreams of a more exciting life, is caught up in a dangerous game of espionage when an elusive motorcycle-riding hero returns to town.
The Motorcycle Maverick's top-secret government mission puts Maggie's life, her family's safety, and her marriage at risk...especially when she discovers that the sexy, highly skilled, and masked special agent is none other than Preston A. Blake III—her seemingly mild-mannered CEO husband.
To protect those she loves, Maggie must not only confront the man she thought she knew and the decade of lies between them, she's also forced to put aside her fantasies and become the heroic woman of her imagination.
Once one is settled into domestic life, ever have those dreamy moments of a more exciting life? In a fun romantic suspense, Marilyn Brant’s latest was one sexy, romantic ode to rejuvenating a marriage through day dreams of daring do come dangerously true for one Chicago wife and mom.
Already a fan of the author’s writing, I was intrigued to see her take a stab at the romantic suspense genre. The title gave me Walter Mitty vibes and then I read the blurb and mentally shouted ‘count me in!’
The Secret Life of Maggie Blake is a romantic suspense in description, but at the core this was the rekindling of a romance gone cold, a husband who has never made peace with his past, and two people finally really seeing the whole person they fell in love with and married. Maggie was at a crisis point after giving up her dream career and then having the husband she loves disappear behind his work. There is that hottie Motorcycle Maverick like some masked crusader looking larger than life and a dream come true and she has to make a choice and make some changes to find her happy. I enjoyed seeing Maggie show some spunk and come into her own even as she is reeling under a series of shocks once she catches on to what is really happening.
At the same time, Preston has to nearly lose them before he learns to not just be the world’s hero but his wife and family’s hero. He plays a sexy role in his danger guy side and I liked seeing this part of him come alive for his wife when he is working to restore them and come to terms with his parents’ murders and the woman he chose to love.
I thought the suspense plot was a good, steady build on the action with some exciting scenes along the way. As the reader, I knew more than Maggie, but could still appreciate some nail-biter moments. I thought the balance of romantic development to suspense was good. There is a humorous element that also adds another layer so this story never felt dark. This was a bit longer than the average novel, but I rarely felt the pages go by. The story was packed with so much and I didn’t want to miss what came next.
All in all, this standalone romantic suspense was sultry rather than full on sexy because so much was going on and the relationship had matters to resolve. A lighter spy and covert ops style story with a team full of camaraderie and a romance that looked bleak at the start, but danger brought revitalization. Romantic suspense fans should add this adventure of Maggie and her Motorcycle Maverick to the reading stack.
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